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The Lost Shores Preview

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November 12, 2012 - 9:42am -- Sardu
The Lost Shores Preview

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with our friends over at ArenaNet to learn more about The Lost Shores. Not only did we gain some new insights about the world event kicking off this coming Friday, but also learned about some of the new permanent gameplay additions the update will be adding to Guild Wars 2.

While the world event will indeed be a one time, unique experience for GW2 players, there’s actually a pretty sizable chunk of content being added. In fact, The Lost Shores was referred to as a “mini-expansion” more than once during the discussion, and rightly so. Most aspects of the current endgame are expanding either outward or upward in some interesting ways including a new level 80 map, nine new dungeons, a new sPvP map, and even a new item quality level.

Southsun Cove (new level 80 map)

The event this weekend will kick off in Lion’s Arch where players will have to fend off a massive invasion force. Without giving away any major plot spoilers, the event will focus on a new enemy called the karka. It will be up to players to not only push back the initial invasion force, but also learn more about the karka, what caused them to attack mainland Tyria in the first place, and how they can be properly defeated.

This will eventually lead players to a new map called Southsun Cove. During the world event, all players will be able to travel there with lower level characters having their levels dynamically scale up to 80. Following the event, Southsun Cove will become a permanent new map for level 80 characters.

While we can’t talk about what players will find there in too much detail just yet, below you can see some screenshots of the new map:

Southsun Cove 1

Southsun Cove 2

Southsun Cove 3

Southsun Cove 4

Fractals of the Mists (nine new dungeons)

A total of nine new dungeons are also being added, collectively called the Fractals of the Mists. These will provide a pretty fresh dungeon experience for players, and function quite a bit differently to boot. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect:

  • Fractals of the Mists will be a new dungeon hub featuring 9 dungeons
  • Each dungeon will take groups roughly 15-40 minutes to complete
  • Each time you enter, it will be a random dungeon, with 3 dungeons constituting a "cycle"
  • Following each "cycle" you return to the hub, and your group progress is saved
  • At the end of 3 successfully completed "cycles" you gain access to a "mega-boss" fight -- think on the scale of the Shatterer

Unlike the current dungeons, Fractals will also allow players to set a difficulty level before entering, so as you continue playing through them you will be able to decide how challenging you want things to be. Due to the randomized nature of which dungeons you'll play through for each "cycle" it should also keep things pretty fresh over a longer period.

As you can see in the images below, each of the Fractals will have a very distinct theme:

Fractals 1

Fractals 2

Fractals 3

Fractals 4

Fractals 5

Along with the new dungeons, we'll also be seeing some new items hitting the game...

New Item Quality Level - Ascended

While it remains to be seen exactly how many new items are being added in terms of new weapon or armor sets, we do know that a new quality level is being introduced: Ascended. This will be one step higher than exotic quality items, so it will be interesting to see how that impacts gearing up at level 80. As things stand currently, level 80 rares are basically something you only equip while piecing together an exotic set, and from there most people either salvage them for ectos or sell them on the trading post.

Hopefully the ascended gear will be somewhat difficult to obtain, otherwise it might end up greatly devaluing exotics moving forward. New items are also supposed to be hitting the current dungeon vendors, so I'm also curious to see how that will fit into the bigger itemization picture. According to ArenaNet, this new item quality is intended to help give the endgame a more distinct sense of progression, so I'd imagine that there won't be a massive amount of ascended gear hitting the live game right away either way.

It's also worth noting that with the update there will be a new resource to harvest, along with 200 new crafting recipes being added. Presumably these will be focused on the ascended quality level as well, so it will be interesting to see how expensive the new recipes will be to create given the current high production costs on exotic gear.

Temple of the Silent Storm (new sPvP map)

Along with the new dungeons and level 80 map, a new sPvP map is also being added, called Temple of the Silent Storm. As you'll see in the images below, this will be a kodan-themed map located on top of an iceberg. A core mechanic of the new map will be "buff points" that players can meditate on to help their team, with a central point that can reset the entire map.

As you can see below, the new map is also fairly vertical, with a fair amount of both interior and exterior spaces. It will be interesting to see how well the map plays for ranged builds, considering that some of the tighter interior spaces appear to be very melee friendly, but may make keeping line of sight for ranged builds a bit more challenging.

Temple of the Silent Storm 1

Temple of the Silent Storm 2

Temple of the Silent Storm 3

More Lost Shores Coverage to Follow

Be on the lookout for a lot more coverage of The Lost Shores update later this week, including expanded details on the new content outlined above, and a lot more. In the meantime, be sure to leave a comment below to let us know what you think of the reveals so far!


Wedge7's picture
Submitted by Wedge7 on

I'm very excited for this! Those screenshots look lovely. The new dungeon sounds brilliant, and I actually really like the randomness to it. It'll be interesting to find out the cost of the new ascended gear. Maybe people will go straight from rare to ascended gear and ignore exotics from now on? 

Concerning the actual event, is the only one-time event happening on Sunday? Will there be one-time events on Friday and Saturday at all? Or are Friday and Saturday similar to the new Acts that appeared during Halloween; new content is added, that can be experienced at any time? 

Zerdav's picture
Submitted by Zerdav on

Yay Kodans, and it all looks interesting of course.

What I'm most interested in, is how does ascended gear function exactly and what does difficulty level in dungeons change. 

Yski's picture
Submitted by Yski on

I hope they do that ascended gear right.

I don't really like them adding something that's more powerful than everything else and has to be grinded for in order to reach maximum power.

