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TOPIC: Reviews and feedback

Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #13

Great Gencon and thanks to all staff! First off getting groups set up at the end of runs was basicallY FLAWLESS! Well done TD staff! I know last year had huge technical difficulties, but this year you guys solved everything.
Vipron was beautiful, hands down, and Vipers Pit is my favorite of all dungeons run so far. I did Vipers about 4 times in various Puzzle/Combat. Loved it. Zephyr had some great things and I loved seeing the mechanadroid again! Some of those puzzles in Zephyr puzzle were....maybe my party was just dumb. Glad to see they dropped the power ball room down to two parts instead of three. All in all, the actors and actresses were great! Gm's were great, kept things friendly but moving along. Can not speak highly enough of Steve!

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #14

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Which puzzle did Drake design?

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #15

Ran Viper Combat and Zephyr Combat twice.

Zephyr - Loved the first puzzle room, was very interactive and well designed. The second puzzle room required WAY too much interaction to require 2 separate orbs for a Normal run, I didn't see this get solved either run, too time consuming. Final Treasure room was a horrible idea. The 20 on/20 off left the party standing around annoyed for HALF of the room and the puzzle itself seemed to not work correctly. Knowing the exact details of how the puzzle ran for the second run we were STILL not able to complete it due to the design and apparent malfunctions. Room DM said only 10 of 50 groups had gotten the puzzle solved, that seems like a terrible room to place treasure on. Cost my party 11 treasure tokens not being able to get past this one. Would not suggest EVER implementing a time delayed puzzle ever again, was an extremely negative play experience for the 20 players in my 2 runs.

Viper- Amazing run, first puzzle was cool in design and understandable in defeating, second puzzle was really fun to do. As a blood mage I loved the sand puzzle (even bled myself into it a few times) and loved the DM showing us the sacrifice designed into the system after we completed the puzzle (If you cut your throat the entire sand was filled with your lifeblood)

Final room was dirty, dirty with the hidden assassin and the secondary enemy but it was amazing, so well done!

Special props to the medusa who attempted to goad me into turning around by running her fingers through my hair. That was creepy and amazing :) Well done!


Overall GREAT runs this year. Only complaint really is the Combat Zephyr having the most complex puzzle in the run, one with about a 20% success rate, being a treasure room.

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #16

The Medusa in the Combat run on Thursday, 4:50 (I believe) was awesome. She's the one who exclaimed when the Barbarian did massive damage. Add that to her line of "I know I'm beautiful" as I was holding a mirror up was pretty priceless. :)

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #17

I have to say that the Flight of The Zephyr tract was the most fun True Dungeon adventure since the first one I played in 2005 (The Dungeon Below - which was also fantastic). My group and I did the combat variant; it was well balanced for both new and experienced players (we had two newbies, 6 3-5 year vets and two 9 years),the combats were challenging and well designed, the puzzles were clever in both their implementation and execution, and the final room was a brilliant combination of puzzle elements and combat in a way that worked really well and allowed every player to have an important roll. Plus our Barbarian got to use his jetpack so that made him happy.

In contrast I was less happy with Vipers Pit. We did combat variant for this one too with a similar mix of player experience (but not all the same people) and we had one no-show. We had some difficulty with the puzzles but that was just just due to us not figuring it out and poor time management rather than any specific issues with the puzzles themselves - I did very much enjoy the AR sand & blood effects in the 5th (IIRC) room. The combats were perfectly reasonable and I liked the Medusa volunteer we had as she was very into the role. But while very impressive from from a technical prop point of view (seriously, that thing was really awesome!) I did not not enjoy the final room. I'll just say that three rounds of completely unavoidable 5-10 poison damage to the entire party was pretty damn hardcore for a normal difficulty adventure.

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #18

My wife and I attended our first GenCon this year, and thus this was our very first True dungeon run. We attended an early Thursday run, combat Vipers Pit on Normal difficulty. We had a run comprised of 4 veterans, and 5 complete newbies, ourselves included (one no show)


I will say right off the bat we absolutely loved the first 5 rooms. The combat was fun, the puzzles were challenging, and I was at that time very happy with the 48 dollars I had spent to experience this.

The 6th and the 7th rooms were complete downers.

6th room: We're new to this right? Completely in awe of everything we've seen, so when we're told a "Priestess of Vipron" is stepping out, even when seeing the shadow behind the screen, we're not entirely thinking "medusa". She steps out, and we were absolutely impressed at her costume and her personality.

