Top End Dungeons

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
Ill bring this up. One of the next things on our list of things to do is reexamine all dungeons.

Many of you talk about concerns and issues with various dungeons.

We will be collecting dungeon numbers for mob health, mob damage, mob experience gain, mob cash rewards, zone quest rewards, mob density and mob respawn times. Then examine these numbers to see where improvements can be made.

The goal is every dungeon at 65 should feel good or have it's niche.

If there is anything you want to bring up, please do so.

(As an example, empty kaesora chests were just brought up in discord.)
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
citadel is one of the most interesting and fun exp zones but named are rare enough that it doesn't feel worth doing.

none of the places with dangerous enemies you have to kill one at a time are sufficiently rewarding in terms of exp or money (big OG or infested tunnels).

There should be a zone where mobs have little to no AC as a melee counterpart to all the zones that have undead or constructs that cant be crit. Or all the zones that have no resists
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
There should be a zone where mobs have little to no AC as a melee counterpart to all the zones that have undead or constructs that cant be crit. Or all the zones that have no resists
I really like this idea as a way to differentiate dungeons further
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
Please get rid of the silly 30 minute timer on nameds actually "spawning" in emberflow.
I don't really know why this thing exists other than some suggestion that it was to prevent rustcode depops but it makes that zone suck. I am also pretty sure that this timer didn't originally exist. If this is the only way to make rust mobs not delete themselves than maybe just lower the timer significantly (2-5 minutes?)
As tevinter said I would love to see citadel returned to some degree of its former glory or there to be hopes of exp content thats worthwhile that doesn't involve pulling 6+ mobs to cataclysm down over and over.
Most zones really need to have their mob density or respawn times looked at if you want them to be desirable for the currently existing playerbase.
 

iBluNT

Dalayan Elder
Feel like you could take a few different views on what a dungeon should entail. As you mentioned there’s many quests associated with many, if not all of the dungeons I’ll mention below. Then factoring in if it’d be primarily an experience niche, money farm niche, etc. becomes a hard balance. I personally feel that dungeons should really be using Kaesora as a baseline for exp/hour, and FR for plat/hour. It’s no secret that the two biggest time sinks in this game outside of questing are a vast amount of AAs needed to be viable, and your charm. As we continue to dwindle on population, these have to be looked at deeper.

Charm credits were a step in the right direction, however a lot of people will still turn to raw platinum farming for their charm because it’s much faster, group comp doesn’t allow you to play a credit looter, and population doesn’t allow full groups to pop out of no where at any hour. Perhaps look at making credits tradeable with a pristine tag. If the looter cashes in a pristine credit, they get a full amount. If they loot it and trade it, its value decreases. People could then go and turn and sell these for a lesser face value to make it worth looting, and sort of a win-win for both parties. Example being, I buy a credit with a 500 plat value for 300 plat. Makes the seller happy because he didn’t let a ton of these rot instead, and even though the buyer shelled out platinum, you’re still getting a solid investment towards your charm for less. Also strongly urge to make these stackable. Bag space is, and always will be, a premium as you’re constantly juggling bane items, gate clickies, potions, loot, etc.

The biggest problem that I see right now however is that almost every AoE weapon has recently been nerfed. Shards exp is historically an AoE heavy grind. You’d be at a loss if you didn’t bring some combination of an AoE aggro tank, druid with cata, necro with strands, or wizard with harvest. Being able to bring a multitude of classes and not feeling like you’re holding your group back would be a breath of fresh air for many. One thing I personally, and I think quite a few other people, would love to see is something less AoE oriented. More challenging monsters with more gains. As Tev said, OG tunnels attempted this but the laughable platinum/experience per mob is a huge deterrent unless you’re going for quest items or Jenrok. I still do think there should be some zones with huge mob densities for flavor - I think it’s just become too much of a theme.

I think rust coding is a great feature of the game and allows additional opportunities to get more for less and should be utilized in Ikisith / other dungeons as well. This alone could be the touch that a specific zone needs to make it an actual option.

Another interesting topic is the continuation of the Dungeon Delvers quest. Why stop at a tier 6-7 item and not go all the way?