Every single forum I've used to spread anti guardian propaganda has subsequently died out on me. Coincidence? I think not!

bargamer's picture
Submitted by bargamer on

I was uninterested until I saw the 200 NEW CRAFTING RECIPES! Even split up over 8 Disciplines, that's still something for us crafters.

Slartibart's picture
Submitted by Slartibart on

I'm very excited for the new dungeon(s)! They will be something random, won't they? Exciting, I can't wait :)

BZmek's picture
Submitted by BZmek on

From those screenshots, it almost looks as if the fractals could be of alternate versions of the different races' cities. Just a guess.

chaosgyro's picture
Submitted by chaosgyro on

So what you're telling me is that instead of doing the hard work of fixing zone population issues, or working on an expanded dungeon lfg feature, they're just adding on a new gear tier and saying "hey look SHINY"?

Somewhere between their lofty manifesto and worthy goals of revamping MMO gameplay and culture, ANet got dollar signs in their eyes and threw the other things in the trash.  At least I can walk away knowing that I didn't waste my time and gold on any mystic forge exotics, or even a now-obsolete legendary.

BZmek's picture
Submitted by BZmek on

ANet have different teams working on different aspects of the game. Don't feel short changed because the ones working on new content now have something to offer.

Also, I don't see how the legendaries are now obsolete. The ascended gear is a tier above the exotics, thus I believe it to be below the legendary items. Someone please correct me if I have misinterpreted this.

chaosgyro's picture
Submitted by chaosgyro on

Legendaries were the exact same as exotics.  Now they are the exact same as ascendeds.  Technically not a waste...assuming Anet continues to upgrade their stats along with the ever increasing tiers they have told us are coming.  However, Legendaries don't have the infusion slots, so I guess they'll be pretty worthless in new dungeons since those will be gated off with the agony mechanic. 

R.I.P. GW2  8/25/2012 - 11/13/2012  

BZmek's picture
Submitted by BZmek on

I would stand corrected about the legendaries being higher than the exotics, however it has been said on gw2guru that the ascended will be between the exotic level and the legendary, thus implying they are not the same.

Additionally according to Linsey Murdock: "This new rarity type falls between Exotic and Legendary on the spectrum of rarity and has slightly higher stats than Exotics." and "Thus Legendaries will remain “best-in-slot” items. All Legendary items going forward will be of Ascended power."

The gw2 wiki also shows that exotics are 60-80 items while legendary is a higher item only available to 80s. But as they're scaling to the same as ascended, really what are you crying about?

And R.I.P. GW2? Over dramatic much? There seems to be a subculture of people declaring the death to all things when one minor aspect does not go their way. Sad really...

Where are you getting this info from that the legendaries won't have the infusion slots, making them lesser quality than the ascended? From what I've read as well, the infusion slots is only for Agony, which is only present in the new Fractals.

I will stand firmly corrected if you can justify your outburst.

chaosgyro's picture
Submitted by chaosgyro on

Legendaries are rarer than exotics, they did not have higher stats.  Now Anet has added a new rarity rank (not necessarily actual rarity, just a new color) that sits in the rank hierarchy between exotic and legendary; i.e. basic - fine - masterwork - rare - exotic - ascended - legendary,  As you say, only ascended have these infusion slots, which once that gear rarity gets around to the weapon slot, will mean people need infused weapons to experience the new dungeons.  They could update existing legendaries again, but it'd probably be at the cost of a sigil slot.  Leading to more "baked in" stats and yet more customization loss.

On the subject of stats, sure it's not much. Yet.  Linsey was very specific about saying that this is only the tip of the iceberg (or shaft more like).  Look at WoW: raid bosses from a few years ago can be soloed by players who aren't even in the top tier of gear that currently exists.  Is this specifically going to happen with GW2?  Not exactly no, downscaling does exist after all. However, look at a topic that has come up here on GW2Hub many times already: zone population.  It's already hard to make people want to go back to early content.  It's like pulling teeth to get people to enter certain dungeon runs.  Why in the name of unholy hell would anyone EVER go do Sorrow's Embrace now when there's no way to get the best gear there?  Let's all join the Fractals queue!!!!

GW2 is at its worst when everything is a zerg rush.  It gets very boring very quickly.  Adding a gear treadmill just gates off the gameplay and community to be only involved in the most recently released stuff.  Orr is a cluster-f*** right now, but I bet after a dozen more lvl 80 zones opened up over the next few months to spread the population it could become pretty fun again. (especially if they worked on systems to encourage population spreading)  Alas

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

I have to admit, after the Ascended armour blog post, I'm so infuriated by it I shall by writing an editorial on the matter in the next few minutes.  What are ArenaNet thinking!

Jabberwok's picture
Submitted by Jabberwok on

Please for the sake of our sanity. Ask them what they were thinking.

I was ready to translate the content updates for my guild when I saw the post.

I can't work at all right now.

Nyth_'s picture
Submitted by Nyth_ on
I think this whole Ascended Armor is a bit overkill. We really didn't need another tier of gear IMO; I'd much rather have seen more unique new skins that are harder to get. The thought behind this gear seems to purely be a PvE grind treadmill; new mechanic makes dungeons impossible without first grinding out a full set of this new tier gear, which allows you to bypass said mechanics. Which seems to me like a bit of a cheap bandaid to stretch out the endgame PvE. Either way, let's just see this "tsunami hit the beach" (to stay in the mood of the lost shores) and see what the results are. And hopefully enjoy the new content :)

tarian's picture
Submitted by tarian on

Sardu when's the next Grenth's Grog?  There is still sooo much of the necro profession you haven't even touched upon.

What are you willing to sacrifice?