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[Discussion] Let's talk about Dungeon 4 & difficulty

Discussion in 'Gaias Retaliation ORPG' started by Jumbo, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    Hello all. Since we don't know when D4 will be released I think now is as good time as any to discuss the difficulty of this endgame content.

    First of all I suppose we can all agree that:
    -D4 bosses should be relatively harder than Whitepine bosses.

    That still leaves a lot of details:
    -should D4 bosses be more complex?
    -less forgiving?
    -gear check?
    -resistance dependencies?
    -longer fights?

    My personal opinion is that D4 should be similar to how Molten Core and Onyxia were in Vanilla Wow. Not everyone can beat them - if you don't pay attention, or don't have decent/close to BiS gear. Given that Gaias dungeon boss fights are only for 4-5 people (unlike the 40 man raids), D4 should force all players to be well geared and skillfully fullfilling their roles. This is a departure from current content where the occasional upcoming player can get boosted. Furthermore, I think, as I've stated before, resistances should be a thing on at least the end boss.
    From D4 we will then have a very solid challenging starting point for even harder content and it initially will take us more than 2 days to beat - ideally more than a week or even longer.

    What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
  2. S0ulseeker

    S0ulseeker

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    I believe i heard in the past that the first boss of d4 will more or less be a gear check similiar to the yeti preoaring people then the next 3-4 bosses would be complex mechanics.

    I agree though the skill on d4 should feel complex, it should feel hard, not everyone should be good enough to complete it, and it should feel rewarding
     
  3. Bleach_of_pain

    Bleach_of_pain

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    i would like a boss that has a enrage mechanic cause armor has not a high value atm.
    also would be a blink mechanic cool for example every second the boss or elite mobs check there aggro and if the target with the highest aggro bar changes they blink to that guy.
    also the elitemobs and bosses need to deal enough dmg to kill a necro. on thing would be a spellhast slow on autoattacks.
     
  4. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    Good ideas guys. And Bleach, based on your enrage idea, I realised that I would really like to see hp buffs on tanking gear to be increased to such a point that a full D4 item tank can have +2000 hp. This is to make healing a more tactical thing in those fights, as it will reduce the amount of overhealing. Furthermore, it will differentiate between tanks and non-tanks to a degree that makes non-dedicated tanks virtually useless for main tanking. Finally, armor's dmg reduction will also play a more important role with this change.
    All things considered, I hope for a great end game, where every class has one or more roles to play, but stepping outside of these soft boundaries will likely end in failure. Gone should be the days of a necromancer, dps berserker, or bishop tanking a boss (unless they have dedicated tank gear made for them).
     
  5. Bleach_of_pain

    Bleach_of_pain

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    i also agree with the point of overhealing
    also a cool spell would be a bleeding effect for example you get a debuff and if you walk you take dmg for every 100 range unit 100 dmg
    also we all know that its some kind of jungel area if there are some fruits on the ground that for example stop the bleeding or give a effect that you need to make your fight easyer would be cool.
     
  6. Gripphon

    Gripphon

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    Hello. This post is coming from a guy who didn't play much of multiplayer except with my friend, but I am planning to do so soon, and main reason is Blackfire Deep. Until that part arrived I didn't really see any endgame in the game which is exactly the reason why I didn't play much. Killing bosses once is cool, twice is cool, but it gets old doing same kind of runs and killing same kind of creeps and bosses all the time for farming purposes. I'm doing it now obviously, but that is not my idea of fun endgame content. Maybe I just had enough after doing tens of thousands various runs in diablo 2, but there PvP was true endgame I'm still sticking to, not PvM.

    So, I think randomized dungeon similar to Blackfire Deep to keep things as far from boring routine as possible, to keep things interesting, to keep things actually unpredictable would be awesome. Kinda like BD for outside gear we farm like maniacs to have. Having yet another stationary dungeon with stationary bosses is... dunno, might be fun to do first 10 times, but after that...? BD was awesome idea, but something similar for elite gear would be also awesome to have in my opinion. Maybe bosses could be stationary, or they could have randomized spells too to make things even less predictable...