Catacombs: Respawns are too long for this place to be a viable exp location for groups. Even in Seasons on tier we were without monsters for a bit. Plat is also scarce but not expected much. I do think that it had potential as a good view of what an on tier dungeon should entail, offering exp, quests, and no drop gear off bosses. It’s just been easily out grown it feels. Undead only.

Kaesora: Mob density and mob difficulty makes this place one of the best places for raw exp numbers. The trade-off is usually the lack of platinum earned, which in theory is fair. There has to be a few of these kinds of places, but no where quite reaches its exp gains yet. Credit drop rates are good here which help alleviate this.

Citadel: Very cool flavor zone with the amount of different areas you can go to, with different named. Named rarity is an issue however. Has enough questing to bring interest to the zone but could use a buff for anything beyond that.

BQ: Can’t say anyone really touches this zone anymore unless you’re after R1 pieces or MQ. It has really great potential but even a solid on tier group can take down the elite side with at least 10 minutes to spare before respawns. Golem side runs into the issue of construct damage being a hinderance, and there’s no cash over there.

FR: Has been undeniably the single biggest cash cow in the game for a while. Other zones do come close but has to be the biggest bang for the buck based on mob density for all difficulties, trash BoE possibilities, rust codes, etc. The exp is also extremely appealing for the amount of plat too. I really think more zones should strive to reach FR levels for plat/hr. There have been many times where I’ve logged in, seen FR occupied, and logged off because of it. This is the only dungeon guilty of being deity based, but I don’t think it has been a problem for many.

LOIO Fort: This has been refreshing, even for a duo. New content, quests involved, rust coding cash named, good mob density to keep a group occupied, and good experience respectively. This place may come close to Kaesora in exp but never ran the numbers. One thing off-topic (these weapons could be used for refuge faction turn ins). Love the addition of mech suits too.

Highkeep: Obviously a lower tiered zone with scalability. Named are pretty rare, but I think this zone isn’t half bad. The key requirements are slightly annoying based on the named rarity. Also - the lantern quest involving traps has been broken forever. Maybe the recent rogue fixes have turned this around, but TBD. Undead only as well.

Rust: Do we consider this a dungeon? Not sure what you could even do with this place’s footprint other than what’s already been done. Cool zone, wish there were more cash, but it is what it is. Factory monsters are actually pretty tough without solid burst dps for repair drones, and just the sheer amount of adds per mob. Maybe reduce the amount of adds per mob, but increase hp? Spitballing here. Undead / clockwork damage only.

Sunken Cathedral: Not bad from the little I’ve been in there. I’d let other people comment on it though, as I haven’t spent enough time in there yet.

I’ll comment back if anything more comes to mind but that’s my two cents for now.
 
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Ceto

Dalayan Adventurer
For Kaesora chests, since the average reward used to be upwards of 1500p for either vendoring a tome or selling it to a player, wouldn't be too far off to have the chest randomly drop either a Lesser or Greater Charm Credit. Another idea would be to have them drop something exchangeable for refuge tokens. Maybe do both, incase nobody in your group needs charm credits at least you still get something.

The roll master in Citadel used to drop tomes. May be a similar forgotten case to Kaesora chests.

BQ Golems/Elementals used to drop opuses pretty often. There should be something to make up for that major loss in value.

Everchill seems to be targetted at a mid/low-tiered group, but the mobs there hit a weaker tank pretty hard. Even when you're able to mass pull, you don't really run out of mobs, but the platinum reward is still very lacking. Can be decent exp if you can mass pull, but low tier groups can't get a lot of potential out of the place.

Giving the castle and kobold village areas in Sorcerer's Labyrinth faster respawns might make those areas a viable low-tier exp spot, right now you run out of mobs pretty much with any group of 65s.
 
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Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
Rust factory would be fine if there wasn't the possibility of getting 3+ repair drones who require someone capable of killing them before they all decide to instantly complete heal each other. The gnomes going divine aura is rather annoying but not that big of a deal. The magic immune adds + the constant complete healing threat makes this makes your group suddenly feel like a slog and isn't very fun or engaging. When you aren't getting constantly hamstrung by bad luck on repair drones and endless spell immune mobs its pretty enjoyable and sometimes even really good money.
I would really love to see repair drones A) not complete heal and b) have actual cast times/mana limitations or just C) be removed entirely.

