SKAAVVEEK

Adventurer
Royal Guardian
Characters
See Signature
Platform
PC
Last edited
The developers have expressed their intention of improving upon the current iteration of the dungeon system, so I figured the time was ripe to provide feedback for their consideration. In one of my older threads (World Design) I had a section dedicated to side and end game content. It focused on combat modes and included a brief summary of each. In this thread I plan to expand upon those concepts.

Structure
In the proposed system, each Realm {Ardent, Greenhaven, Stormhold, Traven, Pyrron etc.} would have their own assortment of scaled content known as Heroics. There are various types of heroics which we will delve into later. As mentioned in my previous thread, the heroics within each Realm would reward a specific type of currency. (I realize there are a lot of currencies already, and I do believe we need to remove some of the excess medallions or consolidate everything onto a currency menu, but that is besides the point.)

The goal of this structure is that each Realm has a wealth of scaled repeatable content that players of all levels can participate in, so long as they have progressed to that Realm in the main story. It is enough to keep players of all levels occupied for quite a length of time and is limited by their main quest progression so they cannot access everything right from the start.

Factions
Each Realm has a native faction (Mara, Brindles etc.) with a rewards vendor. That Realm's dungeon currency can be spent on these vendors for unique rewards.

Rewards & Loot
Loot is one of V&H's weakest links when it comes to content. There simply isn't anything exciting to pick up! Shiny purple drops can catch your eye, but in the end all they really are is a potential marginal upgrade from your current setup. Loot is where RNG should come into play. Players who participated in scaled content not only earn Realm currency to guarantee they will be rewarded something meaningful for their time and efforts, but each of these scaled areas also contains bosses who may drop premium loot.

This could be an entirely new crafting recipe which would guarantee a specific stat(s), or gear with a brand new epic stat. Perhaps fragments of armor or weaponry that must be collected and combined to create a gnogmentation pack. Trinkets with new abilities or weapons with an exclusive spell for your class! One of the features I have always wanted to see are spell modifications - essentially, different paths for a specific spell that players can select based on their build.

For example: Flaming Meteor could have the following spell modifications:
  • Scorching Meteor: Leaves a fiery section on the ground for 5 seconds after impact, burning enemies within its radius
  • Impact Meteor: Increased damage for every enemy hit upon impact
  • Cleansing Meteor: Has a chance to remove any buffs that the enemy has active upon impact
Now every fire wizard can select a specific direction for each of their spells. I speak a bit more about this topic in my Class System Suggestions thread, but the main point is that it would be a neat feature if enemy loot could contain these different spell modifications. This would not only make loot exciting, but add the RNG element that some players long for (so that we can remove it from crafting!).

Heroic Content
Each Realm would have one the following Heroics:
  • Dungeon
  • Labyrinth
  • Tower
  • Arena
  • Realm Boss
Each mode has a description as well as a party size. The party size will provide the recommended amount of players for the mode, according to enemy scaling. For example, in our current Heroic Halls of Salvation, the dungeon enemies are scaled to an initial party size of 5 and will increase +1 for each player in the group beyond 5. This means that if 10 players are in the group, the zone will scale according to 10 players, however, if 2 players are in the group, it will still remain at its initial 5. While it will be much more difficult for two players, it may still be possible depending on their build.

I've tried to make it so as the areas become more difficult, they begin to recommend and encourage players to party with other classes in order to progress - but the solo or duo players will still be able to participate in most content and earn rewards, even if they cannot progress as far as a larger group (without much more difficulty due to the scaling).

For example: The Heroic Tower bosses are scaled to 1 or more players until Level 3, where they become scaled to 3 or more players until Level 6, where they become scaled to 5 or more players until the final level 10. This means that 1 player can make it as far as level 3, or perhaps further while at the same time, a group of 5 will find the first boss scaled to 5 due to how scaling works. So both groups will be challenged!

