Dev Blog: Design Doc: Dungeons and Instancing & PvP and the Wilds

There’s a couple of new Dev Blog out today where we discuss our thoughts on PvP and the Wilds. Read all about it here:

And there was also one last week discussing Instances and PvE:

Let us know your thoughts on both of these topics below!

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I have a few questions regarding guards and PvP:

  1. In PvP how is motion going to be controlled? Will we still be able to move freely if we are attacked/attacking, or will there be some sorts of restrictions? I feel like in a game with teleport locomotion it will be hard to finish killing someone if they are able to run (think rec room paintball, except instead of one shot it takes 15 to get someone). Even worse if you’re limited to melee range!

  2. Regarding guards, are they going to be defeatable, or escapable, or is being targeted by a guard simply a death sentence? I understand you want PvP in secure areas to be discouraged, but I think finding a balance between “disregard guards entirely” and “it is never worth it to anger guards ever” might be hard to achieve. In the latter case, which I think is closer to what you intend, I would question why allow PvP in those areas at all then?

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Regarding movement during PvP, I think this is one of the largest challenges right now with PvP in VR in general. We were actually testing out some of the PvP for the first time the other day and it was indeed really hard to hit someone who was teleporting around. Note that once you enter combat you can only teleport the full distance every 3 seconds or so, which definitely makes you an easier target.

However, 3 of the combat classes in the game feature AoE components to their attacks, so you don’t have to hit someone directly always. There are also slowing effects (such as the Frostbolt spell from the Runemage) which slow people down. Finally, specifically for the Warrior, their goal is not to be the one doing the attacking, they are doing the defending :slight_smile: The Warrior is an incredibly vital part of PvP since they can use their shield to block attacks such as arrows and Fireballs, put down a large shield to protect the whole group, etc. So I guess to answer your question, I think we’ll just have to see how the game and the players develop, but in our minds there are actually multiple roles that people will end up playing in PvP (such as the Musketeer being a good “tackler” who can slow down enemies with their AoE Frost orb, the Warrior being great defenders that can protect the whole group from ranged attacks, the Runemage having powerful spells that do large damage but are very hard to land on people who aren’t slowed, etc.)

I think it’s also important to note that just like the PvE content, open-world PvP is designed around small groups, not solo players. So you’re absolutely right, a Warrior is going to have a terrible time trying to hunt down someone, and even a Mage as deadly as they can be might not be able to land a spell on a merchant who is running quickly past. But if you get 3 or 4 different classes together, now you’ve got a team that can work together to both attack and defend and be much more effective.

Regarding the guards, they are escapable just like any monster, although they have a much larger aggro and chase range. The main reason we’re thinking of doing it this way is so that even in the Secure areas there are “safer” and “less safe” spots…so for example right near the towns and roads where the guards are, very safe. But if you’re way off in a corner where the nearest guard might be 20 or 30 seconds away, maybe that provides an opportunity for some mischief for the right bandit group. But again, we’ll continue to tweak this as we see how it all plays out. It may be the in the end only the Wilds do have PvP and we just don’t allow it anywhere else. Or it may be that the guards are made weaker than they are now.

I think the answer to all of the questions right now is really, “this is our first guess at what will work and be fun and provide the type of gaming experience we want to provide.” But this is all really, really new stuff and untested; not only because it’s VR, but some of the underlying mechanics themselves are even new. So all I can say is, this is the first iteration. I imagine we’ll be on iteration twenty by the time the game launches. We’ll put it out there, we’ll see how you guys play with it, and we’ll go from there! But we think this is a very good first attempt, and I’m really excited to see everyone test it out in the next Pre-Alpha test next month.

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About the central boss unlock design for Dungeons and Instancing. I like how the world splits off into small instances and tokens are farmed. But then, having to depend on other parties to unlock the large boss seems like it could bottleneck. When an instance area is the “hot topic”, this will be easy. There will likely be enough groups coming out of the branches to facilitate the unlock. But later, when the area isn’t the rage, then one group of a few friends might farm through the branches, but wouldn’t get a chance to unlock the large boss.

Now I imagine they wouldn’t want to, because the boss design will likely require more DPS/HEAL than a single group can generate. (that’s what makes it epic and social right?). But really… who hasn’t tried to solo a boss before? :slight_smile:

My concern here is the two-step nature of the unlock. First, you need to gather enough groups to farm tokens (simultaneously?), and then you need them to show up to the boss roughly around the same time. The first part seems “ok” of a challenge. But then combined with the possible upsets in timing of groups completing branches and such, the second part could be a real drag coordinating or waiting around.

