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So I was thinking about the concept of a dungeon and how the various RPGs over the years have portrayed them. For me personally, a dungeon should be scary and claustrophobic but also with some surprises such as unexpected cavernous expanses, truly terrifying monster placement and stuff like that.
Now I have not always been into RPGs, so I missed some of the classics such as The Bards Tale and Wizardry and the like. So I'm really curious as to what people think is the definitive dungeon, I did some google searches for 'best dungeon ever' and it didn't really point to much, mostly pen and paper games which I'm not concerned about.
So my experience for CRPGs begins in the early-mid 90s and beyond. My all time favourite has to be Velketor's Labyrinth in Everquest. It was an ice dungeon, with ice and crystalline spiders that was very popular during the Velious era. It had a pretty unique feel, and it was a great place to grind your end levels, with some interesting item drops - i'd say it was on par with the much lower level Crystalline Caverns which was also a Velious dungeon, but actually featured an entire dwarven city deep down inside it.
Followed very closely by a dungeon in Morrowind which I forget the name of - it's part of the main storyline, possibly around the middle - and it had a very vertical feel, in that it seemed to get deeper and deeper into the earth; dungeons on top of dungeons. It's where I can recall finding my first pieces of glass armor, and I just kept going around corners and going 'coooool.... this place just keeps going and going'
I guess that would be followed by Stonekeep, but that game was basically one big dungeon, so I suppose that doesn't count, but it really captured the atmosphere of what a dungeon would probably feel like if we lived in a land of goblins and stuff like that.
So I'm interested in what other people think and I wanna find some cool dungeons. I'm trying to write a very basic CRPG for myself as a hobby, and I want to model that on a classic dungeon, but apart from that I'm just generally interested in the whole 'dungeon' idea at the moment.
Still waiting for your Holy Grail MMORPG? Interesting...