test content
What is the Arc Client?
Install Arc

Making Dungeons Fun Again

jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User
Oh boy, this is going to be a long one.

Dungeons (and skirmishes for that matter) are currently in a sad state, as we already know. Overblown Stronghold boons as well as general gear progression made a lot of the existing content trivial. It is also obvious that a lot of the creative talents behind modules 1 and 2 have long since left for greener pastures. The result is hastily designed content with a lot of cut corners and it shows. All it basically boils down to at this point is straight up dps. Yes, you could control if you wanted to, but why bother if the dungeon will be cleared that much faster if you just keep your dps at max? This led to two major developments:

1. Players that don't contribute meaningful dps either through raw damage or via buffs are considered "a burden".
2. The difficulty of the encounter is a derivative of dps available.

This led to the current situation in where everyone obsesses over their damage output. Every player wants his class to deal top damage, with the notable exceptions of DC, OP and GF players who can still fulfill their support role quite well. So, what if a player want to play a "Control Wizard" as the name and primary class function implies? Oppressor would be the traditional route but if you'd go down that route at the moment, you would only get a character that deals less damage, with no meaningfull way to contribute: there is nothing to be controlled in any of those encounters atm.

It's not just a one class problem, though. A lot of the classes have great CC abilities:

Banishment (OP)
Grasping Roots (HR)
Smoke Bomb (TR)
Hadar's Grasp (SW)
Entangling Force (CW)
Chains of Blazing Light (DC)

These ar elargely ignored (with the notable exception of Smoke Bomb) for they serve no purpose in the current meta as their contribution to overall dps is simply not up to par.

It all became even worse with Module 8, where timed skirmishes relied on kill speed for best rewards, leading to player sleaving groups with an OP or a DC in them as they feared not being able to suceed well enough with the lack of dps. It was (and still is) a module that ignores an entire aspect of classes, leaving them in the dust. It became somewhat better with Demogorgon, as there, at least, Tanks and healers had a vital role, but still, the controllers were left hanging to dry. All a wizard could bring was personal dps. A Wizard had no other meaningful way to contribute to that fight. You were an Oppressor CW? Fine, then just be complacent in the knowledge, that you took the spot of someone that could have actually contributed.

So far this is just a long rant and doesn't really do the title justice. So, what can be done to make dungeons and skirmishes fun again? What can be done to provide opportunities for all role descriptions again?

Here is my proposal and it requires a few steps:

1. Rework "Binding Oath" on the OP. Damage immunity is way too hard to compensate for in encounter design. Make it an 8s hard taunt, instead. Or have it deal its stored damage on reactivation, rather than to simply reset the timer. Pick your favorite, but it cannot be the design goal to have a character class that is damage immune for an entire boss encounter, regardless of length. It's just gotten silly.

2. Add additional mobs to boss encounters with some very specific qualities:
- They need to have a LOT more Hp than the boss (around 4-5 times the amount, if not more)
- They need to vanish instantly, once the boss dies
- They must not be CC Immune
- They need to be able to cause a significant disruption of the encounter

What do I mean by "significant disruption"? I mean hard interrupts, that can cause a party wipe. Excemples would be:

- Polymorph (like the witches in Sharrandar)
- Stun (like Demogorgon)
- Daze (Like the Zulkir's Smoke Bomb)
- Entanglement (Like the Hand of Valindra)
- Knockup (Like the Grey Wolf Claws)
- AP drain (like the Powries)

Just to name a few of the options. You could scale impact via the area or number of targets affected (single player, vs global spectrum).

3. Dungeones need to provide unique and specific rewards that re deireable. Thoes don't have to be the next best gear upgrade. They can also be rare skins for weapons and armor. They can be Stronghold vouchers or refinement items. They can be nescessary campaign resources. But whathever they are, the need to be BoE. Players need to be able to sell their loot on the auction house. It is a major motivating factor.

