Trouble with dungeons

It’s a back and forth thing for me. I’ve had great experiences with dungeons in MMOs and terrible runs, and they’re all kind of mixed together to build an orbit in my head. At one end, I can’t run enough. I’m hanging out with great people, I’m getting great drops, and I’m enjoying the world. But that never lasts forever. Eventually my cruise control snaps off and I don’t have enough, I run into shitty people, and I get sick of the whole process and hermit my way back into solo play.

I can think of thee factors that really affect my dungeon thoughts at any given moment:

  • Time. Dungeons are a commitment. Depending on the game, we’re talking 30 minutes to 2 hours (4+ if you’re raiding). I don’t always have an open window, or the attention span for that length of time. My gaming habits range across a far field, and I like to switch from one to the next and play a few different games at the same time (not literally simultaneously). If i’s not a smooth run and you start wiping, that hourglass only grows. This is one of the reasons I tend toward lone wolfing in MMOs,
  • People. Dungeons require parties, and parties require other human beings. Online this is a crapshoot, especially in games with a giant player base. You could get lucky and join up with a few fun guildies or you could get stuck with brain dead mouthbreathers from the LFG. It depends on what game you’re playing, when you play, and a roll of the dice.
  • Boredom. I don’t love dungeon design in most MMOs. Mechanically they function as loot pinatas, and too often don’t aspire to anything more than that. The gear treadmill doesn’t do much for me (just a LITTLE), so if a dungeon doesn’t have much flavor it’s REAL hard for me to work up any enthusiasm for it. Especially when endgame consists of beating down the same bland bosses over and over and ov-

It’s tough. Many MMOs have a lot of good, different types of gameplay, but dungeons almost play a large role.

Thankfully I’ve been spending most of my MMO time lately with The Secret World, and it goes far to address my dungeon complaints.

Concerning time, TSW’s dungeons come in on the low end of commitment, usually around a half-hour. It’s still a chunk of time, and sometimes when I hop online I don’t even have that much, so I’ll just start a quest and run around, but I feel like it’s easier to make room for TSW’s dungeons than it ever was for those in WoW. The game’s community also generates good parties more frequently, I think partly because it’s smaller and attracts a different type of player. You still inevitably run into bad seeds, but I feel like it happens far less often. And in TSW’s dungeons, I rarely find myself bored. They’re story driven, they capture a good range of environments and themes, you don’t have to slog through trash to get to the interesting fights, and the boss mechanics are varied and fresh. Dungeons feel, finally, less like something I HAVE to do to get gear, and more like something exciting.

I just beat the Gatekeeper, so it’s time for me to try tanking Nightmares. I’m excited, but I know it’s a big step up in difficulty and tanking saddles me with certain responsibilities, so I want to make sure I do my research. Wish me luck!


5 thoughts on “Trouble with dungeons

  1. This is exactly how I feel towards dungeons–half the time, I get grouped with awful people and have to suffer three hours with them, which ruins my dungeon experience. The other half, I get grouped with great people and we ace the dungeon and it ends up being a lot of fun. So that’s great that TSW’s dungeons are working for you–it’s so far been the same experience for me in GW2 and it’s such a relief!

    1. I haven’t tried any of the dungeons in GW2 yet! My highest toon is a 45 thief, but I kind of bypassed them while I was leveling. How does it work without the traditional trinity?

      1. I actually prefer it without the trinity. It makes you responsible for yourself, and you don’t really need to worry about others in the party unless they die. Plus, in all the groups I’ve joined, they haven’t cared what profession I play, which makes it a lot easier to find a group. I do kind of miss having a healer, since I play a warrior and I’m used to being able to run in and take damage and just get healed before I die, but I overall prefer it without the trinity.

      2. I DO like the freedom that comes with that, so a group can form organically without filling specific slots. I should spend some more time in GW2 and at least give the first dungeon a try!

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