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  1. #1
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    Default Open-ended Dungeons

    I had this idea in another thread but wanted to ensconce it in its own Suggestion

    I admit this is blatantly stealing gameplay from Torchlight, but hey - its an idea that's proven to work, and its a whole new dimension of repeatable content for relatively low investment in resources, compared to handcrafting quests and expansions...

    Randomized Dungeons

    These would be essentially linear dungeons - probably set in tunnels in The Underdark/Khyber/Stormreach Sewers (depending on level). All these zones are supposed to be immense to the point of unmeasureability, after all. They would be constructed by stringing together premade "tilesets", and seeded with random appropriate monsters, occasional random encounters with chests (like Explorer zones), and occasional scripted events (again like Explorer zones).

    You would get minor XP from the scripted events, and also for completing Slayer deeds that would reset every time you played through a Random Dungeon - ie, when you enter a dungeon, you get an XP reward for hitting 100 kills, 250 kills, 500 kills, and so on, and if you recall and rejoin, those rewards are reset, basically like Optionals on quests.

    The CL of mobs and chests would increase as you went through the dungeon....say, every 4 or 5 tilesets, the CL would tick up, so that eventually you've gone "too deep" and have to recall out or get overwhelmed, but the longer you could manage, the better rewards.

    I think having this open ended style of gameplay would be a nice complement to the structured, goal-oriented gameplay of quests and raids. It would give players who maybe don't want to commit to finding a group or running a quest an option to "do something" that still, in a small way, advances their character. I don't expect that these would ever replace quests in terms of XP/min or chests/min, only that it provides a little more "immediate gratification" than having to spend 15-20-30 mins before you get your lump-sum XP reward and your big chest at the end.

    And it provides a little arbitrary challenge for those who like to measure their characters - see how deep you can go! Maybe even have some special "EE raid level" encounters that only appear once you've gotten to EE raid level CL zones, so you have to fight your way down there, and survive until you find them, for whatever special rewards they can offer. In a way, a bit like Subterrane.

    Plus, once the system is in place, all you need to do to expand it is design new tilesets (or steal them from existing quest construction), plot out spawn points, script a few new events, and plug it all in.

  2. #2
    Community Member DocHawkeye's Avatar
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    Love the idea. Fantastic.

  3. #3
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    Like it.

    Some of the mechanism exists already in the semi-random Crystal locations and spawns in the Cove and Challenges, and this variation is one reason I love the Cove.

    However they would have to safeguard against exploits. It is amazing how much effort some players put into beating the system (in a fantasy game which provides challenge in return for suspension of disbelief!).

    For example there would need to be a timer to to prevent repeatedly entering and dropping until the spawned layout was highly favourable to you. And it would need level adjusting as per the Challenges, or running through low level mobs to get to the more interesting high level ones would trigger lag / DA / boredom.
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  4. #4
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    There are several serious flaws with this idea.

    The first is that nothing like this exists in DDO at present. It would require a lot of initial development.

    The second is that while maze generation code has been around for a long, long time, doing it in 2D is fairly simple. Doing it with 3D terrain is far more complex. I seriously doubt with the current system that DDO will somehow revert back to an Eye of the Beholder style dungeon run for random quests. Hence, this is the reason why I recommended a wilderness area which can be a static map, with randomized encounters.

    Third, the big problem with infinite dungeons is not moving forward in the dungeon, but backtracking. As long as you are in it, your dungeon does nothing but grow. This would be a MASSIVE resource hog on the DDO servers. Trust me on this one. This reason alone would prevent it from ever happening.

    Random dungeons with random encounters is nice, however, each mob you encounter has a patrol path. Some stand still until triggered, others move along a pre-defined path looking to initiate an encounter. Static mobs would be easy to do. Patrolling mobs would be really, really difficult.

    Increasing CL is nice, however, let’s say you level inside of this dungeon. You want to go level? Need to go sell and repair? You have to start back from square one. Not a lot of people are going to like that idea. Level 20 players are not going to want to start by killing CR 2 mobs, and having to work their way into where the XP starts to accumulate. So that reason alone will prevent upper-level players from running it. And if you start at a CR level that is averaged by the party being run through the quest, if you have a lvl 5 and a lvl 25 player in a 2-man quest, what you’ll get is an average mob CR that is too high for the lvl 5 player, and produces no XP for the lvl 25 player. XP and difficulty scaling would be next to impossible to pull off properly. Your best bet is to do something like they do with CC and Marbar where you select your CR level before you enter. Even with that, with the randomization, you’re going to end up with some fairly tricky coding.

