Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Despise Dungeons

I'll go ahead and say it: I'm not impressed at all with Cataclysm dungeons. There are only two things I feel like Blizzard did right with Cataclysm dungeons:
  1. They made interesting/challenging boss fights.
  2. The overall difficulty of heroics.
Everything else I feel like is just either wrong or not new. Allow me to elaborate on my loathing.

I've done my fair share of heroics in my days, but I've only done a few Cataclysm heroics. However, I have done enough. Someone asked me last night if I wanted to do a heroic and I hesitantly accepted. I had planned on doing some BGs instead but I wanted to help and play with my friends (since he's DPS and I'm heals so we'd get exponentially faster queues). After we waited about six minutes or so and we all accepted the loading screen appeared; informing us of our fate. Last night it was the Stonecore. I can tolerate that dungeon because it's a known fact that I'm the last boss of the Stonecore. It's like my second home.

What I can't tolerate though is the length of dungeons. It's not the difficulty that gets me about heroics, it's not that at all. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I think I'm a pretty good healer and haven't really faced a heroic boss that pushed me past my skill limits (gear limits maybe). I do not like the fact that it takes my groups an average of an hour and a half to do heroics! That's way too long for a dungeon in my opinion. Here's a list of things I could do in an hour and a half that would be way more fun:
  • Archaeology
  • PvP: In an hour and a half (assuming all BGs I'd do last for twenty-five minutes which is the longest BG I've been in recently) I could get at least three battlegrounds done!
  • Not do heroics
  • Read Asilventures
  • Dailies
  • AFK in *insert major city here*
  • Watching virtual paint dry
  • Anything.
This is my major complaint about heroics. They're too long. Heroics are like going mini-golfing with your friends. It sounds like a great idea at first than by the time it's over everyone walks away frustrated and angry at the person who suggested it. Meanwhile the people who got holes-in-one try to validate the lost two hours of time by celebrating their arbitrary triumph (holes-in-one = gear upgrades in this simile).
However I don't complain with no reason. If I ever complain (like I am right now) I provide a solution. As I discussed with my guild mates about my hatred towards heroics they brought up a point that goes as followed: 

"Wrath heroics were short and easy. Cataclysm heroics are hard which makes them long. And most people would rather have harder and longer dungeons than short and easy."

True, Wrath heroics were short and easy for the most part. But what I don't understand is why we can't have hard instances but short in length! Why don't they design dungeons that are only like at max three or four bosses and have like two or three trash pulls in between? Everything in the dungeon can still be as challenging as it is today, but in half the time. This would give us the best of both worlds, essentially making the Hannah Montana of dungeons.

Take for example the last four bosses of Halls of Origination, or the top floor if you will. This is how dungeons could be designed and would make them not last forever. Four easily accessible yet difficult bosses with two challenging trash pulls in between. The top floor of Halls of Origination would be the perfect instance if that's all it was. Another great example would be Trial of the Champion. It had interesting boss fights and a perfect length. If they made it harder it would be perfect.

Now am I suggesting we get rid of trash all together? No, not at all. It would make no sense from a logical or lore stand point if there was no trash anywhere. I'm just saying to reduce the amount of it. Less trash means less wasted time. Time is money, friend.


  1. Chas was say something very similar to this a couple of days ago - and I do agree. I'm happy that the dungeons are, y'know, interesting and challenging but, yeah, they are way too long. People say they get more speedy with practice (and, I'm sure, gear) but currently they us 2-3 hours to run. And this is guildies not pugs. Wipe recovery is rather painful too - I like the fact they bothered to put teleports in but nowhere near enough of them. I mean Grim Batol is immense and there are something like three waypoints... which means that every wipe can take up to 10 minutes as people jog across innumerable bridges and auto-run into lava. It's make me break my "all run" policy - it's marginally faster for me to sprint back with inner will up and rez everyone. *grumble* *whinge* :)

    Also LOVED the mini-golf analogy.

  2. Sorry for the late comment, but this topic is particularly relevant given the new 4.0.6 patch notes and the heroics discussion going on around the blogoverse.

    The quickest heroic that I had was a Lost City run with an excellent group put together by the Random Dungeon finder. I lasted about 30 minutes or so. It was amazing how quickly we breezed through that instance. Heroics do get easier and quicker with better gear and better understandings of the fights.

    I never did have a chance to run WotLK heroics with the intended gear levels (a mix of 187 blues and 200 blues/epics), but I imagine they would have been just as challenging and taken almost as long. I suspect that the gauntlet run in Utgarde Pinnacle would have been murder at those gear levels, as one example. And don't forget the wipefest that was Loken before gear escalation made that fight a snore.

    It's also interesting that during WotLK some people were complaining that the instances were short and asking, "why don't we have more instances like Blackrock Depths that take a couple of hours to do?" As I mentioned in my Peevie Awards post, the WOW community is a two-headed beast, and Blizzard, by trying to feed both heads what they want, tends to get bit a lot.

    Just as an aside, I wonder if the idea behind longer and slower dungeons is to discourage people from chain-running them, thus slowing down the rate of Justice Point gain and keeping the points relevant longer? hmmm...