Xibaluku

 

Xibaluku:

 



Game:

Age of Conan - Hyborian Adventures

 

Type:

6 player group dungeon

 

Player level:

80

 


 

 

My role and responsibilities:

For the whole Dungeon all of the bosses, my role and responsibilities were the same, covering:

  • Grayboxing the dungeon
  • Concepting theme and quests
  • Designing bosses and encounters
  • Abilities
  • Magic spells
  • Particle effects
  • Cutscenes
  • Camera paths
  • Assembling NPCs (assigning looks and abilities, etc)
  • Scripting
  • Implementation
  • Testing/balancing
  • Documenting

 


 

Design vision:

The intention with Xibaluku was to make an interesting dungeon with dynamic content – to make each dungeon run a different experience.
Along with randomly spawned rare bosses and optional ones, the players were also challenged to make choices which would influence on what they would meet later on in the dungeon.

 

Also, Xibaluku had an “Easter Egg”, which the development team waited for quite some time to see the players figure out. While not being crucial for the players’ ability to finish the dungeon, it still added some spice to their experience, and once the strategy was figured out and put up on guides here and there, it would still require hard skills of the players and the group to succeed.

 

Extraordinary loot was made for this dungeon, and our hard work with it was rewarded by it – still – being one of the most popular dungeons of the game.

 

 


 

 

Detailed description and video footage: Bosses/encounters:

 

The dungeon has 11 boss encounters of which one is a rare spawn, two are optional, and one has a chance of spawning a special boss, if the players figure out how (and do it in time).

 

1. Warlord Repadis (Video below, 2:55)

Spawns waves of adds on a nearby platform, which requires that the group split up.

 

2. Master Gaoler Norach + Surberec (Video below, 4:05)

Tank and spank, however one player will be chosen and charmed into the jail. After having defeated a mob in there, the jailed player can lockpick his way out.


3. Acheronian Reaper (Rare – not in the video below)

Basically a DPS race. From spawn till death, this boss’ DPS increases, visually illustrated through physical size increase. At the same time, he casts a shield buff on himself at intervals, which heals him each time he takes damage. The players must pay attention and deal as much burst damage as possible at the correct moments keeping the fight as short as possible.

 

4. Gauntlet (Video below, 05:40) – not a boss.

This is a survival encounter, which will last until the group has successfully made it to the end of the area.

A long ramp, which is divided into a number of (invisible to the players) sections. When the players enter the ramp, a slowly moving, untargetable monster starts following them. If he gets close, he’ll knock them over into a deep pit, which will surely kill them.
However, as moving down the ramp, the players must be careful not to progress too quickly, as each section triggers a swarm of bats, which apply a short lasting stacking debuff. The group should not allow more than 3 stacks at the time (each will run out after a short period of time).
During this, the players will also be attacked by waves of undead guards, which must be dealt with.

 

 

5. Balko(Video below, 06:28)

Does a lot of PBAoEs related to his levels of mana, endurance, and health. Also has adds.

 

 

6. Random boss (Optional, not in the video below)

Archetype fight – Soldier, Mage, Priest,Rogue. Also spawns adds.

 

 

7. Martyr of Votantha(Video below, 06:55)

This encounter has a boss standing in a room with 4 orbs, a large gap in the floor – and a device on the other side of the gap – obviously requiring that the players solve some kind of puzzle to get to it. Getting to - and disabling – the device, will make the boss a lot easier.

The group must use the orbs to activate platforms in order to access the fifth orb, which then allows you to kill the boss. As can be seen on the video, there is some jumping skills involved in this encounter as well.

 

 

8. Tia Shar(Video below, 09:28)

Summons adds which will kill any players they get close to.
Each add will aggro the nearest player, and must be kited through a ring of fire which randomly appears around the room.

 

 

9. The Red One (Video below, 10.40)

Tank and Spank.
This boss fears the group using an avoidable cone fear, which is dangerous since the arena is surrounded by crocodiles.

 

10. Meskit the Fated (Rare, not in the video below)

At intervals, he casts "Soul Link", which for a short period of time links himself to a group member. While linked, that player will have all damage dealt by the group towards the boss cast on him instead of on the boss. So pay attention to this boss’ phases, or you’ll kill your group mates!

 

 

11. Jal Kor Bloodbane (Video below, 11:20)

Normal end boss. There are braziers around the area, which will shoot damage rays between them. Also, a slowly moving – but extremely hard hitting melee mob walks towards wherever the boss is. So keep the boss moving to avoid making the add aggro!

 

 

12. Iziel Al’zeep (Video below, 12:27 – yeah, we did this one for the camera)

Rare end boss.
Hovering on a hard-to-get-to platform above this boss is a corrupted mirror. As long as the mirror is not purified, the boss will spawn corrupted clones of the players to attack the group. The players must kite the boss, avoid his stunning glare, and fight the corrupted clones. Also, at intervals, the players must purify the mirror, while managing the fight. Being close to the mirror puts a buff on you that makes it impossible to stay there for more than a short period of time – so the players must do rounds in order to keep the mirror completely purified.

 

 

 

Dungeon dev run-through video:

See it here

 

 

 


 

Dungeon description:

The prison colony known as Thunder River has been home to many of Aquilonia’s worst criminals. Murderers, rapists and black-hearted rogues have all graced the soil of the island, never knowing that something far darker than stains upon their souls lurked beneath them. The Acheronians called it Xibaluku, this sacred place within the earth. A place of worship and sacrifice; where shadowy figures once writhed in the unearthly ecstasy of blasphemous rituals to unnamed gods.

When designing Xibaluku we wanted to make it an even more interactive experience, and we wanted to bring traps and other gameplay mechanics into the gameplay.

 

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