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Goblinworks Blog: Where the Wild Things Are


Pathfinder Online

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Paizo Employee Paizo Glitterati Robot

Added discussion thread for Goblinworks Blog: Where the Wild Things Are.

Goblin Squad Member

One concern:

Dungeon griefers/hoarders, what is to stop a player from running around the world and stepping inside of dungeons just to lock them to them selves? so they can come back at a later time. There should be some sort of maximum that a player can hold on to, before a dungeon is released to be re-discovered or despawn.

What kind of time frames are we looking at? Will a dungeon despawn in days, weeks, hours if no-one steps inside? and how long will one stay open to a player who as activated it's enterance?

other than that, i like what i see.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
There's a third kind of dungeon, the largest and most challenging type. These are often designed to have several different entrances, each of which could be discovered by a different character, and shared by several parties. While exploring this kind of dungeon, you may very well encounter other characters! Fight, parlay, flee, or join forces—the results are up to you. Challenges in these dungeons may even require coordination between groups to complete—one party might have to fight through a room of undead to lower a magical barrier so that another party can access a different part of the dungeon.

It's at this point that I jump for joy.

In other news, it seems like everyone will need to be somewhat proficient at combat, as danger can find you anywhere. I'm okay with this.


Or a timeout. If you don't reenter for 6 hours or so it also unlocks but that was a concern I had reading the article as well.

Goblin Squad Member

Will there be a limit to how many dungeons can be "locked" for a given player?

Goblin Squad Member

When Encampments were originally discussed, I got the impression that they could eventually sprawl into neighboring hexes, but this blog gave me the impression that they would be limited to a single hex. Can you clear that up?

Goblin Squad Member

@Buri, if I'm reading that right, you would suggest that once a dungeon has been entered but not completed, after a certain period of time passes it should be unlocked and not removed?

I like that idea. Unless of course the game just immediately spawns new dungeons after certain ones close, giving explorers the chance to find the entrances once more.

Goblin Squad Member

I wouldn't want to see it unlock, it should just despawn, so a failed dungeon raid doesn't leave an empty dungeon that takes you straight to the boss.

Goblin Squad Member

@Valkenr, good point. Very good point.


Sure, you don't want to pop into a dungeon and be greeted by the BBEG right away but it would limit those who would just pop into dungeons for the sole purpose of blocking others or forcing other players to pay them to gain access. In EQ2, you're not locked to a dungeon instance until your first kill of a "named," which is a lieutenant type mob. Adapting this, a dungeon instance could be "fresh" (i.e. nothing stays dead if you leave and come back) until you get to a checkpoint event in the dungeon.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

When Encampments were originally discussed, I got the impression that they could eventually sprawl into neighboring hexes, but this blog gave me the impression that they would be limited to a single hex. Can you clear that up?

I think given the spaces described its not unreasonable to expect a horde to be contained to a single hex. In the "how big is a hex really" thread there was a description of the approximate area of Mount St Helens (just the mountain, not the whole park).

It would be interesting to see full fledged hex to hex invasions. And I'd expect it to be pretty interesting if the whole map is seeded at the start date, and then inevitably the areas that are unexplored will naturally grow to be quite wild.

I'd also support the idea of some sort of hostile interactions between various monster types. If Orcs and Hobgoblins and Kobold hordes don't actually fight each other, but instead maintain their territories that would be fine, although stumbling on a skirmish between the two would be pretty exciting.

Goblin Squad Member

I also really like the ramifications of this blog with a compiling of what we know, and a little imagination...

Suddenly, you have to go on a quest to get a rare ingredient to finish off that last stage of production for a huge order of magic weapons to fuel your Guild's war with the Blackhammer Smithy, another player group. That pesky Mole in your guild reveals the vulnerability, and the Blackhammers move out in force once you discover the dungeon... but wait it was a set up so you can launch an offensive against their mundane harvesting crews... its a slaughter.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm curious if certain dungeons could be inhabited. I'd love to fight my way through some dank hole in the ground or an old ruin and take it over either as a personal hiding spot or to be the new HQ for my guild.

