Producer’s Letter: Dungeon Maker XP Going Away December 16

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Grouping

In a long-awaited change that should come as a surprise to none, Dungeon Maker XP and rewards are being removed as of December 16th. Here’s EQ2 Senior Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale‘s announcement on the EQ2 Forums:

Greetings Norrathians,

Three years ago, we added the Dungeon Maker system to EverQuest 2. During that time you all have used it to create some amazing dungeons to explore, creating your own spins on the world of Norrath within your private instances. We could not be happier with the fantastic creativity that’s been shown and that’s exactly why we added the feature to the game.

Unfortunately, some players also found that Dungeon Maker could be used to bypass adventuring and quickly gain experience without risk. Worse, those same players would often then complain that there is no challenge in the game because they leveled up to max in DM, and then received no challenge at all from the rest of the new content. Additionally, players that level through the content instead of DM were feeling cheated for not taking advantage of the experience exploit while their friends were already at max level, thus diminishing their enjoyment of the content.

The solution is easy to identify. Essentially, Dungeon Maker is way too easy to exploit for experience. We could spend time buttressing the Dungeon Maker systems to make them non-exploitable, but we would rather spend that time on new content and new adventures for everyone to play, not just the smaller segment of players interested in Dungeon Maker.

So, in a nutshell, we are turning off all experience for Dungeon Maker next Tuesday. It will still be an amazing creativity tool for the housing and decorating community to use to display whatever is in their imagination, but its ability to be used as an exploit to bypass the rest of the game will be removed. When this change occurs, we will unpublish all existing dungeons so that folks that have creative dungeons can republish and be more easily seen on the list of available offerings.

We fully understand that this might annoy some of you that have grown accustomed to having this easy button to push for experience, but that’s not the game we desire to create nor the entertainment experience that a good MMORPG tries to provide. The best rewards should always be in the current content because that’s where our best and latest offerings are located. That’s why we’ve made the recent changes to the Altar of Malice expansion to bolster Solo, Heroic, and Contested experience to ensure this is true. Loot and coin rewards have also been increased in those areas.

Here’s the details on the changes:

-Today, Thursday, Dec. 11, we are setting the Dungeon Maker feature item at 0SC (free) in our store’s Features category.

-Tuesday, Dec. 16 with our update, this is summary of the changes:

  • Turning off experience in Dungeon Maker
  • Dungeon Mark rewards will be removed
  • Standard decorating items, like layouts, spawners, will be available for free in the DM toolbox and removed from the Dungeon Maker store category
  • All Dungeon Maker dungeons will be unpublished so that decorating-focused dungeons can be republished (vs. the dungeons created for maximum experience gain)
  • The Dungeon Maker category in the store will remain for the time being for players to spend leftover Dungeon Marks
  • The Dungeon Maker feature will be included free for all players as part of the Free to Play experience.

This change is overdue and is for the health of the game as a whole. We hope you understand.

Thank you.

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Comments (52)

  • Vapur

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    They really need to move to a level-agnostic system anyway.

    Reply

  • Carnifex

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    Those devs best have their best resist nerdrage gear on.

    Reply

  • Fitzpizzle

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    “Free to play. Your way.”

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    Just kill it.

    If it’s just going to become a decorator’s paradise with no incentive for anyone to run…

    Just. Kill. It.

    Reply

    • Benj

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      By that logic they should kill the housing system as well. There’s no gameplay advantage in owning a house. Most people just use housing as a “decorator’s paradise”.

      Reply

      • GriffonLady

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        Some people can’t see past their own nose. If they don’t enjoy decorating, they think it should be gone from the game. It’s a common human trait.
        You don’t see me saying PVP servers should be gone, and I detest PVP. I’m quite happy they have their own server. I’d probably decapitate someone IRL if they tried to force me into open world PVP though. >.>

        Reply

        • Pipsissiwa

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          Aye, same here, I hate PVP. Don’t want them to take away Battlegrounds or the PVP servers tho. I also hate raiding, but don’t expect SOE to remove raiding cos I don’t enjoy it.

          Non-decorators really need to find something other than decorators to pick on, and moan about cos it’s getting boring now. We don’t do any harm by enjoying making our homes (or dungeons) look lovely. Non-decorators need never know we are here.

          Reply

    • GriffonLady

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      um.. no? -.- It’s been great for furniture storage. I’m not even joking. I hated having to clog up my bank or houses with stored furniture. I bought the houses, I god damn well better be able to decorate them. DM sounded great, was a terrible flop, but at least it’s useful for something.

      I gotta admit though, I have a feeling they will eventually remove it due to “low traffic”. On that day, I’m giving SOE the finger after 10 years.

