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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Do you enjoy dungeon running?

Posted by MikeB Saturday February 11 2012 at 3:40PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread "Do you like doing dungeons in MMO's?" by brody71. Another fairly straightforwrad topic, but one that has got the community chatting:

i dont particularly like doing them.  the only reason i would do a dungeon was either for a quest, or to update a piece or two of gear.  i never find myself saying "oh i want to kill that boss".

Havok2all enjoys running old school dungeons, but isn't too fond of the new school style:

I love dungeons, but I like the old school dungeon crawl dungeons. The ones that took hours or longer to explore every nook and cranny. To find secret doors took checking every wall or object. Today, it is just go in an instance, clear trash go to each boss, kill, then leave. I want the dungeons like in EQ1, but alter the necessity to sit in once place. Bring back the benefits of tenacity.

Kabaal isn't very fond of dungeons, preferring the content to exist out in the open world:

I'm not a fan of them,, i'd rather they took place more in the open world clusters of buildings. The odd one is fine but so many games have a tendency to make half their quests in labyrinths underground.

Send me to sack a town, liberate a harbor but stop sending me to the sewers.

bumuscheekus feels MMOs could learn a thing or two from Minecraft when it comes to dungeons:

Oddly the best fun I've had Dungeon crawling/exploring (if it can barely even be called that) has been in Minecraft, possibly the simplest game imaginable. Now, I'm not suggesting Minecraft is perfect by any means but I think some of the things that make it fun hint at the roots of what made exploration fun at the very beginning. Why? 

1. Digging around and find an open cavern with tunnels which are randomly generated and utterly unpredictable and you don't repeat the same one over and over, insta-teleport there and back, to get some predefined loot detailed down to the tiniest boring detail on google with drop rates, stats, gear sets bonus zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

2. Randomly spawning monsters can be anywhere, go for you on sight and scare the living bejaysus out of you when they creep up on you as opposed to predictable clusters of mobs, evenly spaced at predefined corners who apparently dont notice you until you get within a mysterious 'aggro range' zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

3. Old school preparation before exploring- food, tinderbox, torches, making your own arrows etc. makes it feel like a proper adventure versus the current google  preparation reading up on how EXACTLY to take down a specific boss you've already done two dozen times zzzzzzzzzzzzz. 

This may all sound trivial but these are the things that made paper and dice RPGs so iconic and enjoyable. Bring things back to basics and stop giving things to people on a plate so that the mere thought of doing a dungeon/instance sounds routine, predictable and eventually dull as cheese and onion crisps. OF COURSE people complain about having to put efforting into doing something worthwhile. OF COURSE people want to be teleported to the instance entrance and back to their beds afterwards. It's obviously better in the short term if something is simpler an easy...but if you take the mystery and effort out of things, what you get from them feels hollow and pointless in no time at all.

I love doing dungeon content whether it's instanced or some of the great public dungeons I tackled in games like Star Wars Galaxies. What I'm not a huge fan of is doing them to chase gear, which a few users in the thread echoed as well. I get the whole acquire gear, beat boss, acquire new gear to beat next boss paradigm, but I prefer a more lax approach to dungeon running. I'm more in it for the content and there are definitely better ways to create challenge that don't involve the bosses gear checking you.

What are your thoughts? Share 'em in the comments below!