It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here! Sorry to have kept you waiting!
The Lair of Draconis Rework has been handled by UGC over the last few months, and isn’t simply just a fixed version of the dungeon currently on prod. Everything was effectively started over from scratch.
First, I want to thank everyone who worked on the project. This will also help you to ask questions to the right people:
Lead: @Kiddforce (Pyyr + Ivory + Systems)
Design: @MMoas (Nikao + Limoz)
Design: @Xaklor (Feargus)
Art: Trensient (@Pistoncow) , @Aurum, @Piggby
Special Thanks/Additional Design: @Atrapper, @Toastrz, @Mrunibro
Before I go on and describe in more details what changed, I would recommend that you first do a run through of the dungeon blind.
Done? It’s time to go into details upon the changes we’ve made to the dungeon!
Out of all the dungeons in the game, the Lair of Draconis was the only one which had a greater interaction system between the different bosses, as they would evolve based on the bosses you killed before. This, however, only happened in the now defunct easy mode, which meant a lot of people did not get to see the most exciting aspect of the Lair.
We have thus decided to remove the whole concept of Easy/Hard modes. Instead, the dragons will evolve and there is no way to miss Ivory. But how will dragons evolve, you may ask? Here’s the details:
First dragon killed will change the arena of all subsequent dragons.
Second dragon killed will add additional shots to the pattern of all subsequent dragons.
Third dragon killed will change minion shots and patterns of all subsequent dragons.
Fourth dragon will assist Ivory in his new fight.
So there’s a lot to talk about here already. As you can see, the order of dragons can affect things quite differently depending on when each one was defeated, but I’d like to point your attention to the fourth dragon inheritance. What this means is that not only will Ivory inherit from the other dragons this time around, but you will also fight him in the same place! No more portal to go through.
Now how do you access each dragon? Since black is no longer forced to be first, it will result in the same issue the dungeon used to have, right?
To remedy that and improve the dungeon experience in general, we’ve come up with a brand new system. Each dragon has its own statue (HP scaled, I might add) that you must shoot down to enable a teleporter into each dragon’s lair. It’s a lot faster and way cooler than spamming colors in chat, don’t you think? Once you defeat a dragon, they will also turn into a statue for you to go back.
We’ve changed how soulbound and loot works in the dungeon as well, that means no more chest! To make sure you don’t miss the next dragon by staying in the room, the dragons themselves do not drop the loot. Instead, the soulbound damage inflicted upon them will be carried over to the souls orbiting the altar, which will then drop your loot!
This also allows us to make it so the order you kill the dragons also affect their drop table as well as rate. While I’m at it please note that all current drop tables and rates are NOT final and are there to illustrate the systems.
Talking about the Altar, this time around it has a bit more of a proactive role in the dungeon. Instead of only taunting you, sometimes it might even choose randomly on its own which dragon you will fight! Alongside the rest of the changes to the dungeon, this will allow it to have a high amount of variety compared to the production version. I hope you’ll like it!
You might already have noticed if you’ve run the dungeon as well as this thread’s images, but we’ve updated/are updating enemy and projectile sprites for all dragons and related objects, this however is a rather long process so the current build has a lot of placeholder sprites, missing effects and animations, etc… so don’t mind those!
Since most of the dragons have been heavily changed from their original version, I’ll be providing a short description of each of them so you can have an idea of what you are facing as well as our intentions behind them.
In the original dungeon, Feargus is—let’s be honest—quite boring. His fight ends up just being about circling around him all the way through, and while he has some interesting tricks like invisibility and his shades, they are not really used to their full potential.
The reworked version of Feargus puts a high focus on his shades and his ability to disappear in the goal of creating coordinated patterns and surprising the player respectively. He still has his trusted Obsidian Soul Shards, but they aren’t as annoying and don’t heal their master. In this new version of the Lair of Draconis, Feargus represents wind and he now also has the ability to call upon Miasma, a damaging tile that appears above the ground dealing constant damage for those staying under it. Of course, Feargus still controls Pet Stasis.
In the original dungeon, Nikao moved a lot and had a lot of shots but he didn’t really do much more than that. Most of you probably only remember the annoying minions healing the boss more than the boss itself.
