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captain1z
01-23-2008, 08:01 PM
So Im sitting here at work, trolling the forums and planning for our bi-weekly PNP game this saturday when an idea pops into my head.

I read a post about a group running a quest for the 100th time and Ive read post in the past about people who want randomized quests.

I then started to think about a game for palystation called Tobal no.1 and for gameboy and PC eye of the beholder...... this is what formed in my head.


The caves of Chaos (Explorer Zone)

- Much like Tobal no.1 & EOTB, the caves of chaos are all dungeon/cave instances. You start out at the cave level entrance and must find the entrance to level 2.

- The caves go 100 levels deep and contain content on each level as follows:

level 1 - 5 = 1st level content / level 31-35 = 7th / level 61-65 = 13th/ level 91-95 = 19th/
level 5-10 = 2nd / level 36-40 = 8th / level 66-70 = 14th / level 96-99 = 20th/
level 11-15 = 3rd / level 41-45 = 9th / level 71-75 = 15th /
level 16-20 = 4th / level 46-50 = 10th / level 76-80 = 16th/
level 21-25 = 5th / level 51-55 =11th / level 81-85 = 17th/
level 26-30 = 6th / level 56-60 = 12th / level 86-90 = 18th /
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Shrines are placed 1 every 20 level and 3 hidden rest shrine plus 2 hidden rez shrines
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Level 100 = is the entrance to a 20th level actual quest with a shrine out front (perhaps level 50 & 75 are also)
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The general set up of each level is pre-set BUT, traps, secret doors and monsters are some-what random.

Randomizer- as I said the level is pre-set but there are for example 10 traps and 3 secret doors. Once you enter the instance the traps and doors are individually switched on or off. Which means of the 10 traps only 4 may be active when you enter..... you never know.

Monsters are pulled from a list generated by a designer that is scaled approprietely for the level. Much like how the traps work and the way the giant caves(random fire giants/hill giants) or Invaders(end boss) or water works (key chest) works, sometimes you will get different monsters. You never know.

When you enter the level it good be Kobald, orcs, hobgoblins, zombies & necromancers or ogres. Fire level, ice level ... you never know.

Near each exit (assuming there could be a few) could possibly spawn a named mob, alone or with help who would drop a chest. Dragons and beholders as a random spawn as you get deeper down are not out of the question. If there are multiple exits there should be 1 thats alway "open" and the others can randomly be blocked by a secret door, locked door or trap.
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The randomized mobs,traps,doors and distance between shrines plus the increased difficulty the deeper you go could provide a decent challenge for most and at the very least something to do.


This could be done by using existing dungeons as models and layering them, with some alterations of course. Moving chests with keys and random mob spawn or trap placement is not something thats never been done in DDO before.... so it can be done




Anyways that was the idea. Could be that there are too many levels or not set up properly or any number of flaws in the idea but its just an initial thought. Maybe it will spark something in a designer and they could refine it as needed. Feel free to add or comment.


DEV/ design comments or thoughts would be most appreciated.

BlueLightBandit
01-24-2008, 10:38 AM
So you mean that in order to run the 20th level quest, I have to run through 100 areas? Not to mention the first 50 are the same level as Stormcleave, so I'd be earning absolutely nothing for it.

Thanks, but I'll pass.

Yes, I want new content. But I'd prefer it to be spread out amongst multiple quests.

Random traps will never hit the game with the current dev staff. Too many chances of something going randomly amiss (trap box not accessible, on wrong side of wall, behind a door that is only unlocked by disarming the trap that you can't get to because it's behind the locked door, etc)

Random mobs have also been equally dismissed. They do however have "marching" mobs that follow a certain path, either back and forth or around and around a certain area.

Even if you drop it down to five caves, 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20... then in order for my 12th level group to run the level appropriate cave, we have to run through two caves where we're ridiculously overpowered, one level appropriate cave and then a moderately tough cave. So out of four "quests" that we just ran, two of them were pretty much useless...

MysticTheurge
01-24-2008, 10:42 AM
I'll say it again.

"Random Quests/Dungeons" sound like they'll be interesting. And they are. The first 10 times you run them.

And then they're just as boring as, if not more so, the static quests we have now.

Don't believe me? Play CoX for a while.