In Wow, I’ve spent tons of time just sitting just beyond the aggro radius of a world boss waiting for “enough people”, sending tells, summoning friends. That can be challenging enough. But now, I’ve got to do all that, and also wait for everyone to possess enough tokens.

I guess if the tokens can be farmed and saved, then the design falls back to “everyone just show up” and let’s party :slight_smile: But then what’s stopping a group from farming a “ton” of tokens over time and trying to farm the boss without other groups? At that point, doesn’t the design fall back to “how ever many people want to tackle the boss can show up and try?”

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So the idea is really built around the dungeon being a place that there are naturally going to be a lot of people doing stuff. The tokens can be saved so they don’t have to be spent right away, but I think we’re going to do it where there’s like a maximum any one person can have so one 5-person group can’t just farm up enough to unlock the boss by themselves.

We want the central boss encounter to be something that you have to do a little work to get going, but it shouldn’t be something where it doesn’t get summoned for days at a time. Again, we may have to tweak this idea. Maybe there is just one item that summons the boss but it’s a rare drop so in theory if 3 or 4 groups are doing the dungeon on average one of those groups will get the drop every hour or two and be able to summon the boss for everyone to fight. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

It’s also totally possible that what works best in the early days of the game needs to be adjusted as the game matures. So maybe a year after the game is out when there just isn’t enough foot traffic in those dungeons to get the central boss summoned, we make the boss weaker or just put it on a 2 hour spawn timer so it’s always available if there are enough people who want to take a shot at killing it. I don’t think it has to be one solution that’s going to work for all stages of the games life. What I do think is that we want a blend of instanced dungeon wings where you can go face tightly-tuned challenges, and content that brings everyone back together and gives them a reason to take on a common, big boss with multiple groups participating. We’ll figure out how to make that happen :slight_smile:


For motion, personality I think that your position in game should update automatically if your using sliding, and that you should still be able to slide while in combat, just at a slower pace and it would consume the movement bar thing, that way you can be constantly moving in a fight so it’s easier to dodge attacks, and easier to move backwards if your forced to give up ground in a fight instead of having to point your shield behind you to move backwards while fighting. It just seems more natural to me than teleport locomotion in a fight

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You said you’ve created a party system. I was wondering, if you hired two bodyguards to protect you while gathering resources, what precautions are in place to prevent them from leaving the party and killing you after you’ve collected the item? (considering there may be a requirement to harvest the item initially) Or is it just another potential danger you have to watch out for?

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It sounds amazing! This is what I’ve been waiting for in VR!

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Speaking of pvp, what about sword play? If two sword users are fighting, is it just damage values while swinging, or will there be actual sword play? Like blocking and such. Also when’s the next testing session? Thanks!

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Great read, looking forward to the development of the game and to test out those new features! One suggestion regarding PvP battles, since there is no idea how to anticipate where the player will teleport to during a fight and therefore making it extremely difficult to land a shot on a player, how about being able to see when the opponent activates their teleport real-time and roughly estimate/anticipate where they are teleporting to.

Allow me to elaborate, the same way you see your screen, the zone expanding and line pointing the direction of the teleport. In a similar fashion you would see faint outlines of your opponent when trying to teleport giving you 1-2 seconds of anticipation to avoid the opponent from teleporting erratically and the result being the fight not being enjoyable/possible. This would keep players sharp and introduce new tactics.

Potions and/or possibly spells would be used at higher levels to mask his and give the players a small chance to hide their teleportation lines for a few seconds.


I hadn’t really thought about that…to some degree I think that would just be a potential danger (choose your friends wisely). Keep in mind that the server population of this game will likely be pretty small, so I fully expect that people will get a reputation pretty quickly if they pull that kind of stunt. That said, we could certainly consider adding something where you can’t attack people who were just in your party for 5 minutes or something like that. We’ll see how it plays out.


The Warrior shield can block both projectile and melee attacks. So for example if two Warriors were fighting each other, and you swung your sword to attack the other player, and your sword hit their shield first, the shield would absorb that damage. Then, because the sword attack strength is based on how far + fast you have swung since your last hit, the sword would proceed to do very little damage to the person. You would have to hit them without hitting their shield first to do damage to them, basically.