    Furthermore, randomized dungeons like this are fairly boring, because they have a lot of the limitations that I highlighted already. What you end up with is an underground wilderness area that never ends, and really has no highlights to it. Then there is a matter of shrine placement (how do you make sure you have the right shrine-to-mob ratio), and you’d have to forego breakables. Then there is a matter of the quests having no conclusion or climax. Any quest is like reading a book: it has a beginning, end, conflict, and a climax. What you’d get with this type of quest would be like a random story that never ends. The novelty is nice for about 10 minutes, and then it either loses its appeal, gets tedious, or both.


    Finally, you’d have to forego named loot, and uber-rare items. People could simply exploit this type of quest for the loot by exploiting the random system of encounters and never leaving the quest. Without the allure of some special type of loot, or a special named item, I seriously doubt people would run it with any frequency (maybe I would for stuff to decon…which would also be a nasty exploit).

    Check out my thread on this. I recommend a large explorer area with set terrain and ransom encounter points with specific details.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    You would get minor XP from the scripted events, and also for completing Slayer deeds that would reset every time you played through a Random Dungeon - ie, when you enter a dungeon, you get an XP reward for hitting 100 kills, 250 kills, 500 kills, and so on, and if you recall and rejoin, those rewards are reset, basically like Optionals on quests.

    The CL of mobs and chests would increase as you went through the dungeon....say, every 4 or 5 tilesets, the CL would tick up, so that eventually you've gone "too deep" and have to recall out or get overwhelmed, but the longer you could manage, the better rewards.

    I think having this open ended style of gameplay would be a nice complement to the structured, goal-oriented gameplay of quests and raids. It would give players who maybe don't want to commit to finding a group or running a quest an option to "do something" that still, in a small way, advances their character. I don't expect that these would ever replace quests in terms of XP/min or chests/min, only that it provides a little more "immediate gratification" than having to spend 15-20-30 mins before you get your lump-sum XP reward and your big chest at the end.
    When the Devs were asking for suggestions for new Challenges after the disaster of the House C Challenges, one of my suggestions was a bit similar to this.

    My suggestion was for an open-ended Kobold/Devil Assault challenge. The mobs would come in waves starting at CR1 and after each wave was cleared the next wave would be increase in difficulty. So when the CR1 wave is defeated, a CR2 wave would appear and so on until the player(s) all die or quit. It would be open-ended and people could see how far they could advance on a single character.

    I thought it was a no-brainer as a useful way to test a character/build and something slightly different from the rest of the game. Instead, we got the two timed Eveningstar Challenges with static CR mobs: Fight to the Finish and Ring of Fire.

  6. #6
    Community Member Sidewaysgts86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    ..The first is that nothing like this exists in DDO at present. It would require a lot of initial development.... The second is that while maze generation code has been around for a long, long time, doing it in 2D is fairly simple. Doing it with 3D terrain is far more complex...
    Do you do game programming?

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    Some fair concerns, thanks...I'll address them as best I can

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    The second is that while maze generation code has been around for a long, long time, doing it in 2D is fairly simple. Doing it with 3D terrain is far more complex.
    That's why I suggested a "modular" style with prebuilt, static 3D zones that are connected to each other randomly...ideally, directly connected at "archways" that could link up to each other, but less elegantly by portals between zones, guarded by gates that ensure you have to clear each zone before advancing to the next.

    Its not pure random generation....its random sequence of prebuilt, static modular tilesets. Even the 2D games (D2, Torchlight) do it this way, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Third, the big problem with infinite dungeons is not moving forward in the dungeon, but backtracking. As long as you are in it, your dungeon does nothing but grow. This would be a MASSIVE resource hog on the DDO servers. Trust me on this one. This reason alone would prevent it from ever happening.
    I don't imagine these will get any bigger than other instanced explorer zones. The system would always start you out at your current CL (or highest CL for groups), and you scale up as you go deeper. But you "hit a wall" fairly quickly when you get too far over your own level - EE is only usually, what, +10 levels for trash mobs?

    I think even a full group of endgame-optimized characters wouldn't be able to make it past more than, say, 12-15 zones before they get completely overwhelmed, which isn't that much larger than many static quests, the way I envision zone size.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Random dungeons with random encounters is nice, however, each mob you encounter has a patrol path. Some stand still until triggered, others move along a pre-defined path looking to initiate an encounter. Static mobs would be easy to do. Patrolling mobs would be really, really difficult.
    I'm fine with mostly static mobs. That being said, since I'm talking about static tilesets, you could have prebuilt patrol paths too within each tileset that wouldn't be any more troublesome than they are now.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Increasing CL is nice, however, let’s say you level inside of this dungeon. You want to go level? Need to go sell and repair? You have to start back from square one. Not a lot of people are going to like that idea. Level 20 players are not going to want to start by killing CR 2 mobs, and having to work their way into where the XP starts to accumulate.
    Square One would always be the highest CR in the group, or your CR if solo. Just like current Challenge defaults, except you don't get the option to change it. Its meant to be short term content - jump in, fight as long as you can, then bounce; more akin to challenges than adventure zones.

