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With the changes to Incarnam and migration of the lairs to the area around Astrub, the role of these lairs needs to change.
This is also an opportunity for us to iterate on the objectives and rewards associated with the lairs.

 

Lairs: How They Work

Added to the game in April 2017, lairs are mini dungeons that offer 1v1 fights against existing bosses at two difficulty levels.

These lairs are designed to help new players learn certain game mechanics by putting them into practice in combat. They are also a chance for players to acquire equipment inexpensively during the first hours of the game so they can focus on building their character. When players visit one of the lairs, they can first fight a weaker version of the boss to earn experience and then unlock the stronger version to acquire loot after defeating the boss.

On the whole, this system has proved successful, and we are very happy with it, despite a few issues. The removal of Incarnam and migration of the lairs to new areas with different levels is a chance for us to change some of the aspects that weren't working adequately.

Let's take a look at each of the areas we want to develop.
 

System Analysis


Accessing the Lairs

There are currently two ways to access the lairs:

  • With badges, obtained from monsters in the area with a low drop rate (1.5% for small badges and 0.5% for large badges)
  • With the Box of Badges, which grants free access to each lair at set intervals (once a day in Incarnam, once every 3 days in Amakna)

Problems identified

  • Badges are generated in huge quantities, which makes their price far too low. Players can't sell them to make their first kamas. It also makes the access limitation of the Box of Badges obsolete, which means the same content can be played over and over again. This does not meet our expectations at all because we are always trying to help players explore the wide variety of content that DOFUS Touch offers, rather than encouraging them to keep playing the same part of the game.

  • The difference in bunch of keys recharge time between the lairs created an inconsistency that needed explaining.
  • We thought that the time between two lair visits (excluding badges), which could be one or three days, seemed unsuitable considering the rapid progression curve during the game's first levels. In the space of three days, you would expect a dedicated player to have progressed beyond the level of the lair they did three days before, which poses a problem for obtaining the equipment as well.

Solution

The new lair system will change how badges are obtained. Badges will no longer be obtained by fighting monsters in the area and can no longer be traded. We have decided to link them to the account, and they can only be acquired from the weaker version of each boss. As the kamas earned is just a secondary aspect of the system, we have decided to remove it completely and just focus on the learning and equipment aspects.

As a result, the recharge time for the box is to be harmonized for all lairs and will now be one attempt every 24 hours.
 

Equipment Quality and Role

The equipment that can be obtained in the lairs from the strong version of the boss is currently linked to the account with random stats.

The items have generic characteristics so that they are useful for all player types (elemental paths), and they include the main elements of the boss mechanics (boar pushback damage, piwi resistances, etc.)

The items are designed to be "emergency" equipment for players having trouble earning kamas or crafting the items they need. These lair sets are meant to be weaker than classic equipment of the same level because they are free. Basically, they exist so that new players are never completely overwhelmed by a monster's strength in comparison to their own hit strength.

Problems identified

  • Currently, these equipment items are often the best option at low levels, which makes items crafted by artisans less desirable.

  • With lairs being moved outside Incarnam, the level of the lairs and equipment obtained from them will be higher. It is therefore becoming increasingly hard to offer competitive items.
  • Finally, as explained earlier, as the characteristics and stats of these equipment items are randomly generated, obtaining one of these items doesn't necessarily guarantee that its quality will be adequate.

Solution

We have chosen two solutions to limit the power of these items in comparison to those crafted by artisans.

First, we have tried to balance these items by taking the average power of the items at a certain level and then setting it deliberately lower. This difference will now be more significant as the level increases. For example, a level-25 lair item will be ostensibly as strong as a level-23 item, which is a two-level difference; but a level-55 lair item will only be as strong as a level-45 item, which is 10 levels lower. This is to encourage players to gradually migrate over to classic items.

Secondly, we have also changed the allocation of the set bonuses to favor the set bonus rather than individual item strength. This gives us better control of how they are used and makes it harder for them to be used to complement classic equipment, as is the case with the Celestial Arachnee Boots, for example.

Acquiring Equipment

In the current version, lair set items can be acquired from the strong version of bosses, as previously explained. This loot is governed by a drop rate and is not automatically acquired. Furthermore, duplicates of the various items can be acquired, and these can be exchanged for a new random item from an NPC.