GM: Okay, you five need to roll fort saves.

Us: What? oh, okay. (I pass, wife and 3 others fail)

GM: (to wife and 3 others in room) Okay, you're petrified. You're out.

Us: Um, okay. Moving on.

Long story short, we manage to kill the medusa even after being 5 people down (remember the no show), we then find out there's no way to unfreeze the petrified people unless we brought items to do so. We're new, so of course, we don't have said items. To further complicate things, because the group ahead of us was running late, we didn't have time to heal up the people who did actually survive.

7th room.

TPK. We lasted 2 and a half rounds with 4 people petrified. We didn't even get to fight the snake, as the priest and the drow killed us that quickly.

Taking either 5 or (usually) 10 damage to the entire party every single round, plus a random drow that stabbed our bard in the back, it felt like we'd been thrown into a brick wall. The snake and the costumes were again, absolutely incredible, but at the time, we were all having a hard time appreciating that. We know that it's the final boss, so it should be challenging, but this felt absolutely impossible, kind of like one of those old arcade games that puts in unavoidable enemy attacks just so you're forced to put in more quarters just to keep playing.

Aftermath:

Thursday afternoon: We were in kind of a bad mood, not really sure if we wanted to come back. We had given a little feedback to one of the staff members, and we were more or less told "Well, people said it wasn't hard enough last year, I know it's a tough sell, but you should go into the last room ready to die". In the dungeon, we were told "Move quickly to the next room, you're gonna need all the time you can get". We lasted 2 minutes.

Friday: We had cooled down a little, and others had come out saying they'd had a similarly rough time, so we didn't feel as alone.

Saturday: Meeting some other friends at TD, we had the chance to talk to a different staff member from Thursday, and this time we felt like our concerns were actually listened to. Kudos to the guy in the top hat who walked up to us and asked if we had enjoyed ourselves, and then asked what happened when we said we weren't sure if we wanted to try again.

The drow was explained, and from what we understand there was a part of the script we missed because we were dead by that point, so it made a little more sense. We also found out from a nightmare run player on Saturday that they didn't take the poison cloud every single round in the boss room, so it appears that they did tone down the final room a little. While we were unable to attend the event again this con, we are actually probably going to do so again next year, now that we have a better idea of what to expect.

How it could be improved:

1. There needs to be some kind of warning when dealing with a "make one roll or die" effect, as was in the 6th room medusa, especially for normal mode runs with complete newbies. Even if it's just a riddle in an earlier room. It's frustrating to experience something brand new, wanting to see everything, and then be told "Yeah, that is a really cool costume. Now roll or die because you looked at it". Or at least make it so that there was SOME way to remove petrification if you manage to beat the combat. I'm told they did actually have that a few years prior with another medusa, but for some reason didn't this year.

2. Combat needs to feel challenging, but not impossible. Even with a few random uncommons and rares that some more experienced players let us borrow, we had no way of surviving the final room. I'm not sure we could have even with our full party. Remember, this was on normal mode, not hardcore or nightmare.

3. A lot of completely new players are going to be discouraged from joining in the fun if they feel like they have to pay even more money for special gear on top of the 48 dollars already required to enter, just so they can survive. It shouldn't be easy, guaranteed survival, but it needs to feel possible. Seeing even our decked out players go down that quickly, it felt like even if we HAD spent a ton of money to get extra tokens, we didn't have a chance.

We were told that they had to up the difficulty because of all the items from previous years that people were using, but in this case, unless you had a very specific item or items, it was impossible to remove petrification or to survive damage to the entire party every round. Again, normal mode, with very few extra tokens outside of the starting 10.


As I said, we are likely going to attend again next year, and we will try out true dungeon again. Our experiences in rooms 6 and 7 almost convinced us otherwise, but due to our talks with the staff on Saturday, we've decided to try again, so props to them for their customer service.
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Last edit: by Adam Pillari. Reason: Better explaination

Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #19

In some ways TD is a very difficult game for a bunch of new players to jump in head-first. There are things you learn over the years.

Each year's token collection seems broken into 4 groups - Dungeon A, Dungeon B, True Grind and generic. Just looking at the collection gives you clues as to what you'll face.

