The Shatterer update is live, and last week I had the opportunity to preview the new fight alongside ArenaNet and other partners. Much like Tequatl, this world boss update increases the difficulty of the fight and brings with it new rewards; read on for a preview of what you can expect.
I’ll start off by saying that the revamped Shatterer is definitely not as difficult as Tequatl, and players should be able to defeat Kralkatorrik’s champion fairly easily with a little knowledge and coordination. During our preview, we were given two attempts: first with a brief run-through of the mechanics, and then again after we’d failed spectacularly. With a little coordination beforehand to ensure that all the mortars were manned, we managed to grab ourselves a kill, though not all preview groups were as lucky.
This doesn’t mean that it’s not a much-improved and engaging fight, however. The actual mechanics remain largely the same, but with changes that mean you can no longer afk and auto-attack to get your loot. Taking inspiration from Heart of Thorns, the Shatterer’s new defiance bar provides players with an opportunity to overcome its “Shard Storm” phase, turning him vulnerable (triple damage!) for around 8 seconds if broken. As a group, we struggled to break the bar during its window due to a lack of crowd control, so make sure you bring some to the fight. This becomes especially important during the “Pulsing Crystal Nodes” phase, where six crystals will spawn that heal the Shatterer an amount based on how many crystals remain. These crystals (different to the ones that encase players) will begin spawning when the Shatterer is at 50% health, and can only be damaged when their individual defiance bars have been broken. Destroying all six crystals puts this ability on a cooldown of a couple of minutes. Because they heal the boss for a significant amount based on how many are still up, it’s best to try and focus each down quickly rather than destroy them all at the same time.
Previously, the Shatterer suffered from issues with being permanently blinded, meaning that players who needed to be encased in crystals for their legendary crafting were unable to do so. Now, prepare to be encased! During the playthroughs, I became trapped a number of times, as did most of the other partners and press – definitely no permablind here.
Defiance bars aside, core Tyria gliding has been incorporated into the new fight. Several launch pads located near the siege equipment at the Vigil camp allows players to shoot themselves into the air and glide over the Shatterer and Branded, with three different grenades to drop whilst in the air: one to damage the boss himself; a second to drop med kits for allies to pick up; and a third to allow you to revive downed allies from above.
Be warned: anyone gliding when the Shatterer moves to encase players in crystals can also be caught, causing them to plummet to the Branded-infested ground below. This can be avoided by stealth gliding during this move. Meanwhile, players on the ground should watch out for whenever the dragon champion raises its front left arm; get ready to dodge, or be smashed with a large AoE purple, magical ouchy. On top of this, there are large AoE telegraphs to avoid throughout the fight, which the toughened Branded enjoy locking you down in (hello Branded Ravager!), and no longer can you avoid the Shatterer’s wrath by standing to its side; all of its attacks have generally been updated to hit harder, travel further and target more people, making nowhere truly safe to stack.
For those who manage to defeat the Shatterer, a new set of achievements exist, the completion of which will yield the brand new Branded Backpiece (see below). The reward chest loot has also been improved to include two guaranteed rare items and a nice chunk of experience, and Shatterer-themed Guild Hall decorations have been added to the game which you can acquire by collecting tokens.
Overall, the updated Shatterer fight is much improved on its predecessor. Though mechanically it’s very similar, the fight itself is much more engaging and requires players to actually play the game in order to kill the boss; I’m hopeful that more world bosses will receive this sort of treatment in the future. Be sure to let us know how you’ve got on with the Shatterer in the comments below!