    Also, maybe something that is also more balanced to play for 2 players, X players in general? Namely, if you enter with 2 players in dungeon it gets balanced for that, then for 3 players and so on. I assume that will be quite problematic to balance like that though, but that is just an idea.

    Anyway, I'm just hoping there will be more endgame content with unpredictable and fun nature, and D4 seems like an ideal place to make repeatable and fun endgame content.

    My 2$
     
  7. Shamu

    Shamu

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    First, I'd like to note that making the content similar to onyxia or molten core would be horrible. Onyxia was incredibly easy, and molten core bosses barely had any mechanics. The only difficulty came from the playerbase being complete noobs. If you were to release such raids in WoW today, you'd make a fool out of yourself. Onyxia was killed by a 3 man raid (with naxx gear, but still).

    Also, I think resistance requirements on the final boss are a bad idea. Resistance always means that there is a loss inother stats, and is kind of takes away the fun of putting together a kickass dps gear (look, this armor has dps stats that are so awesome I literally peed myself a little! Too bad I can't use it, because there's no resistance on it. I guess I'll throw it in the bin). You should be allowed to use full combat stats on a final boss.
    If you want to make resistance a thing, give each player a choice between 2 or 3 buffs for that fight, each one giving a different resistance type, which lets you deal with one particular mechanic of the fight. Like having the boss deal fire damage on autoattacks, and aoe poison damage, meaning that the tank can take fire resist, and the rest poison resist (sounds boring, but could be elaborated further to really make it a choice, not just an obvious decision).
    Having another boss require some resistance would probably be ok though.

    Having a gearcheck boss as the first one makes sense. After that, it shouldn't be done anymore. The problem is that there are only 4 people, not 25 or 40. In 25 man raids in WoW, every class fills a role, and you'll want at least one of each class. This is possible because there are less classes than raid slots. In GR, there are more classes than group slots. Having a really brutal gearcheck then creates an incentive to only use the best classes. For example, if a crusader takes slightly less damage than a monk, and the gearcheck is tuned too hard, monks will be told to reroll crusader (or do it by themselves, because they see the crusader as superior). Gearchecks have to be lenient enough to allow all classes to be played. This means that if you happen to play the best possible setup, you'll have less problems with dps and hps requirements.

    To still make an encounter difficult, you need to create mechanics that are not dependent on gear. Have a wall of fire come at you that oneshots you if you stand in the wrong place. Any class can move around, and any player can fail at it or not. Comparing it to WoW completely fails in this regard though, because WC3 is a completely different game. You can't import mechanics without carefully assessing whether they make sense in WC3. However, some things can be compared. From WoW, it is known that a lot of players have the movement skills of a paraplegic, and I think that is where you could make content difficult without creating incentives to only stack op classes.

    But there should still be a reasonable minimum of required gear, just don't set it too high.

    tl;dr: Difficulty should come from movement, not gearchecks. And vanilla wow bosses were garbage in terms of mechanics.
     
  8. S0ulseeker

    S0ulseeker

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    The terrain is already completed for D4 so having a randomized dungoen seems unlikely at this moment for this dungeon. I'm sure Zwiebel may add other things down the road though using that mechanic system. D4 will feel different though than every other dungeon in gaias thus far. it's going to have like 11 bosses in it. It's going to 'complete' the story of Gaias. Having that many bosses in end game will keep things interesting for a while. You stated you never really played much multiplayer, but when D3 was the end game content people would go mad over d3 runs and they were arguable the most fun I've had in gaias. As far as other end game content Zwiebel has hinted in the past of adding PVP arena's and such or other mini things. Who knows we might even see more dungeons.

