SOE announced their May update plans for Everquest 2 and it includes one feature that I have been waiting for since the Age of Discovery expansion was released: the ability to play your own character in user-created dungeons. Finally!
Currently, if you want to run a user-created dungeon in EQ2, you have to choose from a number of pre-made characters. I wouldn’t mind this system if those characters were interesting and fun to play, but the problem is that they only have a couple of abilities. So basically, running a player-created dungeon means spamming the same two buttons over and over again until all the mobs are dead. It’s incredibly boring.
I love user-generated content in MMOs, and see plenty of opportunities for the Dungeon Maker system to become amazing. Here’s some thoughts:
- Everquest 2 has the best housing system in any MMO ever. Creating a dungeon is already very similar to decorating a house: any house item that’s in your inventory can be put in a dungeon. The layout and interior of the dungeons is however pretty limited. Why not add an open, outdoor area to Dungeon Maker, so you can build anything you want?
- Dungeon Creators should definitely be able to incorporate stories into their dungeons. Being able to add non-fighting NPCs, scripts, quests and dialogues is a basic requirement.
- The most interesting and challenging mobs are the one that require a specific strategy. Why not add some scripting possibilities to boss mobs? For example, getting a boss mob down to x% health could trigger an event or a special ability.
To this day, the best system for user-created content in MMOs is the Ryzom Ring. Anything is possible with that system, and I have played through some amazing, fun and creative scenarios in the Ring. A system like this, combined with the Dungeon Marks that reward players for running user-created dungeons, would (imho) make the Dungeon Maker a huge success.