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Adam From Gameloft

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Let's Talk About the Bottomless Dungeon

Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:56 am
Heyo everyone! 

There's been a lot of discussion and feedback shared with us over the last couple of weeks, and that has lead to discussions internally to understand the situation. Since the launch of the new dungeon we've used your feedback to help understand how it is being played, but also changes that we perhaps need to make.

However, we do feel that there needs to be a communication of the intention behind this new dungeon, since a lot of the concerns are born this. Let me address the key concerns:

- How to play the Brawl
It's important to first clarify the fact that with the Brawl we expect players to play the battles in a manner that they're not typically used to. Prior to the new dungeon, combat was primarily focused on the same routine attacks, however with the Brawl we're hoping to get players to think about new strategies and playstyles. This explains the focus on weak/normal attack as tasks and the deliberate decision to exclude strong attacks from the task list, because this would over incentivise aggressive play. It's because we want players to devise strategies that we won't be randomising the opposing dragons: this allows players to figure out a pattern and adapt to it, and that knowing a particular dragon will appear next will be rewarding for those who remember that and prepare a counter for that dragon. Non-randomised dragons also means that players will get a sense of progression with the fight bonus as they make it further into the Brawl and find they're dealing more damage to earlier dragons.

- Dragon level differences
This has been the biggest one, and this is why we adjusted the levels of the starting opposition last week. However, there currently isn't a plan to adjust this further. It is true that players with a wide range in their dragon levels will notice a greater leap in the enemy dragons' levels, but this is working as intended. The idea is that this will give you a longer-term goal to work on smoothing that level difference between your very top dragons and the next in line. If you have four level 100 dragons and five/eight level 80 dragons, then there will be a sharper growth as the enemy levels try to reach the same as your own dragons. Otherwise you would simply smash through numerous waves of dragons.

- It's not about KOs, it's about tasks
A lot of the criticism about the dungeon has been on the fact that it's difficult to get far into the brawl, that the KOs are the measurement of success. While we will make it easier to see your KO count on-screen, this mechanism is intended to make it gradually easier to progress through the earlier waves of the dragons. The tasks are the big reward since they provide stepping stones and that should be the currency you want to aim for to get through the dungeon, but the idea is to find a balance: sometimes it might be worth going for weak attacks, other times it might not. It's about making the decision about what is most beneficial to you at any particular moment. Towards the end of a Brawl run, it might be better to just go for KOs and try to boost your HP/damage, other times it might be better to set up one last three-dragon KO or fit in some final weak attacks. It's about making that decision and not just focusing on a single way of playing.

- "It's too difficult"
One of the complaints is that we've adjusted the algorithms to make it harder, but I would like to draw attention to the fact that the KO bonus by the end of the week-long event will mean your dragons can easily defeat the initial waves. Once that resets back down to 0%, it's going to feel more difficult, but that's just the natural curve that we want each event to go through. The dragons you'll face will change each week, but the balance of this is not going to be altered drastically to make it harder to beat - it's about figuring out the strategy.

As always, I'm happy to hear what you guys have to say about this. It's a dramatic overhaul of the previous dungeon and it does mean a little learning, but we think it provides more depth and greater variety to the combat. If in the coming weeks we still feel there needs to be changes made then maybe it will be addressed. I will of course report any feedback - good or bad - to the team to consider for the future.
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BlackEmbers

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One of the reasons why players had the assumption that KOs are the way to measure success is the fact that clan quests and daily quests both set a KO target to be met.

Unlike many players, I actually like the dungeon. However, I think there's a bit of imbalance between the tasks and rewards. I also feel the KO 2 and KO 3 dragons with one blow should be better rewarded than they are. It would also be nice if there was a bit more variety in the tasks.
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Mladen90

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BlackEmbers wrote:
One of the reasons why players had the assumption that KOs are the way to measure success is the fact that clan quests and daily quests both set a KO target to be met.

Unlike many players, I actually like the dungeon. However, I think there's a bit of imbalance between the tasks and rewards. I also feel the KO 2 and KO 3 dragons with one blow should be better rewarded than they are. It would also be nice if there was a bit more variety in the tasks.
 