    The problem with giving a boss random abilities in a big dungeon such as D4 is balancing issues. It works well in a place like Blackrock Depth, but balancing a 'raid' around random abilities is imo hard to do.
    In theory balancing dungeons around the number of players in the game could work, but it loses what makes the dungeons fun, and could drastically simplify the game. No one would play multiplayer anymore if that was an option. Everyone would just solo dungeons and take away the core values of gaias running with tanks and healers and dps.


    I respectfully disagree on the required gear aspect. This is gaias end game dungeon. This is the first dungeon in the game designed strictly for level 50's. Everyone entering it should at least be in zharo/seer gear. The first boss should be a straight up gear check to determine if you're even ready for what's to come. HOWEVER I do believe strongly that after that a majority of the difficulty should come from mechanics and movement.
     
  9. Shamu

    Shamu

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    I didn't mean to suggest that you should be able to run it naked or anything like that. That would be ridiculous.

    Since the first boss is, if I got that right, intended to be a gearcheck, then you won't get to any other bosses without some minimum required gear.

    What I meant to say (and apparently didn't formulate properly, sorry), is that the final boss should not be a gearcheck, because of the reasons I mentioned. I am all in favor of an initial gearcheck encounter.

    I just believe that having a boss that is tuned too hard in terms of gear requirement could harm the game. That would require the first boss to not be too hard (but by no means freeloot). I think that is justified for the first boss out of eleven, since the other bosses can focus more heavily on difficult mechanics, while still requiring you to have beaten the initial gearcheck. Also, depending on how good D4 gear is, you can influence how much D4 gear you should have to progress (if the final boss can be killed without D4 gear, he might be too lenient, if he required full D4 gear he might be too hard).

    If nothing else, I want to warn from being too fixated on making bosses too hard in terms of dps/hps/tps, to an extent where some classes cease to be viable, because even though it makes an encounter hard, it can be very frustrating.
    Ridiculous tuning should not be what makes an encounter hard in GR.
    Besides, difficult mechanics require more skill to handle than simply having a better class or better gear. If you want to reward skill, create encounters that are still hard with the best gear.

    But I really should stress that starting out with good pre-D4 gear should be required.
     
  10. Gripphon

    Gripphon

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    Thank you for reply.

    Sounds interesting to me. 11 bosses ^^

    I know many if not all gaias players have great fun in doing such things as D3 in the past, I just thought to bring somewhat different perspective on it here from a guy who considers such repeatable bosshunts to be fun in its own way, but also seeks something different than that in this great RPG (we did hit some bosses as a group of 3 players). PvP arena sounds very fun to me for example as do other slightly different things like that where you could use farmed gear for something else than hitting yet another boss with it. The more endgame content RPG has, the more players it might actually attract.

    I know balancing is incredibly hard, I've also done some my random maps where I've seen first hand what it means to balance something and I didn't even do some MP maps at all. So yeah, Zwieb is doing amazing work there. Balancing such dungeon with random skills is beyond hard, but idea could be there somewhere for something like that in the future. After all, it will always have some balance issues, it is always like that in such games. You try to balance thing X, then you realized thing Y got out of balance slightly and so on...


    True, but my idea was not to balance dungeon for solo at all, but for various number of team players, like 2 and more. If 2 is too little, then for 3,4 and 5. Again very hard idea to balance, but at least idea could be there somewhere like in example before. I just thought that, whatever dungeon balance is, that players have a choice to get in as a group of 3 to stand a chance, that they won't need 4 players minimum to even attempt the dungeon and similar things like that. Normally I'd welcome the possibility to face something as a group of two, maybe not dungeon 4, but one of mini-stuff that is planned to get in the game. The more options players have, the better it is in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  11. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    I have to make what some would call an elitist opinion here (but no, I am not an elitist. I am not even one of the best players, as I just play to have fun in team games while socialising):
    -No, D4 should only be designed for 4-5 players. No flexibility here (with the exception of people with lots of endgame gear, in which case the early bosses could be done 3- or even 2-man.

