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Flashpoints better than Dungeons...but why?

So I have done Dungeon runs in every game from EQ up to RIFT and I often times did them for the loot with a deep sigh and resignation that I "needed to do them". I had fun in some, especially in the early days of EQ as Dungeons were HARD.

Not bashing on RIFT because I do like that game but I was not always willing to jump into a Dungeon and struggled to want to. If you (or I rather) bothered to read the story they were pretty cool but still Ugh.

NOW, I played 3 of the "Flashpoints" in TOR and only stopped at the three so as not to ruin the rest of them. I played the Esseles on the Republic side and the Black Talon and Hammer Station on the Empire side. I ran through them a few times each and will again. I had a blast in them. The question is why.

I hate to say it but story and dialogue are KING here. The group dialogue and choices are fun and make for some good moments, even on repeated runs. The funny thing is, ulitmately you still are running to a mob and killing it, solving a puzzle and passing it, Killing a Boss and cheering, and grabbing loot, same as in a Dungeon. BUT the fact you can make choices that change the story some and the immersive interactive content really make it great.

Hammer Station was my least favorite though I still enjoyed it. I realized it also had the least story elements of the three I played. Still it was more fun than any RIFT Dungeon (or any WOW dungeon but I have not played WOW since Witch King so I am not sure about later content).

Tight design is another. The Flashpoints can be hard without some decent planning by the players but the design of how it dishes things out to you and using crew skills like Slicing and Archeology to bypass traps, etc, ehanced the gameplay. The tight design made the fights fun and fast paced and there was little to no down time.

I did the Esseles with a Jedi Guardian and it was great because a Smuggler made a choice I really hated (but he won the roll) and it made me mad "in character" which was a fun experience.

On the Empire side I was playing a very self centered and evil Sith Assassin and was often at odds with a Snarky, good natured Imperial Agent that often opposed what I wanted to choose. That made the Dungeon SOOOOO much more fun I can't really describe it.

Anyway, there is a secret sauce with the Flashpoints that, for me, make them really fun to play through again and again, I hope to see many more them in the future. They are real highlight to TOR.

 

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Comments

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Member CommonPosts: 10,910

    I barely did dungeons in Rift and it's because I got incredibly tired of running dungeons in WoW. The flash points in SW:ToR were a very nice change from what I've experienced before. I thought the initial one went on a little long, but I'm guessing that's how long it takes to tell a decent story.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • popinjaypopinjay Member Posts: 6,539

    Probably because with typical WoW type or copied dungeons, they feel like they are an all day affair. Even when a run takes just one hour, most dungeons in other games feel longer because of the lack of story associated with the dungeons.

    Most typical dungeons don't make any pretense on WHY you are going into them.. pure and simple, you're there for loot. Devs in other games try to loosely tie the dungeon into the major lore of the game but it never comes off that way and feels like a loot run.


    Because story is so much the emphasis on TOR, the dungeons are connected naturally so they flow and the loot is more of an afterthought because you're enjoying the immersion.

    So short story, Flashpoints>dungeons because of immersion.

  • DexterMMODexterMMO Member Posts: 484

    I'll throw my idea out there as to why. Flashpoints are better than the traditional MMO dungeons because they progress quicker due to their lack of super elite need to punch it in the face 230,000 times to kill it mobs. So the transition through the dungeon is easier while the bosses remain difficult and generally have a strategy to be used.

     

    Not to mention the on-going story within the flash point.

    Everything I say is my opinion or personal preference. You may or may not find it useful to your cause but regardless I am entitled to it.

  • VonatarVonatar Member UncommonPosts: 723

    Amen.

    I did Esseles and Black Talon with my usual gaming buddies and we had a blast. The story elements make it fun and give a purpose to what you're doing and I loved the build up to the final fight in each which made me tingle with anticipation as to whether I could prove the taunting of the last boss to be wrong. Never had so much fun in a group instance and the combat was just plain fun - jedi/sith leaping in to combat, explosions and blaster fire everywhere.

    PS. Not wanting to spoil for anyone, but watching one of my buddies get force choked mid fight was certainly a memorable moment!

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Member RarePosts: 9,686

    Flashpoints allow for much more variation compared to old fashioned Dungeons.

     

    Flashpoints could also work in a way as the LOTRO skirmishes. And there could also be PvP based Flashpoints. There are so many possibilities with flashpoints in the future its not even funny anymore.