Definitely agree with you. 
I like it also but attacking normally/weakly and the other type of tasks should have different rewards. 
If you have just to attack you can do infinite tasks while with the other type you must defeat the opponent and move to the stronger one so sooner or later you will reach someone too much strong and you will finish the rin.
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Mikeqw

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In the first 3 brawls I aim for K.Os, then go for the tasks. Even though I use all the dragons, I make 95% of the points with 3 of my top dragons and mostly use fire, light, water, void, earth. Once the first of my dragons dies, it's not worth it anymore. I do not see any big strategy but defensiv fighting for the tasks. I see no reason to use more than 3 Dragons.
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Moon Rabbit

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I think the changes are worse but don't like the new dungeon at all and was VERY let down by tokens for island unlocking and clearing. I have 554 dragons and desperately needed that habitat space. 😒
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CritterFeeder

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~How to Play the Brawl - sorry, but even defensive play only works for a pathetically short time when every brawl's opponents start out 2 levels above my even level team, then rapidly rise from there.

 ~Dragon Level Difference - again, sorry, but my even level team isn't any better than an uneven team.

 ~!It's Not About KOS... Until yesterday, I'd do the clan dungeon quests, but now just hit refresh.
...It's About Tasks - Lessons learned long ago: weak attacks cause minimal damage against same level opponents and even less against higher level opponents; no defense can protect against stronger dragons for very long; taking down more than one opponent with one shot requires strong attacks, preferably against even slightly weaker dragons. Gee, anyone notice any contradictions?

~It's Too Difficult - how about boring?  I'd rather shove too many dragons into too small habitats than waste time in the dungeon.

At some point, I suppose I'll be so desperate for space I'll have to tolerate it long enough to get the tokens to unlock and clear the complex, but until then? Not even new dragons are worth it for me.
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snapdragon33

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as a mid level player, icertainly understand your intentions,  but if i wanted to play chess, whichis what your suggesting, i would be playing a different game.  so while i understand you intentions. i'm unhappy with the dungeon, as i am not a warrior.  i'm into petting and breeding and feeding.  i particapate in the dungeon only as a means to open up new islands,  which i might add is going very poorly at the rate you hand out rewards, which are so miserly,  if your rewards were worth the same as thee amount of gems you charge a person. It might actually be worth playing, and i'm talking about any part of this game.  Boss challenge, dragons delight, all cost way more than its worth.  so you might say i have become a very dissatified player at the moment, as i went from playing all day long to just checking in every few hours.  and i certainly am not spending gems to win any of these events.  only to increase my playing pleasures which is more than enough to support my fair share of GL"s Dragonmainia Legends.
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Wilder

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- It's not about KOs, it's about tasks


This  is exactly the issue right here - the tasks are tedious and exhausting which makes them a very poor choice to focus on.  You want something new and different, I understand that, but fighting in the manner you've set up (focus on tasks) takes thirty minutes to complete a brawl. 

Reconsider please.
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tigershark

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Yes, yes, yes.  Thank you CritterFeeder, Moon Rabbit, and Wilder.  Just about sums it up.  Forgot Snappy's response. It is how many of us feel.  I don't want to play chess either.  I can't see it taking less than a year to get the islands.
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johnna1975

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Thank you Adam for your initiative!
I really appreciate the clear way you wrote it.

-How to play the Brawl:
I appreciate the new dungeon. The intention to use strategies through elements is what the community has been asking and recieved.
I like the repeating pools you are introducing. It is comforting to know the same dragons repeat every 4 weeks. It is also fair that you choose the same 3 elements and rotate many dragons with those elements to allow weak/normal attack. Having said that, legendary opponents are counter productive.
Some comments though.
AoE has an advantage over DoT as I have mentioned before.
Dragon Fury should be also given some credit. For example if I eliminate 2/3 dragons by using DF I think it should be counted.

