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Long-term Dungeon Ideas

Welcome back, Travellers!
tl;dr: Dungeons are great for deterministic-crafting options! (ideas below)

One of the coolest “new” features of LE (personal opinion) over other ARPGs are the Dungeons - any alternate thing-to-do that isn’t just a map with some goal for a random reward is wonderful. Dungeons provide a fixed-challenge that provides a semi-random reward, where choice matters. A short list of suggestions for them, then, shows that love:

First, as suggested on last weekend’s stream (I see you sen0ca…) make “Drops an Arena Key” Echoes drop a random dungeon key (arena included) instead - give us more opportunity to play this awesomeness!

Second - and much harder to balance, but I have faith in you - is further developing the two different reward tracks for the Dungeoneer experience. The gambling rewards from dungeons like Soulfire Bastion and Lightless Arbor are a great way to remove extra resources from the game and can yield amazing results, and thus should be the basic pool for any found-loot-driven ARPG. By both quantity and secondary-benefits, these should be the primary type of Dungeon.

A competing method of dungeon-rewards are for those focused players, like myself, who love to build things from scratch. Temporal Sanctum gives us the final polish on the crafting system in this regard: the Cache of Eternity allows us to modify an item, in one predictable way. This sort of “final polishing” could and should be extended throughout the crafting process. As with any high-end final polish on crafting items, all remaining forging potential should be consumed - the best items are found, or created with great luck. But sometimes you just wish you could do something to “fix your gear” as Mike has said he needs to do more than once.

A few examples include reward systems like:

A “Primal Forge” that when used to craft items allows us to use extra shards to max-out one affix in a single upgrade. The process consumes more shards than would be required to upgrade the affix from 1-5 normally as well as all remaining forging potential; this helps prevent using the Primal Forge to manufacture Rare Shards. Targeting items with 2-3 “good” affixes, this increases the value of spare shards and thus the appeal of collecting them all; without decreasing the value of high-tier dropped items, since they would have extra forging potential left over after crafting (see below). Balance is a huge issue here - you don’t want a new character to simply walk into their first Primal Forge and then walk out ready to compete with all the endgame content, so other costs or controls might need added in - like only allowing one item per run, e.g. Temporal Sanctum.

A “Gilded Tower” where an item with remaining forging potential can have an affix upgraded to an Exalted Tier. This targets items that “rolled well” before being crafted (or had good luck during) and so have some Forging Potential remaining. In my thought process, this also consumes extra Shards, and I use the Dungeon Tier system here as a control - items can only be Upgraded if the Required Level is less than the level of the Dungeon (probably needs to start off at a higher level than any other). I’m also of the opinion that building in a chance of failure is appropriate - whether that ends up looking like “nothing happens”, “the wrong affix was upgraded” or “the item is destroyed” is up to balance - since there isn’t much other “cost” than running the dungeon again with a different item.

Both of these are designed to work in tandem with the current crafting system. They’re meant to be the “final polish” on otherwise good gear, so that you can run a dungeon to get over a power-plateau, and continue with the game. In the same vein, the Legendary Items we’ve been teased with have some awesome potential - but fishing for the Unique your build might need, with enough LP to do you any good, can be equally frustrating. So I thought of this last one as an “alternate path” to finding a good Legendary Base:

A “Legendary Smith” that rewards us by re-rolling the Legendary Potential of a Unique Item and returning it. Since Legendary Potential is already controlled by the base item (and I believe both Character Level and Area Level), there’s reduced potential for abuse built right in - you’re as likely to get a random Unique with LP to drop inside the dungeon as you are to get your Unique an improved LP score - you just don’t have to find the base again. The intent is to use this system in combination with the Temporal Sanctum to forge starter Legendary Items. While some may get lucky and find their final-build gear, being able to target a Legendary craft is sometimes needed to push into the next Tier of content in general.

With Multiplayer being actively developed, it’s also worth noting that crafting is an intensely individual experience - items that go through any of these processes might become untradeable. However, I’d argue that Artisanship is it’s own type of value added to the community and items should still be freely tradeable after.

As always, balance is dictated by the people who get paid to do that, and have way more professional hours to spend on it than those of us in the community.
Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts!

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