Hey everyone! At some point a few folks on the Wynncraft Discord were discussing the Void and I remembered I had at some point started to work on an idea for the void. This is that thing. It's a blend of various ideas for the void but at its heart it's a Tower of Ascension like challenge that is designed to challenge the player not only in combat, but also puzzle solving and parkour through the late game. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Spire It's a working title. The Void Spire, or just “the Spire”, is a challenge for players to take part in that will take them through 100 floors of various challenges. With each floor being designed as a “fracture” of reality itself—a piece of Corkus, or a part of the light forest as examples—that are used as the setting for each floor. The Spire is designed to be taken on solo at the beginning but progressively grows into a more group-like endeavor—more on this later—and makes use of abstract mechanics that wouldn’t normally fit in elsewhere either due to regional theming or similar reasoning. This leads us onto the key points of the Spire, the floor designs themselves. This therefore gives the Spire a general level of when the player first accesses the void, which is where I feel having an introduction to it is best as it lends itself to an endgame piece of content. How the player can be introduced to the Spire and its design and story are all under the “Backstory and Design” section! Backstory and Design Setup/Backstory Not much is known of the Void at large, existing as a vast emptiness where drifting pieces of the realms can be found it was only inevitable that when a small collection of wandering brutes found themselves in a place unlike any they had ever known they declared themselves its rulers. Unbeknownst to them, their story had been played out hundreds of times before. The void is home to an unknown number of lost: the callous; the fearful; the power-seeking, they all sought to find a way to either leave the void or to live in it. Some find more success than others. Over time, these groups who went to and fro’ islands formed collectives, then small communities and eventually an entire doctrine for a way of life in the void—with many leaving the people unmentioned. It was inevitable of course that some would find each other and would try to destroy the other. Cleansing the heretics. To coordinate these ventures, monuments were erected to be beacons of power, and a point of protection, for those in charge. One such monument was The Spire. A vulgar example of reality's flaws. Those behind it were worshipers and believers of what they called ‘void warping’. An art that allowed those who practiced it to mold the reality around them and to—with great power—bring chunks of other realms into the void. The Spire is now home to hundreds of fragments of the other realms. The masters of the Spire continue their endless pursuit for control. Taking whatever risk they need in order to gain complete and total control. To become the voids master and monarch. Design The spire is a large tower-like structure that resides at the center of a large whirlpool of several floating islands. It stands looming over the player at all angles. Its main design is a repeating structure of windowless circular-ish rooms. With every few repeating floors being taken in, narrowing the structure, before it begins its ascent again. This general aesthetic continues two or three times before reaching the peak. The general palette is a variety of grey bricks for the base with a variety of dark blocks acting as chains binding the structure to the whirlpool of islands and some purple accent hues to attract the players eyes to key points—entrance, any form of spikes, partitions etc—that break up the general design elements. n.b. Yes… it's not a stellar design; I wasn't really thinking about the design when writing this I was more focused on the gameplay! If you wish to envision it differently you are free to do so though it may cause some continuity issues in later sections! Gameplay The Floors As mentioned prior the spire is a collection of 100 floors (99 solo-explorable) that all take place in fractures of reality. This is the setup. The main gameplay loop of each floor however differs depending on the floor type. So what types would there be? Well, I've split them into types: a general term for a collection of floor styles that have a similar gameplay loop. These are: Movement, interactions, and combat. Movement Movement floors are your timed parkour, your Galleon's Graveyard falling sand room etc. its all about the players reaction times being put to the test. These floors often rely on gimmicks or difficult design to engage and challenge the player rather than outright length. This could mean incorporating elements from other parts of Wynncraft such as geyser launching or bounce pads. These floors become less common the higher the player ascends in the spire due the relative ease that a player that late on may have and the general small amount of innovation that can realistically be a game changer to introduce to the player. Interactions Similar to movement but differing slightly is interaction; a term that is used to define floors that make use of elements that require the player to physically interact with the