Explore mode and its bleak future

Right now the game is based off a 3d20 system of loot and dungeon running. For the time being, there is a cap on levels which equalize stats across all rarities, as well as setting an upper limit to stats. This leads a few results for challenge modes and exploration.

There will eventually be a cap on difficulty, as it will become unreasonable for players to defeat anything harder than what exists in the game. As a response, the develops can either leave it that way, creating a definitive end dungeon, or expand levels, gear lebels, both or an alternative power booster. As of now, we may only have one or two more explore modes until this happens, or lightfinger may be the last challenge mode ever created (pit fiends are pretty end game creatures and we already fought a dragon…)

The issue now lies in the upper limits of this game. With how power progresses, they will have to drastically increase the maximums of gear levels, which may only generate 1 more explore mode depending on how far they go. Or, the alternative progression has to supercede the current progression, creating a huge power scaling wall. Both of these stem from a core issue: challenge mode scales too steeply. The 3 boss rooms guarantees large jumps in difficulties that control the upper limits of difficulty. Every explore mode doesn’t just generate one boss that’s harder than the previous content, but 3 of the same, just higher stats. This is very close to what an infinite level would be, but obviously limited drastically.

I don’t really have a definitive solution, but i was wondering if anyone else picked up on this. It seems like they are now more focusing on balance and creating more features, so lightfinger might really be the last challenge dungeon. If it is, i don’r see myself playing this much longer because the same runs over and over get boring.

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Your analysis seems reasonable - I hadn’t thought about it.

Would be sad if there was no more explore content.

https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/dmg/other-rewards#EpicBoons

Epic levels were baked into 4th edition. I have no personal experience with first edition.

I wouldn’t write off epic levels. Epic boons may actually introduce a degree of customization to the characters.

Thats what i thought as an alternative solution. My concern is how or what it might cost to achieve. There may be scaling issues, but we’ll see how they handle it.

Seeing how my gear is far from maxed and I still romple stomp Lightfinger Estate, I think it’s safe to say they can at least one or two more explore areas before we hit the point that they can’t go upward in difficulty. There is no current PvE endgame and PvE is pretty barebones. I am personally not in favor of upping level cap or gear cap (at least not in the foreseeable future). I’d rather them create a good array of endgame content so things stay fresh. Currently my mind goes numb grinding the same 3 challenges over and over again months on end.

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I think the normal explore mode progression is fine, but the 3rd boss of the current loot system might be an issue moving forward. Another alternative solution might be to actually make the challenges easier. For example, they keep the 9 rooms but only have a dungeon boss at the 9th room. At rooms 3 and 6, they are random mini bosses from that dungeon that we encountered during explore mode. To compensate, they might adjust the rewards to d6 for finiahing room 3 and d12 for finishing room 6, like the old system. However, you can keep all the rewards for every dice roll instead of choosing 1.

That’s one of the ideas i toyed around with, but idk if others would actually want it. Mathematically, it makes grinding easier because you have a higher chance of sustaining infinite runs.

Lightfinger Estate 9th floor boss is actually extraordinarily easily to beat. I know I’ve one shot him in the past. Saw a video on here of someone else one or two shoting it. Due to the exponential nature of buffs and rebuffs in this game, characters can hit for ridiculous amounts of damage. You could multiply that room 9 boss’s health, defense and damage by 10 and he’d still be very easy to beat. I often have a bigger issue with room 8. If the game designers want to continue expanding the game in the exploration/challenge front and they remain conservative on upping the difficulty each time, they can easily put stuff out for years without difficulty becoming an issue. Me personally, I’d rather them look at different areas to expand the game in. Challenges have become boring and repetitive. Once you start maxing gear, there is really no reason to run a challenge that offers that gear as a prize. How about a mode that has random and progressively more difficult rooms with an accompanying leaderboard? Something like that sounds fun to me and would at least give all this mindless grinding a purpose outside of PvP.

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I really hope there is at least one more challenge - Vault of Dragons. With the Waterdeep theme and the names of the arenas it makes sense since that is the culmination of the hardcover. Also I have to say that even though I think they did a great job with the bosses of the most recent two challenges I’ve always felt it was weird to have a Dragon as a boss so early on even if he was a young Dragon. I guess they could still have a tougher Dragon down the road but I wish they would have saved that for the final final boss boss and made him really difficult to beat.

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We haven’t seen a beholder yet either. As for another dragon…I wouldn’t mind seeing what this games graphics design team can do for Tiamat.

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Beholder could be a lot of fun.

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I’d love Beholder so much!! @Ned please!

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Or acererak

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I’d enjoy a beholder fight personally. I don’t think tiamat is viable unless we’re fighting a weakened avatar. She’s CR 30 at her absolute weakest as an avatar in 5e. She’d just kill our characters in one hit with divinity because she’s a freakin deity lol.

The main issue with this assumption is that kurgaloth can only damage melee. Imagine that damage spread into into range, who can actually survive that? I’ve one shot him plenty of times in room 9, but thats because i could stay back. You can’t stack buffs and expect to kill a boss if it one shots you first.

Yes, but that is kind of my point. The first three challenges were incredibly difficult relative to the levels you encountered them, and the latter 3 challenges were incredibly easy because of the patterns the bosses rigidly follow. If you were to raise the level of the fire giant to 19, he’d probably be more difficult than the pit fiend. The developers have a huge amount of options open to them going forward. They always have the option to retool the first 5 explore areas and challenges to be at the same difficulty of Lightfinger Estates. Bam, significantly expanded endgame content with little investment. They can release explore/challenges at the same difficulty as Lightfinger Estates and do that ad nauseam. They can ramp up the difficulty but implement a pattern that makes an encounter beatable. I feel there is a bright future for PvE content in this game.

Its interesting that some players continually experience significant increases in Challenge room difficulty, while others do not.