Goblin Squad Member

Buri wrote:
I'm curious if certain dungeons could be inhabited.

A previous blog said "yes".

Goblin Squad Member

@Skwiziks, I think Buri's suggestion about dungeon lock timers was related to my question about how many dungeons we'd be allowed to be locked to. The concern being someone running around and locking up all the dungeons.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon, which is a valid concern. Even with a short timer it would be theoretically easy to ruin everyone's fun in a single hex.

Goblin Squad Member

I really don't think the playable size of the hexes will allow for some one ti rapidly move from random location to random location with the intent of hoarding all the instances. Now of course if there were locks or protections against such, I'd be fine with it. If an instance despawned say 30 minutes after attaching itself to a player, that would probably be adequate to prevent hoarding.

Might also be worthwhile to have some way of identifying a locked area, to see if one person or group is hoarding. Or if there was a system in place that released and refreshed an instance if someone doesn't actually DO anything in the dungeon.

Goblin Squad Member

I would hope a Dungeon might stay locked to me for a week, so I'd have time to get a group together on the weekend and go take it down. I wouldn't mind having to re-visit the dungeon every day or two during that week to keep the lock active.

Goblin Squad Member

Agreed, I am not sure 30 minutes is long enough to pull a team together...and I would hate to find a cool dungeon just as I have to log off for the night.

Goblin Squad Member

Wouldn't it be more efficient to find whatever dungeon you can on the weekend? And then clear it with friends? Also, are there expectations that various levels (or severity/complexity) of dungeons will be a scarce commodity? I could just be assuming they won't really be too scarce, as that paradigm has always been somewhat central to the table-top gameplay.

It might also be pretty fun if you tagged yourself to an instance and had to deal with the denizens outside the instance. If the dungeon had an actual "lockable gate" or somesuch to identify the entrance as being assigned that might also help clarify the status. Say you find one, drop inside to assign it, and look to find your friends later to clear it, but as you do normal wilderness things, the easiest type of monster randomly spawns near you, to get the key back.The key itself might even become a commodity.

I was also just using 30min as an example of a timeframe to prevent hoarding... I'm sure there are better options out there to be discovered.

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:

Wouldn't it be more efficient to find whatever dungeon you can on the weekend? And then clear it with friends? Also, are there expectations that various levels (or severity/complexity) of dungeons will be a scarce commodity? I could just be assuming they won't really be too scarce, as that paradigm has always been somewhat central to the table-top gameplay.

It might also be pretty fun if you tagged yourself to an instance and had to deal with the denizens outside the instance. If the dungeon had an actual "lockable gate" or somesuch to identify the entrance as being assigned that might also help clarify the status. Say you find one, drop inside to assign it, and look to find your friends later to clear it, but as you do normal wilderness things, the easiest type of monster randomly spawns near you, to get the key back.The key itself might even become a commodity.

I was also just using 30min as an example of a timeframe to prevent hoarding... I'm sure there are better options out there to be discovered.

I'd say quite a few variables exist for it, 1. Do dungeons even need a gate etc... technically they don't even have to be visible or known. to anyone other then the discoverer.

Goblin Squad Member

I was just brainstorming really. Of course, there's no absolute requirement for any sort of graphic detail, at the minimal amount one would simply see a text message and a confirm dialoge to enter. Not really engaging, in my opinion, but then I've advocated for a more graphically rich environment.

If in its simplest form you roam the wilds searching for a random dungeon, and only have to act on a text alert, that would certainly alleviate some of the griefing/hoarding concerns. Perhaps the concept is more akin to EVE's exploration where a skill is invoked to discover the instance. But not having an actual entrance (gate, cave, portal or otherwise) would strike me as missing a wonderful opportunity for a true sense of discovery and fun by the player. Perhaps the discovery skill invokes the Instance of an entrance, and that player (and party members) are the only ones ever able to see that dungeon.

