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Dragon Wave Battle

April 25, 2019

Northern Grunvald Barrens dragon wave fight on YouTube. Click to watch the video.

The preceding video shows a player fighting waves of scavengers and, eventually, a dragon in the final wave.

Just before a new release went live, a simple fight with a dragon (high-threat/good reward) was identified as a possible exploit situation. The dragon was always available when the players entered the area and he normally took 8 minute to respawn after being killed, but some players had found a way to re-engage him more frequently. Keith need to make simple changes fairly quickly, with the knowledge that these would be permanent changes, so he changed this fight into a wave battle that began with aggressive human scavengers picking through the dragon's nest.

The scavengers were "aware" of their specific situation, shouting that only they should fight the dragon and the players should leave. Between waves, players had a moment to mine high quality resources and loot the scavenger corpses. The final wave included a dragon. Previously that dragon was only an adult red or black dragon, but Keith took the opportunity to add in a rare chance that they could be young dragons instead. Since there was now appropriate challenge more often, he was able to reduce the reset time to be much shorter. The final result changed a simple monster fight into a wave-based battle that gave context and offered less downtime and removed an exploit. Often, players are resistant to change, but the feedback was positive.

"I really liked trying to mow down all the guys as fast as possible, and to me, this was a lot more fun than any dragon killing I have done in a while."
—Lazlo

"[T]he banter is cool and the timers/spawn number are appropriate and well done."
—Jason_M

Tags: multiplayer, Portalarium, single-player