Sony announced last week that players would be able to complete dungeons as their characters instead of having to pick an avatar to play, and I thought that this would be a fantastic way to motivate players to actually complete the dungeons – I was wrong. It’s not enough.
Player created dungeons are great in theory, but in practice there is still too much missing from them to make them worth while for players. Number one, you barely get any experience from completing them. If you run a player dungeon and then go run a regular zone or even quest for the same amount of time, you will find yourself quite far behind. As an example, I took my 90 shadowknight through a dungeon that was 90 minutes long (and rewarded 300 tokens) – gaining not even 60% of a single aa. In that same amount of time, I was able to gain 10 aa mentored down to 65 and running through New Tunaria.
Now lets take a look at the tokens. The shop is located in the station cash shop, and there’s very little motivation for players to actually spend the tokens aside from picking up the mount (500 tokens) and maybe some repair kits. The gear available is sub-par compared to items you can solo quest for, and also random from chests (and flagged as no value, so you can’t even sell it or transmute it).
There are no shinies in player created dungeons. There’s no trash loot. There’s no chest drops, no spells, no craft recipes. All of these things are reasons why players should (and will) continue to quest and explore through regular overland zones instead of the creations of other players.
You can argue that this is a good thing, forcing players to explore “the world” instead of being stuffed inside of solo dungeons – however, with the introduction of mercenary a lot of players are already exploring on their own and doing dungeons alone. Why not have them at least partaking in dungeons that are created by other players.
I really think that user generated content is incredibly amazing to have in games, but I also think SOE missed the point of them in this round. Players need more than a neat dungeon layout to entice them to do them more than once. It’s simply wasted resources other wise.