Dungeons are optional party-based PvE instances, each with their own story. There are currently nine dungeons. All dungeons except Fractals of the Mists and the special event dungeons have two modes: a story mode, which focuses on the story of the Destiny's Edge group, and an explorable mode, a more difficult mode which requires more co-ordination to play through and 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 and random dynamic events influence what happens during a dungeon play-through.
A waypoint can be found outside the start of each dungeon in the persistent world, as well as an NPC giving basic information. To help navigate the dungeon, waypoints are in place inside the dungeon entrance should the party be defeated or all party members out of combat, with new waypoints opening upon the completion of major objectives. Additionally, dungeons retain a basic level of persistence during the instance: creatures do not respawn, and characters may join or rejoin a party in progress within a dungeon.
Players will be notified via mail by their "Herald" as they reach the suggested level for each dungeon, as well as another notification about the dungeon's explorable mode once they complete the dungeon's story mode.
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 50 . Story mode completion is character based, not account based, and so must be redone for each new character.
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 the player party is no longer joined by members of 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 on which path they take. 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 choice of a path. This mode requires significantly more coordination between team members and so is far more difficult than story mode. A player who has not completed story mode of a particular dungeon may only enter the explorable mode of that dungeon if another party member who has completed the story mode enters the dungeon and selects explorable mode.
Completing a dungeon in explorable mode awards dungeon currencies. These currencies can be used at a dungeon merchant, located in Lion's Arch, to buy weapons, armor, runes, and other items. 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.
Explorable mode gives a standard reward of dungeon currency, coin, and experience at the completion of a dungeon path as well as a bonus chest for the first completion of any given path each day per account. The standard reward gives 20 pieces of the respective currency, silver, experience and karma. Subsequent runs give 15 and 10 dungeon currencies respectively. Completing one path does not affect the reward from other paths. The bonus chest contains 80 dungeon currencies and a specific amount of coin, ranging from 35 to 1 55 , depending on path difficulty and length. Completing the same path again with the same or a different character will only give the standard reward.
|Dungeon||Path||Coin reward||Token reward|
|Ascalonian Catacombs||Path 1 - Hodgins||50||80|
|Path 2 - Detha||50||80|
|Path 3 - Tzark||50||80|
|Caudecus's Manor||Path 1 - Asura||35||80|
|Path 2 - Seraph||35||80|
|Path 3 - Butler||35||80|
|Twilight Arbor||Path 1 - Leurent (Up)||35||80|
| Path 2 - Fyonna (Forward/Up)
no longer available
|Path 3 - Vevina (Forward)||35||80|
|Path 4 - Aetherpath||66||80|
|Sorrow's Embrace||Path 1 - Fergg||35||80|
|Path 2 - Rasolov||35||80|
|Path 3 - Koptev||35||80|
|Citadel of Flame||Path 1 - Ferrah||35||80|
|Path 2 - Magg||35||80|
|Path 3 - Rhiannon||35||80|
|Honor of the Waves||Path 1 - Butcher||35||80|
|Path 2 - Plunderer||35||80|
|Path 3 - Zealot||35||80|
|Crucible of Eternity||Path 1 - Submarine||35||80|
|Path 2 - Teleporter||35||80|
|Path 3 - Front door||35||80|
|The Ruined City of Arah||Path 1 - Jotun||1||80|
|Path 2 - Mursaat||1 5||80|
|Path 3 - Forgotten||50||80|
|Path 4 - Seer||1||80|
List of dungeons
Characters are dynamically leveled up or down to the level appropriate for the relevant story or explorable mode, except for Fractals of the Mists, for which characters are always boosted to level 80. A nearby waypoint increases accessibility. Dungeon instructors at the entrance may explain the basics of each dungeon.
- 1 A partial list of foe types is available for those interested in using appropriate nourishment and/or sigils.
- 2 Sigil of the Night is helpful in all but three of the dungeons.
- 3 The two Nightmare Court paths are level 55, while the Aetherblade path is level 80.
- 4 Works against Graveling Hatchlings and Spider Hatchlings too.
- 5 Day for story mode.
Special event dungeons
Characters are scaled to level 80 for these instances which are only available during the relevant special event.
|Dungeon||Initial Event / Duration||Location||Availability|
|Ascent to Madness|| Shadow of the Mad King
October 28–31, 2012
| Grand Piazza
|Seasonal - Halloween|
|Tixx's Infinirarium|| Wintersday: The Wondrous Workshop of Toymaker Tixx
December 15, 2012 – January 3, 2013
| See Tixx's schedule
The Crown Pavilion
|Seasonal - Wintersday|
|Super Adventure Box|| April Fools' Day
April 1–30, 2013
September 3-30, 2013
April 1-19, 2016
| Creator's Commons
|Seasonal - April|
|Molten Facility|| Flame and Frost
April 30 – May 12, 2013
|Canach's Lair|| Last Stand at Southsun
May 28 – June 11, 2013
| Bakestone Cavern
|Aetherblade Retreat|| Sky Pirates of Tyria
June 25 – July 9, 2013
| Sanctum Harbor
- Once the dungeon instance has been created, all party members in the zone are then prompted to join their party in explorable mode as well as if they arrive to the zone the dungeon entrance exists in or if they join the party who has already entered the dungeon. They also receive the prompt if they travel to a different waypoint within the zone if they rejected the prompt at first.
- It is possible to enter a dungeon in exploration mode without having completed story mode on a character if another player in the party who has completed story mode creates the instance.
- There are a total of 42 different dungeon paths, of which 9 are fractals, across the nine dungeons in the game, including story and explorable modes.
- The entrances to Citadel of Flame, Crucible of Eternity and Arah can become contested, preventing parties from beginning either story or exploration mode (though members can enter dungeons in progress, including those launched from other servers). Completing a specific event chain in the area will allow access for a given amount of time before needing to be defended or recaptured.
- Dungeons offer a repair anvil, typically near the entrance (excluding individual fractals).
- Each dungeon has its own set time of day, during which its events unfold; they do not follow the game's normal cycle of night and day — some are day and some are night.
- As of the September 2014 Feature Pack, Dungeons no longer have an instance owner. The instance will only close when all players have left the instance.
- ^ Guide to Sigils and Potions in Dungeons, a post on the official forums discussing foe types & sigils.
- ^ Dungeon Night/Day, a post on the official forums discussing time of day.
- ^ Dungeon Day and Night, Robert Hrouda commenting on the permanent time of day in dungeons.