The update brings improvements to the Fractals of the Mists system as well as three new fractals and two new boss fractals to explore.
The Fractals of the Mists system lets Guild Wars 2 players explore the history of the world of Tyria by entering fractals, explorable chunks of reality from the Mists. The Mists system was introduced in November 2012, and the Fractured update is the first to make changes to the system. The update, which is now live, updates how the Mists system operates. The patch changes how fractal levels are selected, making it less likely that longer, more difficult fractals will be selected as the first fractal of a level. In addition, each fractal will now end with a boss fractal. Fractal difficulty scaling was adjusted so that enemy numbers, health, and damage output scale more gradually. Fractal progress is now account-wide, and players can track their progress on new leaderboards that display fractal ranks. Changes to the rewards for completing fractals include more consistent daily coin rewards, new rune and sigil recipes, and achievements.
The three standard fractals added in this update are the Thaumanova Reactor, Molten Weapons Testing, and Aetherblade Retreat fractals. The two boss fractals added are Molten Retribution and Sky Pirates. The Molten Weapons and Molten Retribution fractals bring players back to parts of the temporary dungeon Molten Facility, while Aetherblade Retreat and Sky Pirates return players to parts of the temporary Aetherblade Retreat story dungeon. These dungeons were available to players for a limited time during the Flame and Frost: Retribution and Sky Pirates of Tyria releases.
A special story mode for the Thaumanova Reactor fractal was also added in the update. Players can complete this version of the fractal, which follows Ellen Kiel's investigation of the Thaumanova Reactor disaster, when they enter the Fractals of the Mists for the first time during the release. Other changes to profession skills, items, and general balance changes are detailed in the full patch notes, available on the ArenaNet official site.