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Atro22

Suggestion for implementing the Mega Dungeon.

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I'd like to suggest that the Devs strongly consider the PS2 game Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and it's optional Labyrinth of Amala as inspiration for how to best implement the huge mega dungeon.

 

For those that haven't played Nocturne here is a quick overview of how it worked.

 

- The Dungeon first unlocks as a direct result of in game progress however entering it is strictly optional.

- The first level of the dungeon is VERY hard for the level it unlocks but entirely do-able. Successfully completing it immediately grants very useful items for that point of the game. However if you wait until you're stronger to complete it the rewards will become progressively less useful.

- Subsequent levels are unlocked by defeating difficult but (usually) optional bosses that become available as you progress through the game.

- If you enter a dungeon level as soon as you're able too (by defeating the optional boss as soon as he is available to be fought) then completing said level will be difficult but do-able and you will be rewarded appropriately.

 

The benefits for this I believe is as follows:

 

1. Every level has the potential to be challenging and rewarding -- but not overpowering -- for the time in game it becomes available.

2. It gives players basic gameplay ques as to when a new level is worth attempting (alternative to increasing difficulty of a dungeon without any real indication when you might consider trying it for a challenge), the player can then decide if they want a challenge and go immediately and not accidentally out level the difficulty curve of that level.

3. The game developers have an idea when a player will attempt the level at the earliest and may be able to work story progress both in and out of the dungeon.

4. Starting the dungeon at max level and then getting more difficult may sound fun -- but is there really that level of scalability for high level encounters that allows for 14 levels of increasing difficulty from the max level?

5. It gives the player a sense of progress as they get deeper into the dungeon and will look forward to the next time a dungeon level unlocks.

6. It prevents the dungeon by feeling like a grind by giving the player incentive to only tackle 1 or 2 levels at a time.

 

Interested in hearing others opinion on the subject.

Edited by Atro22

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I would like the dungeon to have only the one entrance and one exit. When we are adventuring down into it, what we clear dosent respawn while we are in there. That means if we need to head out or being to much for us, we can just backtrack out.

 

But! I think there should be a little twist. I would like it that we can only enter the dungeon on a night on a certain day, meaning the castle we can enter at anytime but the caves below are locked and only open at a certain time. When we leave, the cave locks and the magic that protects or inhabits that dungeon, recreats the enemys we defeated and we would have to go thru the enemys minus the minibosses to get to where we went to. Maybe have the time we can enter the caves a certain night on a certain day of the month, like only when theres a full moon out or something.

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I'd like to suggest that the Devs strongly consider the PS2 game Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and it's optional Labyrinth of Amala as inspiration for how to best implement the huge mega dungeon.

 

For those that haven't played Nocturne here is a quick overview of how it worked.

 

- The Dungeon first unlocks as a direct result of in game progress however entering it is strictly optional.

- The first level of the dungeon is VERY hard for the level it unlocks but entirely do-able. Successfully completing it immediately grants very useful items for that point of the game. However if you wait until you're stronger to complete it the rewards will become progressively less useful.

- Subsequent levels are unlocked by defeating difficult but (usually) optional bosses that become available as you progress through the game.

- If you enter a dungeon level as soon as you're able too (by defeating the optional boss as soon as he is available to be fought) then completing said level will be difficult but do-able and you will be rewarded appropriately.

 

The benefits for this I believe is as follows:

 

1. Every level has the potential to be challenging and rewarding -- but not overpowering -- for the time in game it becomes available.

2. It gives players basic gameplay ques as to when a new level is worth attempting (alternative to increasing difficulty of a dungeon without any real indication when you might consider trying it for a challenge), the player can then decide if they want a challenge and go immediately and not accidentally out level the difficulty curve of that level.

3. The game developers have an idea when a player will attempt the level at the earliest and may be able to work story progress both in and out of the dungeon.

4. Starting the dungeon at max level and then getting more difficult may sound fun -- but is there really that level of scalability for high level encounters that allows for 14 levels of increasing difficulty from the max level?

5. It gives the player a sense of progress as they get deeper into the dungeon and will look forward to the next time a dungeon level unlocks.

6. It prevents the dungeon by feeling like a grind by giving the player incentive to only tackle 1 or 2 levels at a time.

 

Interested in hearing others opinion on the subject.

 

I like aspects of this, though I don't think it should be on a per level basis, but instead should maybe have 4 or so levels in each phase, with the first phase becoming accessible sometime in the middle of the game. Each phase should be hard for the targetted party level (ie, if mid game your characters are level 8-12, it should be designed to challange a level 12 party. The last phase should be one of the most challanging (if not the most) areas in the game, with an expectation that the player has eeked out every last experience point and piece of epic gear that is available outside of that phase. Every phase should be hard, and also very rewarding to complete. It should feel like an accomplishment to get through a few levels of the dungeon, from a gear standpoint, an XP standpoint, and from a player experience standpoint.

 

For example, lets say you are level 10, and your party battles its way through the first 4 levels and completes the first phase of the dungeon, having beaten the last boss and his minions, moving further into the dungeon you come across a cast cavern that opens up below you, with a great and epic looking chasm, but there is no way across because the ancient bridge has collapsed. You will need to find someone and or something to help you across. On the far side, peering from the shadows, a new and fearsome enemy pears at you, making you shiver in fear... and anticipation. Your party goes back to the surface to see if you can't locate a solution to the new impediment to your spelunking.