    I don't see why the current scaling mechanics for challenges couldn't be imported straight over, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Furthermore, randomized dungeons like this are fairly boring, because they have a lot of the limitations that I highlighted already. What you end up with is an underground wilderness area that never ends, and really has no highlights to it. Then there is a matter of shrine placement (how do you make sure you have the right shrine-to-mob ratio), and you’d have to forego breakables. Then there is a matter of the quests having no conclusion or climax. Any quest is like reading a book: it has a beginning, end, conflict, and a climax. What you’d get with this type of quest would be like a random story that never ends. The novelty is nice for about 10 minutes, and then it either loses its appeal, gets tedious, or both.


    Finally, you’d have to forego named loot, and uber-rare items. People could simply exploit this type of quest for the loot by exploiting the random system of encounters and never leaving the quest. Without the allure of some special type of loot, or a special named item, I seriously doubt people would run it with any frequency (maybe I would for stuff to decon…which would also be a nasty exploit).
    "Underground wilderness area that never ends" is pretty much exactly what I was GOING for Shrines could be incorporated into certain tilesets, if needed...but I wasn't really thinking that anyone would spend long enough down there to need a shrine.

    DDO evolved past the "storybook" model a while ago. Adventure zones have no plot, they're open-ended, though non-linear and not really repeatable. Challenges, also, don't really have a climax or "end" as much as you just run out of time. This would just be another variety to add to the mix; players could play static quests for that "classic P&P" gameplay, challenges for more "bite sized" structured play, adventure zones for completely open-ended sandbox gameplay, or strike a middle ground with Open-Ended Dungeons for more of a dungeon-crawler gameplay.

    And yes, the loot couldn't rival raid-level loot, of course. But there's no reason you couldn't have something comparable to Normal/Hard/Elite quest loot. The "build up to higher CL" model makes it harder to farm...the best loot wouldn't appear until you've made it down through several zones already. As long as better loot doesn't appear until deeper in the zone, its not really abusably farmable. There's no respawn, so if you didn't get the encounter you were looking for, you'd have to exit out and reset and start over again.

    Plus, challenges can already be abused for lightning-fast decon fodder, incidentally

  8. #8
    Community Member Wanesa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    There are several serious flaws with this idea.

    The first is that nothing like this exists in DDO at present. It would require a lot of initial development.

    The second is that while maze generation code has been around for a long, long time, doing it in 2D is fairly simple. Doing it with 3D terrain is far more complex. I seriously doubt with the current system that DDO will somehow revert back to an Eye
    To generate random maze is core algorithm of every rogue-like game. And most of them are written in the Flash. I don't see any difficulty to implement something in the DDO. There will be probably some issues with downloading the generated map to the clients with present protocol.

    To generate dungeon in 3D can be simplified to generate dungeon in layers, floors etc reducing the task to 2D problem.

    I am friend of this idea. Having complete random quests with random maze is great idea. it should be presented as different class of quests - i mean: we have classical quest, challenges, wilderness areas S/R/E, wilderness areas with mini-quests Or slayer areas during festivals.

    Random quests can give more weight to the utility and support toons and reduce zerging, because location of traps are not known and pre-quest preparation can be difficult, because nobody know what is waiting inside.

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  9. #9
    Community Member Chai's Avatar
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    Start with indoor slayer zone, similar to a dungeon crawl, but no ending to it. There can be random mobs, chests, traps, etc just like any other slayer zone, but be in a huge dungeon complex - as a slayer type zone rather than having a definitive ending.

    This would be the Undermountain of DDO - as that zone never stays the same for too long even in P&P.
    Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.

  10. #10
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    That's why I suggested a "modular" style with prebuilt, static 3D zones that are connected to each other randomly...ideally, directly connected at "archways" that could link up to each other, but less elegantly by portals between zones, guarded by gates that ensure you have to clear each zone before advancing to the next.

    Its not pure random generation....its random sequence of prebuilt, static modular tilesets. Even the 2D games (D2, Torchlight) do it this way, really.
    Then you’re not talking anything different than what I mentioned in a different thread. Or at least not much different than what I envisioned.

    But you still have a problem in that the DDO engine pretty much works off of a single, static map. If you had several maps – let’s say 4 zones with 10 possible variations each – they would still have to create a system that pre-builds the map before you entered. That undoubtedly is going to take resources and development time.

    Likewise, when they create a map, I’m assuming that the tools they use are much like those they used for the NWN console game. But I also assume that transition points are static. Do you recall any quests where portal transitions are completely random. Maybe one of the Necro quests?