environment whilst always having to be aware of something—think Hollow Serenity “Collect the evidence”. As this floor type may be hard to fully grasp, I've given a slight example below for an early floor design I came up with quickly to hopefully make it easier to understand… Spoiler: Example An example of an interaction floor:- the player, after ascending from their previous floor or first entering the spire, is placed onto a large island. Its design is reminiscent of the Sky Islands with a large drop partially visible, located on the island is a dense cluster of 6 caves in an oval pattern around the centre of the room. A barrier block wall prevents the player from escaping past the cave entrances and above them. The player is instructed that to complete this floor they must prevent anything from leaving the caves by placing a “barrier” on a cave—only one can be placed at a time—therefore leaving it unable to be passed out of or into. This is a fairly simple idea, so would take place at the start of the Spire but gives you an example of what might be done. Combat Combat rooms are your normal Wynncraft experience, the “Collect tokens” or “Kill X mobs Y amount”, the types of mobs encountered in these rooms depends on the theming surrounding those floors but they also will have a variety of void based mobs scattered throughout, most of whom bare some name related to distorting or altering reality. Gimmicks may be added to create a more interesting experience and to break up the monotony of this type of floor, or any of the others for that matter. Combat rooms however may feature gimmicks to make the fight seem more interesting. These could be the player being able to interact and modify the arena prior to beginning combat. The more outlandish ideas are to have an arena where the player works in 3D space to fight mobs—More effectively described better as being in flight for combat. As a recap and a tl;dr, there are three core floor types: Combat - A type of floor defined by the extended use of mobs for the player to kill to fulfil completion conditions. Interactions - A type of floor defined by the extended use of intractable environment pieces to have the player at a constant pace. Movement - A type of floor defined by the extended use of mechanics that force the player into movement; either constant or sporadic. n.b The floor types may occasionally fall into a grey area as they aren’t mutually exclusive with their mechanics, the most present mechanics therefore define the floor type. Though you could annotate them as hybrid floors. Break Floors As previously mentioned, every so often the player may come across a small town—or camp—in which they can recover potions, repair gear and potentially access a bank. These are break floors or rest floors. They serve as a way for players to take a break and to safely log out if they so want to without risking joining back in and doing their last floor all over again. They are actual floors, meaning you will go from floor 34, to break floor 35, to floor 36 and so on. They also allow for a bit of exposition and dialogue for the player to take part in. Learning more about the people trapped in the Spire and what it actually is. Bosses Bosses are a staple of challenge run systems, they are designed as gatekeepers or as a way to test what the player has learned and as a way to give a story. Every 25 floors the player's regular ascension is interrupted by a special floor; this is a boss floor. It is a pre-designed series of consecutive rooms that use the elements of previous floors in a more difficult way. The floors also all relate to their related boss—even if it's just a minor design aesthetic or unique mechanics for puzzles. They are like mini-dungeons and each culminates with a boss. So, what are you fighting? Well in the round about way, the bastion is controlled by a group of insane—what I will call—cultists who seek to become masters and monarch of the void. This means that as you ascend you will be faced by the protectors of ‘monarch void’ as it were. “But Iota!” I hear you cry, my imaginary device for progressing this post: “We don’t know what you mean by this, it's all very vague! Why not give us an example?” Well, that is an excellent idea! I won’t be giving you any level ranges but i’ll provide you the general premise, setup and execution of the fight. You can skip it if you want as it's not a necessary detail of this post! Spoiler: Example Fornote; I’m not doing proper names, because doing so entails making a name that sounds good and that is actually a fairly difficult task for me. X, Master of Illusion Design: A figure draped in a dark purple rope. Their neck is ornate with a golden livery collar with a voidstone gem in the centre. Their face is visible; they are a male, though the pigmentation of their skin is gone and is now a dull purple-tinged white. Their eyes are gleaming a bright pink. Arena Design: It is a moderately sized cylindrically shaped room with a domed roof. The roof and floor are made out of bricks with an ornamental pattern of a purple and pink snowflake pattern on the floor and on the roof, it features a white centre predominantly, The walls of the arena are in a hexagonal shape. With each flat surface being a ‘mirror’ like surface, though they are all rather tainted in a dark