My first dungeon in Guild Wars 2 was quite an experience.  My guild (which is small, we are spread across several games and people are rather attached to their individual games) decided we wanted to run the first one – Ascalon Catacombs.  There were only 4 of us available at the time, but we figured why not and gave it a run anyway.

So it was, that a Mesmer, Elementalist, Necromancer and Ranger set off on their first dungeon adventure together.  I’m not really sure what I expected–I knew from just watching the blogosphere that things were hard in the dungeons and that there really wasn’t any hand-holding.  Yeah, that was pretty accurate.  But man was it fun.

When we first zoned in and took down one mob, and we were like “Wow, that was just … one.”  The next pull we tried two mobs … and wiped.  Rezzed, and wiped again.  Third time was the charm and we finally made it by.  It was really fun in an infuriating kind of way because we had to play the game differently than what we were expecting.  The removal of the holy trinity was really more of a challenge than we were expecting.  There are so many enemy abilities that require moving, or dodging/rolling, and dying.  Dying happened a lot.

With just the 4 of us, we actually had quite a bit of issue with pulls of three.  Two we could handle most of the time (though some class combinations causes us more angst than others).  The boss fights were fun and also challenging (I’m looking at you, Lovers!). And we died … a lot.  As for trash mobs, there actually weren’t that many, but each pull felt challenging.  It was nearly impossible for us to get single pulls most of the time after the first fight, and so focused fire was particularly important because if we all chose different targets, we all died.

I personally really enjoyed that straight DPS wasn’t that important.  It was just as important to move around, help your teammates rally when they went down, and even STOP dps’ing if you were low on life and you needed to stay up — let someone else take aggro.  Each player alternately filled all the roles of the holy trinity.