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Reader Comments (35)

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:08AM bwar said

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love the open style dungeon, hate people camping bosses.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:12AM Rocky said

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Old style UO and EQ before LDoN for me.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 9:59AM Jenks said

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Agreed
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Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:19AM (Unverified) said

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Philosophical (yes, MMO philosophic beliefs) I believe in zero instances, and the world should be open and vast, allowing a sandbox-like feel. If one guild wants to ruin another guild's raid, I think that should be allowed in MMOs.

However, being a hypocrite, I highly enjoy MMOs where I can get away from other people. Take the Aion beta for example. Aion, for anyone who doesn't know, uses 'shards' (or channels, as they call it), meaning you can change over to another instance of that zone if it's too crowded. I find myself always going to one of the last ones on the list so I'll be alone.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:19AM archipelagos said

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Camping spawns is anathema to me so unless there's a way around that I'm all for instanced dungeons. Nothing breaks immersion and enjoyment and adventure quite like having to spam your ability buttons in the hope that you will tag a mob before someone else does. It was one of the reasons I absolutely detested FFXI.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:30AM Wgraves said

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instances are good, but only when other people can get to them too... gotta have that little bit of excitement now and then...

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:37AM (Unverified) said

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I vividly remember the age old days of playing AO and the large dungeons there. Plenty of boss camping for the unique drops, and also the worst feature of an uninstanced dungeon, trains. Gotta love fighting some minor mobs in the starting levels when some intrepid fool comes along running for the exit, leading a train of monsters (and sometimes bosses) behind him. Yes, he does exit, but the mobs all walk back to their spawn spots and aggro anything in their way. Tons of death.

Of course the opposite is true for instanced dungeons, where its only you and/or your party trying to vanquish the beasties inside. Yes, this does add some flavor of being alone in the darkness, but it also presents a more solo oriented gameplay model.

I'm not sure there is an answer to this question, but DAoC did it well with a lot of dungeons that presented a main area non instanced, and little other areas being instanced. While this method does not please everyone (especially with low sub numbers), it does give a more fair shot for soloers and groups alike.

Interesting conundrum.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 12:03PM Pingles said

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Same boat. Loved running across other adventurers in dungeons but despised having to shop around a dungeon looking for an uncamped area.

If I had to choose one or the other it would be a tough decision.
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Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:38AM Arkanaloth said

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Instanced all the way..

My immersion is derived from the experiencing content and exploring, not bumping into other people. Unfortunately in open games people are a mixed bag, on minute you can have a great experience with the game community then minutes later have a nightmare to tell on your favorite online forum for years to come. Open worlds you have to take the good with the bad (and overall there seems to be more bad than good) so I'm very very very happy with instancing.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:42AM Mooncalled said

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When I played the non-instanced dungeon and came across another group I would always feel disappointed. My feeling of exploration would be diminished greatly because someone has been here before. With instanced, my group is the first one here, even though we may have been there before.

Besides, I never really had the patience for camping. Maybe that's why I never got the 1337 drops.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:42AM Aganazer said

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Open over world, instanced dungeons.

I think that instances allow the designers to do more with the flow and direction of the gameplay. It allows for more story telling and objective driven gameplay. Looking at DDO I don't think it would be possible to have that level of dungeon interaction in a shared space. Instanced dungeons also have the advantage of not needed MOB respawn, which IMO, is an immersion killer for me.

I also like to see other players running around in areas that are not supposed to be as directed or as story driven. It seems perfect for the open over land area to be shared and as seamless as possible.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 9:53AM Tom in VA said

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I agree 100% with Aganezer. Having instanced dungeons/missions with a persistent "overworld" is definitely the way to go.
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Posted: Aug 17th 2009 10:02AM Tom in VA said

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I wanted to also add regarding the "persistent open overworld" that LotRO had a clever technique of converting portions of the persistent overworld into a "mini-instance" for special adventures and encounters.

I thought it was a very fun and creative use of instancing that I had not seen before. I would like to see other MMOs do a bit more with this (I suspect that games like Guild Wars 2 and STO may be making use of this technique).
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Posted: Aug 17th 2009 8:47AM (Unverified) said

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Gotta say, like most things, it is a mix that is the key. If you look at the EQII dungeons, you'll find an amazing mix of open dungeons with instanced plot progression events and boss fights.

Open dungeons are great, but it is the height of immersion-breaking when you wait to kill the great and mighty boss that is the scourge of the region because three other groups are in line to kill him first.

So yeah, open dungeon + instanced event/boss fights are the bee's knees.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 9:01AM myr said

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I like how Aion does it with an open world, but ten copies of the world in "shards" or channels as another poster above mentioned. So if you get to the boss in your big dungeon crawl but he's not up, you can find a safe spot nearby and switch channels. People will channel hop to farm the boss for loot, but I've found that at least one copy will generally be up at any given time.

Of course, there's going to be some full blown dungeon instances in release content too. Which aren't bad I suppose.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 9:02AM Miffy said

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I hate instances that don't feel natural like in EQ2 where you click on a bell or something and get warped or you talked to a guy and get warped somewhere. I loved how WoW did it when I used to play the game which was they're built naturally into the world. So say for example The Dead Mines was built to scale in the world where you had to run through the caves first and then you exited the instance out round the back. It just all felt very natural and didn't feel like an instance at all.

Thats when instances are done well.

However when you make it so you can join Instanced battlegrounds from anywhere in the world then thats when the game suffers. All of a sudden the game world becomes empty and you kill the social aspect. I loved the battlegrounds when you had to queue outside them to get it. That gave well for world PVP and kept the world populated.

Posted: Aug 18th 2009 5:24PM (Unverified) said

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Agree 100%.
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Posted: Aug 19th 2009 12:26AM (Unverified) said

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Agreed. That is why I didn't like Guild Wars. Most of the world was instanced, and only the city was persistent. That results in a very empty, lonely world, IMO.
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Posted: Aug 17th 2009 9:15AM (Unverified) said

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I'd like to see the best of both worlds. An instanced dungeon which is accessible to another group. So there's always the element of surprise or competition in there. It doesn't have to be a PvP orientation, it could be just a race between two or more groups along separate paths in the same instance to get to the big boss. Or it could even be cooperative where you need another group in the instance to flip a switch before you continue. Or it could be PvP oriented. Where another group may or may not be in the instance waiting to pounce on you.

I can be complex - you don't really want a group to gank another group in the middle of a boss fight, so maybe there are "lockouts" if a group gets to a boss first...etc. Better designers could find a way.

I just think it would be nice to have a bit more unscripted (player character) excitement in the standard dungeon crawl.

Posted: Aug 17th 2009 9:40AM arnavdesai said

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There is a mission in GW:Factions wherein if you are a player from the first game and if you are a character created in Factions, both are doing the same Story mission but approach the game from different places, meet up in one place along with different NPCs & then proceed together.
When it was first released it was all very fun as you almost always met with another group on the other side & they could suck or be awesome which greatly changed the outcome of the mission & how much death you suffered. Of course, with the release of Nightfall & the distribution of people, you almost always ended up with NPCs on the other side.
There was another mission in the same game where you took different paths in the game & then joined back in from the different story arcs and did another mission together. Real fun. That was the best part about GW, they tried different gameplay mechanics in every version of their game & kept things fresh & unique.
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