4. Dungeons need different difficulties. You already scrapped the epic versions of the new old dungeons for module 9. Let's use that disaster of a decision and turn it into opportunity and provide epic versions of those dungeons at a later date, with staggered IL requirements. It's four dungeons, so let's make them:

- 2000 (Cloak Tower)
- 2500 (Pirate King)
- 3000 (Frozen Heart)
- 3500 (Caverns of Karrundax)

I am well aware that only very few players would be able to join an IL 3500 dungeon (I am amongst those who could not), but it gives players something to work towards and it gives players that already achieved that Item Level something new and challenging to do. To keep those encounters challenging, however, there need to be some guidelines:

- Average Mobs need to deal about 40% of an average players HP (of that IL) in damage on a hit. That is before damage reduction.
- Boss Mobs need to deal about 110% of an average player's HP (of that IL) in damage on a hit. Again, before damage reduction.
- Boss Mob hits need to be avoidable through movement. All of them.

Those are lower limits, not set in stone values, but they are nescessary, to keep things challenging.

But what do I think this will achieve? Well, controllers would be able to control again, for once. Players interested in that playstyle could meaningfully contribute to the encounter. Boss fights woud prove more challenging again. Content would be available for a large variety of equipment levels. Loot drops could provide additional income through the auction house as well as incentives to visit different dungeons rather than just eLoL or VT. Teamwork would become more important. So far underused, if not straight up unused skills would become viable again, allowing for a more diverse set of character builds. And last, but not least, dungeons would provde an additional source of income to upgrade guild strongholds.

I think I have been rambling on long enough by now, though. These are my ideas to make dungeons more interesting again. You are all free to disagree with me, that's the nature of opinions. Feel free to add concerns, criticisms and your own ideas. Cryptic seems short on creative talent atm, so any feedback we can procvide might prove useful, as long as it's done so in a constructive manner.

Cheers.

Comments

  • katycurrykatycurry Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 10 Arc User
    You just got a big plus 1 from me ^^
  • instynctiveinstynctive Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,885 Arc User
    Me too.

    header.png
    "...I grab my wiener and charge!" - ironzerg79
  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User
    Well, thank you. I appreciate the support =)
  • psyc3000psyc3000 Member Posts: 3 Arc User
    I totally agree. All your suggestions make sense to me and it is great that you're not just complaining but instead contribute good ideas how things could be better. It would be nice if your efforts were not wasted, but tbh... that is very likely.
    For me, I am looking 'for greener pastures' right now, since I don't expect any kind of improvement soon. In fact, I even learned not to look forward for changes anymore, because I always just end up disappointed about how much potential got wasted again.
  • mamalion1234mamalion1234 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,415 Arc User
    edited February 2016

    Oh boy, this is going to be a long one.

    Dungeons (and skirmishes for that matter) are currently in a sad state, as we already know. Overblown Stronghold boons as well as general gear progression made a lot of the existing content trivial. It is also obvious that a lot of the creative talents behind modules 1 and 2 have long since left for greener pastures. The result is hastily designed content with a lot of cut corners and it shows. All it basically boils down to at this point is straight up dps. Yes, you could control if you wanted to, but why bother if the dungeon will be cleared that much faster if you just keep your dps at max? This led to two major developments:

    1. Players that don't contribute meaningful dps either through raw damage or via buffs are considered "a burden".
    2. The difficulty of the encounter is a derivative of dps available.

    This led to the current situation in where everyone obsesses over their damage output. Every player wants his class to deal top damage, with the notable exceptions of DC, OP and GF players who can still fulfill their support role quite well. So, what if a player want to play a "Control Wizard" as the name and primary class function implies? Oppressor would be the traditional route but if you'd go down that route at the moment, you would only get a character that deals less damage, with no meaningfull way to contribute: there is nothing to be controlled in any of those encounters atm.

    It's not just a one class problem, though. A lot of the classes have great CC abilities:

    Banishment (OP)
    Grasping Roots (HR)
    Smoke Bomb (TR)
    Hadar's Grasp (SW)
    Entangling Force (CW)
    Chains of Blazing Light (DC)

    These ar elargely ignored (with the notable exception of Smoke Bomb) for they serve no purpose in the current meta as their contribution to overall dps is simply not up to par.

