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Upcoming Improvements to Dungeons Announced

January 29, 2013 - 1:25pm -- innuendo

If you are dizzy with all the recent changes to the game, allow me to add one more thing to your radar. Content Designer Robert Hrouda hit up the Guild Wars 2 blog to lay out what the studio has planned to make dungeons more difficult, and more enjoyable.

The first of the two changes is in place as of yesterday's update. It involves changing the waypointing system from PvE while in a dungeon. Instead of being able to respawn at a waypoint as soon as you go defeated, the game will now force the entire party to wipe (or leave combat) before a player can rez. This change will stop dead the current tactic of "Rez rushing" certain bosses by pulling them near a waypoint and just constantly respawning until the players eventually whittled them down.

It will mean that dungeon content will require better teamwork, and rezing downed players will become much more important since going defeated will now mean that player is out for the entire fight. I think most high end dungeon runners agree this change is for the better. Encouraging players to do the content as designed and not circumvent the challenge should be a long term boon to the communities forming around certain boss encounters.

As for encouraging players to do the content as designed, Robert also laid out some future plans for dungeons. Specifically he discussed reviewing every enemy and boss encounter to ensure they are fun and rewarding. This seems in response to the current trend of skipping the trash mobs in dungeons, as well as the avoidance of certain boss paths since some bosses are just notoriously boring to fight. My hope is for smaller health pools and more interesting mechanics. Nothing is more annoying as a dungeon runner than a boss that has an easy to dodge attack chain with a huge health pool.

No dates were given for the second changes to take effect. Most likely because ArenaNet doesn't know how long the process will take internally to polish the encounters. Stay tuned here for future details as they become available.

Source: Robert Hrouda on Upcoming Changes to Dungeon Mechanics

Candlelight
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Firstly, I'd like to point

Firstly, I'd like to point out that the link from the front page is misspelled and leads you to an error page.

More on-topic; I'm not sure what I think about this change. On one hand it's good, because it could possibly stop people from skipping mobs and such. However, having done my first dungeon (AC story mode) merely a few days ago, I'm not sure that we would have had the patience to last through all bosses if we had not been able to respawn during the fights. We were all quite inexperienced with dungeons and died several times (especially in the last fight). In my opinion it would be better to only implement this in explorable mode, and not in story mode. The greatest rewards cannot be gained through story mode dungeons, and therefore there isn't really that many who does them. For a beginner not being able to respawn might turn one off dungeons altogether.

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Dungeon Difficulty

I have plenty of dungeon experience in other games, but I have been out of the mix for several years and am new to GW2. So far, I have only played AC in story mode. This is the first dungeon, so it is the introduction to dungeons for most players. My inexperienced PUGs would not have been able to complete this dungeon without rez running. Even with rez running, it was incredibly difficult and took many attempts. From that perspective, here's my take: Rez running is a gimmick, and I'm glad it was removed. However, AC story mode is too hard for new players. I don't think the solution is to make the fights trivial (although i do think story mode should always be easier than exploration mode). Instead, I think the solution is to provide better guidance to new players about how to play effectively in a dungeon. Some in-game guidance on which skills and gear will best lead to team success. What I think would be really neat would be if entering a story mode dungeon was like entering sPVP for the first time. Provide an overview of how team play differs from solo play, provide an alternate gear set appropriate for the dungeon, pre-populate the weapons/skills with appropriate selections for the dungeon and tune the rewards appropriately for how much easier this would make story mode.

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