My ideas for Player Made Dungeons

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The single most exciting piece of content that Boundless could have is player made dungeons. This piece of content folds neatly into a lot of areas of the game: building, crafting, hunting, and exploring. It provides a sense of adventure and wonder to the player as any rewards could be different each run through the dungeon on top of any assortment of creatures and bosses too. Speaking mostly from a D&D 5e Dungeon Master perceptive, the creation of a dungeon that enables players to run through it and experience something unique that was made to deliver a specific experience can be a reward for the dungeon maker.

Think of this dungeon making process from a story or lore perceptive for a second or two and mostly because I am speaking from my experiences in D&D 5e. Story and lore are very absent in Boundless and often this particular thing is left to the players to create. So if there’s a functional way to build a story within an area that is created for the singular purpose of delivering a unique story or lore telling experience to a single or group of players, it opens the doors to bringing out the true creative side of people who enjoy building things in Boundless.

Imagine for a second that you’re wanting to create a dungeon for your friends and even random strangers to run through and you know that if you get the first dungeon spot on for the specific experience you want to deliver that you’d most likely make more. This means that there would be a demand for a dungeon hub that centralizes all the entrance locations to these dungeons that players have made. This means that if someone wants to run through dungeons for 6 hours that other players have made instead of meteor hunting for creature drops, then they can. In fact, if there are dungeon specific blocks, such as a mob spawner block, then it would be possible to create a dungeon that is designed to provide a unique experience in telling a specific story.

Dungeon Specific Creatures

Let’s discuss the what sort of creatures or monsters or “mobs” could be in these dungeons. The answer is: pretty much anything. But we need to start somewhere, right? Why not look at the D&D 5e Supplement book called, “Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica” with the biomancer and Blastseeker monsters? They use a combination of science and magic for their abilities and the magic aspect of them can easily be redesign to be more tech based but they are all good outlets for ideas in what sort of dungeon monsters could be placed in Boundless player made dungeons.

As we can see in the above screenshot of the Counterflux Blastseeker’s character sheet, we can find inspirational ideas on how to modify it or use parts of this D&D monster to fit inside Boundless. Take for example the Innate Spellcasting: it can cast a combination of defensive and offensive abilities. The main offensive ability would be a spell called Scorching Ray; which is pretty damaging if each fire ray hits the target.

In the case of creating a Boundless version of Counterflux Blastseeker, it could be a humanoid wearing some sort of hybrid of fantasy Boundless art style scifi body armor and wields a rapier or sword-like weapon that when it attacks with its Scorching Ray type attack, it whips it out and crescent moon waves of flames rip through the air at you. Every once and a while it could swipe the weapon several times in a row and fire off a volloy of this attack; which could be something between 3 to 8 times. During that time the creature could be locked in this animation and be vulnerable to attacks from the sides or behind.

Other abilities it could have could be a knockback effect that’s the exact opposite of the Cuttletrunks tractor beam-like ability but wouldn’t charge up slowly, it would just send you flying back 20m. So if the dungeon maker took this into consideration, they could place these creatures in positions where that knockback could send a player flying off a ledge and down into a pit of lava or in a more dangerous part of the dungeon.

As far as a story behind this sort of creature or dungeon that the creature could be in, it could be a dungeon that’s designed to look like a laboratory or ancient alien base that was abandoned hundreds of years ago but their “defenses” still remained active.

Other creatures that could work are more animal or monster in visuals and this is mostly to breathe life into the possibilities of having with dungeons. So in the sense of an animal or monster there could be six legged, wall climbing, and acid spitting spider-like creatures or even some sort of bat-beetle bird hybrid creature that heals itself by damaging you.

I don’t think anyone would be opposed to teleporting lizards that try to maul you to death or some sort of Boundless version of a rodent that travels in large numbers and attacks in swarms. Things that can work in Boundless that provide ample options to populating a dungeon with diverse enemies and enough room on the board to build a story and lore from would only send all those creative people freaking out with the possibilities. I would definitely be one of them.