    -Gear checks should play a role after the first boss. Without gear checks, you will feel no progression after the first boss, and every boss afterwards will just feel like a freely selectable bunch of bosses. This is horrible from a progression point of view, as progression is completely eliminated.


    Keep in mind that just like you said Shamu, it is not a 1:1 comparison to Wow. I simply take existing images/boss designs in a well known (MMO)RPG to get a point across. Of course no one wants a system where some classes are useless. Because of these things, I agree fully with you that gear should not be the only deciding factor. To be honest, gear should never be the only factor. This is not some Farm rpg, but an intelligently made one, with sophisticated boss fights. Gear req should be a factor, progressing as you defeat each boss.


    An example, if we take it there will be 11 bosses, I could see a system where:

    -boss 1 is the gear check
    -bosses 2-3 are slightly harder than 1.
    -bosses 4-7 are doable with only a limited amount of D4 items, but full Whitepine starters will have a hard time.
    -bosses 8-10 are off limits unless each of the 4-5 players have very good D4 gear.
    -Boss 11 is considerably harder than every other boss.


    Also keep in my that in this example, all boss fights need to have a skill dimension as well. My hope here is a boss fight complexity ranging from Overseer-esque to pretty complex fights with more phases to master.



    My point is always, and I know Zwiebelchen agrees here in general (not necessarily on specifics), that endgame needs progression because we don't have levels anymore. If D4 is fully open for everyone right after Whitepine, it will be an utter failure. Zwieb will spend many months designing great boss fights and minions, but it will all be defeated in a few days because the difficulty is too low and therefore his hard work will be reduced to less than it should.
    I entirely agree with S0ul on the old D3 patches. Back then not everyone could defeat Firelord - and that was great! It made it feel like there was more left to the game, even for those of us who felt "high lvl" at the time.

    Also, just because each & every content is not for everyone it doesn't mean that Gaias will only be for a few skilled players; remember that we have a randomised dungeon for everyone already. I am sure that Zwieb will also add more universal stuff later on.

    Bottom line is, a combination of high skill and progressively higher gear requirements will make D4 a success.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  12. Bleach_of_pain

    Bleach_of_pain

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  13. Shamu

    Shamu

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    Are there any plans already on how exactly D4 loot will look like? If it's substantially better than anything pre-D4, then item progression should be fairly simple to implement.
    My concern is that if D4 loot is not substantially better than anything before it, you'll run into problems with tuning bosses.
    Like I said, I'm not in favor of gear not being a factor, but it shouldn't be a deciding factor as much as skill is.
    I see the main problem with the final boss though. It's the one most prone to being overtuned, and I think it should be the one where mechanics will break your back the most.
    Gearcheck bosses somewhere during progression kind of depend on how they're done. Specifically calling them gearcheck could imply that you'll need all the loot from the previous ones before you can beat him, and that might be a bit much, since you'd have to farm all the previous ones for loot quite a bit. But farming them a few times before being able to progress would make a lot of sense, if the loottables gives you a reasonable chance of getting an item (with 11 bosses, I'd expect the lottables to be rather small on each boss).
    It's normal for bosses to require more and more gear though, the further towards the end they are. I am by no means against that.
    You just shouldn't need the entire loottable of the whole dungeon to barely defeat the final boss in my opinion. I know that the last one has to be hard, because it's the last one, and if you make it hard via mechanics, it won't be easy even with full D4 loot or possibly upcoming heroic loot. I'd rather die to being a bad player than die to not farming all previous bosses to oblivion.

    But to get back to a point that isn't just me saying "don't tune to hard pls", are there specific plans for D4 loot, or plans as to how much better it is than pre D4? I think that would really give a much better basis for gearcheck requirements somewhere in the middle of the dungeon, and tuning in general, than my rambling will ever be.

