Fractal Rock: Guild Wars 2′s New Mini-Dungeons

By Nathan Grayson on November 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

It was like this when I got here. I swear!

AAAAAH TOO MUCH GUILD WARS 2. But then, I suppose ArenaNet’s adding quite a lot of fairly novel content with its Lost Shores event, so there’s a decent deal of ground to cover. So cover it we will. Exhaustively. On today’s docket is the Fractals of the Mist dungeon, which actually takes the form of multiple itsy-bitsy baby dungeons. Now, when I put it that way, they sound cute as the dickens. In reality, however, Fractals is more like one of those giant horrifying spiders that carry writhing tangles of young on their backs. Each mini-dungeon scales and gets progressively tougher at higher levels. And then, of course, there’s the matter of that whole Ascended gear brouhaha. Take a brief tour after the break.

Quite a handsome-looking set of locales, no? But the scenic variety isn’t really what makes the Fractals so potentially interesting. Rather, it’s ArenaNet’s “come one, come all” approach to dungeon design that could make or break them. Here’s the gist:

“Unlike the other dungeons, your party can be any level. We’ve employed World vs. World-style sidekicking to make this dungeon accessible to all players. But keep in mind, our aim was to challenge level 80 players. Going in at low levels is not for the faint of heart.”

The Fractals themselves, meanwhile, will take the form of different vignettes from across Guild Wars history. Some will apparently reference Guild Wars 1, while others will be entirely new. “Because of their eclectic origin, each fractal is built as a distinct, separate experience with themes, mechanics, and art specific to that fractal,” ArenaNet added on a rather enticing note.

Here’s how the Fractals will work: you’ll topple them in rounds of three, after which you’ll be spirited away to Mistlock Observatory’s safe haven for a battle-free breather. Every other pre-hub round, however, will see you go toe-to-toe/crab claw/tentacle/laser eyeball with a special, world-event-esque “boss” Fractal. I hope one of them is a pterodactyl named Pterofractyl.

So obviously, there’s quite a bit going on here. But is it enough to lure you away from, well, every other MMO ever? Seriously, The Secret World, EverQuest II, Rift, and Star Wars: The Old Republic are all launching major events and/or expansions this week. So you will kill 10 of X thing and 10 of Y thing and 10 of ZQBJGHDS thing until nothing remains standing, but by the end of it, what will be left of you?

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15 Comments »

  1. Kits says:

    My cat decided it would be a good idea to curl up against my back, just as I was reading the”giant horrifying spiders…” line…I almost jumped out of my skin. Thanks for that mental image.

    It’s nice to be getting more content already anyway. Though I guess I’m looking forward to the new zone more than the new dungeon. I’m sure I’ll end up poking about in it plenty though.

    • Nathan Grayson says:

      Apologies. I saw an image of one the other day, and I can’t scrub it from my mind. So I decided to share it with everyone else, because that seemed like the right thing to do.

      • Phantoon says:

        So you’re a brain terrorist, then, Nathan.

        • MadTinkerer says:

          Look: wait until it’s stopped scurrying, put a cup on top of it, slide a piece of paper underneath and release the poor thing outside. Night and day they toil to keep your house free of vermin, their short lives quite short enough already without gigantic primate monsters trying to crush them to death.

          Spiders are useful. And adorable. Kittens have two large eyes. Spiders have so many more! Dogs are furry. So are spiders! Cats and dogs like to kill smaller animals which humans consider vermin. SO DO SPIDERS.

          Spiders are awesome, you heartless bastards.

          • Kits says:

            I don’t hate them enough to kill them. I always catch them and shoo them outside…but doesn’t mean they don’t creep me out. And those humongous ones with the baby spiders all over them are just nightmare inducing.

    • Kongro says:

      Can’t be that bad, can it?

  2. mechabuddha says:

    Commence overflow servers in 3…2…1…

    I’m still definitely looking forward to this. The Mad King event was awesome, and I have high expectations for this one. Even if I have to be upscaled to 80 to play it.

    • Bobzer says:

      Anet had a lot of great content in GW1 that made people want to keep playing, challenge missions like Dajkah Inlet, Remains of Sahlahja, Dragons Throat and ultra hard areas like The Realm of Torment, all really unique and challenging, I can’t wait to see things like this in GW2.

  3. KauhuK says:

    My lvl 80 salad (sylvari) warrior is ready for the challenge.

  4. Randomer says:

    To clarify: is this part of the big event that is launching this weekend?

    • Dominic White says:

      From what I can gather, the launch event itself is going to be a one-off, but the content introduced via it (the new zone, the new enemies, equipment, dungeon, etc) are going to be there from here on in.

  5. Bhazor says:

    Down to Fraggle Rock toot toot.

    • Danopian says:

      It’s down at Fraggle Rock, man. Down AT!

      *crawls back under his hyper-specific Fraggle Rock theme lyrics troll bridge*

  6. aliksy says:

    I like the idea of a bottomless dungeon, but the gear checks via “infusion” gear needs to die in a fire. I don’t want to collect a new set of gear so I can go deeper into this. I don’t want to be segregated from my friends because they have more or less infusion than I do.

    They had infusion in guild wars 1, and it was a one-off thing that applied to the armor you already had. Also it was a pain in the ass and was only used in the first game.

  7. The Random One says:

    I think that’s a fractured dungeon, not fractal.