Attempting CPR on Dungeon Finder

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping

Although the much lauded Dungeon Finder was quickly abandoned by all but mid-level players thirsty for a dungeon crawl, SOE seems confident they can breathe life into this feature with the announcement of upcoming improvements. However none of the announced changes address the core problem, which we will address after the jump.

From the EQ2 Forums:

Come check out the all-new changes to Dungeon Finder!

As of last Wednesday, we announced two new features for the Dungeon Finder system. This should help game play by giving more options for available dungeons and more incentive to use it. So go out there and get adventuring!

Contested Dungeons

We’ve added Contested Dungeons to Dungeon Finder! This includes Contested Dungeons from levels 20 to 89 (level 90 Contested Dungeons are not being added to Dungeon Finder at this time because of itemization concerns). You should see a lot more dungeons available to you now at various levels of play.

Rewards

We have added a daily quest that pays out after you play with a Dungeon Finder group for 20 minutes or more. The Mystery Crates offered as rewards are the same type of crated offered as rewards in the Dungeon Maker Marketplace category, so the rewards are really awesome!

We hope that you enjoy using the new features to Dungeon Finder. We are constantly improving our game to make it better and more enjoyable for you, the player. And with more people playing EverQuest II, it’s a great time to use Dungeon Finder!

As you probably noticed, neither of these changes address the core issue with Dungeon Finder:

Destiny of Velious dungeons require a certain amount of gear to even attempt. And thus far, Dungeon Finder doesn’t measure player equipment when putting together a group. With the current implementation, you’d pretty much have to hand out free Master spells just to get people to try it.

This isn’t elitist “you must have raid gear to group with us” nonsense. Even with the reduction or removal of Critical Mitigation checks from all but Drunder dungeons, what didn’t change was the DPS checks, the Mitigation checks, and the Crit Chance checks (via Critical Avoidance).

Destiny of Velious dungeons have an obvious progression, and skipping ahead with lacklustre gear is neither advisable nor fair to other groupmates. Dungeon Finder needs to consider this, and until it does, it will be DOA for all but level 1-80 dungeons.

A player named Raffir had this comment:

Half the fun of DF “is” the dice roll. Can you do this with the team or partial team you’ve zoned in with? Everyone doesn’t have to be uber geared, nor do you have a fully functional and balanced group. The challenge is to do it.

DF won’t replace a good guild. But it might add some spice and challenge to your gameplay..if you let it.

Raf

To which SmokeJumper responded:

This attitude is what we hope to bolster with the current random item incentive you get each day. This kind of “see if you can overcome the challenges with what’s at hand” attitude is what DF is kind of all about. The incentives are reward for those that want to face that kind of game.

However, it’s become obvious that although that works for 1-89, and even in SF, it doesn’t work in Velious because of the difficulty of those dungeons. We’re discussing potential fixes after the new year. Expect a staged solution so that DF becomes more what you’re looking for.

and:

We’ll be working on it after the new year.

But in the meantime, the new incentives are pretty sweet. You might consider trying it once a day just for the daily reward…

It’s worth pointing out that according to SmokeJumper‘s Twitter, he is going on a 2 week vacation. So changes would likely follow that.

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Comments (25)

  • Kwill

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    Thank you SJ for responding to Raffir, who does make a lot of interesting posts every day. I don’t personally think half the fun of DF is the dice roll of a bad PUG. It does cost money to repair, and it is my precious game time that’s being wasted by not being able to finish a dungeon with a group of strangers that can’t do it. The idea of class balance is that you need various specializations, not to mention a core idea of an MMO is to have a fully functional and balanced group (duh!). I don’t think we should make excuses for the dev team by being cheerful about the broken bits. It’s not that fun to do it the hard way because you can’t do it the correct way.

    The devs lately seem to be trying to make changes to the game that don’t take into account the basic nature of the design, which is to progress sequentially through content that takes some thought and practice to complete. As Feldon very wisely points out, you can’t do some dungeons without some prerequisits (that’s spelled wrong). WoW has gear scoring, and as much as I abhor it, it is a measure of competence because you have to have earned or bought the gear to achieve it. And without a good gear score, you aren’t getting in certain places.

    The extreme changes without addressing core problems seems to be an out of control juggernaut at the moment. Bribing the players with prizes to make it work is a new low. I hope after SJ has some R&R he will come back with some new ideas.

