Funcom's designers are keen on making an unusual dungeon experience (and one you want to repeat) as opposed to the usual mob- and boss-whacking fight-fests. To that end, the Refuge dungeon is rife with what Funcom calls "environmental challenges."
Aside from the new content and story experiences, the Refuge will likely be popular with players due to its rewards (which include factional marks of acclaim, rare trophies, and esteem tokens). Check out Funcom's full description of the new content after the cut.
The Refuge of the Apostate is a new level 80 solo instance that can be found in Kara Korum. The story ties into events linked to the Scarlet Circle and the Last Legion and centers around a potential extremist member of the Circle named Tian-Bai.
His previous masters and foes alike are nervous about what Tian-Bai is planning amid rumors of a hidden refuge deep within the polluted and toxic air of Kara Korum. Players will be tasked with seeking out the truth and holding the evil illusionist accountable for his plotting, at the sharp end of a sword if necessary.
With a combination of daily and story quests, there is a series of quests available that link in to the experience found in the Refuge. With two faction-neutral quests that anyone can do and special quests for both the Scarlet Circle and the Last Legion, everyone will have good reason to seek out the adventures available within the Refuge.
This dungeon is designed to provide some great new content for solo players. The experience is also designed so that it isn't just a case of beating down on some mobs and the occasional boss. The team really wanted to make it interesting and tried to use some different mechanics so that the experience doesn't really fall foul of having to cope for every class in terms of just being combat-based.
Tian-Bai is an illusionist and has built something of a labyrinth in the refuge. That means we have been able to incorporate some more environmental challenges that will test you regardless of your class. There are three unique encounters, although one is more an area than a person or a mob! Part of the challenge revolves around the wicked maze itself that Tian-Bai has carved out amongst the stone soldiers that he intends to animate and command.
Players will have to keep their wits about them as they try to negotiate their way through this twisted and mind-bending labyrinth.
The rewards for the dungeon experience is an area we really think people will be pleased with, and we have tried to listen to the players and give them what they have been looking for in that regard. The dungeon has a 20-hour lockout, so it can be done once per day, and that, coupled with the fact it isn't a walkover, meant the system's team allowed us to give some nice rewards. As well as some new items, the dungeon also offers esteem tokens and up to a dozen Marks of Acclaim, and the final boss fight rewards you with a Rare trophy each time you defeat it... and there is a small bonus chance of a second Trophy if you are lucky.
Just the start...
The dungeon areas in the Rise of the Godslayer expansion very much focused on providing strong group content, so with these new solo additions we wanted to turn the focus back onto the solo player a little. The Refuge is the first of three new solo experiences coming up over the next few updates (to be followed by The Breach and The Forgotten City) that will add in some new options that players can tackle alone.
They are not designed to replace the existing team content (which will still be the most efficient means of acquiring new armor and such), but combined with the upcoming faction progression changes, they are designed to give players a nice variety of activities that they can take part in for their daily quests and progression.
So with some interesting gameplay and a good reward structure, hopefully you will have good reason to want to run the dungeon on a regular basis!