Other functional props would be nice too. Things like pressure plates that activate and deactivate automatically that are connected to gates or doors would be nice. So if someone wants to create a large steel gate similar to medieval castles they could connect it with some pressure plates on one side to let them through that part of the dungeon as they progress through it. Same goes for flood lights as well that either can be aimed at a fixed position or have a setting with them that lets you rotate them in range between two degrees or just have it randomly point around. At any rate, a lot of useful design props and blocks to make the dungeons really come to life. So the more stuff in general that fills in other parts of the game the better dungeon content would become.

How and What to Implement

So how and what do we really need and get all of it? The answer is simple but the leg work involved by the developers is a great distance.

Foundations need to be in place for player made dungeons to functionally be worth the effort to create. This includes mob spawners for the dungeon specific mobs and with them come creature drops, crafting recipes for those creature drops, the recipes for crafting the mob spawners, and either a special dungeon beacon or dungeon beacon permissions and controls on existing beacons. Personally, I think from a technical and mechanical point of view it would be better to just make the dungeon beacon permissions extensions onto existing control beacons.

Mob spawners would need to have some spawning limitations placed on them. These limitations could be that the creature being spawned doesn’t spawn on a side of the spawner that doesn’t have at least a 3x3x3 area of space to spawn the creature in it. If it’s smaller than that, no spawn would occur. If it’s larger than that, it would redirect the spawn point to that area. In addition to that, each mob spawner would only spawn a specific set number of creatures that would be set manually by the spawner itself.

A new tool would need to be created that, for a lack of a better name, be called the Spawner Wrench. This wrench, when used on a mob spawner, would open a UI menu that provides you with settings for that specific spawner. So if you want the spawner to produce 5 creatures, it will produce 5 of them. Each tier of these spawners would have restrictions on how many creatures it can spawn and other settings as well, but for the most part you could adjust the difficulty level of a dungeon’s area as much as you like and even the spawn rate too.

When it comes to these dungeon beacon permissions, it could also mean that players are able to place torches of any kind for light sources or placing a marker in case they need to backtrack through a complex dungeon design, such as a labyrinth. World regen would remove all blocks placed in the beaconed plot that weren’t originally placed by the dungeon maker. If that isn’t possible, then perhaps exploring it at a later date would be a better use of resources.

I do think that player-made dungeons should be available to all players in every stage of the game’s progression. So that means the higher up the progression you are the easier it should be to build your own player made dungeon. Think of it from a player retention perceptive for a second. If you market the game as a product that allows you to create a dungeon challenge that basically lets you open it to the game’s population to play through, you not only attract all the creative building type players, but that could even bring in those that want to crush those dungeons and challenge dungeon makers to make something more complex. Also, if players know that they can make bigger and more complex dungeons the further they go up in game progression, they will stick around more.

Dungeon Rewards

Something else that would be nice to have is dungeon reward chest. This chest would have a massive amount of space in it and only functionally works in a beacon that has dungeon permissions turned on. This is mostly for a mechanical purpose too. These chests would function as a way to reward a player with random loot. So in the treasure room after a boss fight, there could be a series of dungeon chests and let’s say it’s three chests. One of them has forged items in it, another has coin, and another has random rare resources. All of these items would be created by the dungeon maker. If a dungeon chest has coin as a reward, the chest would ask for a range in coin to be dispensed upon being looted. The coin reward could also be combined with item rewards too so that players running the dungeon can be rewarded with something from any dungeon chest they come across.

In addition to that, I think it would be rather nice to be able to put a cooldown on dungeon reward chests so that players can’t just run through the same dungeon over and over and drain the chest of all the rewards. This could be done through using the Spawner Wrench.

Balancing Dungeons

As a D&D Dungeon Master, I often get hit with this dilemma when running a campaign and trying to design scenarios that I construct that best matches what the players are capable of doing given any sort of historical behavior in how they’ve played in the campaign. The more creative the players the harder it is to make the scenarios fit the perfect level of challenge. Basically it comes down to their creativity in blowing through encounters, dungeon mechanics I create, and scenarios that are built versus me knowing well in advance more knowledge of what available options there are; which are limited to my own creativity.