    Reply

  • Savas

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    I am curious as to what other mmo’s answer to this was, do they encounter the same issue or is there dungeons pretty balanced to each other? or is there an internal gear check when putting people together? Its been awhile since I played wow but remember getting stuck with a poorly geared person every know and again (I might of been the poorly geared one come to think of it)

    Reply

  • Cristamir

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    This is a classic Sony lipstick on a pig reaction. It’s still a pig. I don’t mind repair bills – in a good cause. Until this feature is “fixed,” what’s the point of tossing my money and my time (not to mention my small store of patience) out the window?

    Reply

  • skippydippy

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    It’s broke and i have doubts this dev team can fix it surely sometimes you move on in life and try to concentrate on something new hopefully something that works.

    Sadly that doesnt seem to be the SJ way and ultimetly its bad for the game as feature after feature (looking at you dungoen maker we all said we need or toons to play them,but oh no SJ knew best..)

    As Kwill said lets hope SJ comes back with some new ideas becuase at the moment all he’s doing is trying peoples patience with non-fixes like he’s suggesting

    Reply

  • Ziplock Bazaar

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    So the new crate rewards are useless to people who have not bought AoD, even though dungeon finder has nothing to do with AoD.??? That is just wrong.

    Reply

  • boho

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    If you’re going to copy WoW, do it without shame.

    What that means is don’t release new features that are directly lifted from other sources unless your implementation is just as good, if not better. Sony proves time and time again to be incapable of understanding this principle.

    How WoW’s Dungeon Finder works:

    Gear checks via Item Level. This would be so easy to implement. Equipment level * expansion modifier (SF gear is much weaker than Velious) * quality level (Treasured/MC/Legendary/Fabled). This would keep 99% of the “most impressive set of level 70 gear you’ve ever seen,” as someone so brilliantly put it, invalids out of the DF.

    Keying checks. Again, this is so easy for EQ2 to do. Make progression official. You have to clear Pools, Ascent, and Crystal Caverns before you can do the KD stuff. You have to clear KD stuff before you can do Drunder.

    Cross-server. This requires work, but it’s necessary if Sony expects to resurrect the Dungeon Finder.

    Don’t start the damn dungeon until everyone has confirmed they’re coming. Again, this is a no-brainer.

    -Ignore mercenaries, at least for anything over level, say, 70.

    Reply

  • Fazz

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    “looking at you dungoen maker we all said we need or toons to play them,but oh no SJ knew best…”

    I’m almost 100% sure that it has been said that they wanted to put people playing on their own toons in from the beginning but it was a balance issue, a balance issue that they seem to be coming closer to solving if the Test Server patch notes are to believed.

    “So the new crate rewards are useless to people who have not bought AoD, even though dungeon finder has nothing to do with AoD.??? That is just wrong.”

    Actually I did a DF group a couple days ago and got a ridiculously good Warden/Fury fabled weapon that made me very sad I don’t have a Druid to give it to. I’m sure usually it’ll be useless crap, but not always it seems.

    Reply

  • Turbine

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    At the risk of sounding all nostalgic, one of the things I miss most about PUGs in the original EQ was having to try different approaches depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the classes in the group. We still had spectacular wipes but we usually managed to succeed in the end. EQ2 is obviously a completely different game but it feels so homogenised now- there’s one way to take down mobs, you need a balanced group and the right gear and you just follow the walkthrough, rinse and repeat. Maybe I’m doing it wrong but there doesn’t seem to be much room for inventiveness (or for just hanging out with your mates who aren’t able to play as often). In EQ I used to solo a mage and I loved finding ways to take down mobs that were meant for groups etc. (And off topic but while I’m being nostalgic- Trains! omg I miss trains lol)

    Reply

  • Daalilama

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    How about the devs spending time stamping out the bugs they brought in with AoD instead of trying to fix a failed project

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Savas originally posted:

    I am curious as to what other mmo’s answer to this was, do they encounter the same issue or is there dungeons pretty balanced to each other? or is there an internal gear check when putting people together?

    WoW’s Dungeon Finder does a gear check.

    I know to some it seems elitist when I say that someone should have X gear to group in X dungeon, but it’s not an unfair or onerous request that before people do Pools, Ascent, that they do the Othmir and Thrael’Gorr quests, and a few Public Quests first. In Velious, if you don’t have the stats for a certain zone, you pretty much get one-shotted by everything, and you can’t hit the mobs with any degree of accuracy. It’s not something that skill or exceptional heals can overcome. You quite literally die over and over and over and cannot contribute measurably to the success of the group. You must be 48″ to ride or GTFO.

