Deep Dungeons Yay or Nay ?

  • Yay

    Votes: 8 66.7%
  • Nay

    Votes: 4 33.3%

  • Total voters
    12

freakytapir

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Honestly, I wanted to call this SuperDungeons, But I didn't want it to be confused with the Superbosses thread.

Now, when the game has Superbosses, they're usually at the end of some extra hard dungeon, right? Filled to the brim with insanely hard enemies that make for perfect endgame grinding to defeat those selfsame bosses. (Yes, yes, bosses should be strategic too, but a little bit of a level gate never hurt anyone). I'm not talking about optional ones along the storyline, but specifically a dungeon that's harder than the final boss in the game.

The other kind are the type of 'Palace of the dead' and 'Heaven on High' from FF XIV, or Via infinito from FF X-2, just extremely long dungeons consisting of sometimes even a hundred floors.

Now, considering these aren't the entire point of your game, do you think including these are worth it?

Even if you randomly generate them, the system to generate them takes time away from main game development (once again, this is assuming this type of dungeons aren't the core draw to your game).

As a player, do you expect or want these, as a designer, do you think they're worth the effort?
 

Tai_MT

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As a player, I don't really expect such things. I understand their appeal to an extent. The problem I end up having with them is that devs tend to go "overboard" with them.

That is, the content "outstays its welcome". 20 floor dungeon? Okay, I'll engage to an extent. 50 floors? I'm not sure I want to do that... 100 floors? That sounds really tedious. How do you keep such content interesting for 100 floors? 200? Did you design anything else for this game, because there's no way I'm going to spend so much time grinding 200 freakin' floors of boringness.

That ends up being the main issue I have with such content (yep, even in FFXIV, which is why I never completed more than a dozen floors of the Palace). There's no way a dev kept that content interesting for 100 floors or more. There's no way they managed to keep that content interesting for even 20 floors in most cases. Sure, they could have... but since most devs haven't managed to do it, I'd be safely placing my bet on "they didn't manage it" every time.

Grind, for the sake of grind, doesn't really tend to appeal to me. In fact, the reason Heaven on High and Palace of the Dead even work in FFXIV is because they're seen as "fast leveling areas". That's it. People aren't there for the content. They're there for very quickly leveling up classes and jobs. There are woefully few players who declare such content as "fun" in the game, that I've run across.

Does that mean it can't be fun? Absolutely not. There is likely a way to design such content to remain relevant, interesting, and engaging for 100 floors or more. It often just tends to be a lot of work for a dev team to manage that, so it's rarely done.
 

Aerosys

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Even if you randomly generate them, the system to generate them takes time away from main game development (once again, this is assuming this type of dungeons aren't the core draw to your game).

You can try out my plugin! (See my signature)
 

lianderson

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Got a procedural one that goes on infinitely. Some people really enjoy it. (Currently making an open ended tailor made super dungeon that can only be reached by the infinite procedural one)

If you feel like making it, then make it! Make everything! Power to the super dungeons!
 

Willibab

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Yay! If you plan to put effort into it. Nay! If not.

That is pretty much my answer for all mechanics now that I think about it xD
 

freakytapir

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Grind, for the sake of grind, doesn't really tend to appeal to me. In fact, the reason Heaven on High and Palace of the Dead even work in FFXIV is because they're seen as "fast leveling areas". That's it. People aren't there for the content. They're there for very quickly leveling up classes and jobs. There are woefully few players who declare such content as "fun" in the game, that I've run across.
There is one other reason people do it. There is an achievement if you finish it Solo from the start without dying (Necromancer).
But you're right, it is mostly used to grind, the same things as the MSQ roulette. No one really likes those battles, but they bring in boatloads of XP and are no-brainers.

That said, I prefer grinding in semi random dungeons to just slaying enemies on the overworld or running static content. Yes, it's grinding, but the monotony is broken up just a hair.
 

Ratatattat

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Yay! If you plan to put effort into it. Nay! If not.

That is pretty much my answer for all mechanics now that I think about it xD

I kind of feel the same in general, with the additional condition that it doesn't take away from the rest of the game (by taking up limited time/effort/resources). But if your time and resources are limitless and therefore implementing such a thing doesn't inherently have to take away from the creation of the core of the game, then go for it!

