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crius

About the "dungeoniest dungeon that we have done"

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Hello everyone,
 
I'm writing a couple of thoughts after reading this article published on RPS a couple days ago.
 
To be more specific, these lines:
 

[...]
Sawyer: My direction for designing it has been that the ramp in difficulty goes up faster than you can level while in it. [laughs] So I kind of want the player to hit… You go through, you go down a couple levels, then you go to the next level and you’re like, “WHOA! Okay!” Either it forces them to get really serious about tactics, or they’re like, “You know what? I’m gonna go out to do some more quests, come back, and go deeper down.”
 
RPS: So it’s something you work through gradually.
Sawyer: Yeah. And we’ve come up with some ideas for mechanics that encourage continuing to return to the dungeon, so that it becomes kind of like a cyclical thing. You go down for a while, you back off, you deal with some things, and then you find a reason to go back down.
 
RPS: Is there a story surrounding the dungeon? Something huge and labyrinthine like the dungeon itself?
Sawyer: Yeah, yeah. You’ll start to learn [that there's a lot more to it than you first suspect]. Initially it just seems like a cursed, abandoned place. The Glanfathans warn people away from it. But they kind of say, “If you wanna go buck wild in here, it’s your funeral. Go down in there if you want.” As you go deeper you start learning more about what it was and what it is now and what’s going on in it. There’s a mystery. It’ll be a fun mystery to solve and get to the bottom of it.
 
RPS: And I’m guessing the rewards are pretty incredible? Like, some of the best in the game?
Sawyer: Yep.
Brennecke: Of course.
Sawyer: I mean, we want our dungeons to feel like dungeons, but this should be the dungeoniest dungeon that we have [laughs]. Lots of monsters, lots of loot, lots of cool exploration and stuff.


So... my doubts follows:

  • The Dungeon will be fully integrated in the main storyline? Or it will have an own story line wich lead you into and out of the dungeon?
  • For such a huge thing like the Dungeon, having to go in and out soon, pausing exploration to level up, won't it be a little distracting from the main quest-line? I mean, the main concerning should be the main quest-line to me. Having that and the Dungeon quest-line do not risk to confuse things and to-do lists?
  • Maybe it's just me, but I was sure the Dungeon was something extra that a player could play after the main campaign was over. Some sort of "Hey you, big bad adventurer, you're so famous now, why not try to solve this big bad problem out there?". And anyway keeping the in&out concept for the main quest-line of the Dungeon that surely helps convincing the player that the Dungeon is not just "a dungeon" but something integrated into the background of the World.
  • Having the Dungeon the best loot and the hardest fight can lead to some problem in my opinion. Knowing the Dungeon has the best loot will lead the player to just level up enough to go down again and loot shinies to easily overwhelm the enemies in the main quest-line.
    Last but not least if I just ignore the dungeon... how the main campaign will be balanced? I will have anyway a decent gear to finish the game?
    And again, if I just stop myself before the last boss to go into the dungeon? I'll steamroll everything till the last floors? And when i've completed even the dungeon, with an extremely easy feelings, i'll come back with a huge xp boost, an overflow of powerful items and just steamroll even the final encounter of the main compaign?

Honestly this kind of structure and integration of the Dungeon worry me a lot.

Sorry for any errors, english is not my first language and i'm just recovering for a laser eye surgery :p

Edited by crius

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From what I can gather, a small portion of the dungeon will be integrated into the main plot. After that, it will have its own, self-contained story. If you like it, if you like the dungeon, if you want to explore it, it's all yours. If you don't enjoy it, you're free to ignore every single part of it once you get through the small portion that is plot-relevant.

 

I really don't know what your concern is. It seems like a pretty easy thing to just ignore.


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The dungeon increases in level faster than the player clearing it, so that it's preferable to do it in small portions rather than all at once.

I'm not sure what you mean by "go leveling". If you go into the dungeon early, the fights will be hard and the loot awesome. If you go late the fights will be easy but you had probably already found better loot elsewhere. At least that's how I understood things from the various interviews.

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RPS: Would you say that it’s the dungeoniest dungeon you’ve ever designed, period?

Sawyer: Uh… Yeah. I’d say a close second would be Dragon’s Eye, which is pretty dungeony.

 

That kinda worries me. I hated the Dragon's Eye with a boundless, burning fury. Watcher's Keep = awesome, Dragon's Eye... not so much. Why isn't it more like the Watcher's Keep?


"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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I would disagree with the sentiment that the main quest should take absolute precedence.