Dragon Level Difference-
The old dungeon gave the challenge to finish it by different team leveling. Some chose a flight while others chose keeping 10-10 levels apart in the beginning or twins with 25 levels apart from the 3rd dragon when level 80 was introduced.
The elements restriction in castle events changed that and in order to be able to deal all events, having 3 top dragons in a team was just not enough so it felt we are forced to have more dragons in our team or even a flight. That had consequences of making our progress slower. If a veteran had he option to level up a dragon to the max and by that having more gold which meant more food and then leveling up other dragons to join the team, a new member does not have that option. That could be frustrating for players who wish to level up their dragons and find out it takes forever. I understand the Devs intention, but the slower progress is exponentially slower which I find too much. Introducing the eternal fruit tree is a bit cruel. A new member could have a faster progress if he wants, but must pay money. I dont find it to be a good signal.
The question is whether the Devs have an intention for our teams with the bottomless dungeon. Having a flight of 12 dragons should give an advantage to a player to grind more stepping stones? If that is the intention and some new players would try to go for it once reaching level 16, it would make their progress even slower. I personally find that having a team of 4-6 has a decent balance but giving the signal that having a bigger flight would be better is problematic. The same way the game should encourage players to look for strategies, it should also encourage players to be economic with their resources. If this is not the intention of the Devs I am curious to know that as well.

Its not about the KOs, its about the tasks-
That is important to repeat because maybe not everyone got it by now. However I am not convinced it is working as it is intended.
I have 2 accounts and the RNG which sets the tasks causes a discrepancy of around 2000 stepping stones per event.
As for gradually, it is not quite gradual for me. The weakest dragons are being defeated immediately, being replaced by stronger dragons.
A nice balance is reached while my opponents are about 10 levels higer than my team. Then I feel I could grind stepping stones by doing tasks almost endlessly as the bottomless dungeon dungeon was designed. I hit, I shield, I heal, I wind, but eventually I am defeated.
If I am unlucky I get 400 tasks of defeat 2/3 dragons which is almost impossible at that stage. I try to inflict even damage to the opponents so I could eventually AoE them but it happens very rarely. Either the amount of damage is hard to plan, or that Df causes more damage than intended, or that one of the opponents has stone cold which prevents it from dying.That is why I said that DF should be considered to be valid for that quest. 

Its too difficult-
Something strange is happenning then. A new opponent is absorbing much less damage than its previous although its level isnt much higher nor did it use wind on my team. Not quite sure what is going on there but I will pay more attention to that next time.

In conclusion:
I like the new dungeon. It offers what I was missing in the old one which was pure boring and gave very little.
It seems like a bonus feature to me. If you are willing to invest the time you will be rearded with stepping stone which would allow you to win many neat reards from the weekly dragon to tokens which allow you to get a new island. As we have already said, we expected a new island but it takes too long to get one through that new mechanism. But even players who are not willing to invest the time would still be able to get something even by just going through the dungeon doing KOs and not doing the tasks, but it would make their progress very slow. I find it to be fair because it allow each player to deal the dungeon according to his game habits. It reminds me a bit of the EL. Players were complaining about getting too little trinkets and upgrading the Den takes too long but eventually we all managed to complete upgrading the Den after a few months.
A few comments though:
1. Having the option to open the purple chest 15 times gives us the impression as if we are getting too little stepping stones. A feature in the game should be doable without using gems. The slow progress prevents us from having a new island which we have been begging for a long time.
2. The current rate is so slow, and the many rewards you offer prevent us from hoarding tokens for the dungeon shop dragons. It is reasonable to get those dragons within 2 years maybe but at the moment it seems not realistic at all. Either reduce their costs or allow us to get dungeon tokens at a faster rate.
3. I enjoy the dungeon and the challenge it offers. However, I suspect that the long fights in the dungeon would become tedious and boring at a certain point. Maybe the Devs should think about a solution for that. At the moment there is no other feature in the game which is so time consuming like the dungeon, and if you have started introducing solo events more often despite our complaints, I find it to be very problematic. The Burn Out is already there and instead of getting excitement from the community from the new toys you obviously invested so much time and thought, you often get the opposite reaction.

Thank you
Yoni
Edit:
I repeat my request to reconsider the milestones in the dungeon and any other event. The ever increasing steps between milestones are not in proportion to the effort.
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