For example, last year there was a Silver Mirror token that had zero effect that year, and this year there were lots of poison tokens, and a Scroll of Stone to Flesh. As a result, most of the veterans expected poison, and probably a medusa (though I had a friend who voted 'basilisk'), and they guessed it would be in the Viper run. Luckily, the tokens that helped the most against medusa were cheap commons and $1 uncommons, so the veterans prepared and avoided the worst. My wife and I, and other players I spoke with, brought enough to share in case the other 8 in our party were relatively new, and I'm glad we did. One woman I know bought tokens specifically for people she hadn't even met yet.

But if you're in a group of all new players, it doesn't work out that way. It can be very frustrating.

As for the running late - I hate that. I'm an easy-going guy, but I've stuck my head into the next room and told the DM "they're stealing our time" because that's exactly how I feel about it. But sometimes the sound effects are so loud the DM can't hear the horns over all the noise and screaming party members, so it's not like anyone is trying to mess people over. Light and audio are two recurring challenges in those cavernous halls.

But I hope you'll give it another chance. It's a great community and a very fun, if deadly, way to spend a chunk of the con.
barkley.neo.rr.com -->see my trade thread HERE , my eBay store HERE or my web store HERE
"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #20

My experiences of the my runs. I ran two Viper combat and 1 Zephyr combat.
We ran an extra Viper run because my g/f could not attend the event with our normal group. A smaller group of us ran Thursday.
Our plan going in was to try and run hardcores. Last year with our group of 10 (4 geared, plus 6 lesser geared) we thumped through normal and several DMs suggested we move up to hardcore.


We ran Viper normal, consisting of my group of 4 (all decently geared) and 6 first time players. We helped out the newer players, lent out some tokens and away we went. We missed the first puzzle, knocked out the other two. Combat wise, we cleaned up.
We had one party member get turned to stone, but someone actually had a scroll to cure them. The barbarian and I (ranger) dropped the Medusa to 2 HP in the first round of combat.

In the last room, the aoe killed 4 of the 6 newer players. Only the fighters survived in addition to our crew (Barbarian, Pally, Ranger, Cleric). Our Pally and Barbarian had the toxic gas ioun stone on and were told that they were immune to the AOE.

Knowing this, we told our group for Saturday Vipers about this so they could grab a toxic gas stone. We planned on going hardcore.
For this run we had 2 we did not know, they were agreeable to hardcore as they had played a few times.

This time we solved the first puzzle. Everything was going great until the egg room. When we got here, we let those who had not played work on the puzzle. Once they came to the solution, we nodded and completed it exactly the same as Thursday. Or so we thought. The DM told us we did it wrong. Perplexed we began to do the puzzle several different ways to arrive to the same end solution. Each time we were told we were not doing the path correctly.
Eventually the timer went off and were pushed out of the room without a treasure mark.
In the sands room, it was great to see the blood effect. (on our run Thursday it was malfunctioning so all we saw was a bright lit computer screen on top of the sand).
Eventually we get to the last room, everyone is more or less intact.
Combat begins and we lose initiative. Everyone fails their save barring one or two and we take 14. We explain we had the toxic gas ioun stones, and are told they do not work. Half the party dies before getting to do anything as they were sitting at 13/14 HP exactly.
After 3 rounds only the Barbarian and I are left. I lasted one more round being at one HP. Afterward we were told that they decided to change it so that the toxic gas stone did not work. Majority of the party left with a sour taste in their mouth. Don't mind dying, but also do not like when things are changed partway through because it was deemed "too easy".


Sunday, did Zephyr hardcore (had a couple of geared players that were outside of those in our group) and had a great time. Loved the first puzzle, these are the types of puzzles that make TD great. HATED the vacuum puzzle. This is not the type of thing I want to see going forward. Enjoyed the last room. My only suggestion to the last room is if you are going to have a last room that requires ranged weapons to make sure that there are some commons, etc. available to new/first time players in case they are in a large group together and do not pull weapons in their packs.


My feedback
Positives: 5 of 7 Zephyr rooms were great (tube rooms were lackluster). Props/costumes continued to look nice (Medusa and the elf stood out). All of the rooms except for the last in Viper had a good design concept. Execution in some fell short as mentioned.


Negatives:
*Too many props were malfunctioning. I saw a column from Viper lifted off with no effort in the first room (someone thought we should move 4 of them to the four corners). A couple of the eggs stopped lighting up. The blood effect was not working. Not sure that I like trying to add more electronics to the dungeons when they are not working.
*Consistency. Did not enjoy failing a puzzle that I had solved earlier. Did not enjoy toxic gas failing to work when it worked earlier. These types of things should be more carefully worked out up front so that the design is tight and ready for Con weekend.
*The AOE. If you're going to do some mass AOE at least give the party initiative. Also, having it trigger every single round is brutal.

