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


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And mentioning games like BG2 and ToEE to try and justify being able to leave a dungeon mid-way through just because they're older games is irrelevant. Those games were wrong to do it also.

 

We are all willing to share our opinions on the topic with you. But "I am right, everyone else is wrong" is no discussion. You should try to see our point as well. Otherwise you are just, well, limited in your worldview. And thats never a good thing.

"Was du nicht kennst, das, meinst du, soll nicht gelten? Du meinst, daß Phantasie nicht wirklich sei?

Aus ihr allein erwachsen künft'ge Welten: In dem, was wir erschaffen, sind wir frei."

- Michael Ende, Das Gauklermärchen

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Of course more options can sometimes be a bad thing. If you shove a bunch of features in the game that make it too easy, just to give people the "option" of an easier experience, that's bad design... even if players can technically choose to ignore such features.

I'm pretty sure you know what the obvious question this begs.

 

How is it bad design?

 

 

And mentioning games like BG2 and ToEE to try and justify being able to leave a dungeon mid-way through just because they're older games is irrelevant. Those games were wrong to do it also.

If older games are irrelevant, then why did you post that comic strip link who's very point was to compare today's games with games from the 90s?

Edited by Stun
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We are all willing to share our opinions on the topic with you. But "I am right, everyone else is wrong" is no discussion. You should try to see our point as well. Otherwise you are just, well, limited in your worldview. And thats never a good thing.

Some people have raised some interesting points and some acceptable alternatives, but i've yet to see an argument that changes my opinion or discredits the points I made in my original post.

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I completely disagree with the OP, exiting and returning should be made easy as possible otherwise dungeon of that size is just going to a pain.

Allow me to quote myself:

 

And if you're someone who really finds the idea of dungeon crawling so tedious that you can't stand the idea of being stuck in a dungeon for any great length of time, the answer is simple - the mega dungeon isn't for you. Stick to the smaller dungeons. Hopefully it'll be tied to a sidequest anyway instead of the main storyline, and therefore be completely optional.

I mean really... it's called a mega dungeon for a reason. If going through a large dungeon is a pain to you, then take a ****ing clue from the name and don't enter it. ;)

Edited by Piccolo
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I only agree with this when it concerns optional playstyles, like a slow time spell in an action-RPG that renders combat easy. There's a difference though when the developer's design something with the intent that a majority of players will use that method, then the alternative playstles tend to get overlooked. The Devs should think of the immersive and long ways to tackle a situation first, THEN throw in all the sneaky shortcuts based on your skills or level design.

 

Well, i was mainly speaking from our (players) perspective. Even if Devs won't create some shortcuts/real cheats for the game, there will be debugging console commands(IE games and NWN) or some trainer programs/small mods made by some modders(DAO Fade and Deep tranches cut) or some strange bugs that overpowering abusive players(Diablo 3 undying Barbarian/Wizard) . Not even MMORPGs are untouchable in this regard. Like bot programs, makros.

 

Humanity will always find a way to cheat and always be in a search for shortcuts:) it is in our very nature.

Nothing is true, everything is permited.
 

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Some people have raised some interesting points and some acceptable alternatives, but i've yet to see an argument that changes my opinion or discredits the points I made in my original post.

 

I doubt anyone here is trying to change your opinion, so much as simply Deconstucting/rebutting your argument. And the latter is being done here in spades.

 

Multiple dungeon exits on multiple levels are not even an invention of video games. Just about all the classic dungeon-based D&D modules from Pen and Paper had them. They had to. Both the story and the game's mechanics depended on it.

 

Logic and believablity also depends on it. If a structure/complex is man-made, then it's going to have exits to the surface on most levels. Not to make things easy on the player, but for the convenience/survivability of that dungeon's inhabatants.... and to explain why those inhabitants are a threat that needs to be dealt with.

Edited by Stun
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Some people have raised some interesting points and some acceptable alternatives, but i've yet to see an argument that changes my opinion or discredits the points I made in my original post.

 

Yes, your points are so great, calling not being stuck there "ridiculous" and not agreeing with what you said a sign of that "the mega dungeon just isn't for you". How could anyone argue with logic like that!

