Was I just lucky?
Yep. It's just as possible that you can jump up a pathway for 5-10 seconds and reach a dead end and that's it. Game over. Your only option is to drop down into the lava and accept your fate. Or use an elusion scroll, of course. If the rooms could be forced to generate in such a way that all the pathways would interconnect and there were no dead ends, that would be fine. I'm fine with dying to bad skill if I can't jump and dodge monsters well enough. Dying to a random room generator is just no fun at all.
I could easily make it generate the rooms with no dead ends. But... what the heck kind of fun is that. Then the mission is just "jump jump jump until you're out." Any monkey can do that.
The thing that makes this challenging is having some dead ends, and ways to get around them. Did I mention Greater Teleport yet? You can go right through walls with those. So that's basically a single "get out of a dead end free" card, without the need for an elusion scroll. With a lot of the side passages, the dead ends are such that you can't use greater teleport, but assuming that you are moving reasonably fast and have some time to spare, you can double back and go up further.
This sort of thing is either just "how fast can I press the jump key" (which is boring), or it's a mild maze plus that. I went with the latter, because otherwise this gets made so generalized that it appeals to no one
. For a mission with this sort of premise, I think that it needs to be interesting to the hardcore platformers, because people who don't meet that description will at best be kind of "meh" about it anyway. And making it of interest to a hardcore platformer means, unfortunately, that anyone else is likely to hate it with the fury of a thousand suns.
And that's actually cool with me, because it's optional content. Putting it on the world map was a big mistake, though, as that made it seem more prominent than it should have.
As a general route with a game like this, though, there are two specific routes we could take:
1. Make everything rely on only a single skillset that all players will have.
2. Make everything core
rely on that single skillset, but have lots of side doglegs where wildly disparate skills might be required and where the normal rules themselves get bent or even horribly broken.
To me, the first route is the way to make a "safe" game, where nobody gets mad about anything and in general people like the entire game or none of it. But that's not what AVWW has ever been about: we've always wanted it to be a place where you could come to do a variety of things that might or might not appeal to you. Ideally the percentage of stuff that is so off the beaten track that some folks hate it should be pretty low, and it always has to be optional -- no Dungeon Defenders situations here.
But for someone who doesn't really like platforming type challenges in general to say "I hate this" with the lava escape missions... I'm not really upset about this. This isn't a bug to me, it means that the challenge is probably about right, and that person can play the many other parts of the game that exist. The problem comes in if every third mission is a lava escape, or we are requiring you to do them, or whatever. And right now the lava escapes are appearing more than they should, partly due to just the general low mission variety, plus them being on the world map (bad move on my part).
I hope that helps to clear up the intent here. Our goals, TLDR, are:
1. Make sure that nobody is ever feeling excluded or wanting to ragequit because they don't like some part of the game.
2. But in no way try to ensure that every player likes every part of the game, because that would mean the game isn't exactly varied.