So, the other dungeons were pretty simple and that was pretty nice. It was low effort and decent reward given xp per hour and gear for those who got it. The greatest part was that you can run these dungeons for forever and once you get past the level requirement, all you have to do is hit a button and you're sync'd down to a level where you still get decent xp.
Still, these dungeons offered very little variety and very few surprises but I believe this is the intent of these dungeons as they do what Naoki outlines in his letters. They slowly introduce players to party roles and try to do it without creating many opportunities for players to get really angry at each other. In fact, there were a few "meta" moments after these quests where I was shown a group of NPCs who had "failed and let someone die." The NPC group basically went through the very basic quest dissolve after failure in which everyone blames the healer and leaves the party.
The Copperbell Mines were the last place for me to visit. I was told something about the mines being infested with critters and the need for adventurers to clear the place out.
This place is basically the old mines near Bastok. The elevators are there, the old treasure chests, rooms filled with piles of rubble and the strange caves that link areas that are locked. However, instead of a billion Quadav, there are bats, slimes, giants, and bombs. The giants were pretty amazing. As we worked our way through the dungeon, there were mid-boss encounters where a Giant would come busting through the wall at the beginning of a normal encounter. These encounters did a great job of forcing us all to work together and DPS specific monsters in an order. By the end, my group of random people were able to maintain heals and our pool of TP/MP in good order.
This dungeon had 2 unique boss encounters: A Slime and a Giant.
The slime boss was a great throttle for parties. If we hadn't had someone who had done this dungeon before, I don't know that we would have succeeded. So basically, this slime runs around a room and is almost completely immune to damage. Occassionally, bombs would spawn and if you DPS them down, they die and nothing happens. However, if you let them live, they blow up and these explosions can damage the slime. This splits the slime into 2, then into 4, then 16. Once the slime reaches 16 tiny slimes, it can take damage and this allows the DPS to kill it. Periodically, the bombs will spawn with birds who will attack the bombs. So, to keep the DPS busy, they have to make sure the bombs live.
Having this encounter at the middle of a dungeon was a neat experience. With it finished, we headed into the final area that lead us to the final fight against the Giant, Gyges the Great.
This giant was a pretty spectacular fight. Like the level 15 instance fight, this felt like a moment when you had to really understand what was required of you in order to head to the next plateau of content.
The strategy for this boss is simple enough. Stay out of AOE range, at a certain point, he'll go run over to a wall and start smashing it. Once the wall runs out of HP, adds will start to spawn. These adds run over to the other wall and try to DPS that. If that wall goes down, 2 adds will spawn and these will pretty well destroy any party of adventurers.
What this fight becomes is a race. The party DPS's all the adds down as quickly as possible so they can DPS the boss between spawns. Now, the boss also heads toward the wall so it is important to dps quickly. My party actually wiped to this boss once but we got it down the second time.
With all that finished, the player is introduced to the quest line that eventually leads to the central narrative component for players, Free Companies. I am hoping to get into this content in the next phase and, depending on if the character data is erased or not, should be able to delve into the path to 30. Level limit for players at the moment is 35 so it should be a pretty significant amount of content.