I miss new dungeons

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, part of my preparation for 5.4 included a running a few heroic dungeons, both for fun and for Valor/Justice. I took both hunter and mage into various random heroics, building up full bank accounts on each in anticipation of spending spending spending.

At this point, dungeons which are tuned for around 440-470 are a cakewalk for my toons, with my biggest problem usually being trying to hold threat when tanking because there is usually someone (like me) doing absolute truckloads of damage on my targets. But I haven’t tanked much lately, so that’s fine.

I find dungeons fun. Since the VP rewards are skewed awkwardly – /glares at heroic scenarios… 120 VP? for reals??? – they’re a fairly efficient way to get some quick VP, since players with even a modicum of ToT gear should be able to blow things to smithereens in them. Usually, the person in the group that is being ridiculous is me, which I’ve come to accept. Other times, it’s someone else, which makes things even easier, because since I’m quite capable of smoking the meters myself, that means we destroy the dungeon, take our points, and bid a silent farewell with little time lost.

However, we’ve reached a point where things can get pretty crazy. Case in point:

Flameweaver Koegler meter

Flameweaver Koegler meter

This is the meter from the Flameweaver Koegler fight during the Scarlet Halls run I did on Thursday night. I’m Modhriel, the mage, capable of doing yeti-sized diaper-loads of damage himself. This isn’t evident from this meter, since our “tank” was an ilvl 553-geared Frost DK…

…yeah. It gave new meaning to the word “ridiculous.” I started casting spells, and it was over. Books weren’t burned; flames weren’t breathed. The fight started, and it ended, and I still had FIFTY FOUR MINUTES on my Arcane Brilliance buff that I had thrown at the start of the instance.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way about the state of heroic dungeons in MoP. Whenever I take my hunter into a heroic, I know it’s going to be a disaster for the dungeon itself: we wipe the floor with the mobs, the dungeon is over, and I feel a little bad for it (for the dungeon). However, we had five decent players in this one, and yet it was something like it will likely be when the Denver Broncos meet the Jacksonville Jaguars in NFL Week 6 this season…

It was a complete and utter joke in every way. And this isn’t surprising: I’ve been able to solo many of the heroic dungeon bosses for a while, so I’m not surprised that this DK wanted to wipe the floor with mobs and get it over with.

We need new / more / better dungeons.

Blizzard decided that they wanted to hold to a “get content out faster and more consistently” ethos this expansion, but they found that they had to sacrifice something in order to do so, and so, once the dungeons for the release were finished, any new dungeon ideas were put in a freezer-grade baggie and shoved unceremoniously into the back of the company freezer.

While I admire their commitment, and have enjoyed raiding this expansion’s content, I am of the opinion that dungeons have been needlessly shelved. I’m happy to read that Ghostcrawler thinks that dungeons are missed this expansion, because I am one of those who miss them. Looking back at Cataclysm, while I felt they overdid / over-tuned the initial dungeons for random groups, I particularly liked the 4.3 Dragon Soul dungeons in the Caverns of Time. I ran them regularly in 4.3, particularly on alts, and felt that they were well-tuned for people like me who were geared at an appropriate level, but also were not a complete and absolute faceroll for groups with a raid-geared DPS in them.

Many have voiced opinions about the free loot / early Christmas on the Timeless Isle since September 10th, but the reality is that the vast majority of gear there is ilevel 496, and comes with a random enchantment. If you’re lucky enough to get a piece enchanted with two whole secondary stats, that gear is still 57 ilvls lower than what is dropping in normal Siege of Orgrimmar, 44 ilvls lower than Flex, and 32 ilvls lower than LFR. To contrast: the End Time dungeons  dropped 378 gear to compare with 384 in LFR and 397 in normal, for a total spread of 19 ilvls.

(Certainly, there is better gear there as well from world bosses, the Burden of Eternity, and for 50,000 coins, but it’s in a distinct minority. You are only guaranteed one Burden of Eternity, and any others you get involve some grinding and quite a bit of luck. So for the most part, it’s a 496 town over there once your weekly Celestials/Ordos kills are complete.)

And so my newest alts, which in the past two expansions would be running new dungeons and able to step into raids with only a little catch-up to do, are sitting around the 500 mark. Impressive? I don’t really think so.

While the item level gap from drops has “necessarily” widened due to the spread of raiding content available as compared to two years ago, it’s still a gap.

Obviously, I am biased, because dungeons have been a core part of my WoW experience for years. It’s one of the reasons I still make a point to run them: I enjoy them! And I want Blizzard to see that people are still interested in them, despite the fact that they are truly a joke, and that all it takes is one decent raid-geared player to make any particular run so.

