Grimkeep: Season 2

Now that Endzones have been out for a while, we are looking at what tweaks we can make to make them more fun, more challenging, and more even. There are a number of issues that have been brought to us and that we are looking into, and put together they warrant a full reset of scores before they are implemented to keep things fair. Because of that we are seeking to gather additional ideas and thoughts on the issues already brought to us. NOTE: We know a new endzone would also be desirable and exciting, but we are not looking into that yet.

Problem 1 - Teleporting Out
Being able to ascend, teleport, etc. out of an endzone is something that currently works and something we would like to remove because it allows quick jumping in and out of it to restock, or hop in/out of a timequake, when it should be an expedition that you lock into more properly. The gate should be the primary way to leave and needing to get to it, should one be far away, should be part of the challenge. That said, we do think the system would also then need a quick get out button should someone need to leave immediately (as opposed to just logging out there unsafely, which ultimately would later kick them to the Portal). If we added the button, this would need to bar the person from rejoining that run so it actually serves its purpose. Extra concern: dirigibles, pets, and such should probably not deliver into Grimkeep for the same reason (quick restocking) but we're on the fence about that.

Problem 2 - Teleporting In
We have tracked down a few gaps in the system due to placement of the area. It is technically on Prime Plane so as not to remove the players too far away from the rest of the game in terms of communication and information, but that also created its own issues. Those would be going away and we'd rather find and patch them all than move Grimkeep so far away (plane/continent wise) as to make all the options not work due to distance. Teleporting in should not be possible, joining should happen only through Ronai and respect the 5 minute limit for joining runs.

Problem 3 - Gate Camping
Groups are consistently camping out at the gate, the very first room, so as to be able to flee and cure up safely before rejoining. This is a two fold problem.
1) It's boring, encourages semi afkness once a group has a good balance going, and Grimkeep may as well be a 3 room area instead.
2) It lessens the danger and challenge immensely to be able to just hop out at a moment's notice. Unclear what the best solution here could be, fortressing is a thing for a reason.
Some ideas: increase spawns at the gate because it's better defended, forced arrival into a random room (but nearish the exit), random forced movement (of group or singular) as one function of one type of the denizens, some sort of room debuff mechanic created by denizens dying (leftover aoe that increases the more denizens die there), additional requirements for leaving through the gate (full or almost full health, limited exits, cooldown before you can return).

Please leave your comments and additional ideas!

Comments

  • EnyalidaEnyalida Nasty Woman, Sockpuppeteer to the Gods
    edited June 9
    I have no experience of endzones, so my input is obviously limited. But I happened to do my "once every two months" look at the forums to read the news posts a mere hour after this post, so here's my two cents! 

    Put the endzones in aetherspace, and not necessarily at the same exact spots each time. This solves both of the teleporting issues immediately. It also wouldn't  isolate participants in the same way as putting the endzones on their own planes, as long as someone involved used Covey/Planarbond. 

    To address the third issue, you could have the docking point be "above" the endzone itself such that participants have to rappel down into the instance. Or simply add a delay on getting back up to the safe room from the drop point so that you can't shuffle back and forth quickly. 

    People could use various methods to get *out* of the endzone, but would then have to fly or wait through the cooldowns inherent to aetherspace fast travel to get back - adding a significant opportunity cost. 

    This is almost certainly a big thematic shift, so I get why it's just as certainly not going to be the actual solution, but I think it'd work to solve the issues listed! Plus it'd inject a bunch of non-direct-competitive/PvP interest into aetherspace. 
  • edited June 9
    I know you said no to new endzone, but I really do believe that any changes should be applied to a new area rather than Grimkeep.
    I personally also disagree with the idea the gatecamping is boring, but that could be an unpopular opinion.


    That said, the problems are:

    1) There is no reason to move because mobs are too strong otherwise. They have too much health/resists that you can't kill them fast enough.
    2) The area is big enough to affect mob tracking - the gate is far enough away from the otherside that staying at the gate controls how fast the mobs come to you. At least as far as I have been told. I'm not sure how true this actually is. it sure as feels like mobs will get stuck on the other side and not come to the other side until they are 'within' range.
    3) Right now, the Queen boss isn't really worth it to fight because she is even stronger, has instant kills, and you basically have to do it at the very start of the run or the mobs will quickly overwhelm you. You basically can kill her or do a proper run, but not both.


    So there are a few ideas:

    Adjust mob strength, making them a bit weaker but probably increasing spawn rate. This could encourage people to move around as things spawn. I know this probably will take the most balancing and quick updates to the system (this idea probably isn't something that can wait months between adjustments)
    Encourage moving around. Two ways this could be done: 1) every so often check that the group has moved x rooms away and give some sort of essence bonus. 2) Special bonus/Elite mobs that spawn and stay in a specific room. This mob could give a couple million essence or a similar boost. It would need to be high enough of an reward to make people go to it, and likely require the above adjusting idea as well, else people won't do it if they can't kill the thing fast enough.
  • Disclaimer: I've never done a Grimkeep run either.