The reworked version of Nikao puts a lot more emphasis on the water that Nikao represents, he’s now able to change the arena and even play whack-a-mole with you! It’s a fight that plays heavily on speed in general. Rightfully so, for Nikao’s status effect is Slowed this time around, not Weak. It fits his nature better and is overall a lot less annoying to deal with, while also following the theme of the other effects that disable an important part of the players survivability kit. Oh, and his minions don’t heal him anymore!
In the original dungeon, Limoz is a fight that features shie- and he’s already dead… Yeah, Limoz’s original fight has some structure and his main shtick is the shields that protect and heal him. Once the shields are gone he’ll start chasing, but because of how frail Limoz really is, you rarely seen much beyond that.
The reworked version of Limoz is, first and foremost, decently durable. A fight centered around defensive earth shields being the fastest to die never made any sense to begin with. The shields are also a lot more involved this time around, as not only will they orbit the Sick-spewing dragon at close proximity, but also sometimes far away! Limoz can’t be hit until at least half of his shields has been downed in most cases, allowing players with or without piercing to be able to do damage. The shields will also even follow and try to explode on you at low health. And more important of all, they do not heal Limoz!
In the original dungeon, Pyyr is the closest to a well structured fight. However, his chase phase can be all over the place with the fact it can chase before the lava is even down and the pattern being quite wonky in general.
The reworked version of Pyyr follows the original structure quite closely, but several tweaks have been made to make sure that what’s familiar with the fire dragon is improved. The chase phase does not start until the lava is fully down, and the pattern is completely different. When enough damage is dealt to Pyyr, he will move back to the center for a new phase where he can still be hit before reflooding the arena. However, the second round of each phase now has more lava for players to avoid, adding some difficulty to its repeated structure. Pyyr still Armor Breaks. Sorry melees, we might have made patterns much easier to dodge, but that doesn’t mean everything should be handed on a silver platter!
In the original dungeon, Ivory is located in an entirely different instance inside a rather vertical room and doesn’t benefit from any inheritance whatsoever. While Ivory brings in some interesting things like his Mirrors, the Dragon Souls or the White Dragon Orb, they ultimately don’t amount to much in the fight. Not only are their additions very basic, but Ivory simply dies incredibly fast.
The reworked version of Ivory not only is done within a bigger version of the spawn room, but it also benefits from inheritance since this allows him to recognize the selected order. This changes the fight dynamic compared to the original by quite a lot! The mechanics used by the production version are back with completely new twists. Mirrors are here and can actually move around! Dragon Souls go to their respective statues and provide Ivory invulnerability until the statues are dealt with. The orb are Ivory’s minion and thus have different patterns based on the third dragon killed. Ivory also reuses some patterns from the other four dragons alongside some of his original chasing behavior. And finally, Ivory is assisted by the fourth dragon defeated. The statue of that dragon will always become active and shoot at people.
Currently the only item that is planned to be changed is the Sullen Blade. Yes, it will finally turn back into the legendary Celestial Blade as always intended! However, as this was an item designed for another era, it has received some changes to make it fit into the current game (similar to how the Penetrating Blast Spell was treated). I hope you will enjoy this katana becoming of use once again.
We also have a brand new (experimental) consumable: The Draconis Potion! Upon use, it will select a random dragon soul to summon, which will provide an AoE buff around itself, similar to the Marble Seal and the Marble Pillar. The effects included are Armored (green), Healing (blue), Berserk (red), and Invisible (black). I hope you will enjoy this fun new item, and to those of you who know what this references, I’m impressed!
Regarding any other items changes, if people believe the other UTs need changes then raise your voice! Regarding the STs, those are not exactly in my control but I will look into what I can do.
The dungeon’s difficulty should be from approximately Ice Cave to Ocean Trench level in general. The base dragon (without inheritance) will be balanced around Esben’s level while at full inheritance they will be balanced more around Thessal’s level. Each inheritance added to a dragon should always make it harder. The base versions of all four dragons should also be around the same difficulty while Ivory should be more difficult than the fully inherited dragons.
Please include specific orders! Different permutations can lead to vastly different difficulty, so without specifics, feedback can become rather unusable as you might imagine!
We’ve put a ton of effort in modernizing the dungeon and giving it new life, so I hope you’ll enjoy this long awaited rework!