    It all became even worse with Module 8, where timed skirmishes relied on kill speed for best rewards, leading to player sleaving groups with an OP or a DC in them as they feared not being able to suceed well enough with the lack of dps. It was (and still is) a module that ignores an entire aspect of classes, leaving them in the dust. It became somewhat better with Demogorgon, as there, at least, Tanks and healers had a vital role, but still, the controllers were left hanging to dry. All a wizard could bring was personal dps. A Wizard had no other meaningful way to contribute to that fight. You were an Oppressor CW? Fine, then just be complacent in the knowledge, that you took the spot of someone that could have actually contributed.

    So far this is just a long rant and doesn't really do the title justice. So, what can be done to make dungeons and skirmishes fun again? What can be done to provide opportunities for all role descriptions again?

    Here is my proposal and it requires a few steps:

    1. Rework "Binding Oath" on the OP. Damage immunity is way too hard to compensate for in encounter design. Make it an 8s hard taunt, instead. Or have it deal its stored damage on reactivation, rather than to simply reset the timer. Pick your favorite, but it cannot be the design goal to have a character class that is damage immune for an entire boss encounter, regardless of length. It's just gotten silly.

    2. Add additional mobs to boss encounters with some very specific qualities:
    - They need to have a LOT more Hp than the boss (around 4-5 times the amount, if not more)
    - They need to vanish instantly, once the boss dies
    - They must not be CC Immune
    - They need to be able to cause a significant disruption of the encounter

    What do I mean by "significant disruption"? I mean hard interrupts, that can cause a party wipe. Excemples would be:

    - Polymorph (like the witches in Sharrandar)
    - Stun (like Demogorgon)
    - Daze (Like the Zulkir's Smoke Bomb)
    - Entanglement (Like the Hand of Valindra)
    - Knockup (Like the Grey Wolf Claws)
    - AP drain (like the Powries)

    Just to name a few of the options. You could scale impact via the area or number of targets affected (single player, vs global spectrum).

    3. Dungeones need to provide unique and specific rewards that re deireable. Thoes don't have to be the next best gear upgrade. They can also be rare skins for weapons and armor. They can be Stronghold vouchers or refinement items. They can be nescessary campaign resources. But whathever they are, the need to be BoE. Players need to be able to sell their loot on the auction house. It is a major motivating factor.

    4. Dungeons need different difficulties. You already scrapped the epic versions of the new old dungeons for module 9. Let's use that disaster of a decision and turn it into opportunity and provide epic versions of those dungeons at a later date, with staggered IL requirements. It's four dungeons, so let's make them:

    - 2000 (Cloak Tower)
    - 2500 (Pirate King)
    - 3000 (Frozen Heart)
    - 3500 (Caverns of Karrundax)

    I am well aware that only very few players would be able to join an IL 3500 dungeon (I am amongst those who could not), but it gives players something to work towards and it gives players that already achieved that Item Level something new and challenging to do. To keep those encounters challenging, however, there need to be some guidelines:

    - Average Mobs need to deal about 40% of an average players HP (of that IL) in damage on a hit. That is before damage reduction.
    - Boss Mobs need to deal about 110% of an average player's HP (of that IL) in damage on a hit. Again, before damage reduction.
    - Boss Mob hits need to be avoidable through movement. All of them.

    Those are lower limits, not set in stone values, but they are nescessary, to keep things challenging.

    But what do I think this will achieve? Well, controllers would be able to control again, for once. Players interested in that playstyle could meaningfully contribute to the encounter. Boss fights woud prove more challenging again. Content would be available for a large variety of equipment levels. Loot drops could provide additional income through the auction house as well as incentives to visit different dungeons rather than just eLoL or VT. Teamwork would become more important. So far underused, if not straight up unused skills would become viable again, allowing for a more diverse set of character builds. And last, but not least, dungeons would provde an additional source of income to upgrade guild strongholds.

