Friday, October 9, 2009

In Atlantica Online, Dungeon Crawls You!

Wikipedia weighs in on the dungeon crawl:

A general style of adventure or scenario in fantasy-type RPGs, where heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling various monsters and looting any treasure. Ther term is also used to refer to a specific title where the only thing to do is essentially go through a dungeon repeatedly in order to collect specific items or loot drops, with at least one boss battle involved.

The style has been carried over into the MMORPG business, and many titles involve this type of adventuring, usually in the form of a quest line. Some titles may refer to dungeon crawls as "raids".

In Atlantica Online, there are a few types of dungeon to crawl through. "General" dungeons are the ones you need to go through to complete storyline-related quests, usually because an NPC requires that the boss be killed and/or drop a specific item in order to complete the objectives.

"Shadow" dungeons are specialized versions of the general ones. They feature mainly in mercenary recruitment quests. Shadow monsters are tougher/stronger versions of their general counterparts, and usually join battles i.e. main+mercs vs. three teams of enemy mobs.

"Upgrade" dungeons allow a player to receive specific all-around boosts as quest rewards, such as rings that boost all stats, allow a player to access new skills, etc.

"Guild" and "Nation" dungeons are, as you might guess from the title, for very large assemblies of players, with substantial boosts in rewards such as EXP and exclusive item drops.

"Miscellaneous" dungeons are those areas where other things happen: fishing, waiting on Free League matches, special events, etc.

One very popular category of dungeons, though, is the "Individual" dungeon, which becomes available to players from level 90 and onward. So-called because it can be run SOLO if you have very good equipment and a lot of scrolls, players prefer to do these crawls in the standard party of three formations.

Individual dungeons normally feature a map shaped like a ring: there's a starting point, there are two paths leading away from the starting point, and the paths converge in the area where the dungeon boss spawns. The party must clear ALL the mobs in order to get the final rewards.

I'd been chickening out on the concept of doing an individual dungeon because I thought I had crap gear - but after recently trying one out for the first time, I think I'm hooked, haha! Together with a friend and her guild officer, I did the raid for the level 90 individual dungeon, the Forbidden Abyss.

Meet the boss of the Forbidden Abyss, the Dead Sea King. Yeah, he's massive. My team is the one nearest foreground.

With two of us taking one side and the third running the other, we cleared the mobs, then took out the boss, leaving us with 27 minutes to spare out of the one hour time limit. Yes, we got the final rewards.

There's a lot of money and good items coming out of individual dungeons so it's no surprise that they're awfully popular. I've got to do another one of those real soon.

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