Was commenting on the rarity of dungeon keys in another thread and thought I should create a separate post about the fact that all dungeons have multiple “gates” or requirements to be able to run then…
At the moment, I count at least 3 for each Dungeon:
A key - all of which are currently pretty rare
A secondary requirement - Gold, Soul Ember, Unique with LP & a matching exalt,
A difficulty tier - defeating dungeon bosses (which are arguably the hardest in the game at higher tiers)
Add to this, the fact that a lot of gates are also RNG (key) x RNG (shop gambling & crafting randomn) x RNG (finding uniques & exalted).
I understand the need to put up chase requirements (key) and difficulty requirements (bosses) etc… but I am concerned that all these things together are having a compounding effect and are making running Dungeons a potentially negative experience…
So… my question is… Why all the gating?
EDIT: Seems like the compounded gating is more of an MMORPG feature than what you would expect from an ARPG…
The only thing i can think of for this being the case, is that EHG think its fun to gate the content of there game behind ridiiculous drop rates and RNG.
They are wrong.
If you can sit there for 10 - 15hrs a day and think that if you get 4 keys its good, then more power to you.
How about the players who have precious little time to play because of other commitments, family? work etc etc etc? its not fun for them, when they pay to play a game and its content, but are highly restricted in doing so, notice i said highly restrcited, for those hard of reading.
There has to be requirements to get to these places in the game, but there are requirements and then there is this what is currently taking place.
exactly my thought with the MMORPGs, but it seems like alot of people like it this way… (voiced my opinion on reddit)
I also think that it would bet better (atleast for some dungeons, like the temporal sanctum) to not require a key, since you already need to bring your own rewards.
And if a player want to run a certain dungeon all they then let them i say.
See PoE and how they handled alternative Endgames (Delve and Heist) and how popular and fun their Endless-league versions were
Last Epoch does not need to repeat the mistakes and problems PoE had
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I haven’t been playing much, as I haven’t had much time, but I jumped on for the new update to give the dungeons a try.
Having it restricted behind keys felt like an arbitrary method to artificially extend playtime in a negative way. It doesn’t feel rewarding to first have to grind for a key to then grind through a dungeon - the requirements and restrictions are already there, the keys truly only act as a time gate; that is to say, you need to spend the time to get the key, rather than the skill to complete the dungeons.
There has been a disturbing trend in these last few patches where there has been a sharp increase in RNG elements and a steep decline in player agency.
It is worrying, as one of the aspects of the game that I had initially praised the most was how well Last Epoch respected the players time… which is steadily becoming less true.
I did reply to you in the dungeon key drop rate thread as well.
Does not apply to Soulfire Bastion, because the Soul Ember is not a external ressource you need to bring to the dungeon, its self-contained and onyl counts for one run.
Which makes it the very first content in LE, where clearng actually matters and feels good.
Not simply rushing the objective.
A second point I also brought up in the other thread was, I think right now its a more oppressing issu,e because a lot of people already have “ready-to-go” chars that want to do dungeons, because its the new shiny content.
But if you look at it from an overall perspective. By the time you would want to go into the dungeon you will very likely already randomly dropped a key or two.
I honestly think you are making light of the issue here…
I think this has the potential to become a serious issue - at the moment you are right about everyone wanting to try new things skewing the perception of drop rates etc… but the trend I am concerned about is the gating multiplied by the RNG factor compounding itself… These are undeniable mechanics at play and I dont think that they are in a good place right now… the game isnt near being finished and we are already subjected to things that imho are more at place in an MMORPG than an ARPG where the RNG is usually /predominantly/traditionally confined to Loot chase.
Soul Embers and their collection is still a gate - arguably the least tedious of the gates with the added benefit of motivating map clearing but its still a gate.
This is a side effect of choosing to add more and more complex mechanics and currencies instead of expanding on Last Epoch’s strongest point, the balance between depth and simplicity.
Last Epoch was praised everywhere for finding the perfect “soft spot”: simple enough for casual players to pick up and enjoy all content (= easier to get into than PoE); deep enough for more involved players to experiment and theorycraft all they want (= more interesting in the long run than Diablo).
The more different mechanics they add, the further away they slide from this soft spot (and the more they become a baby-PoE, but that’s another debate).
When they published the patch preview, a couple of months ago, I posted that these dungeons were a bad idea at this stage. They would be great for seasonal content, long after the full release, but they are out of place right now. Wrong priorities.
I stick to this point of view.
I would slightliy change the way to access the dungeons.
I would let the dungeons open and accessible, but I would get the exit accessible just before the final reward and I would gate the reward behind a key.
This way, players can “train” as much as they want without wasting keys. They also can farm exalted items in the Temporal Sanctum.
As others have mentioned, I personally believe this is largely increased by the very high demand to do new content more exclusively rather than in balance with other content. The drop rates are set to a point where you should encounter them at a healthy rate with the standard endgame gameplay loop. For example, you should get lightless arbor keys about as often as it takes to farm enough gold to make it feel decently rewarding to run it. If you got the keys more often, you’d have a surplus of keys since you wouldn’t want to run it until you got more gold anyways creating a surplus of keys - more rare and you’d have an overdemand of keys and still be left with surpluses of gold after runs.
This is a delicate balance, but something we’re targeting with the drop rates keeping in mind that these are a feature for a 1.0 core game and healthy gameplay experiences - not targeted to be seasonal content to keep players busy outside of the normal existing endgame gameplay. And this is certainly something we’re looking for feedback on in regards to if that healthy gameplay is being achieved here.