     

    On top of that the story component addds more depth and immersion. it gives players a reason to kill someone, instead of just doing it for an XP reward.

     

    makes me wonder if they added a different story and different mobs to a flashpoint would it still feel fresh? This way the flashpoint could be used several times before getting outdated. And allow Bioware to easilly generate new content.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • popinjaypopinjay Member Posts: 6,539


    Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

     
    makes me wonder if they added a different story and different mobs to a flashpoint would it still feel fresh? This way the flashpoint could be used several times before getting outdated. And allow Bioware to easilly generate new content.
     

    Interesting thought and I wonder...

    I know I came to hate the dungeons in WoW and Rift because of the "expert" modes. Basically, it's the same boring dungeons but they add two wings to it and four bosses or something. I like the new bosses but there was never any connection added to the lore/story in Expert mode. It's just as if it was player generated content; someone designed a new mod but no story was involved so it felt like the same thing.

    If you're going to add an "Expert" mode, they can't just plop in new bosses and a new spidey hole and think it's fun because it doesn't add anything immersion wise. It's still as someone said earlier, beat on the boss until 500k hps are gone and get loot.

    Bioware could potentially change all that. If a Flashpoint gets a "expert" mode upgrade but now has different player choices to choose from, players might want to keep running it because they want to see how every choice would affect the overall story, not just "ok, let's kill this guy and get our loot".

    In most of these typical dungs like Rift/WoW, the endgame devolves into [/i]"okay, let's use this exploit to climb this wall and skip everything here, so we can get in and out with our loot to run it again",[/i] which drives me batty when I see the tank type that.

  • koira1koira1 Member UncommonPosts: 264

    We tried the Esseles for first time in this beta, at lvl 10, me with jedi sentinel, and 3 of my friends. And the flashpoint struck me with rather nice story and not just that mindless part, but it offered a challenge for us that we havent encountered in any other game so far. mind you that on 2nd run we were better prepared and then it easier as we had leveled up few times since. and for the story choices, were laughin our asses of in Mumble.. It certainly was refreshing to see that the flashpoint changed with our choices in dialog

  • marquisk2marquisk2 Member Posts: 141

    Even if it is a nice story don't you still need to run flashpoints over and over again to get the gear you want?   Then won't you have to run through the same story all over again?  How many times will it take until it gets boring hearing the same dialogue over and over again just because you want the loot?

  • catlanacatlana Member Posts: 1,677

    Originally posted by koira1

    We tried the Esseles for first time in this beta, at lvl 10, me with jedi sentinel, and 3 of my friends. And the flashpoint struck me with rather nice story and not just that mindless part, but it offered a challenge for us that we havent encountered in any other game so far. mind you that on 2nd run we were better prepared and then it easier as we had leveled up few times since. and for the story choices, were laughin our asses of in Mumble.. It certainly was refreshing to see that the flashpoint changed with our choices in dialog

    You have hit the nail on the head. The flashpoint changes with your decisions. These changes coupled with the story make flashpoint a really enjoyable experience. Flashpoints are indeed a lot more fun than standard dungeons. 

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Member CommonPosts: 10,910


    Originally posted by marquisk2
    Even if it is a nice story don't you still need to run flashpoints over and over again to get the gear you want?   Then won't you have to run through the same story all over again?  How many times will it take until it gets boring hearing the same dialogue over and over again just because you want the loot?


    Can't really say about end game, but no, you wouldn't run the flash point over and over for gear. Somebody might, but I'm not sure what the point is when the crafted gear and the quest reward gear would replace it in a pretty short period of time.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • dougmysticeydougmysticey Member Posts: 1,176

    Originally posted by lizardbones

     




    Originally posted by marquisk2

    Even if it is a nice story don't you still need to run flashpoints over and over again to get the gear you want?   Then won't you have to run through the same story all over again?  How many times will it take until it gets boring hearing the same dialogue over and over again just because you want the loot?








    Can't really say about end game, but no, you wouldn't run the flash point over and over for gear. Somebody might, but I'm not sure what the point is when the crafted gear and the quest reward gear would replace it in a pretty short period of time.

     

     We were not re-running Flashpoints for gear. We did not even think about gear when going again. It went like this" That was fun, wanna go again?"

    "Yeah, but lets do (Spoiler not included) this next run!"