    I mean, I don’t personally recall any of their maps that have any major variations in layout from one run to the next. This tells me that their engine is built around that concept as a foundation. Messing with the foundation could get very, very ugly…

    However, if you go with a single, large, static map you avoid that problem altogether. What you get is something similar to what they’ve done in King’s Forest and High Road wilderness areas. Or, if you want underground, then maybe something like what you have with Underdark or the Drow city.

    At that point, since your map is static across the board, your only randomization feature has to be the encounters.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    I don't imagine these will get any bigger than other instanced explorer zones. The system would always start you out at your current CL (or highest CL for groups), and you scale up as you go deeper. But you "hit a wall" fairly quickly when you get too far over your own level - EE is only usually, what, +10 levels for trash mobs?
    I think even a full group of endgame-optimized characters wouldn't be able to make it past more than, say, 12-15 zones before they get completely overwhelmed, which isn't that much larger than many static quests, the way I envision zone size.
    You can do that, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable. However, starting at CR1 and killing your way to CR37 will either bore the hell out of lvl 25 toons, or overwhelm lvl 1 toons quickly. Your only resolution is to do something similar to Marbar and Crystal Code where they had level range instances.

    Then again, Marbar and CC is – from what I’ve been told – are lag-a-palooza festivals. It might have a lot to do with that multiple instancing that you’re recommending. Might, maybe…I’m not a DDO dev so I have no idea if this is a case.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    I'm fine with mostly static mobs. That being said, since I'm talking about static tilesets, you could have prebuilt patrol paths too within each tileset that wouldn't be any more troublesome than they are now.
    Totally agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Square One would always be the highest CR in the group, or your CR if solo. Just like current Challenge defaults, except you don't get the option to change it. Its meant to be short term content - jump in, fight as long as you can, then bounce; more akin to challenges than adventure zones.

    I don't see why the current scaling mechanics for challenges couldn't be imported straight over, either.
    Yeah, but challenges have a time limit. Yours would have no limit. They would have to come up with a new way to calculate XP, since that is done at the end. You then run into balancing issues.

    The other problem with endless waves of mobs is when you want to dump. Kobold Assault is one of the most horribly annoying quests to run because – at least the last time I ran it – the mobs kept respawning after the quest was over, and there was no safe zone to finish out. This might not be a problem if all mobs are static, but the safest way would be to create a safe zone so that a group – or player - could finish out.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    "Underground wilderness area that never ends" is pretty much exactly what I was GOING for Shrines could be incorporated into certain tilesets, if needed...but I wasn't really thinking that anyone would spend long enough down there to need a shrine.
    It depends on how big the area is, how many mobs you spawn down there, and their CR rating. High CR mobs will undoubtedly require shrines for the blue bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    DDO evolved past the "storybook" model a while ago. Adventure zones have no plot, they're open-ended, though non-linear and not really repeatable. Challenges, also, don't really have a climax or "end" as much as you just run out of time. This would just be another variety to add to the mix; players could play static quests for that "classic P&P" gameplay, challenges for more "bite sized" structured play, adventure zones for completely open-ended sandbox gameplay, or strike a middle ground with Open-Ended Dungeons for more of a dungeon-crawler gameplay.
    Honestly, what they’ve done with High Road and Kings Forest explorer areas is along the lines of what you want. What I basically recommended is that they add a start to the quest, a boss fight, and some challenges to be met along the way. Don’t get me wrong, endlessly using FoD and Wail on mobs is one of my guilty pleasures (actually, more like an addiction), but that can get old. Plus, what you’re recommending runs somewhat afoul of how and when they calculate XP.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    And yes, the loot couldn't rival raid-level loot, of course. But there's no reason you couldn't have something comparable to Normal/Hard/Elite quest loot. The "build up to higher CL" model makes it harder to farm...the best loot wouldn't appear until you've made it down through several zones already. As long as better loot doesn't appear until deeper in the zone, its not really abusably farmable. There's no respawn, so if you didn't get the encounter you were looking for, you'd have to exit out and reset and start over again.
    Yeah, but then you now run into balancing loot tables with the party makeup, which is the same problem you’ve got with XP. It is something literally brand new, and the amount of work they’d have to put into balancing stuff for party make-ups I just don’t see happening. Somehow, somewhere you’re going to have to put in a max limit, which gets us back to static level ranges.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Plus, challenges can already be abused for lightning-fast decon fodder, incidentally
    I did not know that (rubs hands together maliciously)…

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    You can do that, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable. However, starting at CR1 and killing your way to CR37 will either bore the hell out of lvl 25 toons, or overwhelm lvl 1 toons quickly. Your only resolution is to do something similar to Marbar and Crystal Code where they had level range instances.
    Why would either of those cases happen? The L1 toon would start out in a L1 dungeon, the L25 toon would start out in a L25 dungeon, and both would work their way "up the ladder" as they went. You would have to disallow players from joining runs in progress, I suppose, to keep people from bringing in high-level "ringers" once they started an instance, but there shouldn't be any way to run these "under level".

