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Feedback Central Veins / Ember Drifts - NorthReach

is this feedback?

Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
First off, I'd like to say the new mob types are impressive! The new dungeons are HUGE, and exciting to tackle! There are named monsters and they drop loot! This is all great!

Here are my top concerns and suggestions concerning the current dungeon dynamic, in no particular order.

1) nav mesh issues, particularly with Mires in the ember drift dungeon accessed from northreach. Also, with the spiders in the northreach static entrance. (I havent retested the spider area since the mini patch during the world breaker)
2) swarms of adds for seemingly no reason, likely due to nav mesh issues, but some due to multi level rooms which monsters on different tiers will aggro, and take a long time to calculate how to get to the party, and we think we are unagrroed, and pull a nearby monster in the room, then suddenly mid fight, we get a ball of adds.
3) super high densities of three cheverons. It's a real slog, to get from A to B. Likely certain death for on level parties.
4) fast respawning roamers and plenty of them, constantly repoppong 2 chev roamers in halls, with a wide roam range, makes it possible to get 3-5 adds in any given fight.
5) ember drifts need to be shorter, the mire dungeon is HUGE with many winding paths and branches. We went in with a full group, way too high level for the content, and we constantly struggled to make headway and not wipe. Our group was 32, 30, 28, 27, 21, and 19 (all high level for the content of around level 14 monsters). We were trying to maintain some dungeon discipline and do our best to pull effectively, and we were constantly swarmed by certain death for any appropriately leveled party. Our party was constantly getting members knocked out, and it was a slog the whole way. We never found an end to it after hours of hacking through the monster hordes.
6) deep boss rooms need to have an egress option. (Interactable shaft of daylight, the party can scurry up). It's a long road to get there, and to have no fast option out, is just harsh.
7) need to have a mid-point ring and res, also with an egress option and summoning option. Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew, or underestimated the difficulty level, and need to have a way out, or a way to replace someone who needs to leave early.
8) need to have an evac. Real life calls, and there needs to be a way to get out of dodge. There are all sorts of reasons people sometimes need to cut and run at a moment's notice. I personally work in a field of emergency medicine, and have to take call, which requires me to drop everything and run to my hospital. The current set up, only allows me to dungeon delve on a week I'm not on call. Even when I'm not on call, wife aggro, or family emergencies can strike... stuff happens, and having to suffer bag loss whenever it does, just adds injury to injury.


Suggestions:
Thin out the 3-Chev Population just a bit (perhaps replace some with 1&2-Chev), and reduce the 2-Chev roamer spawn rate and number a bit.
Bake a summon option into a class or two.
Bake an evac option into a class or two.
Give everyone an, 8 hour cool down, "EmberStone" item which fast travels you to a designated ember ring you are bound to and a /bind option to ember rings.
Put a few evac spots into dungeons, mid and end point, if they are huge.
Put a summon option into the front of an ember drift dungeon, since they are short lived and it might be hard to assemble a party before they despawn.
Put a summon option into a midpoint of long dungeons, so that when an essential person must leave, the party doesn't have to end.

Suggestion for evac classes, marshal and duelist, "fighting withdrawl" group evacs. Everyone appears at the zone in with 10% less hp and durability. Some might be knocked out and need help up.

Suggestion for summoning classes, knight "knights errand" and brigand "fools errand", summons a party member.

Sorry this probably has a lot of redundancy, just trying to get my recent world breaker dungeon experience concerns/suggestions down while they are still on my mind
 
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Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
Thank you, but I worry I suggest things that might change the feel of the game. The difficulty is a major draw for this game, and I dont want to make it easy. I just want folks to have a shot at yellow, white, and blue con, to survive and have success, if they are playing tactically sound.

It's a big shotgun of suggestions, which could be hyper reactionary.
 

ArcaneDisgea

New Member
Could you elaborate on the /bind option? Is this meant to be a way to select a specific ember ring as your evac location or could it also apply as a specific home point/respawn point option?

If it applies to respawn as well I think that would be a great idea, adding in that when you die you should have the option to either respawn at the nearest ember ring or the one you have bound.

