My issues with dungeons (so far)

Ok, this is solely based on Gunbad and Bastion Stair which we’re currently half-heartedly working our way through.

Why half-heartedly? Well.. for a few reasons The first wing is almost too straightforward, easy to clear – the boss, wasn’t too bad once we got his schtick (not too hard to grasp!). The second wing, is more tricky – but has some nice little fights in. And I’ve not yet been to the third wing.

The problem? Well, it’s all well and good to have a public dungeon where I can take a warband of guild or alliance mates and crush evil wherever I see it. But, once we get to that instanced boss, we suddenly have to work on making balanced 6-man groups, leaving people out, feeling guilty/bad if one group does it and another doesn’t – and anyone who does it gets a 24-hr lockout. And the game doesn’t detect the 6 (or less) classes taking part and cleverly drop sensible loot for those classes – nope, it’s so far mostly dropped stuff for any class NOT in the group (often one in the other group, who then get different loot). I hate that a fast-paced dungeon romp comes to a crashing halt as bureacracy kicks in.

The only solution we’ve found so far – go as a 6-man group only. But that means I can’t just openly ask guild and alliance if they want to come along – everyone gets influence for the PQs, for example. Each group can tap mobs needed for quests and get some xp that way. But the bosses – it grinds to a halt and then there’s an aura of awkwardness.

And the 24-hr lockout. While I don’t disagree in principle to it (I think it was 30 mins for Gunbad, unless that’s changed), it means that some people are literally going EVERY night for a chance for their loot. I can’t and won’t do that, it’s no fun and it’s no xp after the first tranche of quests are completed.

Don’t get me wrong, I like public dungeons. I like being able to randomly decide I want a break from questing, scenarios and open RvR and that I have an option that can potentially offer me some great rewards. And both Gunbad and Bastion Stair are very atmospherically and graphically pleasing. Gunbad inhabited by Night Goblins, and Bastion Stair dedicated to Khorne with lots of skulls, blood and fire. So I like the occasional trip – they just always seem to leave me feeling a bit down.

Also, the lag caused by the pretty fires in Bastion Stair. Not fun!

I’m hoping people will answer with lots of things they love about the dungeons… so over to you.

Gunbad, good and bad

We’ve been playing a bit in Gunbad, a 3-wing public dungeon in the North-West corner of the Badlands. So once you know where it is, it really doesnt take much to organise a quick group and toddle along. The entrance is an impressive cavern mouth with a red crescent moon above it, signalling the presence of Night Goblins! And a swirly zone-change thingy. Go through that and discover a ton of quests, that cover all three wings of the dungeon.

The easiest wing starts with rank 23 champs, and is the right-hand one. You’ll see spiders, so you’ll know that’s the right one. The middle-ranked wing is off on the left-hand side and starts with rank 25 champs. So taking the middle path gets you to the hardest wing, I think they start at rank 28 champs – my group ran off and I was healing, so I didn’t pay as much attention.

You can do each wing as a warband or as a single group, and each consists of 3 PQs, followed by a boss fight. The PQs can  be fast and furious, especially if you do have a large warband, or there are more than just your group in there. Yes, it’s public, so it could be swarming with groups. We’ve never found it to have more than a couple though. And each PQ is pretty self-contained, usually helps with a quest and has 2-3 stages. They also drop purple, blue and gold bags with more regularity than we’ve seen elsewhere. You work along the influence bar for the zone, and when you get to the first bar of influence, you can go see the first boss, etc. That’s behind an instance swirly thing after the third PQ of the wing. But, be warned, you can’t go in in a warband, it’s a one-group fight.

That’s the good. You can jump straight into Gunbad with just one group, or announce you’re going and get quite a few interested parties and do some dungeon-bashing with nice rewards. The quests give a ton of xp compared to many (I had one quest from Dark Fire Pass just to go to Gunbad that netted me 10k xp), and the influence rewards are very nice too. So even if you don’t win anything at a PQ or boss fight, there’s a good chance of nice gear. And honestly, the PQs are pretty fast and can be redone with persistence points. Set pieces seem to drop from the bosses (not quite done the final boss yet!).

Also,  there’s a chance to work on your ‘kill night goblins’ tome achievements. And if you kill two named goblins in the final wing, you get an item unlock – a dark light for your pocket slot (buyable at city libraries). Can’t remember their names off the top of my head, but they’re on either side of a path and you need them both for a quest anyway!

So that’s the good. It’s a nicely accessible place with some fun PQs, nice loot, good xp and the ability to tromp through with a warband so you don’t have to turn people away. And each wing can be done in around 1.5h (possibly faster in big warband), so there’s no massive time commitment either.

But…

For the behind-instance boss fights you will need to separate out into balanced groups. If you took 10 people through the wing, you now need to discuss which 4 to leave outside. Bit of a bummer, but the lockout is only half an hour, so strictly those 4 people could hang out and then the whole group could burn half an hour doing PQs, reform the instance 6-man and do the boss again for those who missed out the first time. Or that’s the theory, I’ve not had a chance to try it.

Also, if you do go in in a warband, bear in mind that quest mobs (and tome unlock mobs) will need to be tagged by each group separately in order to tick the achievement/quest off. They respawn relatively quickly and is another encouragement to do the nearest PQ twice, but it’d be nice if some of these things did work better in warbands generally.

If there are other groups in there doing PQs, prepare to be a little underwhelmed at the epic-ness of some of the fights. I’ve done the first wing in a lowish level 6-man and in a mid-level warband, I’m sure you can guess which was more challenging! But you can challenge yourself and still find another couple of groups in there, so it’s probably best just to see it as a romp and enjoy the fighting and looting.

Overall, I really enjoy Gunbad. It’s a good way to bring people together and do something fun in PvE that’s also rewarding and a little different. I look forward to the other public dungeons around the place, since I believe they all follow a similar pattern and now we’re knocking on Tier 4 it’s nice to have the odd break from RvR!