    The spawn points would be static for each tileset (though not all would be used every instance, to keep some randomness), but the mobs that spawn would be drawn from a table of zone-appropriate mobs, just like CC has Kobolds/Drow/Bugbears/Minotaurs/Half-Orcs, depending on the level of the zone they spawn in.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Yeah, but challenges have a time limit. Yours would have no limit. They would have to come up with a new way to calculate XP, since that is done at the end. You then run into balancing issues.

    The other problem with endless waves of mobs is when you want to dump. Kobold Assault is one of the most horribly annoying quests to run because – at least the last time I ran it – the mobs kept respawning after the quest was over, and there was no safe zone to finish out. This might not be a problem if all mobs are static, but the safest way would be to create a safe zone so that a group – or player - could finish out.
    There's no "quest complete" XP, that's the whole idea. You get Slayer deeds, that reset every time you run. So your first 100 kills garners you [initial level x ###] XP, then hitting 250 kills gets you [initial level x ###] XP, etc. And if you bail out and start over, your counter resets and you can earn the 100 kills XP again.

    Also, its not endless waves. There's no respawn, so once you clear a zone, you have to move on - but that zone is also now "safe". If you want to bail, then just recall. That means, also, that you wont be able to hit your slayer milestones for XP unless you keep moving deeper into the dungeon, you cant just farm XP at-level.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    It depends on how big the area is, how many mobs you spawn down there, and their CR rating. High CR mobs will undoubtedly require shrines for the blue bars.
    Neh, maybe? Perhaps it would be an unfair advantage to non-caster builds if you didn't...but I kinda figured you run as far as your blue bar lasts, and then once you're out of mana, you recall, recharge, and start back over. But maybe you could include a "shrine point" in each tileset, except the shrine only spawns every 4th or 5th zone, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Yeah, but then you now run into balancing loot tables with the party makeup, which is the same problem you’ve got with XP. It is something literally brand new, and the amount of work they’d have to put into balancing stuff for party make-ups I just don’t see happening. Somehow, somewhere you’re going to have to put in a max limit, which gets us back to static level ranges.
    I think you're making it more complicated than it needs to be The loot would be comparable to named loot from, say, Gianthold. There wouldn't be huge tables of named items like from raids. It's general-use loot, not necessarily endgame-optimal loot. Heck, the open-ended structure of the system would make it the ideal way for devs to slip in new named items, here and there...if they realize there's a need for, say, a decent named L16 repeater (hint hint), they can just make one and add it in to the loot tables for open dungeons.

    And I think the difference between any endgame PUG and the most well-balanced, experienced group is still only maybe 2-3 zones further, before the added CL overwhelms any chance of success, let alone efficiency. That's your max limit - its a soft cap, when the math just gets so prohibitive that you basically need to roll nothing but 20s to survive.

    Hell, I imagine the main draw for a lot of people would be trying to get down deep enough for +4 to 5 tomes to drop from quests, I think that's at CR27, normally only on top-level EE quests.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I did not know that (rubs hands together maliciously)…
    Kobold Island quests, just blitz the red-names at the Large Extractors, recall and repeat. Each one gives you a chest that drops one deconnable item (plus some vendorable loot for plat), and you can hit 2 within a minute. Might even get lucky and pull a good augment....I've gotten Tomes from challenge chests, even.
    Last edited by droid327; 08-01-2013 at 03:23 PM.

  12. #12
    Community Member Ungood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Randomized Dungeons
    Why does it have to be open-ended?

    Forgive me, as I try to expand this to use some other lame game, in this case, lets use "Minesweeper" where you can set the size of the board you want to use, and then you go to complete it.

    In this case, why not have it so players select size/difficulty/level and then this random tile dungeon spawns (like the way Fate does each floor) and then you run your "challenge" dungeon.

    Why does it have to be open ended?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ungood View Post
    Why does it have to be open ended?
    But...why wouldn't it be open ended? If you make it all the way down to a certain point and survive, why just arbitrarily stop it there? You can leave whenever you like, after all...why not have the option to keep pressing on, test yourself, go as far as you can go? Or till you get bored or your girlfriend wants you to go watch TV with her?

    There's no boss fight, no final goal, no giant reward at the end to strive towards. The combat itself is the point - not just a means to an end - and you get your XP and loot as you go, with XP and loot getting better the deeper you make it. If it was all organized around a "prize" at the end, then it'd just be a very very simplistic, hack and slash standard-style quest - and if that's what you want in a given play session, there's already a lot of much more interesting standard quests to run than anything you could ran-gen...
    Last edited by droid327; 08-01-2013 at 10:41 PM.