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:
Wouldn't it be more efficient to find whatever dungeon you can on the weekend?

Consider the player who rarely ventures out into the wilds, but manages to stumble upon a dungeon on one such occasion. He has access to a group, but he'll have to wait a few days.

Yes, he could just look for another one on the weekend, but there's a certain je ne sais quoi about going back to the one that he actually discovered.

Also, consider that certain dungeons are much more important/rare than others, and finding one of those might not be so simple.

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:
... not having an actual entrance (gate, cave, portal or otherwise) would strike me as missing a wonderful opportunity for a true sense of discovery and fun by the player.

I agree, where appropriate. But also keep in mind:

Quote:
"Dungeon" is a catch-all term that refers to any enclosed space for adventuring. It need not be a constructed space; it could be a natural cavern or even a forest, jungle, or other terrain type.

So, it sounds like quite a few "dungeons" won't really have "entrances" in the classic sense, they might just be walking into the forest at that exact spot.

Although, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the forest "dungeon" could display an entrance as a break in an otherwise solid tree line.

I'd certainly love to see graphically appropriate entrances, but I would hesitate to tie any game mechanics to them other than their normal function as a portal.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's an idea that came to mind. Make the cap on dungeons you can hold based on an exploration skill. It takes a short period (3-15 minutes) of training to hold one, but if you want to hold up to five, that'll take a while.

Lantern Lodge Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, I'm officially in love. I especially like the various sorts of dungeons. I have a few questions:

It says dungeons are "randomly generated"; is this just that their location in the overworld is randomly generated, or is the dungeon interior also random? That is, are these like traditional instances except that their entrance wanders about, or are they more like Nethack levels or Diablo 2 lairs, which are generally "themed" but slightly (or significantly) different every time you find them? Random generation is tough but it could be pretty cool if it's done well, much better than "oh look, time for yet another week clearing Blackwing Lair."

I would assume that quest dungeons are considerably less random than the basic ones, because it has to tie into your quest properly. How precise are dungeon quests about telling you where to go?

As a followup question, how are dungeons found? Similar to bandit hideouts? Especially for those that generate monsters on the overworld to hassle my town, I would want to be able to let some of the monsters "escape" so I could follow them back to their lair.

How exactly are type 3 dungeons different from just separate parts of the overworld? If other, unaffiliated parties can end up crashing into my adventure, that would seem very confusing to me.

Are type 2 and 3 dungeons common enough that a mid-size corporation could have a regularly scheduled "weekly countryside pacification night", with a reasonable assurance that something worth the effort of clearing out will turn up each week in the territory the corporation considers "theirs"? In the same vein, if I find a dungeon entrance while I'm out exploring, but I know I'm not going to be able to get to PvE night this week, can I claim it and (later) hand it to someone who will be there? Or as gruffling suggests, sell it on the open market? ("Cheap loot! First come, first served! Bring friends! Delivery not included. Loot not guaranteed: some pacification may be required. ExploreCo is not responsible for customer satisfaction.") I admit, I'm approaching this from the perspective of a WoW raiding guild leader fed up with the excessive theme-park-osity, so I probably have preconceived notions that don't translate cleanly to PFO. If so, please set me straight.

How much thought has been given to having multiple ways to defeat a dungeon? My dream in a game like this has always been the "captured by ogres" adventure: a dungeon full of optional mini-quests and side areas to make the final battle easier. Sure, you could skip straight to your trial (and execution), but if you do that you get to fight the ogre king, his grand vizier, their four best friends, and about three dozen guards, while you're chained up and disarmed, and they pretty much curb-stomp your whole party (unless you're way overleveled). Or you could break out of jail early, sneak around the castle a bit, get your stuff from the prison lockup, bribe one of the lieutenants, lock one of them in a closet, assassinate another one, poison some of the guards, "dispose" of most of the rest in out-of-the-way locations, and sabotage the vizier's magic staff. Then when you get to the big trial scene, you're only left with the king, the vizier (who can't cast his good spells), their two remaining best friends (one of whom works for you), and maybe 4 or 5 guards (two of whom are still suffering aftereffects from your poison); still not a trivial fight, but at least a level-appropriate one. Would scenarios like this be possible?