For any additional or optional mechanic, for me it has to check these boxes:
  • Not stray too far from the game's theme/aesthetic, or otherwise doesn't break immersion
  • Is fun/interesting in itself (as a product of putting effort into it, as Willibab mentioned)
  • Doesn't sap resources from making the rest of the game (as I already mentioned)
If it checks those, it's fine with me. It's optional. It's there for those who want to engage with it and ignorable for those who don't. However, the most extreme of completionists might complain if they're not interested yet still feel compelled to finish it anyway ;) But I don't think that's most people.
 

Tai_MT

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There is one other reason people do it. There is an achievement if you finish it Solo from the start without dying (Necromancer).

Yeah, there is the achievement. Or, I guess the shiny weapons if you want them. Much of an achievement hunter and shiny hunter that I am, the content itself put me off of ever wanting to obtain either.

That ends up being the problem for a lot of players, I think. The path to get the rare and coveted stuff just doesn't feel good. It doesn't feel fun.

Which, is interesting, considering that a great many people (myself included) will grind for the Relic weapons and armor. But, the grind for that ends up being "less onerous" most of the time, and slightly interesting. Likewise, the rewards are more "visually stunning" compared to everything else in the game.

There are few people who remark upon my title of "Z", but quite a few who remark on the shiny sparkly shimmery nature of the weapons I am using.

But you're right, it is mostly used to grind, the same things as the MSQ roulette. No one really likes those battles, but they bring in boatloads of XP and are no-brainers.

I really only run the MSQ roulette to get the tomes. In terms of levelling, it's probably one of the least efficient ways to do it. One of the reasons I've never understood why players engaged in it.

What I found was that "Leves" were actually some of the most efficient means of leveling up your classes (at least up to a certain point, since that practice was discontinued). You can run two "quests" that last about five minutes or so (a piece) and generally gain a level out of it. Meanwhile, you could've run the MSQ, spent about 50 minutes in there, and MAYBE walked away with a level and a half.

Just... not very efficient use of time.

That said, I prefer grinding in semi random dungeons to just slaying enemies on the overworld or running static content. Yes, it's grinding, but the monotony is broken up just a hair.

I prefer only grinding content that "doesn't last long". I end up running Tam Tara Deepcroft a lot just to "grind light" for my ARR RElics and though it's like 30 or whatever runs to do it, it doesn't feel long, and I have basically "optimized" the way I do it so that each run is less than 5 minutes or so.

But, if I must grind something else, I at least want it to be "interesting" to some extent. If it can't be interesting, I at least want it to be mercifully short.

That's sort of the problem with a "Super Dungeon" though. By design, it is going to be long. So, you need to find ways to get player engagement out of it since it will feel like a slog otherwise.

I think the closest thing I ever ran that had deep engagement for me as a "Super Dungeon" was basically just the design of dungeons in Dragon Warrior Monsters. But, it had a lot of separate systems layered on top that fueled engagement. First of all, it was a Pokemon type game. So, you were often in these things looking for new monsters to capture. Secondly, they were "randomly generated" screens on each floor, each time. This meant that item placement and other "features" were randomly strewn about. You could run into another trainer that you could steal one of his monsters, maybe. Or, he'd warp you to the bottom floor if you won. Or, you could run into a cleric who would heal you after you won. Or, you could drop straight into a treasure floor or shop floor to resupply. On and on. That was the gameplay loop. All the while, your monsters are gaining skills, gaining levels, perhaps even hitting "level cap". You're acquiring materials to make fights easier, or that you can sell for money. Or, you're getting the collectible "Tiny Medals".

That's probably the most fun I've had with a "Deep Dungeon" type system. But, everything in the game fed back into using it and making it as fun and engaging as possible.
 

