August 13, Berenger Fish - Dungeon design
08-13-2010, 07:08 PM
Post: #1
August 13, Berenger Fish - Dungeon design
Even though it was Friday 13th, everything went well in the chat with Berenger Fish, Adam Hetenyi and Billy Shaughnessy, who told us about dungeon design in Rift.
And as usual, Abigale did join us on the fun! ;)
Thanks to all of you for your time!
Abigale: Hello, All :)
Abigale: Nice to see you all today! :)
Abigale: So I have a little surprise for you. We actually have more than one guest today. We have 3 guys from the Instance team coming to chat with you :)
Abigale: Looks like we have a lot of good questions for them to answer :)
Abigale: Oh, just wait. Lots of things being released in the next few weeks ;)
Abigale: Next week is Gamescom. I'll try to pop in here when I can to say hello from the show throughout the week :)
Oabe asked: so gamescom be liek yall did at e3? lol
Abigale: Not sure yet Oabe but I will try. I have never been to Gamescom before so I am not sure of the set up. But I will try to keep in touch :)
Abigale: I will be taking a camera and sending pics for you :)

Abigale: Welcome Berenger, Adam and Billy! :)
Berenger Fish: Hey there everybody!
Berenger Fish: What do we call you guys? Riftites? Riftheads? Riftpeeps?
Braen: Rifters
Arithion: what Braen said
Mercury: Riftles.
Mendoras: Riffles?
Billy Shaughnessy: Hello all
Adam Hetenyi: we're happy to be in here today
Berenger Fish: Riffles have ridges
Billy Shaughnessy: The Riftastics

Berenger Fish: For those of you that don't know what who we are... I'm Berenger, I'm the design lead for dungeons. With me are two of our other instance designers Adam and Billy.
Berenger Fish: (and raids!)

WarpCode asks: Is dungeon design based upon lore or is lore based upon the dungeons you design?
Berenger Fish: The typical approach we took for the initial design for each dungeon was to take a look at the lore and environment for the zone that the instance is related to and build the story around.
Berenger Fish: If the lore needed to change in the zone, then sometimes we adapt the instance or the new lore as needed.
Billy Shaughnessy: One thing we need to figure out and coordinate with the zone teams is where the dungeon falls in the progression of the zone story.
Billy Shaughnessy: We make sure the encounters and population fit thematically.

WarpCode asks: Will the instanced dungeons be accessible to the opposing faction?
Berenger Fish: Every dungeon is available to all factions. Some of the earlier dungeons are much easier to reach based on their proximity to the starting zones but there's nothing to prevent players from entering.
Berenger Fish: The factions do have separate quests related to the dungeons.

Mercury asks: How easy or hard will dungeons be while levelling? A concern with overtuned levelling instances is that when the game population lowers, which is inevitable, noone will want to invest time in trying to get together a party for them. However, that makes them too easy to people who want a challenge. Are there plans for including a toggle-on/off easier mode for non filled out groups?
Berenger Fish: The earlier dungeons on our "Standard" difficulty will definitely be a bit easier. We take into account what kind of abilities or builds players will have at a given level range. The "Expert" difficulty for each dungeon sill be significantly more challenging.
Billy Shaughnessy: Leveling dungeons are a fun challenge and have sweet rewards. As for grouping, the rift system does a great job of bringing people together in the main world, so it’s easy to roll onto a dungeon with people you meet doing rifts.
Adam Hetenyi: we tune the dungeons on Standard mode to be fun, interesting, but because many people will still be learning their characters (or trying out all new soul builds), we save the really ball-breakingly difficult stuff for the max-level Expert modes

Thekk_HD asks: How long are the Dungeons going to be? In running time.
Berenger Fish: They vary a little bit from Dungeon to Dungeon. And can be significantly longer in the harder difficulties.
Berenger Fish: We generally have a rough goal of being anywhere between 30-60 minutes.
Berenger Fish: typically they can take longer the first time through.
Berenger Fish: We make adjustments frequently to increase or slow down the pace.