This could have the potential to be abused, say I dump my entire bag into my stash and die to use it as a fast travel to another zone. Granted there would be no way to fast travel back to where you were so I think this would be a relatively minor problem in the grand scheme of things.
 

Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
I'd propose /bind be used to tag you to an ember ring location for the purposes of an item based fast travel on a LONG cool down (EmberStone if you will). But only with that item. All deaths should take you to the nearest graveyard/wakeup point.

I think any evac ability used by a player should be dungeon zones only (including overland dungeon like dryfoot stronghold), and that ability should return your party to the zone-in. In the case of multiple zone-ins, then there should be a designated one that it always targets.
 

AdricLives

Administrator
Stormhaven Studios
1) nav mesh issues, particularly with Mires in the ember drift dungeon accessed from northreach. Also, with the spiders in the northreach static entrance. (I havent retested the spider area since the mini patch during the world breaker)

Yea its been difficult to differentiate what is and isn't a nav mesh issue. It's better on each iteration, but hard to judge things.
2) swarms of adds for seemingly no reason, likely due to nav mesh issues, but some due to multi level rooms which monsters on different tiers will aggro, and take a long time to calculate how to get to the party, and we think we are unagrroed, and pull a nearby monster in the room, then suddenly mid fight, we get a ball of adds.

Yea I saw you guys getting swarmed in there by the spiders. I ran around and made sure some of the stuff was working and everything seems ok, I don't want to just assume its nav mesh related but went through and checked the other features and things seemed to be in working order.
3) super high densities of three cheverons. It's a real slog, to get from A to B. Likely certain death for on level parties.

I've addressed this for this weeks patch, should hopefully be quicker to move through the dungeon but still feel dangerous.
4) fast respawning roamers and plenty of them, constantly repoppong 2 chev roamers in halls, with a wide roam range, makes it possible to get 3-5 adds in any given fight.

Generally respawns are pretty slow, I think point 3 makes it hard to move past areas quickly enough, will check on this again this week.
5) ember drifts need to be shorter, the mire dungeon is HUGE with many winding paths and branches. We went in with a full group, way too high level for the content, and we constantly struggled to make headway and not wipe. Our group was 32, 30, 28, 27, 21, and 19 (all high level for the content of around level 14 monsters). We were trying to maintain some dungeon discipline and do our best to pull effectively, and we were constantly swarmed by certain death for any appropriately leveled party. Our party was constantly getting members knocked out, and it was a slog the whole way. We never found an end to it after hours of hacking through the monster hordes.

Will check on this again with the reduced 3 chevrons since moving through should be quicker, but we can keep this on the table too.
6) deep boss rooms need to have an egress option. (Interactable shaft of daylight, the party can scurry up). It's a long road to get there, and to have no fast option out, is just harsh.

yea I would like some of the mid-dungeon ember rings have a one way exit, just a matter of ironing out the details.
7) need to have a mid-point ring and res, also with an egress option and summoning option. Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew, or underestimated the difficulty level, and need to have a way out, or a way to replace someone who needs to leave early.

Mid-point ember rings exist, but I don't believe you will respawn at one. This can be problematic of course without one-way exits, but as long as any respawn point is also a dungeon exit I think this should be OK (don't want to get stuck at a mid-dungeon respawn by yourself).

8) need to have an evac. Real life calls, and there needs to be a way to get out of dodge. There are all sorts of reasons people sometimes need to cut and run at a moment's notice. I personally work in a field of emergency medicine, and have to take call, which requires me to drop everything and run to my hospital. The current set up, only allows me to dungeon delve on a week I'm not on call. Even when I'm not on call, wife aggro, or family emergencies can strike... stuff happens, and having to suffer bag loss whenever it does, just adds injury to injury.

This one is challenging, because any exit to the dungeon which doesn't require you to make it to an actual exit or does not leave your items behind circumnavigates risk. Will continue to think on this one.

