Dev Journal #2 - Dungeons
Developer journal, May 7th
Salutations! Once again this is Connor Brennan, here to talk about one of SideQuest's end-game oriented features... Dungeons!
As a connoisseur of browser games I've certainly seen some horrible Dungeon systems. SideQuest, however, extends the Main Quest system to bring you a host of interesting and unique bosses, coupled with new and exciting artwork. Further, Dungeons offer a true PvE challenge in the world of SideQuest.
There will be 4 Dungeons in the game at release, for a total of 12 epic boss fights. Dungeons also come in a variety of difficulties, allowing the user to access them at any point in the game. I can hear some of you groaning about re-using content, and fiddling with numbers to pad the game. Do not fear! The higher difficulty levels of the bosses not only hit hard and have more HP, but they use new skills which can modify the very core of the fight.
Dungeons also come in single player, and 3-man varieties. Further, the 3-man dungeons include reworked mechanics tailored to multi-player play.
Since Dungeons are simply THE place to get the best and most powerful loot in the game, the amount you can enter a Dungeon is limited. Entering dungeons requires a Dungeon Key. You will receive one Dungeon Key each day, however, you may enter a friend's 3-man Dungeon without the use of a key.
Dungeon Bosses drop the main set items for your characters. Set items are generally better than the random drops you can find in the world (though, randomization does play a role). We will go into more detail in the up-coming Itemization Journal.
Movement within a Dungeon is a bit different than normal. Whereas in the World Map you can jump freely from node to node, Dungeons require that you follow the physical paths laid out on the Dungeon map. As you move through an area of the dungeon, you will be assaulted by various nefarious creatures. Further, as time in the dungeon passes these creatures will slowly respawn. Better get a move on!
The Dungeon Timer keeps track of your Dungeon Time (score). It advances in real-time, both in and out of the dungeon. Further, there are actions your may take in the Dungeon which artificially advance your timer. The main instance of this is that leaving the dungeon is heavily penalized (your Dungeon Timer advanced 15 minutes, and you start at the beginning).
In order to heal back up in a Dungeon players will have the option of camping, which much like the Lobby, restores your HP and SP. You may camp at any time on the Dungeon Map, but every time you camp your Dungeon Timer advanced by 5 minutes. Users going for the top times will want to use items and efficiency to reduce the amount that they have to camp.
There are three bosses in each Dungeon; Two mini-bosses and a final Dungeon boss. These two types of bosses differ in their level of epicness. While mini-bosses are relatively simple (normally featuring a single gimmick), the final bosses tend to have multiple-phases, and complex mechanics.
1) Cobwebbed Lair
Mechanics: Attempting to take the boss head on will result in many a shed tear. Instead, the player must first use the Egg Sacks found throughout the room to summon Spider Hatchlings. Killing these hatchlings will release a poison which debuffs the boss - causing her to take increased damage. This debuff only lastly for a few moments, so you must be careful not to let the poison wear off!
Challenge Modes: The boss gains a powerful web attack which stuns the effected character. In single player you can remove the affliction by spam clicking on the character. In 3-man mode, you must target and destroy the web to free the character.
2) The Library
Mechanics: The powerful magics of the Library are kept in check via the center Pylon. As the boss charges up it's powerful Magic Bomb ability, the player must click one of the three gems on the Pylon in order to create magical feedback and stop the boss. Unfortunately, this magical feedback applies a buff to the boss, making it stronger. Each color of the pylon corresponds to a unique buff.
Red - Physical attack damage increased
Blue - Magical Damage increased
Green - Heals the boss periodically
As these buffs stack they can become unmanageable, forcing the player to choose wisely which color to use each time the boss begins its massive cast.
Challenge Modes: In 3-man, the fight becomes more complex as multiple players made each click a gem, combining the colors for the magical feedback. In 3-man mode you may use Green, Red, Blue, Purple, Orange, Cyan and White feedback. Coordinating with your team will be the key to a successful kill.
Dungeons provide a true PvE challenge, and a great way multi-player experience! They are truly a corner-stone of SideQuest's unique gameplay.
This has been Connor Brennan of Fractal Entertainment, check back each week to catch the next Developer Journal. Thanks for reading!