Losing a dungeon feels really bad

Literally just hopped out of another (failed) Soulfire Bastion run, and I wanted to get this off my chest.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means advocating that dungeons be made fundamentally easier - I like the difficulty and the challenge, and if I walk into a dungeon tier that I don’t belong in, then I shouldn’t be surprised when I get bodied by a gust of wind. That said:

Dungeons feel really bad to fail. With the way that the dungeon key mechanic works at the moment, you can misstep a single time, die, and BAM both your key and your time are lost. Soulfire Bastion in particular is a sore spot as, unlike with LA or TS, you get fewer chances for rewards by not full-clearing each area of the dungeon. It ultimately feels like Monolith would have been a better use of my game time - especially considering how death during Monolith runs isn’t nearly as punishing to player progression - than ultimately gambling a key that’s I can’t target farm on whether I will survive to the end of a dungeon attempt. It’s also counterproductive for fresh players to attempt to learn the dungeon mechanics only to get booted back to the start because they didn’t understand what the situation demanded of them as a player.

Ultimately, it’s the devs’ choice whether this topic is something that warrants genuine attention and revision. If I were tossing around ideas as a player, it would be nice to see a limited revive mechanic in each dungeon: e.g. if you die in the second area of SB, you get a single revive, perhaps a lost reward modifier, and are sent back to the beginning of the area. Perhaps even make this mechanic scale inversely with dungeon tier, leaving tier 4 dungeons as they are. At least this way, you actually have an opportunity to learn the dungeon itself and obtain (some) rewards for successfully completing it, while still needing to respect the inherent difficulty of the content you’re running.


To be fair… they are supposed to feel bad to fail them. They’re a hardcore mechanic after all.

As for Monoliths being a better use of the time… yes… yes they absolutely are, Soulfire Bastion is not good at all. Outside of the Temporal Sanctum the other 2 are fairly worthless for the rewards which solely leaves boss uniques to be a viable choice to run them.

Dungeons definitely need a lot of work put into them still, they are far too generic and far too unrewarding in comparison to the game otherwise.

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You should be able to beat a dungeon in 30mins or less… It’s really not that much time wasted if you die. Also, keys are practically infinite you get so many of them you will never run out.

I don’t feel bad losing a dungeon, I feel bad doing it.
That’s much worse for a game.


I do have a specific problem with dungeons : in temporal sanctum the dungeon in itself is mindlessly easy but the boss has unforgiving patterns that one shot you.

In soulfire bastion the dungeon run teaches you how to use armor switch.
In arbor you learn how to manipulate the torch.
In sanctum you only use the time skip to make a wall disappear, you don’t get better at fighting the boss by clearing the dungeon.

So my suggestion isn’t to make the boss easier but rather have the monsters of the dungeon use the mechanics to prepare you for the boss fight, like big unfair attacks that can only be dodged by switching, or making enemies exist in both timelines but only be vulnerable in one, so you have to switch while clearing packs, etc.

I really think it would make the dungeon more fun and the boss less frustrating to fight


In Temporal Sanctum you learn the boss gimmick from the three runs on lower levels, where it does low damage, that’s more than enough, or you don’t notice it, and learn the hard way on lvl100, which should be more than enough.
I’d rather have developers focus on making the dungeons interesting. They can take inspiration from PoE lab (not the best one, but better than dungeons), Slay the Spire or any other roguelike, etc.

And how would you make the dungeons interesting? I mean wouldn’t my suggestion make TS more interesting to run?

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Well, mechanics. Not mindlessly running them but side-goals.

Take the Lab in PoE for example, while it’s - vastly - outdated by modern standards it nonetheless was a specific direction of playing. Searching objectives, getting the most out of each run, doing little puzzles while fighting, running through danger zones. Such stuff.

Temporal Sanctum in comparison is the child’s version of one, a direct way through and all you need to do is run through.

Examples to directly implement mechanics is little puzzles to get through a combination of either extra dangerous enemies, danger zones which make you take loads of damage and so on, in both timelines so you need to switch tactically around, giving a decent reward when doing it.
It eases up on the monotony of it.

With the torch it could be time-gates stuff, igniting things for example while fighting stuff off, with the soulfire bastion changing danger zones where you need to time your switches.

Such stuff is making it more interesting, especially if the result is a reward for doing it rather then making it just harder… which would be the wrong direction to go. With difficulty there needs to be rewards attached after all and those dungeons also should provide unique outcomes not possible to find anywhere else to validate running them regularly. Making them a place you want to go rather then one you need to go for whatever reason.

I agree with the Original poster. It’s a matter of do anything wrong at all, and you lose your key, lose the dungeon, and the boss loot. It’s that they are too unforgiving. It feels bad with how many one-shot mechanics there are. Mobs that aren’t even on screen, doing AOE effects that cover half the screen, and if you get hit by any of them you’re dead. Or bosses that root and then one shot you, or just outright oneshot you if you do anything wrong at all. 20-30 minutes down the drain. I agree they should have a “revive” at start of entrance at the second floor, but more importantly they have to change it so that characters don’t get one-shot if they fail a dodge or by trash off screen. Trash off screen shouldn’t be able to hit you in the first place, and second, you shouldn’t be able to get rooted and then one shot with or just outright one-shot by every boss attack, so that if you fail to dodge something you just die. People with ward may not care, but not everyone has 20k hp wards. The game shouldn’t be tuned around 20-40k hp wards being able to ignore mechanics. It should be doable by regular characters that aren’t tanks. Right now it’s just too crazy. My ward character could care less. My non-ward character doesn’t even try, because of how many one-shot mechanics there are. One mega ability that one shots is fine, but every other second another one-shot ability is too much, as is off-screen trash one-shots.

Yep, pretty much that. I’d say, add pullzes/gauntlets and make them lead to treasure rooms.
Yes there should be some form of hinderance to get to the treasure, but not in form of barriers here and there, like we have now, it is more frustrating than anything, but in form of a gauntlet with traps and monsters, like PoE trials or lab itself. Also could add rooms with mini-bosses here and there, again, leading to some form of reward.
The thing is to make it more rewarding than PoE lab - those are run mostly for gems (previously for hat enchants), and not for side objectives.

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Yes, that’s the point of those dungeons, they’re one try, period.

Removing that would make it a senseless thing to have. Though, to be fair usually such mechanics either give you utterly unique outcomes or a increased amount of overall loot drops, which is missing. Hence they’re simply badly implemented.

The ‘bad’ feeling is actually an intended friction mechanic there, enforcing to handle them at one try. Which, as mentioned would be alleviated by side-mechanics inside them since you get ‘something’ out even without finishing it fully (should the boss be the problem).

If the random mobs inside the dungeon are an issue… well… then your build generally sucks a lot, any mediocre end-game build (empowered monoliths) won’t ever die at the random mobs inside the dungeons, which is why they are such a snooze. Even in Soulfire Bastion where you’re supposed to switch the defensive measures… my utterly awful detonating arrow melee char (he’s quick, that’s it) won’t die from them at level 100. Those mobs are fairly much a joke.


This is already the case, I recommend looking over your baseline defenses because it’s either you being very slow in reacting, making major mistakes in positioning yourself or… it’s your build which is badly set up.

I’m not a fantastic gamer, mediocre at best and nonetheless I don’t have any issues with those, the bosses tend to get me rather because of their mechanical aspects.