Sorry this probably has a lot of redundancy, just trying to get my recent world breaker dungeon experience concerns/suggestions down while they are still on my mind

yea no doubt, the new dungeon is massive compared to the first one. I really appreciate all your feedback even if we disagree on points your feedback is great and always gives us good things to consider.
 

Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
My commentary on the spider side of the dungeon was stale, since I havent been back since the weekend patch.

Most of my commentary was centered around the ember drift mire dungeon.

One more thing I was noticing, was that the aggro range of many monsters was very large for anyone under 30 peeking around a corner. I felt like this could be dialed down a bit. It makes it really hard for appropriately leveled adventurers to break rooms.

One more thing, the podded mire's buff is OP imo. It is very long lasting, high damage, and with the recent ability frequency changes, it's up quite a bit.
 

AdricLives

Administrator
Stormhaven Studios
One more thing, the podded mire's buff is OP imo. It is very long lasting, high damage, and with the recent ability frequency changes, it's up quite a bit.

Thanks, I cranked up the mob ability use and figure there's a few abilities which need some cooldowns increased :p
 

Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
Lead an appropriately leveled party (except for me and Berry) through the first 25min or so of the static exile entrance of N. Reach, and it felt good. With dungeon discipline and proper pulling, we were facing achievable encounters.

For the mire drift dungeon, I think a quick and easy fix, would be to make it instanced and turn off respawn for it. Until of course you create new mechanics to address the length and difficulty issues. Also, please create a boss garunteed at the end with a BIG list of drops, which gives 2 pulls from it.
 
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On the evac type ability. Classic games like UO and EQ had this and it didn't seem to effect the difficulty or risk. EQ had a number actually and in Kunark even gave something to the melee/tank in the form of the Worker Sledgemallet. Feels like a nice QoL thing rather than something that impacts challenge.
 

Dalton

Well-Known Member
Or even having a “exit only” along certain parts of the dungeon. Like a subway emergency exit. Not immersion breaking. Like we had in Meadowslands. The Rope hanging that was an exit. Say have one every 25% of a way into a dungeon.

Could make some a little hidden, maybe not totally noticeable like a wall with a crack in it etc.
 

CypherWulf

Member
I attempted the dungeon with a group of mid-high teens on Saturday (you can watch Elloa's archived stream if you want to see it directly, here's my thoughts.
(our run starts at 8:00:00)

  • We entered through the spider cave side, so nearly every mob we fought were spiders until we got deep enough to start finding mires. Generally speaking that's fine, but it would have been nice to run into a little more variety. Perhaps the Mires could start making appearances a little early.
  • There are a good variety of spiders with different tactics and kill priorities, which makes each pull interesting and engaging. We found it nearly mandatory to call out the next kill to help us focus-fire the high priority targets down before their abilities became too much for the tank and healer to keep up with. Crowd control was also essentially mandatory for some pulls, as more than 2 ^^^ mobs at a time became incredibly draining on tank and healer stamina.
  • The mire AOE is fairly punishing, so keeping as many people out of melee was necessary to destroy them before the healer runs out of stamina. It would be nice if defenders had a ranged weapon option other than throwing knives for this purpose, but since everyone else was able to use bows/xbows two of us in melee wasn’t too much stress on the healer, especially with defender AC.
  • The content was difficult, but we were usually ok, as long as we were careful about our pulls. We were saved by having two defenders in the group, a 18 Knight as main tank, and (me) a 14 Marshal to pick up strays when I needed to, and DPS when I didn’t.
  • Respawns, especially deeper in the dungeon, are punishingly fast. We found it nearly impossible to clear a room and then use that room safely for more than a few minutes. Either as a place to pull forward mobs to, or as a place to rest, plan and prepare for the coming pulls.
  • It took about 1 ½ hours to reach a named mob (widower). We attempted to clear the area around it in order to have a place to fight it, deciding on the room behind it. By the time we cleared the area, killing the spiders and mires as fast as we could, we were also contending with respawns in the same room.
  • Boss fight starts at 9:02:00
  • Eventually, we thought we had achieved relative safety, we attempted to pull it. Along with the boss, we got 2 ^^^ spiders and 2 ^^ spiders. We probably could have handled that, thanks to our party composition and the experience with CC and targeting priority that we gained on the way in, but just a few seconds into the fight, respawns began to appear in our makeshift arena, a ^^^ mire, which instantly locked onto Elloa due to heal agro, killing her, and our attempt at the boss. At this point, we were facing a 1.5 hour+ slog back down into the dungeon just to get our bags, as well as Elloa having been playing for 9.5 hours already, and I for 7, so we decided to call it there. (Elloa was nice enough to GM magic us back to our bags then out of the dungeon)