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What you do, is make it convoluted as heck. Instead of having 1 nice convenient exit per 4 levels that's right in the middle of town, you have a dozen exits that lead to various areas that interconnect with various other areas in weird ways. Sure, as soon as you pop out you can fast travel to a shop and sell off your loot. Then you go back, and discover that getting back IN that way winds up leading you into a part of the dungeon you haven't explored yet and you're not sure how it connects with what you've seen so far . . .

want this :З

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I'm pretty sure you know what the obvious question this begs.

 

How is it bad design?

Really? :mellow: You're unable to grasp how making a game too easy and accessible is bad design?

 

And mentioning games like BG2 and ToEE to try and justify being able to leave a dungeon mid-way through just because they're older games is irrelevant. Those games were wrong to do it also.

If older games are irrelevant, then why did you post that comic strip link who's very point was to compare today's games with games from the 90s?

That image was obviously a generalization. :rolleyes: It wasn't meant to imply that ALL games from the 90s were as challenging as they should be, or that ALL modern games are far too easy and full of hand-holding features.

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I also agree that if players want an easy way out, they should have to do something for it, such as solving a puzzle that opens a staircase. There should be a reason these easy routes are inaccessible above ground. On the other hand, opening such shortcuts should also have consequences inside the dungeon. I expect to see noob adventurers take advantage of this newly unlocked route which enables them to skip a considerable part of the dungeon.

 

I definitely don't want to lose that "trapped deep inside a dungeon" feeling.

 

Divine Divinity offered a nice mechanic to handle these situations. The player had two teleportation pyramids which he could place around the world (and pick up again) which enabled him to travel back and forth. Obsidian could implement something in this vein, possibly limited to the Endless Paths.

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Well, i was mainly speaking from our (players) perspective. Even if Devs won't create some shortcuts/real cheats for the game, there will be debugging console commands(IE games and NWN) or some trainer programs/small mods made by some modders(DAO Fade and Deep tranches cut) or some strange bugs that overpowering abusive players(Diablo 3 undying Barbarian/Wizard) . Not even MMORPGs are untouchable in this regard. Like bot programs, makros.

 

Humanity will always find a way to cheat and always be in a search for shortcuts:) it is in our very nature.

 

That shouldn't change how devs design a game though because some guy who doesn't care for an entire experience would just work around it. Cheating isn't for everyone, people like the accomplishments of going out of their way to feel satisfied. If every game idea was shot down because somebody could overcome it with exploits, games would just be a button that gives you a pat on the back each time you click it. Or dragon age 2.

 

Even if people cheat their way through the megadungeon, it isn't the point. The devs should pull out all the tricks in the book to make it one of the best and hardcore experiences in the game, with no short steps without effort, which is exactly what OP is getting at, and I agree with him. I just think there's better ways of implementing immersion than forced busywork.

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Well, I don't find your arguments convincing either, Piccolo. But at least I don't tell you that you are wrong or that games do it "wrong".

 

I simply think you prefer a different approach to games and that is quite well. What bugs me is that you seem to think it is the only "right" approach. Because it isn't. Its subjective.

 

Edit: Nice profile Pic, Jotra :D

Edited by Chabneruk

"Was du nicht kennst, das, meinst du, soll nicht gelten? Du meinst, daß Phantasie nicht wirklich sei?

Aus ihr allein erwachsen künft'ge Welten: In dem, was wir erschaffen, sind wir frei."

- Michael Ende, Das Gauklermärchen

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Seriously, it's going to be a 14 level dungeon! There have to be exits every now and then! If the dungeon is well designed it will become successfully harder the lower you go and you should expect to have to turn back at some point and come back later when you've gained some more experience. I can't think of anything more pointless and boring than trudging back through several empty levels you've alrady been to with the knowledge that you later will have to do the same thing again in the other direction, perhaps several times throughout the game. That'd just be horrible design.

Edited by Hugo Rune
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It's already at 14 levels, possibly 15 if I had up to date Pay pal information.

Obsidian ‏@Obsidian Current PayPal status: $140,000. 2,200 backers

 

"Hmm so last Paypal information was 140,000 putting us at 4,126,929. We did well over and beyond 4 million, and still have an old backer number from Paypal. 76,186 backers. It's very possible that we have over 75,000 backers if I had new Paypal information. Which means we may have 15 Mega dungeon levels, and we already are going to have an amazing game + cats (I swear I will go stir crazy if Adam doesn't own up to the cats thing :p)."

