With the update set to go live on Monday (29th March), this will be the last of the Illusion Castle blogs. And of course we have saved the best till last. Illusion Castle introduces two brand new dungeons to the game and in this blog we will give you a sneak peak of what to expect.
If you haven't already seen it, the official gameplay trailer (featuring the new dungeons) is now available. Hopefully the mmorpg.com team will soon upload it to the video section of the site but in the meantime it can be viewed online at youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHdUf7arEW4).
The new solo dungeon and the first real successor to the Panic Cave that went live in the previous update. Just like the Panic Cave, Steamer Crazy is also a timed dungeon run with three possible difficulty levels. Furthermore once again dying means the dungeon ends. You cannot use an odd circle to resurrect yourself , meaning the dungeon is a frantic, fast-paced experience that will force you to stay awake.
Full image: http://i.imgur.com/w7ObO.jpg
The entrance to the dungeon is set halfway through the wastelands of Fort Ruina, in the area with the old trains and railways. Once inside you are transported to the back of a moving train, and it looks really cool to see the railway flashing past while you fight on the narrow train itself. I say this with every new dungeon, but the developers and designers get better with every update, and they keep on trying new things, such as a dungeon set on a moving train in this case.
Full image: http://i.imgur.com/66I0t.jpg
Progress through the train is not quite as linear as it first appears to be, which I also enjoyed, and what is great about Crazy Steamer is that it has two chests with treasure, not just one. The drops also improve with the harder dungeons, even though the easy version can drop some rather rare pieces of equipment. Before anyone asks, yes, you will still receive character binding, and bind-on-equip, weapons and armour.
Overall the dungeon feels slower than the Panic Cave, and excludes the wild rush that characterises the older DX. It also appears to be a bit easier, although that is always hard to judge on the test server, and overall I enjoy this one more than the Panic Cave. I am curious to see how it will be received on Monday, but I am prepared to say I think most people will enjoy it quite a lot.
That circle animation means trouble - http://i.imgur.com/66I0t.jpg
A rather fiery encounter - http://i.imgur.com/bnp3l.jpg
Illusion Castle Underworld
This is the big one. The first and most obvious part of this dungeon is the freeview camera, which has only been used for the Forbidden Island dungeon before. Unlike the Forbidden Island however, Illusion Castle is located underground, in a vast maze of caverns and walkways. It is also rather longer than most of the current dungeons, with a dungeon time of two hours. Once again you can see the developers trying new things, and I think it really works in this dungeon.
The dungeon is meant to feel like a cavern. Stalactites and stalagmites appear everywhere, and occasionally you come across places where the ceiling of the cave has collapsed, allowing light to intrude from the outside. Other areas have you moving across narrow walkways, or past deep chasms with strange lights shining in the depths.
Full image: http://i.imgur.com/J4xfR.jpg
Full image: http://i.imgur.com/UEdgA.jpg
The Illusion part of Illusion Castle is there for some very good reasons, and everything in there is not what it appears to be at first glance. There are one or two sections in particular that will prove an interesting challenge to get past.
There are also some hidden quests to discover, and extra bosses hiding in the deepest part of the cavern, if you can find them of course. You will also see a very interesting use of the new looting rules in action.
The dungeon ends with a very interesting promise, which makes for a fairly clear indication of what is to come in the future.
Promises of things to come? - http://i.imgur.com/sahte.jpg
There is a title for completing this dungeon, and you become a ‘Distorted Soul Saviour’ when finishing Illusion Castle. The second rank of the title gives 1% resistance to all skill amp, and the third gives 2% - small bonuses as with almost every dungeon title.
As always feel free to ask questions in the comments section, and I will try my best to answer them.