Vaknar wrote: »
Dev Discussion - Dungeon Delving
Dungeon Delving: On average, how long do you prefer a dungeon playthrough to take?
Dungeon Delving: On average, how long do you prefer a dungeon playthrough to take?
But when done you should be able to easylie loop around and start again.
Open world dungions are just good grind spots and that needs to be takene into account.
If you cant acomidate more then a couple of groups content gets gated. So spawn time needs to be faster as well.
I HAVE SPOKEN!!! THIS IS THE WAY!!!
If the outside terrain was difficult to negate, or the entrance was a long way from the nearest town, or say, the interior of the dungeon was hard to fight through, then then there should be greater reward.
Ideally, there are also some dunegons that are readily accessed and not so hard to go through
The best part about open world dungeons is the pvp aspect. Therefore the bosses should be easier and faster to clear because the focus is on the pvp, not the dungeon itself.
A raid should have more bosses which are harder that you should not be able to clear on your first time.
That said, I dont see progression style raiding being viable in an open world raid because the bosses and mobs would reset while you are learning the next boss.
Weekly Dungeons should be longer and I would think 90-180 minutes would be ideal creating a higher value for rare items within this mechanic. In other words rarity+ time investment could make cosmetics or items earned more prestigious.
Event Dungeons or Dungeons that spawn based on how the servers story is going, such as Tower of Carphin should be the longest. With that being said due to the completion time being longer I think that there should be checkpoints (personal) where you can pick up with say a different group or even if you have to start over the instance at least your question progress should be kept in place. A fun mechanic in my opinion would be that the event dungeons can branch off depending on how many users attempt to complete the event and how many actually do. For example if the mission is to save a particular NPC (assuming a minimum threshold for quantity of players that complete the event) it could have other influences like the NPC is not recovered and is lost from that server, which could lead to a new event where that NPC is replaced by something else in the collective player content. This could open the game for even more content and allow more diverse servers.
Just a few thoughts.
Fan since "A Mages life" video
As someone who wants an MMO to be their main source of entertainment, I will have various lengths of time I get to enjoy my video game. Dungeons have the benefit of being a group activity and is why in other MMO's, dungeons are common place for people to get together and have something to do. The lowest reasonable amount of time is 30 minutes in my opinion, but that might even include the time it takes to gather everyone to their event of choice.
I see two solutions:
1. purposefully designed dungeons for different time lengths.
2. dungeons as a whole designed regardless of time length, where you can have a positive experience if personally limited to only increments of its entirety.
I would mostly argue for the 2nd in this case, because of the open world nature of this game. I think if the reward system of a dungeon was spread evenly throughout the encounters rather then the end of them all, it could be a net benefit to the general player enjoy-ability, game state/economy, and overall immersion of a fantasy world.
I think i fear the notion of dungeons being almost THE core element of MMO game play and therefore balanced around the majority of players. This treatment is not done to other aspects of the game such as running a store (I am only guessing. Sorry if I am wrong).
Maybe this MMO can set the new standard of have a vast multitude of systems core to the game play loop and let dungeons be for those who set their sights to do achieve the thing the game has that is designed for itself.
Let your dungeons fit the world of Verra and not for us!!!
About 20 to 30 minutes. That's long enough that you need to plan for it, so it's not trivial, but it's not so cumbersome that you will lose players half way through. Going much longer than that becomes hard to get a lot of folks to commit to, and you can forget about PUGs for something that takes 45 mins to an hour.
You want to have content that allows for people to do a variety of things during a long play-through and lets them fully do one thing on a short play-through.
EVE Online is plagued by this. There are plenty of nights that I feel like flying a ship around, however I have to ask myself "do I have at least two hours?". If the answer is no then I don't bother logging in, even though I want to. The issue is everything, and I mean everything, takes time to set up, travel to or prepare for in order to see a meaningful result.
It's not just the dungeon that costs time. It's the setup and preparation, the group forming, the meetup, the asking around if someone has to bail etc. So if you want players to, for example, spend an hour total on a dungeon then the content needs to be about 20 to 30 minutes long.
Also as the content gets longer so too do the odds that more people are unable to finish it in one sitting, which actually makes the total time exponentially longer since it takes longer to find people to do it, and it takes longer to fill holes as people have to leave. So while a 20 to 30 minute dungeon could consume 1 hour of time, a 1 hour dungeon could consume 2 hours of time, and so on.