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #21

The 'trick' in room 7 was to hit the staff on the slider board. Doing so would stop the area attack that was nuking a lot of people. I do not think there was a clue in previous rooms to point that out.

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #22

I had an awesome time at GenCon this year. Not only being a DM but also getting a chance to run both dungeons with my friends. Because I usually don't have time to run 4 dungeons every year, I usually opt to do the combat dungeons because I know from previous experience, if your group doesn't have immediate chemistry and strong leadership.... it is impossible to solve some of the puzzles because of arguing.

Zephyr was super cool, I loved having the same DM for the first 2.1 rooms, even her alleged death was pretty cool to see. That stupid wind walker though... such a difficult fight and we didn't manage to kill him but I knew it was a going to be a tough fight(it was the room I had to DM on Sunday). The fuel pellet puzzle was awesome and we almost made it but we just got too deep into the technical arguing and only managed to make the first fuel before time hit us. All the other puzzles were fun and cool to look at. I always try to have fun with the NPC's and DM's because they are people too. The last room of Zephyr was AMAZING! We had a pair of amazing DM's that really made the experience immersive. I feel really bad for not remembering the big, strong, bald DM because he was my FAVOURITE DM. He had an energy that I did my best to emulate when I was being a DM and most people that went through my rooms had a great time because of it.

Now Viper on the other hand, I had a much more sour experience. Even starting with the first room, I was able to solve the puzzle very quickly... part of it was being the DM one room over for 3 days and the other part was other party members that had already been through a couple of times. We had the puzzle solved, I was just waiting for the DM to pay attention while I bowed and touched the godly glyph and the lightning struck. I was literally bent over, reaching out, waiting for the DM and we still took the damage. But I shook it off, how important is 3 damage going to be throughout the entire dungeon? Anyways we move on and continue, the second room was fun because that was my room and I got to see how my night time counterpart handled it. I think he did a great job and the combat was quick and fun. I thought the egg puzzle was visually stunning but the wand was VERY finicky... we had to bang the gong(and take damage) multiple times because the wand would double tap an egg and I didn't notice till too late. The DM also really didn't say much except for "You have made a mistake" which because a mantra as that was pretty much all he said. But we got it, we patched everybody up and kept moving with our chins up. The crypt room was super cool, awesome concept and as soon as we figured out, I smashed all the skelly's with my Sonic Burst(I was playing bard for this run for the bonus's because we had a mostly new party) and got the big guns to fire at the sarcophagus. We got close but we were a few damage short so we got some push damage. A few more heals burned, we moved on. The blood table. Probably my favourite part of True Dungeon this year! Such a cool concept and we solved the puzzle in record time. The DM was even nice enough to let us play with the table and not take any more damage for the room after we solved it. But I have to say, there were what 6 glyphs? Even at 2 dmg a glyph and you spread that out... thats 12 damage. We healed up but even with a druid, cleric and paladin, we were really running low on heal spells. The Medusa was awesome too and a really fun gotcha, nobody in the party got stoned but I found the random damage in that room was a boat ton. Every attack that landed, the DM seemed to cause AUTO damage with the asps in her hair, by the time we were done the room, we had ZERO healing left. We had gone through pretty much every heal spell and all our potions but we were mostly full. That's when the last room happened.
The last room deserves its own paragraph because it left me very upset about the entire experience. We were 2mins late getting into the room, I counted but I was trying to keep our spirits up with my silly bard singing. We walk into the room and the DM told us that stuff wasn't working so he was just gonna tell us what was happening instead of the audio track. He did not really explain anything but did manage to kill another min or two. I was walking around the outskirts of the party doing my bard song when I looked at the door we walked in. That's when I saw the drow, heard her awesome blood curdling scream and proceeded to get back stabbed... in my front. 13 points is a lot when you only have 18 HP but I was like, what's the worst that could happen? Not even 2 seconds later, the DM says that after the FIRST combat round, the snake priest hits EVERYBODY with poison, 5 damage. 18 damage in a single combat round with ZERO time to respond. Dead and upset, I just sat on the stairs as my party fought valiantly but were knocked off one by one by 3 attacks plus 10 auto damage to EVERYONE every round. And dying sucks, its pretty much the worst thing that can happen but I tried to keep my chin up. The animatronics were so breath taking. That's when the DM started bragging about our TPK with the Drow.... while we were still in the room. It left a really sour taste in my mouth and I was pretty angry the rest of the entire night. Just seemed like WAY too much random damage, way too many attacks, and the guy didn't miss an entire attack. I know that you need to expect to die in the last room, but this was harder then the final boss dragon from 2 years ago. We were playing on Normal but it felt much more like Nightmare, which my friend ran with some forum people and wasn't even close to as hard as I described our last room.