In Boundless, I think the nature of providing players the ability to adjust how often mobs spawn from a spawner, the range the mobs spawn from the spawner, and which mobs spawn from the spawner in question. The higher tier the spawner the large the range of these capabilities and settings. But even knowing what all those limitations and settings can be, this doesn’t mean that players won’t create XP farms like they have with mining rocks to craft into stones to then stick in a Refinery to make Refined Rocks.

Honestly, I don’t think balancing a mechanic or piece of content to prevent people from using parts or all of it to farm rewards or XP needs to be prevented. If this means players continue to play and continue to do other things in the game then that’s a good thing. I think it’s up to the players to decide how they want to play the game within the limitations that the game places on the player. I get that there are a lot of players out there that care about balance on every thing in the game, but some stuff I don’t think should have that razor sharp focus on balance and player made dungeons is one of them.

Aside from XP Farms, I also understand players and some of the devs not liking the idea of players creating item drop farms too, but try to understand the argument against balancing this for a few seconds.

I think the XP doesn’t need to be balanced since there will also be XP farms in the game. I do think that in order to protect the economy of the dungeon creature drops, there should probably be a cap on those creatures based on how many of them are being looted within a chunk. Knowing this type of mechanic as a dungeon maker means you could design dungeons to maximize the drop rate of dungeon creatures through the mob spawner settings. It would be an indirect way to manipulate drop rates while also creatively building. Not sure how this would work for the devs to implement but it might not even be necessary if you just place limitations on how many mob spawners you can put in a chunk.

One of the biggest problems I think players in Boundless don’t understand is that the market for an item is only as strong as how many things can be produced from it. So if an item only has one or two item products made with it, then that item may have less demand than something with more item products. Shimmering Orbs come to mind and they are involved in a plethora of crafting recipes. So if dungeon creature drops have a lot of different crafting recipes, besides food recipes, then we don’t have much to worry about when it comes to the item markets of those dungeon creature drops. We need more crafting materials to be as high in demand as Shimmering Orbs.

Also, keep in mind that there’s a trend towards various types of farms in the game. Some of them are for Yams, others for Gleam, some for Growth that drop Shimmering Orbs, and others for certain colors of rocks.

Dungeon Hubs

Currently in the game we have malls that are basically economy hubs that you get access to through one portal. We also have portal hubs of various kinds: some for getting around the game and others for linking to art locations. With this all in mind it does make sense that dungeon hubs pop up with portals to all the various dungeon entrances for players to run through. Not only does this promote more plot claims happening, it also encourages more building and creative designs instead of blindly picking high prestige blocks.

More plot claiming, higher player retention, more building, more crafting, more shops popping up, etc. etc. all means more worlds get introduced. It produces a positive feedback loop for the game and everyone benefits from it: all players (old and new) and the developers.

Conclusion

Although these are some of my thoughts on how player made dungeons could be designed and some of its implementation, I do think it’s a lot more complex from a programming perceptive and would love to see what @james or one of the other devs have to say regarding this particular idea. I would also love to hear some of the other ideas people have in the community about what they’d like to see with player made dungeons.

With everything said… To a way better Boundless in the future! Also, thanks for reading over 15,000 characters of my nonsense. :smiley:

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I have extremely sadistic ideas when I am given this type of power. But I would like to be able to do this. I did this in minecraft on an server I was an admin of by editing NBT tags and automating modded commands.

The thing however is, for us to be able to make dungeons, We would need to be given tools and blocks that would allow us to damage and/or kill other players (Spiked blocks, mob spawners, and so on). and the devs seem to have been to be very against this, even going as far as shutting down a portal and leaving a sign saying “Don’t make death traps”

So as much as I would absolutely love designing and seeing people trying to run thru my dungeon. I really don’t think the devs are willing to give us things that can be used to damage other player’s HP bars.

And then there is the fact that being able to make a dungeon where you can control mob spawns with creature drops, also means opening up ways to turn the dungeon into a mob farm instead. something else I don’t think the devs are willing to let us do.

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I feel like player DESIGNED dungeons that are inside of little instanced ‘dungeon rifts’ that lead you to a player dungeon with random loot and enemies and such is the best way to go about this, personally.

