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Dungeons can actually be fun for new players


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I recently started playing again after a very long break and tried to refresh my memory on the story connected to the various dungeons. Unfortunately I found, that most groups just rush trough stuff like crazy, meaning that you'll miss the boss fight if you watch the cutscene (if you're not getting vote-kicked, that is). I ended up doing some of the dungeons solo then to understand their mechanics to a satisfying degree but that's not something a beginner could realistically pull of.

 

Therefore I opened a group for Ascalonian Catacombs story path yesterday and advertised it as "new players welcome". One of the players that joined soon after apologized beforehand that he is new and doesn't know his way around, so I calmed him down. 5 Minutes later the 4 of us ventured into the instance and I patiently waited till everyone watched their cutscenes. Along the way I made sure to briefly explain what we are doing, e.g. "we need to put a rock on this plate for the gate to stay open". After a relaxing run they all thanked me in chat and/or /bowed before me and one was even asking "all all dungeons this good?"

 

The latter got me thinking. The leveling experience is nice and all, but most of the time it's the first group experiences that get players hooked in MMOs. And while you have group events in the open world, the player interaction is mostly superficial. So next time you feel that dungeon itch, consider making it a great experience for everyone - it doesn't take much extra effort :)

 

 

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You can LFG with "watching cutscenes" or "first time", and you'll quickly find players who are totally fine with it - I've actually never met anyone since the token merge (that's since I started playing again) who had an issue with that.  People were actually extra helpful to carry through mobs or answer new / returning player questions, too. I'm playing on NA.

If you're unsure, just ask at the start, and don't join stuff like "AC P6" or "fast" and similar LFGs.

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21 minutes ago, Ray Koopa.2354 said:

You can LFG with "watching cutscenes" or "first time" and you'll quickly find players who are totally fine with it

Good advice. At least that's how it's supposed to be, I guess. Those first-timers I previously joined up with had been in quite  a hurry, though, more often than not...

Edited by Padrion.7382
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9 hours ago, Padrion.7382 said:

Good advice. At least that's how it's supposed to be, I guess. Those first-timers I previously joined up with had been in quite  a hurry, though, more often than not...

Usually, if just _one_ exp person rushes, everyone tries to keep up to not "fall out of favor and risk a kick". At least some new players seem to be scared of that. I have read multiple messages like "sorry for sucking and thanks for not kicking me" at the end of dungeons (is that where the term "EoD" comes from 🤔) and I had to, like, really calm them down as in "Hey don't worry, you're new. We were just doing a fast trip since _it looked like everyone was going for it_."

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I'm actually more willing to join groups that advertise first time or will watch cutscenes because I don't care about speedrunning through it for some arbitrary xp\gold per hour.

I always tell the groups I'm in that they should feel free to watch the cutscenes if they want to and not feel pressure to skip. I've never had any group vote out people watching cutscenes. It's usually the impatient ones that just leave because they didn't bother reading the LFG text.

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If you want the best story dungeon experience, play with ONE veteran player on a good carry build. This: 1) Gives you time to watch cutscenes, and 2) Gives you time to learn and experience battles.

 

Even with a full party of players the same level as you, most fights will be a curbstomp. By just going in with a single vet and helping them solo the entire dungeon, you get alot more out of it, especially for the higher-level dungeons where they might actually need you to help out quite a bit.

 

I personally take each of my guild members through every dungeon as they level up.

Edited by Hannelore.8153
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I mean, if Dungeon stories were actually interesting (the cut scenes at least), I'd be down for watching them. But the problem is that it's usually just two characters talking about the most pointless stuff in the most roundabout manor. The only thing I make sure to watch is Logan saving Rytlock in CoF, because that scene is lit.

 

I personally think it's more useful to slow down a little and explain/demonstrate how a dungeon can be speedrun. Letting people do their own thing is great when it works, but can be horridly unpleasant when it doesn't and can lead to stalls/ragequits. Everyone has a better time when experienced members take charge.

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5 hours ago, Westenev.5289 said:

I personally think it's more useful to slow down a little and explain/demonstrate how a dungeon can be speedrun.[...]

 

It is both, I'd say. When you join a group and all you do is desperately trying to keep  up with them, while not understanding what is going on around you, it will likely be an unpleasant experience. You'll either think that you suck or dungeons suck (or both). That is why I explained briefly what we were doing at the moment. And the videos (although I agree that they aren't stellar) give some lore context to it all. Together it is a much more satisfying experience than the above.

 

Of course things are different with experienced groups, but that is not what I'm referring to.

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When I started playing I came from a game where I spent most of my time in dungeons and raiding , so I was sad when I saw no interest in running them here. It seems to me all the newer players have a really hard time seeing this huge amount of instanced content because no one wants to run them anymore unless its like the daily. And dungeons are a big part of an mmorpg experience and players kind of expect it will happen here too.  They really need to do something and about the only thing I can think of that would benefit everyone and cause a stir is to tie them to another leggy set. Based on dungeon achievements and collections , world boss achievements, meta collections and achievements, and the JP cheeves but cannot use portals to do the jps. Every zone would have an achievement or collection  to accomplish toward the armor set.

