As I mentioned in my last post I am using the Midsummer fire festival event, and the XP boost from holiday, to break out my Pandaren monk to get him some much needed leveling.
I mentioned before but I was going through the dungeon queue it became apparent that I am in the level bracket that Blizzard’s development team over looked when redesigning everything is Cataclysm much how I got the feeling when I was leveling through Arathi Highlands.
As I was working my way through Marudon, Uldaman, and Dire Maul after fighting though the low level revamped instances you begin to notice the design themes 2004 Blizzard Entertainment made that they slowly moved away from with each additional expansion.
The first thing that comes to mind is the size of the dungeons while I never leveled my first character through dungeons (this was before the days of the LFG service) I heard horror stories from my friends about the hours they spent in the 40-50 dungeons coordinating with PuG groups and navigating through the maze that was the instance.
I understand where the Blizzard development team was planning with the high-end instances giving us the feeling that we were up against an army of minions or in the case of the Upper and Lower Blackrock Spire storming a live and active city which would be great in a solo-game but in a game where you depend on other people who would be great in a solo-game, but in a game where you depend on other people who might not have the luxury to play as long as you, it does not work and they learned that lesson soon afterwards by making shorter more linear instances and raids.
Blizzard even tried correcting this mistake by dividing Dire Maul and Marudon into wings and teleporting the players to certain segments, but I and my teammates remember how big the zones used to be when we wipe and have to reenter the instances after every wipe.
The other artifact of classic World of Warcraft was the dropped consumables that helped you in battle, the example of this would be the Demonic Rune from Dire Maul that acted like a rare potion to restore 1,200 mana in exchange of 840 health-points.
We did see this return in Mists of Pandaria with quests that rewarded you with cosmetic collectibles, it was a shock seeing an item that actually hurts you drop in dungeons .
The last unchanged mechanics of the dungeon that Catalysm developers missed in the revamping of the zones was having the players complete a task , an untold objective to unlock a boss or next part of the instance.
A boss in this case would be Immol’thar, the daemon dog in Dire Maul. In order to fight him you need to destroy all the magic elemental at the crystals that are scattered around the two rooms. While it made sense in hindsight it did make a confusing first run after leveling through two expansions that had giant yellow text pops up on the screen for each boss fight.
I am not saying that these old ways of dungeon design was better, not by a long shot, but it interesting to seeing some of the old game-play choices survive throughout the years, they are almost like living fossils of a by gone era.
Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays