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


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I personally wouldn't mind three extra (difficult to open up) exits(they would also be entrances, but I'm going to refer to them as exits). One on the fourth floor, one on the ninth and one on the fourteenth. The only reason for them is more due to it sounding quite unlikely that one wizard, however powerful he may have been, built the entire dungeon himself. So these three would be emergency exits that were once used used by the workers to remove rubble, bring in needed supplies, etc.

 

Upon completion of each exit floor said wizard designed a guardian type encounter to guard the exit and the player would have to defeat the guardian in order to obtain a key that would unlock the exit for that specific level.

 

There could also be a part of one of the hard modes that switches out a functional key dropped by the guardian to one that isn't usable.

For example:

Regular Key: Iron Key "This key was probably once used to unlock the exit on this floor. Thankfully it's protective magics seem to be still working."

Hard Mode Key: Rusty Key "This key was probably once used to unlock the exit on this floor, but it's protective magics have worn off and it is now useless."

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How about more easier solution ?

 

what if i say there is a medallion with 14 empty jewelry slots which you can place and use these things to teleport any unlocked levels of The Mega Dungeon from anywhere. If you dont like it then you can always have your ''dungeon crawl'' :no:

Edited by morrow1nd

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I asked Feargus about this during the KS:

 

Q: About the mega-dungeon, it will have a direct access to surface every X levels like Watcher's Keep in BG2?

 

A: We want people to be able to have fun in the dungeon and also get out when they need to - so there will be ways that make sense to get back up to the surface and then back down again quickly.

 

Thank god

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I don't know where I am on the shortcuts or not approach.

 

But people on the side of shortcuts to the surface?

 

I'm sorry, but "You don't want shortcuts? Don't use them!" is bull****.

 

If a dungeon has exits at every level, they are not going to design it like an endurance run. That easy exit doesn't just affect whether or not there is an exit, it affects whether or not the designers KNOW the player has an easy exit. Obsidian is going to design and balance the dungeon entirely differently depending on how many exits there are, and

 

Now, I think my preference is closer to "easy exit so you don't have to trudge through empty dungeon, but you have to start over and fight through again if you come back". It wouldn't be a wash, you'd have however many levels' worth of treasure in your pockets, but next time through you gotta try harder and prepare better. I'm not sure how mega a dungeon can be if it's not really distinct, in *any way*, from entering in the front door of 14 1-level dungeons, and I'm afraid super easy access out and a teleport back to the level you were on previously would create that effect.

 

The "argument" goes both ways, in that if you don't want to play through an endurance dungeon....don't go into the endurance dungeon.

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Entering and Exiting the dungeon is a non issue if the dungeon lacks any kind of respawning or randomized encounter mechanic. If a level stays empty once the players have moved through it then it poses zero challenge or difficulty to have to reenter these levels.

 

So the real issue is not how many exits the dungeon has. But what kind of progression is required to move through the dungeon levels and how quickly the difficulty increases as the player goes through the dungeon.

 

Personally I would prefer to see each level fleshed out with it's own unique puzzles and encounters with barriers for entry to the next level. And each level should ramp up considerably in difficulty. So ideally the first few levels are appropriate for when the average player is introduced to the dungeon and the last few levels contain some of the most challenging content in the game.

 

With a dungeon like that, entering and exiting the dungeon after almost every level would be very natural.

 

Another option would be to save the dungeon for the end of the game as a sort of extra area. Then you could try and make the dungeon a sort of marathon exercise where all the content is around max level and it tasks the player with seeing how far down a player could make it before having to turn around. This doesn't seem overly exciting and would require the dungeon to re-populate after each trip. This would also be the only real reason to limit entrance options.

 

Anyways point is that the dungeon design dictates the appropriate access options.

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The Endless Paths, as the old Glanfathans call them, cannot be walked by the living, but the storytellers say with certainty that many strong souls have found a permanent home beneath the grieving creator's estate.

The Endless Paths should be feared. The Endless Paths are named "Endless" for a reason. Easy exit on every level just breaks the whole thing.

