My First GW2 Dungeon

Glumshanks with his Pimp hat
Glumshanks the Ranger with his Pimp Hat from Ascalonian Catacombs.

The need to get in there and experience dungeons has been eating away at me ever since I learned that the “holy trinity” does not exist in Gw2.  How can trash mobs be controlled without a tank?  Who heals? How does it boil down to anything but mass chaos?

I went in to Ascalonian Catacombs last night with a group of guildmates; All of us first-timers.  The first pull was a huge eye-opener.  I was so used to slaughtering mobs by the dozen.  You get a pack of centaurs, drop some AoE, and like most games they all die quickly and you loot up.  The first pull for us was a ghost that immediately knocked two of us down to the floor grasping at what was left of our life.  The second pull was the same, and we went a little too fast and nearly wiped.

It took some time, but we finally got into the swing of things (took about 15 min) and began to plow through the place like it wasn’t difficult at all.  The key to it all is… ready? … it’s supposed to be chaotic.  Mobs are going to run around, you’re not going to have them hold still, and you need to get used to being hit.  Coordinating who is dropping what heals, where you’re going to stand, and what mob should die first are important.  It’s organized chaos.

Once you’re used to being hit and having to deal with maintaining your composure and communication, the entire experience becomes systematic.  The boss mechanics are apparent (I think even explained in this first dungeon by the NPC’s along for the ride) and it’s nothing out of the ordinary for any veteran of themepark dungeons.  The story was confusing.  I think you’re supposed to have read some book?  All I got out of it was the Charr guy hated the Human guy and there was bad blood between their peoples that seemed to always lead to our group being pulled into battle because the Charr just had to insult the boss.  Loot sucked throughout, but I got a pimp hat at the end that I quickly ripped the look of for my current hat.

I give the overall experience a B+ and would happily run it again.

  • Was this story mode or exploration mode? I’m guessing story mode. If so, try it out on exploration mode and let us know what you think… it should be quite a bit more difficult!

  • @McJigg: Added a picture. 🙂

    @Swarmofseals: Story mode. I’ll be doing exploration mode this weekend.

    @Jacquotte: I’ll be trying to journal up a few more details of my experiences in Sunday’s post. I’ll go zone by zone and talk about my experiences.

  • Kill the necromancer first, then the ranger. I am just preparating myself psycologically for the second dungeon…

  • I haven’t done a dungeon yet, and I do like this game. But what you are describing is random superhero game dungeon diving. There are no roles. You just all DPS and try not to die. It’s what the last few hours of Pvp just felt like to me too. The game is gonna do fine, but I never considered GW1 a real MMORPG and this is shaping up to be the same. It’s like Diablo really. Also not a MMORPG

  • if you didnt play guild wars 1 i’m not surprised you didnt understand the dungeon.

    It was basically you killing the trainers/masters of guild wars 1 since they became vengeful ghosts. The “bad blood” between the NPCs is explained both in the book and also in your personal story so if you keep doing those you would’ve understood what happened.

  • also forgot to mention, the first dungeon is much harder than the others.

    And the dungeons are not run for get (unless you go in explorable mode for the legendaries at 80). You do dungeons for mats.

    Crafting mats.

    Just like guild wars 1.

  • Quick question on experience, if the fights are chaotic with mobs running around hitting everyone, doesn’t this favour heavy armour wearers as they will be able to take more hits? I like the idea of moving away from the holy trinity, but as a group wouldn’t you naturally want mobs hitting the person with the strongest armour?

  • @Bellator – I was in a dungeon run where I was the warrior, and we had 3 rangers, and I believe a necro. We all switched off on duties for tanking as needed to keep health balanced. I do think I might have tanked longer than the others, but I still ended up throwing support and also going ranged dps at other times depending on the situation and our health levels.

  • @Bellator: Being hit may favor the heavy armor wearers, but many support abilities that make the dungeons possible are found on classes that wear light and medium.

  • The dungeons in GW2 sound a lot like the ones in the first game, brutal pulls where one mistake equals death. At least there are no henchmen or heroes this time around to cause wipes.

  • @Rinvan: You are wrong on that part.

    During the story mode Ascalonian Catacombs run I did last night, we struggled alot on the lovers. After a wipe, the three NPCs with us were lying dead on the floor, and the second we got one up, the bitch ran at the bosses :x.

  • Has nobody here experienced buggy zoning with these dungeons as a group? We weren’t able to go into it with a whole group nor do we know how to reset the dungeon proberly. We did 2 dungeons so far but werent able to enter another one for quite some time. Everytime we try it these days it shows the “enter storymode” screen but nothing happens. If you try to follow the groupleader into the instance you will end up in your own version of the instance (It’s the same for everyone in the group). I wish there were a community workaround for that issue 🙁

  • @raginggerman – Took us over half an hour to get into Ascalon Catacombs last night. The approach that worked was for the party leader to keep retrying to enter until he eventually did. Then when the party leader is in, the party members keep retrying until everyone is in same dungeon instance. Also we eventually entered from the overflow instance, by all relogging and then not mving to the main instance. No doubt the cause is crowding on server where the main instances are run.

    My initial feeling about dungeons is that they are too long – that makes hard to get people with RL commitments together for long enough to do them.

  • So Keen, any thoughts on the “Holy Trinity” thing? Even though you say it’s “organised chaos” , i simply can not fathom on a hardcore level that things will work like that.

    Guardian and Elementalist can Tank & Heal more than other classes respectively. There’s definitely “better” CC classes and there’s the DOT vs. AOE vs. Single Target DPS classes.

    I am sure everyone can now heal themselves somewhat, but i’m 110% certain groups will eventually figure out you’ll need that “top up healer” and that “buffer/defensive class” and that “class that can soak up some damage” and the ones that can “kite around doing dps” and finally “doing trash pulls vs doing boss single target DPS”.

    Even in WvWvW i already saw certain classes simply won’t be that much fun in there. It was exactly the same in Warhammer, Tanks/Melee was canonfodder for Zerg vs Zerg fights. Despite a Guardian having ranged abilities, you will still end up feeling like you’re not actually “playing the right class for this” .

  • @Roq – “the overflow” is not the right term ;D There are alot of overflow worlds. We hardly ended up in the same overflow when we were aiming for the 1st instance. When we tried the 3rd instance we used the portal to the next map to swap maps until everyone was in the same overflow world. We had an instant working dungeon then. The problem is, that there hardly is any overflow on the 80 map’s and we were all in the same world. Its just not working there. Progress killer.

  • @Silvertemplar: I agree. Eventually players will force the holy trinity into existence. Rangers can be amazing healers, Guardians can hold their own, etc. I think players will eventually look for people to ‘specialize’ into a role.

    As far as WvW goes, I think every class has its situation. I saw Guardians wrecking face in WvW with their bubble. An ally would fall, the guardian would run in and use his bubble and keep that ally completely safe while repelling the enemy. It was an incredible sight.