The Daily Grind: What makes for a satisfying MMO dungeon crawl?

    
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When I cast my mind back to my childhood, the word “RPG dungeon” conjured up very specific images of being trapped far underground with unknown terrors, hidden traps, and secrets galore. In games like Nethack and in books like Deathtrap Dungeon, there was the sense that anyone who went down in these places might well never return.

Nowadays in MMORPGs, “dungeon” is something different entirely. It’s a themed ride through gaudy sets with boss piñatas at the end, stuffed with attractive loot. It’s not so much a crawl as it is a fast-paced blitz of nonstop combat.

Changes in gaming aside, I know that we all have different ideas as to what makes for satisfying MMO dungeon dives. What is it for you? Is it the set dressing? The specific mechanics? The puzzles? The difficulty? The rewards? Let us know as we kick off another day full of munchkin adventures!

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Christopher Angeles

For me a satisfying dungeon crawl involves the chance for rare drops. Crawling the dungeons for rare loot. Something akin to running D2 for rare drops or rare runes. But thats tied very heavily with being able to trade them as well.

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Sunken Visions

Instances were designed specifically to solve problems that occur in open-world gameplay. There is no reason they should be thematically or mechanically different.

What everyone here wants is meaningful exploration and challenge. So yes, the problem lies very much with the changes in gaming, which is a reflection of the player base.

When you design games for elitist children with no attention span, you go from rpg to action-adventure with pvp as far as the eye can see.

TheFoxGoesMoo
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TheFoxGoesMoo

I want it to feel like something you’re actually exploring with a group. A lot of current MMO dungeons feel like long corridors with loot every few paces. I like dungeons that twist and turn and have multiple pathways you can go, optional bosses, secret treasures, etc. Of course there’s going to be a “best” route to go down for a group but I don’t think that’s what they should be designed around.

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Kickstarter Donor
Tandor

Soloability!

There’s no such thing as a group dungeon crawl, only a group dungeon run. Players just don’t have the patience to let others watch the cutscenes, read the text, and look at the loot, and in some games if players explain at the start that it’s their first time then that’s an automatic kick anyway. It’s just assumed that everyone has done it a gazillion times before and want to finish it as quickly as possible. That may be fine in its own way, but it isn’t a “satisfying MMO dungeon crawl”.

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kvlt_vonnegut

DDO still does this best out of all MMOs, I think. Haven’t been back in a minute but when I think of a classic dungeon crawl that’s the game I redownload. It’s a very specific itch.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

what makes for satisfying MMO dungeon dives

The speed of clearing the content. For me, any kind of dungeon was always the most boring part of ANY MMO and I never went to those places unless the game forced me, so I always wanted to finish these as soon as possible and I always appreciated when the tank and the rest of my group just pulled everything and cleared it as fast as possible.

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

for me it is Story. Everything else is just mechanics and Hack n Slash.

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Mr.McSleaz

“What makes for a satisfying MMO dungeon crawl?”

Not doing it.

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Bryan Correll

Getting the drop I want so I never have to run that particular dungeon again.

I keed, I keed.

In an MMO sense a satisfying run requires more than just good dungeon design (though that is a requirement). It requires a group of people that I actually like spending that amount of time around.

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rafael12104

Ah, a great dungeon crawl. It’s like a vintage well-aged scotch. No, not the cheap stuff. I’m talking a 20 year old malt at least. Mmm…

It’s got to have a little bite. Can’t run through like early bird shoppers on Black Friday. Go too fast and you are going to throw up.

It requires some thought and consideration after every taste. That refined experience varies depending on how it is prepared, the occasion, and the group of connoisseurs who are with you.

It has to be dangerous but smooth. There should be some difficulty so that you don’t gulp it, and yet it should be smooth going down; an enjoyable experience.

And last but not least, it should be intrinsically satisfying. After finishing you should smile and be glad you had the opportunity.

Another MACALLAN 25, please. Neat. With no ice you mob lover!