Not following. "Endless paths" simply suggests that it's a path that goes on forever. Putting exits in it every few levels does not suddenly make it not-endless.

 

If it was meant to trap the player for 14 levels without respite they'd have called it "the unescapable endless prison"

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I've seen a lot of people in dungeon-related threads asking for exits to the surface at every other level. Personally, I think this is a bad idea.

 

The idea of being able to return to the surface whenever you want willy-nilly to sell loot and pick flowers, before returning later on is ridiculous. It completely undermines the idea of being lost in the depths of an ominous, epic dungeon. Look at The Lord of the Rings for example. I'm pretty sure the fellowship didn't return to the surface from Moria every half hour to sell loot.

P:E is supposed to be a revival of the IE games. Both Durlag's Tower and Watcher's Keep could be exited at almost any time. Watcher's Keep even had an exit from each level, usually at the "end" of such level, while Durlag's could be retraced back to the entrance in all levels except for the last one before the Demonknight (and still you could get teleported outside by Islanne's ghost after advancing the level some).

 

Besides, I actually like the idea of being forced to make choices with regards to which loot I take and which loot I leave behind, rather than being able to clean the whole place out completely. It makes things a lot more interesting and also adds some replay value to the dungeon in another playthrough.

I like a full inventory as much as anyone, but an RPG should not be a quest for inventory management. Basing the dungeon's nature on being unable to grab most of the loot by forcing you into a single go (please keep in mind it's 14 levels!) doesn't seem like a reasonable idea.

 

I don't mind not having an exit in every level, or two, or three. But yes, I do wish for an exit of some kind every several levels; if they're hard to get to, so much the better, they'll feel "earned" rather than just "given". Also, being able to retrace steps if there isn't an exit in the vicinity should be possible too, even if the way back to the entrance is long and tedious, the option is there.

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P:E is supposed to be a revival of the IE games. Both Durlag's Tower and Watcher's Keep could be exited at almost any time. Watcher's Keep even had an exit from each level, usually at the "end" of such level, while Durlag's could be retraced back to the entrance in all levels except for the last one before the Demonknight (and still you could get teleported outside by Islanne's ghost after advancing the level some).

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.

 

I don't mind not having an exit in every level, or two, or three. But yes, I do wish for an exit of some kind every several levels; if they're hard to get to, so much the better, they'll feel "earned" rather than just "given". Also, being able to retrace steps if there isn't an exit in the vicinity should be possible too, even if the way back to the entrance is long and tedious, the option is there.

As others have suggested, an exit every five levels that has a catch (like being dangerous or hard to access) is perhaps a good compromise.

 

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.

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Might as well just have lots of small dungeons if you're going to have loads of exits...

 

its supposed to be an Optional massive challenge

 

This is a good point, but what they could do to make the levels and the interconnecting structure unique is give each level (or each set of 3 levels) a distinctive "look" and "feel" that makes it visually and thematically part of the same whole. Thus you can kill two birds with one stone--have a complex, convoluted dungeon with multiple entry/exit points, but still have it feel like a unified multi-level dungeon.

 

This is what mega-dungeons like Eye of the Beholder and Diablo did, after all, and it worked well.

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If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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If they go with exits every 5 levels, then they should be exits only and not entrances, only exits. also I feel that if u retrace ur steps out of the dungeon, things would stay dead UNTIL u exited the dungeon, then the magic and souls of the place would reinhabit and recreat all the enemy npcs we defeated so when we come back in on the 1st floor and work our way down, the enemys have reappeared because we exited.

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A "earned" exit every few levels would be good or every level if the difficulty is up to par. I can only imagine the difficulty of playing no reload random generated partys on insane/ascension mod from bg2 coming to life in a dungeon without exits. Loved that difficulty but it's nice to be able to take it at your own pace. Also, on a side note, if we're gonna talk realism for a moment, then how bout we put a timer on how long you have to defeat the actual game? Pretty sure in every rpg I've ever played, I can take as long as I want to defeat the bad guy who's supposedly trying his damndest to take over the world.

