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:
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:
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.
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!