LordOfPotatos

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the problem with superdungeons is that handcrafting them is a ridiculous task and procedural generation tends to be extremely boring and repetitive.

to make a good one you need multiplicative randomizers.

for example, make 10 maze like floors with various interconnected routes. you have 10 different floors.

then make each floor have a bunch of randomized roadblocks in various spots, this makes each floor have, say, 10 possible routes you have to find. now you have 100 possible floors.
now put some chests in randomized locations with random loot. now the player will want to explore each floor even in the case of a very similar layout.

then make, say, 10 random battle effects that can happen on a floor. the party's healing abilities are halved, the floor is dark so you're nearsighted while exploring, enemies have increased attack but reduced defense, that kind of thing.

now you have 1000 possible layout and effect combinations.
if 1/10th of them are decently unique you have enough for 100 floors worth of dungeon.
and you only needed a fraction of the effort.

now you need battles, you could make, for example, 20 enemy types for the dungeon.
then you make the troops have a randomizer, each battle has from 4 to 8 enemies (depending on dungeon progress) randomly selected from the 20 you made.
so now, assuming those 20 enemies are well made, you have hundreds of different battles the player can encounter, though a lot of them will be samey.

now copypaste those 20 enemies and make a super roided up version of each one, and make these a semi-rare spawn on any enemy group. that warps how you approach the fight so even a battle with the same small enemies will be different if it gets a different boss enemy.

with that you have well over 1000 battles for the player to face. again if 1/10th of them are decently unique you have enough for the dungeon. and you only made 20 enemies.

this, as you can see, is still a lot of effort. that's why most of them end up sucking.
thanks for reading :/
 

RCXGaming

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... Y'all really jumped on the "procedurally generated" part of the discussion more than anything else.

the problem with superdungeons is that handcrafting them is a ridiculous task and procedural generation tends to be extremely boring and repetitive.

Kinda depressing that The Pit of 100 Trials from Paper Mario is the first impression we get of what Superdungeons should be like in RPGs. You can make dungeons that are... not like this, especially since this is the most milquetoast, boring thing you could do for postgame content.

I don't think it's crazy to tackle Deep / Bonus / Super Dungeons as just another dungeon in the game, but one that asks a lot more out of you than any other place in the game.

Example from a game I like: Chrono Trigger DS has the Dimensional Vortices that contain "remix" versions of areas you've already visited the first half of them (as well as some brand new maps), but the second half is completely original.

My favorite is the Time-Space Lab where you have to play with your reserve party members when your active party gets locked behind a door.

You can get some of the most powerful equipment in the game here, and the bosses at the end are "shadow" counterparts of the main trio - making them more interesting than just whatever big monster you could have fought instead.

--

A few examples from me:

The Destroyer Palace is a bloody underground coliseum filled with the nastiest creatures imaginable, filled with extremely dangerous enemy compositions intended to challenge you no matter how high your level gets.

Each section of the Palace is guarded by a mini-superboss (aka. an excuse to have exotic mechanics), complete with a unique labyrinth for each one that puts all of the skills you've learned across the game to use.

Once each one is defeated, it opens the main path that leads to a showdown to the leader of the place.

It probably won't take you much longer to complete than an hour or two, since it's not endlessly repeating the same floors over and over.

Also, it doubles as an actual coliseum-type place where you can rematch enemies you've fought before.

--

Zero Space, the chaotic realm of the dead and a world where the laws of reality do not apply. Here you have to deal with unique challenges such as:
  • Being reduced to level 1
  • Not being able to use magic or items
  • Being forced to go alone
  • Being forced to use a specific set of equipment
  • The game actively trying to trick you
Basically anything that debilitates the player in a significant way that I can't use anywhere else.

Also, due to the nature of Zero Space, I've decided to put a unique horror spin on each segment you visit.

The "reduced to level 1" place is a haunted park led by a soul-sucking vampire where most of your party members are physically aged back into being children, and you meet other people there who are similarly kidnapped.

The "game actively tricking you" is a place that resembles the average RPG but everything is trying to kill you. The inn will reduce you to 1 HP, the shopkeep sells overpriced lookalikes that hurt you, and even the save point will attack you - not your character, but you the player through a fourth wall breaking jumpscare.

Even the tutorials lie to you, banking on the idea that you would trust what they say unconditionally.

etc etc.

tldr; you can frame bonus dungeons in so many ways than just "oh here's a procedurally generated dungeon."
 
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