—Through this I will remain,
Dungeons feature a story mode, which focuses on the story of the Destiny's Edge group and runs parallel to the player's Personal Story; and an explorable mode, unlocked after completing story mode. The eighth dungeon, The Ruined City of Arah, doesn't have a story mode, as it's actually the last chapter of the Personal Story.
Dungeons are intended for groups of five players and are balanced around it, but allow for fewer players, and some endgame players even solo them. Characters are dynamically leveled up or down to the level appropriate for the relevant story or explorable mode of each dungeon.
A waypoint can be found outside the start of each dungeon in the open world, as well as an NPC giving basic information. More waypoints will appear inside the dungeon as players progress, which may be used for quick travel or revival if all party members are out of combat. 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.
Shortly after the game launched, ArenaNet stopped working on dungeons, and the plethora of bugs, exploits, and map breaks that plagued them still exist today. Dungeon development was discontinued in favor of Fractals of the Mists, a special type of dungeon that consists of an array of mini-dungeons called fractals. These fractals take place in the Mists and explore notable events of the past and future, and feature four levels of difficulty.
Story mode is available to all players that meet the level required for the dungeon. Story mode focuses on filling players on the story of Destiny's Edge, told through cut scenes and cinematic dialogue. 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 progression of their personal story nor 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 headpiece reward. Story mode completion is character-based, not account-based, and so must be redone for each new character.
Personal Story involvement
As the player character levels up and lives adventures in Tyria, so too do the members of Destiny's Edge. Their story is told through story mode dungeons. Whenever the player reaches the appropriate level for a new dungeon, they will receive a mail from their Herald. These mails will brief the player about the events of the dungeon, encouraging them to join and help their allies of Destiny's Edge accomplish their goals. If the player has been following the story, their mentor will also send them mails during the story to keep them posted on their adventures.
The story of the dungeons takes place during the following Personal Story events:
- Ascalonian Catacombs (unlocked at level 30) - takes place right after the player first visits Lion's Arch during Setting the Stage at level 40.
- Caudecus's Manor (unlocked at level 40) - takes place between the events of the player completing their initiation to an Order of Tyria, and recruiting more races of Tyria to fight against the dragons.
- Twilight Arbor (unlocked at level 50) - takes place after recruiting more races of Tyria to fight against the dragons.
- Sorrow's Embrace (unlocked at level 60) - takes place when Forging the Pact.
- Citadel of Flame (unlocked at level 70) - takes place when Forging the Pact.
- Honor of the Waves (unlocked at level 76) - takes place as the Pact begins their fight.
- Crucible of Eternity (unlocked at level 78) - takes place as the Pact begins their fight.
- The Ruined City of Arah - doesn't have a story mode, its events happen as part of the final chapter of the Personal Story, while the explorable mode happens after completing the story.
Story mode does not reward the dungeon currency (Tales of Dungeon Delving), but it does reward some coin:
Completing a story path for the first time per character also rewards a small amount of gold, approximately an extra 5 , and a head armor piece of rare quality.[verification requested]
Explorable mode is available for characters that have completed story mode on that character and meet the level requirement. Only the player that opens the dungeon instance needs to meet these requirements. Explorable mode deals with the aftermath of the events in story mode. The explorable dungeon story is told with fewer cutscenes and little cinematic dialogue, and the player party is no longer joined by members of Destiny's Edge but by other local NPC. 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 which path they take. This mode requires significantly more coordination between team members and so is far more difficult than story mode.
Completing a dungeon in explorable mode awards coin, experience, and dungeon currency (Tales of Dungeon Delving). This currency can be used at a Dungeon Merchant 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.
Completing an explorable path for the first time each day rewards an additional bonus chest which contains:
|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 - Vevina (Forward)||35||80|
|Path 3 - 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 Only relevant for the purpose of Sigil of the Night.
- 3 Works against Graveling Hatchlings and Spider Hatchlings too.
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
|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
|Seasonal - Super Adventure Festival|
|Molten Facility||Flame and Frost
April 30 – May 12, 2013
|Canach's Lair||Last Stand at Southsun
May 28 – June 11, 2013
|Aetherblade Retreat||Sky Pirates of Tyria
June 25 – July 9, 2013
- Once the dungeon instance has been created, all party members in the zone are prompted to join their party in explorable mode if they arrive in the zone where the dungeon entrance exists or if they join the party after it 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 previously.
- It is possible for a character to enter a dungeon in explorable mode without having completed story mode if another player in the party who has completed story mode creates the instance.
- There are a total of 41 different dungeon paths across the nine dungeons in the game, including story and explorable modes.
- The entrances to Citadel of Flame, Crucible of Eternity and The Ruined City of Arah can become contested, preventing parties from beginning either story or exploration mode, though members can enter dungeons in progress.
- Completing the pertaining event chain for that dungeon 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.
- 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.
- Following the September 2014 Feature Pack, Dungeons no longer have an instance owner. The instance only closes when all players have left the instance.
- The June 7th, 2022 game update introduced requirements of completing paths to be able to purchase items from Dungeon Merchants. Accounts that have already completed any story mode or explorable path before this change became exempt from this requirement.
- Upon successfully completing a dungeon path, your character has a chance to shout one of the following lines:
Please note that "?" only denotes that the voice lines for that particular race and gender combination have not been added to the wiki, but are fully implemented and can be heard in game. Any player can contribute to the wiki and help fill this table.
|Asura||Couldn't have done it without me.
Of course we made it, I knew the way through.
That was both interesting, and instructive.
|Done and done.|
Another satisfying adventure.
|Charr||What an adventure.
That was fun. Let's do it again.
|Human||An experience to remember!
|Norn||The bards will sing of this.
|A worthy challenge. |
I'd do that again.
|Sylvari||We were amazing! Woo!
Now that was fun. Can we go again?
They'll sing our names for centuries!
|We'll go down in history.|
Can we do that again?
We did it! Yay!