You know what’s more intense than a plain ol’ dungeon? A dungeon that changes every time you enter it for countless possibilities and rewards! Enter the Chaos Chamber, the core endgame loop of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Within the mythical Chaos Chamber is an ever-shifting portal into a randomized dungeon, full of unique variables, killer enemies, and methods to make your run more or less challenging depending on how brave you’re feeling. Should you prove victorious, your rewards will be grand and your prowess may become the stuff of legend.
In this installment of the Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Dev Diary series, you’ll get to know the randomized trials that await you in the Chaos Chamber, and what you can do to give yourself a leg up on your enemies or crank up the difficulty to new extremes if you’re feeling spicy. But no matter how prepared you think you are, there’s really no telling what you’ll encounter when you step into a portal opened by a gigantic, crystalline D20 in the sky!
At their most basic, a normal Chaos Chamber run is a randomized challenge that should take around 20- 30 minutes to complete. Your path through the dungeon goes like this: three randomized dungeon rooms where you’ll need to clear out a number of enemies before you can proceed, then a mini-boss fight, followed by three more dungeon rooms, and finally, a full-on main boss fight as the grand finale.
Each time you complete a room that isn’t immediately before a boss fight, you’ll open two portals that give you a degree of choice over what you’ll encounter in the next room. You have three lives to make it to the end of the dungeon; lose them all, and your run is a failure (but don’t fret, you still get to keep any weapons or gear you picked up during the run).
“We have over 60 level layouts, which will mix and match throughout a dungeon run,” says Kent Rochefort, Lead Game Designer on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. “On top of that, all the many types of enemies from the game can show up, with up to three different kinds of armies in one room. There are also explosive barrels and traps that populate based on the room. Some are smaller, some are bigger; our level designers went with what felt appropriate for each particular combat arena.”
Completing Chaos Chamber runs is a great way to farm for loot once you’ve finished the main story campaign, but it’s even more important for those of you who are looking to min-max your gear and assemble all the pieces of your perfect character build. By successfully beating a Chaos Chamber, you’ll earn Moon Orbs, an in-game currency you can spend at the Enchantment Re-roller station in Brighthoof.
Every time you use the Enchantment Re-roller, you’ll be offered a random replacement for the Enchantment effect on your gear or the option to keep the one you’ve got. By rerolling the enchantments on your favorite pieces of gear, you can push their power even further by finding the enchantment that best synergizes with your loadout. Rerolling won’t take many Moon Orbs when you first start out, but it’ll be exponentially more expensive the more times you reroll the same item.
While Moon Orbs are the in-game currency you get after a Chaos Chamber run, Crystals are what’s most important during your run. You can pick up Crystals in a variety of ways during your run, but the most satisfying method is also the most consistent: smashing a crystalline, rainbow-glowing die that spawns when you’ve completed a room and opened up the portal to the next.
“The room completion reward went through so many different iterations,” recalls Kent. “In the beginning it was just a chest, then we went with dice because the fantasy of the game is about tabletop roleplaying. Originally, you could interact with the dice to stop them rolling, and if you got a 20, you’d get better gear than if you had rolled, say, an 8. We felt that was too random, so those dice went into the breakable state that’s now in the game. It’s an iterative process—we wanted dice, but not all of the inherent randomness that came with them.”
How many Crystals you collect impacts how many rewards you can score at the end of a Chaos Chamber dungeon (which we’ll get to in a bit), so it’s crucial that you snag as many Crystals as you can during your run. You can amass bonus Crystals by completing optional side objectives that are randomly assigned to each room, with a wide variety of possibilities—maybe you’ll protect a statue of Queen Butt Stallion before its defaced by baddies, smash up a statue of that villainous Dragon Lord, or keep a sentient fire orb burning by feeding it the souls of slain enemies. Hardcore.
Kent’s favorite side objective involves defeating enemies while standing on one of two enchanted circles that spawn somewhere in the level. “I like that it forces you to hold your ground, whereas the combat is usually about running around and being mobile to avoid enemies,” he says. “I feel that side objective brings something really different.”
You always have zero Crystals at the start of a dungeon run, and they don’t carry over between runs, so use them or lose them. How do you use Crystals, exactly? So glad you asked.
Blessings on blessings
Over the course of a Chaos Chamber run, you might stumble upon some ornate-looking altars that offer unique buffs called Blessings. If you cough up enough Crystals to activate the altar, you’ll receive a Blessing that applies for the remainder of your run, with subsequent altars costing more to activate as a consequence.
Blessings are stackable, and can be as straightforward as increased critical damage or ammo capacity, though others may completely change up your playstyle for the rest of the run. “My favorite Blessing to use is a melee attack speed and movement speed buff,” says Kent. “You can just start running around and mashing the melee button to swing your way through enemies.”
