First Looks

Patch Preview: Super Adventure Box: Back to School

Over the last couple of weeks, Scarlet Briar has been rampaging through Tyria’s countryside with her clockwork menaces, laying waste to unsuspecting adventurers and engaging thousands of heroes in battle. Had it not been for allies at your side, perhaps you too would have been crushed by her mechanical might. But fear not, warriors and scholars of Tyria, for the genius Moto has a solution; and it comes in the form of his Super Adventure Box! It’s back and running version 2.0, designed to teach you unrefined heroes a few important lessons for use in the field.

So sit back, and read on to see what he’s got in store for you. Citizens, it’s time to get schooled.

Beginning Your Super Adventure

To kick things off, there’s a brand new hub where players can meet and form a party. Rather than crowding around in Rata Sum, the new public hub will provide players with a proper place to congregate. As with last time, each world is represented by a different house. Entering the house will put your party into a room, much like last time, with three NPCs: an Infantile Cloud on the left, a Villager right in the middle, and a Grumpy Cloud on the right. Speaking to the NPCs will enter you into one of three modes: easy, normal or Tribulation mode respectively. Once you’ve chosen a difficulty, the schooling begins!

World 2 – Zone 2: The Pain Cliffs

With this update, World 2 has been completed with the additions of Zone 2 (Pain Cliffs) and Zone 3 (Storm Top), on top of Zone 1 (the Rapids) which came with the first Box.

The Pain Cliffs are oriental in theme, designed as an assassin training grounds high in the mountains. Throughout the area you’ll come across assassins, pagodas, dojos and giant gongs (yes, really). In contrast to previous zones, the Pain Cliffs contain numerous paths to reach your destination, with a general rule of thumb being that the harder the path, the greater the rewards. You’ll need to learn to work together in order to complete a series of puzzles along the way, which all scale depending on how many people are in the party.

One such challenge involves a set of balance scales, where it’s up to you to figure out how to lower one side so that the other rises. Add in a skinny octopus and some flying piranhas and you’ve got yourself a puzzle! Now who said team building exercises weren’t fun?

It’s not just group puzzles that are key to victory, however. There’s also plenty of chances for you to be caught out which you’ll have to learn to overcome. Dart traps are sprinkled throughout the many pagodas and dojos of this zone, which often make the most obvious paths impossible. A word to the wise: always be aware of your surroundings. If it looks too easy to be true, it probably is. You’ll have to jump around corners and take the longer route in order to succeed, as these traps are often placed in  conspicuous locations such as doorways, alongside pillars etc.

Not long into your journey, you’ll encounter your first ‘mini boss’: an assassin which wields a large glove. Dubbed the Glove of Wisdom (the first of three gloves that’ll eventually be released), defeating this guy will grant you the ability to use this glove to reflect projectiles (such as ninja shuriken) or push large blocks in a given direction.

Everyone hates a good push block puzzle, and that’s why we had to put them in.

Once you obtain the Glove of Wisdom, pushing blocks will also become key to your success. To make it easier, a hand icon indicates which face the block should be pushed on, and when it’s reached its destination it will no longer display the hand icon.

Of course, in keeping with the rest of the Super Adventure Box, there are hidden secrets throughout the new zones. A secret shop allows you to purchase a wooden whistle for 250 Baubles, which has a few different songs which when learnt can do a “variety of things”. In addition to this, World 1 has received a handful of new secret locations to discover.

Tribulation Mode: World 1 – Zone 1

If a way looks easy and obvious, don’t go that way – you’ll die.

Tribulation Mode is Super Adventure Box’s super-duper hard mode. Intended for only a small demographic of players, you can expect to pour a tonne of lives into completing this mode. Rather than increasing the damage done from enemies and decreasing your health, ArenaNet has taken a different approach to this hard mode: insta-kill death traps everywhere. You’ll no longer be able to trust your surroundings, taking the lessons learned from the Pain Cliffs to a whole new level. Aside from the giant spikes, there are no other visual clues to a trap’s whereabouts, resulting in a game of trial and error to find a safe way through. If you’re planning to stop and smell the roses, I’d advise not to: some flower patches will kill you; some rocks will kill you; some clouds will try to kill you; and sometimes the floor will kill you too.

To help you on your way, new checkpoints have been added throughout the levels in this game mode. Unlike the traditional checkpoints, these special ones take the form of balloon air pumps. When you active one, you’ll receive a balloon which you must give to a happy cloud that’s nearby. If there’s more than one person in your party, this must be done by everyone at the same time for the checkpoint to activate.

Everyone in the party must complete the content in Tribulation Mode. Nobody’s able to piggy-back off other players, and everyone must find their way through by working together. Don’t rush on ahead of your party – you might just regret it.


The blue-skinned Super Weapon collection will be making a return in this update, though will only include weapon types not previously available. For players that complete a zone in easy or normal mode, this will be your reward should you have the Baubles for it. For Tribulation players, however, a more prestigious reward awaits: green-skinned and yellow-skinned weapons  for completing World 1 and World 2 respectively are yours to unlock. Anyone wielding one of these weapons will have spent a lot of time getting there, so give ’em a pat on the back should you see one.

Moving on to achievements, those from World 1 will be returning. There will be three meta achievement tracks: Super Adventure Box; Super Adventure Box: Back to School; and Tribulation Mode. Completing the Super Adventure Box meta achievement will reward a green King Toad backpack, which will be retrospectively awarded for those of us who’ve already completed it.  A new title for completing World 2 will also be available, as will account-wide daily reward chests for completion of a zone.

And that’s it for our patch preview! As always, a big thank you to ArenaNet for letting us preview the new content.

Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below!

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