Elliott777
01-24-2008, 07:20 PM
I have to say that there is a way for them to implement random mobs if they can make the Rare Encounters in the explorer areas only generate once every so often. Those are obviously the same mechanics that I am guessing could be used for random dungeons. As for going through the first couple caves say 1-4 or 5-7 etc. you could easily put in some rare encounters that have some unique drops. So what if you don't get XP. Haven't you ever ran Durks for a Muckbane at a high level for an up and coming character? Same idea but it gets some new low level content in there as well.

captain1z
01-24-2008, 07:47 PM
So you mean that in order to run the 20th level quest, I have to run through 100 areas? Not to mention the first 50 are the same level as Stormcleave, so I'd be earning absolutely nothing for it.

Thanks, but I'll pass.

Yes, I want new content. But I'd prefer it to be spread out amongst multiple quests.

Random traps will never hit the game with the current dev staff. Too many chances of something going randomly amiss (trap box not accessible, on wrong side of wall, behind a door that is only unlocked by disarming the trap that you can't get to because it's behind the locked door, etc)

Random mobs have also been equally dismissed. They do however have "marching" mobs that follow a certain path, either back and forth or around and around a certain area.

Even if you drop it down to five caves, 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20... then in order for my 12th level group to run the level appropriate cave, we have to run through two caves where we're ridiculously overpowered, one level appropriate cave and then a moderately tough cave. So out of four "quests" that we just ran, two of them were pretty much useless...



LOL ..................... the quest is not the point. The area is no different than any explorer type area. The purpose is to run thru kill creatures and time at the same time. It also has the advantage of not being 100% predictable. The quest is just a bonus for those who successfully make it to the bottom. Like all things in DDO some of it will appeal to the masses, the rest very much lik PVP, will only appeal to a few.

But thanks for the POV ........ in truth I did think about level 14 guys running thru level 1 zones after I posted this and was thinking that at certain points there could be a teleporter that could drop you close to one of levels close (maybe every 20 floors) to the lowest level you've completed.

Drider
01-24-2008, 11:42 PM
I'll say it again.

"Random Quests/Dungeons" sound like they'll be interesting. And they are. The first 10 times you run them.

And then they're just as boring as, if not more so, the static quests we have now.

Don't believe me? Play CoX for a while.

QFT

Handcrafted quests are the way to go.

Knightrose
01-25-2008, 04:52 AM
I know for some players it's a terribly romantic notient for them to 'experience' a fresh new dungeon the first time they run it.

Randomness in the same quest does not re-create this affect. Nor do I believe it to be an interesting idea.

Imagine going to Disney World every week. Except every time you go the whole damn place is re-arranged. All your favorite spots are still there, you just gotta find them again.

I'll pass on that.

There's useful knowledge gained by learning quests and repeating them. It's what gives you the advantage you sought when you first entered.

Vormaerin
01-25-2008, 05:44 AM
There is some point to the idea of randomization. It would be nice in some ways if traps or ambushes weren't always in the same locations. But that really only favors a certain subset of the player population. If actually dangerous traps/ambushes were randomly placed, it would **** off the loot running/zerging faction of players, which is a pretty substantial one.

Anyway, randomization such as we do have isn't really randomization. Its more of a chance to spawn/not spawn or a choice of locations. So even with a randomized quest, the players would still learn where the traps might be.

Besides, there is simply no way a randomized system could produce the coolness factor that is the hallmark of DDO's handcrafted dungeons. Things like the trapped ledges in The Bounty Hunter, for instance.

Elliott777
01-25-2008, 05:53 AM
Imagine going to Disney World every week. Except every time you go the whole damn place is re-arranged. All your favorite spots are still there, you just gotta find them again.

I'll pass on that.

There's useful knowledge gained by learning quests and repeating them. It's what gives you the advantage you sought when you first entered.

I know one thing for sure. I'd rather go to Disney World every week than the local carnival. Repetition gets on peoples nerves eventually which is probably why one of the main things people desire is more content. So why not have numerous potential outcomes in one quest?

