Each dungeon has two modes: a story mode which focuses on the story of the Destiny's Edge group, and explorable mode, a more difficult mode which requires more co-ordination to play through that is unlocked after completing story mode. Each mode allows for groups of up to five players; content does not scale depending on the number of players in the party so the difficulty remains constant. The actions of the team influence what happens during a dungeon play-through. Dungeons are also influenced by dynamic events, creating unique experiences even if choosing the same path.
Player level scaling is performed for dungeons.
To help navigate the dungeon, waypoints are in place as they are around the world and are available for use should a player or party be defeated. A waypoint can be found at the start of a dungeon, with new waypoints opening upon the completion of major objectives. Additionally, dungeons retain a basic level of persistence: creatures do not respawn, and characters may join or rejoin a party in progress within a dungeon. A letter is sent to your mailbox upon becoming level 25, to introduce players in how they'll be notified of new dungeons becoming available as they level.
Story mode is played through on the first visit to the dungeon. The dungeon stories, told through cut scenes and exposition, are focused on revealing and developing the Destiny's Edge situation. One or two members of Destiny's Edge join the party to guide them through a largely linear dungeon story. This mode is relatively straightforward for a pick-up-group to complete. Personal storylines and dungeon story modes are parallel: the dungeon story mode does not affect a player's advancement in a personal story or the outcome of the story, but still occurs at the same time storywise. The storylines converge just for the last mission which takes place in The Ruined City of Arah. Completing the story mode of a dungeon for the first time will result in a letter in your mailbox, along with a head piece reward and an amount of money depending on your level. Completing the story mode again will only award a reduced amount of money.
Explorable mode deals with the aftermath of the events in story mode. The explorable dungeon story is told with fewer cutscenes and little exposition, and is no longer related to Destiny's Edge. The player is presented with at least three different paths to play through for each dungeon. The party votes on the option they will take through the dungeon and the majority determines the dungeon version seen. The explorable mode dungeon is designed to be repeated, with player actions and decisions determining the occurrence of hidden or random events along with the related changes to the dungeon. This mode requires significantly more coordination between team members and so is far more difficult than story mode. It takes a significantly longer period of time than story mode.
A player who has not completed story mode of a particular dungeon may still enter the explorable mode of that dungeon. This can be done whereby a party member who has completed the story mode enters the dungeon and selects explorable mode. All players in the party are then prompted to join their party in explorable mode.
Completing a dungeon in Explorer Mode awards Tokens. These tokens can be used at a Dungeon Merchant, which are located outside of each dungeon and in Lion's Arch, to buy weapons and armor sets. Each dungeon has its own unique weapon and armor set modeled according to the theme of the dungeon. These items are no more powerful than items which can be gained doing other activities in-game, the exotic sets are equal to the level 80 exotic crafted sets.
Tokens are rewarded at the completion of a dungeon path. The amount awarded is 20 tokens, with a daily bonus of 40 tokens after the first run of each path on each character. Diminishing returns apply if the same path is completed repeatedly in a short amount of time -presumed to be 2/hour- and reduce the tokens rewarded by half.
Minidungeons are small non-instanced open world dungeons. Some of them are accessed through jumping puzzles or become available only after an event chain is completed.
List of dungeons
|Dungeon Name||Story Mode Level||Explore Mode Level||Location|
|Ascalonian Catacombs||30||35|| Phasmatis Corridor|
Plains of Ashford
|Caudecus's Manor||40||45|| Shire of Beetletun|
|Twilight Arbor||50||55|| Wychmire Swamp|
|Sorrow's Embrace||60||65|| Tribulation Rift|
|Citadel of Flame||70||75|| The Baelfire|
|Honor of the Waves||76||80|| Watchful Fjord|
|Crucible of Eternity||78||80|| Infinite Coil Reactor|
|The Ruined City of Arah||80||80|| The Narthex|
|Fractals of the Mists|
- With the implementation of story mode and the subsequent variations available for explorable mode, the eight dungeons provide at least thirty-three different experiences.
- The higher level dungeons can become contested. You cannot enter a contested dungeon entrance for story or exploration mode.
- There is generally a repair point near the entrance of each dungeon, so it is not necessary to exit the dungeon if you suffer multiple defeats.