But just having SOMETHING would be a heck of a lot better than nothing

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When I thought about player made dungeons I was thinking it being more like a separate creative mode, similar to the sanctum editor. Then players could submit dungeons sort of like a contest. The devs could then choose a dungeon and put it on one of the temp planets. This way there’s no worrying about crafting mob spawn era and stuff. It could all just be done in creative. Devs would decide the rewards.

I think if we give it a little more time, we might see something they’v got planned. The decorating of the Sanctum was mentioned by a dev alongside it being used for future plans :open_mouth:

How about letting players designate a beacon as a dungeon and it has an increased mob spawn rate compared to unplotted land?

Anyone ever play dungeon keeper?

It could have a specific beacon and all mobs spawned within it don’t drop resources to negate it being exploited for mob farming and perhaps instead of dying and getting the death penalty if you die you just get teleported back to the starting point, maybe a variation of the system used with the snowball meteors.

I have. Huge fan of that game series and other games that let me design things like dungeons. I’d love building in this game more if I could make a dungeon though.

I kind of disagree with this. With how many things you can already abuse in the game, I don’t think using that as a fear to implement a game feature is a good way to develop a game.

There’s a difference between making a dungeon full of monsters versus something designed specifically to kill players and has no other purpose.

I do think it’s possible to only allow dungeon blocks to be placed in a beacon that enables dungeon settings. If it is. That could help prevent a lot of the issues with players creating nothing but a death trap for a dungeon, unless it’s a grapple parkour course. Besides, if people are creating death traps with dungeon blocks, then the devs can step in.

Players already have created various kinds of farms. There’s yam farms, gleam farms, places directly to mining hot spots, bark farms, and certain colors of trunks. People have already made XP Farms with crafting tables and rock crafting. So this fear of mob farms is a little silly when the clear balance fix to that is having diminishing returns on mob spawners with how often they spawn. There’s things here that can make it work.

But I do think what you brought up are things that need to be worked out and player made dungeons are something that should be put on the test servers for a while to allow players the ability to fully test out things. It probably should be on those test servers longer than most features because of some of the obvious issues surrounding them.

I love where you are coming from with this. a lot can be gleaned from the d&d dungeon mastering mindset. I still play d&d after almost 30 years.
player made dungeons might be one of the best features this game could have. i know for a fact that thats where almost all of my attention would be if it were a thing.
I think that it should be the next big roadmap item but I’m defanetly patient enough to have them take their time on it and do it right.

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It is silly, but based off of something I was told recently. They may or may not be considering nerfing a certain type of item to nerf a certain type of farm. which I honestly hope they don’t do, because again, it is silly. and doses more harm then good to nerf it.

I am all for farms, dungeons, and what have you, the game needs as much user generated content as it can get, but I mention the things based off of stuff that I heard and observed of why I think the devs might not be so keen on doing this.

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Well if they worry and focus more on giving us a lot of content for a while and then back track to do some small and minor balance tweaks across multiple parts of the game it would do a lot more good.

What I always hate when it comes to developers doing balance patches is that they make huge swinging decisions that completely alter the course of how someone plays a certain part of the game. Small changes here and there over 6 or 12 months are better received than doing the complete change in one go.

I hope @james and the other devs realize that fearing what players are going to do with their game is a paralyzing development habit to maintain. It’s probably could be one of the main components to why content is so slow to being rolled out. That’s just a complete guess though.

I do know that people will make mob farms. I don’t see that being a bad thing if people want to play the game that way. I mean we’re getting placeable lava and water blocks with Farming. Doesn’t mean people will use those water and lava blocks with farming 100% of the time. They could use them for decorations.

Their original vision for the game so far hasn’t been proven to be attractive enough in the market. I would love @james and the developers to read the book “The Lean Startup” if they haven’t already. It’s a good read and might do them some good.

So they might not like the idea of dungeons but if it’s what puts their game on the map and makes it attractive by having something in it that makes it stand apart from all the other voxel games, MMOs, and divert attention from Triple A titles, I think that holds more singular value than what they personally believe will work and what won’t. Not trying to say they’re being stubborn, but if they are then that’s 100% going to be a negative when it comes to this game being further developed.

Of course these are all my personal opinions and I wouldn’t share them if I didn’t give a ■■■■ to begin with. :beers:

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