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Astellia Devs on 'Dungeoneering' & Its Unique Take on Dungeon Runs

By Suzie Ford on April 09, 2019 | Interviews | Comments

Astellia Devs on 'Dungeoneering' & Its Unique Take on Dungeon Runs

When Astellia launches, it will come with a system called "dungeoneering", a unique twist on the typical MMO dungeon run. During dungeoneering experiences, players will be able to see loot tables before entering and each player will earn even more rewards based on individual / group performance. Finally, the dungeon will "score" performance. We checked in with the Astellia team to learn more about these unique mechanics. See what they had to say.

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MMORPG: You say that dungeoneering drives the storyline. What kinds of quests will players see in the outside world? Will some dungeon quests be multi-stage (as in clearing more than one to complete the objectives)?

Astellia: A good example of how dungeons drive the story in Astellia is shown fairly early in the gameplay. Specifically, we are referring to Rutlass Den. As the player is making their way through the world they will come to a town called Meiville. In Meiville, the citizens are having some serious issues involving children going missing. The local Kiyos, a humanoid ferret-like race, have become unnaturally aggressive recently, stealing from the town and even kidnapping children.

You as the Astellian are tasked with resolving these issues, lending aid to the town by arming the militia, recovering stolen items, and saving the lost children. Ultimately, you must bring an end to whatever is causing the Kiyos to commit these acts. Each of these facets of the story link to quests that the player will be able to complete as they make their way through Rutlass Den, and by progressing them you not only earn the dungeon loot and quest rewards, you learn more of the story behind the events.

MMORPG: With regard to the "greater performance = greater rewards" part: How "visible" will the performance scores and/or rewards be to fellow players? Is it possible that this could lead to trolling or toxic behavior between players, especially in PUGs? How will you address this?

Astellia: Your dungeon score is shown once the final boss is defeated, this ranking is only displayed to those who participated in the dungeon, and once they leave the dungeon this score is no longer publicly visible. Additionally, the score shown is reflective of the group’s overall performance, unless you are in a solo dungeon of course, between these two facts we do not have concerns about players performance shaming one another.

MMORPG: What made you decide to go against random loot and to offer players a choice of what they would like to aim for as a reward for clearing a dungeon? How do the performance scores affect the likelihood of getting a chosen reward?

Astellia: Each dungeon has a loot table that involves the element of chance with what you earn for completion, but the possible loot of each dungeon is made very clear before you choose to run the dungeon, below we will share a couple of images that illustrate what we are referring to. Another interesting aspect of this system is that we are able to adjust which loot comes from which dungeons easily. As an example, if we see many players running Caleonid Mansion, which has a chance to give them a specific Astel such as Eligos, we can opt to move this Astel to a different dungeon in order to allow players to enjoy other dungeons without feeling like they are missing out.

MMORPG: What factors caused you to make the change between the buyable Korean dungeon tickets and the earned version of dungeon tickets for the West?

Astellia: To us, dungeons are an inherent part of an MMORPG. Try to think of any that don’t have them and you will find their players asking for them. With this sentiment in mind, selling dungeon access simply did not seem proper to us. In our initial internal meetings, we compared it to buying a car and then having to pay for different FM radio stations.

MMORPG: Can you give us a brief overview of a "typical" dungeon across a number of difficulty levels? How many bosses would it have? Are there differences between difficulties in terms of mechanics, trash mobs, etc.?

Astellia:

  • Calleonid’s Mansion is a smaller level 45 dungeon featuring two bosses: the first boss is the massive Spider Queen, with Eligos, a Grim Reaper, as the final boss. For this example, we will focus on Eligos.
    • Solo Dungeon Mode
      • Eligos will charge up and mark the floor in a distinctive pattern, this pattern then becomes electrically charged and severely damages the player if they do not avoid it.
      • This encounter has three pillars that ring the perimeter of the encounter, each tower will spawn Eligos’s undead minions at a slow interval.
    • Group
      • Eligos’s attacks become noticeably quicker, including a reduction in the delay between his electrical charge up and the attack dealing damage, this increases the difficulty by demanding a faster response time, not to mention additional and more complex patterns are used.
      • While additional zombie towers are not added, the rate they spawn at, as well as their health and damage, are increased, adding a constant level of pressure to the fight, especially if crowd control is not used.
         
    • Legendary Dungeons will take each encounter to an even greater difficulty, offering even more complex mechanics and requiring considerable group coordination. However, we will not launch with the Legendary Dungeon system in place. After an extensive review of the KR release and player reception, we have been working to streamline the gear progression cycle. We notice that when KR players received Legendary dungeons there was little challenge for them as they had already surpassed the gear threshold for these dungeons. To that end we plan to correct this issue to ensure Legendary dungeons require legendary effort and offer legendary rewards, otherwise, we do not feel they serve the purpose they were designed for.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. An avid gamer, Suzie lives in the desert Southwestern US with her own personal minion.

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