Highkeep would be fine if it had its respawn times lowered. I believe someone did this in the past but its still slower than the original rate which completely made the zone non functional for exp group purposes back in the day.

Bloodquarry I think really just needs the golems to be crittable. It also needs the yclistinite poisonin g or whatever the debuff the miners proc on you to be removed or actually fixed. The last time I went in I was constantly afflicted with an uncurable and unremovable snare/slow until I refreshed. I just wanted to farm a main quest piece and some items for a tradeskiller but the miner wing is unplayable bad as long as this persists.

Everchill is a zone I like but its also a zone that really needs slightly faster respawns(hopefully on the giants too) or maybe some more mobs put in the back areas.
 
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Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
Not really dungeon specific but I fucking hate looting. I think it is one of the most awkward and unfun mechanics, and in a lot of zones where you mass kill you basically need someone dedicated to spending half their time looting instead of helping the group kill mobs. It even sucks when duoing or soloing. A zone that either loaded all of its money into named or something like an NPC that gives you money based on how many mobs you kill (i think something in the murk does this) so you dont have to loot would be amazing. This issue is also just solved if you're only killing 1 mob at less frequent intervals, but theres no viable exp / money area like that currently.
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
Also I really enjoy the rohk elemental wing, with the exception of getting randomly summoned(you could probably just remove this) during a two pull into a prime its great. High exp per mob, low loot requirements, named, high damage output and short fights and a mechanic that instantly kills you for being bad/nonattentive. I really wish this this could be recreated elsewhere.
 

cornelweezy

Dalayan Elder
My two cents to add to this discussion is that experience and raw plat drops should be increased across the Board, bizarre 30+ minute respawn timers should be majorly reduced, and charm credits should be stackackle and droppable. Once upon a time Everquest players embraced timegates because "back in my day we walked uphill both ways" but the very best parts of SoD are raid content and we need to massively reduce the amount of time it takes a fresh toon to be useful in that space.

The fight club outside of Newport is a really great example of an event that is progressively harder and yields progressively better rewards right onto your character. More stuff like that. Even if it means loot tables are only for gear/quest pieces and vendor loots are converted to cash and every time a mob dies everyone on the hate list gets the direct deposit so we can do away with post group splits and needless clicking and let the good times roll.
 

Moghjubar

Dalayan Beginner
One thing that definitely came up in deep OG while we had a chanter in the group: all the trap adds suck, but you cant even aoe stun or mes any of them, and any big-mob area thing I think you might want to consider a crowd control group (also bring back chanter aoe mes)
 

iBluNT

Dalayan Elder
Not really dungeon specific but I fucking hate looting. I think it is one of the most awkward and unfun mechanics, and in a lot of zones where you mass kill you basically need someone dedicated to spending half their time looting instead of helping the group kill mobs. It even sucks when duoing or soloing. A zone that either loaded all of its money into named or something like an NPC that gives you money based on how many mobs you kill (i think something in the murk does this) so you dont have to loot would be amazing. This issue is also just solved if you're only killing 1 mob at less frequent intervals, but theres no viable exp / money area like that currently.
Off of this note.. would love to see corpses disappear if they have no loot like many eqemus / live too maybe? No sense in looting an empty corpse.

Also love barrel event in Bloodstorm when it puts platinum right onto each character automatically. Believe that’s similar to the Newport event mentioned above.
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
stealing lattens post from another thread and putting it here
What illanguar wrote about exp being challenging and what fun it was to accidently miss pull X mobs and survive is the thrill this game needs more of. Make harder exp zones that have really good exp reward/plat reward that make you pay attention. Citadel was great when you where tier 8-9 and you couldnt mass pull and it had good exp/plat before the nerfs.

In my opinion, Citadel one of the most fun and engaging exp zones in SoD with nothing else really coming close. Why? Lots of reasons.

With the exception of fledglings, I think every single trash mob in Citadel has a unique mechanic, and they're (mostly) spread throughout the zone rather than being in distinct wings. These mechanics punish you if you ignore them or don't pay attention to them, but do so without being so deadly / punishing that its a binary pass/fail check. The named are similar in this regard, with having unique mechanics and being more than just a mob that has higher HP / damage output. Each mob is also dangerous enough individually that crowd control is useful if you overpull at low gear levels.