    I don't want to lose people to another plane/continent for hours if we can avoid that route. If there might be a way to shorten runs by rewarding for something other than time length maybe that'd help too?

    I have heard from early runners about trinkets/trophies that can be picked up in runs and then traded in to the guild of Horizon Walkers (to open up access to special items). How are the trinkets/trophies acquired? Could a run stat for acquiring these encourage less gate camping?

    What do walls do? If they're helping control the mobs, could walls raised near the gate not count for run points to encourage setting out further? Can any mobs fly or charge over walls?

    As a variant to random room start, what if there's a few possible spots the tunnel leads to in a Grimkeep instance? That is, there is only one tunnel per instance, but the room it links to may be different between runs. Jokingly, these different locations might have different challenges to prevent gate camping, so you can do A/B testing.

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  • Uilani said:
    Now that Endzones have been out for a while, we are looking at what tweaks we can make to make them more fun, more challenging, and more even. There are a number of issues that have been brought to us and that we are looking into, and put together they warrant a full reset of scores before they are implemented to keep things fair. Because of that we are seeking to gather additional ideas and thoughts on the issues already brought to us. NOTE: We know a new endzone would also be desirable and exciting, but we are not looking into that yet.

    Problem 1 - Teleporting Out
    Being able to ascend, teleport, etc. out of an endzone is something that currently works and something we would like to remove because it allows quick jumping in and out of it to restock, or hop in/out of a timequake, when it should be an expedition that you lock into more properly. The gate should be the primary way to leave and needing to get to it, should one be far away, should be part of the challenge. That said, we do think the system would also then need a quick get out button should someone need to leave immediately (as opposed to just logging out there unsafely, which ultimately would later kick them to the Portal). If we added the button, this would need to bar the person from rejoining that run so it actually serves its purpose. Extra concern: dirigibles, pets, and such should probably not deliver into Grimkeep for the same reason (quick restocking) but we're on the fence about that.
    As someone who has few experiences with Grimkeep (disclaimers ha!), I can definitely understand that teleporting out to restock is not how it was designed and that an instant 2-step way bypassing any checks to quit the run is a good idea i.e. QUIT ENDZONE then (Y)ES. I also somehow personally perceive endzones similar to rogue-like RPG mechanic in the sense that it is a dungeon crawl having no external access but with no permanent death. Having said about death and being able to join in, is it intended that after dying, the participant can still join and thus, can potentially restock for their own benefit and/or for the others as well? 
    Problem 2 - Teleporting In
    We have tracked down a few gaps in the system due to placement of the area. It is technically on Prime Plane so as not to remove the players too far away from the rest of the game in terms of communication and information, but that also created its own issues. Those would be going away and we'd rather find and patch them all than move Grimkeep so far away (plane/continent wise) as to make all the options not work due to distance. Teleporting in should not be possible, joining should happen only through Ronai and respect the 5 minute limit for joining runs.
    Agree to the part where teleporting in is an issue and that only Ronai should only be the sole access to get in but what;s the issue with allowing communication and information?
    Problem 3 - Gate Camping
    Groups are consistently camping out at the gate, the very first room, so as to be able to flee and cure up safely before rejoining. This is a two fold problem.
    1) It's boring, encourages semi afkness once a group has a good balance going, and Grimkeep may as well be a 3 room area instead.
    2) It lessens the danger and challenge immensely to be able to just hop out at a moment's notice. Unclear what the best solution here could be, fortressing is a thing for a reason.
    Some ideas: increase spawns at the gate because it's better defended, forced arrival into a random room (but nearish the exit), random forced movement (of group or singular) as one function of one type of the denizens, some sort of room debuff mechanic created by denizens dying (leftover aoe that increases the more denizens die there), additional requirements for leaving through the gate (full or almost full health, limited exits, cooldown before you can return).
    Echoing Ayisdra, gatecamping isn't boring and seems to be most strategic route simply because the mobs are just too strong. 

    So there are a few ideas:

    Adjust mob strength, making them a bit weaker but probably increasing spawn rate. This could encourage people to move around as things spawn. I know this probably will take the most balancing and quick updates to the system (this idea probably isn't something that can wait months between adjustments)
    Encourage moving around. Two ways this could be done: 1) every so often check that the group has moved x rooms away and give some sort of essence bonus. 2) Special bonus/Elite mobs that spawn and stay in a specific room. This mob could give a couple million essence or a similar boost. It would need to be high enough of an reward to make people go to it, and likely require the above adjusting idea as well, else people won't do it if they can't kill the thing fast enough.
    So borrowing elements from dungeon crawls and rogue-like, can we also properly incentivize moving around to properly survive the run? Like on top of what Ayisdra said as italicised, what if the party can secure short-lived buffs by scouring the area? This might address the issue of gatecamping being the most strategic option to sustain the run.
  • Even if the fortress wasn't at the gate (ie quick step out ability was removed), there would just be another fortress somewhere else, where there are limited exits to help control the flow of mobs and blocking. I do agree it's a shame that the rest of the area seems wasted, but strategically, you want to stay as a group, and as mobs track to you, it's smarted to stay put and kill them off as they come.

