It’s been a prolonged time coming. Deep Dungeons have returned to FFXIV, with Heaven-on-High charity Stormblood’s take on Palace of a Dead. These incidentally generated dungeons were a prominence of Heavensward,and showcased a totally new proceed to a game. Now I’ve had some hands-on time with a sequel, something struck me about what PotD got wrong — and HoH gets right. (Note: This essay will assume a bottom turn of believe about Deep Dungeons and Palace of a Dead. If you’re lost, check out my preview from final week, or, improved yet, jump in yourself!)
In many regards, Heaven-on-High is a discord of Palace of a Dead. Rather than going deeper and deeper underground, you’re clawing your proceed closer to a heavens with any floor. Gone are a miserable caves that assigned many of PotD — a aesthetic, during slightest early on, trimming from japanese-style manicured gardens and tatami mats. The story, too, is most reduction grim. I’ve not run into any NPCs who died in a categorical scenario, for starters.
Window sauce aside, though, it’s not all that opposite to palace. Pomanders and a Accursed Hoard are back. Traps, building effects and impersonate chests return, along with a proceed we turn adult weapons and armor. And a structure of 10 building blocks with a trainer during a finish is brought brazen radically unchanged, exclusive a few twists here and there. One of a coolest of these are wide-open floors with no walls, trapped exits, and patrols from all sides.
Get past 30, though, and things start to change. The plea starts ramping up, and particular enemies move out mechanics you’d design to see in trainer fights like smoke-stack markers. Mimics go from being a humorous distrurbance to a genuine threat, and using around weakly and tripping traps can finish a run. The taste starts to change, too; a Tatami give proceed to segmented hull with a weird, roughly cyberspace-y aura entrance off a walls. The tour to building 100 — a final theatre — is fraudulent indeed.
For those that have review my before Deep Dungeon sermons, this will substantially elicit a clarity of deja vu. That’s given this is flattering most what we pronounced about building 100+ of PotD, that few people finished a tour to see. These latter floors were what finished house so damn special; it was a closest thing we’ve perceived to four-man monster content, that is something people have been seeking for for years. The usually problem was that it took so prolonged to get there, and anticipating a organisation for it that could reason together a whole time was honestly unequivocally difficult.
And so a finish I’ve come to is this: while Heaven on High isn’t opposite adequate to change a minds of people that hated PotD, it does offer an event for those that wanted to see a latter floors though never had a time or proclivity to do so. If we never looked into a building 200 Palace run, afterwards you’re substantially not wakeful of usually how most swindle it took. You could start during 50, though that still meant trudging by 150 floors; my organisation and we would proceed this by doing 50 stages a session, so a full run would take 3 days. Furthermore, all adult to building 150 wasn’t all that engaging once you’d finished it a few times.
Compare this to Heaven-on-High, that usually has 100 floors — and where a good things starts rearing a conduct as early as building 30 — and it’s easy to see since Heaven-on-High is potentially most some-more appealing than a predecessor. It’s a bit like how a Challenge Log finished Eureka appealing to those who were on a fence: It was never going to wire in people who were set opposite it, though it’s finished a good pursuit of bringing a calm to a wider audience.
At first, we was kind of unhappy that a altogether series of floors were cut down from 200 to 100, though a some-more we consider about it, a smarter a preference feels. Myself and some FC friends ran 20-70 a other night in about dual and a half hours. That’s a length of an normal midcore monster raid. It compulsory roughly no preparation, and we saw a lion’s share of a tower. Sure, we wiped on a 70 trainer (we had a undo and didn’t unequivocally know a mechanics until it was too late). But it didn’t come during a finish of a integrate of days of progress. There was most reduction to be insane about, and, if we wish to go behind (and we do), we don’t need to set aside some-more than an evening.
That’s not to contend it’s perfect. It still seems like it’s proceed too tough to solo as any pursuit other than a Red Mage, and solo runs are still proceed too reliant on RNG, though we need to do some some-more testing. Summons and a new pomanders are a good addition, though it’s been roughly dual years given Palace of a Dead was expelled and it seems like they could have iterated some-more on a formula.
But Heaven-on-High still outlines a substantial step brazen given it’s broadened a assembly for this arrange of content. There weren’t that many people who managed to strike PotD’s deepest floors; one of a reasons we became such an preacher for it was that it deserved proceed some-more seductiveness than it indeed gained. Fast brazen to today, where there are mixed groups in my FC who’re slogging their proceed to a top, and during slightest one chairman who’s already managed it.
That’s a starkest disproportion of all, and maybe that’s what Square Enix needs to iterate on a regulation further. A lot some-more people are going to knowledge a rigors of a Deep Dungeon, and a lot some-more people are going to have opinions about what a content’s like and how it can be built on going forward. While Heaven-on-High isn’t a revolution, maybe it’s not too most to contend that it competence pave a proceed for one.