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Skwiziks wrote:
Here's an idea that came to mind. Make the cap on dungeons you can hold based on an exploration skill. It takes a short period (3-15 minutes) of training to hold one, but if you want to hold up to five, that'll take a while.

I like that :)

Goblin Squad Member

Thank god for the 'third kind of dungeon'.


Thank god for this aspect of the game in general.

One question:

What safeguard will there be to prevent the deliberate isolation and containment of a hex for the purpose of letting it grow wild?

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes open world dungeons!!

Also locating dungeons and locking them with the ability to sell the key and location is a very cool mechanic, I hope Ryan considers this idea.


WTB user-scripted PVE so dms can run an ingame campaign :)

Goblin Squad Member

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The thing is that the ability to sell dungeon keys would only encourage the kind of dungeon locking grief behavior that was worried about earlier in the thread as such behavior would restrict the frequency people stumble on open dungeons thus driving up the price for keys. Even restricting the number of dungeons an individual can keep locked I can see a larger guild implementing a widespread dungeon lockdown and selling 2-3 keys at a time.

Goblin Squad Member

Mijoszew wrote:
The thing is that the ability to sell dungeon keys would only encourage the kind of dungeon locking grief behavior that was worried about earlier in the thread as such behavior would restrict the frequency people stumble on open dungeons thus driving up the price for keys. Even restricting the number of dungeons an individual can keep locked I can see a larger guild implementing a widespread dungeon lockdown and selling 2-3 keys at a time.

Defiantly a concern... Just put 24hr timers on them, this would make trying to hord keys useless, but still make selling keys for the solo adventurer viable.

I'm just a firm believer in adding more depth to every great idea, locating and locking down dungeons and selling keys is a great non-combat feature.

But yes it would need to be worked out properly and tested.

Goblin Squad Member

upon further reflection, perhaps a 24 hour timer is a good way to go in general (either with or without "keys"), although i'm still on the fence about refreshing daily in perpetuity as Nihimon suggested.

Again, i'd like to see a door, but its not /ragequit if it doesn't show. And if terrain appropriate gateways show then even better.

@Hudax: in order to close off a hex, the organization attempting to do that would have to effectively patrol a huge area, requiring significant discipline and manpower. If its even possible, i don't see it as any kind of problem to purposefully fostering a large population. For one: it rewards the org. that attempts it, and for two: there are a ton of other hexes to engage in.

Also, keep in mind its been suggested that when dealing with the 1st type (random) when one despawns, another could spawn, but i didn't get the impression it would be a zero-sum scenario. maybe only a few possible locations in a hex. As its a thematic paradigm to gather a crew and go dungeon delving, i have to believe that even the randoms won't be a scarce "commondity".

Its also worthwhile to point out as discussed here, the size of a hex is pretty damned robust, and the size of the full map area is pretty damned huge. We won't have to worry about hordes being intentionally groomed to fill a hex, as if they're seeded at Day 1, by the time anyone gets to em, they'll be veritable orc and ogre empires.

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:
. We won't have to worry about hordes being intentionally groomed to fill a hex, as if they're seeded at Day 1, by the time anyone gets to em, they'll be veritable orc and ogre empires.

Sweet I would so love to get Krackin on defeating an orc/monster empire! that would be epic to start newbi fresh cutting your teeth on an Empire and Finnish them off at Epic badass!

Goblinworks Executive Founder

How unique, and how complicated, do you imagine a typical dungeon would be? Are they randomly generated according to procedural rules that include significant randomness, or selected from manually written ones?

Will clearing out wolf dens reduce the population of wolves and incidence of wolf dens, or at least reduce the chance that I, personally, will find a wolf den the next time I find a dungeon?

