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How Should Dungeons Be Fixed In the Sequel?

Archer

Don’t Bingle my Boopus
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Elaborating on that, I think a variety of shrine and dungeon types would vastly improve the game.

I believe it was Boss Keys (The youtube channel) which identified three types of Zelda dungeons.
1. Puzzle boxes
2. Exploration
3. Combat

BotW's shrines and dungeons made for good puzzle boxes but stank at combat and exploration.

Combat shrines are repetitive and exploration was non-existent practically!

I think the sequel should incorporate a better balance of the three.
This is true. I haven’t seen that video, but I got a good grasp. Individual shrines didn’t really incorporate all three challenges very well. Dungeons do. But removing shrines completely doesn’t sound fun. There were some shrines that only had a boss, and some shrines that were so well hidden that they simply rewarded you for finding it, but it’s not really enough. The boss shrines should have more of a variety of combat challenges instead of just one category of enemy, and for exploration? Maybe the inside of shrines could be designed in a way that it’s not always the same internal environment or structure, I dunno what Nintendo has up their sleeves about that
But what would you consider to be dungeons? What makes the Divine Beasts not dungeons?
They were. It slipped my mind. But bread pirate has a point. Divine Beasts had the exploration and puzzles down, but not much for combat except for the bosses. I’m not saying that makes them bad dungeons, but stuff like mini bosses is something to at least consider even if they can’t implement them
 

The Bread Pirate

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But were dungeons from previous 3D games really more open? They usually had rigid paths you followed with little deviation. You'd find the dungeon item, then unlock a couple doors you couldn't find before, then fight the boss.
I agree with you! I also think the older 3d games also failed in this regard, and I wouldn't want to go back to that system.

What I would like to see are dungeons with more freedom similar to the overworld of BotW. Even the dungeons from the original NES Zelda would be a good blueprint!


This is true. I haven’t seen that video, but I got a good grasp. Individual shrines didn’t really incorporate all three challenges very well. Dungeons do. But removing shrines completely doesn’t sound fun. There were some shrines that only had a boss, and some shrines that were so well hidden that they simply rewarded you for finding it, but it’s not really enough. The boss shrines should have more of a variety of combat challenges instead of just one category of enemy, and for exploration? Maybe the inside of shrines could be designed in a way that it’s not always the same internal environment or structure, I dunno what Nintendo has up their sleeves about that
I have a lot of faith in Nintendo to publish another masterpiece with the sequel. They have a knack for blowing us away. :D
 
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I'm sure people have brought up BotW2 dungeons before, but I wanted to share my two cents worth.

I made a video for this subject, but the summary is this; BotW2 should make dungeons feel like a more natural part of the world by using overworld elements in dungeons and by using dungeon elements in the overworld. (Ex. The ability to buy dungeon keys from merchants / Finding NPC's in Dungeons)

I wanted to hear what you guys think!

It's a subject I don't hear a lot about, but I believe is really important.

taken botw into account i would not set up hopes to high if i were you, i yhink botw2 just having something that would more or less somethat resonate to (actual) dungeons will be very much already, so yes indeed i'm very sceptical about the dungeons in botw2 and even if they really will be present in this successor although nintendo would have placed multiple ads in which they would be looking for new people to help design dungeons, so i will not at all trust it before i can actually see it in a satisfactory way
 

thePlinko

What’s the character limit on this? Aksnfiskwjfjsk
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I mainly want dungeon items to return. They don’t even need to be required to beat the dungeon, I just want more unique items in it. One of the reasons I like dungeons is because I’m always excited to see what new treasure I get to play around with. That’s why I hated the dungeons in LBW so much. In BotW all you had was a bunch of worthless weapons and materials that were scattered about, and a champion ability at the end that more often than not sucked.

I’d much rather go back to the old dungeon routine. Linearity in Zelda isn’t a bad thing, and some of the best parts of certain Zelda games have been the dungeons. Linearity doesn’t mean a lack of exploration, it just means that there’s a set path you have to explore to find.
 