    At the risk of sounding all nostalgic, one of the things I miss most about PUGs in the original EQ was having to try different approaches depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the classes in the group. We still had spectacular wipes but we usually managed to succeed in the end.

    The days of dungeon crawls where 6 people could get together and have fun are long gone from EQ2. Now you have to have specific classes with specific spells/cures at specific times, or pass a DPS check, or click on this statue and cure this debuff in 4 seconds or you wipe. Someone checking the ACT parse and saying “We don’t have the DPS to kill the next named, I’m dropping. Catch you later folks” is just a grim reality now.

    Mechanics-wise, Velious dungeons are basically 6-person versions of Kunark and TSO raids.

    Reply

  • primal

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    I would have thought that SOE would be focusing on new content rather than than catering for the alta-holic crowd and trying to force peope into the old content…

    These old dungeons (before Dov) are more or less worthless for estabilished players, as a casual T9 raider these dungens give no loot that will be useful, and the fun factor from running a dungeon thats been in game for 3-4 years… (Drunder and maybe the Kael dungeons being the exception….) is very limited…

    We are still waiting for the 2nd half of DoV…. it seems like forever….and the only news we seem to get are more staiton cash items and even drunder was rehashed 6 times with just different mobs….

    If they really want to make dungeon finder work add the raids in there…all of them… the loots waay better and it will attract players that have had a lvl 90 for the last year…. nothing else on the DF list will..

    If they really want to get people in these dungeons rather than giving us new ones… put some decent gear on the rare mobs… including the ones before DoV.. and when i mean decent i mean better than EM….because raiding is so accessable these days… pickup raids run every weekend on most servers and clearing EM seems to be norm on our server anyway… and all those people are mainly just plain bored of DF and all the dungeons it contains…. we want new stuff not old…

    Reply

  • Isest

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    The problem is with SF content all that stuff is totaly useless in dov, so until they can fix the loot in sf to compare with dov nobody wants to run that old stuff. Honestly I don’t see how they are ever going to make dm right.

    Reply

  • iceriven

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    as someone who’s played both eq2 and wow, making a DF with item level check is possible. In WoW you simply cant queue for an instance you dont meet the requirements for. Once you do you can. Kinda perplexing soe didnt put that in considering the game they got the idea from has it.

    Reply

  • Karith

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    Armor should not be a faction and gem grind. It should be a choose-able class by pattern like raids. It should be totally smart loot, so that within 6 runs using the exact same people you can be assured you have all the normal loot needed to progress to the next tier of dungeons. More then 6 runs is for rare loot, rare nameds and their loot, and more tokens for gems.

    There should never be a detriment on a non-final boss mob that can oneshot people if not cured. I’m fine with strats and such, but instant death from curing in heroic content puts a ton of pressure on 1/6 or 1/3 of a group to never fail at a given task. While DPS can miss a HO or a weakness on the mobs defenses(predators) and it doesn’t necessarily cause a wipe every time.

    Reply

  • Kaufman

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    Quick question – do you actually receive a new quest for DF participation or do you just get a reward for being in the group for 20 minutes or whatever? As a questoholic I wanted to know if anyone had followed this new carrot and received an actual, completable quest or if it was just added loots. Thanks.

    Reply

  • Charn

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    You just get a reward. Levelling up my Beastlord, at level 36ish, I chose to do a random dungeon. An hour and 15ish minutes later, I got a pop-up saying my DF zone was ready, and I’d be doing Nektropos Castle. It ended up being me, sans mercenary (I had forgotten I even queued for the dungeon by that point) and an SK with a healer mercenary. We DID succeed at the zone, though most everything was green.

    Long story short, at about 20 minutes in, a window popped up telling me I received some items. They were the “glass” items, that degrade over time and cannot be repaired. So are they REALLY cool items? Meh. I don’t think so. Especially since the item won’t last. I DO understand why they did it though. It makes me now HAVE TO go back and do the DF again to eventually replace my new, shiny, chipped, cracked, and eventually useless item. A little underhanded . . . possibly. Smart? If they want people to use the DF again and the item is THAT good? Maybe. (Though at that level (36ish), and the Double Exp weekend, I”m in my 60s now, so the item is totally useless).