Notes/TLDR:
  1. The variety in types and strengths of spiders is good, requires thought, planning and proper execution from the whole group. Well done there
  2. I would have preferred a little more variety earlier in the dungeon, as facing different combinations of ^^ and ^^^ spiders of four types only mixes things up so much. (Maybe mires earlier in the dungeon, or some exile holdouts or some bats)
  3. Dropping the bags as a penalty for death is good. It makes death properly scary and painful, however there are a few issues I would like to see adjusted.
    1. The nearly complete inability to get loot at all until you recover your bag is needlessly punishing. If you were able to get loot on your way back to your bag, and merge the bags when you get there, it would be way less demotivating to have to fight your way in again.
    2. Being unable to trade without a bag is an additional pain point. I should at least be able to give a player without a bag reagents and money, if not equipment as well. We had an issue with one player needing to repair their gear, but not having any money in their bank, and even though I wanted to help them, I wasn’t able to give them a few silver to pay for their repairs.
    3. I don’t know if it’s feasible from the code, but being able to assign a player as allowed to loot my bag would be nice for situations where someone is willing to help you get your bag back.
  4. Some sort of emergency egress needs to be put into place. Either consumable, cooldown based, or party based. A party losing a member deep in a dungeon to RL needs is essentially a death sentence to 6 players. Especially if the character they lose is a healer or tank. I’m sure you are sick of hearing this, but this is a solved issue for every other MMO, and is a necessary break in immersion in order to respect the time of your players. I think there’s room to have a system that is unique to EA, but there needs to be something. I’ll try to present ideas that I haven’t seen elsewhere on the forums or in other games.
    1. Ability or consumable that teleports the entire party to the Ember Monolith in the dungeon’s zone.
      1. Moving the entire party will help prevent it from being abused, and allow a party to get to the surface to replace a player and re-enter (through normal means).
      2. You’re still losing progress because you have to fight back in, but at least you don’t lose all loot for several hours’ work.
    2. Emberdrifts or teleport monoliths at somewhat predictable intervals. Perhaps with a consumable or ability that could be used to teleport a player to that location from the zone’s teleport monolith if there are 3 or more party members already at that location inside the dungeon.
      1. This helps alleviate the issue of a dungeon being a guaranteed x hour commitment, and allows a group to exit the dungeon if they are going to lose a key member, or potentially replace them in place.
    3. Ability or consumable to allow movement through the dungeon while not in a party without drawing agro (breaks if you take an aggressive action, use a gathering skill, attempt to open a chest, recover your bag, or heal another player)
      1. This would allow a player to exit alone or join a party alone without teleportation, but it would also potentially allow safe exploration of the dungeon for mapping and scouting. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it would mean that the dungeon’s layout would become known faster.
  5. Dungeon density and respawn speed needs a look. There need to be places, especially near bosses, that can be made relatively safe for at least a half hour. Killing dozens of monsters and not even getting 5 minutes of respite is too much.
    1. Respawn timers within a certain radius of a named mob should stop while that mob is in combat. Let us fight the boss without the possibility of getting a respawn right on top of us. There’s plenty of ways to die without that.
 

Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
As we have no instancing currently, implementing this tech is definitely not quick and easy :) Addressing the length and difficulty are much more feasible in my mind.
Instancing is tech you need to develope if you have a fleeting zone in. It is already functionally an instance, when the door has always closed so fast on my groups, that we have to ask a GM to port in the last 1-2 to arrive.