All in all, I had a good time but I thought I would share that experience with you guys. I am still going to come back next year, I'm still going to keep running dungeons as often as I can but sometimes, you just have a bad experience and you want to share it. I don't want people to lose their jobs, I don't want people to feel like they need to apologise. I just want DM's to remember that at the end of the day, True Dungeon should be about the positive experience for the players. Without the players it would just be a bunch of people hanging out in a haunted house. Everybody likes good feedback but everybody remembers the bad feedback. It's just the way customer service works. I always do my best to make my players feel welcome and that they enjoy my room. Just some food for thought.

</end wall of text>
If you liked my room, my name is Steve. If you didn't like my room, my name is Hoolio

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Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #23

Adam Pillari wrote: 1. There needs to be some kind of warning when dealing with a "make one roll or die" effect, as was in the 6th room medusa, especially for normal mode runs with complete newbies. Even if it's just a riddle in an earlier room. It's frustrating to experience something brand new, wanting to see everything, and then be told "Yeah, that is a really cool costume. Now roll or die because you looked at it". Or at least make it so that there was SOME way to remove petrification if you manage to beat the combat. I'm told they did actually have that a few years prior with another medusa, but for some reason didn't this year.


I agree with your thoughts on "make one roll or die" effects. Years ago for True Grind, I decided to go with the policy of "save or die" effects should give you at least two chances (so typically you get at least two saves).

Of course your HP Status is also very relevant. If you are at 1 HP, you can easily get killed regardless of what it is.

Many years ago, after defeating a medusa, the next room was a stone golem and if you defeated him, you could use a Mortar & Pestle on his fingers to restore people back from stone. (Actually for this year's Who's Yer Con Grind, we had a Medusa and Stone Golem, and this was a little easter egg for anyone who remembered it from years past).

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Last edit: by Incognito.

Re: Reviews and feedback 7 years 3 months ago #24

The new XP system is great. Those who don't care can wander off, those who do can enter their own whenever they have time.

I don't recall any real epilogue. It was very business-like "here's your chips, your badge, your sticker." Nothing wrong with that at all, but I was expecting some sort of "punctuation mark" this year. Not as elaborate as the old days, perhaps, but something.

I'm not going to say anything bad about any of the staff, because I don't have anything to say but thank you and well done to every one of them I met.

But there are always a few room-for-improvements:

Putting the store into the inn lobby was a good way to save space. It should stay, but it needs better signage. A lot of people assumed there was no store this year. If Shelly hadn't been working one of them, I'm not sure I'd have realized they were there.

Lighting seemed better than I remember it last year. Just one or two more lamps over the tables (optional) and some string lights or something less trip-harzardy along the floor of the entrance hall (less optional) would make it almost perfect IMO. Maybe just one of those table lights would ease that transition from bright to dim. Having "pitch black" in the middle made it tough walking in. Speaking of which, having only one door open for people to collide with each other, especially when they are turning a blind corner, seems suboptimal.

Audio. That's a tricky one. Zephyr Combat 7 had such loud sound effect, and there was so much DM-interaction and shouting between everyone there, that the horn was hard if not impossible to hear. If I hadn't stuck my head through the curtain 3 minutes into our time we might still be there :)

I got the sense I would have really liked ZC 7 if I had any clue about what was actually going on. And maybe we missed some exposition since we started so late. One of our party said that the four people running the controls made all the difference, but *shrug* I'll take his word for it. Maybe if they'd failed and bad stuff happened I'd have understood why they were making a difference. I'm waiting for YouTube and the modules to explain what that was all about. All I know is, I was shooting wyverns. Or possibly one wyvern. And my ears hurt when it was done.

But when you take 360 days off between events there will always be technical and environmental snafus. I'm always amazed things come off as well as they do.

Still love it, and can't wait for next year.
barkley.neo.rr.com -->see my trade thread HERE , my eBay store HERE or my web store HERE
"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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