Greetings, glorious adventurers! If you're joining in our Alpha One spot testing, please follow the steps here to see all the latest test info on our forums and Discord!

Personal thoughts on Dungeon problems.

"Leave this place!.." the voice spat, from everywhere and nowhere at once.
Instantly your heart felt like it was pumping ice.
Your very soul shuddering with the force.
You fall to one knee, bracing against the inner chill.
Time appears to stand still, while you wait for warmth to flood your body again.

You wonder who the hell this person is.
They seem formidable even now.
You ponder if death had second thoughts about crossing the path of this one.

Moments pass.
The voice returns, but this time softer.
Lost in a moment that no one else will ever see or hear.
The sense of loss palpable...the tone intimate.
"...nothing but death awaits you here."


<strong>Personal thoughts on Dungeon problem.</strong></ul>

Dungeons are scripted into a combination lock.
Once you know the combination it can be repeatedly completed.
Once completed, the process is made ever more efficient and one dimensional in a race, class, gear, skill and rotation sense.
Once the combination is known, it is freely shared making the challenge redundant.
Once the completion is optimised, there is no room for variety in build or play.
With leader-boards, the only option is the perfectly optimised combination of race, class, gear, skill and play.
It literally becomes a script of a play with limited roles, in the same costume, playing the same part in the same way.
New players are then told how to play and what to wear, instead of experiencing and adapting to the challenge from scratch as a team, like intended.
The initial freedom of individual expression (where no one knew the rules, sequence or optimal gear/class/race/skills) is dead.

We normally have 3 dominant types of dungeon:

<strong>1. Kill the scripted boss(es).</strong>
By its very nature you know that you will kill the boss(es) eventually.
As long as you know what to do and when without making mistakes,
the inevitable result is a foregone conclusion.
Eventually, there is no panic or fear inducing moments as all that is required is concentration and memory.
It becomes DPS rotation centric.

<strong>2. Solve the puzzle.</strong>
The puzzle is a combination lock.
Once you know the right combination, the dungeon is simply a matter of memory.
They are time consuming to find the initial combination, but there is no danger.
The combination is universal and freely shared making the challenge redundant.

<strong>3. Solve the puzzles to kill the boss(es)</strong>
A more taxing dungeon that combines both, but suffers the exact same weaknesses.
It mixes it up for a bit more variety, but still ends up the same.

So how do you fix that ?
<strong>4. Avoid the bosses to solve the puzzle.</strong>
You make the bosses more versatile, unkillable and more deadly, the more you enrage them.
You change the combination to the puzzle, every time you enter.
You make those bosses immortal sentinels that guard the puzzle.
Once you accept that some bosses cant be killed by mere mortals...or that your team can simply never be powerful enough,
it becomes a tactical game of cunning.
Some of your party will need to distract the boss, so your other team members can solve the puzzle/loot/artefact.
You may all need to take it in turns to distract the boss, to enable everyone to complete the puzzle/loot/artefact.
Maybe you will get out alive, maybe not.

By randomly changing the combination for the puzzle lock.
By using immortal bosses with a repertoire of optional skills that ramp up with damage.
Every entry to the dungeon is unique, requiring different optimal gear, skills, rotations.
Too much damage will get you killed quickly... do you weaken, contain, divert, delay, distract ?
You are forced to make do with what you have got (which will never be enough).
You must think on your feet and adapt on the fly.
You must work as a true team, working as decoys and sharing the load.
You must keep each other alive, long enough to achieve the objective and get out.

Now as the boss has a wide selection of skills that randomise, intensify and combine with rage.
There is no fixed combo of gear/rotation/class/build that will have all the answers to this boss.
You must simply do the best with what you have got and hope that you and your team mates compliment each other enough, in the right way for this particular challenge.
You can never kill them can only bide for time.
There is nothing scripted about this RNG-Boss encounter.
Veterans can not help you.
The internet can not help you.
Being a specific class can not help you.
Being a specific race can not help you.
Wearing specific gear can not help you.
But a combination of all of them in the right way at the right time might give you more time....but that combination changes every time you enter.

This is intense.
This is edge of your seat heart in mouth panic.
This is total concentration and complete immersion.
This is genuine pulse racing fear, anger, hatred.
Your team mate saving your life means something far more.....and so does them ignoring you.
Your team mates unique skills coupled with your own, forms a deep and unique intimate bond of recognised limitations and mutual situational awareness.
Everyone can bring something unique to the table and be valued all the more for it.


  • I like this idea, but sadly I think many will dislike it :( Seems from some earlier posts/threads that people are more to the "know your dungeon" style gameplay. I suggested something similar to your randomly changing combination lock idea, and people wasnt overly fond of it :(

    That being said, hopefully even if AoC uses a more standard dungeon layout/types, it will still change. As they mentioned in a Q&A or interview, node progression and different events will affect nearby dungeons content. You might go into the same old dungeon one day, and there suddenly 2 new bosses :)

    More randomization would be fine with me, it always kinda annoyed me that bosses never adapt or anything. If the boss is hit by 20 archers and only one tank, why would it just stand there and take the hits? And so on.
  • funny enough i was talking to my housemate early today about the same topic,

    it would be awesome to see dungeons that changed every time you ran it, but sadly i think that having such a system that changed the dungeon mechanics every run, would be pretty hard to accomplish.
  • @Julemanden
    Can you link me that post of to read it.
  • Great post! And I think every single player would love for an experience like that!