 

Switching to Paypal means that more of your money will go towards Project Eternity. (The more you know.)

Paypal charges .30 cents per transaction and 2.2% for anything over 100,000 per month for U.S currency. Other currency is different, ranging from anywhere between 2.2-4.9%.

Kick Starter is a fixed 5% charge at the end.

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Seriously, it's going to be a 14 level dungeon! There have to be exits every now and then!

 

Just like every skyscrapper has a door every floor in case you want to go home early, or every cave in the world has a tunnel going back up to the surface.

 

I kid, I do agree with the going back through empty halls being poor game design, but it's just a cheap cop out if you click your fingers and appear at the entrance (unless you're a wizard.) Especially with something that has such a big buildup and is built by the love of Obsidian's fanbase.

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I'd prefer if the dungeon wasn't a thing you have to do in one continuous go. Realizing 10 lvls down that you're about to run out of arrows, food, etc. - and then having to trek up through empty hallway after empty hallway upwards will get boring pretty quick.

 

How about this - you find the dungeon, explore it in the early/mid-game and fight your way downwards 4 lvls or so - and then run into someone/something that made its own entrance. Let's say... the cultists of the imprisoned demon lord deeper down, who tunneled directly into level 5 to bypass all the traps and monsters you went through. You kill them, and from then on can use the tunnel to come in and out (with the entrance on the surface in a dark forest far from any settlements).

Going down further is blocked by a magical barrier that stopped the cultists and which you too can't get through until in the mid-game. At the point you find the power/item/ritual to open that, you can just take the tunnel and go in and start at exploring lvl 6. Then at lvl 10, you reach another thing to stop you (divine guardian/barrier/whatever) and maybe an ancient teleporter circle which can be repaired to link to ruins in a desert a fair bit off the normal roads.

 

That way, the mega dungeon can stay interesting during the whole playthrough of the game... sections for different level ranges with a limited number of entrances (none of which leads to a vendor's house or the same location).

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I have a feeling it will go something like this...... when trying to find our way out.

 

 

Obsidian ‏@Obsidian Current PayPal status: $140,000. 2,200 backers

 

"Hmm so last Paypal information was 140,000 putting us at 4,126,929. We did well over and beyond 4 million, and still have an old backer number from Paypal. 76,186 backers. It's very possible that we have over 75,000 backers if I had new Paypal information. Which means we may have 15 Mega dungeon levels, and we already are going to have an amazing game + cats (I swear I will go stir crazy if Adam doesn't own up to the cats thing :p)."

 

Switching to Paypal means that more of your money will go towards Project Eternity. (The more you know.)

Paypal charges .30 cents per transaction and 2.2% for anything over 100,000 per month for U.S currency. Other currency is different, ranging from anywhere between 2.2-4.9%.

Kick Starter is a fixed 5% charge at the end.

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I'm pretty sure you know what the obvious question this begs.

 

How is it bad design?

Really? :mellow: You're unable to grasp how making a game too easy and accessible is bad design?

Well, I'm able to grasp a good straw man when someone tries to burn one in my face. lol

 

Do we need to get out a dictionary and cite you the definition of OPTIONS? If a game gives you the option to make something easy (such as putting an exit on level 2 of a 14 level dungeon so you can leave if you want), and you decide to not use that option. Has your game become easier? Conversely, if you decide to use that option, is it the game's fault? Or is it your own damn fault?

 

Hell, lets take your philosophy to the next level. Most RPGs let you save your game. Is that bad design too? After all, It makes things easy. if you die, you can simply reload from where you last saved and continue on, instead of having to start the whole game over. perhaps they should scrap that option, so that people like you can have your "HARD" in all it's true glory. Right?

Edited by Stun
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I'm okay with manually walking back up through each level to get to the surface.

 

I probably won't complain if there's shortcut exits, or a portal that takes you back to level 1 once you've killed the megaboss.

 

I was hoping for more a cross between Durlag's Tower and Dragon's Eye.

