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.
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.
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.
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.
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.