Complete Guide to Fractals of the Mists
Fractals of the Mists are an all-new dungeon experience in Guild Wars 2,introduced with the Lost Shores content update. While many core gameplay staples carry over from the standard dungeons, the way you approach and progress through the fractals can differ in some significant ways. In this guide we’ve compiled plenty of useful information to get you started in the new dungeons, along with plenty of tips and important details to be aware of based on our hands-on time with them so far.
I. Forming Your Group
Before you can begin, you’ll first need to form a full group of five players. All party members will need to be located in Lion’s Arch within the same shard, though only the group leader will need to be physically present at the asura gate to enter the main Fractals of the Mists instance.
II. Fractal Difficulty Scale
One thing that will differ when you see LFG requests for running the “infinite dungeon” is that Difficulty Scale will play an important role. As you complete each cycle of three fractals, the difficulty scale going forward will go up by one (1), shown in the upper right corner of the screen. Currently this scale can continue to climb with no hard cap on difficulty level.
As the difficulty scales up, a few things will happen. Not only will some of the expected things occur, such as boss encounters becoming increasingly more difficult, but additional environmental factors may also come into play.
For example, in the Volcanic Fractal there is a long, downward sloping corridor where players will have to avoid a number of giant flaming boulders as they descend. As the difficulty scales upward, additional mobs will spawn in this area making it much more challenging to progress.
Each time you complete a fractal your progress will be saved, along with your current difficulty scale. However, the scale set for your overall group will always be set to that of the team member with the least progress.
So say you’ve completed a few fractal runs and have access to scale 3 difficulty, your group disbands, and you head back into Lion’s Arch to form a new group. If one of the group members is currently only at scale 1 difficulty, that will be what the rest of the group is set at until you complete more fractals to advance the difficulty scale higher.
This will be important to keep in mind when forming groups, and you will likely see requests in /map chat for players with a minimum difficulty scale.
III. The Mistlock Observatory
Once your full group has entered the main Fractals of the Mists staging map, the Mistlock Observatory, you will have access to a standard merchant selling basics like salvage kits, a special merchant who accepts the new Fractal Relics currency, and a repair NPC.
In the center of this area is a blue portal (shown above). Once your party is ready to enter the dungeon, the party leader can enter this portal and then all members will be issued a Fractal Transit Query. As soon as all members hit the “Ready” button, you will immediately be transported to one of the fractals at random.
IV. Fractal Cycles
Unlike normal dungeons, groups will be taken to three (3) random fractals per run, constituting a complete cycle. Once a given fractal is complete, a loot chest will spawn, and another Fractal Transit Query will be presented.
Following the first and second fractal, you will be taken to another random fractal. Upon completion of the third, you will be taken back to the Mistlock Observatory where you can access the vendors, make any needed repairs, or simply reenter the portal for another cycle of three fractals.
Each fractal will take you roughly 15-30 minutes to complete. This will vary based on things like group coordination and difficulty scale.
V. Fractal Checkpoints
Unlike standard dungeons, fractals do not contain any waypoints. Instead, invisible checkpoints will be unlocked as you progress through each fractal. This is significant for a couple of reasons.
First, it will make reviving downed teammates critical to your progress since you won’t be able to simply waypoint zerg more difficult encounters. Secondly, defeated players will remain in the defeated state until they are either revived, or the full group wipes. In the event of a wipe, your team will immediately spawn at the nearest unlocked checkpoint.
VI. Fractal Relics
A new currency type has been added that is specific to the fractals dungeon, called Fractal Relics. At the end of each successfully completed fractal, a chest will spawn that contains 5 Fractal Relics along with any additional loot you’ve been awarded.
Relics are a physical object similar to dungeon tokens or badges of honor. As such, not only can they be used to purchase items from the merchant in the Mistlock Observatory, but you will also be able to use them in the Mystic Forge.
At present, we are still gathering data on any Mystic Forge recipes that utilize Fractal Relics. In the meantime, below you find a complete list of items that can be purchased with relics along with their associated costs:
The equipment boxes listed above will function similar to other inventory containers that filter a given type of loot. In this case, items of the same quality level of the container will automatically be placed within it as room permits. So say you purchase the exotic box, any exotics you loot or craft will automatically be placed there. This helps expand on the current inventory sorting options, and also provides an alternative method of obtaining 20 slot containers outside of the hefty 10g rune costs in crafting.
Dessa’s Experiment Journal is a consumable item that can be used to gain an additional skill point. This will no doubt come in quite handy for gaining the skill points needed for legendary weapon creation, or other mystic forge recipes that require components purchased with skill points.
Finally, the Prototype Fractal Capacitors are items with varying stats. (the specific equipment slot is not listed on the tooltip, but these are most likely a general accessory slot item) While those listed here are exotic quality, they’re similar to ascended quality items in the sense that they contain no upgrade slots, instead coming pre-loaded with specific attribute increases. (an example of this can be seen to the right)
Here’s a youtube Video from Wolfsgorawr