Okay, so there’s that Crumbling Vault event you very rarely get in Act 2. It’s kind of misnamed now, since it no longer collapses; when we first saw this area in the 2009 Blizzcon demo, it was a large desert tomb with monsters and tons of chests. Like dozens and dozens of chests, including multiple golden ones, though they only dropped like 2 or 3x usual chests, back then. (Rather than 6 or 8x, as they do now.)The whole thing was a weird sort of race, back then. (Wiki page about The Collapsing Tomb from Blizzcon 2009.) It was a race, but not just with the clock, but with your own greed. So in that early version of the event you’d scramble along, hitting chests like mad and only grabbing the rares, while trying to ignore/avoid the monsters and also find the exit. It was a lot of fun, though it was kind of a meaningless challenge for softcore characters, since if you died you just restarted back in the surface desert with all the loot you’d picked up still in your stash. There was no Hardcore in the Blizzcon 2009 demo, but we spent some time back then debating how that sort of event would be received in Hardcore. Would players really would risk permanent death just for a speed run through an optional event dungeon?
Alas, we’ll never know since the event changed during development. Now it’s just a normal desert tomb, and the race is to get to the end of the level, where there’s a portal through to the Treasure Room… but only if you get there before the timer runs out. If you don’t get there in time nothing happens. No dungeon collapse, no death, etc. But no treasure room either.
It’s still fun for a different play style and you have to run past numerous monsters to get to the exit in time, and if you do make it the treasure room is cool, plus you can just go back down into the main dungeon after you leave the treasure room to finish off those monsters you had to run past last time.
One thing that’s amusing — the dialogue at the start of the dungeon still says it’s a timed event and that you’ll die if you don’t beat the timer. Perhaps they de-deadlied the event late in development and didn’t have time to rerecord the spoken dialogue from the NPC quest-giver? Or they just didn’t care. You can hear the whole speech in the video on the Crumbling Vault wiki page, if you so desire.
Either this event is very rare or I’m just unlucky, since I’ve only seen it 3 or 4 times since launch, and before tonight I hadn’t seen it in months. The last time I got it was the first time I ever completed it post-release, and that was ironic since I got it on the PTR while testing out a new Demon Hunter on MP10. She had little trouble Vaulting her way through to the exit, but 1) it was only Normal difficulty, and 2) it was on the PTR, so my rewards were irrelevant.
Not that the rewards are so great; I mean we’ve all opened hundreds of golden chests and usually scored nothing more valuable than some junk rares and Tomes of Secret.
But… personal satisfaction!
As seldom as I’ve seen that event, I was surprised and delighted when I got the dungeon tonight. I was playing my Witch Doctor who only recently got to Inferno, and thus I wasn’t farming or derping around; I was actually working through Act 2 on MP1, when I got the Collapsing Dungeon in the desert area just before Alcarnus. Though she’s new to Inferno, my WD has plenty of twinks and is actually more powerful at Paragon 5 than my Demon Hunter is at Paragon 30, since the DH is glass cannon’ed out in max MF gear. Therefore, despite a lack of any real good movement skills, I had hopes for reaching the treasure room in an Inferno game when I actually got to keep the loot.I started off poorly; a swarm of Champion mosquitoes right by the entrance with Fast, Molten, and some other mods I didn’t stick around to count. I had to burn my Spirit Walk right there to get away from them, and I bumped into a boss pack of Sand Imps right around the corner from there, and then I hit a dead end, so I had to run back past the damn Imps. Luckily the Fast bugs had gotten hung up somewhere, probably stinging one of my Mongrels to death, so they weren’t on my heels the whole time. I had to kill some other monsters who blocked the pathway entirely, and took another wrong turn, but to my surprise and delight, I got to the exit portal with about 3 seconds to spare and a huge group of monsters on my heels.
Pausing one instant to flip them off or insult their ancestors in the Spirit Realm or whatever it is that taunting Witch Doctor’s do, I ducked through the portal and took a breath to relax and enjoy the moment in the Treasure Vault. Up a short flight of stairs stood five chests, the center one golden, and I had 5 stacks and a hope for something worthwhile. I clicked them all, like a little kid running through a candy factory, and laughed as the loot fountained out. I didn’t count it all, but there were multiple rares; more than you see in the shot below since there are too many tags to display them all.
I enjoyed the sight for a second, then moved to pick up loot… and loot remained on the ground. I tried again, realized that I wasn’t even picking up the gold… and bad words began to issue from my mouth. I ran up a bit further, already knowing what was going to happen, and after a few more seconds sure enough, there came everyone’s least favorite message.
So here’s my question; have I actually beaten the Treasure Vault yet?
I did completely beat it once, but that was on the PTR and Normal difficulty so it hardly counts. I beat the Crumbling Vault and got to the Vault Treasure Room tonight, but then Battle.net stabbed me right in the childhood and I was denied even a taste of the loot. But not until they let me see it, just to torment me! Imagine my reaction if a legendary had popped out, and I’d been disconnected before I could pick it up?
Also, am I just unlucky on this dungeon and everyone else has gotten it eleventeen times? Or is it quite rare for others as well?