The Bread Pirate

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taken botw into account i would not set up hopes to high if i were you, i yhink botw2 just having something that would more or less somethat resonate to (actual) dungeons will be very much already, so yes indeed i'm very sceptical about the dungeons in botw2 and even if they really will be present in this successor although nintendo would have placed multiple ads in which they would be looking for new people to help design dungeons, so i will not at all trust it before i can actually see it in a satisfactory way
So in other words, "Let's wait and see." :shrugs:


I’d much rather go back to the old dungeon routine. Linearity in Zelda isn’t a bad thing, and some of the best parts of certain Zelda games have been the dungeons. Linearity doesn’t mean a lack of exploration, it just means that there’s a set path you have to explore to find.
I am of the same opinion! But I don't think we should go back to complete linearity in dungeons either. Instead, I think there should be a form of "Semi-Linearlity" where you have many set paths before you instead of having just one.

Having non-durable items was a let-down for me as well. It didn't make items all that special when you found them. Not only that but most items in the game focused on Statistical Progression rather than Mechanical Progression (which would give the player new abilities). Ideally, a Zelda game should have a balance of the two just like the original Legend of Zelda.

At least we had the champion's abilities and Rune Upgrades though! Those definitely helped.
 
I liked BotW's dungeons, at least they weren't the holding pattern we're used to.

I would rather them look a bit more diverse but hunting down the terminals was a nice change.

The sequel will probably swing back to something more traditional.

If they are, I'd like to see them with more shrine-like open ended puzzles, fitting bosses and more interesting ideas outside of forest, fire and water.

I want some stuff tied to the lore too, I'd love to see a Zonai ghost dungeon.
 

MapelSerup

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I want to see something more traditional but exciting. BOTW broke conventions with Zelda’s exploration. I want to see dungeons break conventions with the linear style of dungeons. BOTW was a good start, but it didn’t have quite enough unique ideas. Creativity!
 
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Yah, Shrines were lackluster, but I would still want Mini-Dungeons in the sequel. Stuff like caves, mines, enemy infested ravines, areas similar to the lost woods in Twilight Princess, and the such. As long as dungeons get the attention they deserve.



If they add loftwings in the sequel then we'll get more than enough "atmosphere!" (Hee hee, see what I did there?)

They said atmosphere. Not stratosphere. ;)
 
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I want to see some better lock and key mechanics. In Breath of the Wild, they were practically absent in favor of letting you go wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted, and in older Zelda games, they were used to restrict you to a linear path most of the time. I would like to see a mechanic where you have multiple paths available to you, and you have to choose where to explore first. Later areas should be barred to the player, forcing them to search for the "keys" to the "locks" in the world around them. Giving the player a limited amount of keys and forcing them to make meaningful decisions about where to use them is something that Zelda dungeons usually aren't great at. Often, you have to complete paths in specific orders rather than getting to choose, simply because you won't have the item you need, or you run out of small keys and have to go back to the start. I think it would be best if choosing a path meant commitment to it, making you fully explore it and find how it connects to the rest of the dungeon. Also, removing disposable keys would fix one of the series' biggest problems with logic and force the developers to create more meaningful choices surrounding their closed doors.
 

The Bread Pirate

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I want to see some better lock and key mechanics. In Breath of the Wild, they were practically absent in favor of letting you go wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted, and in older Zelda games, they were used to restrict you to a linear path most of the time. I would like to see a mechanic where you have multiple paths available to you, and you have to choose where to explore first. Later areas should be barred to the player, forcing them to search for the "keys" to the "locks" in the world around them. Giving the player a limited amount of keys and forcing them to make meaningful decisions about where to use them is something that Zelda dungeons usually aren't great at. Often, you have to complete paths in specific orders rather than getting to choose, simply because you won't have the item you need, or you run out of small keys and have to go back to the start. I think it would be best if choosing a path meant commitment to it, making you fully explore it and find how it connects to the rest of the dungeon. Also, removing disposable keys would fix one of the series' biggest problems with logic and force the developers to create more meaningful choices surrounding their closed doors.
Bouncing off of that idea, I hope that Nintendo also adds the ability to buy keys.

I know that sounds broken, but if the keys are expensive (and in this case one time use) then it would be a balanced way of letting the player progress even when they're stumped on a puzzle. This also means that Nintendo would be able to include harder puzzles in the games without worrying about players having progression halted.

Your ideas about reintroducing Lock-and-Key elements into the sequel have my admiration. I would love to see this happen. I just don't know if Nintendo wants to do this. They're always so unpredictable.
 
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On the dungeons vs shrines subject. I'm honestly cool with getting a bunch of mini-dungeons (shrines) over a few overlong dungeons. In fact, I'd dare say I prefer it like that. After trodding through TP's exhaustive, needlessly long dungeons, I've been wishing Zelda switched to having shorter, more numerous dungeons. I eventually got my wish with ALBW and BotW, and lo and behold, I find myself enjoying Zelda much more now. ALBW's dungeons and BotW's shrines are short enough to end before they get tiring, which is just how I liked them.