    I think I have been rambling on long enough by now, though. These are my ideas to make dungeons more interesting again. You are all free to disagree with me, that's the nature of opinions. Feel free to add concerns, criticisms and your own ideas. Cryptic seems short on creative talent atm, so any feedback we can procvide might prove useful, as long as it's done so in a constructive manner.

    Cheers.

    DUNgeons are designed for gear up. yesterday i did a random queue with my cleric i found inside players without even the resist ignore 60%. Are not all players to a decent guild to have those boons you mentioned so for them they are challenging. THE only thing cryptic can do is to release the existing dungeons as legendary version. EPic demogorgon has item level 2500k because at this level the player is ready to make the next step to get the twisted weapons.
    THe really ridiculous is 1600 item level dungeons drop armor which have 2 points lesser item level than the 2k item level dungeons. Hello cryptic 1600-2000 is big difference.
    -Drowcraft armor is gated behind professions if you dont make them elemental it sucks.
  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User

    DUNgeons are designed for gear up. yesterday i did a random queue with my cleric i found inside players without even the resist ignore 60%. Are not all players to a decent guild to have those boons you mentioned so for them they are challenging. THE only thing cryptic can do is to release the existing dungeons as legendary version. EPic demogorgon has item level 2500k because at this level the player is ready to make the next step to get the twisted weapons.
    THe really ridiculous is 1600 item level dungeons drop armor which have 2 points lesser item level than the 2k item level dungeons. Hello cryptic 1600-2000 is big difference.
    -Drowcraft armor is gated behind professions if you dont make them elemental it sucks.

    To make sure that I am not misunderstood in what I am proposing: I am not talking about revamping current dungeons. Leave them as they are as they serve a specific function. My proposals are geared towards newer dungeons or re-introduced pre-Mod-6 dungeons. That's why I also proposed several layers of IL gate. I am fully aware that not all chaarcters are at a level of item progression where they can easily wipe the floor with the current ungeons and there will always be alts that need equipping as well, so the existing dungeons serve their purpose and they serve it adequately, albeit not very well. You cannot, however, pick the smallest common denominator to balance your game around. You need to provide engagement and entertainment for your full spectrum of available possibilities and that means providing challenges and content for the higher end spectrum of players just as well as for the lower ones.
  • putzboy78putzboy78 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,950 Arc User


    It's not just a one class problem, though. A lot of the classes have great CC abilities:
    ...
    Chains of Blazing Light (DC)

    LOL, DC chains has like no CC, mobs practically run right threw it. The DC control powers are single target and therefore effectively useless in dungeons (any single target big/bad enough to warrant a single target encounter use is immune to cc). The dc control powers are Geas or Divine Breaking the Spirit

    leading to player sleaving groups with an OP or a DC in them as they feared not being able to suceed well enough with the lack of dps.

    DC debuff abilities are so great, anyone forgoing bringing a dc to the party would be foolish. Even a DC only using Hallowed Ground providing a 35% damage increase across everyone in the significant range will exceed contribution by a DPS. I would say that people leaving out a DC from heroics is mostly out of ignorance. DC will outperform contribution from a tact GF (ITF is limited to those in party where many of the DC powers impact outside of party.

    A Wizard had no other meaningful way to contribute to that fight.

    Noone complains about a good MoF debuff CW :-)

    Anyhow good write up on the POV from a control perspective. You should have been here in the early stages of the game (before mod 4). CWs were kings, control was necessary and CWs ruled dps charts (coupling control powers with AOEs). As content got easier we just pulled bigger mobs, CW didn't have limit on # of mobs impacted by CC.