    If I may just formulate my take on it again, to hopefully be a bit clearer:
    You should require D4 gear to progress in D4, but you shouldn't be forced to farm the living crap out of every boss before having a shot at the next one. Being able to clear the dungeon with pre-D4 gear would be bad.
    However, not having the absolute best gear before going to the enxt boss shouldn't keep you from progressing. I think that having to properly execute strategies should be the deciding factor.

    I merely wanted to state that tuning the bosses too hard might lead to problems. Especially in the final dungeon, overtuning might be somewhat tempting to prolong the content, but tuning the boss to gear requirements too hard leads to three problems:
    1. You have to farm every previous boss for loot, depending on the size of the loot tables this becomes a chore, more than anything else. But even with manageable loot tables, bad luck can always ruin things. There are games where I've done 20 runs to see one item out of five drop only once.
    2. Having the boss tuned too hard, even with the best possible gear, might make people try to get more dps/hps/tps/whateverps out of swapping classes. This is only the case if it's REALLY overtuned though, as long as classes are reasonably balanced.
    3. Difficulty through mechanics is just more interesting than insane gear requirements.

    That's why I say that the focus should not be on gear requirements. Focusing on mechanics and skill requirements is more interesting, and doesn't make you depend on luck with drops, and having the right class.


    To get back to the opening post though:

    That still leaves a lot of details:
    -should D4 bosses be more complex?
    -less forgiving?
    -gear check?
    -resistance dependencies?
    -longer fights?

    I think the general sentiment so far is that they should be more complex, and gear checks should be in place (and being specific on how much of a check it should be would probably clear up confusion, I think the first one can be tuned to full pre-D4, but within the dungeon itself you shouldn't require all loot from all previous bosses).

    this still leaves three points that were barely discussed (maybe because I won't shut up about tuning), so let's get to that too:

    I think in general, gearcheck bosses shouldn't be complex (at least the first one), but really just check gear. Further on, bosses should be less forgiving as it goes on. The final boss should be absolutely unforgiving, and require good execution of tactics.

    As I said before, I think the final boss should not require resistances, but previous bosses can. Never requiring resistances in D4 makes the resistance stats a bit pointless.

    Longer fights always leave room for more mistakes to be made, and are one way to increase difficulty towards the end. I think having bossfights be rather long makes sense.


    I hope the last part makes more sense than the rest that I wrote, I'm kind of bad with words, sorry (seriously). I'd also like to apologize for writing such long posts, I know it's a lot to read, but I really want to make sense, which I hope I now do more than before.

    On another note: Is D4 linear progression, or are there wings, or something of the like?
     
  14. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    I agree with everything you wrote. And yeah, longer boss fights is necessary.
     
  15. Bleach_of_pain

    Bleach_of_pain

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    one way to make it harder be a death counter for example your not allowed to die 10 times in the dungen or it will reset, i know its not a good way but worth saying
    or anothere way as a quest dont die in d4 in one try and you get xxx reward
     
  16. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    I think this will be hard to do since ressurection is a thing. I have another idea though:

    Chain bosses: Complete 2 bosses without wipes (all dying, reseting boss fight) to reach a 3. boss. Something like two lesser bosses with their "superior" as the third.

    Something like that would be nice as long as it doesn't force people to spend too much time on it.
     
  17. Bleach_of_pain

    Bleach_of_pain

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    i would like some changeing ground effects to force the caster to move and not stand still 24/7 and say prolololo im best dps in the world.
     
  18. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    Good idea. This is already in several bosses in Whitepine and Foothills, but it doesn't hurt to add more of it.
     
  19. Ira

    Ira

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    but you still had alot of time just standing around when the thing wasnt going your way or you could just leave the place and then stand around again
     
  20. Manipulation

    Manipulation

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    I mostly agree with Shamu. The difficulty should be based mainly on mechanics instead of gear.
    I have said this before, but the same applies to skills as well, a boss fight should never require a specific class or even sklll to be won.
    So yeah, i believe the boss fights should first and foremost be more complex then the rest aspects such as gearcheck etc.