[Suggestion] Dungeon Improvements

I am offering this opinion based on running all dungeons in the game, and running Genesis / Lazarus hundreds of times. There are a few problems with the current system that combine to create an unsatisfying experience and I will attempt to cover them here, as well as offer some suggestions on how the system can be improved.

Orb System

Currently dungeon entry is gated by a crafted, bind on pickup resource called “tuning orbs”. Crafting orbs for endgame dungeons require all of the following for a single orb:

  • Grinding corruptions for hours to craft corrupted lodestone.
  • Grinding faction reputation to buy asmodeum chisel.
  • Gathering stone/reagents + stonecutting or buying runestone.
  • Gathering or buying 1000+ motes.
  • (Lazarus) Crafting or gathering various quintessence.
  • (Lazarus) Completing Genesis for blight seeds.

Furthermore, you have a cooldown of crafting 3 Genesis and 1 Lazarus orb per WEEK.

This means your options are either to grind for hours OR spend thousands of gold for a single dungeon entry which is not, on average, offset by the ~900-1000 gold and low drop chance of the actual dungeon. This promotes players to SELL their orbs rather than running them. Based on my experience (covered later), this is actually a much better value. On my server (Calnogor - high pop) Genesis orbs sell for about 6-8k and Lazarus orbs sell for about 8-10k. The demand comes from a handful of players (myself included) who want to run dungeons more than once or twice per week.

Watermark (Expertise)

Because this system exists, named drops will always drop in the range of 580-600 GS if you have maxed WM. This means (assuming equal weights) you will have a 1/21 chance of a named drop being legendary. Weights don’t seem equal though - any named item that can drop from a trash mob (Sol, Will of the Ancients, Final Respite, Curiosity Greed) RARELY exceed 590 and I have personally never seen these drops at 600 for myself or other high volume runners I’ve asked on the server. Final boss drops seem to have a better chance of being 600 but also drop at a low rate.

Rewards

In isolation, both the orb system and watermark system are fine - but when combined they produce a very very unrewarding dungeon experience.

Endgame dungeon rewards are good but also too rare for gated content. I run Lazarus anywhere from 5-15 times per day. There are some legendary weapon drops I have still not seen - of course that includes the drop I am personally trying to farm. If the orb system AND watermark systems exist, named drop chance should be improved.

I will state this again:
Selling orbs is a much better value than running them.

Suggestions

This is a list of possibilities that could improve the experience. I am not suggesting all of them be implemented together, just providing some options:

  • Remove orbs or drastically lower cost
  • Guarantee ONE named drop per boss, with a moderate chance of multiple.
  • Weight toward higher gearscore on named drops.
  • Implement a pity system where every X of the same named drop is guaranteed to be a legendary.
  • Implement a token system where SPECIFIC named drops can be purchased through a token that is acquired by running the dungeon. This can even roll in your WM range as long as you are able to target the gear you are trying to get.
  • Allow trading of BoP items within your group for a limited time.
  • Implement a need / greed roll for dungeons that only allows “need” if you don’t already have the item.

Some of these suggestions may require other tweaks - for example, if orbs are removed passive gold rewards would have to be lowered.

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Orbs:

  • Remove the CD on making orbs ( if it stays bind on make )
  • Add the mats ( like corrupted items ) into the dungeons themselves from chests or enemy drops.

Dungeon named drop:

  • A pity system is needed, especially if your HWM is in range for legendary ( currently it isn’t even worth running dungeons if you are chasing named legendary items, if you equate time/energy spent into buying or making orbs )
  • If a pity system is too much to code into the game, then guarantee a named drop from mini/final bosses… or at the bare minimum the final boss.

Otherwise I second the comment that selling orbs are a better value then running orbs,

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Removing CD on orbs is another good suggestion! One Lazarus per week is very limiting. Also if they are a crafted item that can already be “sold” anyway, just make them BoE to prevent scams. People already sell them very frequently.

Remove orbs as a key for entry entirely. Also, corrupted portals are a miserable experience and no one should be forced to farm hundreds if not thousands of them per week just to make keys to enter the only dungeon content in the game.

2 Likes

Yea, the nerfed rewards on 65 portals makes this feel extra bad. If there was a decent chance of unique drops from these chests, it might not feel so bad to farm them a bunch to create dungeon keys. If dungeon drops were better it might not feel so bad to lose those hours on an orb with green drops.

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Pretty sure they use a hash wheel or similar mechanic for watermark after running genesis dozens of times, so when you get a new hwm it then drops back and starts giving you low stuff at the bottom of your range and works its way incrementing back up.

After getting multiple pieces to drop 599 they then go back to low 580s on each of them and then slowly work back up to mid and high 580s then increment through the 90s until the next hwm. I’m so due a 600 I’ve done ~8 runs since getting 599.

