In the campaign map The Lotus Halls, there are two Rift teleports between the Ruined and Ancient era: the player jumps to small sections of the Ancient Temple of Eterra to steal two activators to open the bridge to The Bastille . Can Monolith maps easily support the dynamic addition of small zones similar to these Ancient era portions of The Lotus Halls? By “Dynamic” I mean “added at some distant coordinate when the map loads, on top of all the normal stuff,” not “dropped in on-the-fly while mapping.” Everything I suggest, I assume would be loaded in when you click on the icon to access the Monolith Map.
If this is feasible I have some ideas, ideas spurred because Monolith maps are repetitive due to their lack of variation in layouts, and the addition of entirely separate “out of bounds” zones that could be dropped at a distant coordinate with no worries about alignment or seamless integration would give some variety of traversed terrain while mapping, without requiring a complete overhaul of Monolith maps that making them fully randomized like in PoE would.
Rune Prisons could occasionally create a portal to a small zone representing the “inside” of the prison, where the player encounters a buffed Mage who has some bonus reward, like an additional Experimental item drop.
Monolith Maps could occasionally spawn rifts to a constrained “Ancient” section of the map, or, when a 1:1 “Ancient” variant of the map section cannot be easily created, a generic Ancient jungle arena zone. Traveling through the rift to this small Ancient zone could let the player fight a few waves of Void enemies who are trying to retroactively corrupt the timeline. On returning to the “present” main Monolith Map area, a shrine filled with offerings will appear that the player can then loot. Rarely, a boss might spawn that, if defeated, would make the shrine drop some sort of exclusive item: mechanic-exclusive Uniques, or special base types, or items with affixes similar to those found on Experimental items.
There could be a very uncommon enemy or Rare enemy modifier that makes it behave like a Torchlight Phase Beast: on death, it spawns a portal to a small zone that contains a puzzle, or a timed challenge, or a difficult (higher than map boss strength) boss fight.
A portal that spawns alongside the player’s spawn point, which leads to a mysterious Imperial-styled zone floating in nothingness and filled with mad undead Mages who have been scrabbling at the edges of reality trying to escape the Void. Braving the Imperial foes in the corridor leads to an exit portal that drops you back into the Monolith map at another one of the possible player spawn points in the area. Basically, a quick-travel (or long-travel, luck of the draw!) zone that changes the flow of map traversal.
Additionally, these Imperial zones could rarely contain a “Void Orrery” room that acts like a small-radius Beacon, revealing nearbly Echoes and also adding Imperial-unique modifiers to them, like:
“Uniques dropped in maps have a 5% chance to drop Legendary, with a single legendary mod that is an exclusive Imperial modifier ( Some ideas: 10% decreased health / 10% increased total Ward Retention | Increases to Health Regeneration are Applied as a Negative Value | Added Health Regeneration from items instead applies to Ward )”
or something like that.
I could keep going all day.