I don't have much experience with open world dungeons except for what little I played in ESO so I guess the difficulty would be making a linear experience for them if that is what you are going for. Players time spent in dungeons will greatly vary because of outside influences and of course certain class kits could greatly change it as well. I love playing my rogue in WoW because we can lock pick certain doors in dungeons skipping small but significant portions, but this ultimately made a rogue in the group a must for some people even though the time save was miniscule. There will be a lot of variables to account for to make dungeons last as long as you want it to so best of luck.
That's not something you fix by removing instances either; the problem is that typical dungeon design just naturally forces you to take scripted paths through them, where the optimisation is already objectively predetermined.
In a similar vein, but with different problems in the design, ESO dungeons turned me off extremely because of how messy they were. Too many bosses and cutscenes, not enough exploration and dungeon-crawling at the party's own pace.
To me, the whole joy of levelling up in other MMOs with less focus on dungeons comes from optimising my own XP gain & loot on the fly, by adjusting the group strategy to the roles that happen to be available. And "group strategy" isn't just our way of fighting. It's how many mobs we pull, where we go, how much time we allow for preparation/resting, or how much risk of enemy player ganking parties we're willing to accept (but PvP doesn't have to be the defining factor.)
All of those things get lost in monotonous dungeons centered around boss fights with a bunch of fluff in-between that you can essentially just run past.
I'll avoid a lengthy "No obligatory dailies!" rant, although it really can't be overstated how much the playerbase suffers when everyone is forced to group up for content that half of the group wants to excel at, while the other half just wants to get their mandatory quests out of the way, because it's their only option to keep their gear relevant (Although "relevant" is relative, and I have no issues with more committed players having some advantages (10-20% above average), as long as the average player still has access to fun activities with rewards that allow them to make a dent on the battlefield). So, you know...just keep that in mind for all decisions you make, and keep compensation for overland grinders, dungeon rats, crafters, and pvp fighters reasonably equivalent.
So in summary:
A dungeon should by no means be finished fast, the item drops should also be special and superior to open world drops, and should provide benefits to players making it very worthwhile to keep on going back to the dungeon.
Being able to sell the loot to other players would also be an exceptional addition to the game (a group kills a boss, but they have the possibility of inviting an outside player and allowing or assigning the loot to the player who did not participate in the fight). This addition would have dungeons highly valuable across the leveling board as well as endgame.
Imagine you're farming for a specific item for 3 months and it still doesn't drop, but one of your friends or guildmates happens to drop said item, wouldn't you want to buy it from them at that point?
Generally I believe an experienced group should clear a dungeon in about an hour if they're not obstructed by other players initiating PvP in the area.
An inexperienced group should take between 3-5 hours to clear the dungeon, with the main point not being to clear it but to constantly improve their gameplay to a point where clearing is possible.
An exclusive point to open world dungeon delving is the presence of other competing players making for possible PvP hotspots, assassins especially would have a field day trying to kill steal bosses from other players, which would make dungeon delving that much more exciting. The presence of other players makes two runs of the same dungeon completely different from one another, massively improving the overall experience of dungeon delving.
Dungeons should be difficult to complete and reward exceptionally strong items to help the players in their journey, if the items are too weak then the dungeon needs to be easier as well.
Edit: I'd like to add that for dungeons that reward skins, these skins should be sellable to other players and in this case I think these dungeons should be exponentially more difficult, with an average completion of 3-6h for experienced groups, 12h+ for inexperienced groups. The point of these dungeons would be to drop beautiful looking but extremely difficult to acquire exclusive skins, different from any other skins in the shop. So if someone wants the specific skin from said dungeon they'd have to do the dungeon or buy it from other players.
Instanced Dungeons = 30-45 minutes
Instanced Raids = 60-90 minutes
Solo Dungeons = 45 minutes
Some things to consider:
Smaller player group = easier to have longer engagements as you are likely a more tighter knit group and/or expectations are easier to maintain
Larger player group = more difficult to keep a group together for longer engagements
-gotta log for dinner, gotta log for wife aggro, gotta log cause your cat spilled the soda on your keyboard
Difficulty to clear content should be considered also.
Super difficult = fewer bosses/content so that its reasonable to clear if wipes are expected often
Easier = more bosses/content
Respawn timer in dungeon for mobs = annoying mechanic, just don't do it. Take me on a journey through this thing that's fun. Not repetitive in a grindy way.
There is of course the opposite of keeping time limited to shorter experiences, where some enjoy coming back 2-3 times a week for like 2-3 hours to finally clear a full raid/dungeon. I myself would prefer to clear it more on the shorter side as I work full time and I think many players are in this boat also. However I do understand some players would enjoy a long deep run.
60-75 minutes on average. For open world dungeons I would probably prefer to err on the shorter side since grouping up, waiting for spawns, possible contesting of the mobs & travel all take some time. Instanced dungeons has less variables, and thus can take a bit longer.
