Failure Analysis: Deep Delves

Update 6.3 brought us Deep Delves. Expectations were high, disappointment was even higher. Let’s look at the whole failure a little more in detail, maybe some good will come out of it.

The cost for playing a Deep Delve is two sigils, 10k gold. The perks are a room multiplier starting at 2 (instead of 1) and a guaranteed gnome room. Deep Delves are restricted to Delve level 100 and higher.

1.) Room multiplier
The room multiplier starting out at 2 instead of 1 doubles the amount of loot received, to make up for the double sigil cost, right? Unfortunately not, the overall benefit is very much less.

The room multiplier increases with every room visited, roughly by a total of 2 throughout a Delve. When starting with a multiplier of 1 one usually ends up with a multiplier around 3, when starting with a multiplier of 2 one usually ends up with a multiplier around 4.

In regards to loot this means:

  • The chest payout is a factor of 4 instead of 3, a mere 33% extra.
  • The average room reward payout is roughly a factor of 3 (2 + 2/2) instead of 2 (1 + 2/2), a mere 50% extra.

To not receive less than 2 sigils played individually the starting multiplier for Deep Delves would have to be somewhere between 4 (100% extra chest loot, 66% extra room loot) and 5 (133% extra chest loot, 100% extra room loot). Whoever decided to set the starting multiplier to 2 may not have been familiar with how little this changes rewards.

2.) Gnome room
The gnome room is likely the reason for the extra 10k gold cost attached to running a Deep Delve. Is it worth it in any way, especially for the high level players Deep Delves are trying to target? The gnome room contains a single random loot gnome, apparently picked from the same pool as the Explore game mode. This means it will almost always be one of these:

  • Treasure Gnome: Drops minor random loot. Almost always irrelevant.
  • Mecha Gnome: Drops ingots. Irrelevant to the point of insulting.
  • Soul Gnome: Drop souls. Irrelevant.
  • Glory Gnome: Drops glory. Possibly somewhat useful.
  • Jewel Gnome: Drop jewels. Possibly somewhat useful.
  • Daemon Gnome: Drops chaos shards, in much smaller numbers than gained from the chest at the end of the run. Irrelevant.

There may be an almost infinitely small chance for a Cursed Gnome to show up, the one type of gnome quite a lot of players would currently consider relevant. Nobody reported seeing one so far, so this can safely be skipped in this analysis. If Deep Delve players could directly buy the random gnome loot above for 10k gold, without even having to spend time to actually earn it, most of them would likely pass.

The gnome room also grants the player team a trait, Ultimate Greed, gain 4 gold on any 4+ match. This seems to serve little purpose in anything but very niche cases, getting a few gold extra at the end of the fight makes no real difference.

3.) Delve level
Is the Deep Delve at least in some way easier to run? A lot of players have progressed their Delves way past level 100, usually to level 500, meaning they can only start a run at level 50 or level 500. Level 50 doesn’t allow Deep Delving, so their only option is a level 500 run. That involves a significant risk of losing, especially when visiting all rooms for full rewards. And it likely takes much longer than two level 50 runs combined, which also happen to pay out more.

Why bother? Unless one artificially locks in their Delve at level 100 by refusing to progress this game mode is designed to become progressively less attractive.

4.) Event scoring
So, maybe Deep Delves could work out for events, to gain more points towards rewards or to reach deeper levels faster? That’s another miss, on both accounts. Deep Delves bump the Delve level by 10, like a regular Delve. And event scoring is strongly tied to Delve level, meaning that playing Deep Delves instead of regular Delves roughly cuts the final event score in half.

Bottom line
In summary, the only reason to ever run Deep Delves is once for the achievement. And that can be done in the All-Seeing Eye Delve. There is zero reason to ever visit the other 34 Deep Delves to be released over the next years, unless one wants to put significant effort into receiving much less rewards at higher risk for the same type of activity.

Possible solutions:

1.) Significantly increase the incentives for running Deep Delves. Seeing by how much the current design missed the mark, possibly consider asking the community what would make them even remotely want to play that game mode. Hint: Deeds, Forge Scrolls, Cursed Runes.

2.) Trash the whole feature as a failed once-only experiment. In its current state it’s going to be entirely wasted development effort for years to come.