The no-drops off the named are useful items, lots of cool utility clickies, a WR bag, worn illusion ammo, and even a couple items that are nice on a weaker 65 character or cool to put on a 55 adept alt (Thib represent). With a handful of exceptions (like BK shield or Patroller Satchel) you're almost always excited to see the rare no-drop even in place of a cash loot. Tome 2 drops from trash were also exciting like 10 years ago when the game had an economy and people needed tomes, but I don't think theres a modern day equivalent / replacement for that.

Routing creativity. Not every zone can do this due to zone geometry, but its really one of the nice things about citadel. You can go through the first castle, charge the BK, or go around the side into the monk area. Also a lot of different ways you can hit the named/phs inside the castle itself too, as well as choosing to kill/skip certain named depending on your groups clearspeed.

Pull size. You can't do gigantic pulls in citadel like you would in kaesora or early parts of FR (with the exception of adepts/fledgings, but they're limited in number and designed to be a swarm of weak mobs). You have some pulls that are 1-2 targets, and lots that end up being 4-8 targets depending on the strength of your group. Pull sizes like this don't make melee feel hamstrung by their lack of AoE and aren't large enough for casters to feel compelled to mindlessly press their PBAE spells. It also means wizards / necros aren't infinite mana the entire time. While they can use the fledgling areas to refill mana, they're spread out enough that you have to manage your mana inbetween. Your dedicated looter also gets to spend a lot more time actually playing the game. Smaller pulls also means player DPS matters more, since you can't just get hard carried by damage shield and riposte.

Mob HP / Respawn timer combo. Respawn timer is fast enough that you never have to wait on respawn and mobs you killed at the start of your clear will start respawning while you're still mid-clear. It gives the zone a sense of progression as well as rewarding you for bringing the best group possible of unboxed people. As you got better gear you'd start clearing more named PHs, pulling larger, and clearing "extra" mobs for exp. It keeps you from slacking / getting lazy. Theres nothing wrong with lazy / chill exp areas (its preferred sometime), but "why bother trying / playing better if we wait on respawns anyways" isn't a good feeling.

Hopefully this helps devs identify what makes citadel one of peoples favorite zones to play in. Nobody goes there now mostly because of the exp / plat being really bad compared to the best zones.
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
Can you elaborate more on this
When you rustcode (rustcode is when killing a trash mob has a chance to spawn a named / ph) a named in Emberflow, the named appears on track, does a zonewide emote announcing that it spawned, but doesnt actually appear and become killable by players until 30 minutes have passed.
 

Fields/Balty

Dalayan Beginner
Could you add rust code to areas? Make certain rooms/areas repop after clearing a few rooms/areas. For example in Kaesora if you cleared the Unseen area then cleared the library area. Unseen area would respawn and vice versa.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
Could you add rust code to areas?
Yes this can be done. Older zones are written in older code. I was wondering this morning: "Do we take more time, convert to the new language, and do a few dungeons per patch rather than all at once?".

Pros: Better job. More manageable work load. Easier to add rust code.

Con: Might have to revisit a dungeon to re-tweak it several patches along. (based on new data or something)

I was running around BQ for a long time, and when you look at the zone, it still has a lot of potential. Perhaps reskinning the rock side so it is less bland, etc
 

Fields/Balty

Dalayan Beginner
If it's not a ton of work pick a dungeon and get feedback on said dungeon. Make it live and test it for a patch cycle. Based on original and post implementation feedback should have a good idea. In theory less re-tweaking.

Take a look at Windstone. The dungeon felt overtuned for a dungeon that is supposed to be on par with EF. Much less cash/xp/quest items.

I liked BQ but why go now? ZEM is really low, no more tomes/opus, and not really a cash dungeon. Respawns felt ok in there with a not T15 tank but could be improved. Rocks are very bland. Reskinning wouldn't make me want to visit that place unless I had too.
 

stever

Dalayan Adventurer
Is there anyway for the “a bloodfire channeler” to have their manadrain proc/spell/whatever they are doing reduced or removed? First Ruins is a fun and challenging zone, but being oom after fighting 2+ of these mobs at a time is not an enjoyable gaming experience. I realize this has been here since the bloodfires came out of the portal and made the rats flee to mistwoods but it would be a nice thing to adjust.
 
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