Creative Lead and Level Designer
I designed and built the first raid type dungeon for Legends of Aria, The Monolith.
The Monolith was built for parties of 20+ players to tackle the most challenging PvE content in the game.
Created a Raid for Groups of 20+ Players
Designed a Dungeon to Disrupt the Party Dynamic
For The Monolith, we wanted to create scenarios that forced players to split from their large groups, while managing large packs of smarter enemies. The stage features are designed to disrupt the typical large party compositions of Legends of Aria to create more challenging encounters.
Introducing Level Mechanics
The first floor of the Monolith is an introduction to all of the systems in the dungeon. On paper, it's a straight shot to the portal that takes you to level 2. Two gates block the way, with two Pylons each to charge.
Pylon Gates Split The Party
Gates are placed directly in the critical path of the dungeon. To open these gates, players must follow carved paths in the ground to reach Pylons. Attacking these Pylons charges them. Once all Pylons on the network are charged, the gate opens.
Once a Pylon has been charged, it'll start to lose its charge until the connecting gate is opened by charging all the other Pylons on the network.
Mob Platforms Create Chaotic Encounters
When a group of players enters an arena, a special encounter kicks off, signaled by platforms raising from the ground. These are designed to incite chaos in the party at the start of the encounter. At the end of these encounters, chests rise up on a platform to reward players.
Each gated area includes an optional mini-boss in the center, and each Pylon features multiple Mob Platforms to guard it. All of the dungeon's features are introduced on the first level, and then challenged on the next.
Putting Pressure on the Party
Level 2 only has one Pylon gate this time. But there are four Pylons required to open it. Meaning a party will potentially have to split itself 3-4 ways to open the way to The Watcher. These four Pylon gates act as both a skill and size gate before the fight with The Watcher.
This time around there's only one mini-boss, but there's also a quest giver in the form of "The Keeper". The Keeper hands out quests that can be completed on Level 2 by farming particular types of mobs.
Large area of effect attacks deter players piling onto the same spot, and special attacks based on the distance of players to The Watcher offer no respite for casters who stand still for too long.
The Ultimate PvE Challenge in Legends of Aria
The Watcher is the final boss of the Monolith. I designed it for only the most skilled, and highest level players equipped with the best gear in the game. It's built to punish the traditional party dynamic, and force players to adapt in ways they might not have considered doing before.
In addition to being a difficult combat encounter, the Pylon mechanic is also revisited for this fight to test players on how well they adapted to the mechanics in the previous levels.
The Watcher remains invulnerable if no Pylons are charged. Players must maintain at least 4 charged pylons at all times to inflict damage.