 

It could be really good for the players and get them out there with a goal in mind.  And just so no one thinks im trying to steal the thunder from the raid/wvw/pvp armor it could be a potato sack with no effects but the QoL of the legendary armory is the goal for people that only do overworld and there are a great many that would travel this journey to accomplish the set. It would be a fun journey around the world to me.

Edited by Artemis.8034
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Thats called powercreep, before Hearth of Thorns dungeons were challenging if you didnt stack and played it the way they are supposed to be played, when HoT came out the hardest boss from the hardest dungeon got killed in 11 seconds by players running the new elite specs.

 

Not only Anet doesnt care about ajusting the scaling of old content to balance it with people running elites, they never really cared about fixing the one thing everyone agrees to hate that is stacking, we still have important boons on a 180 radius skill.

 

Making a CM dungeon mode, nothing complex, everybody takes +50% damage and the mobs have +150% HP, make you actually have to fight stuff instead of skipping to the bosses... Fights would last more than 10 seconds, players would need to evade instead of tank, the rewards could be reskins of the dungeon's skins, done, you made all dungeons feel like new, 25 new dungeons. Don't believe me? Try playing Arah with a party without elites and fight the monsters instead of skipping, its like a new dungeon, thats the most fun i had in GW2 in years.

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3 hours ago, AquaBR.9250 said:

Thats called powercreep, before Hearth of Thorns dungeons were challenging if you didnt stack and played it the way they are supposed to be played, when HoT came out the hardest boss from the hardest dungeon got killed in 11 seconds by players running the new elite specs.

Ironically, this has less to do with the specs, and more with the fact that more people are actually running meta.

Just look at this, or at this attempt at speedrun (where players actually messed up at the last boss). Or this (apparently considered a "casual" run by [qT] 😛).

But yeah, everything is sooo completely different now.[/sarcasm]

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1 minute ago, Astralporing.1957 said:

Ironically, this has less to do with the specs, and more with the fact that more people are actually running meta.

Just look at this, or at this attempt at speedrun (where players actually messed up at the last boss). Or this (apparently considered a "casual" run by [qT] 😛).

But yeah, everything is sooo completely different now.[/sarcasm]

Yeah its just a coincidence that literally all PvE dps meta build use elite spec, its not like they deal almost double the damage of a core build [/sarcasm]

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4 minutes ago, AquaBR.9250 said:

Yeah its just a coincidence that literally all PvE dps meta build use elite spec, its not like they deal almost double the damage of a core build [/sarcasm]

From the point of average player, there's not much difference whether you can burn Clockheart in 11 seconds with elite specs now or 16 seconds then using core builds. Really.

You're talking about dungeons here. Power Creep didn't do much to change those.

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15 hours ago, Artemis.8034 said:

They really need to do something and about the only thing I can think of that would benefit everyone and cause a stir is to tie them to another leggy set.

Well, concerning new players and story dungeons, there are a couple of rather cheap and easy steps the developer could implement.

 

The most important I think would be to make easier to get there or make it more clear how to get there respectively. Like when I just finished Kessex Hills how the hell am I supposed to get to Ascalaon?  What is Lion's Arch? Never heard of that guy. And the LFG-interface for dungeons is quite well hidden btw.

 

Then, within the dungeons, most of the cutscenes should be converted to ingame dialogue and story NPCs and/or the HUD should give clearer directions. This would help to get all players on the same page and fill the gap in experience.

 

Of course there are a lot of things one could do with enough development ressources, but these are the low hanging fruits, I'd say.

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Dungeons are seriously overdue for some QOL improvements so that they grab people during the leveling experience. In general, dungeons are overtuned and too chaotic with lots of eye-rolling, barely visible OHKO mechanics and overpowered bosses that push you toward stacking intsead of playing in a more dynamic and immersive way.

While I can't really provide evidence to back it up, I strongly believe that the poor state of dungeons after launch played a huge role in why there was a significant player fall-off shortly after launch. MMOs need immersive, small-squad based experiences that are well-designed and don't just torture players that are trying to do it. 

Nevertheless, it was always enexcusable that they left them in that state as it really shoudln't be that difficult to fix them and bring them back into the core game to support both the leveing experience and end-game play options. If they'd done this 8 years ago they might have had a reason to continue developing them instead of abandoning them the way they did.

They really should just stop obsessing about the differnent types of instanced content, bridge them all together, and develop them as a cohesive system. The decision to push FOTM exclusively years ago accomplished little other than underdeveloping the world and ruining FOTM by diluting its theme. 

Edited by Einlanzer.1627
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