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    Community Member Ungood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    But...why wouldn't it be open ended? If you make it all the way down to a certain point and survive, why just arbitrarily stop it there?
    Well to be honest, if it's a random dungeon, then I have not really made it anywhere, since there is no end, I have not made any progress, I have simply moved about randomly in an endless maze.

    For the feeling of "getting some place" there needs to be a place to get to. I would suggest the movie Cube to you, am aHyper Cube, to give an idea of what this could be like in real life, where people were randomly put in a maze, they moved not because they knew were they were going, but because they felt they could find a way to escape. If there is no escape, no end, no way out, in other words, if there no way to win, there is no reason to play. Even in older games that did not have "win" in them, like Donky Kong, the goal was to have a higher score then anyone else, there was something to shoot for, something to 'earn' even if it was just little more then playground bragging right, AKA: The King of Kong.

    Other games have used this mechanic, Case in point, in Fate, or Diablo, but there was a limited number of floors, and an actual ending, so there was a feeling of getting someplace, of progressing towards a goal, hence why you keep doing it, to get to the end, to win, to be a momentary hero of some place no one cares about. But really, for the feeling of having won.

    Same with a MMO, At some point, players want to feel like they accomplished something or at least got something for their efforts. This idea at this point, does not give that, it gives the feeling of being stuck in an endless maze, with no end, no point, and no reason to be there other then the sake of being there, which, anyone can tell you, that would become old very quick for pretty much everyone.

    There needs to be an incentive for player to do this:

    Case in point, most MMO's give exp and loot for each mob killed, this is an instant reward for having done something, so players kill more mobs for more exp and poof they get more powerful, and thus feel like they progressing towards something, some goal. This mechanic was used in all the older random made dungeons, as you survive you get loot, levels, money, you are growing and improving, you are 'progressing' but even super old styles of this, like Castle Wolfenstine had an end, had some place for you to get to, had a means for you to feel like you were making progress.

    So to have a feeling of getting progress, there needs to be a point to progress towards or it becomes the cliche' of being the MMO equal of running down an endless hall of doors with no end in sight. That maybe the stuff of dreams, but it's not anyone's idea of fun.

    Even racing games where you are pretty much just going in a large circle have check points and an official end, even if the end is just some arbitrary point, like having gone 500 miles.

    So, what's the motive for a player do this, what is it they are doing it for? Their needs to be something, some kind of marks of accomplishment be it loot, exp, something tossed at them in regular intervals with the idea they are Accomplishing something, a motive to keep going.

    I like the idea of small random dungeons that a player could do as opposed to say any of the exiting challenges. just another means for mats and loot, but something there for people who say.. hate torching for example.

  15. #15
    Community Member Chaimberland's Avatar
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    This sounds a lot like wilderness areas to me. Except for the increasing difficulty as you go. I think it would be fun to try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ungood View Post
    Well to be honest, if it's a random dungeon, then I have not really made it anywhere, since there is no end, I have not made any progress, I have simply moved about randomly in an endless maze.
    Well that sounds more like a "you" problem

    Seriously now, though, its a question of playstyle. Not everyone likes open ended content, just like not everyone likes raids. I never raid. If you respond better to grinding towards a discrete goal, then the game already gives you lots of that. If you're more of a "the journey is the goal" kinda player, if you like playing the game for its own sake, then these kinda dungeons are fun too. You do make progress, because you're still gaining XP and rolling some chests. There's no reason that there cant be options for all styles of play, as long as it fits well within the DDO engine.

    Except platforming. I friggin' hate quests that make you platform :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Ungood View Post
    Other games have used this mechanic, Case in point, in Fate, or Diablo, but there was a limited number of floors, and an actual ending, so there was a feeling of getting someplace, of progressing towards a goal, hence why you keep doing it, to get to the end, to win, to be a momentary hero of some place no one cares about. But really, for the feeling of having won.

    ...

    So, what's the motive for a player do this, what is it they are doing it for?
    Well like I mentioned somewhere above, Torchlight has pretty much the same mechanic I'm describing. Random dungeons, built from tilesets, that get higher in level/loot as you go deeper, open-ended. It works just fine.

    The motive is the same as it is everywhere else: XP and loot. Get to 20/25/max your destinies/etc. Its just another way to gain that, without quantizing that in quest form - you cant play Mindsunder or Cabal for One halfway through, for example, and get half the XP. You can run 5 mins in an open dungeon and get 5 mins' worth of XP, though.

    Something to do while you wait for your LFM to fill for a quest, if nothing else, right? Or to gain that last 1 XP to hit 20, after you bank at 18

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaimberland View Post
    This sounds a lot like wilderness areas to me. Except for the increasing difficulty as you go. I think it would be fun to try.
    Wilderness areas were what originally pushed me towards the idea, I liked the sandbox style there. The problem with them is that a) they only exist at certain discrete levels, b) they're nonlinear, with a lot of nonpassable terrain/LOS blockers, so its a lot of running around for relatively few mobs, and c) they're nonrepeatable. so once you get the "low hanging fruit" slayer objectives, you've pretty much "used up" the zone.

