Take a peek at the development of Shroud of the Avatar’s player-designed dungeon system


Drama seems to plague Shroud of the Avatar, but if you can look past it, there’s some fun innovation going on inside Portalarium in regard to MMO mechanics. Portalarium Technical Director Chris Spears, for example, has been slowly revealing a massive new player-generated dungeon system for the game, hidden away in the bowels of the forums until this week’s newsletter.

If you’re a fan of City of Heroes’ old Mission Architect, Star Trek Online’s Foundry, or even Star Wars Galaxies’ ancient Chronicles system, you’ll see remnants of all of those in this system. Basically, you buy blueprints for individual pieces from NPCs, then combine them with mats to build your dungeon space chunk by chunk, on a housing lot, out in the real world. Eventually, you’ll populate “encounter rooms” with mobs and make it a real delve for other players.

“In exciting news we have been able to make faster progress on Player Made Dungeons than expected due to how much it uses underlying systems like our basements,” Portalarium says. “While we had originally planned this for an Episode 2 feature we now believe we can have a version of the system up and running as soon as Q4 of this year without affecting our work on other systems like Fishing! To kick off the upcoming launch of this exciting player made content we are going make available five dungeon entrances, along with five static example dungeons in Release 57. One dungeon entrance and one example dungeon will be craftable, four will be purchasable from the Add On Store.┬áThe included static example dungeons, complete with creatures and loot, will vary in point size and difficulty level and can be used until the player built dungeon feature goes live.”

Spears himself is definitely cognizant of some of the problems these types of player-designed missions can cause, note.

“As for avoiding repeating the mistakes of the Foundry system in [Neverwinter], no worries. Pretty much a fact that if you give players a set of rules, they will find the limits to exactly minmax those rules ASAP. Our system will work very much like our in world dungeons but with a hair tougher risk vs reward cycle. By that I mean that, like control points, there will be special versions of player dungeon creatures. These will effectively have the rewards of creatures 1-2 tiers lower. So they might fight like a tier 10 but give XP and gold like a tier 8. We’re looking at other options to avoid the obvious player dungeon exploit of linking a daemon room to a daemon room to a daemon room to a daemon room, repeat until you have a big circle of daemons waiting to be farmed.”

Source: Newsletter, official forums. Cheers, BluntedJ.
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