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Don't make the mega dungeon too easy to exit and re-enter


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Considering how much Josh likes Dark Souls in particular the way the areas and maps are designed, I'm fully expecting it to be an unlock system where the further down you progress it loops around and allows you to get in and out quicker.

 

Having to walk through empty dungeon levels you have already cleared is in no way fun, nothing wrong with making things a bit practical as long as its well designed.

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No one has yet explained what the difference is in practical terms between a 14 level mega dungeon that you can do each level separately and get out...or 14 1 level "skyrim" dungeons that you can run in and out of at will

 

its not a mega dungeon if you can do it in bite size chunks..its just a series of mini dungeons that happen to be in the same place

 

I dont even feel that strongly about this to be honest....its just that it seems like people were getting excited about a cool stretch goal and now they've got it they got cold feet and want to turn it into something mundane...just another series of dungeons

Edited by motorizer
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PE is supposed to pay tribute to the IE games, taking the best aspects from them - not necessarily copying every last detail. There's certainly room for changes and improvements, while still staying true to the IE experience.

Certainly. What I meant was, allegedly the immediate points of reference and inspiration for the dungeon (DT and WK) are directly against what you're advocating for and in favor of what you think several are asking for, so a revaluation of expectations might be in order.

 

Also, I agree about being able to retrace your steps and go back the way you came in. Perhaps I should have made that clearer in my original post.

As others have said, you assumed several things in your OP, which is only natural since there isn't any actual information on the game. Ultimately, I guess I'm in the camp of letting the dungeon design deal with this particular issue in the most appropriate way according to its nature (but even then, there's always a compromise between realism and gameplay).

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I would like to have different exit options. After few lvls if I so choose to go back, mostly becouse i have loot that needs to be sold or have to get new equipment. Unless dungeon is specifically designed in such a manner that once you enetr you go all the way, than okej. But dungeon deep like this only make common sense that it has several exit entrances. Evry 2 or 3 lvl should be good.

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If done right, closing the door behind the party in some manner after they enter can be a lot of fun. Anyone can get through something easily if they can keep going back for equipment, health, and the like, but how about trying to get through it just on what you have and what you find inside until you find an exit? The exit doesn't necessarily have to be at the very bottom of the fifteen levels, but it would be nice if you couldn't just run back every time. Perhaps have it so this happen when you're on a higher difficulty?

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My question is this:

 

Is having to manually backtrack 15 levels fun? Is it challenging? Manually backtracking so many levels is just tedious. It's not like it's hard and giving exits is making the game more casual. Removing unnecessary padding by running back and forth in the same dungeon is fine. I know people think RPGs have become too easy and view PE as a game recreating an era we all like because it wasn't hand holdingly boring, but don't let that make you think adding any type of convenience is just making the game easier. Unless I could die manually running out then there is no challenge being removed, no tests of skill, just needless time wasted.

 

One small edit I want to make: If they design this dungeon to be a "gauntlet" type one, then allow people exits.... But make it start over if someone leaves. That way exits are basically "I can't go any further" doors and people who don't want to use them can skip it, knowing it'd reset progress and their only chance to see the bottom.

Edited by Coincidence

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Totally agree. There shouldn't be any easy way out. I don't know if there will be any repair system though, I wouldn't want to have useless gear in level 12 - so if there's any repairing involved I'd hope for a chance to repair it in the dungeon itself.

:blink: :Not Sure If Serious:

 

This isn't Diablo, no gear damage or repair will be in. Thank god...

Although non-magical items could break in the BG's (no repair), so bring/loot/find a spare. Magical's fine ;).

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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No one has yet explained what the difference is in practical terms between a 14 level mega dungeon that you can do each level separately and get out...or 14 1 level "skyrim" dungeons that you can run in and out of at will

You mean, Planescape: Torment Dungeons; Icewind dale dungeons: Baldurs Gate Dungeons: Temple of Elemental Evil Dungeons. ie. The dungeons in the very games that PE claims to recapture the magic of. You can freely exit all the dungeons in those games at will.

 

But to answer your question, I think the practical difference is the storyline/plot. In games that feature 14 singular level dungeons, you're getting 14 plots/ main objectives, while in one massive 14 level dungeon there's just one, and by tackling it one or two levels at a time, that 1 plot is still there, waiting to be completed.