Kaelestis asks: Berenger, you mentioned, ""Expert" difficulty". Does that mean instances can be set by the players to different modes of play?
Berenger Fish: "Standard" difficulty is set to an appropriate level range for the zone it takes place in. For example if the level of a zone was say 30-35, the dungeon would likely be tuned for 34 or 35 level players
Berenger Fish: The "Expert" difficulty is tuned to be challenging to players who have reached the level cap.
Berenger Fish: Once you've reached the cap, you can select which you'd like to do.

Kara asks: Are all dungeons instanced? If so, is the instance limited to only your group?
Billy Shaughnessy: Expert modes really open up dungeons in terms of story and gameplay. Players will always see new bosses in Expert, and we often get to see entirely new parts of a dungeon.
Berenger Fish: The dungeons we're working on are all instanced. There are definitely some outdoor (non-instnaced) areas in the game that might feel like a dungeon but that's for other teams to talk about.
Berenger Fish: The Dungeon or Raid is only for your group. It let's us craft experiences that you can't get in public setting.

Thekk_Kheelan asks: As we level our Characters, how often will a new Dungeon open up to us? every 5 levels, 10?
Berenger Fish: While we're not revealing how many dungeons we will have yet, one of our goals is provide a way for you to do a significant amount of your leveling in the dungeons... if that's what you want to do.
Billy Shaughnessy: While our zones are awesome, and quests are the main way to level, it is possible to level up in dungeons alone.

charlionfire asks: Are there dungeons designed for alternate gameplay such as timed runs, special event runs (like boss encounters spawnable with items) or trap/puzzle mechanics?
Adam Hetenyi: Mechanics of that nature will be tied in with our achievement system, and probably be largely found in our Expert-mode dungeons. They will provide additional ways for people to challenge themselves and progress after reaching the level cap.
Berenger Fish: Also, we have a lot of bosses, with a lot of different mechanics.
Berenger Fish: While some will be simple for players to figure out, we also want bosses that require the players to think "How do you beat this guy?"
Billy Shaughnessy: Expert mode also has a few dungeons with rift events that are just plain awesome. Players can take all they learn from doing rifts in the world, and bring those skills to a dungeon rift for an excellent challenge in a group tailored experience.

WarpCode asks: Will there be a max playable level for dungeons or will they scale difficulty all the way up to max game level?
Berenger Fish: The dungeons don't scale with a player's level. There's currently no limit to how much you can over level the "Standard" difficulty.
Berenger Fish: By all means go in there and face roll it. :)
Billy Shaughnessy: Good luck face rolling Expert, however =)
Berenger Fish: haha

Kara asks: Can you tell us anything about raid dungeons? How are they laid out? What level ranges to do they cover?
Berenger Fish: All of our instanced Raids are meant for "end game" or level capped players. We're not revealing how they are laid out yet. :)

Darrath asks: are dungeons going to have replay value or is it going to be a case of you've done it once and you'll never go there again?
Berenger Fish: We definetly want all of the dungeons to be fun enough to that players want to replay them...
Berenger Fish: There should be incentives from a reward standpoint to replay them if you want to. We also look at ways to make various runs different.
Berenger Fish: But we're not trying to make "everything random" either.

Nagoth asks: How long would it take an average group to take down a standard Raid Boss?
Berenger Fish: Totally depends on the encounter...
Adam Hetenyi: Our raids will be diverse and awesome, and we'll have a robust endgame and ongoing content development for level-cap players
Adam Hetenyi: do you guys like to kill internet dragons?
Berenger Fish: Some raid bosses will NEED to be brought down as quickly as possible. Those encounters may last only a few min...
Berenger Fish: Others we want to be more epic, and I could see going as high as maybe 10 min. A lot will depend on the capabilities of the players for given gear range.

Expanse asks: how large are trash pulls on average and will groups need to use CC?
Billy Shaughnessy: We factor player progression into how trash pulls work in dungeons. We make sure there is enough challenge for the tools you have. Early dungeons do not require CC for the most part.
Billy Shaughnessy: Once you get past your first two dungeons, CC will be required for a few pulls here and there, and you can expect more in dungeons closer to cap.
Billy Shaughnessy: Expert mode will be much more of a challenge, and players will need to coordinate and control well to get through them
Adam Hetenyi: All players should feel useful in a dungeon

Froodoo asks: Will players be able to "reset" an instance they were just in to have another go right away?
Berenger Fish: Standard difficulty dungeons will definitely be able to be reset immediately. Right now we're planning on putting a daily limit on the "Expert" difficulty dungeons however that is definitely not set in stone.
Berenger Fish: We feel that we have enough dungeons regardless that there should be plenty to do either way if instances are your thang.