A decent main quest is important, but imho equally important are unconnected things to do along the way. They breathe life into the world; it doesn't only revolve around the PC but could be imagined to exist outside of the game, the illusion that it's not only a vehicle for a specific game - basically, that there's a world that is worth saving.

A main quest that sets you on a continuous path from start to finish, without pauses to just explore and do unrelated stuff, should imho be avoided in an RPG like PE. Discovering what else the world has to offer (and using it to level up ;)), is a good incentive to play the game.

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Therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium. -W.B. Yeats

 

Χριστός ἀνέστη!

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The dungeon increases in level faster than the player clearing it, so that it's preferable to do it in small portions rather than all at once.

I'm not sure what you mean by "go leveling". If you go into the dungeon early, the fights will be hard and the loot awesome. If you go late the fights will be easy but you had probably already found better loot elsewhere. At least that's how I understood things from the various interviews.

Sort of, I think ... so it's 15 levels, right?

 

Let's for discussion then say Levels 1-3 are your "the main storyline sends you here levels", depending on your current level, you might do OK in it or find it a bit difficult (but manageable).

 

L4 will kick your butt (in a fun way) ... so you go out, finish up some other things, maybe level up once ot twice. Then come back, breeze through 1-3 (hopefully more monsters will be spawned, because traversing 3 levels of empty dungeon is no fun) ... L4 and 5 are hard, but do-able and give you "good loot" for your new level, you go to L6, find that it's kicking your butt again like L4 did a few levels ago ... BUT you're richer and have more healing spells, so you press on and finish L6 ... L7 nearly exhausts whatever you have left spell and potion wise ... so you GTFO and do something else.

 

Later on, you go back and do L7-9... get beat up bad in L10 and leave

You come back, do L10,11, get beat up in L12 and leave ...

You come back, get 12-14 done, and 15 is too hard.

You come back, finish 15 and the megadungeon story arc... (or, find out that obsidian was totally awesome and it goes deeper than they told us)

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I hope it's as challenging as the "plague of rats" quest in Drakensang... :)


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

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This is the most awesome news ever. Nay-sayers should go and romance their Dragon Age characters or something.

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I hope we don't have to trek the same floors we've already cleared. That would be painful, so theres an excellent chance it will happen.

Yeah, traversing 12 levels of dungeon again will suck -- but maybe they give us a "fast travel" option -- e.g. We've already cleared out everything up to and including L12, so we get a secondary set of map pins that take us to the 13th floor (or any other level we have cleared), unless we hit a random encounter along the way ... then we have to get to the exit on that level and can continue on.

 

So:

  • Open "Od Nua" map, choose to go to the 13th floor
  • Run into monsters on random part of L3, kill them, walk through rest of L3, killing more things
  • Exit L3 and get returned to map, choose L13 again ...
  • Run into monsters on random part of L9, kill them, walk through remainder of L9, killing more things
  • exit L9, get returned to map, choose L13 ...
  • Make it to L13, proceed to kill things
Edit for clarity -- The "random part" would be somewhere along the corridor that you actually have to travel to get to the next level -- so, for example if you're on a floor that works like L2 of the Nashkel Mines (where you go northeast from the bottom center of the map til the corridor dead-ends, then dead south) you won't be getting into a fight in the far northwest corner.

 

it should be a time-based thing though ... so you can "quickly" get out to L1 without a fight if you've only been adventuring down there for three days ... but if you let a month of gametime go by (fixing your stronghold, other adventures, whatever), then new inhabitants start taking up refuge in the ruins...

Edited by neo6874

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Yeah, traversing 12 levels of dungeon again will suck -- but maybe they give us a "fast travel" option -- e.g. We've already cleared out everything up to and including L12, so we get a secondary set of map pins that take us to the 13th floor (or any other level we have cleared), unless we hit a random encounter along the way ... then we have to get to the exit on that level and can continue on.

 

This thread has a link where Sawyer mentions "ways" to teleport out of the Deep Paths. Thank god for small miracles.


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You may be onto something, he specifically mentions respawning mooks. It would be hilarious, but not shocking, if they were one way portals.


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I think it was in the Gamebanshee interview, that Sawyer said, that the main quest line will "only make you dip a toe" into the megadungeon. Therefore I don't expect one will be forced to explore even the dragon's eye amount of levels to finish the game. I, personally, will leave no stone unturned int here, but to each their own.

Unfortunately, the link to their interview seems to be broken after their site upgrade, so I can not present my source.

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I would be astonished if you had to complete the dungeon. Everything the developers have said suggests that they will use it in some way on the critical path, but not *as* the critical path.

 

Which is fair enough.