  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User
    putzboy78 said:

    DC chains has like no CC, mobs practically run right threw it. The DC control powers are single target and therefore effectively useless in dungeons (any single target big/bad enough to warrant a single target encounter use is immune to cc). The dc control powers are Geas or Divine Breaking the Spirit

    Yeah, my bad. I completely forgot about those two. You're absolutely right on that one.
    putzboy78 said:

    DC debuff abilities are so great, anyone forgoing bringing a dc to the party would be foolish. Even a DC only using Hallowed Ground providing a 35% damage increase across everyone in the significant range will exceed contribution by a DPS. I would say that people leaving out a DC from heroics is mostly out of ignorance. DC will outperform contribution from a tact GF (ITF is limited to those in party where many of the DC powers impact outside of party.

    While I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about debuffing Clerics, espexcially ones with full prophet set, people generally still consider them "low dps" in PoM and TotDG. Mind you, I am not talking about the 3K+ playerbase here. There is often a huge disconnect between acctual dps contribution and perceived dps contribution. You may also have noted that I lumped debuffs into the flat "dps contribution" im my original post. I consider debuffs to be dps, as long as there is enough dps to be buffed in the first place. It still doesnt change the fact, though, that we are already talking about dps again, the very problem I spoke of in my OP.
    putzboy78 said:

    Noone complains about a good MoF debuff CW :-)

    No. But the also fall under the "dps wizard" role as stated above. They are not controllers.
    putzboy78 said:

    Anyhow good write up on the POV from a control perspective. You should have been here in the early stages of the game (before mod 4). CWs were kings, control was necessary and CWs ruled dps charts (coupling control powers with AOEs). As content got easier we just pulled bigger mobs, CW didn't have limit on # of mobs impacted by CC.

    I have been playing since early beta. Stopped shortly after Mod 5 and came back with Mod 6. I remember the days of 2 DC, 3 CW groups. I don't think that my proposal would revive those days for several reasons:

    - CC has a max cap now
    - AoE has a max cap now
    - My proposal aims a few, diccult adds not masses of adds
    - I am not advocating for new class abilities

    And if it looks as if I wrote from a controller perspective then I will gladly take that as a compliment. I main a GWF and an OP.
  • putzboy78putzboy78 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,950 Arc User


    While I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about debuffing Clerics, espexcially ones with full prophet set, people generally still consider them "low dps" in PoM and TotDG. Mind you, I am not talking about the 3K+ playerbase here. There is often a huge disconnect between acctual dps contribution and perceived dps contribution. You may also have noted that I lumped debuffs into the flat "dps contribution" im my original post. I consider debuffs to be dps, as long as there is enough dps to be buffed in the first place. It still doesnt change the fact, though, that we are already talking about dps again, the very problem I spoke of in my OP.

    The typical progress tree of a DC is faithful to about 2.2, virtous until about 2.8, then righteous. If your getting sub 3k righteous DCs they are most likely performing outside of their meta. Also righteous DCs are gods in PoM regardless of dps. Chains while a terrible form of cc makes for great traps. It can be put down upto 4 times (which out performs single trap icey terrain). Chains can be performed from ranged. It draws immediate agro from the mob spawn (gives others first shot at CA). If it crits it procs bear your sins which is a 10% debuff on its own and Fire of the Gods which is a 15 second DoT. Anyhow yes this is about dps not control but I would not exclude a righteous DC from your PoM.


  • thefabricantthefabricant Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 5,248 Arc User
    100% agree, @strumslinger please read this, its very well written and has a lot of valid points in it.
  • micky1p00micky1p00 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,594 Arc User
    edited February 2016
    Very well written.
    I hope that someone will acknowledge it.

    Just a small thing:
    "Boss Mob hits need to be avoidable through movement. All of them."

    You probably meant only the direct attacks, but if not:
    I think that it's ok that there will be things that are not avoidable through movement, this is a very strict constraint.
    For example Vals groping or the new bonds in CN first boss, are not directly avoidable mechanic but does bring something more interesting. Or a good example Tiamats gems that shield.

    In any case, as I said, very well written and formed, I hope your time and effort in this feedback will be appreciated (not only by us players).
  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User
    micky1p00 said:

    Just a small thing:
    "Boss Mob hits need to be avoidable through movement. All of them."