Blessings to your passive skills can also be imbued by Queen Butt Stallion herself if you choose one of her portals at the end of an encounter. The two portals that spawn in when you’ve beaten a room come in four different varieties: a Crystal Die that rewards you with more Crystals, Queen Butt Stallion’s favor via a helpful Blessing, a Gear Die that awards you new loot when you beat the encounter, and an added layer of challenge in the form of a new Curse. That last one is perfect for those who like to live dangerously.
A Curse upon you
Curses are the polar opposite of Blessings: debuffs for you or boons for your enemies that last the rest of the Chaos Chamber run and can make it that much harder for you to survive. You’ll have at least an inkling of the kind of challenge they’ll bring, as Curses offered are marked as Easy, Medium, or Hard. By taking on a Curse, you’ll be rewarded with extra Crystals in exchange for the amped-up difficulty—and some of the Easy Curses might even benefit you if your build can take advantage of them.
“In my opinion, the hardest Curse is Break It Up, which gives your enemies increased damage via higher firing rates and accuracy whenever they’re near each other,” says Kent. “Depending on the arena, it can be pretty hard to not have all the enemies clumped together!”
If you’re a glutton for punishment, you can even spend some of your hard-earned Crystals before you enter a portal to make the next encounter Elite, which makes the enemies in the next room much more difficult. In return, the loot they drop will be improved, should you actually manage to make it through alive.
“During testing I saw so many people playing the Chaos Chamber differently, especially in the way they treat the Crystal economy,” says Kent. “Some players just can’t help themselves and want to buy all the Blessings they find; others don’t use Curses because they want an easier run.”
Your just rewards
After you’ve fought tooth and nail through multiple Chaos Chamber rooms, taken on Blessings and Curses at your discretion, and put the smackdown on the final boss, you deserve some worthy rewards. A wealth of treasure awaits you in the Loot of Chaos area you’re transported to after defeating the last boss, with a chest full of desirable loot for the taking. But for dedicated loot grinders, the real Chaos Chamber payout might be hiding in the bellies of the spined, slightly disturbing rabbit statues that line the room.
Above the gaping, pointy-toothed mouth of each rabbit statue is an icon representing a type of loot in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands—guns like SMGs and Assault Rifles, wearable gear like Rings and Amulets, and so on. By feeding a statue some of the Crystals you’ve accumulated over your run, you can make it barf up a random piece of loot from its respective loot type (just ignore those bits of rainbow-colored bile).
Through this method, you have the means to chase after the best items for certain gear slots while enjoying the random madness inherent to the Chaos Chamber. “Now you can target which loot type you want without just farming the same boss over and over again for 20 hours,” says Kent. “It’s still somewhat random, but the player has some control on the kinds of loot they want to prioritize.”
As for those Crystal-munching rabbit statues, you might’ve already guessed their inspiration. “With these rabbits, you’re essentially making an offering to the god of the dungeon, its creator—which is Tiny Tina. Ergo, rabbits,” laughs Kent.
Besides all the loot-spewing rabbit statues, something else you can enjoy after a successful completion of the Chaos Chamber is a Victory screen jam-packed with info that recaps your run. Here, you can get an overall look at Offense and Defense stats (per-weapon kills, Ward damage taken, etc.), Blessings and Curses you took on, total Crystals collected, and more. It also includes a quick overview of your entire character build, including your two Multiclass selections, Skill Point and Hero Point distribution, and even the rarity of all the gear you brought into battle—perfect for an all-in-one screenshot to share with your pals and/or on your socials.
If you’re wondering whose Fatemaker build truly reigns supreme, you can see where you stand thanks to Featured Runs in the Chaos Chamber. “Each Featured Run will be available for a week to all players, and that particular run is seeded, so it will always be the same—you can rerun it and the same elements will always spawn in the same place, the side objectives will all be the same,” explains Kent.
“On the Victory screen for Featured Runs, we have little icons letting you know if you rank highly for certain parameters: how quickly you completed the run, how difficult it was based on any Curses that you picked up, and how many Crystals you’ve collected. It makes for a nice little community feature where you can see ‘Oh, I managed to be in the top 100 for fastest completions of that Featured Run.’ It’s a great way to compare builds among friends and compete to see who can get the fastest or most difficult finish on a run.”
Another feature you’ll find in the Chaos Chamber is the Chaos Trial—but you’ll have to wait until closer to the March 25, 2022 launch of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands to learn more. Until then, keep watching the Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Hub for new info, and gird yourself for the randomized challenges that await in the Chaos Chamber!