So here we are with my number 1 favourite dungeon ever… The Estate of Unrest. Yes it’s from EQ2 😛 After the chat about The Estate of Unrest, there’s a quick summary of why these dungeons were my favourite – what elements they all shared, and why dungeons from other MMOs haven’t made it on there.
OK so, this is another huge zone. There are the open air ground, the maze of the mansion itself and under the mansion, an ever larger dungeon / cave network. At release we used to easily spend 3-4 hours getting to the final boss, our eyes all scratchy and reaction times down to a crawl – clearly the perfect conditions to take on the final boss 😛 That fight was a saga all in itself… fighting up and down an add-riddled cavern to collect bones so that you could actually spawn him… The zone is full of puzzles, mobs galore, mobs which can be pulled through walls (a very special um… feature :P) and a story. The story itself is pretty bleak, with the original inhabitants having been murdered. Their ghosts help you collect the pieces you need to traverse through the zone. The zone is far too long to describe in any detail, so I’ll just talk about a few of my favourite encounters:
- at the bar, when you are fighting the undead bar patrons you have to be careful not to aggro the cat… It turns into a massive psycho cat, which if you’ve ever owned a cat you know actually happens, well without the massive part /currently sporting scratches from our kitten being under the impression it’s a pitbull…
- the doppelganger fight. In the basement, a doppelganger of one of your group appears and in /say says things like ‘lfg invite pls’ ‘someow I dropped from group’. You then have to fight them. We loved this part, it was very funny.
- Shinies… some are actually shinies… some spawn a monster
- Before you reach the final boss, your screen suddenly has static noise and a skull appears and says to you (not your char): I see now where you hide your soul, trespasser… You sit there all smug thinking you are safe behind your pane of glass. Well you are no longer safe from me!
Ok, so the list was heavily dominated by EQ2. That is partly because I have only seriously grouped in 2 MMOs (eq2 & lotro). I have also run dungeons in some other MMOs, however these were either open dungeons (Vanguard, EQ) and I am not really a fan of non-instanced dungeons or I have run so few of them I have yet to form a full opinion (notably ESO).
So, looking at this list, a good dungeon for me has to have two or more of the following features:
- large sprawling zone
- fun tactics (obviously my definition of ‘fun’ :P)
OK, the obelisk of azkhul doesn’t quite fit that as it’s short and fun 😛 Lotro seems to generally go for shorter, tidier instances, and the dungeons which might have appeared here for their sprawling nature (e.g. Fornost, Great Barrow) have since been split into different instances. The other thing I find about Lotro, is that their dungeons, although generally well-crafted, just seem to be just that bit more serious in mood, which is entirely appropriate given the IP, but the two zones that did make it onto this list had features which were very fun to play through.
I do miss the dungeon running I did in EQ2. There is a huge list of dungeons (many of which can be scaled) which you can still run and it is still a great MMO, even if I’m no longer playing it 🙂