The biggest change I’d like to see is shards and orbs and chisels be tradeable. I’ve been buying up stone and sandpaper as much as possible and just running company members through to get their stonecutting to 100, but then they don’t have the faction rep for a chisel, some don’t even have the 1500g to buy their 3 chisels/week they’re still trying to gear up. Meanwhile I have 12+ corrupted shards sitting there after farming the shit out of portals waiting on my cooldowns for the next 2 weeks.

Pretty sure they use a hash wheel or similar mechanic for watermark after running genesis dozens of times, so when you get a new hwm it then drops back and starts giving you low stuff at the bottom of your range and works its way incrementing back up.

If this is the case, there has to be some extra complexity - or maybe a chance that it resets after a day or two. The named item I seem to get the most from Chardis for example is “Inherent Truth” but I have never gotten a legendary. It has dropped at a variety of 590 WMs in random order and does not seem to be strictly increasing. For example I got something like 595, 599, 599, 592 recently. I should really start recording my drops.

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I record them in a spreadsheet but for me I haven’t gotten anything like 599 twice in a row on the same slot it always bounces back down then climbs back up. Maybe its just RNG but I’m 590, 596, 598, 599, 599 on my armor and last few runs were all 580s with 1-2 climbing up to 590 and 592.

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I’m going to start doing this, though TBH I’m a bit burned out and don’t know if I can maintain the current rate I’ve been running through dungeons. I wish I recorded my drops earlier just to provide some evidence for this topic … even though looking at it in retrospect would be depressing :sweat_smile:

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Just make expeditions free, and diminish the loot every time you enter

diminish the loot every time you enter

I think this would make it worse overall. Orbs are prohibitive but the drop rate is already very low.

It seems that some of your feedback will become irrelevant once the 1.2 patch hits. Have you taken a look in the PTR to see what they’re already changing?

I have read the PTR notes but have not run dungeons on the PTR. Is there a specific change you are referring to?

Well, the whole HWM system is being re-engineered, for one. They’ve also already talked about changes to orb crafting and how difficult it is, based on many of the reasons you’ve mentioned. They’ll never get rid of orbs, though. They’re intentionally designed to keep people from running dungeons over and over to farm the same loot/experience.

Full disclosure, I’ve not run the PTR yet either. I just know that a lot of that is already being changed, and this feedback is pretty tied to the current version.

I think they mentioned changes in the “End Game Update” dev post but don’t think these are coming this patch and don’t think we have anything more than high level details:

Would be curious to know if any changes are coming THIS patch. Also none of the above changes actually mention improving the legendary drop rate for named items which is the main problem with dungeons currently.

When you said ‘they are intentionally designed to keep people from running dungeons over and over to farm the same loot/experience.’ is this an opinion or did AGS come out and say that they do not want endgame to be favorable?

I understand the new HWM changes will help 98% of the general player base ( for GS grind ), especially the low populated servers but this change still does not help the issue with drop rate for endgame dungeons; let alone named enemy drops.

After running many gen/laz dungeons, it really isn’t worth it if you are really wanting a named drop ( due to the time/energy in making or even buying the orbs ). The only reason to even run them on repeat is to boost HWM quicker ( between elite chest cooldowns ). Especially if you have a solid group running dungeons back to back in a very efficient manner.

This game will fail faster if they keep the dungeon named drops at the current rate it is at. I still have a few BIS items to chase for my PvP build(s) but once I acquire those then I’m most likely only logging in for Wars due to no rewarding endgame PvE.

This is a deduction based on the way they work. Why else would they do it? This is, in some ways, the same as dungeon locks on other games, except that it’s possible to bypass that by crafting orbs.

I think they could improve on this, partially by adding more raid-like content, and allow the creation of raid groups for not only that kind of content but also for things like elite chest runs.

I’m going to guess that AGS had no intention of endgame being in the state its in, or didn’t anticipate that things would turn out this way. In no way am I defending the state of endgame, but I can intellectually understand the rationale, were everything else to have worked out the way they imagined, that farming for orb mats would have been a viable activity in an otherwise healthy population.

I’m no debating that they have a long way to go at all. In fact, based on the state of things this morning, I feel like they have a bit longer :slight_smile:

To be honest, after running as many dungeons as I have. I think ( in my opinion ) they had two separate teams working on the dungeon. And the team that worked on the code for rewards/drops just copied the system with the same code that is used in elite zones. Which to me just screams, we rushed the work to make the dungeon look good and mechanically be optimal to satisfy the general player base. So I don’t think the current state of the dungeon was to mimic other MMO’s or to gate keep players from having rewarding gear; I really think it was just neglect on the part of the engineers who created the ‘reward systems’.

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