 

Remember, many of us are ultra-hyped about it. I try to sympathise with dungeon-haters but cannot.

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Picturing a Litter being carried by soul-trapped animated vessels that will take you to the surface and back.... :skull:


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

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This is the most awesome news ever. Nay-sayers should go and romance their Dragon Age characters or something.

Was actually thinking of breaking out DA again.  Love the first game.

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That kinda worries me. I hated the Dragon's Eye with a boundless, burning fury.

Dragon's Eye: "Oh, I see you just killed a pack of 8 million Yuan-ti, I suppose you want to rest now.... "

Me: "Yes, that would be great thanks, I'll set myself up in this corner and just save befo-"

Dragon's Eye: "Oh no, I can't let you do that. You'll need to go back upstairs."

Me: ".....What?"

Dragon's Eye: "Yes, back up the stairs and half way through the previous floor."

Me: "But, I don't understand... This is a perfectly fine pla-"

Dragon's Eye: "Oh no, it's much too dangerous. You'll have to go back to those adventurers, they'll make sure you're safe."

Me: "Those adventurers that nearly got me killed earlier...?"

Dragon's Eye: "Yes, those adventurers."

Me: "I don't understand, I've been resting just fine the entire game, why can't I ju-"

Dragon's Eye: "NO! IT'S TOO DANGEROUS, I CAN'T LET YOU."

Me: "But, I've been protecting myself just fine. Look, I still have some summoning spells lef-"

Dragon's Eye: "NO, I CAN'T HEAR YOUR LOGIC. LA LA LA LA."

Me: "FOR CHRIST SAKE, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!"

Dragon's Eye: "You can shout all you like, you still have to go back upstairs."

Me: "Sigh.... Fine, I'll go back upstairs."

 

Twenty Minutes Later.

 

Dragon's Eye: "Oh wow, you don't have any arrows left... That's gotta suck."

Edited by Sylvanpyxie
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  • The Dungeon will be fully integrated in the main storyline? Or it will have an own story line wich lead you into and out of the dungeon?
  • For such a huge thing like the Dungeon, having to go in and out soon, pausing exploration to level up, won't it be a little distracting from the main quest-line? I mean, the main concerning should be the main quest-line to me. Having that and the Dungeon quest-line do not risk to confuse things and to-do lists?
  • Maybe it's just me, but I was sure the Dungeon was something extra that a player could play after the main campaign was over. Some sort of "Hey you, big bad adventurer, you're so famous now, why not try to solve this big bad problem out there?". And anyway keeping the in&out concept for the main quest-line of the Dungeon that surely helps convincing the player that the Dungeon is not just "a dungeon" but something integrated into the background of the World.
  • Having the Dungeon the best loot and the hardest fight can lead to some problem in my opinion. Knowing the Dungeon has the best loot will lead the player to just level up enough to go down again and loot shinies to easily overwhelm the enemies in the main quest-line.

    Last but not least if I just ignore the dungeon... how the main campaign will be balanced? I will have anyway a decent gear to finish the game?

    And again, if I just stop myself before the last boss to go into the dungeon? I'll steamroll everything till the last floors? And when i've completed even the dungeon, with an extremely easy feelings, i'll come back with a huge xp boost, an overflow of powerful items and just steamroll even the final encounter of the main compaign?

Honestly this kind of structure and integration of the Dungeon worry me a lot.

Sorry for any errors, english is not my first language and i'm just recovering for a laser eye surgery :p

 

 1. From what I've heard it will be part of the story line but optional. I wouldn't expect any major plot revelations to happen there. Maybe a surprise ,but nothing that you couldn't beat the game without.

 

2.It's basically a long side quest. You finish one part then come back later and do some more. It shouldn't break up the story more than doing other side quest would... I hope.

 

3. Like I said in number one it's optional so you could just do it at the end and fly through the entire dungeon instead of doing it in parts. Though I would suggest you do it right before you finish the game instead of after so you get the story info.

 

4. Yeah but you would have to grind and a faster way to level up would be to complete the story and side quest. I also have a feeling that the really good loot will be at the bottom levels. The loot at the top should be good for your current level but not game breaking.. I hope.

 

5. You should seeing as its optional. Also we don't know what the levels the creatures are at the last levels of the dungeon. They could be stronger than the final boss. Also yes if you wait that long to go into the dungeon you'll fly through a good portion of it. But seeing as how low ex you'll be getting for those levels you probably won't be op.. well not until you get to the harder stuff.

 

Sorry for that long winded post but I hoped that helped.

 

edit: seeing how a small part's not optional. Though it could just be clearing the first floor or just seeing where the dungeon is located. So until we know more my thoughts still stand as is.

