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Thoughts about the Endless Paths


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First of all congrats to Obsidian for their amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign. As a huge fan of your older games, I am really looking forward to Project Eternity! Anyway, I just had an idea concerning the Endless Paths and thought I might share it for others to discuss or at least tell me it's crap.

 

Considering that this dungeon is going to be HUGE, I think it would be great to make it a place the party returns over and over. I am not talking about locked doors that can only be opened with special quest keys, though. What I would prefer is a more oragnic approach: Simply make the lower levels so dangerous that the heroes need to go out to gain more experience before they can return to the Paths with any hopes of survival. Tie the dungeon into the world, but separate it from the main story line (side quests might lead from the latter to the Paths now and then), but I would like to see this dungeon as kind of an optional challenge that is really tough to take on - and provides rewards that are worth it, maybe something completely unique like a spell that cannot be learned anywhere else, an exotic NPC party member of a race normally unavailable or a pet that can be found only in the paths (and must be defeated before it joins the party).

 

Overall I am very confident that you guys at Obsidian will create something awesome with this dungeon, whether or not you like these thoughts of mine.

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Well with 13 levels, the Path is almost a game in a game. I think it's not far away from Diablo 1. I agree that it should be a great challenge, but it is although a good opportunity to make something unusual. Dungeon crawling is good, roleplaying is awesome... So 13 levels just opening doors, disarming traps and kicking ass without meeting anyone would be annoying.

 

The only thing I hope about this dungeon is that it will surprise us.

Edited by MorganJha
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diablo had 16 levels... so its almost like we have a game within a game

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Including Paypal, we're at 14 levels creeping up on 15.

 

I agree with the OP except that difficulty of monsters is usually not a good way to prevent players from moving forward as they will bash their collective head repeatedly and get frustrated, and we had a discussion about it in another thread in General Discussion.

 

One of the other posters made a good point that levels could be held off in a variety ways from clue finding to monster difficulty. Other ways could be false endings (you think you've reached the end, but find a clue later that leads you back or something thematic to the dungeon leads you back), requiring knowledge to solve a puzzle to move forward requiring research, finding a level that is submerged leaving you to find a raft elsewhere. The Paths could also be discontinuous in a way like Dorn's Deep so you pop out somewhere and a plot trigger leads you away. A lot of ways to do it.

Edited by curryinahurry
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A great idea IMHO. Other ideas I have seen on the comments thread:

. If the setting is steampunk'ish have a railway station between the two mega cities, with the Endless Paths as a station.

. Have a snakes / ladders mechanic (fast to the bottom/top) - ok this was a suggestion of mine but combined with your idea that the lower you go the harder it is could make a young adventure party not want to get off the lift on level -13

. Have one of the levels underwater ... That would be a challenge to explore

. Have one floor modelled on Escher's Endless Stair case and the only way to escape is to use your soul - ok another of mine - but I always loved Escher and if you could have a level you can't escape unless you solve a puzzle or use your soul for something could make it interesting.

 

I am sure there were others, let the ideas flow :-

 

*edited to fix emoticon

Edited by Paul D
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I want it to be bloody hard, I want it to be the biggest challange in the game by far, but I don't want to be limited by anything other than myself.

 

That's what I mean. Sure it's frustrating to have a TPK in the same encounter over and over again. But then it's your own decision to go there. It happened all the time in the Baldur's Gate games. You could go to Durlag's Tower at level 3, but you'd die even before you entered the building itself. You said: "Dammit!", returned later and the success then was so much sweeter.

 

A huge dungeon like also should contain not only blade fodder and loot but different factions that might be fighting each other. Players should be able to interact in a non-violent way with at least some dungeon denizens, but these sure are truisms of dungeon design that would have been addressed anyway ;) And while dungeons should provide a lot of exciting battles, I also love it when there is lore about the world hidden down there that can be discovered by reading tomes in old libraries, beholding ancient stone idols and talking to that mysterious voice that is echoing from the bottomless pit...

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actually I like the idea of the locked door. like okay you have the quest to go through the endless paths and find a locked door but the key was stolen but you find some hints. so you have to go out on a new quest to get the stolen key from a rogue or something like that... like a dungeon quest hub :D

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If there are locked doors which you could only open at a later stage in the game, then there should be a way to leave the dungeon quickly and enter it on any previously visitied lvl. I love the idea of an underwater lvl inside the paths but i'm unsure how they can realize it visually.

The paths should be reasonably hard but not too hard for the normal folks. For those who want a real challenge there are the game modes (Expert Mode, Ironman? Mode and another one;P) anounced. So everyone can play the game on the difficulty lvl they want. I'm pretty sure that i'll play with 1-2 modes activated. I like a challenge but i'm aware that not everybody does.

 

We shouldn't forget that the number of lvls doesn't necessarily mean that the dungeon will be super huge. Each lvl could contain only 3 rooms and that's it. I'm not thinking that they'll do this but I wanted to remind people not to expect too much.

Edited by Shiroco
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It would be cool if the dungeon changed you and your party in a profound way, rather than just giving you loot and riches. Something like a special companion or a deeper understanding of the world in the form of a unique trait or spell or whatever.

 

Conquering one of the toughest places in the world should also give you reverence among the people, just like someone climbing Mt. Everest gets in our world.

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I want it to be bloody hard, I want it to be the biggest challange in the game by far, but I don't want to be limited by anything other than myself.

You can always make it hard for yourself through the available options like Trial of Iron. It should be a challenge, yes, but others may not want it to be so obscenely difficult that 90% give up before reaching the end.

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I want it to be bloody hard, I want it to be the biggest challange in the game by far, but I don't want to be limited by anything other than myself.

You can always make it hard for yourself through the available options like Trial of Iron. It should be a challenge, yes, but others may not want it to be so obscenely difficult that 90% give up before reaching the end.

Yes! This man, this man here, he makes sense, he is brilliant. I support this thought. This is exactly my own stance on the matter.

Edited by HangedMan

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I love the idea of it and the idea of it getting ridiculously difficult at the lower levels. What's lost on me is why we'd see such a large concentration of presumably mutually hostile and predatory beings in one place. But, I'm quite sure they'll come up with some perfectly acceptable explanation for this in the game lore.

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I love the idea of it and the idea of it getting ridiculously difficult at the lower levels. What's lost on me is why we'd see such a large concentration of presumably mutually hostile and predatory beings in one place. But, I'm quite sure they'll come up with some perfectly acceptable explanation for this in the game lore.

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I hope for unique floors: every stage telling a part of a, or its own, story and having different ways to get to the next one, like in Watchers Keep.

 

I actually wouldn't like this. I think that the dungeon, regardless of how unique each floor is, still ties together completely. I know that the goal for this dungeon is to have different devs work on each level, but I'm hoping that there is someone who oversees the whole things at the end and makes sure the entire dungeon comes together. Watcher's Keep seemed a little schizoid for my tastes, even though it did have an overarching theme to it.

 

Maybe have each developer work on their floor, but also consult with the devs on the floors above and below them.

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Make it a gauntlet style thing maybe? Like it's the playhouse of some mad wizard. Before going in he preserves your party's souls so that when you die you simply get sent back to the top, or maybe you don't "die" so much as just desync from what is a kind of astral projection. The idea is to get as low as possible in a single life, eventually reaching the bottom. Whether this is tapered off by level/puzzle solving skill or whatever I'm not sure, but thats my $0.02

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What if someone has to be sacrificed outside the entry gate for the gate to open?

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