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Please don't turn this game in a Diablo clone. The mega dungeon is a huge storytelling opportunity, it shouldn't become just a place full of chests to open and bosses to kill for loot.

 

Powerplay and loot hunting is for other kinds of games, not project eternity.

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I'd like the meag-dungeon to have the option to assemble a sort of expedition to follow a couple floors behind you to go into it, and you would try to convince people from all over (some recommending/helping others, some less popular) and that they couldn't really trade for you, but maybe help heal/break up the hack and slash. But I also think most of members would demand a portion of the treasure and such. I think this would also play into the difficulty aspect - make it so each additional NPC of the expedition takes a share of the rewards, and that this increases by each member of the trek. Maybe there is an NPC who knows how to activated/create some manner of teleporter to take you back through the dungeon, but s/he is hard/expensive to recruit, or maybe only recruitable if you do something - and even then, it only works so many floors in, or perhaps they can only build or activate one of them on the way down, making you decide which floor to place it on. I think these NPCs should have very limited trading ability - mostly barter or something for a fixed stock of goods that is being depleted. Perhaps there are certain chests or holdings of goods only made apparent once you beat the final boss of the dungeon or something, and it is that reward which the expeditioneers take a part of. This means a greater chance for the best loot if you go through and clear it yourself, and then later hire NPCs to dig and secure it, but also much harder.

 

Basically, this means a temporary camp, with limited goods and possibly some mini-quests a couple floors above you at all times. Maybe randomly occuring waves of enemies appearing if you rest for too long, or something. The supply chain for this expedition would assumedly be carried down with the individuals. Clearly, I favor the idea of an extended journey into this dungeon - I'm a fan of dungeon crawls. In most of the pen and paper crawls I've been part of, if we get to a stopping point/end of session, the DM is reasonable and basically allows us to clear a room, set up watch, maybe barricade/bar a door, and get some uncomfortable rest.

Edited by UncleBourbon

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You forgot to mention that the third kalpa in the amala labyrinth had progression based on what stats you had, that's a good idea to implement. Also that chase sequence was brilliant, but I'm not sure how well one would work in IE engine.

Besides that however, I don't think the Amala network is a good source of inspiration. From what I've looked up, it was used as a way to explain plot elements that weren't fully explained (original Japanese version didn't have it), so the way it was paced was effectively designed around progressing the plot.

This Mega Dungeon shouldn't be an occasional thing you check up on your to do list as you go through the game. The main problem I had with Amala is that it ironically distracts from the main game big time. "Demons are going to wage war to decide the fate of the next world? better complete Louis' candle collection"

 

I really do like your concepts of progression and stuff, but that should be what the main game is for. Mega dungeon should be a place where you can test your duked out party and bring them at their wits, where instead of a sense of progression (besides reaching a new level, they have to make that feel satisfying) you get a sense of accomplishment. The best comparison I can make is basically any tri-ace game, you can get through the main game well enough by ignoring or lightly touching upon the mechanics they include (that's a bad thing, PE should always provide moments to use mechanics) but when you get into the post game suddenly everything you have ignored becomes ultra relevant, the system you've spent the game mastering suddenly gets put to the test.

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Basically a PE version of Watchers Keep or Durlags Tower. A traditional IE type dungeon just bigger. I don't feel the need to tell Obsidian how to design it, what to put in it or anything else.

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I'm a big fan of the "not respawning" as well. That's true of most of the game, not just the dungeon. I think there should be something to do with the castle on top, too...that as you conquer the dungeon, it gives you the ability to restore/use the castle. It would be interesting for the dungeon to be somehow useable/have an impact beyond its being completed.

Edited by phimseto

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I would like the dungeon to have only the one entrance and one exit. When we are adventuring down into it, what we clear dosent respawn while we are in there. That means if we need to head out or being to much for us, we can just backtrack out.

 

This "idea" is just a non-starter. People aren't going to want to spend a half hour of game time just trekking to the surface.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Choice and consequence then. If u chose to hoard everything, then the consequence would be the run back to the entrance.

I think respawning could work because they say strong souls have a permanent residence in that place. The souls could latch onto dead or skeletal remains of the workers or past explorers. We destroy the body they inhabit, but we dont destroy the soul. It dosent respawn while we are in there, but if we leave, the souls come outta hiding so to say and relatch or recreat bodys in which to house their souls into.

if they went with the backtracking towards entrance, they could work it a couple of ways. One would be that the focus of the megadungeon be more on story and curiosity and less on loot. Another would be to have the loot in chests or stockpiles that dont respawn so if u venture in again, u can just take the direct route towards the previous level u was at and not have to worry about exoring every bit again because the loot is gone and we could still just battle it up if we so chose. Maybe have less spawns if we cleared like if we did one level and it had 20 spawns scattered about on the level, then when we come back theres only 5 or 6 spawns scattered about.

Also if we clear a place, chances are it wont take no time at all to leave, maybe just a few minutes tranversing our way back out since most of our time will be progressing forward by figuring out where to go and enemys to face. If we need to go back, we already know the route back and if we cleared the enemys then no fighting on the way back. We leave, then a few enemys within reason respawn.

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Without level scaling every enemy boss should render items that are very useful for its own level so if a level 30 player beats a level 15 boss it gets nothing great but if a level 5 player beats a level 15 boss that same loot would be massively valuable stuff. So all Obsidian has to do is leave level scaling out of the picture. Simple really.

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