Heroic Dungeons
Party Size:
1 or more (Difficulty I) - 3 or more (Difficulty II) - 5 or more (Difficulty III)
Description:Each Realm has 1 Dungeon. It may seem like a small number, but the dungeons should be designed to be fully customizable. Each Dungeon has various modifiers that players can select, to effectively customize their own dungeon instance. Modifiers includes enemy quantity, enemy difficulty, timers as well as zone-wide effects, speed toggles, ability / potion restrictions etc. The dungeon will automatically calculate a difficulty rating based off of their choices, and players earn more Realm currency the higher the rating is. Players can set up their own unique dungeon experiences for some truly exciting and innovative game-play. All types of players, including solo players, can set up their own instance and earn currency!
  • Difficulty I: The beginner difficulty. Bare-bones run with little to no modification. Ideal for newer characters or well built solo players. No timer, smaller groups and easier bosses. 3 stages total.
    • Bronze: 1x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
    • Silver: 1.15x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
    • Gold: 1.25x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
  • Difficulty II: The intermediate tier. Best compared to the current version of the Dungeon we have on live. Balanced health pools and damage capacity. Enemy groups of a maximum of 5 monsters as well as a timer. Occasional zone-wide effects such as lightning strikes. 5 stages total.
    • Bronze: 1.25x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
    • Silver: 1.4x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
    • Gold: 1.5x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
  • Difficulty III: The advanced tier. A true challenge meant for the elite players with the best gear they can possibly acquire. A greater number of challenging bosses as well as a maximum of 7 enemies per group. Constant zone-wide effects such as traps and poison smog. No resurrects! 7 stages total.
    • Bronze: 1.5x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
    • Silver: 1.75x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
    • Gold: 2.0x Realm Currency (where x is the base amount)
Heroic Labyrinth
Party Size:
1 or more (Green zone) - 3 or more (Orange zone) - 5 or more (Red zone)
Description: The Labyrinth is a deadly place for brave adventurers seeking fortune! Designed similar to the Tomb, the Labyrinth has NO map. Not only that, but the zone itself is randomly generated, and will reset and construct new hallways and chambers every few days. The goal of the Labyrinth is not to explore every nook and cranny - that would be impossible. It is to locate rare treasures, defeat deadly foes, and escape with your prizes. Here is the kicker - if you die in the Labyrinth, you will lose everything you have acquired in that session. This means that not only will players have to explore, but be able to find their way back. This is a tension filled area, full of chests, traps and potentially dangerous enemies right around the corner. Locate chests for rare items and vanquish monsters for Realm currency. The deeper players delve into the Labyrinth, the more difficult the zone becomes - from the Green zone, to the Orange zone, to finally, the Red zone. Each subsequently more challenging, however, the potential for rewards will scale proportionally. Will you risk it all for the best chance of rare loot?

Heroic Tower
Party Size:
1 or more (levels 1 through 3) - 3 or more (levels 3 - 6) - 5 or more (levels 6 - 10)
Description: A Survival Tower is a scaled dungeon available in each Realm. It is a series of Elder bosses, each within its own chamber. Players start at the first boss, and upon its defeat, they are teleported to the 2nd. (Twilight Vale Ladder!) This process continues until either all of the bosses have been defeated, or the players have been wiped out. Each subsequent boss is also more challenging than the previous. The further players make it up the Tower, the more Realm currency they will earn. There are a total of 10 bosses. Every week, the sequence of bosses will randomize. Meaning that the easiest boss may transition into the hardest! This adds variety and re-playability to each tower.

Heroic Arena
Party Size:
1 or more (Waves 1 through 5) - 3 or more (Waves 5 - 10) - 5 or more (Waves 10+)
Description: An Arena is a scaled zone available in each Realm that tasks players with surviving against an onslaught of enemies while defending their position. Monsters will spawn in waves, each more challenging than the previous. As the wave count increases, the types of enemies that spawn will begin to rank up. From grunts, to bounty boss levels of difficulty. Eventually zone-wide effects such as poison smog or lightning strikes will occur to truly challenge those that are still around. Players will earn more medallions the longer they survive.

Heroic Realm Boss
Party Size:
8 or more
Description: Every week one of the Realm's will activate a portal to its Realm Boss, which is a scaled zone. These bosses are incredibly difficult. They require server coordination to defeat. If the boss is defeated before it vanishes, the whole server will receive medallions for that boss's Realm. Those who partook in its defeat will earn extra.

Challenges
Challenges are optional objectives and tasks that players can try to complete. For example, a Survival Tower Challenge could be to finish the entire tower with 0 deaths. A Monster Arena challenge could be to hit wave 10 within 15 minutes. Those who are able to complete these challenges gain additional currency. Some challenges would rotate daily, while others would last several weeks.

Bonus Content
Additionally, here are some bonus modes that would likely be much more difficult to develop, but could be interesting.
  • Caravan
  • Invasion
  • Siege
  • Raids
Heroic Caravan
Party Size:
5 or more
Description: Caravans reside in scaled zones that are constricted, linear, long and packed with enemies. The goal of the players is to escort a Caravan from the beginning of the zone, to the end. A Caravan is a mobile NPC group that will slowly travel across the zone. The Caravan's themselves have a radius around them, which will protect players from the harmful effects of the zone so long as they remain inside its bounds. The goal of the players is to defeat the monsters who attempt to destroy the caravan. Traps can be scattered around. If triggered it will result in a debuff for those nearby, such as temporarily slowing their speed, or inflicting some poison damage. If players successfully escort the caravan, then new items will appear for them for that Realm's faction vendor for a limited time.

Heroic Invasion
Party Size:
5 or more
Description: Invasion is a scaled mode available in each Realm. This zone is an exact copy of the Realm's capital (Ardent as an example) except it is a blank slate, devoid of any NPCs and amenities. The goal of this mode is for players to defend a relic located at the heart of the Capital from waves of enemies that will spawn outside its borders. Enemies will travel via multiple lanes that will lead to this relic and attempt to destroy it. (Think of a MOBA). Players need to set up fortifications by crafting, gathering and collecting hidden items scattered throughout the zone and dumping them into pre-set project boards. Once the boards are filled, they will activate a fortification such as a trap or barricade to slow enemies down. Every few waves a boss will also appear, who is very challenging! The longer players are able to defend the relic, the more Realm currency they will earn.