fog. These mirrors are separated by a pillar that extends to the dome roof. The arena’s general palette is the dark cobblestone and dark stone bricks with an accent of colour to separate sections of the roof and floor where needed. The Fight Intro: [???]: Human. Your strength is quite extraordinary. You are not like your predecessors. [???]: Brave. Intelligent. Just as a soldier should be. [???]: But your gall shall lead you no further; your ascendance ends. Here. [???]: I am X. One of the masters of the spire. Loyal servant to monarch void. [X]: You know human, we were once like yourself. Lost. Confused. Following orders. [X]: The monarch showed us there was more to our world then simple monotony. [X]: Perhaps, given your skill. Your talent. He may offer you the same sanctity, offer you freedom, as he did to me. [X]: Wouldn’t that be nice? [X]: … [X]: No response? How unfortunate. [X]: I suppose my only option is to put an end to this using violence. How pitiful. [X]: We shall see how far your strength can take you, human. Phase 1: Health: Omitted Level: Omitted Def: Earth; Water CCI: Blindness; knockback AI: Ranged The first phase uses a ranged AI though largely is using spells to engage the fight. These spells are split between offensive and defensive with a lean to the offensive side. These spells are as follows: Heavy Wave: “Sends a moving wave forward that deals damage and knocks the player further back multiple times.” - Wynncraft Wiki: Mob Spells Meteor: “Throws an exploding fireball towards a nearby player. Does nothing if no one's within range. Can be stopped by blocks being in the way of the mob.” - Wynncraft Wiki: Mob Spells Mirage: Summons 7 stationary copies of the mob around the arena; attacking one of these copies will cause the player to take damage and be inflicted with a minor debuff. The copies vanish after 3 seconds. This spell is used to punish overaggression in a fight and forces the player to head caution for a brief moment before resuming combat. Chain Dash: Teleports near the player and summons a line of glowing flame particles in a straight line towards or slightly offset around the player. After a slight delay the mob will dash through this specified path dealing damage it passed through anything. It will chain this attack 3-5 times. Once done it will teleport to a reasonable distance from the player. After finishing the first phase the player is moved into phase 2 that changes how the boss interacts with the arena… Phase 2: Health: Omitted Def: Earth; Water; Air CCI: Blindness; knockback AI: Ranged The second phase of the fight uses the arena's mirrors as a form of dynamic environment to create a more chaotic fight for the player. This is categorised under the spell “Reflection”. The fight uses the following spells: Heavy Wave: “Sends a moving wave forward that deals damage and knocks the player further back multiple times.” - Wynncraft Wiki: Mob Spells Mirage: Summons 7 stationary copies of the mob around the arena; attacking one of these copies will cause the player to take damage and be inflicted with a minor debuff. The copies vanish after 3 seconds. This spell is used to punish overaggression in a fight and forces the player to head caution for a brief moment before resuming combat. Chain Dash: Teleports near the player and summons a line of glowing flame particles in a straight line towards or slightly offset around the player. After a slight delay the mob will dash through this specified path dealing damage it passed through anything. It will chain this attack 3-5 times. Once done it will teleport to a reasonable distance from the player. Reflection: After being casted either one, two or three of the mirrors entombing the arena will turn from their dark foggy colour to a more reflective white. After doing so the mirror will begin to spawn a mob called: “Hostile Reflection” that will try to attack the player using a basic melee AI. The player can stop this by “attacking” the mirrors which, when they are killed, will cause them to return to their fogged state. Distortion: After being cast, 4 mirrors in the arena will turn to a vibrant pink colour indicating they are being ‘distorted’ they will also all summon a single “Hostile Reflection” on change. During this time the mob will rise in the air and take heavily reduced damage until one of the mirrors is broken. During this time the player can attack the mirrors to break them. Destroying one of them stops the entire attack and all mirrors return to their normal dark fogged state. Closing notes: Hopefully that gives you a better idea of the type of fights the Spire would entail. I purposely left this section vague because I feel that over detailing combat ideas is a way to make people easily hate something. You won’t be able to know how something feels until it's put into practice most of the time. After beating the fight the player is awarded by being given access to one of the more unique areas in the Spire… The Balconies/The Outlooks These are areas accessible only after a boss fight, they are mini safe zones for players to use to permanently return to if they leave the spire. They take place on the recessions in the spire that was mentioned previously in the design section. They are quasi-towns. Having small item shops and potion shops for players to use as well