Along with the usual release info for next week’s patch, Arenanet have also released a blog entry describing the changes to Fractals in detail.
More Developer Explanations from Official Forums
Here’s how it works:
- Agony resist infusions are always +1 or above agony resist.
- Agony resist infusions only slot into the Agony Resist slot, which is currently only found Infused Asccended Rings and Back Items.
- Every time you finish a fractal, you’ll get at least a +1 out of the chest.
- An artificer can combine any two identical agony resist infusions with a Thermocatyltic Reagent o make one of a higher resistance.
- Existing Infused Ascended Rings and Back Items lose their natural +5 Agony Resist, and receive a +5 Agony Resist Infusion by default.
- New Infused Ascended Rings and Back Items will have an empty slot.
Just keep in mind that AR infusions slots are still limited to Infused Ascended Rings and Back Items. The slot is the real value here, as it has unlimited potential.
- Your total agony resist will not change. If you had 55, you will still have 55.
- These are new slot types. You can only slot Agony Resist Infusions into them. Agony Resist Infusions are new infusion types like Offensive, Defensive, and Omni. Between the two rings and the back item, you can currently get up to 3 of these slots.
- No changes are being made to Agony Resist on any other item.
In terms of Fractal Weapons
At higher Fractal levels the weapon skins become more common, and also start dropping in a container that lets you pick the one you wan
We fixed a number of bugs and made lots of balance changes to existing fractals. Also the difficulty scaling has been tweaked overall to create a slightly less difficult curve up to 50.
The weapons are skins now.
Ascended armor is not in the game right now, but if it was, it would drop in the Fractals.
In terms of Fractal Levels and Rewards
Every time you finish a complete set of Fractals (3 Standard Fractals + 1 Boss) you will receive the daily reward, restricted by account, which is consistent with other dungeon rewards. Each 10 levels of Fractals has it’s own daily reward. So if you played level 1, 11, 21, and 31, you would receive four daily rewards.
For now, 50 is still the maximum level.
40-49 has been slightly reduced. 50 is no longer impossible, but now represents the requirement for 50-59. More levels will be made available in the future.
Changes to Fractal Rotations:
For those not familiar with the current structure of the Fractals of the Mists, they’re like mini-dungeons which string together and present more of a challenge as you progress. On average, a single fractal should take 20-30 minutes to complete, depending on your group and difficulty scale.
Entering the Mistlock Observatory through the Fractals of the Mists gate near Fort Marriner in Lion’s Arch will place you into a random fractal from a common pool. Completing the fractal will prompt your party to move to the next fractal, which is also chosen at random. After completing three fractals, the party will be taken to a shorter boss fractal, after which you’ll receive rewards for completing the run.
Completing a given fractal level will increase your personal fractal difficulty and reward level by one. As you level up within the Fractals of the Mists, enemies become more challenging (up to a maximum level of 50). Above fractal difficulty level 10, a new type of damage called agony is applied by certain attacks. This effect deals a set percentage of your health, but can be mitigated by special Ascended gear with the agony resist stat on it.
Fractals are now weighted according to their length and difficulty. Easier fractals will always show up earlier in the run, with more difficult ones coming later.
All 50 levels now have a boss fractal after the standard rotation of three normal, instead of only offering a boss encounter at the end of even-numbered fractal levels. You no longer need to worry about skipping levels to get the best rewards!
Your personal fractal difficulty and reward level is being made account-wide! Starting with the Fractured release, you can attempt high level fractals on a new character without needing to level up all over again.
Three new fractals have been added to the fractal rotation:
- Thaumanova Reactor Fractal: You voted, and Kiel delivered! Experience the moments leading up to the catastrophic destruction of the Thaumanova Reactor, caused by the Inquest’s reckless experiments with Chaos Energy.
- Molten Furnace Fractal: Relive the beginning of the assault on the Molten Alliance base from the Flame & Frost release! Watch out for the supercharged Dredge Engineer!
- Aetherblade Fractal: The Aetherblade pirates from the Sky Pirates of Tyria release can now be found in the Mists as well – and their traps and tricks are deadlier than ever!
Two new boss fractals have been added to join the Jade Maw encounter:
- The Molten Berserker and Dredge Firestorm from the Molten Facility Dungeon are back! The deadly duo will challenge you to focus your fire while avoiding their attacks.
- Mai Trin from the Aetherblade Retreat will also try to get between you and your well-deserved rewards. Avoid her first-mate’s cannonball barrages while bringing down her shields.
As Dessa has always been quick to point out, diving into the Mists is a dangerous hobby! Playing above fractal level 30, you will notice new Mistlock Instabilities that will force you to rethink your approach to what might otherwise seem like familiar challenges.
Every level starting at 31 will have a new instability to conquer. This instability is tied to the fractal level, so it will be the same for all three fractals and the boss, but will be replaced by a new challenge when you move up to a new fractal level.
These instabilities should offer new and varied challenges, even to veterans of the Fractals of the Mists!
Agony Resist Infusions:
To assist you in your ventures into the mists, a new agony resist infusion slot has been added to all infused rings and backpacks.
- All current infused rings and backpacks will start with a +5 agony resist infusion (this replaces the +5 agony resist that was previously on the item itself).
- Players will be able to find +1 agony resist infusions commonly in the fractals after level 10.
- Artificers of at least 100 skill will be able to combine two infusions of the same level with a Thermocatalytic Reagent to make an infusion of the next level. For example, you could take two +2 infusions, combine them with a Thermocatalytic Reagent, and create a +3 infusion.
You will be able to receive a special daily chest for finishing a boss fractal once per day. This chest will contain a number of items based on your current fractal level:
- Empyreal Fragments
- Fractal Relics
- A Pristine Fractal Relic
This boss chest will also have a chance at containing a number of other rare rewards. As your fractal level increases, so do the odds of obtaining these items:
- Fractal Weapon Skins (starting at level 10)
- Ascended Rings (starting at level 10)
- Ascended Weapons (starting at level 10)
- Infused Ascended Rings (starting at level 20)
Starting at level 40, this chest will have a small chance to contain an Endless Fractal Tonic. Using this item will transform you into a random creature found in the fractals. It is account bound, so it can be used on any of your characters.
Completing a fractal will yield a repeatable chest that contains the following (this chest can be obtained any number of times per day):
- Fractal Relics
- Agony resist infusions
- Character equipment (blue quality or higher)
Above level 30, this repeatable chest also has a chance to contain a brand new rune or sigil:
- The Rune of Resistance grants bonus toughness, a reduction in condition duration, and aegis upon using a signet
- The Sigil of Momentum grants a stacking toughness buff every time you kill an enemy
As you delve into old and new fractals alike, we’re hoping these changes will keep you feeling challenged and better rewarded than ever before.