50 Likes

I just want to say that I’m playing a daily deep delve since Friday. In my second deep delve I found a cursed gnome (Saturday), since then nothing interesting. By completing all the rooms in the deep delve you get the 10,000 back. If you’re lucky enough to run into a Cedric’s room as well, you get a lot more gold, but… the rewards aren’t worth the time spent.

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Once again, @Fourdottwoone hits the bull´s eye as exact as one could ever hit it. I have nothing to add, but can only support every aspect of the OP.

I just want to underline one point of possible solution number 1: Please strongly consider asking for player wishes (or feedback or whatever you call it) in the design process of new game modes or modifications of existing games modes. Not like in a beta test, when all the features are already fixed and only minor bug fixes will be implemented, but in a status of the design process, where really effective changes can still be made. If deep delves would offer a guaranteed chance for deeds, forge scrolls or cursed runes (and nothing else, no soul gnomes, mecha gnomes and so on), this mode would be just awesome instead of very disappointing.

Besides that, I have to say, I STILL think, that 6.3 is a good update. In our guild´s discord, I see many reports of finished pure faction runs in various locations due to potions now available also outside events. And in fact, this is a feature a big part of the community was asking for a long time. However, this thread is about deep delves and not 6.3 in general and deep delves are simply disappointing. If they were just executed better, 6.3 would have the potential to be the best update since I play the game (which is since end of 2019).

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I agree with you 100%. I hope they re-work the deep delve to increase the rewards and to include rare items as you mentioned such as Deeds, Cursed Runes, Forged Scrolls, Writs, Book of Deeds, Verses.

I am sure if this is implemented, then Deep Delve would be something special and would add value to the game.

Unfortunately, currently it’s dead content IMO.

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The problem is that when completing all the rooms in a standard delve you also get 10k gold, without having spent 10k gold first. The deep delve room payout is roughly 50% higher, at 2 sigils it’s still a huge loss though.

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Currently anything to not make Deep Delves strictly inferior to standard Delves in every aspect would help. The game mode doesn’t even have to be good for everybody, there should just be someone at all it targets. Some examples:

  • Extra team stats for that run (e.g. double hoard level bonus). Targets new players (who are struggling against stronger teams) and end-game players (who are struggling with level 500 pure faction runs).
  • Faster advancement through Delve levels, e.g. 50 instead of 10 each run. Targets mid-game players who want to reach level 500 in each delve faster.
  • Reworked loot table for boss chest, addressing the most prominent recent shortages. Targets end-game players who are struggling with kingdom power task requirements.
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I didn’t think to screenshot this when it happened but I did get a cursed gnome out of my gnome room when I did my first attempt, so at least it’s in the pool (with apparently dismal chances of appearing).

I agree the rewards should be reworked or at least take out the trash gnomes of that room’s gnome pool.

1 Like

Ways that this could have been made into an actually interesting end-game feature:

  • The gnome room could have a guaranteed cursed gnome (or 4!)
  • The rewards could include imperial deeds or books (increase the cost if necessary, but the current gem-cost of deeds and books via daily offers is both astronomically high and tectonically slow so almost anything they chose would be an improvement)
  • There could be a chance to increase renown with deeper delves, including mechanics for possibly making deeper delves harder in difficulty

I’m sure there are other ideas for what could have been. I can’t imagine who is excited by or even satisfied with the current implementation. Hopefully there’s still a chance it can be improved.

10 Likes

Theory mode. Suppose we could get one deed from each deep delve run. Paying 50 gems each day for 3 extra sigils would allow a total of 3 deep delve runs, for a total of 3 deeds. Crafting books requires 50 deeds, plus some extra resources. Allowing for a failed run or two that would roughly be 20 days, 1000 gems and a significant amount of effort for a single book. That’s probably way too expensive for the vast majority of players, it might cause some power players to get interested in deep delves though. Considering that we seem to need several hundred books within the next 12 months a significantly higher rate wouldn’t hurt, while still only covering a small part of the demand.

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a) If you accidentally start deep delve with your pure team at lvl 500, because tired & mind elsewhere due your body being in deep pain, let’s just say you’re in for an absolutely completely miserable experience. And losing out even more.

b) The fact that the deep delve is linked directly to your current progress in the delve, means you are not getting the same experience from doing it at lvl 100 vs someone at 500… But you’re getting the EXACTLY same rewards in every single possible way.
In other words, the player who has progressed deeper is getting punished for it, since none of the rewards scale at all! You are getting the exact same xp, same chest rewards, same everything. But for a lot more effort and at higher risk of failure.
How is that a design at all even?!

