KR 02/21/2018 - March Patch Preview: Labyrinth Part 1Feb 22
Developer K has put up a new post.
Late Introduction to Labyrinth
- I have mentioned Labyrinth already in my overseas presentations, so some of you may already know about this. Am I simply making existing nests more difficult? If you are curious, you can see some of it in the “Scenario Continued” video.
- First of all, I want to apologize for introducing this to you so late. I will tell you some things that I have not disclosed yet in an official setting.
Labyrinth Dual Meaning
- Unlike the common game modes that Dragon Nest has put out over the years, Labyrinth holds special meaning to me. I believe that Labyrinth will be the most innovative update to Dragon Nest, and I am putting my best efforts into it. I will give you two reasons on why I think so.
Reason #1: Overcoming Difficulty Limits
Limitations of Current Content Difficulty
- If I had to summarize Labyrinth in a few words, I would call it the “Nest Infinite Difficulty System.” To increase the difficulty of current content, we have to manually duplicate the original dungeon and adjust the monster values and triggers. This also has to be tested over a long period of time. For example, in Normal and Hell mode, the monster effects are not guided by the system, but rather are changed manually one by one. Balancing spawns for each level of difficulty are the product of lengthy testing phases. Even so, I toiled over the fact that due to structural limitations, I could not create more than five difficulties.
- The Labyrinth update will make it possible to design dozens of difficulty levels for future content, and this innovation will breathe life into this 8-year-old game. Everyone on the development team has worked hard on this project for a long time, and is still testing it late at night so that we can deliver it on time.
- Therefore, the March patch will only feature the Labyrinth update. After the foundations for the system have been set up, I will develop it through additional patches.
Reason #2: Game Narrative Enhancement
Complaints About The Garden of Eternity
- When did we create the Garden of Eternity (T/N: Garden of Time and Space)? I do not remember. Anyways, there are a lot of complaints about the integration of Saint’s Haven into the world of Dragon Nest. You can travel to any dungeon via the border gates and the Garden of Eternity, and if you include the East and West gates, doesn’t it seem like an all-in-one village? Of course, this decreased the amount of unnecessary game movement, since all of the content is at your fingertips. However, I believe that this world setup is the reason why Dragon Nest has been labeled as a “repetitive dungeon grind.”
Convenience vs. Narrative
- I am not sure if this is the right word, but I use the word “narrative” when I talk about plausability within the game. Repairs have to be done through blacksmiths, mail can only be read through the mailbox, and props and NPCs are not merely decorations. I think this all contributes to your immersion in this fantasy world.
- However, emphasizing narrative tends to undermine convenience, and prioritizing convenience tends to undermine narrative. Balancing these two is an eternal nightmare for me.
- In fact, there are many who believe that the alignment of narrative and convenience follows the trend of mainstream platforms. With mobile games that are easy to play anywhere, system convenience is emphasized. As more mobile gamers appear, PC games have to prioritize convenience to survive.
- You may have felt this to some extent, but Dragon Nest was no exception to this trend. 3-4 years ago, the storyline, NPCs, and plausibility of the props began to be neglected in favor of improving the UI for convenience. The game’s direction, which consistently emphasized convenience, peaked with the New World update in 2015 (T/N: T5 update), and it is not strange that two years later, it is difficult to muster enthusiasm for this fantasy world.
What does Labyrinth have to do with narrative?
- If we had worked on Labyrinth with the mindset of the game’s direction since the New World update, it would end with a simple difficulty expansion. The patch notes would simply say, “Difficulty has increased.” However, we believe that Labyrinth is more than that; it is an opportunity to redesign the Garden of Eternity and emphasize narrative. I believe that we can make this content symbolic and change the monotonous Dragon Nest gameplay.
- Labyrinth, which will arrive in March, will be the first step in transforming Dragon Nest into a fantasy adventure game among the sea of RPGs. Throughout 2018, Labyrinth will help Dragon Nest reclaim its glory as a long lost PC RPG. As children of Altera (T/N: Althea, Altea), I hope you guys will witness how Labyrinth will revolutionize the world of Dragon Nest.
Labyrinth Continued Video
- I made a video that symbolically illustrates the first scenario of Labyrinth, but when I released it overseas, I was unable to receive any feedback, so I felt like it was a bad video that did not explain anything T_T. Please watch it and ponder as to what it means.
Link to the Labyrinth Continued Video
- I feel like I am involving myself in something huge. Before I dive further into the details of Labyrinth, I want to tell you about the game’s direction. Thanks for reading thx (T/N: He literally wrote “thx.”)