 

In a giant, semi-open ended game like Baldurs Gate, the freedom of not having to do the entire mega dungeon in one giant go is a welcome thing... for pacing purposes and such. For example, I like doing all the surface levels of Durlag's tower ASAP with a low level party. But I usually save the subterranian levels for later... say, chapter 6, when there's not much left in the game to do. Ditto with BG2's Watcher's keep. I usually like doing the first 3 levels (up to the machine of Lum the Mad) before heading off to Spell Hold. Then, once I return from the underdark, I tackle the rest of the dungeon.

 

 

its not a mega dungeon if you can do it in bite size chunks..its just a series of mini dungeons that happen to be in the same place

This is nonsense. Your party is a team of adventurers exploring a massive ancient ruin. In the real world, it takes years to fully complete such a task. You don't just go and do it all at once. You make planned forays and expeditions into it. It can take a lifetime. or several.

Edited by Stun
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Games are different to other narratives in this regard. The idea of being "busy" with something and perhaps doing some other things inbebetween as opposed to simply being immersed in a situation is part of the nature of games. In a narrative you can't do much inventory, character stats management or even do too repetitive actions. It's not relevant. In a game, no harm is done with changing the screen. It's an ever-present part of being in control. I personally see no benefit in being lost in a dungeon. The idea seems kind of convincing from an abstract point of view, but it would be merely annoying in truth. BG2ToB had such a dungeon and it worked just fine with doing occasional visits. Great atmosphere. It would have been simply impossible (unless you want level scaling and easy difficulty etc) otherwise. If you feel immersed, of course you can just go on. And there's nothing wrong with some ways being blocked in being relocated (like being trapped in the Underdark in BG2) or ways not being easily accessible, however there should be some relief not too far (also to avoid greater boredom of supposedly atmospheric imprisonment).

Edited by MattH
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No one has yet explained what the difference is in practical terms between a 14 level mega dungeon that you can do each level separately and get out...or 14 1 level "skyrim" dungeons that you can run in and out of at will

You mean, Planescape: Torment Dungeons; Icewind dale dungeons: Baldurs Gate Dungeons: Temple of Elemental Evil Dungeons. ie. The dungeons in the very games that PE claims to recapture the magic of. You can freely exit all the dungeons in those games at will.

Even if you don't count the Underdark as a dungeon, I'm pretty sure you couldn't exit the Beholder's Lair (Unseeing Eye quest), Astral Plane, Planar Sphere and Werewolf Island. There's probably more.

 

its not a mega dungeon if you can do it in bite size chunks..its just a series of mini dungeons that happen to be in the same place

This is nonsense. Your party is a team of adventurers exploring a massive ancient ruin. In the real world, it takes years to fully complete such a task. You don't just go and do it all at once. You make planned forays and expeditions into it. It can take a lifetime. or several.

No I agree with motorizer.

 

Real world arguments are invalid here. There are no elves and dwarves in the real world either. If this dungeon is advertised as a mega-dungeon, it's only normal that some of us just want to marathon through it.

 

Note though that this is unrelated to the issue of whether or not to place shortcuts throughout the dungeon. I can actually live with those. But I dislike the prospect of split segments that are clearly designed to finish at different times throughout the game.

Edited by Pope
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Werewolf Island was nice.

 

I think some sections where your temporarily locked off from the world are good.

However, NOT a 15 leveled dungeon that takes over 30 hours to complete...

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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Werewolf Island was nice.

 

I think some sections where your temporarily locked off from the world are good.

However, NOT a 15 leveled dungeon that takes over 30 hours to complete...

I've already changed my mind about that.

 

Some of my suggestions were:

- split the 15 levels into different segments, each (or some) locking you off, and with exits after each segment

- lock off optional parts of the dungeon

 

Either way, it would be nice to see at least a few successive locked off levels.

Edited by Pope
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I wouldn't mind having themed floors or something like it. You know, a puzzle floor, then one with a horde of undead, then maybe one with the trapped spirits of some adventurers, maybe a floor wherein some souls are pleading for their release so they can reincarnate (perhaps have the player choose between freeing them, or gaining intelligent like items?). That, and I'd like to see skills and class come into play. Maybe there are some hidden passges you can squeeze through, or some places your character may recognize as safe to dig out. That, or a recreation of nethack/dungeon crawl stone soup with a "retreive X item from floor 15, and retreive it" or "take this down there and destroy it."