Edited by Utukka
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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.

They made an invention for this... "elevator"... google it. You'll be shocked of it's widespread.

But I suppose the OP doesn't want that, and use the old system of parachute jump of a structure. Not that I recall that ever being a system.

I agree with the OP completely and don't want a quick easy escape. While not a mega dungeon, I entered the Circle Tower in Origins ill prepared without knowing the door would shut behind me. The feeling of being trapped inside a Tower with abominations and demons was so immersiv. Having fought my way through so many tough battles with limited resources and coming out victorious in the end was unforgettable.

Now imagine it lasting 7(!!!) times as long. Would you still had fun?

Also considering it's a single romp, barely any enemy variation since you obviously can't level too much (not that that's too different from DA "everyone's darkspawn", but just imagine it *could* be even less varied).

Yeah, sounds like a blast... [/sarcasm]

 

Anyway, I agree with OE that varied level requirements and thus periodical withdrawal suit the game from which the dungeon is (so not the exterior beyond just the dungeon which is the game) the best, so can't really disagree with their statement and observation, matching my own.

^

 

 

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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Well, I would prefer a Diablo-like approach. Not an exit on every level, but some old and forgotten secret passages, teleporters etc. every 3-5 levels or so. They should take some mini-quest to find or activate, though.

 

If you want to play it your way you can still choose not to use them - and leave as much loot behind as you wish ;) But seriously, the "only-my-way-is-the-true-and-hardcore-way"-approach? I don't think you'll get it. There are a lot of players out there who supported PE and want to play the eternal dungeon. You should not judge them if they don't like your personal dream of a 14-level-in-a-row-dungeon.

 

edit: And I totally support Potemkins idea of the dungeon getting harder. Maybe it should even have Minibosses, after which you need to play the rest of the game for a while because the enemies become far too difficult after them.

 

Even Watcher's Keep (Arguably the best Dungeon ever created in a cRPG) Had a way to the surface every few levels because the dungeon was THAT HARDCORE. I'm a fan of seriously difficult games but 15 levels of pain and death with no Merchants to sell to and no real respites sounds like torture. Not the good kind of torture either. I wouldn't mind the number of exits spread through out the Endless Paths as long as it isn't a straight shot. Imagine if Watcher's keep had been like that? You get to the bottom and say "Yes i did it! Now i can leave right? I have no more potions or cure spells so the developers have to let me leave right?!!". And then you see mother****in DEMOGORGON sitting on a lawn chair drinking lemonade. I would have never played Baldur's Gate again.

Edited by Theomen712
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Now imagine it lasting 7(!!!) times as long. Would you still had fun?

 

Who says it will last 7 times as long?

The number of levels tells us nothing about the size of each level, or the amount of time one would spend there.

 

And even if it will be 7 times as long, who says it can't still be designed in a fun and interesting way? That loot can't be balanced in such a way that you'll find enough arrows etc. along the way to not have to go back to town to restock? That the area design cannot be varied and the story well-written so that it feels like one long, awesome adventure?

 

I really don't understand why people are so strongly against longer parts of an RPG that are "linear" in that you have to fight through all of it in order to get to the end of it. It provides a completely different immersive experience than being 'stationed' in one town and coming back there after each single quests. A truly epic RPG should provide both types of experiences.

 

For example, consider BG2:

  • Athkatla and surrounding villages/wilderness (chapters 2 and 6) provided the type of RPG experience where you would take individual quests and come back to town to sell loot / restock / recuperate after each one.

  • After escaping from the Asylum, the long journey home in chapter 5 - Brynnlaw -> ship -> sunken city -> Underdark areas -> Underdark exit - was a part of the game that had to be completed in that order before being able to go back to Amn. And it took many, many hours of player time to complete that journey (especially if you made good-aligned choices in the Underdark and were thorough). And it did not become boring at all, it was really cool. The ability to teleport in and out between Amn and various waypoints in the Underdark would have totally ruined it.

