Dungeons are one of those aspects of Guild Wars 2 that I didn’t expect that I’d really ever do much of, primarily because I didn’t think I’d ever really have a group of people to regularly play with and I’m not a fan of PUGs, that I’ve found that I actually do a lot of. Especially now that I’ve been level 80 for some time.
Not that I’ve done too many dungeons so far, really. As of right now I’ve done Ascalonian Catacombs, Caudecus’s Manor, Twilight Arbor, and Citadel of Flames all in Story Mode, and I’ve done one path each of Explorable for AC and CM. We attempted Sorrow’s Embrace story, but the fire golem boss stopped us dead.
One issue I’ve run into, which is why so far I’ve only done Path 2 on AC, is that they can be buggy. Path 1 and 3 for AC, for example, are difficult because of the fact that objects have incredibly buggy hitboxes. If you’re in melee range, you can be hitting something at one moment only to get messages of “obstructed” “miss” the next. Ranged attacks have similar issues. AoE works…so long as you don’t have tons of enemies spawning from said object (I’m looking at you, graveling burrows) that trigger the cap on the number of things an AoE can hit before the actual object’s been damaged at all.
I mentioned that we tried Sorrow’s Embrace, but we didn’t get further than the fire golem. The issue here is that the fire golem boss does very quick projectile attacks, deals tons of condition damage…and any conditions you inflict on it turn to healing. Now, the game all but encourages using conditions to deal damage. So many attacks – including auto-attacks – inflict conditions as well as damage. And considering our group was a mesmer, a necromancer, a thief, an elementalist, and a guardian…there were many, many conditions flying around. We tried to pull back and change our traits to be less conditiony, but there’s really only so much you can do with that without completely respeccing. Combined with the fact that that dungeon is pretty long…it was a bit frustrating, to say the least.
I also somewhat find myself questioning the level requirement for many of the dungeons. For example, the other day my guardian reached level 35 and I went and did a run of AC path 2 with some fellow guild members. Now, I know AC path 2 very well. I’ve done it nearly 10 times now. And that? Was hard. It didn’t help that the cave troll spawned, but even without that, it was far more difficult. I can’t imagine how hard the dungeon is for someone who’s level 35, in a group with other people of the same level, and are not familiar with the dungeon already. The lack of traits really hurts more than I had expected it to, and having done it again on my guardian about 10 levels higher, it was already significantly easier.
I have a small quibble in that the runes you get as drops in explorables are soulbound (they really should be account bound, I think)…runes of the monk are basically useless for my Mesmer, but they would be great for my Guardian. Still, they’re cheap with tokens, so it’s not a huge deal…just a really minor annoyance.
Still, I do enjoy them. We’ve got AC and TA story down to a science, as well as AC explorable path 2. And while the rewards for the explorables will take time to get…they are worth it. Earlier today I completed the final AC explorable run I needed to get to 390 tokens, and I bought my mesmer the ghostly greatsword. I fell in love with it because of how it looked in the previews…but at night when it glows? It looks so amazingly awesome. Screw the legendary greatswords, this baby is all I will ever need!
I may have to get an AC weapon for my guardian as well. Hammer or mace, most likely. I also need some more CM runs for the runes of the noble (sad that the merchant is bugged and where there should be major runes offered, there’s just a second minor rune listed but priced at 30 tokens, which is what a major is), as well as something like 40 Twilight Arbor explorable runs so I can get armor and weapons from there for both my mesmer and guardian.
This is going to take a while…