Edited by Eyeshield1625

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Ok, seems like a lot of my concern/point of view has been misunderstood or i've not explained my point very well.

So...

 

From what I can gather, a small portion of the dungeon will be integrated into the main plot. After that, it will have its own, self-contained story. If you like it, if you like the dungeon, if you want to explore it, it's all yours. If you don't enjoy it, you're free to ignore every single part of it once you get through the small portion that is plot-relevant.

 

I really don't know what your concern is. It seems like a pretty easy thing to just ignore.

 

I don't want to ignore the Dungeon. I want to do it very badly. My concern is that such a huge content in the game, spread across different moment will result in two potential bad ways and one even worse:

  • The Dungeon will be far more rewarding of anything else. In terms of quest and in terms of loot.
  • The Campaign will be far more interesting and engaging so playing in the Dungeon will result in a pretty dull experience except for the loot.
  • Both will be engaging and you will be struggle between wich one progress. Pay attention, you don't need to skip anything. It's clear, but i'm thinking of the sense of immersion into the game. If you're constantly fought between Dungeon and Campaign you could end not enjoying none of them.

 

 

The dungeon increases in level faster than the player clearing it, so that it's preferable to do it in small portions rather than all at once.
I'm not sure what you mean by "go leveling". If you go into the dungeon early, the fights will be hard and the loot awesome. If you go late the fights will be easy but you had probably already found better loot elsewhere. At least that's how I understood things from the various interviews.


Sort of, I think ... so it's 15 levels, right?

Let's for discussion then say Levels 1-3 are your "the main storyline sends you here levels", depending on your current level, you might do OK in it or find it a bit difficult (but manageable).

L4 will kick your butt (in a fun way) ... so you go out, finish up some other things, maybe level up once ot twice. Then come back, breeze through 1-3 (hopefully more monsters will be spawned, because traversing 3 levels of empty dungeon is no fun) ... L4 and 5 are hard, but do-able and give you "good loot" for your new level, you go to L6, find that it's kicking your butt again like L4 did a few levels ago ... BUT you're richer and have more healing spells, so you press on and finish L6 ... L7 nearly exhausts whatever you have left spell and potion wise ... so you GTFO and do something else.

Later on, you go back and do L7-9... get beat up bad in L10 and leave
You come back, do L10,11, get beat up in L12 and leave ...
You come back, get 12-14 done, and 15 is too hard.
You come back, finish 15 and the megadungeon story arc... (or, find out that obsidian was totally awesome and it goes deeper than they told us)

 

 

And this is really really a terrible vision of how the Dungeon experience. Seriously. Remind me of the mmorpg farming. I don't want to have to "farm" something in a single player crpg. I expect it to be a goddamn cRPG with a good story focused on my main character/s.

 

I think it was in the Gamebanshee interview, that Sawyer said, that the main quest line will "only make you dip a toe" into the megadungeon. Therefore I don't expect one will be forced to explore even the dragon's eye amount of levels to finish the game. I, personally, will leave no stone unturned int here, but to each their own.

Unfortunately, the link to their interview seems to be broken after their site upgrade, so I can not present my source.

 

As said before, me too will likely explore any single room of the Dungeon. I love dungeons.

To be synthetic, what i don't love is "Hey you've to save the world but there is a goddamn fat loot there if you kill the rats" experience.

 

It's just break the immersion. This game is not a Diablo-like where you're fighting the source of all evil just as an excuse to collect loots.

This should be a game where you live a great story like Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment.

 

 

Remember, many of us are ultra-hyped about it. I try to sympathise with dungeon-haters but cannot.

 

As said up there, there's no need to sympathise with dungeon-haters when there is none ;)

 

 

 

[cut[]

 

 1. From what I've heard it will be part of the story line but optional. I wouldn't expect any major plot revelations to happen there. Maybe a surprise ,but nothing that you couldn't beat the game without.

 

2.It's basically a long side quest. You finish one part then come back later and do some more. It shouldn't break up the story more than doing other side quest would... I hope.

 

3. Like I said in number one it's optional so you could just do it at the end and fly through the entire dungeon instead of doing it in parts. Though I would suggest you do it right before you finish the game instead of after so you get the story info.

 

4. Yeah but you would have to grind and a faster way to level up would be to complete the story and side quest. I also have a feeling that the really good loot will be at the bottom levels. The loot at the top should be good for your current level but not game breaking.. I hope.

