New Instances

edited March 2013 in Aetolia Development
So back in December we talked about a project that was being worked on in regards to new Instance types. I'm happy to announce that we're now very close to finally reaching a release point, so I felt like it would be a good time to discuss this new Instance with you.

Essentially we have created a Raid Dungeon Instance that's a lot different from the typical Instances we have now. There is very minimal mindless bashing to be had; the bulk of the dungeon is taken up by three different unique boss encounters. These fights are completely different from what you've come to expect in super mob fights like Tolonar, Zsarachnor, Elder Daemon, etc. You cannot solo these bosses, it is mechanically impossible for one single person to take on any of these fights. You also cannot simply have someone yank you back and forth while you bash the boss down; these fights come with the requirement of thinking and strategizing.

The goal of this Instance is to give you as players something to do as an endgame group that's not PK, not bashing, not sitting on a Lesser, but something that requires you to actively think and react as a group in a PVE setting that we hope will be a fun new layer to Aetolia. I say endgame because for the initial release of this Instance, we're really gearing it towards endgame players because one thing that Aetolia lacks is endgame content. Once you hit level 99+ there's not much for you to do if you aren't into PK outside of grind Xaanhal/Tiyen, and we really want to change that. This doesn't mean that we won't create lower leveled Instances of the same type in the future, just for this initial release its setup for the higher end player.

So with that said, let me break down the boss fights without giving out too many spoilers, note the names are simply a generic title given to each fight so as not to give any story/event elements away.

Boss Fight #1 "The Brothers"
[spoiler]This fight is a duo where your purpose as a team is to keep them separated and both halves of your group bash down each one separately. There is a catch in that you MUST keep the difference in their current HP within a certain percentage range, failure to do so will cause some pretty severe consequences and will likely result in a wipe. Also when you manage to slay one of the brothers, you power up the other due to him being enraged at seeing his brother felled.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]This is a pretty simple fight compared to the others, as you simply need to control your DPS and keep both mobs apart so as to keep the total in room enemy DPS down to a minimum. Outside of these few things there really isn't much fancy factor to this fight. It is the intro fight and really just serves to get you into the mood of the Instance.[/spoiler]

Boss Fight #2 "The Dark Lady"

[spoiler]This is the first of the multiphase fights in this Instance, and is by far the one fight that just has a sheer volume of reactions and consequences for both the party and the boss itself. As the fight begins, the boss will periodically 'tag' a player and call them out. This player has to leave the room or else the boss becomes greatly empowered. Should this player re-enter the room before the tag is cleared, the boss will unleash a massive AoE that will likely result in a wipe to one or more players. The tag is passed to a different player randomly, thus allowing the previous player to swap out and get back into the fray.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]In the second Phase of the fight, the boss will start prompting a player to make a decision based on a set of choices she provides. The player's choice here determines one of nine possible reactions programmed into the fight. These range from good choices like damaging the boss, healing the group, slowing the boss down, to bad choices like spawning helper mobs, healing the boss, and unleashing devastating AoEs. As an added layer, failure to comply with the choice prompting will result in consequences as well so that there is no ignoring the boss when she makes her demands of an attacker.[/spoiler]

Boss Fight #3 "The General"

[spoiler]This fight has a total of four separate phases, with the final phase having two possible versions depending on the groups success(or lack thereof). In Phase One players will approach the boss like normal, getting it down in health until it kicks into Phase Two. In the second Phase, the boss takes to the skies and the players are forced to weather a ruthless bombardment while attempting to stun the boss and bring him back down to the ground so that the heavy hitters can put the DPS back on him.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]This will last until Phase Three, which is a healing phase. During this Phase players will be find the boss unable to be hurt while it attempts to recover. The group will then be forced to prevent the bosses minions from healing him, succeeding in this will allow the group to do massive damage to him and eventually strip his shield which will kickstart Phase Four on the good setting. The bad setting for Phase Four occurs when players fail to prevent the boss's recovery. The will in essence enter into the final Phase with a much harder boss. The final Phase is nearly identical to the first with minor adjustments made.[/spoiler]

So these are the bosses in a nutshell, the only other mobs in the Instance will be sporadic placement of 'trash mobs' just to give you something to chew on between boss fights. The flip side to all of this is that we will be introducing a system of rewarding players who drop bosses. I won't go into full detail on just what all you'll end up getting, but I will say that one of the normal rewards is going to be cryptic chests/chest pieces.

If you've ever played big time MMO's before, you will know that their dungeons tend to lock you in/put a cooldown on how often you can run it. We won't be implementing any sort of cooldown outside of the normal Instance cooldown already in place. What we will be doing is reducing the drop chance for you personally each time you clear a boss up to a certain percent, over a to be determined period of time. This way if all you wanted to do was run the Instance all day ever day, you are more than able to! You will just gain less rewards the closer and more numerous your runs are.

