Lost Halls, Why It's Bad for the Game, and Possible Solutions


#1

I made a recent post about some of my thoughts on the Lost Halls and the problems it has for the game. I decided to make a thread that better encompasses my opinions on the dungeon and what I think should be done, in addition to encouraging discussion on the topic.

The Lost Halls is easily the most rewarding standard dungeon out there: a completed run will give the successful a bare minimum of 2 mana, with a decent chance at loot totaling multiple life pots. The effects of this easy source of wealth are easy to see on the economy: the price of life has stayed low for quite some time now, only pushed down further by the occasional LH or tomb event. Life is cheap to buy, and as a result getting to 8/8 is easier than ever. There are many players out there with hundreds of life pots sitting in vaults and on mules, meaning that their need to buy life is low, further reducing the playerbase’s need for the once-coveted stat pots. Life pots, it almost seems, are worth more as a form of currency for buying other items than they are for their intrinsic value as a stat-boosting item (I do recognize that this statement is debatable at best, but I thought it worth adding).

But it’s not just stat pots. The Lost Halls has the most powerful tiered items out there for every item slot, in addition to some of the most powerful UT items in-game. The drop rate for these items seems about standard for dungeon whites, meaning that their power is balanced by the dungeon’s difficulty. The issue is that many players run LHs multiple times a day in massive groups, which results in a large influx of these powerful items, further reducing the need for players to buy tradable items. It also does not help that the new tops and UTs are soulbound, meaning that the dungeon isn’t bringing much of anything new to the economy, while further creating a need for players to run this dungeon to get the best items. It is true that these items are soulbound to prevent duping, but the fact that they are not tradable remains and continues to cause issue nonetheless.

Also, fame is a thing. Lost Halls has pretty much become the new Fame Train, with players running these regularly to net huge amounts of fame on their characters. This fame turns into pet upgrades, which makes the player stronger and… more likely to survive the Halls! (And everything else, for that matter…) Regardless of whether the fame is for a stronger pet or that sick red glow, there is plenty of motivation for players to farm the dungeon to make that number above their hp bar as big as possible.

So… why is all of this important? The reason is because the Halls is the best at all of these areas: it gives the most wealth, the most powerful items and it gives players a ton of fame. No other dungeon has this; when the Tomb was considered endgame, had good wealth and UT items, but no tiered items to speak of. The Shatters had good UTs and tiered items, but lacked sufficient pot drops to make it worthy of farming in excess unless you were skilled enough to avoid dying for long periods of time. And, of course, the Fame Train was the best way to build up large amounts of fame. No one place had everything. But nowadays, a player can get by pretty well with just farming Lost Halls and nothing else, and end up quite a bit richer than most (if they can avoid dying, that is). Why would they run anything else? Sure, other places have cool white bag items, but you can just wait for an event to run whatever it is. You farm Lost Halls until you’re tired of farming Lost Halls, at which point nothing else is worthwhile and you end up quitting the game (at least for a couple weeks).

But there is another issue: whether or not the game should be balanced around them, we must remember that hackers exist. And when you can avoid death via autonexus and have no risk associated with any of your dungeon runs, why would you run anything other than Halls? The risk is gone, and the rewards are high. When a player can avoid negative status effects or any risk of death whatsoever, the Halls because one big, juicy treasure trove to farm at whim. As much as I would love to say that we should ignore hackers and just balance things to regular players, that doesn’t work in an mmo, and right now, this one has a major hacker problem.

Alright, I’ve been pretty negative. So what feedback can I offer? I would suggest giving LH a niche. Maybe two. Perhaps remove the guaranteed potion drops for everybody, or reduce the fame each enemy gives. I think that having powerful tiered and untiered items is a good idea for a niche that LH could fill, meaning that it retains endgame status for those searching for the most powerful equipment, but players must run other dungeons to gain wealth and fame. Tombs could have (slightly) increased life pot drop rates to give more incentive to run the dungeon. The Parasite Chambers and Ice Cave already give large amounts of fame, so they can probably stay the way they are.

What do you think? Is the Lost Halls good the way it is? Would you like to see different changes? Let me know!

