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Please Use As Little Instancing, to No Instancing as Possible

One thing I absolutely cannot stand about modern day MMORPGs is how much instancing is used. I understand when telling a story, sometimes this is a necessity. However, it has become the norm, sometimes to extremes (ESO, Shroud of the Avatar) and all the phasing in and out of locations really ruins the game for me. Shroud of the Avatar does some great things and can be a beautiful game. But the game world feels like a series of rooms pieced together by loading screens, more than a living, breathing world to immerse yourself in.

I would love to have old school dungeons, that you actually walk into and that exist in full in the game world. No instancing or phasing as the game environment is loaded off another server. A good example of this is how DAoC handled dungeons. Currently, Pantheon seems to be doing a good job minimizing instancing in it's design and dungeon environments.

I understand why instancing became popular. Camping mobs in Everquest that 50+ people were all trying to poach at the same time can be maddening. But I would think there could be more creative solutions than instancing everything.


  • I'm certainly an expert in this field, but isnt instancing basicly to make the game run as smoothly as possibly? Basicly if you let the player load too much it strains both server and player pc. But I could be wrong :)
    Tbh I don't really have a opinion on this subject, as far as I have tried it's been fine. Only problem is that the game can feel very empty :(
  • I've played an instance based PvE game (Vindictus) for years and i hated instances. And then i played ArcheAge which offers freedom, open world PvP in massive numbers and i hated the fps issues with my decently strong PC. I don't know if there is a middle ground to this. Like Julemanden said, instance means smooth gameplay. Which is required for a great gaming experience sometimes. Obviously it would suck to have all the dungeons as instances but that has been confirmed on the last Q&A that there will be non-instanced dungeons.
  • Archeage only slows down with several hundred people on a screen. I've been playing since launch and I don't have any issues unless it's a HUGE PvP battle. Instancing wouldn't help that. Well it 'would' but would limit the amount of players so badly it would ruin the PvP.

    I am in Camelot Unchained testing and their engine does not have such issues. Even with far more than several hundred players on screen. So with Archeage, it's probably net code or the engine that's causing the slowdown.

    I don't know. instancing just kills the feel of an MMO for me.
  • From the Discord Q&As that Steven has so graciously answered, it seems that the game will be a seamless open world MMORPG. Housing will be all there and available, however some nodes will be instanced - like apartments. By this alone, you should expect some instancing along with the dungeon system probably.
  • I can live with that. I can understand Housing, so everyone can have a place (like BDO). I'll be interested to see where instancing is used in their design.
  • I think it would be nice to have both?
    Some players love the instanced dungeons experience where bosses can have complicated mechanics and phases that require the players to almost complete this flawless choreography. These kind of complex boss mechanics can only work well in instanced dungeons where party sizes are limited. Think of it this way, WoW and FFXIV has some great boss mechanics that players have to fight through, however, if all of a sudden you throw these bosses in an open world dungeon and a boss designed for 5 players ends up having 40 ppl fighting it, the mechanics no longer matter and the boss might as well just be a large damage sponge..

    I think it would be nice to have some instanced dungeons for the players who long for those complex boss mechanics, but also have some open world dungeons and open world bosses for players who like that aspect of MMOs.
  • I used to play Asheron's Call, which had almost no instancing. At its peak, there were 2,000-3,000 concurrent users on each server. This lead to crowded dungeons and lines for quests. It was great. It made the game more realistic.

    If one dungeon was overcowded, it forced people to look for other hunting locations. If the dungeons were instanced, people would have played in the same one or two places instead of exploring the world.

    It was also fun when many people were doing the same quest. You didn't have to stand around looking for a group. You could run to the quest location and usually find people already there. When you got to the boss, often people would be standing around to help you. It caused a chain reaction. Someone would help me kill the boss, so I would stay and help the next person kill the boss too.

    There was some griefing due to the lack of instances. For example, someone might kill the boss or open a chest even though there was a line of people already waiting to do the same. It made some players angry, but ultimately the emergent behavior made the game more interesting. Since there was no instancing, you were bound to run into the griefer again. You could blacklist them and refuse to trade with them or not help them on quests.
  • 100% agreed!!
  • The problem I have is farming without instances.
    Specific gear at specific dungeon with good resale often meant everyone farming the same location all at once.
    Lucky if you can get one shot in.

    Then there is kill quests that cant be completed because the area is saturated.

    Most of all there is the balance issue. Those who want difficult content require that both sides are competitively balanced. That kind of balance and fine control simply cant be achieved when the horde is farming the same area.

    But I also recognise we need openworld group activity to allow socialising and meeting new players.
    You cant really enter instances without first doing this open world socialising.

    In the end then for me personally, There should be a 50/50 split between openworld and instance. This then allows both the community meeting place and the fine tuned group challenge with those you have met. This also allows questers and levellers a way to keep out of each others faces and not stand on each others toes ruining the experience for both.
  • ^ this

    I remember in FFXI, you'd go to a find a specific monster that drops a really good item and there would be hundreds of people standing around farming it just to sell it and you were more likely to win the lotto than you were to tag the mob. That and it wasn't even a 100% drop rate so if you did FINALLY manage to tag it once, it wouldn't drop.

    For me, I really only want instances for dungeons and raids. Towns and zones, I don't like the load screens for walking into those and as others have said, it just makes the game feel empty. I've never really noticed major FPS drops out in the world while questing/grinding or whatever simply because there are so many other spots people can go for that. In a main hub I don't mind FPS drops due to the population simply because I'm just there to buy/sell and be on my way.
  • I'd prefer open world dungeons as well
    There are solutions to camping
    Like after killing a boss once,the player is phased to a version of the room where the boss is dead for the day.
    Upon killing the final boss,players are summoned back to town or the entrance after a minute or 2
    Every night dungeons could fully reset and this automatically pulls out all players even when logged off inside the dungeon.
    In this case you are returned to the nearest town when you log back in.
    Or maybe when you really didn't have luck the day before in the open world dungeon and havent evenn got to touch a boss ,there is a chance the game lets you choose to return to danger(location in dungeon) or safety (town),if there are enough players who got stuck and didn't finish up the dungeon at all
  • Put me down as a vote against instances/phases or any sort in any circumstance.

    These things are only necessary to transform common experiences into protected single-player experiences.

    Instances and phases are ghettos that fracture the player base, destroy immersion, separate friends, and raise the cost of bread!

    Maybe not that last, but you never can tell.
  • Dungeons/raids should be instanced, open world quests i am fine without instances as long as you can tag the same enemy and get credit for it, fighting for mobs is annoying as all hell, and loot drops specific for that individual would make things fair for people. I know you guys have 25+ years of MMORPG exp but it never hurts to throw a helpful opinion out there.

    Also please make a viable party finder system and guild recruiting that doesnt require guilds to have to spam recruiting posts constantly like being able to see everything you want about a guild with an in-game guild section where you can get info, message leaders, and apply all in one. It kinda sucks having to spam your info instead of letting people come to you outside of word of mouth.
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