Edited by Sensuki
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What you do, is make it convoluted as heck. Instead of having 1 nice convenient exit per 4 levels that's right in the middle of town, you have a dozen exits that lead to various areas that interconnect with various other areas in weird ways. Sure, as soon as you pop out you can fast travel to a shop and sell off your loot. Then you go back, and discover that getting back IN that way winds up leading you into a part of the dungeon you haven't explored yet and you're not sure how it connects with what you've seen so far . . .

Aye, I have thought of this also. But this can only be implemented if the theme of the dungeon corresponds with this well. I mean, if the dungeon is crawling with undead and/or demons, wouldn't it mean that they, too, are very easily able to leave the dungeon that way? That would result in the massive dungeon to be more versatile and more integrated in the entire world of Project: Eternity.

 

Also, this solution could solve the problem of returning to the surface for the top several floors. I can imagine many levels being connected by tunnels, but when you go past level 10 or so, it wouldn't make much sense that there still are more tunnels going to the surface since you are so deep. What's possible is that levels, for instance lvl 12 and lvl 8, are connected to other levels by means of tunnels, elevators and stairs.

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Well, I don't find your arguments convincing either, Piccolo. But at least I don't tell you that you are wrong or that games do it "wrong".

 

I simply think you prefer a different approach to games and that is quite well. What bugs me is that you seem to think it is the only "right" approach. Because it isn't. Its subjective.

It's perfectly natural for me to think that my approach is best. Why would I even start this thread otherwise?

 

I strongly believe that allowing the player to walk in and out of a mega dungeon at their own leisure trivializes the experience and panders to people who either want to sell all the loot they find in a typically grindy fashion, or people who don't appreciate huge dungeons to begin with. With that in mind I fail to see why I should humour people who favour exits by pretending to like their opinions. At the very most, I respect that they have a different opinion to my own, but i'm not going to pat them on the back and say they're right.

Edited by Piccolo
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Well, I don't find your arguments convincing either, Piccolo. But at least I don't tell you that you are wrong or that games do it "wrong".

 

I simply think you prefer a different approach to games and that is quite well. What bugs me is that you seem to think it is the only "right" approach. Because it isn't. Its subjective.

It's perfectly natural for me to think that my approach is best. Why would I even start this thread otherwise?

 

I strongly believe that allowing the player to walk in and out of a mega dungeon trivializes the experience and panders to people who either want to sell all the loot they find in a typically grindy fashion, or people who don't appreciate huge dungeons to begin with. With that in mind I fail to see why I should humour people who favour exits by pretending to like their opinions. At the very most, I respect that they have a different opinion to my own, but i'm not going to pat them on the back and say they're right.

 

I have to ask why it would matter if there was an exit or not, given the fact that you can choose not to use the exit and play the game your way. Keeping in mind that the Mega dungeon is a bonus for everyone for backing the project, it's not something that should be catered to just a few people. (I personally prefer the hardcore dungeon trots of wizardry myself) But, I also understand that others would prefer something different and have no issues with just not using any exits that may or may not be in the dungeon.

Edited by Loranc
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Obsidian ‏@Obsidian Current PayPal status: $140,000. 2,200 backers

 

"Hmm so last Paypal information was 140,000 putting us at 4,126,929. We did well over and beyond 4 million, and still have an old backer number from Paypal. 76,186 backers. It's very possible that we have over 75,000 backers if I had new Paypal information. Which means we may have 15 Mega dungeon levels, and we already are going to have an amazing game + cats (I swear I will go stir crazy if Adam doesn't own up to the cats thing :p)."

 

Switching to Paypal means that more of your money will go towards Project Eternity. (The more you know.)

Paypal charges .30 cents per transaction and 2.2% for anything over 100,000 per month for U.S currency. Other currency is different, ranging from anywhere between 2.2-4.9%.

Kick Starter is a fixed 5% charge at the end.

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Piccolo needs to go and march around his little gaming POW camp barking orders at the rest of us.

 

Dude prove how hardcore you are and don't use the exits. We will all swoon.

 

In other news, in old-skool dungeons it was a given that parties would rest and re-equip at certain points. Exits, teleporters, secret ways out and all that other stuff were all a standard part of the deal.

 

Plus as a dungeon fan I want this to be as accessible as possible to dungeon sceptics and see if we can win over a few converts.

sonsofgygax.JPG

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