TL;DR: Lost Halls rewards op, decker nerf plis. Also, JimdaFish can’t summarize.


JimdaFish's Okey-Dokey PPE Thread
Realm Rewind 2019
#2

laughs in 0 whites


#3

I agree that the dungeon could be changed so then it’s geared more towards just the endgame equipment instead of the potions.

The issue with that though is that lots of those dungeons mentioned are so stale in comparison to the Lost Halls. At this point, I really only look forward to running that dungeon(and maybe a few others during events) because its just so much more invigorating. I understand not everyone agrees, but I know there are lots that hold the same sentiment. A change to those other end game dungeons should occur to be a fair change imo.


#4

OwO


#5

image


#6

For real though, inherently the loot of the Lost Halls is not the issue. We won’t call out the elephant in the room because we really can’t ethically. Discords, keyrunning, and deathballing are the folly of the Lost Halls. Previous to the Crystal Caverns, this was supposed to be the head-hancho of hard dungeons. Enticing players with great loot was the big draw in to the dungeon (but now having things like Crystal Worm Mother and Killer Queen drop t14 armors its a bit spread out now). Most above problems stem from someone able to come along with a veteran deathball and get the spoils of the dungeon despite being totally not ready for it.

Only problem is that’s essentially the main factor of the game.

You start snipping the Lost Halls, it’ll be run less than the Nest. Nest only has edge over LH and FC/CC is a lower bar soloibility. This influx of items, fame, and incentive is artificially inflated by keys and discord runs, which is basically the use for keys. Fix the keys, and you fix the Lost Halls. And even if you get steamrolls of public Sentrys, runs aren’t as perfected as ones in discords.


#7

shrugs

Your loss.


#8

My main premise here is to remove some of the extra incentives in the Halls for the purpose of making it less rewarding and cause players to stop running it in excess, hopefully directing their attention to dungeons like Tomb, Fungal and Nest. I disagree with the notion that there should be one dungeon to rule them all, and would like to stop having players run just this one dungeon.


#9

I see Lost Halls as being very difficult to balance for and around. It’s in a very tricky spot.

Change to how the dungeon works likely won’t be appreciated by a significant portion of the community unless it makes the dungeon even more trivial or quicker to clear, which is absolutely not what should be done.
As it is now, it’s very routine for many players, and many think the dungeon is fine or fun. I think the dungeon is fun. The issue is that it hasn’t slotted well into the gameplay loop and it sets things off-balance. However, changes to alleviate this will likely cause a lot of upset.

At its core, the Lost Halls loop (not to be confused with the actual map generation loop, but instead what I’ll use as a shorthand to refer to the process of do cult get vial do mbc do void) is not very compatible with the realm’s main gameplay loop. I think the idea LH goes for is ambitious and pretty cool, it just doesn’t really fit within the gameplay loop and I don’t think it really did from the get-go, unfortunately.

Ultimately, to get to void, you need someone in the group of players in the dungeon who’s survived all the way to the defeat of MBC (and picked to fight MBC!) to have been carrying a vial. This is an incredibly optimistic gamble in the realm. Anecdotally, we know that it’s not even always consistent that people bring incs to the end of O1, and that’s with a tradable item that drops from several medium-ish difficulty bosses in the realm and after a boss that is several degrees of difficulty easier than MBC.
If you do somehow win the lottery and make it to void, you’re almost certainly failing the run unless you won the lottery again and your group is incredibly competent and well-geared across the board. Anecdotally, we know that public dungeons like Tombs or Shatters are often a mess, and not even always from people intentionally griefing the run; sometimes, it’s just newer players or the unaware that make the battle a lot harder for everyone else.
Cool in a vacuum, but LH’s design is not really aptly suited for the environment of the realm.

Ok, so maybe we have a dungeon that is absolutely incredibly difficult to complete in the realm. This adds some replayability to the game, right? People will want to get really good and try the dungeon multiple times until they succeed.
Well, this task becomes a lot easier with organized Discords, because there who’s carrying the vial and who’s not can be figured out and runs can have more of a guarantee to succeed.
Unfortunately, if people are encouraged to do runs on Discord, especially for such a rewarding endgame dungeon, this has a negative impact on the population of the realm. It would be more lucrative for the player to sit around waiting for a run to start than to play in the realm, drawing players away from the gameplay loop. This additionally draws people away from doing the dungeon in the realm even if they are playing there, because the dungeon can be completed with much more efficiency and ease by running it in Discord groups instead. Now a chunk of the endgame has been gated off from players who just want to play the game how they used to, in the realm.