    This combines the mindless-violence fun of slayer deeds with the linear structure and spatial efficiency of static quests

  17. #17
    Community Member 96th_Malice's Avatar
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    Would be awesome
    " Elize Ryd - Officer @ Band of Gypsys "


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Well like I mentioned somewhere above, Torchlight has pretty much the same mechanic I'm describing. Random dungeons, built from tilesets, that get higher in level/loot as you go deeper, open-ended. It works just fine.
    I like the idea of a random-dungeon run. It sounds like fun to be honest, the open ended part however is still a bit difficult to work around.

    I guess because the idea of "No end" seems a bit.. well, futile to put it mildly. Imean even in DDO there is a point where some people feel they have won, they have gotten every bit of loot they want, all the levels they care to get, and have in their own way, "won DDO"

    The location of that goal post varies player by player, for a few it might be they want everything in the game, every level, every ED, everything maxed to the best the game can provide, for others, it might be to just make 20th, or just get a character to where they feel it will be the best it needs to be.

    Which brings me to Torchlight, a game I have never played, so, I have to ask, does it have any goal at all involved in it? Like say, a max level, or something? Do you ever at any point hit a wall, or win the day, or do you just keep running these random dungeons till you just eventually burn out or get bored?

    Now, that is it's own issue. the other part of this is:

    Its just another way to gain that, without quantizing that in quest form - you cant play Mindsunder or Cabal for One halfway through, for example, and get half the XP. You can run 5 mins in an open dungeon and get 5 mins' worth of XP, though.
    Personally, overlooking the vast disparity between one players 5 min and another players 5 min, case in point, I have been on 5 min Mindsunder runs, and I have been on runs that took 45 min. Thus, If you could in fact have a means to gauge 5 min of effort then you might have something to work with here.

    The a typical MMO builds off the platform of each mobs is worth a set amount of exp, and that is how they gauge progress and effort, but DDO does not work on the mechanic so they would need to either revamp their entire exp system (never going to happen) or find a way to make a "completed" check point in this random dungeon thing, but that brings us back to the problem you brought up of "half a Mindsunder", IE: if you don't get to the check point, you don't get your loot/exp.

    Even using kills as a benchmark, Like you said, getting 50 kills, or 200 kills, but if it resets when you leave that means they get nothing if you have to get off the computer when you are at 191 kills, or 45 kills, which again I think defeats one of the points of I think what you are trying to accomplish here with this idea.

    I know what you are trying to do, and what could work here, would be if it was more a "challenge" like set up then a "pass the time" like thing.

    Imagine that some Devil, or Evil God has put forth a challenge for the greatest hero's in all of existence to compete against the trials and despair of the eternal Abyss!

    The Dungeon would be called the Eternal Abyss, and it would limited to "single player" groups (like the old Solo setting was). Then the players would see how they could do in this random endless tile set dungeon.

    However, the motive behind doing this is not paltry exp and loot, but delectable Fame,

    See, what Turbien could do is set up a roster for players, divided by principal class (what icon was displayed) and then listed the dungeon accomplishments. IE: Depth (How many tiles passed though), Time (How long they lasted), Kills (How many Mobs they Killed).

    Thus players could compete against each other in a proxy PvP style ego competition for things like who went the "deepest" or "killed the most mobs" and it could be it's own style of "DDO survivor"

    Awards would be based on formula that averaged out your of depth, time, and kills, so players could not just go in and sit around and get great times, with no kills or depth, and expect decent rewards.

    This could really be a way for players to see how their builds really paired up to other builds like theirs and maybe even give the player base their own style of DDO Olympics, or DDO's alternative to PvP.

    In that front, this idea could really shine as opposed to just being a grind tool. I can now see how it has potential.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewaysgts86 View Post
    Do you do game programming?
    Yes and no.

    I've developed games.

    I develop software.

    I develop a LOT of software. I know whereof I speak.

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    I just want to prefix my comments here with basically shooting holes in your idea. This isn’t because it is a bad idea, but when you basically present changes or additions to any type of softwarem the first thing that happens is that detractors voice their opinions. I just happen to know what the detractors will say, and why they will say it because – well – I’ve done this type of work for a very long time now. So, don’t take it personally. I like the idea of a random dungeon system.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Why would either of those cases happen? The L1 toon would start out in a L1 dungeon, the L25 toon would start out in a L25 dungeon, and both would work their way "up the ladder" as they went. You would have to disallow players from joining runs in progress, I suppose, to keep people from bringing in high-level "ringers" once they started an instance, but there shouldn't be any way to run these "under level".

