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

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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Nathan Grayson

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