      What is SOE’s deal? Every time I turn around it’s pissing someone off. Oh ey! Euro players! We’re selling you off now! Bye bye! Oh hey! You know that sale we usually have on out xpacks? It’s outta here! You know how we usually have an incentive to buy the xpac in the form of a new race or class? Sold separately now! ANd you know the ability to fly we said the new race was gonna have? $20 more bucks! Caught it up mate!…. and on and on and ON the list goes of definitely NOT customer satisfaction based decisions by SOE.

      Does insurance exist for businesses? IF a business goes under, can someone collect the insurance on it? because I smell a rat. -.-

      I wish I hated the game as much as i hate the marketing strategy and lousy decisions made by the higherups. Then I could just quit and be happy. Unfortunately, I love the housing/decorating here. lol

      Reply

      • GoblinTown

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        😯 You can store furniture items in there? I never knew that. I kept an alt with the mistmoor veteran house for that. I would start taking advantage of that, but I don’t feel secure of it sticking around much longer and would be afraid to keep anything of too much value in it.

        Reply

        • GriffonLady

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          Oh aye! It’s AWESOME! You can make storage DMS on any toon, trustee your main decorator onto them all, they show up with titles you make (I label mine like NOTD storage, Frostfell storage, Erolis storage, etc…). I just wish we could access DMs from in houses.
          Would also be cool if we could get portals to DMs like prestige houses so we could set up mini games and set them up in houses. Like, make a video game arcade like the old days, and put the portal to the DM in the “screen” of the game so people could click there and enter the DM from in the house. Put books in a house with DM portals in them so people could fight through a story… but i guess there’s really no point to putting mobs in DMs any more. :\

          Reply

    • Feldon

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      It’s always been Dungeon Decorator.

      Reply

  • Malade

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    That will surely boost Heroic Character sales. Nice move $OE.

    Reply

  • Pipsissiwa

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    Fine by me. I enjoyed decorating a dungeon or two, and played a few now and again for a change of scene, but I have never understood the PL attitude personally – I like to earn my XP thru actual game content and enjoy the lore on the way. But then I’m not the competitive sort who has to have/be the best ASAP. And many raiding guilds have a lot to answer for by encouraging or even insisting upon that style of gameplay in recruits and potential recruits.

    Basically all that will happen following this nerf is a bunch of impatient people will complain loudly that suddenly they will actually have to play the game itself to get XP. The rest of us will just carry on happily enjoying the game like nothing happened.

    Reply

    • windsun33

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      That is pretty much my feelings on it – have seen enough whining just from the past xp nerfs. While an interesting idea, it was just too easy to exploit. I will not miss it, even if it goes away totally.

      Reply

    • Diveris

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      You do understand that this will add 2 more hours of gameplay right? It’s more of an annoyance.. It will only cause problems for people like you who like to play the game. When people like me congest contested zones with decked out level 100s mass pulling everything to level alts/guildies.

      Why? Because we don’t have an i instances version in which to mass pull..

      Mobs in DM were just as easy as those in just about every contested, there were just more of them in close proximity. And it prevented people from being disruptive to others. You will now see selling power level 50p an hour just as often as you seen selling DM 50p a run.

      Reply

  • Pheeliya

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    More proof that SOE hates its players.

    Reply

    • windsun33

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      Yeah, that makes sense. If I produce a product I will do all that I can to make sure everyone hates the product and me for making that product. Logic fail.

      Reply

      • GriffonLady

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        windsun33 just described SOE’s business model, I think. XD

        Reply

      • Diveris

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        vanguard… Swg anyone? Eq2oa..

        Reply

  • 7rlsy

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    The whole idea of players designing their own dungeons seemed brilliant, but, yeah… the inherent xp exploit never got handled by dev. You would think the experimentation fiasco might have had them generating better ideas. On the other hand, yes, agreed; while they drive players to max level — Heroic 85s.. hello? — they pull this. Their left hand/right hand behavior is consistently baffling.

    Meanwhile, I only recently found out just how extensively decor whores (yep, I’m one, too, but… low level) are using the dungeons for storage alone. Close it down quickly, if at all, and you’ll see a real firestorm, as well as a loss of Marketplace revenue.

    Also agree that level agnostics are the way to go.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      We never got the tools to design our own dungeon. Decorate? Yes. Design? Not even close.

      Reply

      • Mermut

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        Very true and very unfortunate. When DM was announced I was very excited, when it was released I was even more disappointed.

        Reply

      • Seablade

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        This was one of the reasons why I was very disheartened after discovering it wasn’t really dungeon design; only the barest minimum of options for that. I was really excited about the concept and looked forward to having it, but it wasn’t up to what I thought it could be.

        I guess I could have used this to get more alts to level whatever, but alas, I missed out on the party for this one too.