What makes you think that PE's Mega Dungeon (and the side-story associated with it) can not be designed in an equally fun and interesting way, that will make you enjoy spending many consecutive hours of gaming time to complete it from start to finish?

Edited by anek
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The Endless Paths, as the old Glanfathans call them, cannot be walked by the living, but the storytellers say with certainty that many strong souls have found a permanent home beneath the grieving creator's estate.

The Endless Paths should be feared. The Endless Paths are named "Endless" for a reason. Easy exit on every level just breaks the whole thing.

Not following. "Endless paths" simply suggests that it's a path that goes on forever. Putting exits in it every few levels does not suddenly make it not-endless.

 

If it was meant to trap the player for 14 levels without respite they'd have called it "the unescapable endless prison"

Exactly. But 12th level is technically a 3rd level if there is an exit on level 10. Not "endless" at all to my taste. If it is an easy exit then any adventurer could use it to go out. Yet adventurers were lost.

 

I'm not talking about trapping. The entrance is open.

Edited by Olauron Mor-Galad
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You are just being against more options.
There's never a time when More Options are a bad thing.
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.

 

And I have to ask, why do you play games at all when you could get rid of all constraints by playing out your own adventure in your head, where all and any options will be available whenever you want? Is it just for the pretty pictures?

 

It is the very purpose of games (and especially RPGs) to provide artificially designed scenarios with constrained options, within which the player will have to make smart choices and find solutions.

 

When playing an RPG, I want to be able to immerse myself into the game world and really play as the protagonist, making intelligent and realistic choices using all the options available from the protagonist's point of view. If I can do this and get an experience that is interesting, varied, at times thought-provoking, and most of all challenging, then it is a great RPG.

 

I do *not* want to be forced into meta-gaming and constantly having to think "Hm, so, what additional rules do I have to set for myself now in order to construct myself a game-within-the-game that will actually be challenging and fun?" That would totally ruin the immersion. It is the job of the game designers, not the player, to set the rules and constraints in such a way.

 

So no, saying "It's optional!" does not justify bad game design.

Edited by anek
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I think it should be 100% like in Diablo 1.

 

There is a town nearby where you can sell loot and get quests related to the dungeon (since the occupants of the dungeon have troubled the villagers for some time). And as you progress in the dungeon you uncover new exits to the surface. I'm thinking one new exit every fourth level (just like in Diablo 1).

The dungeon should become immensely more difficult the further down you travel and there should be several bosses on the way.

 

I am with Potemkin, it is the best way to do it without making it too easy or too tedious, no town portal scrolls though.

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The Endless Paths should be feared. The Endless Paths are named "Endless" for a reason. Easy exit on every level just breaks the whole thing.

There is also word Paths lol, "word for a reason" goes to "exit are paths". Endless Exits - seems legit :)

I'm posting as an old daggerfall player....and whilst I'm not asking for ridiculous labyrinths like that game had, one thing it did have that more recent games don't was the feeling that you are miles away from any help...giving real tension and fear (not helped by how buggy it was, lol)

Dagerfall had teleports, if you did go to that crazy randomness without teleport you was not smart :)

The "argument" goes both ways, in that if you don't want to play through an endurance dungeon....don't go into the endurance dungeon.

No it does not go both ways, because you way is gonna rob second side of 30% game contend, and opposite way does not rob you of game content but only of some mental points.

For example, consider BG2:

  • Athkatla and surrounding villages/wilderness (chapters 2 and 6) provided the type of RPG experience where you would take individual quests and come back to town to sell loot / restock / recuperate after each one.

  • After escaping from the Asylum, the long journey home in chapter 5 - Brynnlaw -> ship -> sunken city -> Underdark areas -> Underdark exit - was a part of the game that had to be completed in that order before being able to go back to Amn. And it took many, many hours of player time to complete that journey (especially if you made good-aligned choices in the Underdark and were thorough). And it did not become boring at all, it was really cool. The ability to teleport in and out between Amn and various waypoints in the Underdark would have totally ruined it.

