[GW2]The Dungeons

The best test of a good PvE group is to take the players into a dungeon. Guild Wars 2 has a solid selection of dungeons, and each one has multiple variations to keep the runs exciting and fresh.  is chapter gives you a heads up for the tactics and preparation that go into a successful dungeon assault!

Where to Find Dungeons
Dungeons are marked on your regional maps once you’ve uncovered their entrances. A door icon shows
up to let you know that “ is is a dungeon!” Go there and look for NPCs outside the entrance. Talk to them
to learn more about the dungeon and its backstory. You could meet additional players this way, as people
might be hanging around to form groups. All dungeons have their own collectible items.  These let you assemble suits of special armor and a set of new weapons.  ese cool outfi ts are fun to collect even if your character has outleveled the content of the dungeon. You can always transmute the new items and combine them with higher-level gear.
Some special dungeons aren’t available all the time.  These mini-dungeons sometimes appear as a result of people’s actions in an area. You might be working on a world event and suddenly fi nd there is a portal to somewhere new.


  • Ascalonian Catacombs 30+ Plains of Ashford (NE Side, Ascalonian Catacombs Waypoint)
  • Caudecus’s Manor 40+ Queensdale (NE Side, Beetletun Waypoint)
  • Twilight Arbor 50+ Caledon Forest (NW Side, Twilight Arbor Waypoint)
  • Sorrow’s Embrace 60+ Dredgehaunt Cliff s (SW Side, Sorrow’s Waypoint)
  • Citadel of Flame 70+ Fireheart Rise (NE Side, Flame Citadel Waypoint)
  • Honor of the Waves 76+ Frostgorge Sound (N, Honor of the Waves Waypoint)
  • Crucible of Eternity 78+ Mount Maelstrom (NE, Crucible of Eternity Waypoint)
  • Ruins of Arah 80 Cursed Shore (S Side, Arah Waypoint)

The first dungeon, in terms of level range, is the Ascalonian Catacombs, in the Plains of Ashford. Level 30+ characters are strong enough to complete the dungeon, and it’s located on the northeastern side of the zone. Make sure everyone has at least one elite skill before going in.

Story and Exploration Mode
When you first find a dungeon, it’ll be set to story mode. Your group has to complete the area
with the help of NPCs, making the experience somewhat easier. Afterward, you can return to
that mode or set the dungeon to exploration mode to see higher-level enemies and new areas
of the dungeon itself. When going through each dungeon the first time, ask everyone to set their skills for a high
amount of survivability and group support. With more experience, you’ll learn when and where
to throw in faster killing and additional damage, but simply surviving each fi ght is the best way to
go initially. Knockdowns, Stuns, Invulnerability, healing, damage mitigation, and kiting skills are all
extremely useful in dungeons.

Who to Bring
Don’t form parties based on character professions.  at’s a common mistake from people who’ve played other online games of this type. In those games, it’s sensible to say, “We need one of these, two of these, and two more of these.” But that’s not the way to do things in Guild Wars 2. Instead of bringing the right professions, bring the right people and the
right tactics.

You don’t need people exclusively dedicated to being pullers; pretty much anyone can pull. However, it can be helpful to have someone who is good at ranged combat. It doesn’t even matter what profession that is. Almost all professions have
weapons and skills that make them good at ranged combat. They give you the option to wound enemies from distance
and pull them back to a safer area. Doing this can help you avoid adds in rooms where you aren’t sure where to stand in order to avoid extra foes. You don’t want to fight with all sorts of enemies nearby.  at leads to larger encounters, greater
danger and chaos, and possible party deaths. Attack monsters from a distance and back away to bring them out into
rooms that are already cleared. Use walls and other obstacles to break line of sight so the monsters come toward you even if they have ranged attacks of their own.

The first person to engage an enemy force up close is going to get hit with conditions and direct damage out the
wazoo. Don’t have this be someone with pure damage skills. Even a character in heavy armor will die quickly if he or she doesn’t have the right skills to mitigate damage or evade attacks during the initial few seconds of a fi ght. Whether by using Invulnerability, dodging, healing, or damage mitigation, you need that character to take some hits.  is process is called tanking in many games, and it’s still an important concept in Guild Wars 2.  e new spin on this is that many professions can tank.  ieves evade wonderfully, so they can kite enemies and then force them to swing at empty air if they try to stop for anything heavy. Guardians mitigate. Rangers trade damage between themselves and their pets.  There
are all sorts of ways to tank. Remind yourself of that often. A mesmer with pure survivability skills is going to last longer than a warrior who’s slotted for raw damage output.