 

5. You should seeing as its optional. Also we don't know what the levels the creatures are at the last levels of the dungeon. They could be stronger than the final boss. Also yes if you wait that long to go into the dungeon you'll fly through a good portion of it. But seeing as how low ex you'll be getting for those levels you probably won't be op.. well not until you get to the harder stuff.

 

Sorry for that long winded post but I hoped that helped.

 

edit: seeing how a small part's not optional. Though it could just be clearing the first floor or just seeing where the dungeon is located. So until we know more my thoughts still stand as is.

 

 

I will not answer using point to point for the sake of legibility, try to follow my toughts :)

 

It's clear that the Dungeon isn't a mandatory content. It has been said in the Kickstarter if I can remeber well. It's a very long, and hopefully interesting, side quest. However side quest it's named "side" because should not distracts from the main quest. The Dungeon is very huge indeed and it's quest (or i've to said quests i suppose) could be very long, complicated and distracting.

The point about loot and options its just a matter of personal choice I suppose.

 

Personally i'd like to enjoy all the content. Dungeon included. And like me I suppose the most of the players. I'm really hungry for a new Baldur's Gate - like game for a long time. For this very reason i'd prefer to have time to focus only on such a big content when i'm not busy saving the world / saving the princess / saving the souls of the Other World / whatever.

 

But hey, i could accept that they could design the dungeon to be played even in the middle of the main campaign. For example, at a certain moment you've to wait for some event to occurs, so you can just skip to that event / new chapter or use the break to go into the Big Bad Dungeon everyone is mentioning in town.

 

But God, to me, not a fragmented experience like that.

That was the worst idea ever, imho. Going down to floor 1-3. Then stop. Exit and progress main quest/side quest. Then come back to do other 2-3 floors. 

And what if i miss the window of experience when i've to play the 4-6 floor? I can go there later of course, but i'll probably being too strong for the fights down there and i will not enjoy the experience in the end.

 

Honestly i don't know how this idea comes up. It's just opened to many variable. Too many. That's why i was expecting the Dungeon to be a content to be challanged at a precise time, maybe after the main quest has been done. Because you (developers) will be sure that the players are all at the same levels and the challange will be interesting and rewarding for everyone at the same level.

 

 

I hope i've explained myself better this time.

Thanks for your answer, btw :)

 

Have a nice weekend!

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I think I'll do the dungeon near the end of the game. Do the first couple of levels and then go back to the main campaign. Near the end of the game, go back and finish the dungeon and I'll be at a level where I'll get through most of it relatively easy until near the end of the dungeon.

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The whole point of the dungeon should be that you enjoy it at your leisure. As Josh says, maybe you want to do a level or two, or complete the area with the critical path or gear-up for an epic delve. It's something you should be able to come back to now and then. A proper dungeon, in other words, from days of yore.

 

 

 

My direction for designing it has been that the ramp in difficulty goes up faster than you can level while in it. [laughs] So I kind of want the player to hit… You go through, you go down a couple levels, then you go to the next level and you’re like, “WHOA! Okay!” Either it forces them to get really serious about tactics, or they’re like, “You know what? I’m gonna go out to do some more quests, come back, and go deeper down.”

 

I'm often at variance with some of Sawyer's ideas, but for this alone he is back in my Hero List.

 

 


Brennecke: The direction is like, it’s a dungeon crawl. That’s what it is.

Sawyer: There can be quests in it, but they’re not like, “Let’s talk to a lot of people.” [laughter]

Adler: It’s more like, let’s murder them.

Sawyer: Let’s murder a bunch of people, maybe talk to a few people along the way.

 

You see? You can have the rest of the game for navel-gazing, emo NPCs and ****. This area was made for me!

Edited by Monte Carlo
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I think I'll do the dungeon near the end of the game. Do the first couple of levels and then go back to the main campaign. Near the end of the game, go back and finish the dungeon and I'll be at a level where I'll get through most of it relatively easy until near the end of the dungeon.

 

If the first levels are balanced for the very early game and the difficulty curve is linear you will end with a dungeon very easy for the ~60% of the floors. Easy for another 20% and balanced for the last 20%. That's not my idea of "good".

 

The whole point of the dungeon should be that you enjoy it at your leisure. As Josh says, maybe you want to do a level or two, or complete the area with the critical path or gear-up for an epic delve. It's something you should be able to come back to now and then. A proper dungeon, in other words, from days of yore.

[CUT]

 

Mhm, how a dungeon designed around a precise challange level (not dynamic, static) could offer you a fun and balancing challange whenever you enter it? It can't. You've to go in the dungeon when you've the right levels. This is what seems very wrong to me.

I'm forced to go in the dungeon whenever i've the right level if I want to enjoy it.

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