Guild Wars 2: Twilight Assault Preview

The latest Guild Wars 2 patch goes live today and ZAM got an early look at the new content.

Twilight Assault launches today in Guild Wars 2 and ZAM was able to get an early look at what the new patch has to offer. Twilight Assault is all about a new path being added to the Twilight Arbor dungeon. Players will join up with Caithe of Destiny's Edge to investigate some suspicious activity that looks to be from the devious villain, Scarlet Briar.

The first thing players will encounter in Twilight Arbor is the new dungeon lobby. From here players will decide to go into one of the old paths or venture into the new Twilight Assault path. Unlike the previous explorable paths which are for level 55+ players, this new path is level 80 and will reportedly be similar in length and difficulty to an Arah explorable path.

The next thing players might notice is that ArenaNet said FU to the F/U path. The new level 80 path will replace the appropriately named path. The new path will also replace the F/U path for the dungeon master achievement, so players with the achievement and title won't need to worry about them going away while players who haven't completed F/U before will be able to complete the new path to earn credit.

Once inside the new path, players will first get a few throwbacks to the old TA paths. Instead of going straight into the Aetherblade base, players will be fighting through the arbor including nightmare husks, dogs and spiders.

Much like the Aetherblade and Molten Facility dungeons, ArenaNet is teaching players new fight mechanics before they see them later in a boss fight. Players will be faced with the first cooperative puzzle as they start reaching the Aetherblade base. In this puzzle players must lead oozes to the next gate to oil the gears. To help get the oozes there, players will be able to pick up ooze pheromones to make an ooze follow the player. Between the ooze dying from player AoEs and lava elementals, the pheromones being time limited and two oozes needing to be delivered to the gate at around the same time, players will have to cooperate to get past this challenging puzzle.

Puzzle #1 & Ooze Pheromone Buff

After the first puzzle, players will enter an area where Aetherblades are clearing parts of the forest (including the wildlife) for expanding the base. Players can jump into the fray fighting both Aetherblades and Nightmare mobs, or sit back and wait to take on the pirates alone. One thing players will need to watch out for is Steam Watchers. These floating mechanical mobs are squishy and will die fast to players, but as soon as it gets aggro on the players it will set off alarms spawning veteran mobs to join the fight. Players will want to take these down quickly to prevent things from getting out of control.

The ooze pheromones will come back into play in the first boss fight. The first boss is another pair of bosses called Sparki and Slick. This pairing includes a large Norn and as Asura wearing a set of armor that veterans of the Molten Facility dungeon will remember. During the fight the two bosses will use AoEs that intoxicate the room, giving stacks of a debuff to players that will slowly whittle away their health. To get rid of the intoxicating AoEs, players will need to lead oozes over to them so that the oozes can absorb the toxins.

Puzzle #2 

Among a few things to be wary of is one of the bosses will apply the pheromones to players randomly, so players will need to pay attention to who is leading the ooze (it will follow the nearest player with the pheromones). Also players need to be careful not to accidentally kill the ooze, as its death will release all of the absorbed toxins resulting in 10 stacks of the toxicity debuff. Dying during the boss fight will completely reset the fight. Even if one boss was defeated, players will have to fight both of the bosses again after respawning.

After the boss fight players will enter the main facility. One of the first new things players will come across within the base is the hologram Aetherblade spawner. During the Dragon Bash content, the Aetherblade pirates set up the holograms around Tyria to spawn Aetherblades instead of dragon minions. Now they are using hologram spawners to create an infinite army. The holograms die quickly, similar to Mesmer phantasms, but explode upon death. Players should try to use the enemy's own strength against them.

ArenaNet kept the rest of the dungeon under wraps, so that players can explore the facility themselves. We did find out that the final boss of the dungeon is the Clockheart, which looks to be a twisted version of the final boss in the old TA paths.

The Aetherblade pirates have been updated with a few balance fixes. They have been made to be less of a pain; not stunning as often. This update will affect all Aetherblade pirates including the mobs in the dungeon and during Scarlet Invasion events.

For the achievement and rewards there is a new permanent meta and achievement list and the temporary Living World meta. The Living World achievements only has the single meta achievement that will fill through completing the permanent achievements and Living World daily for completing TA and other dungeon paths. Players will need to complete 10 achievements for the Living World meta achievement that awards the Slickpack backpack skin worn by the Norn boss, Slick, that players defeated in the dungeon.

The permanent achievement list includes 17 achievements and a meta for completing all 17. Some of the achievements are easy, such as talking to Caithe right inside the dungeon and getting past the first puzzle and defeating Sparki and Slick. Finishing the meta will award players with a miniature version of the final boss, Clockheart.

Within this new path, players have the chance to get an updated version of the TA weapon skins as a rare drop from any mob. These weapon skins look like the Nightmare weapons players can purchase with dungeon tokens with an added blue glow.

Also dropping from mobs in the dungeon path and from mobs in the Maguuma jungle areas of the open world are Aetherblade Chest key pieces. After collecting five pieces, players can combine them into a key to open Aetherblade Chests. Where are these chests? After finishing the final boss in the dungeon, five different events will open up for players to explore (including one that goes into why Caithe is here). At the end of each of these events is an Aetherblade Chest. Don't worry if your party leaves before attempting any of these events as each event can be done solo. There is, however, an achievement for finishing all five events in a single dungeon run.

Twilight Assault goes live today! While it is focused around the new Twilight Arbor dungeon path, we are already hearing about other little things included in the patch such as WvW Ability point reset and weekly bonus chests and a bunch of new character hairstyles.

Matt "Mattsta" Adams

Follow me @MattstaNinja

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