Dexxaan
01-25-2008, 07:15 AM
I believe that the Caves of Chaos idea is awesome. It gives the entire Population something to do while we wait for content, instead of re-rolling old toons and rolling up new ons. (Major issue with old player base Turbine....hint hint)

Allow me to add some features that will be appealing (IMO) to Power Gamers/Zergers and the general Population as well (to avoid the Whining of course)


Upon reaching the Cave Portal you should be able to:

a) Start from level chosen by you to avoid running 80+ levels to finally get a challenge.
b) Have a Normal / Hard / Elite setting for that and subsequent caves you advance to.
c) Choose 2 / 1 or No Rest Shrines (I love mana-gement).
d) Set Mobs Quantity per Cave to: Normal quantity, 30% increase, 60% and 100%.

This allows you to combine Quest settings to customize your Dungeon. In effect a mini Dungeon Maker (Which better become available eventually don't you think?)

And to quote the OP:

"Monsters are pulled from a list generated by a designer that is scaled approprietely for the level. Much like how the traps work and the way the giant caves(random fire giants/hill giants) or Invaders(end boss) or water works (key chest) works, sometimes you will get different monsters. You never know.

When you enter the level it good be Kobald, orcs, hobgoblins, zombies & necromancers or ogres. Fire level, ice level ... you never know.

Near each exit (assuming there could be a few) could possibly spawn a named mob, alone or with help who would drop a chest. Dragons and beholders as a random spawn as you get deeper down are not out of the question. If there are multiple exits there should be 1 thats alway "open" and the others can randomly be blocked by a secret door, locked door or trap."

Before someone says I ended up with L14 Pirates in a friggin Dungeon 80 Levels below the earth and what in the world would Human Pirates be doing down there? Lets clarify one thing: As I understand and support this idea it's a generator in order to make your DDO experience variable, Soloable? and for any/all to enjoy, it does not have to make sense (otherwise we'd have to call it the Chambers of Order? :D

Happy Hunting!

MysticTheurge
01-25-2008, 08:24 AM
There is some point to the idea of randomization. It would be nice in some ways if traps or ambushes weren't always in the same locations.

And they're doing this.

A lot of traps lately have a chance to be there/not be there. This means for the first few times you run it, you don't know where they traps'll be.

I think they could also stand to randomize the types of traps sometimes. Like maybe sometimes it's a blade trap and sometimes it spits out acid. Other times it's an electricity trap and other times it's a jet of fire.

jjflanigan
01-25-2008, 08:41 AM
Before someone says I ended up with L14 Pirates in a friggin Dungeon 80 Levels below the earth and what in the world would Human Pirates be doing down there? Lets clarify one thing: As I understand and support this idea it's a generator in order to make your DDO experience variable, Soloable? and for any/all to enjoy, it does not have to make sense (otherwise we'd have to call it the Chambers of Order? :D

Happy Hunting!

Meh, I wouldn't question seeing pirates that far underground...I watched Goonies.

My main concern with this is that it would require a LARGE amount of development and design work and I don't know that it would get used enough to merit that effort. Unless each cave uses the same layout, that's a lot of "dungeons" to have to build.

Now that I think about it though, I think you are saying each "level" would be the same cave layout (like an explorer area). Various levels could have "rock walls" in place to block off certain pathways and force players down certain paths. This would allow them to be "random" but still designed (i.e. level one, put rock wall at X,Y). This would allow for a single dungeon to be re-used and slightly different each time (thus lowering the work). The mob spawn points, as devs have stated before, could not be random, so group X would always have to spawn at point Y (it's the only way they can make sure the AI functions properly and that they don't have clipping issues). But randomizing the type of mob that spawns there, etc, should allow for some customization.

A big problem though is that they can't completely "randomize" anything. Since everything has to be hand placed, the most they can do is have somethings not always appear, etc. But once you ran it several times, you would know all the possible iterations and, at that point, it just becomes like every other quest / run in the game. Also, it would be a lot of work for something that I could see people complaining about very quickly -- "This stinks, how lazy are you devs using the same dungeon for 15 caves??!111"

Raithe
01-25-2008, 08:42 AM
We pretty much already have this in the game. They are called outdoor adventure areas. They have random named encounter spawns, dungeons that are quests and dungeons that aren't, and random mob spawning. Most of the quests in the area also have traps that spawn randomly.

