Though the contest is now over, Corsair and Greenlit Content combined forces for an incredible giveaway for EU Tera fans. This contest included a much harder version of the Bathysmal dungeon, which prompted us to wonder just what goes into making a difficult event even harder in the spirit of competition. Luckily, we were able to sit down with some of the team to learn just how they took on this particular challenge.
We sat down with Gameforge Game Designer Patrick Mathieu to talk about the unique challenges the developer team faced when making sure their latest event was the perfect match with their player-base. For those that might not be aware of what the Bathysmal Rise offers players, it's a level 65 dungeon that requires 5 skilled players in order to take on. This unique water-themed challenge first debuted years ago, though it's never failed to be a favorite among players.
Bathysmal Rise was already hard enough but the team decided to up the ante a bit to make that giveaway prize of a new PC setup that must sweeter. When asked about the process regarding changes made to the dungeon, Mathieu said "We decided to revisit the Nightmare Dungeons (which include 5-player dungeons and 10-player raids), because fans really loved them! At Gameforge, we're always looking for ways to keep fans of our titles excited and work with the developers to create regional-specific events based on the feedback of players. The Nightmare Dungeon event brings these favorite dungeons back with extreme challenges based on difficulty and other gameplay parameters."
He added, "For example, in the Nightmare version of the Kelsaik's Nest, we've taken an approach where players can select the difficulty of their encounter. Upon entering this dungeon in a 10-player raid group, they get to select between "normal", "hard" or even "extreme" difficulty. Depending on this choice, the boss will be scaled up in difficulty, and use more or less of his toolkit. Some of his attacks will only be used in the hard or extreme versions, and attacks used in the normal mode will have different effects when used in the extreme mode. And of course, the loot will also depend on which difficulty the raid managed to defeat Kelsaik in!"
As for why this particular dungeon, Mathieu mentioned that Gameforge is always looking for ways to keep gameplay fresh and that includes focusing on certain encounters that may not have been in the title for an extended amount of time. "Additionally," he mentioned, "since we usually only use 5-player dungeons as nightmare version, we also wanted to create a raid encounter that our players can challenge in a more epic setting."
But making changes isn't as easy as BOOM, DONE. There's an overall balance that must be present throughout the process to ensure that the quality doesn't suffer in favor of any sort of shock value. Regarding how the studio decided to tackle balance concerns, Mathieu mentioned "After we've selected which dungeon we'll target for our events, we define the audiences that we expect to entertain and challenge with a specific dungeon. Based on this configuration, we'll either balance it similar to other dungeons that are in that difficulty range (amount of damage a boss does per hit, for example), or, for the case of the nightmare versions, will attempt to exceed the difficulty of existing high-end content -- by tuning some of the numbers, while adding new or adjusted mechanics to give the dungeon a fresh feel with an unexpected twist.
"All of this is accompanied by repeated playtesting of the dungeon with a selected group of experienced players to gauge the changes made, and continue making adjustments until it fits our expectations."
All in all, they pulled it off perfectly. The event was a success and the event has officially concluded. You can learn more about the details of the raid itself right here in addition to the official Gameforge website. As for the game itself, the wildly popular MMORPG is available now on PC and PlayStation 4.