Posted by : Wendy B Monday, 12 November 2012

Naked dungeon dancing: About the only
positive thing to come out of our adventures.
I’ve now completed three GW2 dungeons in story mode (SM) and two in exploration mode (EM) and have come to the conclusion that GW2 dungeons suck.

I would offer a more eloquent description, but after the amount of frustration and time that goes into completing (or not completing) them, there is no better word to describe them.

Generally speaking, each dungeon involves some vague story and you are accompanied by mostly useless NPCs. If the NPCs aren’t standing around doing nothing or getting themselves killed, then they are busy whining and/or flouncing off because drama. If only that were the extent of the frustration, but the generally speaking continues with limited crowd and hate control abilities, winding maps, various condition damage traps that can kill you in two or three steps and mobs of enemies that enjoy swarming you and often have fun moves that knock you down and kill you with just a few hits.

Assuming you will die and die often, you get to return to the beginning of the winding map (which gets further away as you proceed), spend your hard earned coin for repairs lest you end up naked, and walk allll the way back through the traps to fight the next group of baddies who will knock you down and kill you with just a few hits so that you can repeat this process.

“Well, maybe it’s you that sucks,” you might say, and I admit this is a fair assumption. My friends and I are not elite players and have no interest in being so, but we are competent enough to handle a challenge.

GW2 dungeons are not a challenge. They are an exercise in frustration. They are a giant troll. (Fortunately, we haven’t come across dungeons that actually have trolls in them…). [ETA: I stand corrected. There was a troll in the Ascalonian Catacombs. I clearly blocked that horror from my memory.]

I am a big fan of strategy. I love working out how to defeat instances and I love doing so in unique ways. If I am new to an instance and others know the way, I will watch intently and learn the ins and outs. With GW2 dungeons, none of us had any experience and we made a point of not looking anything up in advance so that we could enjoy the learning process. What we have learned is that the best strategy is to target one enemy out of the crowd and pray everyone can kill it before it kills us (or just walks away and regens immediately). Rinse. Repeat.

“Fortunately,” at just the point when you want to ragequit, the game seems to sense your frustration and suddenly, some of the enemies are looking the other way when you pull them this time and you’re able to successfully kill them off in smaller groups. I initially thought this was a result of us finally getting our act together, but as the same thing occurs in each subsequent encounter, the coincidence became just too coincidental for us to not look suspiciously in ArenaNet’s direction.

It's okay, Jennah, you can come out now. Jennah?
We ought to walk out of these dungeons with a sense of accomplishment, but instead, we are lucky none of us have broken anything. Worse, in spite of various offspring interruptions, the standard dungeon frustrations and being one player short, we successfully ran Caudecus’ Manor SM, only to get to the very end and encounter a bug that completely prevented us from completing the dungeon.

I should say, Twilight Arbor SM was not quite as bad as the first two dungeons, though it still maintained the basic formula. This lulled me into the belief that my plans to repeatedly do the Twilight Arbor EM to earn myself some shiny Superior Runes of the Nightmare were possible. I invited a friend to come with me and he thanked me.

Imagine trying to crowd control worms who are literally covering the room in red death circles that you can evade by rolling into another death circle. That was our first major challenge and eventually, our strategy became “pile on the big worm in the middle and pray.” In the next area, we figured out that, once we cleared the first few guys, we could skip the rest and actually sneak onto the bridge to cut through. I suppose this could be considered an exploit but damned if I’m reporting that one.

One member left us part way through and we considered quitting, but “fortunately,” we got a thief to join us and thank the gods we didn’t have to start over.

The next room actually wasn’t bad once we figured it out (read: Looked it up on the Wiki because we were well beyond experimentation at that point). Then it just came down to facing groups of three Nightmare Court people, which would have been fine if at least one out of each group didn’t have that lovely "face smash knock down lol no you can’t revive" move.

Add to this frustration the loooooooooooooooong walk all the way from the beginning, peppered by deadly poison blossoms.

We came upon the final boss who had three of the lovely "face smash knock down lol no you can’t revive" guys with him. The same thing eventually happened with only one coming to us after several failed attempts to fight off the group, but only after the additional frustration of the NPCs turning around and walking back home with immediate regen even as we were still fighting them. But we finally beat the bad guys and we won! Yay!

Oh. It’s not over yet. Still had to fight a giant fucking tree.
After experiencing four hours of all of the above on Saturday night, my friend was not thanking me anymore and my runish plans have been altered to NOT include dungeons. Ev.er.

One Response so far.

  1. Um... actually... we did fight a troll in that first dungeon, and it was a long painful fight that led into another long, painful fight that probably could've been avoided if we'd just let the troll to the ghosts because as hard as that ghost was that troll was worst. One troll is troll enough for me.

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This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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