I have previously enjoyed alot dungeons that have multiple (3-5) wings on the same level range. Then you can have playtrough of each section be shorter (30ish mins), and the group gets to decide which ones they want to run through and how much time you allocate into it.
My opinion is that of all the dungeons in ashes there should be about
30% small dungeons, where you need around 30 minutes,
45% bigger dungeons/raids as the main journey for the guilds with around 60 to 90 min,
20% of realy big dungeons/raids which will take around 2 - 4 hours which are something epic mostly for the weekends and
5% something VERY big and VERY hard for the bigger guilds and groups, something that could go even (far) over 4 hours, and when you achieve that then it would be something that shows your skill and endurance to others, maybe bye getting not only normal loot but some kosmetic items too.
The simple thing to make all of it interesting for the players is to balance the dropchances for similar loot. Doenst have to be the same loot, but it should be an alternativ to go in smaller dungeons and not a waste of time.
For example if you have a dropchance for similar loot in small dungeons of about 2%
in 30 mins, then let it be around 5 - 8 % in bigger dungeons for 60 to 90 mins, and so on.
So the chance of getting the item in a bigger dungeon would be slightly higher over the same time period, but it wouldnt be a waste of time to make the small dungeon over and over again.
Running a dungeon from beginning to end sounds more like instanced content to me.
1. Normal dungeons that would take 45-60 min to complete early on and are meant for shorter time commitments. And after people start to learn things about the dungeons like optimal routes, what trash packs to skip, get better gear, etc. those times should get faster. Down to like the 20-30 min for farming them assuming no PvP interference.
2. Mega dungeons which would be like BRD from Classic WoW where its super expansive and takes multiple hours(2-3) for a full clear. But they should have paths that you can choose near the start in case you don't want to full clear(each one taking around an hour), but just do a certain section for specific loot or if you only have time for a portion of it. Structuring it like BRD where you have to do a run or 2 to unlock the alternate paths via quest or item drops would also be a nice touch IMO. So you have to at least full clear it once before you can choose do the shorter paths.
3. Heroic dungeons which are just a max level version of normal dungeons and mega dungeons. I think these should be slightly longer than the non-heroic versions, but not vastly longer. Unless a whole new path unlocks like a normal dungeon turns into a mega dungeon or something like that. Ideally these would be changed up to not just be stat/HP increase, but new mechanics/encounters/paths/etc.
Tower outskirts - 1-3 areas designed to be completed by 1-3 people in 20-30 mins intended to be repeated multiple times.
Entrance to the tower - 1-2 areas designed to be completed by 2-5 people in 30-45 mins intended to be repeated multiple times.
Tower itself - 4-5 areas designed to be completed by 5-8 people in 1-3 hours intended to not be repeated in one sitting.
Skips to get to different areas should be available via class skills, crafting items, or with relevant items garnered through previous dungeon runs.
That highly depends on the interpretation of "playthrough".
Is it even desired to be able to play through every type of dungeon in one game session?
To further elaborate on this:
One of the greatest mmorpg-dungeons in my opinion was BRD - Black Rock Depths in World of Warcraft Classic. It was like a whole city and there was soooo much to do, that noone even came to the idea of doing everything there at once.
But not every dungeon has to be like this... really. I think a nice variety of dungeon styles should be the goal here.
Another point that can be interpreted in different ways is what you take into account when measuring the required time for a dungeon.
Is it only the time you really are inside the dungeon?
Is it also the time you needed to find people for your group?
Is it also the time you needed to prepare for the dungeon (repairing, arrows, food for your animal, potions, ...)?
First, with travel, exploration, and death penalties in AoC, I presume I will need need to take time and planning before I can even get to a dungeon. For me, the ideal time spent on this is probably 30 min or less. Crafting some consumables for my run, coordinating with my group, and getting through the trash mobs. For the most part less is probably more here.
Second, I think it's important to have some sort of recourse for smaller guilds and pick-up groups to still attain something valuable from dungeons, even given the PvX style of AoC. This doesn't need to be instance content. Maybe an open zone within the dungeon with abundant gathered material, a honeycomb style entrance for small guilds to sneak in, or bosses with unique mechanics geared towards small elite groups. Steven has mentioned having small group content within larger node sieges, and I think something similar could benefit dungeon design. PvP can be fun and exciting; Pv-massive-zerg-guild gets boring quick. No one likes to play a game they cannot win.
