The PAX East Panel was filled with questions. Some were very interesting, others were a little, well, disappointing to put it lightly. Peaches? I mean for real? But forget about that. Instead let’s talk about probably the most exciting thing to come out of the Panel. Yoshida announced a new type of dungeon.
It’s going to be called Deep Dungeon (a nod to Final Fantasy Tactics). I am thinking this is a dungeon type since the actual title for this particular dungeon is The Palace of The Dead (a nod to Tactics Ogre). This makes me think that SE is testing the waters on this one. If this is successful then I think that later expansions will also feature other Deep Dungeons for players to explore.
We got a little bit of information about the new content from the presentation, but it still leaves us with a lot of questions and plenty of room for speculation. I’m sure we’ll get more information during the Live Letter on the 29th, but I’m still left with a few concerns.
My main fear is that the rewards from the dungeon aren’t going to translate back into the main game. Yoshida said that this dungeon is going to have it’s own progression system. That is a very interesting idea since that will put everyone on an even playing field. He also said that the benefits from our normal item level gear will be negligible and we will need to get stronger by collecting items from within the dungeon itself. All of this sounds like a really neat and new idea for XIV, but I have to wonder what the reward is going to be aside from the challenge and enjoyment of the activity itself.
We’ve seen in the past with things like the Gold Saucer and the Diadem that interest can fall off pretty quickly if there is nothing to bring out of these systems. The bigger drawbacks to these two systems is that things like Lords of Verminion require two players and with such a small percentage of players actually being interested in that content it’s’ nearly impossible to play. Diadem requires a party of 8 so if you can’t get a group you can’t participate. The Deep Dungeon is going to have a solo option, but I worry that if this content isn’t popular they can just sweep it under the rug and tell people, “Well you can do it solo, so it’s not a big deal.”
We have a serious issue with content relevance. Content is released in one patch and then is completely forgotten about or made irrelevant in the next update. The Deep Dungeon looks like it’s going to be fun, but will it be long lasting? Something mentioned in the Q&A was the inclusion of a ranking system in a later update. The ranks will be class specific and shoe who’s gone the farthest in the dungeon. The ranking system added to PVP appears to be helping get people interested in PVP and keep them there. Players want to feel like they’re accomplishing something. Like their hard work is important, but with our current gear progression system the gear you grind for becomes irrelevant in a few patches. It’s starting to feel stale. Maybe this new dungeon will give us something that can last. Something that requires some effort and has a good pay off. We want lasting content and here’s hoping The Palace of the Dead will be the start of that.