    I don't know that I like the idea, but a requirement to hunt down mobs vs tracking would force people to move. And perhaps even actually pay attention - like a message comes through, telling us to hunt down the mobs for x minutes, if there's no kills (because no one moves to get them) the run would end. 

    I'm torn about the easy ability to step out and return. I get wanting to make it so you can't just quickly cure/stock up or even enter a timequake...but also that ability actually allows people in a run to still choose to engage in what's going on (like a timequake) without ending the run and wasting buffs/having to start time over. If it weren't possible, you're more likely to see people refuse to end the run and just not engage in what's going on, because the best bang for your buck is to have your run go as long as possible. I'm fine with re-entering via the gate, that makes sense anyway. 
  • edited June 12
    Here's a link to the start of the Grimkeep Conversation held in the discord: https://discord.com/channels/762319346802098236/762319347338575875/1249503762976866396

    Summary of Ideas: (If something's wrong, please quote/highlight)
    • Minotaur like entity that chases the group around.
    • Weather elements don't matter 90% of the time.
    • Weather elements that do matter end runs because they are that bad - Acid rain as example.
    • Comparison to Achaea - Everyone groups and one person breaks mob groups and drags them to the main party. Mobs are fixed number and have a boss/puzzle element as well.
    • The Boss isn't worth killing because of her location/difficulty. (1k rep, no honors line, etc)
    • Objectives for future endzones - worry regarding how many would do them and it ending up being a single player with the group teleporting in after.
    • Spawn lulls on a timer to give people the opportunity to explore/do objectives. Special mobs during lulls to boost group/party in some way.
    • Instead of boosting group it adds to the overall prize (Adding time on the clock)
    • A pool of mobs that's larger than the current amount and is random each time - so runs are not always the same five mobs.
    • It is always safer to be grouped up in a place to control exits - unless moving around offers a way to kill faster to keep mob counts low, it won't be worth doing.
    • Mobs get stuck/their tracking doesn't kick in if they spawn on the other side of the instance and it causes large swarms of mobs to overwhelm the group.
    • What are the requirements to do an Endzone? Does every player need to min/max and be aware of each mob limitations, abilities, etc. What gear is reasonable expected for a group to succeed? 
    • Endzone that isn't just about surviving an assault wave. Have waves interrupted with tasks that require moving through the area. Even something simple like pulling a lever, pushing a button, solving a puzzle, or gather clues to answer a riddle. New waves release on solving the task.
    • Have mobs wander and not group together to allow feasible smaller groups to kill them and allow travel through the area.
    • Alternate trash and boss mobs - where boss mobs have mechanics to them similar to Aetolia's elites(as a reference).

    Here are some of my ideas:

    Problem 1/2: Teleporting in/out
    Block teleporting entirely. Have the gatekeeper offer an insurance or escape anyone can use to be kicked out of the group in an emergency - TELL gatekeeper ESCAPE. I suggest having them be removed from the run but given a reward based on their personal time. 

    Problem 3: Gate Camping
    Remove the gate entirely - only way out is death or the ESCAPE. Entering again is allowed and giving the password to the gatekeeper should drop players next to the closest player already inside.

    Offer a reason to explore the area that is worth leaving a defendable space. Spawn in treasure chests, unique mobs, or other rewards in rooms that benefit the party. For example, have certain rooms have a shrine that offers a buff to the whole room (+resistance, health, regen, etc). Something worthwhile so a 2/14 or more. Have it tick on and off on a timer so groups will not benefit from it the entire time and have to find others. Unique mobs would reward items, large amounts of gold, and/or +bonus to time on the clock.

    Another example of an objective option is to allow 'locking down' rooms to prevent mobs from spawning in them for a time - creating a lull in the total number. Mobs would still be able to path into the room.

    Could also have rooms 'break down' on a timer or counter based on how many mobs are slain in a room, forcing a party deeper into the area until they're up to the boss. As each room is 'destroyed' it lowers the total number of mobs possible. When all rooms but the boss's are 'Destroyed' the timer stops (even if mobs are still alive and need to be dispatched). Killing the boss adds a set bonus to the time of a run. This allows a party to recover before challenging the boss or deciding to escape. Have unique mobs weaken the final boss be optional - so a party could rush the final boss to kill them to increase the bonus or methodically work through the sub-bosses.

    Another idea is to prevent mobs from rushing to the party - a group has to go find mobs throughout the area. For this to be worthwhile, some mobs would have to path and others would need to stay still. This would allow larger groups to be split to be easier to handle. I'm not sure if it's possible but limit how many mobs can stay in a single location so the splitting would be needed.


  • Qoivhae said:


    what;s the issue with allowing communication and information?

    There isn't an issue. Uilani said Grimkeep is on the Prime Plane to allow for such and to not remove players too far from the rest of the game.

    Out of curiosity, how much curative does a run eat up?

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