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I wouldn't mind having themed floors or something like it. You know, a puzzle floor, then one with a horde of undead, then maybe one with the trapped spirits of some adventurers, maybe a floor wherein some souls are pleading for their release so they can reincarnate (perhaps have the player choose between freeing them, or gaining intelligent like items?).

Themed floors are nice as long as they're all actually connected to the dungeon's main plot and not random stuff the designers thought were cool (which is the vibe I got from Watcher's Keep).

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I wouldn't mind having themed floors or something like it. You know, a puzzle floor, then one with a horde of undead, then maybe one with the trapped spirits of some adventurers, maybe a floor wherein some souls are pleading for their release so they can reincarnate (perhaps have the player choose between freeing them, or gaining intelligent like items?).

Themed floors are nice as long as they're all actually connected to the dungeon's main plot and not random stuff the designers thought were cool (which is the vibe I got from Watcher's Keep).

 

True. I think the context they would make the most sense in would be as has been suggested: either a lovecraftian sort of "mind of a dead god" setting, or just a general interplanar setting for the dungeon. That, or a few floors supposedly extrapolated from charname's mind. That way things could seem somewhat unreal and not completely logical, but be consistant - so long as it was done well. It would also allow easy easter eggs.

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My idea for the the dungeon:

  • Quests scattered within the dungeon. (Miners lost, A loved one missing, A heirloom lost to the ravages of time, seedy quests like to steal some relic)
  • Quests that open up secret passage ways to the surface at only 2 levels or so, one at 8 and the other at 13. No more (reward for helping the gnome who is lost and has been living in the dungeons and knows the ins and outs at Level 8 for instance etc).
  • A main quest to go into the dungeon in the first place.
  • Hardcore mode disables the exits and replaces the quests probably with bosses instead that destroy any hopes of escape or something like that.
  • Progressively harder monsters at each level.
  • Companion dialogue tailored to each level, different skills suiting different classes (Rangers finding hidden signs, Rogues hidden treasure, etc, Evil characters telling PC to kill everything etc with no morality)
  • Maybe an option to have one of your party members go and try to sell a few things while you wait, introducing a quest while he or she is gone that puts you at a disadvantage in numbers if you do send him/her back.
  • Consequences that the party member sent back meets unfortunate end and needs rescuing itself opening up a chain to find him after he she does not return after a time.
  • Scenarios of characters losing their sanity the lower you go (Peevish characters or those with low Int or Charisma etc getting scared at each level down)

Those are some of the idea I could drum up. The bottom line is, you are going deeper into the pit of the earth, you only have limited supplies (Food,etc), and you need to gain some of those as you go down by hooks or by crooks (drinking from a pool at level 9, trying to find a way to clean the water if it is dirty etc) and going back isn't an easy choice. It has consequences.

Edited by Valinthor
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I haven't read the whole thread, but I'd like to add my opinion to this discussion anyway, based soley on the OP. I agree that it shouldn't be too easy, but at the same time it would be nice to be able to retreat if you find a need to, for whatever reason. Perhaps this megadungeon will contain various amenities (traders, temples, some form of inns, etc.), but some other reason may cause the player to to just want to leave. After a few levels maybe the player wants to engage some more in the story rather than just dungeoncrawl (some other story than that of the dungeon, then). Perhaps an exit every second level? I'd actually prefer an exit each level, but that may be seen as "too easy". I don't quite remember how Watcher's Keep in Throne of Bhaal worked, but it had an exit about every level or so, I think. I appreciate the freedom of choice: I could leave if I wanted to, but I could also keep going. I think that's the most important bit: give players the freedom of choice.

 

The megadungeon will be one more thing to enjoy in the game. It's not about proving anything to anybody, it's about playing a game you enjoy to play. And giving me choices on how I can engage with the game helps me enjoy it. For those that want it to be more challenging or difficult, throw in an achievement for never exiting the dungeon on the way down, and maybe an achievement for only having left every 5 levels. Or something similar.

 

After having crawled through four levels maybe I'm going "Gah, I don't even remember how the sun looks anymore. Let's get outta here!" and it would be nice if I could, after exploration, find a way out. When I'm ready for more dungoneering, I could come back to that exit/entrance and continue where I left off.