If you clone the zone, say 4 times. Set the opening to only randomly spawn every 8 hours, with a monster respawn timer of 6 hours perhaps? Each zone in would check to make certain another one isnt manifest before spawning.
 
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AdricLives

Administrator
Stormhaven Studios
Instancing is tech you need to develope if you have a fleeting zone in. It is already functionally an instance

Except for the entire being an instance part.

the door has always closed so fast on my groups, that we have to ask a GM to port in the last 1-2 to arrive.

It is limited entry, but it should remain up for a good amount of time, but that depends on when you spot it of course. I'll check on the timing, we definitely need to make sure to consider how long it takes to gather a party.

If you clone the zone, say 4 times. Set the opening to only randomly spawn every 8 hours, with a monster respawn timer of 6 hours perhaps? Each zone in would check to make certain another one isnt manifest before spawning.

Interesting idea. It would be pseudo-instancing in this regard. You still could fill it with 2 people or 20 people whatever you wanted with no restriction, but it would better represent that "fresh dungeon with guaranteed boss end" that I understand is your expectation.
 

CypherWulf

Member
Alternatively, if the emberdrifts we're to bring you to a room nearby the named boss that has been alive the longest, and remained in the world for entrance up until the boss it's tied to is killed (and for exit for a set amount of time afterwards), that could make emberdrifts a more bite-sized content option for a full party, introduce more variety of loot to the economy, and variety of content to players who haven't seen all the bosses.
 

Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
Interesting idea. It would be pseudo-instancing in this regard. You still could fill it with 2 people or 20 people whatever you wanted with no restriction, but it would better represent that "fresh dungeon with guaranteed boss end" that I understand is your expectation.
Indeed. I honestly dont want it cut down, or made easier. I do want no buggy seeming add clusters. (I feel with that issue fully resolved, we could better tune up the density). I like that it's a grand dungeon. I just want there to be a definitive end with a 4-chev boss, that might offer a few party upgrades, or might just send you packing...

No one likes the feeling of no way out, except another slog through a metaphorical and literal mire, after you've already been through hours of that. With no respawn the party can break for lunch if they need to, and reconvene later. The entrance wont manifest for X hours and repop dont start in Y, so they can plan accordingly.

There would need to be a system that boots camped players and players still in the zone after repops start, or a group could just camp in one of the zones in a safe place near the boss room, with a plan to login after the boss timer is up. That could potentially rob another group of their end goal.

Also, it would be nice to have some common and uncommon lieutenants along the journey. The current ones seem a bit too rare. I've killed hundreds of 3-Chev mire, and only witnessed 3 named spawn. And 0 spiders. (Just so there's no confusion, I am strictly referring to the ember drift dungeon)

In it's current state I cant entice my group to do further testing in it. That 3+ hour slog with a mental debuff helm reward, left them salty.
 
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Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
Cypherwulf, I'd like to give ya some advice on breaking pulls up like that big boss room.

Position your group far off. Have a long bow puller, pull in a position perpendicular to the line between the pull target and the party. Then VERY quickly beat feet away from the pull target and run round about back to the party. Also be certain to do some science on which monsters socially back up which monsters. I am not certain, but perhaps spiders back up mires, but not the other way around, or vice versa.

This pull method is the best I've found, to separate dedicated adds from inquisitive adds. Of course it's not 100% but I think it would have reduced the mob count in that wipe. I was watching the stream when it happened, and that was rough! Yall had done so well, with many hairy situations before that.
 

CypherWulf

Member
We tested earlier in the dungeon, the spiders and mires completely ignore each other. We did our best to split the groups whenever we could, but for the boss, the adds were sitting directly underneath, so we had no chance to split them.
 

Blyte Plays

Well-Known Member
, but it would have been nice to run into a little more variety.
I have felt the same. I think in these underground dungeons it should be easy to have ant representation. The mine and their colony could have encroached upon one another. They could be at war with the spiders even.

It could even have a dungeon entrance to an ant colony dungeon, down the tunnels with the ant representation. I love dungeons within dungeons!
 
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