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:


@Hudax: in order to close off a hex, the organization attempting to do that would have to effectively patrol a huge area, requiring significant discipline and manpower. If its even possible, i don't see it as any kind of problem to purposefully fostering a large population. For one: it rewards the org. that attempts it, and for two: there are a ton of other hexes to engage in.

Also, keep in mind its been suggested that when dealing with the 1st type (random) when one despawns, another could spawn, but i didn't get the impression it would be a zero-sum scenario. maybe only a few possible locations in a hex. As its a thematic paradigm to gather a crew and go dungeon delving, i have to believe that even the randoms won't be a scarce "commondity".

More importantly, why is the idea of someone making an intentional kobald breeding ground a problem? Ignoring the huge amount of land that would need to be patrolled to do so, what abuses does it contain?

If, and this is a big assumption, the maximally upgraded orcs/kobolds whatever, had really good loot, we are still talking huge risk/reward + time. Extreme risk considering patrolling that kind of area, will almost certainly require a decent local base for the group trying to do it (and previous blog posts have mentioned these encampments attacking nearby player structures), so we are essentially looking at huge work, and huge risk, just for the setup (let alone the clearing out of it to try to reap any rewards).

Heck I would get a pretty good laugh out of a chartered company of kobald supporters. "Hey kobalds are people too, they just have minor anger issues sometimes, we must deffend them from invading humans that are killing them mindlessly".

Goblin Squad Member

I really like the blog. A lot of really good features. I'm looking forward to clearing out some massive dungeons for people.

I only have one concern though. While I really like the idea of hostile creatures infesting wild territory, I hope the less explored parts of the map don't turn into one giant sprawling orc metropolis. Maybe there could be some sort of system where if the orcs entirely over-run a certain tile, there won't be another tile so entirely over-run for X number of tiles. There will still be orcs, but not a massive horde living from heavily fortified positions.

I would say the coolest way would be that orcs will war with kobolds who both war with bandits but... beyond requiring a very sophisticated AI... I see that leaving room for a lot of problems. If it could actually be pulled off well though then great!

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

I really like the blog. A lot of really good features. I'm looking forward to clearing out some massive dungeons for people.

I only have one concern though. While I really like the idea of hostile creatures infesting wild territory, I hope the less explored parts of the map don't turn into one giant sprawling orc metropolis. Maybe there could be some sort of system where if the orcs entirely over-run a certain tile, there won't be another tile so entirely over-run for X number of tiles. There will still be orcs, but not a massive horde living from heavily fortified positions.

I would say the coolest way would be that orcs will war with kobolds who both war with bandits but... beyond requiring a very sophisticated AI... I see that leaving room for a lot of problems. If it could actually be pulled off well though then great!

well we don't really know for sure that the encampments are going to be nearly the issue for travelers/harvesters, that they are for locals. The gist I am getting of them, is that they will lurch out with great force against any in range nearby cities/towns once in a while, but not necessarally have more then a few scouts wandering around outside of their housing. Now looking to move in, or to set up a large scale harvesting opperation, you may need to do some clearups before you start.


i'm full of cautious optimism right now,I really love most of what you guys are doing. Especially the powerful wandering monster bit. They have that in Rift, with the actual "rifts" that appear, and it's fun when everyone who is playing in that area at the time has to get together and try to take down the big bad.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
well we don't really know for sure that the encampments are going to be nearly the issue for travelers/harvesters, that they are for locals. The gist I am getting of them, is that they will lurch out with great force against any in range nearby cities/towns once in a while, but not necessarally have more then a few scouts wandering around outside of their housing. Now looking to move in, or to set up a large scale harvesting opperation, you may need to do some clearups before you start.

Yeah I suppose it depends on how badly a tile can get infested. If a really badly infested tiles means multiple major encampments with a few orc patrols here and there then that is fine.

I had a vision of a tile over-run with orcs, where there were just orcs running all over the place causing havoc for anyone in the tile. Which I think would be awesome. Just not for every single tile that hasn't seen players in awhile.