Heroic Siege
Party Size:
5 or more
Description: Siege is a scaled mode available in each Realm. This is the opposite of Invasion, where players are tasked with attacking rather than defending an objective. The goal is for players to breach and capture the enemy's base. Players start outside of the borders, in ring 3. (Think Minas Tirith). They need to work their way into the inner rings by capturing certain points, king of the hill style. Players must defeat enemies while standing within a certain area as it slowly transitions from enemy territory, to ally territory. They do this for several points before moving in to the 2nd ring, where this process repeats against harder enemies. Once all of the points in the 2nd ring have been captured, players move on into the 3rd and final ring, where they slay the boss. The further players make it in the siege, the more Realm currency they will earn.

Heroic Raids
Party Size:
3 or more
Description: Raids are linear story-based zones that revolve around puzzle mechanics and teamwork. The zone design is orchestrated ahead of time to react to specific player triggers. They are essentially longer untimed versions of dungeons that focus primarily on interesting trap and puzzle mechanics while also including boss fights. For example, having 2 players pulling 2 different levers to open a chamber door while other players protect them from enemies. Or, groups have to split up and head in opposite directions, obtaining numbers for a code needed to open the door to the next chamber.
 

Dawnfire

Great Adventurer
Royal Guardian
Characters
Athon Stormborne
Platform
Android, PC
Amazing ideas (as always) :) Really like the fact how you connected it with your other suggestions. And it's so well formatted, my eyes are almost crying from the beauty. One thing that I really like is the Realm Boss, since it's something the whole server could/should focus on and everyone gets rewarded. I feel like this is something that would work really well with our community (but please Otters consider the rest of these suggestions too!)
 

Zeph

Adventurer
Characters
Zephyr Arya
Platform
PC
Really like your ideas, but please consider a few more for solo players, not because I'm anti-social but because of time difference on my preferred server :)
 

Aernak

Lumineer
Characters
Aernak, Karametra, Yondalla
Platform
iOS
Amazing ideas, as always, Skaaveek! I love all of them. I especially love the idea of the Heroic Labyrinth - that sounds so fun!!! I love the Tomb and would love more content like it, to explore. The idea of it regenerating every few days would keep it exciting.
 

SKAAVVEEK

Adventurer
Royal Guardian
Characters
See Signature
Platform
PC
Last edited
Amazing ideas (as always) :) Really like the fact how you connected it with your other suggestions. And it's so well formatted, my eyes are almost crying from the beauty. One thing that I really like is the Realm Boss, since it's something the whole server could/should focus on and everyone gets rewarded. I feel like this is something that would work really well with our community (but please Otters consider the rest of these suggestions too!)
Thank you! I'm very glad you noticed, I have actually been trying to connect the various ideas together yet still retain some of their identity as an individual suggestion. I am working on re-doing one of my older favorite suggestions and am excited to have it finished tonight I hope.

Really like your ideas, but please consider a few more for solo players, not because I'm anti-social but because of time difference on my preferred server :)
I absolutely agree! I've updated my main post to account for solo or duo players now by adding a recommended party-size section for each mode, as well as this information:

"Each mode has a description as well as a party size. The party size will provide the recommended amount of players for the mode, according to enemy scaling. For example, in our current Heroic Halls of Salvation, the dungeon enemies are scaled to an initial party size of 5 and will increase +1 for each player in the group beyond 5. This means that if 10 players are in the group, the zone will scale according to 10 players, however, if 2 players are in the group, it will still remain at its initial 5. While it will be much more difficult for two players, it may still be possible depending on their build.

I've tried to make it so as the areas become more difficult, they begin to recommend and encourage players to party with other classes in order to progress - but the solo or duo players will still be able to participate in most content and earn rewards, even if they cannot progress as far as a larger group (without much more difficulty due to the scaling). This is done by changing the scaling at specific intervals of the content.

For example: The Heroic Tower bosses are scaled to 1 or more players until Level 3, where they become scaled to 3 or more players until Level 6, where they become scaled to 5 or more players until the final level 10. This means that 1 player can make it as far as level 3, or perhaps further while at the same time, a group of 5 will find the first boss scaled to 5 due to how scaling works. So both groups will be challenged!"

Many of the modes now have stages or difficulties that can be completed by solo players, but as the stages progress it will be recommended for them to party up. I hope this is a fair balance to all types of players! Giving everyone a chance to play, while still keeping the integrity of the challenging content.

Amazing ideas, as always, Skaaveek! I love all of them. I especially love the idea of the Heroic Labyrinth - that sounds so fun!!! I love the Tomb and would love more content like it, to explore. The idea of it regenerating every few days would keep it exciting.
Yes! The Labyrinth is honestly my favorite and was heavily inspired by the maze-like Tombs. It would be a scary, challenging area where players could get lost and really need to chart out a path to find a way to safety in order to successfully keep the loot they acquired. Glad you liked it :D
 
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