    Also, not only is gear from crafting and questing sometimes better but Commendation gear is OFF the HOOK good which you get most of your commendations from questing but also come from killing powerful mobs and Flashpoints, and other stuff you do.  I think even PVP.

    image

  • mazutmazut Member UncommonPosts: 986

    I got a good impression of the first two FP in the game. I runned both without tank or healer and with success. The problem is that I still dont know, if this is cus they are to easy or well designed?!

    My healing as mercenary was enough most of the time in synergy with other classes defensive abilities.

     

    I have a question. I had an feeling that there are more then one paths in the instance. Not a completely different path, but shortcut/shortcuts. Is this true or I got confused?

  • CeridithCeridith Member UncommonPosts: 2,980

    Scripted events and dialogue in a "dungeon" are nice, but after the first few times, the novelty wears off and it just becomes the same old grind as a dungeon that lacks scripted events and dialogue.

    This became very apparent in WoW:WotLK with several dungeons being more dialogue and scripted events heavy, and even moreso in Cataclysm. They were very engaging the first few times of the dungeon, but the fourth, fifth, etc times it tended to leave one wishing for a "skip to the combat" option. In any MMO that forces grinding through the same dungeon, flashpoint, etc, multiple times, the dialogue and scripted events tend to get annoying after the novelty wears off.

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Member RarePosts: 9,686

    Originally posted by mazut

    I got a good impression of the first two FP in the game. I runned both without tank or healer and with success. The problem is that I still dont know, if this is cus they are to easy or well designed?!

    My healing as mercenary was enough most of the time in synergy with other classes defensive abilities.

     

    I have a question. I had an feeling that there are more then one paths in the instance. Not a completely different path, but shortcut/shortcuts. Is this true or I got confused?

    I run the first one with 2 sith warriors, and the Jedi boss kept kicking our arses till we figured the right tactic. When we knew the right tactic, it was quite easy.

     

    It was fun to find out the right tactics together with someone that was just as patient as i was.  And after we got killed a few times we improved our very own tactic untill we survived the fight.

     

    After that we moved on to Drummon Kaas. But it was a really fun 2 man pug experience.

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • HengistHengist Member UncommonPosts: 1,082


    Originally posted by mazut
     
    I have a question. I had an feeling that there are more then one paths in the instance. Not a completely different path, but shortcut/shortcuts. Is this true or I got confused?


    Ultimately you get to the same point, but yes if you were to change the "key" decision you take a different fork for a little bit.

    Black Talon:

    If you kill the captain you have to fight to the Engine room and kill a big droid. If you save the captain you fight to the docking bay and have to kill a Republic strike team. If you look at it like steps to the end of a dungeon, you'll have 2A and 2B and both of them lead to step 3, but it does make it different how you get there as well.

    In this one, it also changes a bit about the "ending" story of the Flashpoint as well.

  • HengistHengist Member UncommonPosts: 1,082


    Originally posted by Ceridith
    Scripted events and dialogue in a "dungeon" are nice, but after the first few times, the novelty wears off and it just becomes the same old grind as a dungeon that lacks scripted events and dialogue.
    This became very apparent in WoW:WotLK with several dungeons being more dialogue and scripted events heavy, and even moreso in Cataclysm. They were very engaging the first few times of the dungeon, but the fourth, fifth, etc times it tended to leave one wishing for a "skip to the combat" option. In any MMO that forces grinding through the same dungeon, flashpoint, etc, multiple times, the dialogue and scripted events tend to get annoying after the novelty wears off.


    And thankfully "spacebar" allows that.

  • popinjaypopinjay Member Posts: 6,539


    Originally posted by dougmysticey


    Originally posted by lizardbones
     



    Originally posted by marquisk2
    Even if it is a nice story don't you still need to run flashpoints over and over again to get the gear you want?   Then won't you have to run through the same story all over again?  How many times will it take until it gets boring hearing the same dialogue over and over again just because you want the loot?




    Can't really say about end game, but no, you wouldn't run the flash point over and over for gear. Somebody might, but I'm not sure what the point is when the crafted gear and the quest reward gear would replace it in a pretty short period of time.
     

     We were not re-running Flashpoints for gear. We did not even think about gear when going again.

    It went like this" That was fun, wanna go again?"
    "Yeah, but lets do (Spoiler not included) this next run!"


