Launching this Friday, the Shard Dungeons will introduce new mechanics and challenges to the game intended for high-level advanced players. Re-enter all seven dungeons in the game, now scaled up to be more difficult, and with additional twists that should keep you on your toes as you attempt to earn the best loot in the game!
When completing a base-level Tradu Mines boss (any), if you don't already have a Dungeon Shard in your inventory, a new Level 1 Shard will be generated for you at random. Each shard is locked to a specific dungeon.
Once you've earned your shard, gather a group and enter the assigned dungeon. There you will find a pedestal where you can insert the shard to activate it. Once activated, the dungeon will upgrade, enhancing the monsters and applying any additional effects specific to the shard.
Generally speaking, you will need at least some Epic gear equipped to be able to start doing Shard Dungeons.
Completing a Shard Dungeon
When you activate the shard, a 30 minute countdown timer will begin, and you will also see a status indicator showing you the number of bosses remaining, as well as the percent of total progress (based on the total number of mobs in the dungeon) that you must complete to successfully complete the dungeon.
Work quickly to clear the dungeon and after killing the final required enemy, you will be rewarded with a Boss Chest which is eligible to receive 20+ loot (and has as much of a chance to drop equipment as two boss kills combined). If you cleared the dungeon in less than 30 minutes, the person who used their shard to activate the dungeon will receive an upgraded shard, with a new random dungeon assigned to it. If it's been longer than 30 minutes, you will still receive the loot if you can clear the dungeon, but you won't receive a shard, which means you'll have to start back over by obtaining another Level 1 shard to continue.
Your goal is to work your way up the ladder, completing more difficult dungeons along the way, and receiving better loot along the way. Each shard level causes the enemy's health and damage to increase by a significant percentage, in addition to adding on mutations (discussed below).
Unlike the base Tradu Mines wings, with the Shard Dungeon system you receive one guaranteed drop per day which you can choose to "spend" any time you receive a Boss Chest at the end of a Shard Dungeon. So if you just want to run one Shard Dungeon for the day, you can spend it on the first one. If you are trying to climb the ladder to see how high you can get, you can wait and try to save it up so you can spend it on a higher-level dungeon later on.
Of course, it's not just as simple as the enemies being tougher and hitting you harder, you'll also have to contend with Mutations, which are additional effects and modifications to the game which will make things even more tricky.
The Mutations are divided into "Minor" and "Major" types. The Minor mutations are assigned randomly when your shard is generated. So for example you might get a Level 3 Shard for the Tradu Crypt with the Indecisive mutation, causing threat generation abilities to be less effective than usual. The Major mutations, on the other hand, are set on a weekly basis and are the same for everyone across all dungeons.
A few example mutations:
- Aggressive (Minor): Enemy basic attacks happen 25% faster.
- Mobile (Minor): Enemy movement speed is increased by 100%.
- Alert (Minor): The aggro radius of all monsters is doubled.
- Last Stand (Major): When enemies reach 30% health they enrage, dealing 100% additional damage on all attacks.
- Discontent (Major): When enemies die they leave behind a pool that deals damage to all players that step into it, which disappears after a bit.
There are more than 10 Major, 10 Minor, and 2 Brutal mutations ready to go to challenge you and your party!
Beginning at Shard Dungeon Level 1, you'll be assigned a Minor mutation with your shard. At Level 3, you'll also have to deal with the first weekly Major Mutation. As you get to higher levels, an additional Minor and Major mutation will be added, and finally at Level 10 a Brutal Mutation will be introduced, which should make things quite interesting.
The reward for taking on this challenging content is the best gear that the game has to offer, which will scale up from 20.25 all the way to Level 21 gear as you work your way up the ladder of the Shard Dungeons. It also features a new look inspired by the Tradu Mines.
Also for the first time you'll be eligible to receive Legendary weapons, which feature two affixes and new look. The higher the level of the shard dungeon that you are doing, the higher your chance to receive a Legendary weapon. Note that you are totally ineligible to receive Legendary gear at all until Shard Level 2+.
Our goal with the Shard Dungeons it to provide repeatable, interesting content for our high level players that really want to sink their teeth into the PvE side of the game and earn the best gear we have to offer. We hope that it will prove challenging and rewarding!