as having NPCs to have dialogue with. The player can warp between them using a void particle warp found in each one after unlocking each. They largely exist to provide the player with unique weapons and items but they have one key quality that changes how someone may play their next ascent… Introducing, The Martyr! The spire's challenge system. The martyr is a challenge giver that will force the player to progress through floors within a set of rules. These may be examples: not using your spells for 3 floors; Do not take over X amount of damage until floor Y; and so on. The Martyr can only be found and spoken to at the outlooks, though they might be seen inside some rooms, and will reward the player with exp, emeralds and sometimes rarer items for discovery when a player completes a challenge. They may also give the player unique dialogue after a certain amount of challenges… The whole idea of the Martyr is to force players to change how they play and reward players who know what they are going up against in order to have the upper hand at any possible turn. The following was added by edit (26/09/2022): Using each floor after a boss (Floor 26, 51, 76) as the entrances and using the outlook floors. I think the Martyr system could be used here to provide unique replay-ability and rewards. I've given some examples in the spoiler below of how i think it could be used more to make repeat playthrough. Spoiler: Martyr Runs So, to keep this as brief as possible. The marytr can be accessed at the outlooks AND the start of the tower once floor 25 is complete—forgot to mention this in the main post—each of these marytr instances can give a "challenge" for the next 25 floors unless it is the martyr outside of the tower! After completing the final floor you will be able to gain "full tower challenges" that will run for the length of the whole tower and provide difficult, but rewarding, challenges. These could be things such as: The mobs in combat rooms being influenced by the players elemental weaknesses and strengths. The player being put to 50% max health upon entering a new floor (inc. Boss floors) If you want cruelty: No deaths If you want to focus on tactical play: No more then X% damage in any room (inc. Boss Floors.) and so on... I think the best way to let the player choose the type challenges is using dialogue trees. With the player being able to choose whether its a 25 floor one or a full run one when speaking to the entrance martyr. They should also be given the ability to cancel any active challenge with an emerald penalty. This means if a player is truly struggling they can cancel it but must pay a price first. As for rewards, i.e. Mythics. I'm not too sure on this myself. I feel that if a player is running a full tower run with a Martyr challenge then yes, absolutely, they should have the chance for a mythic to be given. I also feel that a higher chance than the forgery would be entirely likely and better suited for such a long winded feat. As for from bosses, i'm against that. I think the inherent value from a boss should be the completion and progression it brings, material rewards are just extras. Mythics in this case mean that the Floor 25 boss would be abused if it was able to drop a mythic. Same with Floor 100. Its a downside of the system for players to enter so close to a fight so again, i'd be against it. Finally, marytr challenges that should not or are not intended to be done through the entire tower could have a very, very small chance to reward the player with a mythic. But notice the double 'very' there. Mythics are a dangerous knifes edge and i am cautious to even say this sort of chance for challenges that can widely vary in difficultly... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ok, that's enough to get a general gist of the idea. Lets go over some things you may ask briefly: The story section seems to imply you have a different idea for for the void's story? Yes, and that is a result of what i said in the opening; this is a collection of ideas that are all framed around this single idea, i liked what i had so i kept it. This was originally going to be a potential void ‘rework’ post but I decided to focus on a single idea first before jumping to something of that scale. The idea doesn’t feel very unique? ToA and Qira have similar loops to them already. Yes. It's not a completely unique idea. Nothing truly is. I took inspiration from ToA and Qira and also outside influences for things like the Martyr. Reinventing a wheel is only good when you know how to keep it a functional wheel knowing all the intricacies involved in making it. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel only to find that 99% of the blueprint is impossible. However, i do think there are some elements of this that make it stand on its own two feet. The formatting is a bit annoying. Sorry about that. First post on the forums so still trying to figure out the best way to format everything! The actual descriptions of things isn’t 100% consistent. This falls on me. I’ll correct anything I can but I'm only human and since I'm the writer I tend to read things that aren’t actually in the text. Please point these out to me and I will try to fix them! If anyone has any questions or feedback I'll be happy to give a response to it if I have one!