With the loss of the Foundry, there are yet fewer MMO homes for players that focus on user-generated adventures, Syp has joined in on the criticism of this loss. Thinking about this again I was struck by a rather fantastical idea that this could be a minor boon for any MMO that still retains a system for player created content. With several games in the genre set to lose this feature, any remaining games outside the Cryptic stable could do a bit of promotional work on social media, for instance, to attract anyone looking for a new creative outlet.
The system I’m probably the most familiar with after the Foundry is the Dungeon Maker in Everquest 2. As noted before it has quite severe limitations at least where my personal interest is concerned – the need to find the necessary furniture and monster generators separate from the game’s housing system was a layer of collection too many for me. But as a potential player of other people’s missions I wonder what could be done, quickly and cheaply, by Daybreak to make player made dungeons more attractive?
It’s actually not that simple a question. Look at the leaderboard on my server and you see that the most popular dungeons list still features some “easy XP grind” type entries despite the fact that they no longer rewards any adventure XP at all. The achiever / power-leveller audience is not what I’m addressing here anyway, at least not directly. But anything that the devs could do to make it easier to get into dungeon making in EQ2 would be a boon to would be refugees from the Foundry. Maybe running dungeons should award one or two random dungeon maker item(s) or monster generator(s) as an end reward?
I also was wondering what might be done to incentivise players other than the most creative types to actually play these dungeons? At the moment, other than experience, running the complete dungeon only rewards a special currency that can be used for items for the same system. So, unless you want to grind the currency for your own dungeon designing needs, there’s not a huge attraction to playing these creations. What other incentives could be given? Perhaps a set number of collection item nodes – possibly with you only receiving the rewards as a completion reward? Shinies are always a nice little reward and they have enhanced value these days as they can be turned in for status or some cash. It’s a sad reality that any such rewards would need to be designed to be bot-resistant to avoid the bot farming that can plague such systems.
I’m sure Daybreak has other priorities for the game’s development, but it would be nice to see the Dungeon Maker receive some love especially in the current context. After all, one of Everquest 2’s greatest strengths is the breadth of features it offers.