So, long-winded post aside, we hope this has sparked some interest in players from all walks of life. We're all pretty excited about this and hope to see it turn into something that we can add for endgame and <99 players on down the road. However, it's not 100% ready yet and soon we will be looking for testers who want to run the gauntlet and help us work out all the kinks so we can build up to an official public release. We're really looking for high end bashers who are equipped to the teeth for maximum PvE DPS and healing, as the goal is to find a decent medium to allow both artied out players and minimally equipped ones to equally enjoy the Instance.

Questions are welcome, anyone interested in being contacted to beta test should say so here so that we can look into speaking with you directly in the days to come.


  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen Canada
    I'm not artied out but I'm OP Praenomen! Pick me pick me!
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander Portland
    edited March 2013
    OMG SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. I love raiding in WoW (filling flasks in preparation for my guild's raid as I type) and it's really awesome to see something like this in a MUD. Your approach to the lockout is really awesome, as well.

    One question I have for this is how will these encounters deter automation and scripting of the mechanics? MUDs give us a lot more room to code automated responses vs MMOs, but triggering the right selection for something like the Dark Lady would trivialize the encounter. I'm really excited to see how you guys tackled these!!!

    I have an arti or 2 and bash every now and then, if you need a tester.
  • edited March 2013
    The anti scripting thing is a good question, and something I've really knocked down as much as possible. For example, there literally is no way to automate the first encounter without being able to actively see the bosses health in numerical form.

    For the second fight, there's not much getting around scripting the tagging part on a player end. However, the choice/reaction situation is pretty impossible to reliably code against. Basically you have 3 choices to choose from, each choice has a random roll of being one of three different outcomes. So choice A can be either consequence 1, 2, or 3. Same for choices B and C. In testing there have been instances where I will land A1 three times in a row, while other times I land A1, A2, A3, or any such combination.

    The final boss has it's own little quirks as well that really come down to a DPS check in some cases, and in others knowing how well your team is tanking(or not tanking) so as to handle certain aspects.

    We can't make it perfect, but I really feel like you'll be hardpressed to just script away each fight and let your system do all the thinking.
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander Portland
    That sounds really cool. Can't wait to try (and die) in these new raids!

  • Moirean said:
    That sounds really cool. Can't wait to try (and die) in these new raids!
    Or break things in a way they never possibly could have been broken by anyone else thus setting me back a year in coding! You know, either or.
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander Portland
    edited March 2013
    >_> Noideawhatyoumean...

    Will there be an upper limit on group sizes? What's the average size group that these are designed for? Also, will there be any sort of ranks, honors, etc associated with them?
  • well one of the boss fights requires you to be in 3 locations at once, while still maintaining DPS on the boss so I guess you can do the math on that one in your head. I mean, these won't be 20 man raids, we just can't realistically expect that. But I'd say 5-6 players should be able to handle most of the content currently. 4 might be pushing it, anything less and you'd never get past the trash mobs likely.
  • PvE is my main interest in MMO games, and I'd love to help out with this. At the moment I am lacking for time though as I work full time in Aussie hours, but if that doesn't matter I'd be happy to involve myself.
  • AarbrokAarbrok Breaking things...For Science San Diego, CA
    Well Im level 111, a decently good basher as Teradrim, Praenomen or Lycan, without blessings or anything I have over 7000 health, with chocolates and blessings closer to 9000 and I have level 2 sip bonus as well, so if you need a mule to take a beating, let me know.
  • ArbreArbre Arbrelina Jolie Braavos
  • Not much into PvE myself, but this does sound promising.

  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in Attica
    When I played WoW, participating in raids with my guild was incredibly fun. Needing to know the mechanics of each and every boss fight, where you needed to be and what you needed to be doing at any given point in time, knowing your class and its mechanics and how to maximize your DPS/healing. It was a huge adrenaline rush, and felt like an accomplishment when the raid was cleared. Not to mention that the raids and boss fights themselves were epic to participate in.

    My only complaint was that raids took so long to prep for and were a huge time investment requiring you to set aside six hours AT LEAST just to get part of the raid done. I'm kind of hoping that raid instances here won't require as much of a time sink as WoW raids because that would suck. D:
  • From what I've seen, I don't think you'll be looking at something that takes quite that long.
  • Phoenecia said:

    My only complaint was that raids took so long to prep for and were a huge time investment requiring you to set aside six hours AT LEAST just to get part of the raid done. I'm kind of hoping that raid instances here won't require as much of a time sink as WoW raids because that would suck. D:
    Well considering that the highest HP of the bosses currently is probably less than your beefiest raid elite in Rift or some such, I don't think we're going to be seeing six hours worth of fighting down here. Granted we also don't want you to just blow through it in ten minutes of bashing either, because that's not really fun nor is it a challenge. Somewhere we will find a happy medium, I am sure.
  • DaskalosDaskalos Credit Whore Extraordinare Rolling amongst piles of credits.
    I can help if you need... and I could probably wake Alexina up on AIM too.