Ciovala asks: When designing raid instances, how do you feel about 'trash' mobs as filler in between bosses?
Berenger Fish: This is a good question for BillyS. He's the guy when it comes to trash. ;)
Billy Shaughnessy: So yes, dungeons have a base population between bosses that is lovingly called trash. We have plans to make some trash more interesting than others though, in the form of mini-events. When we get to talking about raids you'll hear more. Expert modes also have some cool things in store.
Billy Shaughnessy: and i do more than trash! =)

Kara asks: Will raid instances or bosses have lock out timers?
Berenger Fish: Short answer: yes.
Berenger Fish: long answer: for sure.

Ciovala asks: Explain the process behind designing a raid instance.
Berenger Fish: While it would be difficult to give a good answer in a short amount of words I think we can touch on some of our design goals for raids...
Billy Shaughnessy: Layout and story have to fit together. We usually come up with a setting, and working with the Lore team for what the location is and what NPCs need killing. We're kind of like the Lore team's assassins.
Billy Shaughnessy: Once we know the setting, we move on to boss design, which we all work on together.
Berenger Fish: We aren't planning on players having to be "keyed" to join a raid... The only gating will be skill (plus gear of course).
Adam Hetenyi: As far as developing mechanics go, we're all experienced MMO raiders, some of us for 5+ years... we have a lot of knowledge regarding what "works" and doesn't work in terms of raid mechanics, access methods, progression, etc. So when it comes to raids, we're like kids in a candy store
Berenger Fish: aieee... hmm. Perhaps we can talk in more detail on the forum.

Apoth asks: in group dungeons will we players be pulling mobs one at a time or will it be more group vs group of mobs type encounters.
Berenger Fish: We difintely want to make sure there a variety for the the "pulls" sometimes it will be a single NPC, other times it may be many, and then some. :)

Mendoras asks: What is your oppinion, why do most modern MMORPGs use instances and not classic dungeons? And do you think that the Instances in Rift use the full potential of this technology?
Adam Hetenyi: good question ;)
Berenger Fish: I think there are two primary reasons for instances vs public dungeons...
Berenger Fish: 1. There are a lot of players that like the ability to be able to go into a dungeon with a private group and experience the content without being interferred with.
Billy Shaughnessy: Instances allow us to make more challenging encounters. We know the variables going in, so we can better tailor fights. For us, it's all about the quality of the encounters.
Berenger Fish: 2. The other big reason is that there are certain types of encounters that are extremely difficult to pull off in a public space. Not to mention the balancing issues.
Berenger Fish: Trash man Billy speaks truth.
Billy Shaughnessy: word
Billy Shaughnessy: I prefer Trashmaster, but it's ok. =P

RIRCGuest710 asks: Just how hard are these "Expert" dungeons going to be in contrast to the normal setting. Is it going to just be an avenue for the slightly more experianced player to get a thrill or is it going to be extreemly hard?
Berenger Fish: Let's say that there is a dungeon that set's in the world in a level capped zone...
Berenger Fish: The "Standard" version would be tuned for a newly level capped player, they would find that the "expert" version would be very challenging.

Berenger Fish: I'm told we are out of times :(
Billy Shaughnessy: oh noes teh tiems!
Ciovala well it's been great fun guys, thanks!
Abigale: Thanks for being here, guys. We all appreciate how busy you are and really appreciate your time :)
Billy Shaughnessy: Great questions, everyone. Thanks a lot. It's been fun!
Abigale: Thanks for coming folks. And they were indeed great questions! :)
Adam Hetenyi: Take care errybody
Abigale: Thank you all for making this such a pleasant experience for the devs that stop by :)

Thanks to ReplayIRC - Raw logs

Great and good are seldom the same man.
08-14-2010, 12:07 AM
Post: #2
RE: August 13, Berenger Fish - Dungeon design
Once again, thanks Dale

Awesome week this week, really disappointed I missed it

3 more weeks!


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