What is a fantastical world without the element of dungeon delving?
Dungeons provide opportunities to test your prowess in either martial capability, marksmanship, skulduggery, or other skills.
Exploration across Trivium can be a grand adventure fraught with victories and pitfalls, but the mechanics of dungeoneering follow a different set of rules than other persistent worlds. Since Engines of Ascension contains some different features from the norm, this page is intended to explain the mechanic of dungeons.
How Dungeons Work
The term 'Dungeon' in Engines of Ascension can be used generally to refer to anywhere that isn't a civilized area. More specifically, it can refer to areas where there are hostile entities. A dungeon can range from small caves to sprawling overworld areas to gauntlets of peril requiring hours of exploration to successfully delve.
Dungeons tend to fall under one of these two categories:
- Open-World Dungeons are designed for exploration and often precedes areas to more substantial enclosed dungeons. Open-world dungeons tend to be large maps with plenty of mobility, no distinct path restrictions, and encounters liberally salted across the landscape. Encounters in open-world dungeons tend to be weaker than encounters in the dungeons following them, but often these encounters also draw from the same experience pool as enclosed dungeons, which would.
- Enclosed Dungeons are more traditional dungeons usually found within open-world dungeons, but can branch from "safe" areas (such as Calidor). These dungeons tend to be 'owned and operated' by a hostile group with a consistent theme, such as a tunnel full with smugglers, a spider nest, a crypt crawling with undead, or sharks in pipes. These dungeons are built extremely linearly and often end in a room with a boss or miniboss, alongside a nearby quick-exit if the dungeon has one. Encounters range in difficulty and tend to become more challenging as you delve further, but similarly the potential for improvement and treasure is greater further within as well.
- Underwater Dungeons are a subset of enclosed dungeons that follow a special set of rules. Read here to learn more.
The difficulty and challenge rating of encounters in a dungeon is related to the number of characters within the dungeon when the encounter is spawned (even if the characters are not in the same party). Skilled individuals and large parties will encounter more resilient and/or numerous opponents facing them. Due to the undue difficulty spikes this can cause, players are given a notification prior to entering a dungeon if there are other players inside.
Challenge ratings are also modified by the tactics required for the dungeon itself; for example, reanimated corpses tend to be resilient to certain forms of damage and vulnerable to others, while fighting underwater requires a different skillset from land-based adventures.
All dungeons can be identified by a numerical range listed beside the name of the area in the minimap indicator, shown in the screenshot. The numbers represent the optimum range of skill ranks that your character can train in the area.
With proper preparation, skill, and focus, dungeons within your skill level range will be reasonable challenges to train and receive treasure from. Having a skillset that is too low for the dungeon will result in unreasonable difficulty in the expedition, while having a skillset that exceeds the maximum of the dungeon will confer no opportunites to train those skills further and generally inferior loot.
As a general rule, the further you get from Calidor's Trade Quarter, the higher the difficulty of the dungeon. It isn't a hard-and-fast rule, but if you feel like what you are fighting is too easy, try setting aside some time to explore places you haven't been before. If you find a location that is too difficult to run, try bringing a friend or hireling, researching and applying methods to counter the difficulties you were facing, or coming back later when your skills are more capable. Trivium holds plenty of shadowy corners to poke your nose (or sword) into, and you will not be short of areas to explore.
Dungeons have a pool of experience points that determine how many skill levels a character can gain in the area, as long as they are eligible to gain experience points in the skills being trained. Once this pool is exhausted, the character can no longer gain experience in the area until they leave for a period of time to let the area "refresh". This also makes it more difficult to train skills over long periods of time as you will exhaust the experience pool of the area.
Some locations have certain places where characters can rest and catch their breath. These resting spots are labeled by an icon of a campfire displayed in the bottom left portion of the minimap icon, such as the one in the image. While some rest areas only need you to walk in the area to rest, resting spots in dungeons usually require you to "activate" them before you can rest. Resting areas that have not been "activated" yet will have the campfire icon, but the icon will be faded.
Resting removes cumulative damage and heals any Hit Points that are lost. If you are in a dungeon, any skill experience and loot gained up to that point will be saved. Your capability to rest is limited, so use your resting spots wisely.