        Reply

        • 7rlsy

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          Well, yeah… I guess throwing mobs in there isn’t exactly “design”, fair enough.

          Sssooo…. that being the case, it’s really just a bust all the way ’round, huh?

          Reply

  • milliebii

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    There is a point there, DM had become an exploit to avoid playing the game. But why now? The player base is already somewhat annoyed at recent actions and now they pour gasoline on the fire. This change should have been done in a reasoned and planned way before the Xpac was released and thereby put everyone on the same level. Instead after what must have been an ineffective nerf to DM XP they do this.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    The DM experience was never well done. The only thing it really was good for was the xp or to decorate. I don’t care about the xp loss as long as they keep current content relative to the xp needed. The reason people use DM, or any exploit is because the current system is broken. If devs address the issues then people don’t need to go to other systems to level, gain money, etc.

    Reply

    • 7rlsy

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      ” If devs address the issues then people don’t need to go to other systems to level, gain money, etc.”

      Zactly.

      Reply

  • Gorjuss

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    Here’s the thing. I think this was the only logical step. You can’t nerf the xp for 5 levels only and call it an exploit while allowing 70 levels to be exploited the same way. I was never happy with their response that 5 lvls in 2-4 hours was an exploit but 20-95 in an afternoon wasn’t. That’s a blatant lie.

    Reply

  • Blitz77

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    exploit — really — come on

    SOE have known about DM pwr lvling for months now but never did a thing until they saw there hard work making the last xpac was being wasted by some bypassing the content and getting 100 via a DM.

    Reply

    • 7rlsy

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      Yup yup yup. That they let that first weekend with the expac go with the DM xp was either ridiculous or a sort of passive aggressive way of letting players p.l. to the level range they wanted which…. effectively cut out the 85 Heroic sales, no?

      Basically, it’s hard to see them really think through these things. It always looks sloppy.

      Reply

    • Diveris

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      They knew about it for years..

      Reply

  • Moose

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    Feldon,

    They call it an exploit because they want to sell the level token and aa baubles. Just the normal soe screw job nothing to see here.

    😉

    Reply

  • Filly67

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    Worse, those same players would often then complain that there is no challenge in the game because they leveled up to max in DM, and then received no challenge at all from the rest of the new content.

    Please Holly continue to pee on my leg and tell me it’s rain.

    You have always been out of touch and clearly not into player enjoyment. But this one statement shows just how out of touch you are.

    Reply

  • Filly67

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    Well I thought I would vent my anger on the Wire (see above) since it’s a safe place where ones opinion can be expressed. I then wrote the following on the official forums and it was pulled and I was in boxed in less then five minutes. Total fail. In order to feel better I am pasting it here. Thankfully the MOD was kind enough to quote me in the note that he sent me.

    Clear proof (as if we needed more proof) that nobody that matters within SOE reads or cares about what is written in these forums. Nice to know that all threads and comments are clearly ignored. I could even deal with that. But please stop portraying yourself as acting for the betterment of the game. Just say, “listen our company is not doing well, we need to increase revenue and this will make the players buy potions, 85 heroics, etc….”

    Well once again you’re incorrect. You will never get another dime from me.”

    Well at least someone one will see this. I feel a bit better. Even if I wasn’t in “concert” with forum guidelines. I hope I can sleep tonight.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      When people are using the C word to describe Holly…

      Reply

      • 7rlsy

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        Yeah, that would do it. No brainer.

        Reply

      • Filly67

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        Typing this again because my first post didn’t take. Truly, I never used any type of foul language or directed my discontent at any one person. Just gave a view that they didn’t like. Although that word could be fitting to their actions I would never personally attack someone. Ok, almost never. I am a lady after all! 🙂

        Reply

      • Suka

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        it is plain wrong to kill the messenger. anyone who uses foul words towards an employee would deserve the ban they get. to say you disagree is one thing. to flame and call names is another.

        as for Holly, she is a messenger. she is not the originator of the message. she shouldn’t bear the brunt of the disfavor. yeah her post can seem a bit unfair to most people, but she is actually probably quoting what was given to her. She has a very tough job and i don’t envy her in the least.

        Reply

    • Suka

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      i feel for you. yeah i know they can be overly robust in policing the forums. i got banned for simply quoting someone else in a reply that actually pointed out they had done no wrong- that time.

      however one thing about all of this disturbs me. i understand that companies make mistakes. but on cyber monday, there were a lot of people who purchased the feature. 10 days later they put it for free and nerfed it. why not put it for free on cyber monday and announce the plan to nerf it then? that way no one would have bothered buying it. why risk being seen as promoting a scam?

      with any other commodity, such a move would have been seen as illegal and refunds would have been prompt or risked legal action. is soe somehow above basic principles of consumer fairness? what a frightening way to do business.

      honestly, i am a bit afraid. what is the next move on the agenda? yeah i have had DM for about 3 years and have loved it. i got my bang for the buck. but those who just bought it, wow. talk about a shameful way to do business. honestly, i am a bit disgusted by the timing of the move.

      as for the move itself, – saw it coming a long time ago. just couldn’t they have found a more fair way to do it? like not sell it on cyber monday?