    Though that character DID get a server discovery on the items . . . If you want free discoveries at lower levels, get in now while the gettin’ is good!

    Reply

  • Anditron3000

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    My DF experience… I queued my level 85 under geared monk to test the DF out. I figured I would go to a Ykesha zone. I was wrong. I was expected to tank a level 90 heroic zone. This group, that with 6 people, expected to complete Demitrik’s Bastion was destined to fail. So I switched to my raid geared brigand and tanked the entire zone doing around 80% of the DPS as well. This group included a PQ geared Wizard doing under 10k DPS.

    No offense but the majority of people queuing the DF are solo players who haven’t really grouped before. I think the gear score would really help out and maybe self rating grouping experience could help out.

    Reply

  • Kaufman

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    Thanks for the info – appreciate it. Gear score or zone flagging is fine in my opinion. If you are a new 90 with PQ gear you shouldn’t expect to get carried by a group in Drunder or KD – it is not fair to the other players. If you don’t want to be “judged” by that, then find groups the common way or ask your friends to try it out with you. Random strangers should not get the job of gearing you up through a DF. If you do TOFS several times and it is your first time in Pools – cool, people should help you learn it – everyone has a first time. But to jump from TOFS to KD and expect people to carry you is a huge reason why DF is fail. What is ends up doing is making the knowledgeable, appropriately geared person look elitist or mean, or they won’t even bother with DF.

    Reply

  • Azraki

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    in Rift there are special values on better gear, that accumulate to your hit (warriors/rogues) or focus (clerics/mages) value.

    you can queue lvl based and after reaching maximum lvl you can join normal mode (no check), tier 1 (100+ hit/focuspoints) or tier 2 (200+ hit/focuspoints) dungeons…

    same applies for raids where you have to reach certain values to be effective in the raidinstance.

    I kinda enjoy the DF there, since in lower lvls it puts you in an appropriate group – you define your role (dps, heal, tank, support) before queuing and then the groups are matched up cross-server.

    Reply

  • Savas

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    I don’t think its elitist to make sure a random group has necessary equipment needed to even be able to survive the zone. As a casual player my time counts when I get to play and the last thing I’d like to do is waste half an hour finding out it wasn’t possible in the first place. If I want to be pulled through a dungeon then I’d get a group of friends together to do that.

    You can still end up getting missmatched groups that make it more interesting.

    Reply

  • Isest

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    Well to be honest a lot of the zones in dov are highly scripted, and unless you got folks who can follow that script it will not matter what kind of gear they have they still will fail.

    The entire problem with DF is that (1) it has no real gear check, (2) a lot of the folks running with DF are what I call hurry up alts with around 150 aa, and have never grouped before.

    You can hang armor on an alt all day, but if you got no clue how to play that toon your not going to contribute. Almost all the DF instances I have been in were made up of folks who had no clue. You know your going to have a good run when the tank in the instance says I never tanked this zone somebody give me the run down. Followed by hey whats do you mean I have to body pull. We actually had an sk in group who had no idea of how to use his taunts, I was on my dirge and I ended up tanking the instanace while the tank thought he was lol. Doing about 75% of the dps of the group as well and this after the nerf to dirge dps.

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    So, is it the newcomers that are relying on the dungeon finder to level up and get groups due to lack of/no knowledge of guilds or groups of friends?

    I would think people with alts would understand what they could or could not do in any given instance … so are new people coming to the game, using the golden path as laid out by the dev team, failing in the end game because they lack a core detail: friends that can get them geared up and teach them their class?

    How do you teach someone to play their class? Who will take the time to do it?

    Reply

  • Isest

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    @Kwill, well in the guild that I was in, we actually did something like that, sort of. We had an officer who thought it was a great idea to get a couple of his buddies from eq1. The plan was to power level the 2 of them one an sk and one a Templar. The problem was they were power leveled and neither of them had a clue. In that case it was up to the guild to teach him, but he was like I am 90 and great you cant teach me anything I was so and so in eq1 the best of my class on that server.

    Oh well.

    Reply

  • Avvmo

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    Sure! I’ll try it once a day! I will queue for 7 hours, and boom! the lamest dungeon on the list will be the one I get! also! since everyone else has been queuing just as long as i have, 4/6 of them have declined the invitation to the dungeon. guess a defiler and a wizard could maybe duo some heroic content, right?

    broken. fundamentally broken. keep tying bells around its neck. it’s still broken.

    Reply

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