    Message #17059 Sent By: Oleis           Received On: 1/03/2014/17:24
    "If it makes you feel better, just checking your artifact list threatens to crash my mudlet."

  • ArbreArbre Arbrelina Jolie Braavos
    Arbre said:
    Holy cow I was manic last night.

    Yeah, I'd like to help - I'm not great on strategizing, but I can follow directions well, and am relatively tanky.  Con2, sip2, enh2.
  • Veritas said:
    The anti scripting thing is a good question, and something I've really knocked down as much as possible. For example, there literally is no way to automate the first encounter without being able to actively see the bosses health in numerical form.

    I'm not sure I get what the other fights are about, but just from reading about the first one.. how can you avoid scripting the first fight really?

    Just how are you going to know if their health is in that percentage of each other without scripting? For example, have everyone report the dmg they just did to a channel (clan), have someone tally that and calculate the percentage. Have that person report it AND do some loud warnings when it becomes too high.

    I don't quite see how you'd fight that boss without doing that, you'd never know if you should hit or if that might trigger unpleasant thingies.. but then I'm just guessing based on what's been written here.
  • edited March 2013
    So are we going to be able to use GMCP to pull the Health/Mana of people in the raid group with us so healers can actually do something or is this going to be a straight tank and spank boss fight or are we going to have to make intelligent health warnings set at incremental values to let healers heal? 
    Edit: Or do we do away with the classic tank, healer, 2 dps, basic format to 4-7 tanks? 
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander Portland
    edited March 2013
    Healing others is a really quite a minor support role here in Aetolia, especially with the large focus on self-healing abilities.
  • LinLin Blackbird The Moonglade
    Umm... Aetolia has healers?
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander Portland
    Luminaries (do Templars still have devotion?) and Indorani can directly heal/cure allies, although it's a fairly subpar use of your balance/eq unless you are underskilled. Mages can reflect and monks have that remote healing thing.

    I wouldn't call any of them "healers" although priestess/fool or hands could be a viable choice for a party member instead of damage if the boss is focusing a single target, since we don't have taunts or easy ways to control aggro outside of forced movement gimmicks like abduct.

    All theory, but it's fun to think about how these encounters might play out!!!
  • KerrynKerryn The Black Flagon Inn
    Ascendril using Spirit holo's I've come to find are becoming increasingly helpful in some events lately. They heal everyone in the room and could be very useful for instances. I know Xavin and myself used them during fighting some of the more difficult mobs during the invasion and letting others 'tank' and 'dps'. I also use them to help people when taking down mobs for honors lines on occasion. However, with mage revamps that might disappear entirely. Scio's do not have a comparable skill, so in this regard, lifers do have the advantage to room wide healing.

  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotion
    Wouldn't be surprised if we see a new skillset or something that gets released that allows people to specialize in roles during instances irregardless of their class. If that isn't something on the table, I would highly suggest it. That way, regardless of what class someone is playing, they can play a defensive/supportive/offensive role.
  • So we're thinking this Wednesday after the Howling(The Wed -> Thurs one) sometime should be the soonest it'll be ready for people to test. Hope to see you around then!
  • There are also things like the harmony vibration that heal the owner's allies in the room.

  • IllikaalIllikaal Pray Area
    edited March 2013
    Or Shaman Effusion, Renewal, and Thorncoat. Mind empathy and Kai heal. Templar Healing/Protection auras. Luminary hands/rites. Lycanthrope healing roars. Ascendril Spirit Holocausts and Harmony. 

    In short. Yes @Lin. Aetolia has healers. 
    "And finally, swear to Me: You will give your life to Dendara for you are Tiarna an-Kiar."
  • LinLin Blackbird The Moonglade
  • Bout an hour/hour and a half away from when we'll try to do at least the first boss run through. I hope you guys made out your last will, because this gon hurt, yo. (That or probably break right at the start for no apparent reason due to Moirean's participation in testing and it'll be the shortest .00435s of any beta ever, so heeeey.)
  • MoireanMoirean Chairmander Portland
  • MacavityMacavity Chicago, Il
    I will come help if you need more testers... let me know
    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” 
    ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

    Veritas says, "Sorry for breaking your system Macavity."
    Veritas says, "My boss fights crash Macavity's computer now."
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