There’s not anything like parrying their sword with your sword or anything that complicated, though.

The next test will be February 23rd.


I think I mentioned in another post already that we have started playing around and actually testing the PvP ourselves, and it is very hard currently to judge that. Giving some sort of indicator (like maybe just showing that they have activated the teleporter and where they’re pointing it currently) might be a good way to fix that, I’m not sure honestly. We’ll see what comes out of the testing phase :slight_smile:


I am a little concerned with the almost safe zone.
Lets say a group of PK attacked someone on his way back from dungeon gathering.
They killed the poor men and then get killed by the guards that got there fairly fast.

What if they had someone with them (not in party) just waiting to collect loot?
That way you could likely camp the exit of safe zones and only wait for people to come back from hunt.
The repair cost would need to be huge to prevent such area camping,

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Yeah I had considered that strategy and I’m not totally sure how I feel about it yet. On the one hand it’s creative, on the other hand it’s definitely a way to get around the ‘spirit’ of the PvP. It may be that the rule needs to be either there are no ‘partially’ safe zones, or maybe that you can only loot the tradable items from someone’s corpse if you were a bandit when they died (or something to that effect). Or maybe looting someone’s corpse make you into a bandit itself. Or maybe the loot from the corpse only goes free-for-all after 5 minutes, before then only the person who struck the killing blow can collect it…

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Taking loot from non-bandit, not in your party could be flagged as ‘stolen items’ and flag you as bandit if you are not already.

Anyway, we will know soon enough what kind of abuse players will try and what kind of measures are needed to prevent some.

I am not against pk and elaborated plans, but if I have more chances getting killed in the ‘partially’ safe zone then in the wild, I don’t see the point.

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Definitely looking forward to the next test and the design ideas around PVP are fantastic.

I find that you cant always have the cake and eat it with VR. An MMO doesn’t lead to full reactive combat without being janky as hell. What you’ve outlined regarding Shield use makes sense and further highlights the Warriors role as a defender.

Having had a read through the other comments definitely the common theme we all seem to want to discuss is movement in PVP. I’m fully a fanof the “players can see where are players are pointing their teleport” as it really helps the brain compute other players locomotion. And for an archer who would suffer the “person disappearing as arrow flies through the air” it build skill on the prediction of where you’r enemy will be.

The only other thing that springs to mind would be a fractionally longer fade out when teleporting. And during that time, the player model doesn’t teleport but makes a move from point A to point B. Allowing to take a swipe or fire a shot at a moving target rather than dueling Nightcrawler.

That’s always the biggest issue with VR, but I’m already super impressed by how the game plays with PVE and what you have outlined for PVP already looks fantastic!!!

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And only having just now read through the dungeon dev blog; I was wondering will there be anything like an in game window that lets us post to a community hub of sorts, not just a looking for group but a post and collaboration of in game groups to go get the tokens.
Or is the plan for a group to meet in a safe area, rallying other groups over in game? I’m wholly up for doing as much in game as possible, especially after all the work you have put in, I don’t want to leave :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yeah we’ll definitely have some sort of group finding tool in-game – although it will not be a “automatically put you together with random people and teleport you directly to the dungeon” type of deal, more of a way to just post about what you’re doing and that you want someone else to help.

One of the main things I’m still trying to figure out in that regard is how long-distance communication is going to work in the game. For example, in most MMOs you just get text chat that lets you whisper other people no matter where they are. I’m not opposed to that, but text chat in VR is still pretty wonky and hard to type in currently.

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For example, in most MMOs you just get text chat that lets you whisper other people no matter where they are. I’m not opposed to that, but text chat in VR is still pretty wonky and hard to type in currently.

Hmm, well most people (myself included) normally end up arranging a ‘party up’ element through something like Steam before opening the game, however how about a communication rune stone or something similar as an item to take from either inventory or from the menu.

The item could then be used as an in game ‘phone’ lending magical properties for the long rang communication. Equally this could give you a wheel selection of some standard phrases. So you select your stone and it shows you your friends list, you then have the ability to ‘call them’ or send a message such as “I’m currently at [nearest map location name here]” or “I need your assistance!” which then shows up on the other player’s stone (to prevent on screen message spamming.

Again that being said a lot of this depends on how the partying up will happen. In that regard I’m just happy to see what happens on the 23rd Feb (really looking forward to it!) at which point we’ll see what everyone’s automatic go to choice was and then what in game tool would provide the closest experience.

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