    I think that's the key right there.

    Any other mmo you will run the dungeon again because it's fun (for the ones that are), but the innovative thing about Flashpoints are even if the combat that leads up to the last boss is the same, the CHOICES people make to see how it gets there is different. There is simply more power in the hands of the players than in any other game involving dungeons.

    When you ran Greenscale, of course the battles with GS were the same... combat never changes in how to kill him or what to expect.

    The difference is before bosses go into their "monologue" and you see the same story before you have to fight, you're yawning and wishing you didn't have to wait to see X character walk into the scene and say his same line, and then wait for Y character to respond with her line and then the obligatory mobs run out and declare loyalty or whatever else a dungeon says you have to do before actually fighting. You're bored by that point.

    With a flashpoint choices, the players can change the conversations around and the responses which adds more variety before the obligatory fight. Given choice is built into the game from the start, they can only expand on this with "expert" modes done in a new way.


    Same dungeon, add new bosses and give entirely new conversations and choices that players can make which keeps the instance fresh.


    Originally posted by Ceridith
    Scripted events and dialogue in a "dungeon" are nice, but after the first few times, the novelty wears off and it just becomes the same old grind as a dungeon that lacks scripted events and dialogue.
    This became very apparent in WoW:WotLK with several dungeons being more dialogue and scripted events heavy, and even moreso in Cataclysm.

    No, the Cataclysm dungeons don't have choices. That's the difference. You are waiting for a scripted dialogue which you cannot control so your reasonings on why it doesn't work in TOR are wrong.


    That may be why it gets old in WoW/Rift/Lotro to some extent (waiting through dialogue one cannot change), but the simple act of being able to make a choice is immersion itself, because the person is engaged in picking something.

  • CeridithCeridith Member UncommonPosts: 2,980

    Originally posted by popinjay



    Originally posted by Ceridith

    Scripted events and dialogue in a "dungeon" are nice, but after the first few times, the novelty wears off and it just becomes the same old grind as a dungeon that lacks scripted events and dialogue.

    This became very apparent in WoW:WotLK with several dungeons being more dialogue and scripted events heavy, and even moreso in Cataclysm.




     

    No, the Cataclysm dungeons don't have choices. That's the difference. You are waiting for a scripted dialogue which you cannot control so your reasonings on why it doesn't work in TOR are wrong.



    That may be why it gets old in WoW/Rift/Lotro to some extent (waiting through dialogue one cannot change), but the simple act of being able to make a choice is immersion itself, because the person is engaged in picking something.

    I get that there are choices, and that increases the longevity, but it still only does so to a certain extent. It's still a scripted event with a limited number of permutations. Even with different options, several of the possible combinations may result in the same outcome. My point is that at the end of the day if you're having to run through the same content over again to grind up experience, points, items, or whatever else, eventually the novelty of the dialogue and options wear off and you're left with the core game mechanics to dictate whether or not what you're doing is actually still fun or not.

  • HengistHengist Member UncommonPosts: 1,082


    Originally posted by Ceridith

    Originally posted by popinjay


    Originally posted by Ceridith
    Scripted events and dialogue in a "dungeon" are nice, but after the first few times, the novelty wears off and it just becomes the same old grind as a dungeon that lacks scripted events and dialogue.
    This became very apparent in WoW:WotLK with several dungeons being more dialogue and scripted events heavy, and even moreso in Cataclysm.

     
    No, the Cataclysm dungeons don't have choices. That's the difference. You are waiting for a scripted dialogue which you cannot control so your reasonings on why it doesn't work in TOR are wrong.

    That may be why it gets old in WoW/Rift/Lotro to some extent (waiting through dialogue one cannot change), but the simple act of being able to make a choice is immersion itself, because the person is engaged in picking something.


    I get that there are choices, and that increases the longevity, but it still only does so to a certain extent. It's still a scripted event with a limited number of permutations. Even with different options, several of the possible combinations may result in the same outcome. My point is that at the end of the day if you're having to run through the same content over again to grind up experience, points, items, or whatever else, eventually the novelty of the dialogue and options wear off and you're left with the core game mechanics to dictate whether or not what you're doing is actually still fun or not.


    Which generally makes it far more interesting and attractive than just about any other title out there, that offer a single version of a dungeon. It is what it is and once you've run it once you've seen it.

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