Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge Topic 12: Design Your Own Zone

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I came across this post last night around 3am and this is something I had rattling around in my head so I figured I’d post it.
Let me preface this by saying, one of my favourite expansions in any MMO was the Lost Dungeons of Norrath for EverQuest. I really enjoyed that dungeons were never the same when you entered them, and each time they change you had to approach things differently.
I also have really enjoyed the Withered Training scenario that Blizzard put out in the Suramar zone. I think we need more single player dungeon content within the game, because sometimes you want to be challenged and you just don’t want to group up with people.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Old Gods and the Cthulu mythos (I used to RP Call of Cthulu a few years ago.. it was great!) and so things related to it are interesting to me. Since the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron exists, I was wondering what the inner workings of it were and then I thought – what would happen if you were somehow transported inside that puzzle box. What would the experience be like inside the puzzle box of an old god?
This scenario is an attempt at trying to figure that out.
I’m thinking the scenario would be a series of rooms in which the path through the scenario is opened randomly, kind of like how The Arcway works now. There would be no map available for the zone (to add to the confusion of the zone).
Each room would be a uniform square shape, to give it some kind of boxlike maze quality and every few rooms would have a random encounter designed for single players in it – along the lines of how encounters in the brawlers guild work now.
Some of the rooms would be ramps up and down to other levels of the maze, some rooms would be dead ends, essentially the whole idea of the zone is to get lost inside the inner workings of some old god toy.
Additionally, I feel like some of the encounters within rooms should be little puzzles/mini games that you would have to complete.. think of the Kirin Tor questlines.
The scenario would have a timing mechanic in the form of Sanity. Basically, you start with full Sanity and as you do the scenario, you slowly lose Sanity depending on how often you get lost, by getting caught by mechanics of encounters, messing up puzzles, how often you tried to refer to the map (because there isn’t one). It’s a race against your own insanity.
Once you have finally ended the scenario, the reward at the end is based off how far you got during the scenario, very similar to how the Withered Training scenario works now.
Lastly, there is the potential for a multiple player variation on this (I’m thinking 3 player scenario) where you all of you are put into random parts of the map and you have to try and find each other, while completing the zone at the same time. It would end up trivialising some content once people have found each other, but also with multiple people potentially screwing up at the same time, sanity gets lost faster. It could end up with some pretty fast paced gameplay.
Anyway, thats my thoughts. Let me know what you think.
Y’knath k’th’rygg k’yi mrr’ungha gr’mula.
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