The only fair solutions I can see for deep delve would be to either:

  1. Scale the rewards accordingly (which I frankly don’t ever see happen, because then player will also complain that normal high level delves should scale accordingly).
  2. Set deep delve at fixed level. Since lvl 100 is the minimum requirement, set the deep delve to lvl 100 and let everybody have a level ground.
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The absolute worst thing about deep delves is that development time is being spent making 30 more. I really wish they’d just scrap it and work on fixing other broken features.

To justify its existence, it would need to reward endgame resources and/or give 500 more renown for a level 500 deep clear.

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The points above are all excellent and I concur with a lot of what’s said.
A small change that could make a potentially sizable difference would be the gnome room changing all four troops to gnomes. Maybe having a weighted encounter system so the late game gnomes are more likely to appear too.

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It is not just regular vs. deep delves, but if you grind a Delve up to Lv.500 (non faction team) then assume you can “just” start a “new run” with a pure faction team then “that’s cute” because it just doesn’t work that way.

I’ve posted this separately, but when you are selecting Delve difficulty the Lv.500 button should ALWAYS be the rightmost button on the UI. Currently, once you reach Lv.500 you now forever have only two buttons that work, we need a third button back.

How about this?

  • Left button: Lv.50 Delve level
  • Center button: ADJUSTABLE Delve level (Lv.50 - max)
  • Right button: Max Delve level+10 (up to Lv.500)
7 Likes

I agree with everything said so far. The Deep Delve is a waste of time and only worth doing once for the achievement.

I’ve done a deep delve everyday since launch and I did get a cursed gnome the first time I did one, but since it’s been the normal treasure gnome or the ingot gnome. Ingots are the last thing I need and the normal treasure has repeatedly given me rewards of 1 gem key or 100-1000 souls.

Its been an utter waste of time to do deep delves for these pathetic rewards. Being that it was a special delve, I was hoping that it would include the special gnomes and not the regular random ones you’d encounter in Explore. The gnomes that should appear in this room are the cursed, band, or even the pet gnome.

Or better yet, since the Mythic Horde Mimic is a enemy in this battle every time, these gnome rooms should also have a chance to drop that Mythic Mimic troop since trying to get it to spawn in Explore has such a low spawn rate that at times I wonder if its in possible to get it.

Also, if you don’t count the gold rewarded from the battles, there are times where gold isn’t even one of the delve rewards when you complete it, so you don’t even earn your gold back.

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35 more alternate maps… 34+ Hellcrag. What a waste…

What’s the best case scenario? Using 2 sigils on an alternate map (hoping its 3 rooms) for pure faction because the original map had 5 rooms?

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100% agree, best analysis since months i’ve seen.

I had the awful thought, and can’t help but think it’s still a possibility, that someone in Deep Delves’ development thought that starting the multiplier at x2 would multiply all rewards and subsequent multipliers by that amount (i.e. double all loot, like you said), rather than being an additive reward co-efficient. Just not understanding the game.

If this were how it actually worked, the target would be people with Delves past level 100 (i.e. not a farming Delve at level 20) who wanted to save time when farming for Delve rewards. I’m hearing that this isn’t a huge amount of people. Since Delves are capped at 3 a day anyway, this wouldn’t really have a huge overall effect, either. The uneven daily limit and inability to select lower levels would also make it awkwardly implemented.

I mean, I’d totally use all 3 sigils if I were to get 3x the room and final chest rewards, to make life easier – but I wouldn’t necessarily develop a new map and mode name to do so.

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After reading this forum, I decided to run 1 very quick deep delve. All my delves are maxed at 2500, plus all delve hoards are at 200. All kingdoms are at least 16, some at 17, giving me the bonus as well. Each battle at 500 lasted about 20 secs each and I beat level 500 in a few minutes. The gnome it gave me was the red verse, which I needed (25 green, 21 red, 27 blue, 34 yellow). The final rewards were 88 chaos shards, 16 leg ingots, and 160k gold. (i got 153k chaos shards and 35 mil gold) not bad getting all that gold in 8 battles, 3-4 min.

Now compare this to a standard Delve?

I ask this question once, but i feel like i need to ask this again
Is there benefit for us 2500 renown players to do the 500 level deep delve? Or it is just better to do the 3x CoT if we want to farm?