That said, I rather enjoyed Hyrule Castle in BotW. It was long yes, but unlike the dungeons in previous 3d games, it wasn't linear, nor did it throw non-stop puzzles at you. It focused on exploration and combat instead, and was much more open, which kept it fresh and interesting. I would love it if the main dungeons in BotW2 were like that.

Fixed? That seems like a poor way to put it. I'd suggest that dungeons as they were before BotW were broken. They were repetitive affairs that would fairy you along a very strict path with little room for deviation. You'd find a dungeon map, then a compass (but sometimes that order is mixed up. Woo) and then a dungeon item. Usually, the dungeon item is useful only in very particular circumstances and then never again.

Afterwards you would fight a boss. You'd hit it once with the dungeon item and then smack it a couple times with your sword, usually in patterns of three. Most bosses in modern 3D Zelda are so non-aggressive that you have to stand in one place just to be dealt the tiny shred of damage they do to you. Heck, your interaction with them is so limited that they can barely be called bosses. They're more like slightly dynamic puzzles.

So no, dungeons don't necessarily need to be fixed. I think they could be changed up in terms of aesthetic. Make them more visually appealing, but keep the more dynamic nature that the Divine Beasts introduced. The same goes for the Blights. While I think they should be changed up aesthetically, I want a boss. I don't want an angry puzzle that just kind of wiggles it around and then I smack it three times.
I have to agree. It may sound weird, but the dungeons have always been one of my least favorite parts of Zelda. I've always enjoyed the exploration more, so I found myself unable to enjoy games like TP or SS, with them putting such an overt focus on dungeons, puzzles and linearity, while neglecting the overworld and exploration.
 
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I think they could try to incorporate dungeon items in a way that suits the open world format. Using the champion abilities from BotW as an example, what if the dungeon required those abilities but you were only able to use the powers outside the dungeon once the boss had been defeated?

Obviously the champion powers weren't designed like this so it wouldn't make sense for something like Mipha's blessing, but I could see electricity-themed puzzles designed around the use of Urbosa's fury, requiring you to reach certain areas and trigger it to activate switches, open doors, the usual Zelda dungeon stuff.

But like in BotW, I wouldn't want these abilities to be required to beat the game. Maybe to access some hidden areas or treasure, but I think having the entire game beatable pretty much immediately is a huge strength of BotW, and helps differentiate it from other Zelda games.
 
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I want the classic dungeons back, with some huge caveats. I did not enjoy the Divine Beasts very much, except for Naboris, because while they were nonlinear, they were also so utterly devoid of challenge that there wasn't much beyond the spectacle of climbing around the insides of a big stone war machine. I think Zelda would be better served if it brought back the classic dungeons, with the caveat that things like item gating be removed. Items should be used to make your journey easier, simpler, more convenient, but you shouldn't have to have the Mirror Shield to finish a dungeon if you don't want it. Take the hookshot, for example. It's a great item in concept, but very limited in application most of the time. Now imagine that you can use the hookshot on any surface. You can immediately scale any small structure, and you are granted a huge boost climbing any cliff or wall. It would be a nice convenience that would make exploring the world more fun. Meanwhile, paths can be barred with actual locked doors, and keys shouldn't break, and you have a nice, inventive dungeon that combines the good ideas of the new dungeons with the success of the old.

Bosses, however, are a different note entirely. I like the old Zelda bosses because Zelda has never been challenging, so fighting a visually interesting dynamic puzzle has been good enough for me. However, they can be so, so much more. The first step is to make the bosses about ten times more aggressive. They need to be actively trying to kill you, otherwise it's not a fight. The second step is to make weak points much harder to hit. One of the problems with Breath of the Wild's bosses is that they still have weak points, but if you miss, you still do damage, and the weak points are really easy to hit. They are a crutch, not a saving grace. Think about Smaug from the Hobbit - his armor was nearly impenetrable, except at one tiny, hard to see or hit spot. Now think about the Blights - they have no defense against the army's worth of weapons you can throw at them, and they have a weak point that does critical damage to them. See the difference? Future bosses should be hard to hit, deal a lot of damage, and be constantly trying to throw the player off with rapid volleys of attacks.
 

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