Also shown in the lower-right area of the minimap icon is a "stealth indicator". This is a rough gauge on how well-hidden your character can be if they choose to enter stealth mode. The ability to hide well is also determined by abilities, location (enclosed areas are more likely to conceal than wide open areas), lighting, and enemy facing relative to your position, among a few factors.
Salvage & Looting
Treasure is primarily found in dungeons. Occasionally, you may receive some as part of a reward of a quest, but the vast majority of your gains will be gotten while trespassing in dangerous areas.
There are three primary sources of treasure:
- Caches - Ranging from a cleverly concealed pit to a deviously trapped chest sitting in the open, this category covers containers your character may find, and will be the most common source of loot around. Caches can be found anywhere in a dungeon if you know where to look, especially since most containers try to pass off as shrubs, piles of dirt, discarded boxes, or other innocuous background elements to evade passing looters.
- Caches cannot be repeatedly looted, and once accessed it will not replenish until after a period of time has passed.
- In a party, when multiple members are actively searching, they are assumed to be helping each other and pointing out caches that they find, and when looting will each take a share of loot, leaving some for yourself (in mechanical terms, each cache has loot parceled to each individual player). While henchmen have a chance to take your share of loot for their payment leaving nothing for yourself, they will also help you locate caches if ordered to search.
- Infiltrators should be well aware that thievery is sometimes not a quiet affair and nearby enemies may be alerted to your presence if you loot caches near them.
- Personal Effects - Items looted from enemies you have killed. This can range from alchemical reagents to equipment from bandits, and usually go according to logic (you will not find a rifle in a wolf's body, for instance). On the other hand, equipment dropped this way has a higher likelihood of being strictly inferior to equipment found by the other options listed, and special tools may be needed to salvage certain articles from corpses.
- Boss Caches - Bosses and minibosses have a trove granting access to treasure that is a cut higher than those you can loot from regular caches. For regular bosses, this cache is only available after you defeat them, and if this is your first time defeating a boss at a given tier, you can expect to see at least one solid quality item and probably spare treasure or money. If you are helping someone else there will still be some choice pieces, but not nearly as extravagant. Similar to regular caches, a boss cache cannot be repeatedly looted and must be given time to replenish after it has been accessed.
Types of Salvage
It's one thing to find loot, but what are you dealing with? Most items can be broken down into one of these categories:
- Combat and Crafting pages for more information, but in short a higher rank on an item means better potential stats and a higher monetary value. Armor, technology, and metal also increase item value.
- Money: Bucks and dimes.
Not all dungeon delves are roaring successes. Sometimes you lose, and badly. So what did you lose?
- Skill experience. All experience in a skill that is gained in the dungeon at that time is lost. Any character experience and character levels accrued from leveling these skills will remain even if you die (and deducted from the area's experience pool), but you will still lose all the skill experience gained to achieve that and must pay that off before you can advance the skill further. Resting in an eligible rest area will save skill experience up to that point, but any more gained afterwards is lost upon failure unless you rest again.
- Salvage. All loot gained in the dungeon is lost. Similar to experience, resting will save any loot you have gotten up to that point. Progress towards learning modifications and bestiary entries are not lost.
- Money. You lose all money that is unsaved. On top of that, you also lose 20% of the remaining money on your person.
- Large explorable areas
- Often connects city zones and dungeons
- Lower level enemies and loot
- More conventional dungeons
- Simpler navigation
- Challenging opponents, sometimes with a (mini)boss
- Decent equipment and all loot types
- Found in all dungeons
- Individual loot per player
- Each container is only lootable once per period of time per person
- Looting has a chance to break stealth
- Tendency towards inferior equipment
- Only available when defeating enemies that leave a corpse
- Higher-ranked equipment with guaranteed augment and all loot types
- Limited quantity - only lootable once every few hours from a given boss.
- Covers armour, weapons, and devices, usually reusable and with a rank
- Can be found, crafted, or bought
- Can be found with Augments and Mods or have them crafted in
- One-use items that are sometimes stackable.
- Includes but not limited to ordnances, medical supplies, and fuel.
- Crafting designs consumed upon use to obtain the ability to craft an augment onto an item
- Duplicate schematics can be consumed to further knowledge on the augment listed until completion
- Bestiary Entries:
- Can be consumed to obtain information on a specific creature
- Only one can be used; rest are surplus
- Resources used for crafting and augmenting gear
- Found in dungeons from a wide variety of sources
- It's money.