Whenever I’m asked if I thought the game has gotten better in Wrath or not, I will generally say that it has gotten better. But there are, as I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, some exceptions. Having spent quite some time thinking about things I’d like to see come back in Cataclysm, I thought I would share them.
When I say epic dungeons I’m not referring to the loot in 5-mans, but rather the size and layout of them. With TBC Blizzard started introducing shorter and more linear 5-mans, they pretty much became the standard in Wrath. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with them, some times you only got three-quarters of an hour or so to spare and just want to pop in, kill a couple of bosses and then log off again. Other times however I find myself wanting to invest a bit more time. While I could do several short dungeons or just do the same several times, it’s not the same, I want to go exploring and experience an epic adventure.
The first place to come to mind is Blackrock Depths. The place is a maze, but in a good way. With its rich lore, multitude of bosses and the many paths you can take to get to the king, you really get the sense of being on an adventurer. Dire Maul, Mauradon and the Blackrock Spire also springs to mind, in fact almost all the vanilla instances gives me this feeling of adventure. While the 5-mans of TBC and Wrath are rich with lore and amazing scenery, they rather feel like they were made to be invaded by a gang of five. You’re constantly being led in the right direction and there is never any question of where to go. As mentioned this is nice at times, but I’d love to get lost in one of Cataclysms new dungeons like I have so many times in Sunken Temple. Why do I have to raid to get that feeling of epicness?
A clear path of progression
I’ve had a go at the badge system before, so I’ll try to keep this short. While it (the badge system) may be useful for gearing up alts and getting that last piece of loot you wanted but never got while your guild were raiding that particular instance, it does have it flaws. The most serious one in my opinion is letting players skipping content completely. With every expansion there will be people who raid for the first time, or people who start raiding again after a long break. By handing these players gear that allows them to bypass a lot of the content, some of which is meant to be introductory to raiding. They go from facerolling heroics where neither DPS or avoiding standing in the fire™ is very important at all and thus are thought they can safely ignore it. A week or two after they set their first foot into the current last or second to last tier of raiding and, with some exceptions, screw up royally.
I can see that Blizzard means well with the badge system, but I believe that there must be some better way of doing it. What if (and I’m pulling ideas out of my arse here, mind you) you had to get the Siege of Ulduar or The Antechamber of Ulduar in order to unlock triumph to drop from heroics, it could work the same way with Naxx where you had to clear a wing or two in order for conquest to drop from heroics. Make it all account based and you would still be able to gear up alts and reach the higher level content quite fast, although not as fast as before, without completely skipping content. I’m not trying to sound elitist, the people I’m talking about are the ones who make your job a ton harder when they could spare you with very little effort on their own part. It’s the guys who go somewhere with no concept of anything, the ones who always claim that it’s your fault when someone dies, even though they just took a giant yeti to the face or decided to hug a blood beast.
This rant turned out to be a bit longer than planned so I think I’ll divide it into parts of two or three. Feel free to leave some feedback on my ideas and what you miss from the pre-Wrath days.