Personal healing skills and boons are good to have in dungeons, but they’re dwarfed by skills that give boons and health to your entire group. Look through your profession’s listing of skills and fi nd entries that are group friendly. Slot these to ensure you get the most bang for your cooldowns. Change to a healing skill that helps everyone. Find boons that add to the group’s survival or damage output, and make those a top priority in big fi ghts. Most characters should have at least one or two skills dedicated to this role, but you might have a character that does nothing else.

In another game, you might take three damaging characters, a tank, and a healer as a common group confi guration.  at’s
really damage-heavy for Guild Wars 2. Monsters die quickly if you load up on that many killers, but your people will also drop often. It’s better to have one lethal character on hand; adding the other characters’ moderate damage output to that usually provides a suffi cient foundation for damage. The reason for this is the fl exibility of Guild Wars 2 roles. A “Healer/Group Support” character isn’t going to be sitting in the back, doing nothing except tossing health to his or her friends. It just doesn’t work that way. Everyone still has damage output. As such, pure damage trades quite a bit of utility for only a moderate increase in lethality. Be very careful about doing this with many of your characters. It’s better to stop before specific fi ghts and change your skills around to match the given needs of the battle. For example, someone lets you know that the next time is much easier if everyone frontloads their damage and burns down a certain enemy.  at’s when you can slot your best skills for high damage. After everything cools down, return to your normal confi guration.

Groups can (and should) change their lineup to match the needs of each major encounter. If you’re blowing through the dungeon without deaths or trouble, then relax and stop worrying. But when characters start dying,
stop. Figure out what’s going wrong and adjust your plan accordingly. “Our tank is getting sliced in half the moment she
meets the enemies.” Well, try and use a fully ranged approach to see if you can kill the enemies before all of them arrive. Kiting might be preferable there. “We’re getting destroyed by these conditions.” A number of professions can counter conditions for themselves and nearby allies. See if someone, like a guardian or necromancer, has a way to protect the group from whatever is crimping your style. “ is boss is killing us so fast.” Talk to the group ahead of time and arrange for a number of skills with protection and healing to be used in turn. Have the other players on a voice communication program, if possible, to make it easier to trigger. “All my goodies are on cooldown. Use your group heal.”

We’ve talked about the lack of hard-set roles in Guild Wars 2. In many games, there is a concept called the holy trinity, which is the union of healing, damage output, and damage mitigation. Or, the use of healers, DPS, and tanks to survive engagements. You need all three of these entities to be able to last long enough to overcome your enemies.
 ink of this mathematically.  e group has health as a resource. Enemies do too. If damage output is your only tool, multiple characters will likely die before you can exhaust the enemies’ entire supply of health. You’d need to possess several times the enemies’ health to avoid this problem. Healing and damage mitigation slow the depletion of your group’s health and spread damage around in such a way that characters are less likely to die.  is ensures your whole team’s damage output remains intact throughout an encounter. Some people assert Guild Wars 2 does away with this model.  at’s only partly true, and it misses the point slightly.  is game attempts to do away with absolutes. “You are the tank, you are the healer, and you guys are here just for damage.” Avoiding absolutes doesn’t necessarily change the nature of a fi ght. You still need to infl ict damage and kill enemies. You still have to mitigate enemy damage as much as possible. And healing? It’s never a bad thing to have! So, while you may not need to dedicate your entire character to just one of these disciplines anymore, your group must still possess and utilize them where applicable.
Now there are more ways to tip battles in your favor. Weapon swapping lets you switch duties in the blink of an eye.
A guardian with a greatsword can be cutting enemies in half early in a fi ght, when an unseen patrol suddenly joins
the encounter. Very quickly, there’s too much damage for the party to withstand more than a few seconds.  e
guardian swaps to a scepter and a focus to help avoid damage long enough to kill off some of the newcomers.
Was that guardian there for DPS or damage mitigation? Yes, of course, the answer is that he was there for both.
Almost all characters will contain elements of healing, mitigation, and DPS. Each player should shift the balance of
these three elements to match the needs of the group.

Weapon Swapping Instant and Easy Use this even in the midst of combat to access a wide variety of skills.
Changing Skills Moderate  is takes only a few seconds outside of battle, and it lets you prepare for specifi cencounters. Armor Swapping Cumbersome Useful only outside of battle, but having an entire suit with diff erent bonuses can make a huge diff erence in survivability vs. damage output. Trait Refunds Expensive It’s possible to visit a trainer and get a refund for your traits. Although this can be powerful in changing your character, it’s not something to do lightly. It’s also possible to change the way you play to make a diff erence in your character’s survival. Pull away from battle when you’re low on health, thus avoiding AoEs and reducing the chance for enemies to attack your character. Switch to ranged combat during risky stages of an encounter.