Each dungeon is designed to ensure it provides necessary supplies to utilize the reward mechanic. Temporal Sanctum will always give you an LP item and matching exalted base. The first 3 modifiers in Lightless Arbor are discounted to ensure you can at least afford a couple of modifiers just from gold drops found in the dungeon, and Soul Bastion is completely self contained. While these are not the “optimized” usages of the reward mechanic by any means, we ensure the reward mechanics are always accessible.
I’m not personally sure how this is considered a ‘gate’ any more than more corruption in monolith of fate is a ‘gate’. Yes, better rewards come from higher difficulty, however there is a breakpoint until everything is “unlocked” which is designed to not be unreasonable to obtain.
This is an aspect called “Cost of Entry”. By having a cost of entry we can allow something to have exceptionally high rewards without greatly skewing the power curve. Cost of Entry also creates a demand for the contents within. I quickly explained this in a different post, and will copy here: By having a cost of entry, it increases the desire to optimize rewards - clear more of the dungeon to get more from each key spent. Without having anything spent, there’s no incentive to do anything other than rush the single most rewarding aspect (typically boss) and ignore everything else. This is one of the issues currently encountered with the Monolith. And while we are working on other solutions for the Monolith to provide more than simply rushing the objective, Dungeons work differently, and the same solutions won’t apply.
We currently believe having a cost of entry (dungeon key) is an effective measure for Dungeons to provide value to what can be found within, and allow the rewards within to be more rewarding based on key scarcity.
If we were to remove key requirements, we would also need to greatly reduce the rewards, otherwise it would become the definition of, where I might normally say “power creep”, it may be more akin to “power sprinting”. We certainly understand that players will always want access to the most rewarding content, however if they can infinitely run it with no cost, no ‘gates’ then the game loses the loot hunt aspect, and other aspects of the game fall further behind. Monolith becomes a “needless grind” which will then be demanded to match the rewards of the dungeons, normal drops that aren’t from empowered dungeon rewards fall further and further behind as there’s a new “normal” created, and it becomes an endless loop of power creep. We want dungeons to be exciting to complete, for players to want to do dungeons because of the great rewards they can contain - however in order to have that there has to be a cost, a limiting factor to not completely imbalance and throw off everything else in the game among other reasons earlier mentioned.
We are currently planning for a single key to be required for a party to enter. We feel with current key drop rates and multiplayer difficulty scaling this shouldn’t create as significant of a disparity as it may first appear - and would offer a much smoother experience for playing with friends. However is something we will certainly be keeping an eye on and continuing to discuss based on testing results.
Thanks for taking the time to explain your thoughts and decisions around this concept… It is always good to understand the background & why development decisions are made - we may not agree with the end result, but just knowing how it came about is very useful.
I understand your cost of entry - thats all normal and I have no issue with “gates” as I call them in general… and I understand the need to balance the availablility of keys which enabled entry into this special content… No issue.
From my perspective tho, the next “gating” is where I no longer wholly agree…
I do not run Dungeon content for the sake of the dungeon, I run it for the reward. I do not run Temporal Sanctum just to make an arbitrary Legendary out of whatever unique/exalt pair drops - I currently ONLY run Sanctum when I want to make a Legendary for which I have already farmed countless hours to get a unique & matching exalt… I have a purpose and end goal for running a Dungeon…
So in this example, by the time I run Temporal Sanctum, I have already passed through multiple “gates” - the RNG for the Key, the RNG for the Unique & the RNG for the Exalt… (and let me tell you - that can be a serious GRIND)… Then I have to kill a boss - less of a “gate” except that the link between boss difficulty and the ability to craft something of a particular level is actually a gate… Then there is one last “gate” at the end - the RNG for the craft to match an affix to the Unique which can negate all the other effort already put in…
My main concern here is that in this example, you are essentially compounding RNG x RNG x RNG x RNG (ignoring the boss level “gate”)
So perhaps you guys view Dungeons in a different way to how I view it… I dont seem them as random content - I see them as having a specific purpose to achieve a reward that is of greater potential value than just one RNG loot drop in Monos…
and YES, before anyone comments, the inherent nature of a “more valuable” reward means its needs more “gates”/requirements to get… my concern here is simply that when the rewards are compounded - it can potentially not be a great experience… hours putting together requirements all dependent on RNG only to have one RNG stage bork everything you had worked toward…
Perhaps my view on the purpose of Dungeons is wrong… and they are actually just alternative content to give you something to do instead of endless Monos… If thats the case then I have missed the boat on Dungeons…
I absolutely appreciate that you have a reasoning for the key drop rates but that doesn’t change my opinion that they are frustratingly low. I don’t want to run monoliths for several hours then run a dungeon and then its back to hours of monoliths. The balance is too lopsided. You can go literally 2 to 3 hours or more without seeing a key and then when one does drop you have a 1 in 3 chance of it even being the one you want to run, and as more dungeons are added the odds will change even further. I’m not saying the gameplay loop has to be run a monolith then a dungeon then a monolith then a dungeon but it needs to be much better than “maybe I’ll get to do the dungeon I want today after playing for hours and hours”.
Then imagine you die during the run and lose your rewards. Outch!
That brings me to the next thing:
Dungeon tiers are kind of useless. Because keys are so rare, your wouldn’t risk running a dungeon under leveled. The opposite is the case. People save their keys untill they feel overpowered enough to run the dungeon on the highest availible tier. So the first 2 tiers of the dungeons won’t ever be experienced at the intended level. It’s also not even possible, because at the rate these keys drop, everybody will be massively overleveled when he finds his first key.
Having to do 2 runs t1+2 with a lvl 70 character feels like the game joking with me.
And how would I save up dungeon keys to use the level skip mechanic on a twink (that also doesn’t work in reality) when I even can’t get enough keys for my main character?