    The spawn points would be static for each tileset (though not all would be used every instance, to keep some randomness), but the mobs that spawn would be drawn from a table of zone-appropriate mobs, just like CC has Kobolds/Drow/Bugbears/Minotaurs/Half-Orcs, depending on the level of the zone they spawn in.
    The simple reason is that DDO does not have anything like that in any quest / challenge at present. The closest you’d get is Crystal Cove, and I’m pretty sure it would require a significant re-work of that spawn code to make it happen. That would probably kill the idea.

    Looking at what you have today, when a quest starts it has a specific, set level range under which it operates. If you are way above or below levels, you’re going to have some issues. The first being that the run is too easy, the second that it is too hard. This set level range is done because, at present, there is no scaling mechanic when groups have widely varying levels in their ranks, and because there are no specific level limitations set when PUGs form. So, the gatekeeper is the actual quest entrance.

    In essence, they would have to write something brand new, and potentially have to crack the core of the system to provide what you are looking for. That may kill your concept right away, because once people start placing hours of labor to a project, the high labor numbers come from brand new features.


    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    There's no "quest complete" XP, that's the whole idea. You get Slayer deeds, that reset every time you run. So your first 100 kills garners you [initial level x ###] XP, then hitting 250 kills gets you [initial level x ###] XP, etc. And if you bail out and start over, your counter resets and you can earn the 100 kills XP again.
    Also, its not endless waves. There's no respawn, so once you clear a zone, you have to move on - but that zone is also now "safe". If you want to bail, then just recall. That means, also, that you wont be able to hit your slayer milestones for XP unless you keep moving deeper into the dungeon, you cant just farm XP at-level. [/QUOTE]

    Essentially what you’ve described is what they’ve basically already done with High Road and King’s Forest (or any other wilderness area). You’re just adding portals.

    Meh. I’m not sure you’ve made a compelling enough case to expand on the Wilderness mechanics as they exist. Don’t get me wrong, I understand what you are describing here. However, I don’t think the idea is radical enough, or differentiates itself enough from what presently exists.


    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Neh, maybe? Perhaps it would be an unfair advantage to non-caster builds if you didn't...but I kinda figured you run as far as your blue bar lasts, and then once you're out of mana, you recall, recharge, and start back over. But maybe you could include a "shrine point" in each tileset, except the shrine only spawns every 4th or 5th zone, for example.
    If the mobs per zone are fixed, and no respawns, then placing shrines becomes no big deal. But balancing shrines for casters is part of what they do when they design a quest. If not explicitly so, they do it implicitly.


    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    I think you're making it more complicated than it needs to be The loot would be comparable to named loot from, say, Gianthold. There wouldn't be huge tables of named items like from raids. It's general-use loot, not necessarily endgame-optimal loot. Heck, the open-ended structure of the system would make it the ideal way for devs to slip in new named items, here and there...if they realize there's a need for, say, a decent named L16 repeater (hint hint), they can just make one and add it in to the loot tables for open dungeons.
    People run quests for two basic reasons: loot and XP. If you aren’t providing XP, then you’d better be providing decent loot. If you don’t provide either, the odds that the quest will be run is going to be rather low.

    I often think I am the exception to the rule. People bash 3BC, but I LOVE that area. The loot was not spectacular (at least at one time), and the quest levels were all over the place, but I likes the wilderness, and I really liked a few of the quests. Unfortunately – at least on my server – not a lot of people run that area these days, and a lot of that has to do with both loot and XP.

    If you are going to do this sort of thing, and XP is not the goal, then the driver would have to be something like what they have done with the Cannith challenges, or Eveningstar – components for trade-in or crafting. If not, then what you will have created is an area for mindless slaying which – while I like to partake in mindless slaughter at times (Marbar) – it has no other purpose, and will eventually be ignored once the novelty wears off.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    And I think the difference between any endgame PUG and the most well-balanced, experienced group is still only maybe 2-3 zones further, before the added CL overwhelms any chance of success, let alone efficiency. That's your max limit - its a soft cap, when the math just gets so prohibitive that you basically need to roll nothing but 20s to survive.
    The issue is with the soft cap. Because you will have people who will attempt to break the cap regardless. So a soft cap will translate into a hard one.

    The other issue is that when you hit upper levels, you start to run out of monsters with a high enough CR rating to extend the run. The only result is to recycle current mobs, and jack up the CR rating. However, I suspect it is probably more complicated than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Hell, I imagine the main draw for a lot of people would be trying to get down deep enough for +4 to 5 tomes to drop from quests, I think that's at CR27, normally only on top-level EE quests.
    Tome drops might draw them in. After a while, however, I don’t think it’ll keep them there.

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