    It's an interesting issue... repetition and predictability have literally become the hallmark for dungeon content in the genre, and it's just so damaging and noncreative at this point. Easy to say, but harder to fix!

    One interesting thing is, in real life, we never (usually?) get to fight the same battle time and time again. If we did, we'd likely employ the same tactic - learn from what we did last time, remember and execute again. Of course in real life, there'd be more dire consequences and our enemies would not do exactly the same thing each time.

    Now, take sports... particularly football. There are game plans, there are set plays... they get executed the same way with the same intention time and time again, but the outcome is different and interesting (I guess that's subjective) each time.... why does that work? Again, it has to do with humans acting and reacting.

    In my perfect world, the ultimate answer is "nothing is repeatable". If you go into a dungeon, there's a gang of thugs there occupying it that you must confront. If you defeat them... they're gone. Sure another gang or some other faction or group may occupy it for a different reason. This requires some advanced AI and algorithmic generation... but we're starting to see that tech appear and trickle down into more accessible toolsets I think. Star Citizen, Chronicles of Elyria, Revival... all have one-off generated content along those lines.

    The bottom line is, you're right, the only way to have those moments is for it to be truly different every time, for one of any number of reasons... just a matter of how long it will take to get there!
  • I'd love to see a system like this. With that you cannot look up the perfect plan and use it, but still need to prepare for all possible outcomes and need to adapt to new sudden challenges which will require great teamwork and preperation. But after completion it will just feel so rewarding and can make great stuff to remember when every run will be different and especially unique.

    Also what I think would work great with your idea is a learning AI which learns from its failures (Our successful dungeon run). E.g. as a simple example imagine an evil wizard as the last boss who always uses Fire Magic. Soon everyone will prepare for it and equip something with fire resistence. Then the wizard realizes that his attacks are all more or less useless, so he just switches to ice magic and everyone in the group gets iced.
  • [quote quote=2723]<a href="" rel="nofollow">@julemanden</a>
    Can you link me that post of yours……love to read it.

    This one i think, but i have so many replies, so im not sure:/

    [quote quote=2725]
    The bottom line is, you’re right, the only way to have those moments is for it to be truly different every time, for one of any number of reasons… just a matter of how long it will take to get there!

    This is basicly what people had a problem with last time this came up, as I remember it they wanted something that wouldnt take several weeks to learn (or never learn). Which I'm more for what you mention something like "a set of skills" that happen randomly or maybe never in a fight, and if you wipe it might change next time.
  • I prefer random encounters with random mechanics.

    After a while your group starts to get better and better and can adapt on the go. My party would jump into new dungeons and adapt on the fly. If we wipe, we take some time to formulate a strategy and go back to it. Looking things up and all the guide videos ruined raiding, but at the same time it is super helpful.

    In GW2 I would 2 man dungeons. We never looked up strategies and just went with it and had lots of fun, even if we failed.

    Oh and a bit of an off topic, but I hate people skipping or glitching stuff in dungeons. If it is executed perfectly, sure you save maybe 5 min, but if anyone messes up it takes longer than clearing it normally.
  • I think it would be a blast to have one or two dungeons like this in the world. That said, I wouldn't want them all to be like that. For one reason...and one reason alone...

    When I think back to my absolute favorite moments in gaming...the ones that really stand out...are the moments right after downing a really tough dungeon boss. Nothing in gaming...IMO...comes close. You guys know what I'm talking about. After countless wipes...multiple weeks...that moment when you and all your friends simultaneously and uncontrollably yell into the microphone "HELL YEAH!" the beast hits the floor...
    Its like the best emotions all wrapped into one moment...Elation/Accomplishment/Comradery.

    So one or two "unbeatable" dungeons would be fun to explore etc., but not a replacement IMO.
  • [quote quote=2839]I think it would be a blast to have one or two dungeons like this in the world. That said, I wouldn’t want them all to be like that. For one reason…and one reason alone…

    When I think back to my absolute favorite moments in gaming…the ones that really stand out…are the moments right after downing a really tough dungeon boss. Nothing in gaming…IMO…comes close. You guys know what I’m talking about. After countless wipes…multiple weeks…that moment when you and all your friends simultaneously and uncontrollably yell into the microphone “HELL YEAH!”…as the beast hits the floor…
    Its like the best emotions all wrapped into one moment…Elation/Accomplishment/Comradery.

    So one or two “unbeatable” dungeons would be fun to explore etc., but not a replacement IMO.


    Yeah I completely agree with you, I think we can have a few of this type of dungeon while the rest are normal "static dungeon" because if you are a more casual non hard core player you probably won't risk to do a 2 - 3 h dungeon without the security to gain some rewards.
  • Reading it the challenge mode of wow came to mind (it probably has a different name I have never played it). As many others mentioned casual players would probably not invest 2-3 hours just for the chance of a reward. If the dungeon had maybe a certain path which can be taken and leads you into the deeper layer where this kind of idea of a dungeon waits with extended rewards I would think it might be doable. Casuals could still take the easier way and have some loot while people who want to explore will have to just look for it.
Sign In or Register to comment.