    You probably meant only the direct attacks, but if not:
    I think that it's ok that there will be things that are not avoidable through movement, this is a very strict constraint.

    In my idea that would be the role of the adds.
  • micky1p00micky1p00 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,594 Arc User
    edited February 2016

    micky1p00 said:

    Just a small thing:
    "Boss Mob hits need to be avoidable through movement. All of them."

    You probably meant only the direct attacks, but if not:
    I think that it's ok that there will be things that are not avoidable through movement, this is a very strict constraint.

    In my idea that would be the role of the adds.
    I understand, it's hard to explain, I just mean that bosses can have stuff that is not avoidable by moving, besides the special adds, for more interest.
    Not "Grab them all" and kill them. But for example mark that hurt a player unless kill something or like elol lasers.

    But in any case those just details. And not so important.
  • ogariousogarious Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 740 Arc User
    But none of this matters if people are going to queue up for dungeons and skirmishes and other encounters, then quit 5 seconds into the match because they dont like the team buildup. The penalties for leaving should exist expecially for people who quit in the beginning of encounters like this. And they should be 24 hours instead of 30 minutes.

    All MMO's have min/maxers. But when you get people in the game that are going to quit right away and ruin things for the rest of the party just because there aren't 2 GWFs with 2800 IS in the team. It makes things harder on everyone else.

    I know, I just blew 20 minutes with another 30 minute penalty at the end because of a Edemogorgon run where half the people quit right off the bat and the rest of us couldnt finish the encounter. And that really pisses me off.

    The problems in this game are as much the playerbase as they are the designs and rewards in the dungeon.
  • strumslingerstrumslinger Member, NW_CrypticDev, Cryptic Developer Posts: 1,724 Cryptic Developer
    Agreed on most of these points. I presume some of the class suggestions will be addressed in our class rebalancing this year. I also know the team is working on making dungeons more interesting - like the Castle Never boss mechanics. Either way, I'm pro-dungeonthatisn'tbasedsolelyoffofDPS.


    Call me Andy (or Strum, or Spider-Man)!
    Follow Neverwinter on Twitter: NeverwinterGame 
    Like Neverwinter on Facebook: Neverwinter

    Follow me on Twitter: StrumSlinger

  • bitt3rnightmar3bitt3rnightmar3 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 788 Arc User
    I've been kicking around an idea that sort of fits in with what is being proposed here-

    Most of the dungeons content have become very easy to run through-- there is nothing to motivate a party to stop and kill aside from doors. (It's not like anyone takes damage really with a paladin party). If there was some way to implement a way to unlock either extra rewards or different/rare boss drops by doing 'side rooms' in a dungeon that were optional I think it would bring back some of the cool 'exploration' factor in dungeons. Most of the side rooms were removed-- a good example of a dungeon that still has extra rooms is Malabog's Castle.

    Maybe have an optional boss party unlock a additional reward chest area after you defeat final dungeon boss. That gives people a reason to experience optional content if they choose to do so and to also finish the dungeon content- with extra reward for exploring/clearing the dungeon. People who are speed running would probably forgo the content- but people who want to maximize rewards wouldn't and it might give people a reason to stop and smell the roses if the reward meant another RNG roll for the item they are running the dungeon to find. :)​​
    Relmyna - AC/DC Righteous + Haste| Nadine - CW MoF (working on it)|Buffy - GF SM Tact| Hrist - Justice Tankadin|Healadin (Wannabe Tank)| Lena -MI Sabo TR (Farmer) | Jeska - GWF SM Destroyer (Farmer) | Maggie - HR PF Trapper (Wannabe DPS)
    --
    I'll never retrace my steps.

    Some of my best friends are Imaginary.


  • urlord283urlord283 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,084 Arc User
    DDs are not much fun cause they don't really offer me anything.

    Epic DDs are hard and not as valuable to me a one of the new Skirms...

    BTW I love the new Skirms

    That said, I don't see a good way around it

    Urlord
Sign In or Register to comment.