Wish granted.

oronisi
01-25-2008, 01:06 PM
Random would be nice but you have to randomize it MUCH more than you suggest to make it worthwhile. If there were 10 possible trap locations, the trapsmiths would simply remember those 10 locations and search at each. You need to crank it up to the level of not being able to memorize it all. 100 differing possible traps of varying types each with 3 or 4 possible trapbox locations would make it hard to memorize and impractical try so.

But that's only the start of it. Not all traps should require a rogue to disarm. We also need more kinds of traps. Trap doors, chests, hallways, shrines, heck even enemies. Make more enemies that blow up when killed or spawn a trap on their corpse when they die. Install more breakaway floors and create falling ceilings. And last but not least, delayed trap detonations. You open the chest, nothing goes boom so everyone goes to get their loot....then BOOM.

Now randomize enemies, put them on moving patrols, and give them the ability to traverse the whole quest are like players (ladders, water, open doors and gates if possible from that side).

Only then would the random/replayable quest start to be worth it. But it would REALLY REALLY help this game out.

Nefahrin
01-25-2008, 01:14 PM
Can it be called something else?
Caves of Chaos are from Keep on the boarderlands (B1/B2?)
One of my first and favorite adventures from first edition.

DasLurch
01-25-2008, 01:37 PM
The problems I see with randomized dungeons are as follows:

-After X amount of runs through a quest, it will revert to one you have played before. This is not a reson to stay away from creating random dungeons though :)
-There is only so maky ways that the AI can react to a given situation. The only "random" reactions mobs will have to your tactics will be the 1st time or 2 you try them against them. After that, it's all very reptitive.
-The environment is not FULLY interactive. I can not imagine he amount of programming that would go into such a thing either.
-Certain quests contain certain objectives that keep certain monster types to spawn or not to spawn. It would be strange to run Cabal and get nothing but Trogs.

I'm certain that there are many more challenges in developing truely randomized dungeons. I also would like to see some in our future. For now though, I'd settle for some dungeons that have seperate paths through them, seeing a large bump to stealth/non-violent completions, and more different types of goals within dungeons.

strace
01-25-2008, 04:43 PM
posting in the forums while at work ftw! ;-)

liamfrancais
01-25-2008, 05:50 PM
There is to my knowledge, I could be wrong because I dont have a high level rogue,atleast one dungeon where the traps are random and that is feast or famine. You never know which door will spring +5 greatswords from every direction or if the hall is going to give you a proctological exam and then there is a chest that is sometimes trapped sometimes not so I think that is fairly random.

Pellegro
01-25-2008, 07:41 PM
I really dig the idea of increasing randomization (or at least perceived randomization) but I'm not sure that having a set layout for 80 layers would do it ...

My twist on this would be just to have the DEVS design each dungeon with some large number of tweaks. Its apparent that it can be done - the hobs (or is it orcs) quest totally changes based on discussion with the guy at beginning as an example.

In fact, in GH, many of the quests have a random element to the traps. Sometimes they're there; sometimes not. Of course at some point you learn where they all *may* be, and react accordingly, but it still extends the "holy cow!" factor a bit.

I'm just dreaming here, cuz it would never happen, but what I would like to see is for them to go through maybe 10-15 key quests (WW, STK, SC, Gwylans, etc.) with each update, and just ... tweak them. Change 3 or 4 things. Even simple stuff. Just so when we're running our 50th alt through it for the 50th time we'll stop and be like "hmmm thats odd, I don't remember that". This is especially important in my view for the level 1-10 stuff as that tends to be run the most (i.e. grind alt to 6 decide he stinks, reroll; grind to 8, decide he stinks, reroll; etc.)

MysticTheurge
01-25-2008, 07:52 PM
My twist on this would be just to have the DEVS design each dungeon with some large number of tweaks. Its apparent that it can be done - the hobs (or is it orcs) quest totally changes based on discussion with the guy at beginning as an example.

That's more like "All the traps are on/off" and "guy attacks you or walks away and then attacks you later."

I don't know that I would call it "totally changed."

And while I do agree overall on the whole "tweaks that can be randomized" thing, I think we have to keep in mind that the more stuff that there is like that in a quest, the more work it's going to be for the devs.

Which isn't to say they shouldn't do it. I love it when they do.

The pit-traps in Enemy Within. The boss(es) in Invaders!. The break-away floors in Chamber of Rayium. It's good stuff.