Much of the content development for those who would normally run dungeons for fun/VP/JP/gear has been redirected into LFR and scenarios. Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows how much I like LFR… and I’m not a fan of scenarios, either. The one positive word I can think of to describe scenarios is “neat.” They’re neat – the term used dismissively, as in “Yeah, sure, it’s a neat concept, it tells a story, that’s nice…” – but I rarely enjoy them. The ones I’ve enjoyed the most, Crypt of the Forgotten Kings and Arena of Annihilation, are kind of like dungeons with three people (go figure). I’ve run most of them, a handful of times, and they largely make me feel meh. And so unless someone asks me to help them with one, I usually avoid scenarios, in spite of the VP and the potential for way-better-than-dungeon loot.

As much as the Holy Trinity of tank-heal-damage has been decried over the past several years, it has a certain charm for a person like me who enjoys content oriented toward that type of paradigm. And so it’s sad for me to see the heroic dungeon become an afterthought this expansion. Ongoing development of heroic dungeons throughout previous expansions made the heroic dungeon as an activity continue to be relevant for a larger subset of players for a longer period of time. Of course, that got chopped in order to speed up the releases of other content, and I understand that. That being said, I hope that the developers can find a way to incorporate dungeons into a better overall balance in the next expansion.

Besides, having a toon with 496 gear, a 476 weapon and a piece or two of 553 tier gear is just weird. :P

Thanks for reading this opiniony bit by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


4 Comments on “I miss new dungeons”

  1. R says:

    “Besides, having a toon with 496 gear, a 476 weapon and a piece or two of 553 tier gear is just weird. :P”

    I dunno, that’s actually my most common gear configuration right now across all toons, :) I’ve had surprisingly good luck with the world bosses so far (one toon even got both tier pieces on his first kill, which is nearly unprecedented for me, my hunter got both pieces in back-to-back Vault runs when bonus rolls weren’t available back in Wrath but nothing since that time).

    I agree with you and I don’t even necessarily think new 5-mans are necessary… they added heroic scenarios to normal scenarios, why not offer elite 5-mans that drop i496 gear? Same instances, just a new difficulty level. i460 requirement, same as LFR.

    I’d also LOVE to see an option added to short-run a random heroic 5-man… in order to get VP right now you have to do a random which requires getting a 5-man group even if you have 3 people already grouped who are perfectly capable of doing it (or, like the DK, a single player who might prefer just to solo the place). I’d love a “[ ] Queue up with just our existing party, thanks” option. In order to give yourself a challenge (soloing, 2-manning) in heroics you have to go in manually which means even if you succeed you get nothing out of it. I’d like to be able to set my own difficulty and still get rewarded for it.

    They allow you to queue for flex with as few as 8, I’ve noticed (tried solo queuing and it said something about needing at least 8) so it’s not an entirely new concept in the game, I could see it being added quite easily. It would make for longer queues for folks looking for a group of 5, though, I suspect. It would also make earlier LFRs even less necessary. So, may not happen, but I’d love to see it.

  2. PlaidElf says:

    I saw the subject of your post and my first response was: Yes! Dungeons are the one thing I’ve really really missed this expansion. I feel very let down over the fact that there aren’t any more heroics coming this expansion. As much fun as the Timeless Isle is and as nice as it has been for all my alts that have been languishing since they hit 90, I honestly think I would have preferred a new set of heroics like the End Time ones in Cataclysm. I could have run those on those alts and felt like I was earning the gear.

    This is partially personal bias. My characters live in a small social guild that between Cataclysm and early Mists of Pandaria dwindled in population until there are only about 6 of us left playing that have level 90s. Back in Cataclysm we had had dungeons to do, we could fill up a five man with that group and have a blast gearing alts together. In Mists, well we’ve pretty much got all we can get out of the five-mans ages ago so there’s not much point in running them. We’re not a big enough group for Flex raiding and queueing together into LFR isn’t nearly as much fun.

    And the new heroics are easy. Very shortly after hitting 90, and still in pretty crappy leveling gear a friend and I were able to easily two-man one. My feelings on scenarios are kind of meh. They are as you said ‘neat’ the first run through, but grinding them to me is a lot less entertaining than running dungeons, partially because I like tanking and people seem not to want a tank in them. I’ve loved a lot about Mists of Pandaria. I have been having fun on the Timeless Isle. But I really hope next expansion we get more dungeons.

  3. Zeirah says:

    I too would have loved a few new ones; I enjoy dungeons and while scenarios are nice and a good way for valor they don’t replace dgns in my mind. And as far as I’m aware dgns are the fastest way to get jps for buying heirlooms or transmog gear and a few harder tuned dungeons would be great because atm in the gear most of us are in dgns are really easy.
    I was in a guild group the other night helping a guildy to farm jps and we had me healing and 4 dps, the lock and sham were taking turn tanking the places so while it was super fun I think there is still a place for a few more higher difficulty dungeons that require a proper group.

  4. I absolutely love and prefer dungeons to scenarios, any day of the week. I’m also surprised that over the course of the year (has it really been that long, already?) that MoP has been available, not a single new dungeon has been introduced in favor of new scenarios. Heroic scenarios are fun the first time, but that’s really about it. The chance at “better than dungeon” random stat epics and the VP aren’t enough to even make me run them once per day.

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