I experienced “the Pit” dungeon for the first time yesterday, well the first time I can remember playing it anyway. Foolishly we started the dungeon quite late and the run took two hours despite rushing somewhat. This dungeon is a real puzzler.
The dungeon is pretty massive, spanning several levels and built around great circular halls with winding ramps up and down. Equally impressive chambers are accessible from various side corridors of these halls.
The number of steps to complete the dungeon surprised me; looking at the custom map for the dungeon with symbols to represent each of the rooms of the complex, I should have guessed at just how many sub-tasks there would be. The dungeon includes several jumping puzzles (thankfully my husband and friend are better at these than I) and some really clever logic puzzles.
It highlighted the joys of playing small team content like DDO dungeons with friends – we could easily communicate via voice chat, and could play to our individual strengths to solve the logic puzzles, conquer the very high heights of the jumping puzzles and defeat the many opponents successfully. Random and casual grouping in other more modern games doesn’t give me the same sense of close cooperation.
I can see why this quest might be less popular however. The complex layout of similar looking halls, especially the winding ramps, is likely to confuse the less experienced adventurer. It’s also just so very long, as veteran MMORPG players two hours for a dungeon run isn’t unheard of, but late at night it was a tad too long. Of course, DDO’s rather “all or nothing” experience reward system plays a role here – dungeons are somewhat all or nothing affairs as you get nothing for defeating individual foes. The experience reward for the quest and any optional side objectives usually comes at the end when you complete the task. So for a really long quest, giving up because it is too late means giving up on all the XP earned so far. In this case that would have been a lot – my character received ~17,000 for this one quest on normal; enough to bring him half a bar from level 8.
Although the quest was fun to complete, we agreed we’d come back eventually to try it again, when we had the time to do it without any pressure of rushing. The complexities of the Pit didn’t leave us despondent as the post title might suggest, but the very poor item reward choices from the House Deneith agent were certainly a reason for despair after all that effort!