What makes you think that PE's Mega Dungeon (and the side-story associated with it) can not be designed in an equally fun and interesting way, that will make you enjoy spending many consecutive hours of gaming time to complete it from start to finish?

So you simply say we need to put two cities\towns in the dungeon to have it second way? Cant complain about that, but what about "exits ruin atmosphere" opposition?

O please do learn to try use correct examples :3

Edited by void_dp
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Lock players inside it and create an earthquake which seals entrance when they finish it so players would tear their hair off choosing what exactly they want to carry out of the dungeon.

And instead of gold, place inside treasure like chalices and relics which have weight.

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  • After escaping from the Asylum, the long journey home in chapter 5 - Brynnlaw -> ship -> sunken city -> Underdark areas -> Underdark exit - was a part of the game that had to be completed in that order before being able to go back to Amn. And it took many, many hours of player time to complete that journey (especially if you made good-aligned choices in the Underdark and were thorough). And it did not become boring at all, it was really cool. The ability to teleport in and out between Amn and various waypoints in the Underdark would have totally ruined it.

What makes you think that PE's Mega Dungeon (and the side-story associated with it) can not be designed in an equally fun and interesting way, that will make you enjoy spending many consecutive hours of gaming time to complete it from start to finish?

 

I find this is not a good comparison, although your point is a good one.

In the underdark, you were basically chasing irenicus, that was a very strong linear tie to the story of the game, you had some sense of urgency there but most importantly: you still had time to rest and sell stuff, you even had the drow city which was more of a sanctuary than the rest of the underdark (although nowhere near as safe as athkatla)

My point is, even though you were trapped, you had more or less the possibility to replenish your resources.

 

If this would be implemented in some way to the megadungeon, that may be OK. But still you would need points of escape, as there are surely people that do not want to play this dungeon the whole way through (or may not be able to, due to balancing). So you need to break it up.

 

So no, saying "It's optional!" does not justify bad game design.

 

Very true

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So you simply say we need to put two cities\towns in the dungeon to have it second way?

 

I said no such thing.

 

I gave BG2's underdark journey as a positive example for implementing a many, many hours long adventure in a hostile environment during which you won't be able to teleport to your 'home base' - to counter the apparently widespread attitude that long all-in-one-go adventures must necessarily be boring, overly difficult, or in some other way suck.

 

In no way did the invocation of that example imply that any particular design element of it would need to be copied 1:1 into the Mega Dungeon.

Of course it would be adapted to a 'castle ruins/dungeon' setting rather than an 'Underdark' setting. Of course it would not include an underground Drow city, but instead maybe a big underground crypt inhabited by undead (which can be just as interesting, and have just as many non-combat side-quests, as a Drow city).

 

The point is that long all-in-one-go adventures can be lots of fun and are nothing to be afraid of, as long as the game designers do their job well.

 

O please do learn to try use correct examples :3

 

Or maybe you need to learn what an example is.

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I gave BG2's underdark journey as a positive example for implementing a many, many hours long adventure in a hostile environment during which you won't be able to teleport to your 'home base' - to counter the apparently widespread attitude that long all-in-one-go adventures must necessarily be boring, overly difficult, or in some other way suck.

 

Except that even BG2's Underdark gave you the option to leave before you finished it. You were never "trapped" at all. Ever killed the Silver Dragon before doing chapter 5's main quest? She drops a wardstone that lets you open the door to the surface. So yeah, even if BG2's Underdark was just one big dungeon, instead of what it actually is: viable alternative to the entire surface world, it STILL wouldn't support your argument.

 

 

PS:

And I have to ask, why do you play games at all when you could get rid of all constraints by playing out your own adventure in your head, where all and any options will be available whenever you want?

LOL The Hyperbole on this thread is unmatched. A 15 level dungeon with multiple exits = All game constraints lifted. Derp.

 

Actually, no. I don't make it a habit to play excrutiatingly linear games. I like my player agency. What about you?

Edited by Stun
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