I know cloning features from the market leader is something that is frowned upon. If you turned away from World of Warcraft as player you probably did it because you want a different experience. And games that try to be just like WoW almost certainly end up being worse then the original. But there’s one feature I think nonetheless makes tons of sense for Neverwinter. I’m talking about Mythic+ dungeons that got introduced with Legion.
If you look at the struggles of Neverwinter you almost always end up with resources. The devs would love to, monitor, have stuff on their list, but within the small design team there is only so much time. That’s why systems in Neverwinter feel very grindy. They have to, because the devs need to make sure that despite few development time the players are still busy until the next update. It would be much better to spread grind or include it in actual content and story. That’s however nothing Cryptic can do. Instead they always need to get the most out of the assets they create.
One classic example of this was Elemental Evil. With a level cap raise other games deliver a full new story and group content. Neverwinter meanwhile reworked the dungeons they had and delivered a so called “campaign story” that merely consisted of repeatable dailies. The biggest update to date was also the biggest recycling job to date. Additionally the biggest mess, but that’s a fact well covered in other articles. Unless Neverwinter gets a severe injection of players, this is unlikely to change. Even if, PWE would still be looking to max profit first, which makes it hard to add to the dev team.
Epic+ cleverly reuses assets
That’s why the Mythic+, or Epic+, system is something that would fit the game very well. It reuses assets in a way that it creates a completely new experience for the players. If you’re not familiar with the system, here’s a quick explanation. Each Mythic dungeon in WoW’s Legion can be upscaled to feature stronger mobs, bosses and better loot. This does three things. First you can make content available at low item levels. Mythic+ then creates a challenge for a tier of players way above the original requirements. And this also adds to the longevity of the content because with raising power players can always strive for the next plus level in dungeons.
The interesting thing is that Cryptic actually did try to introduce a similar system in Underdark. The reward tiers in Demogorgon, Prophecy of Madness and Throne of the Dwarven Gods aimed at the same things. Make the content available at low item levels, but give stronger players a chance to fight for more loot. This failed mainly because the lower reward tiers weren’t actually useful and the higher ones way too easy. But it nonetheless shows Cryptic is indeed interested in something like that.
Let’s look at an actual example how Epic+ levels could scale a dungeon. It makes sense to increase difficulty potentially and rewards linearly. I’d also makes sure there is a point in which players are no longer able to beat a level because the mob damage and HP is just through the roof.
|Epic+||Mob Dmg||Mob HP||Rewards|
This is a basic example of Epic+ progression. Epic+6 would offer 30% more rewards at the cost of 50% more mob damage and twice the HP. At Epic+10 mobs would deal more than twice as much damage and have more than four times the HP for 50% more rewards. Everything over 10 becomes a real pain at least in terms of mob HP and everything above 13 is probably not completable at this point. You can obviously tweak the percentages in both direction, this is just to give a general idea. I’d imagine that an epic Temple of the Spider would become a real challenge at Epic+5 already.
To make stuff work we need to talk a few requirements however. Balancing is a huge point. I know they fixed the Pally recently, but you can’t have broken shit. Otherwise people would instantly exploit the crap out of Epic+ levels. You also need proper rewards for dungeons. Scaling rewards only makes sense if the starting point is decent. +50% on a big pile of nothing is still a big pile of nothing. I would also work with certain reward tiers in the way that a Demogorgon+5 could always return at least a +3 Ring at Gold and such. And why not hand out Legendary rewards at a certain point? If people will eventually be able to beat Demo+15 at four times the damage and 2700%+ HP, they probably deserve them.
I’m not making this suggestion without some doubts. The playerbase might not be there to spread between multiple Epic+ levels of dungeons. And then while the system might sound easy and reuses the current environment, you still need to code it and and some sort of affiliated Keystone system. Once in place however you can probably implement it for any group content.
Players in Neverwinter have brought up the possibility of Mythic dungeons before and Epic+ would surely fit that bill. It could indeed solve the problem of not having enough challenges for the hardcores and add to the longevity of designed content.
What’s your take on Mythic+ and its adoption in Neverwinter? Share you thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.
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