      Reply

  • Taril

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    Not much to say besides wow…talk about a company ignoring their customers.

    Reply

  • Wirewhisker

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    Free to Pay, your way.

    Now pony up for your 85/280 boost, my little cash slaves.

    Reply

    • Diveris

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      Nope.. I’ll be power leveling many many ppl for free just to protest this lol. It’s what 2-3 hours tops to 85.

      I know ppl doing seb, SS and HCK grinding for the community, as a form of protest also lol.

      Reply

  • Striinger

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    1st Holly is lovely and “real”. I like her a lot from what I’ve seen out of the public eye. She just had a job that I wouldn’t wish for sure to the groups she gets torn between.

    As for decorators, I figured you folks would have jumped ship to Landmark ages ago. That game is not only Dave’s main crush, but is where I expect he’ll try to force you to use your talent (cause he can make lots of money for your efforts, and get EQN assets for free).
    Giving credit where it’s due, LM is amazing but just not enough to keep my attention (or keep me from humming Disney songs when I played). Admittedly I got bored of Minecraft much faster. Maybe I’m to old to prefer virtual Lego over real ones.

    Reply

    • GriffonLady

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      Pff. Landmark if a grindfest, and if you have a life, your house gets sent back to you in pieces. Sure, with the file, but good luck getting that perfect spot of terrain back. I haven’t even bothered to update Landmark’s files since the announcement of PVP. -.-
      I’ll stay here where I can shut people out till my house is finished, life’s emergencies won’t reduce my work to a plot owned by someone else, and I can go see houses that belonged to friends who have left or died.
      How much of a success can a game be when it’s name is pure irony? Landmark. Where nothing you recognise will be around for long. o.0

      Reply

      • Loredena

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        This! I could have done without PvE OR PvP, couldn’t believe it when they put PvP in first though!

        And really, I didn’t bother with a house in LotRs, to which I have a lifetime membership, when I found out real life could cause me to lose it. I’m certainly not going to do that in Landmark where the work is even more intense. My husband was really excited about Landmark, but they kept delaying giving the tools he actually wanted to they could add dungeons and pvp /sigh

        Reply

  • Eschia

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    I see the reasoning behind this decision, but I also think they brought a battleaxe to an operating table here…

    Reply

  • Sychocharley

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    Just think with the population already on the downward spiral, I think any changes that reduces a subscription buyer or not way of playing and leveling is another cut to the population which is already in a sinking boat. They should have done more to increase XP else where before the modification, and left the other rewards intact for those that did run DM or create DM’s.

    Reply

  • Hoot

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    To attack Holly is ridiculous. I don’t believe for a second she’s masterminding any of this compared to the people above her who use her as a meat-shield against attacks.

    That said, I knew this day would come. It was bound to happen. The problem is that SoE tends to handle “exploits” years after they occur.

    Dungeon Maker is just another gimmick on top of a pile of gameplay gimmicks that lay under the floorboards of EQ2. Used once and never used again.

    Reply

  • Dio

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    I literally just spent 1k station cash on this and expect a refund.

    Who the hell cares if people want max level toons quickly? You are forgetting must servers are barren wastelands of population and sometimes swapping classes is the only way to get a group or raid. I have zero interest in “enjoying” the content a 3rd our 4th time and DM was mostly used for alts in my experience.

    Fix the population root problem and quit worrying about the symptom.

    Reply

  • Zerigo

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    lawls Free to play, your way!
    I left eq2 a few months ago, and every time i visit this site I am reminded why i did the right thing. The people running this game just do not have a clue.

    Reply

  • Theron

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    Let’s be real there is a reason that wow has millions of players and eq2 has a fraction of that number. Eq2 continues to stumble rather than run with its clunky user interface, unintuitive quests( without google most players would quit), and artificial time syncs everywhere you look from crafting, to its way overly complex multi tree multi page spacing system, to its dungeons with bizarre bugs and unbalanced content, to its map system that is ancient and I could go on and on here with the problems of this game My point, I’m fine with balancing fixes and patching yet please make sure you do it in a way that makes the game better for all not worse. People use shortcuts like these cause all the other issues I call out above. Fix those too please!

    Reply

  • Rob

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    Wow – I was just thinking about coming back to the game and thought I would do some research on any dungeon maker changes. This is quite sad news.

    Reply

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