Problems identified

  • Because acquiring equipment isn't guaranteed, players often need to do the fights repeatedly to acquire all the items, and even more times to get all the items with decent stats.

  • The high probability of getting duplicates made us implement a trading system via NPCs, which is another mechanic that must be explained to new players. The need to introduce a trading mechanic like this so early in the game, especially one that is almost never used subsequently, makes the learning curve for new players even steeper, which we want to avoid at all costs.
  • As players feel compelled to do the lairs multiple times as explained earlier, they will be at a much higher level than the equipment acquired by the time they acquire the complete set, which makes the equipment immediately obsolete. This can be disheartening for players, especially in combination with the repetitive aspect of acquiring the items. And these are two things that we really want to avoid.

Solution

To prevent the need to repeat the same part of the game over and over again, we have decided to distribute lair equipment with fixed characteristics and to bypass the end-of-fight loot system. In this way we can ensure that players only need to repeat the fight as many times as needed to learn the associated mechanic, and that they will leave it with better knowledge of the game and a well-earned equipment set.
 

Lairs 2.0

As we have discussed in the various solutions to each problem, the way lairs work will evolve to ultimately offer more challenging and varied content while keeping its educational aspect.

Lairs can now be accessed once a day, but unlike the old system, they will have a save point to allow players to retry the fight as many times as needed. In addition, abandoning the fight will no longer be considered a defeat, so players can retry the fight immediately without losing health or energy.

The stronger versions of each boss will now offer three achievements that require winning the fight within a set number of turns. Each speed tier achieved unlocks items in the set. So, if players get a perfect victory in the first fight, they will acquire all equipment items possible and can continue their adventure without further delay.
 

 

The achievements unlock the set items in the following order (for sets with 6 items)

  • Quick achievement: Unlocks the cloak and belt
  • Efficient achievement: Unlocks the boots and ring. Item with MP bonus awarded (if applicable)
  • Fast achievement: Unlocks the amulet and headgear => Item with AP bonus awarded (if applicable)

As mentioned before, the lairs have been moved from Incarnam to other existing areas. This was an opportunity for us to spread out the number of levels covered by the lairs to follow progression more evenly until a more advanced stage of the game.

The lair breakdown was previously as follows:

  • Gobball Lair (level 10) – Incarnam
  • Tofu Lair (level 15) – Incarnam
  • Piwi Piou (level 20) – Incarnam
  • Boar Lair (level 25) – Incarnam
  • Arachnee Lair (level 30) – Incarnam
  • Sandcastle Lair (level 35) – Astrub Rocky Inlet
  • Plop Lair (level 35) – Astrub Rocky Inlet
  • Eltneg Trools Lair (level 100) – Eltneg Wood
  • Chapel Trools' Lair (level 100) – Bwork Outpost

The Sandcastle Lair has been removed because it no longer seemed relevant in terms of training and it offered the same level as the Plop Lair. The associated set has been grouped together with the Plop achievements.

The order and levels have been amended to the following:

  • Piwi Lair (level 25) – Astrub Suburbs (new area to the west of the city)
  • Plop Lair (level 35) – Astrub Rocky Inlet
  • Tofu Lair (level 45) – Tofu Corner (Astrub)
  • Gobball Lair (level 55) – The Cradle
  • Boar Lair (level 65) – Cania Forest
  • Arachnee Lair (level 75) - Dark Treechnid Forest
  • Eltneg Trools Lair (level 85) – Eltneg Wood
  • Chapel Trools' Lair (level 95) – Bwork Outpost

As the various locations are now further apart from each other, a new NPC will be placed in front of each of the lairs to offer to take you to whichever one you want, as long as you have beaten the easy version of the boss inside.

You have probably noticed that no lairs have been added to Albuera Island, the new area added as part of the revamp to the start of the game. This is because we have designed the story in this new area very carefully and we didn't think adding lairs was appropriate, in terms of learning game mechanics and acquiring equipment, because these elements are part of the quests.

We hope this more motivating and incremental version of lairs will prove popular with you and all new adventurers taking their first steps in the World of Twelve.

Please test them during the beta and feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Categoría: Development