Third, cyclic or branching path design for large scale dungeons. Providing a way for casual players to save and return to their progress even within an MMO setting would be amazing. For example, the way some of the classic DOOM and QUAKE games would cycle you around a level and loop you back using blue/red/yellow key cards, or how a single dungeon in Guild Wars 2 had multiple paths with different bosses and objectives. I would be completely satisfied with a 24 hour dungeon "playthrough" if I could tackle the dungeon in 60min metroidvania style time blocks.
Open-World and Instanced, Linear and Non-Linear, Small and Large, Raid-level and (presumably) Farm-level...
For some WoW-style "Instanced Linear Large Raid-Level" dungeon, where you come with large pre-mediated party of dedicated raiders, and intend to make it all the way down without stopping, complete with final big boss fight, the time commitment expectation is going to be very different than for, say, an Open-World Non-Linear Medium Farm dungeon where multiple parties come to run around at a depth befitting their level and farm respawning entities for a while until they are bored / killed by their neighbours one too many times / got the loot or experience they want / bard has to go have dinner and they don't want to look for a new bard. Although I am not sure the term "playthrough" can really be applied to anything Open-World, as the expectation is that everything respawns, and the group can simply run through to the area of it they are most interested in, ignoring the rest, and sit there for as long as they wish.
I think having large variety of options is great, as long as there's no pressure from the game to "do everything" (and with free market, there really shouldn't be).
If I only have 30 min - maybe I'll drop by that Open-World Dungeon where I can solo easier first floor mobs, and if there's few more people hanging out in there - we can group up and tackle 2nd floor for a bit, then when someone has to go - the rest goes back to soloing on the first floor (replace "floor" with "cave", "area", "branch" or whatever else logistical separation).
If I have a dedicated group I can plan in advance with, or it's simply 7 pm and everyone in my node gathers at the bulletin board to form parties for the evening - perhaps 1-2h is a reasonable time to commit for some Open-World Dungeon farming on a weekday evening. I suppose it would be cool if some optional mini-bosses respawn once or twice during that period for extra fun and challenge (and PvP motivation), but the big bad dungeon boss doesn't have to - if we came for a repeatable farm on common respawns, the party is unlikely to be geared for such a boss anyway.
For Instanced No-Respawn Raid Dungeon with a big boss at the end, all bets are off.
Having some shorter options is a given, but wouldn't it be cool to have that one 5h estimate raid dungeon that only the nerdiest of nerds dare tackle?
I personally might not. But simply knowing that it exists is kind of exciting, isn't it?
Or how about a 100-floor tower that you need to conquest in several iterations, with tickets issued every 10th floor for re-entry on a later date? Total clear time might be counted in days, but a single 10-floor sprint can be much shorter.
12h for a single dungeon is probably a bit unhealthy. Maybe even have a couple days timer for re-entry on that 5h dungeon, yes? Not that it will stop people from doing what they want with their time...
If we formed a party in the Node - can we hire / build a party van to ride the whole gang to the dungeon of our choice?
Not an instant travel, just fluff, really. Someone has to mind the team, of course.
To make it feel good dungeon delving time needs to be configured according to max players on a single servers.
What I mean is that dungeons need to take long enough so that it gives time for a random encounter to occur where other players enter and compete with your group. At the same time it needs to be short enough so that if there is some event going on at the moment it becomes tactically viable to skip it so you go run the dungeon uncontested because you are betting on that most players eligible for the dungeon will be going to the event instead. So - short enough to sneak a dungeon while other events are going on and long enough so that it allows random player encounters for competition on the dungeons.
At the same time though dungeons shouldn't be so long that you fight like 3 different player groups in one run. Having to fight 2 different player groups in one run should be the unusual rare hard dungeon run experience. Anything more than that will make it feel not like a novelty or randomness or natural experience. It'll feel like strict game design - unnatural.
Aside from this I'd also say that if Steven wants this game to be playable by casuals like he has said then dungeons need to be no longer than 1h.
Personally I like to spend above 1h in a dungeon but honestly the more I get old the more responsibilities I am getting and there is no way around it. I've talked to many other older gamers too and they actively avoid doing dungeons in some games because it takes above 1h fully committed attention. Doing a dungeon for 90minutes and above I realize now more and more is completely undoable for someone playing casually.
This "1 hour" dungeon time I see people being thrown around sounds like some instancing thing but having to really pack your bags and set out to spend some real time at a dungeon is what I want. Of course beating the content in the dungeon is meaningful but I don't want every dungeon to even have balanced content. Some stuff should be for low levels, some for high levels.
The idea of wanting to go to a place you've only heard rumors about, pack your things and get half way through a dungeon in a night and then go back to base with a better understanding and strategy of what you need and need to do is what I want. Not interested in a superficial "straight forward path" through a dungeon with no challenge just for gear.