Then we introduce keys into the mix, the largest RotMG Discord server being a large influence on the community while boasting a “hacker-neutral” stance, the effect of weekly events drawing divisions between players who run LH often on Discords vs players who want to spend more time in the realm even further, how runs have been optimized to the point they dwarf the gain from running any other dungeon, how if cheaters run the most lucrative dungeon in the game but don’t die or even receive appropriate punishment to discourage them from doing so things get devalued across the board…

It only amplifies the effects of bad game design decisions made in general (such as weekly events with keys and lack of appropriate action done against cheaters. I will not stop repeating this unless problem stops existing).


#10

Just moving the scope of the problem away from the Lost Halls. It’ll be hard to make MBC anything more than an Event Chest by nerfing his drops. Atk/Def drops are already a spit in the face, mana could be chucked, but Life is out of the question for removal (unless we’re going to add more garbage to its drop table). Imagine getting an old top/top from MBC and wonder if it was even worth it. Balance would be garbage.

Ideally, its like getting a random stat pot from Lost Sentry. More or less, you’re 6/8 going to a Lost Sentry, let alone there are much easier/more commin for these pots. That’s why Nest/Fungal/LH suffers outside of mass run environment: the risk/reward factor is unbalanced. Sure, there are UTs and STs, but both are too rare to be running dungeons just to be getting either 0 or a crap pots to roll for.

Guess what I’m getting at is, what can you drop from LHs that make it worth running in a normal setting? Even lowering the “guarenteed” pot levels suck too, killing off any public runs because only like 5 people will get life out of 85 (t. tombgang). There needs to be a reason to stop doing Lost Halls. It goes back to my statement, the loot is right, its just that everyone is running them as hard as possible.

And for a fame note, Lost Halls enemies aren’t as cancerous as ones found in Fungal/Nest, so a fame reduction could be applicable. Under the idea of more fame to an enemy with more cancerous tendencies, like just circling crowds and being a immune-to-everything bullet sponge (which is why I love Lost Halls enemies, there’s actual teamwork to dealing with things like Crusades)


#11

Exactly.
This is why I think that both the dungeon and its rewards need to be tweaked.
Perhaps I’m too optimistic, but in an ideal world, you’ll actually have players attempt MBC and even Void publicly, without the need for Extreme Coordination or The Horde.

I think drawing a comparison to Mann vs. Machine, the co-op gamemode of TF2, might help in better establishing my view.
For brevity, the hardest difficulty is “Expert”; however, as it’s possible to make custom “missions”, some people have tried to make stuff “harder than Expert”.
A noble task, sure, but in pretty much all cases it boils down to just being extremely frustrating to play - be it because of extremely low payout for upgrades, or because of unfairly high damage bonuses on the enemies.

Essentially, what I’m getting at is that there’s only so hard you can make a dungeon before it just becomes unfun to play - and this goes double for Realm once you add permadeath in the equation.
And the same is true for loot: you can only have a dungeon give you so much before you either
a) Fill it to the brim with potions
or
b) Make new items that wholly outclass already-existing ones

…or maybe somefin else I can’t think of.


#12

Why not remove vials and use a white or some sort of tradable standard to open the void, this helps economy
Idrc tho cause my laptop’s too bad to do mbc and therefore void


#13

#14

hi duping


#15

I have a dream, that ubhps will go under 8 life, I have a dream, that one day pixies and deca wont cost 20+ life


#16

20+ life isn’t hard to get anyway


#17

To me, an ideal Lost Halls would be being able to do a public one with like 5-10 people without the need of discord for coordination. Obviously that would require a lot of tweaking of enemies and loot tables, but I believe.


#18

image


#19

I can drop 4 of each without feeling any guilt at all.


#20

Well it’s really easy to get scammed