Make sense, not war.

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More thoughts on the matter:

Progressively harder monsters at each level and all 15 lvls of dungeon in one go hard mode, are things that justs imposible to achive in game where dungeon is not all content, and not even its biggest part. Without autoleveling system.

Because it can be well balanced for only specific interval of character levels to begin this dungeon. And when i come there with endgame character this dungeon will be peace of cake from begining to end.

Opposite way of making my character to superlevel in dungeon to make it possible to defeat superhard monster will break all other game contet.

 

So basicaly people who want "no exit" option railway, wants to play some Dragon Edge with autoleveling and no variants where we can walk of their railway.

So making dungeon harder by degrees with exits to come back later is the only way i can think of without autoleveling that will not break the game in two independent games. And autoleveling is stupid :p

Edited by void_dp
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Id be nice if they played it like fonv in warning ya. Like when we first hear or discover the dungeon, we have npcs telling us that we to noobish to even think about going there. Like they could say "ive seen partys better equiped and better experienced than you never come back from there". And they could tell us when we are semi ready with dialogue, and they could tell us when we are ready or overkill for that ace.

Have it to where the enemys are basically scaled to a grp of levels for example, the top 4 floors are scaled for level 18, the mid of the dungeon scaled towards 21, and the end scaled more towards level 25. Maming to where we go in at the mid level and the beginning easy for us and the end is a doable challenge for us.

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I think part of the challenge should be making sure to leave before your resources are used up. If you can waltz through old levels without a hassle, that's problematic because the dungeon is slowly becoming a cow with a ladder up its back. If you all like cows with ladders up their backs, that's fine, but some of us don't like the idea. And we're sharing a barn here.

 

I think there should always be some challenge throughout the dungeon, so meandering about in any direction can bring a challenge. Of course, if undead manifesting is just not the thing, then maybe we're gonna be a ladder-cow barn. I suppose it could be cow-bell anyway.

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This seems like something that would work well with the difficulty settings. When playing on easy, there are a decent number of doors or portals available. If you want to play as an Expert, you find that the portals are no longer there or the doors are sealed off.

 

I think that could end up working for players who want the challenge of managing their resources and trying to rest in a dangerous dungeon, without making things too punishing on new players who unwisely venture into an area their party isn't strong enough or well-equipped enough to manage.

 

I'm definitely not a fan of the idea of a level-scaled dungeon where players clear a few levels early on, level up a bit, return for a few more levels, and so on. That ends up seeming more like a chore than anything else, and it kind of takes away from the dungeon's hugeness if you're only meant to do small bits of it at one time. I'd rather see it be an all at once dungeon done when the player is in the medium-high levels of the game.

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There are many options, from Mark / Recall spells over exit-only portals to very well hidden or very well guarded dungeon exits, I always loved how all dungeons in Ultima 6 were linked togethe, and how incredible difficult it was to actually find the passages. Leaving the dungeon should be inconvenient, you should consider whether you leave or try to go down further.

 

Just don't make a dungeon like Watcher's Keep where you can leave and enter as you please. There is no point in a 15 level dungeon when it actually plays like 15 one-level dungeons

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Just my two cents, but I think it'd be simple and neat to be able to portal out at the end of each level, but should one choose to do so, they must fight their way back in, with no promise of loot or experience for levels already cleared. Perhaps the final floor contains a soul-recycler thingamajig that respawns enemys every time a level is exited? This could be any number of things: elder god, undead tyrant, ancient magic, whatever.

 

Being forced to go through all at once as many suggest would just be silly: it'd only be something you'd be able to do end-game, at which point the first levels would be mostly pointless, and in the end you'd have way to much loot, and way to little content left in the game to use it for.

 

Making it too easy though, as many have pointed out, takes much of the fun and challenge out of dungeon-delving.

Edited by Pipyui
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Game could use a trial like dungeon. Where once you enter you can not leave until it is complete. Maybe the entrance behind you collapses. Can make it excessively difficult and demoralizing to the player. You are constantly descending into a muddy muck stained cave interior fighting annoying critters left and right, How you go deeper in the dungeon is by swimming through pools infested with dark dirty water where the player can have female companions kidnapped from unknown terrors in the deep. Eventually What seemed like a simple adventure. Will have the players going awwwww sheeeet.

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