Whatever the case I hope the highest levels of infestation make for some very epic battles if you are looking to clear them out.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

I think it should take quite a while for a tile to get completely over run. For an encampment, I'm envisioning a week. Complete overrun, I'm thinking 3-4 weeks of being ignored. Infestation going from one hex to the next, an approximate 2 month time span. I can't really see an area not have adventurers through it in a 2 month window, but I'm just throwing out numbers. I would like to see the threat of hex overrun be realistic, without crossing into a chore. If real life beckons for a week or two, I don't want to show up to an orc using my house as a BBQ pit.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

An alternative: mix dungeon types 1 and 2

The player needs to have an 'exploration charter' (basically a quest to explore dungeons) to find said dungeons

Another idea would be of the same dungeon entrance that leads to different dungeons, such as the entrance into the Darklands. The context (a popup, loading screen) is that players wander through a natural maze before coming upon a 'dungeon' to explore.

Goblin Squad Member

As far as selling "keys" goes, it looks like you'll be able to sell access to the dungeon even if there aren't keys, since only people in your group will be able to enter. If I discover a dungeon and enter it to lock it, then bring along Bob and the two of us re-enter, I would expect that thereafter Bob could come back by himself or with other group members to clear the dungeon.

Gruffling wrote:
upon further reflection, perhaps a 24 hour timer is a good way to go in general (either with or without "keys"), although i'm still on the fence about refreshing daily in perpetuity as Nihimon suggested.

That's not actually what I suggested. I suggested a week-long timer, that might need to be refreshed daily.

Goblin Squad Member

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Actually a thought just occoured to me on the mystery of the multi-enteranced dungeons.

Lets say team A and B run into eachother in said dungeon, the meeting is immediately hostile, A kills B.

Is B still able to come back? What about after the dungeon is cleared and A is hauling their first load of goods back home, can B slip in and obtain the 2nd without having earned it, or does B get instantly locked out after getting PKed, or after the dungeon is cleared by A?

Goblin Squad Member

@Onishi, good question. I wonder if the multi-entrance dungeons will persist, as in the entrances never go away and the interior is slowly seeded with more hazards after they've been cleared.

If the dungeon goes away after being completed, then I imagine that B would be locked out if they don't return fast enough. However, it seems like since A has only gone in through one entrance, that B could still go and find a different entrance and be able to recover their bodies, loot the dungeon, seek revenge, etc.

If the dungeon persists even after being cleared then B could return at any time by finding a viable entrance. They just may not run into anything interesting.

Goblin Squad Member

My impression of multi-entranced dungeons was more that they'd be unlocked via quest, and never lock to those with the requisites. In the A v B, A wins, B comes back with friends.

Goblin Squad Member

I think the simple solution to avoid griefing via locking down all the dungeons is:

1. Don't make them THAT easy to find.
2. One player can lock one dungeon at a time.
3. Have a lot of dungeons.

Goblin Squad Member

I would prefer to see a character able to lock maybe 8 dungeons at a time.

I'm hoping that it will be possible to sell access to the dungeons by inviting another player to my group, taking them inside the dungeon, and then letting them bring in their own group without me.

For that to be worthwhile, I would need to be able to lock several dungeons at a time until I found a buyer.

Ryan, when I discover a new dungeon, will it be at all obvious to me whether it's the first type or the third type?


Nihimon wrote:

I would prefer to see a character able to lock maybe 8 dungeons at a time.

I'm hoping that it will be possible to sell access to the dungeons by inviting another player to my group, taking them inside the dungeon, and then letting them bring in their own group without me.

For that to be worthwhile, I would need to be able to lock several dungeons at a time until I found a buyer.

Ryan, when I discover a new dungeon, will it be at all obvious to me whether it's the first type or the third type?

Thus making every dungeon an in game pay-to-play experience. People would farm dungeons like they farm materials, except they don't need help to do it, and no one can touch what they've found.

No thanks. Please don't make dungeons sellable in any way.

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