Resurrecting this ancient and long-dead thread to express interest. Boethia and Peryite using the Deadlands has always bugged me.
Thanks for bumping. So I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately. Not of Boethia's and Peryite's dungeons in particular, but concerning Oblivion Gates as a whole, which seem to have some problems. As far as I can discern, there are a few common complaints about the Oblivion Gate dungeons. For a sampling, I've seen and heard people describe the Oblivion Gates as boring, repetitive, too red, an aggravation, a pain, a nuisance, and a chore. This... isn't a good state of things.
Oblivion Gates operate with a certain element of randomness not present in other areas and dungeons in the game. There are 100 fixed locations where Gates will appear, 90 of which are random, and of those 90 potential locations, up to 50 gates will spawn. All of the randomly spawning gates (and a few fixed ones) use 1 of 7 random worlds. Caves in these random worlds choose their layout from 6 possible caves, and the central keeps choose their layout from 5 possible keeps. So together (7*6*5) amount to some 210 combinations. The trouble is, people don't get excited by all these possible combinations. Who cares if World 1 is paired with Cave 2 and Keep 3 if the player has already experienced those dungeons, perhaps some of them even recently? I feel this is a source of the repetitiveness that many players feel when closing Gates.
To that end, Oblivion Gates need greater variety. This can be accomplished any number of ways. I'll try to from least to most difficult, as I see it.
1) Expand the pool of random worlds, caves, and keeps. Have a script track the layouts a player has visited to make it more likely a player will encounter new layouts in the following Oblivion Gates they enter. I feel this solution would go a long way to keeping things as close to vanilla as possible while improving the sense of variety.
2) Remove the randomized element and create entirely handcrafted Oblivion Gates, replacing randomized gates with handcrafted ones as they're completed. This could operate something like Unique Landscapes, where different modders contribute new dungeons. There is more room for creativity certainly, with greater opportunity for quests, scripted events, and truly unique layouts. Alternatively, you could create one large Deadlands realm (ala Shivering Isles) and then connect all the Gates to that one landmass.
3) Randomize further. Instead of choosing between prefab keeps, caves, and even worlds, toss them out and make a truly randomized system where no two dungeons are alike. Have the game link tile sets together in new ways and somewhat randomly place items and spawns. This is very scripting/coding heavy (if its even possible with our current tools) and bugs will likely be common, but it'll draw in people looking for unique layouts and legendarily rare items and spawns.
Aside from these three potential routes, there is another chance for variety in producing different biomes for the Oblivion Gates that might be present in any of these solutions. A lot of people have brought up the complaint that the dungeons are oppressively and overwhelmingly red. Now you don't really get similar complaints about other dungeons types which generally share the same color pallets between them (like the white-and-blue Ayleid ruins), so this might have less to do with a lack of variety and more to do with red itself. Nonetheless, I think we could introduce variety here. As an example, I propose four different potential "biomes" for the Oblivion Gates: Fire, Famine, Flood, and Fissure. Basically these biomes would offer different color pallets, lighting, scenery, and perhaps even traps and enemies. Based on Dagon's power over natural disasters, Fire would be most similar to vanilla - a red volcanic hellscape. Famine would be based on a desert with browns and oranges. Flood would be locked in a perpetual hurricane. Very wet with dark colors, lit by lightning strikes. And finally Fissure would be a mostly subterranean kind of dungeon, a bit of a mix of the other biomes. Earthquakes would frequently shake the dungeon, and things like rock fall traps might be common.
That's all I have to say about the topic at the moment. This isn't really a request, or an announcement, or anything. Just playing with ideas in my head and interested in what more experienced modders and players have to say about what they think the most promising route(s) would be. I'm also open to hearing any other complaints people have with the Oblivion Gates, or anything they themselves would like to see.
Edited by Fiore1300, 13 April 2020 - 07:51 PM.