Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
 
Lost content?

In a recent comment here, Shalkis remarked that the Burning Crusade expansion would make a lot of the existing level 60 content useless. Hellfire Rampart is not harder to beat than lets say Scholomance, you could even say it's easier, because the dungeon is shorter. But the loot in the new dungeons is significantly better than the loot in the old dungeons. So except for special tradeskill items, like righteous orbs or dark runes, there is no reason to visit the old level 60 dungeons any more.

Now veteran players won't mind. We visited Scholomance a hundred times and won't be sorry to never see it again. But new players join World of Warcraft every day, and there will be people reaching level 60 for the first time only after the expansion has come out. And they will quickly realize that the Outland dungeons are significantly more profitable than the old world dungeons.

Similar things hold true for some other level 60 activities. PvP won't really be affected, as you can use the honor points and victory marks you earn at level 60 to buy level 70 gear. But who would for example do the incredibly difficult tier 0.5 upgrade quest when he can do simple level 60 quests in Hellfire Peninsula which give much better green gear as rewards? And if you can level up further, why would you want to spend a lot of time grinding faction, for example doing the field duty quests in Silithus?

So what do you think? Will there be a big part of the previous level 60 content unused after the expansion comes out?
Comments:
People who never did Scholomance, Stratholme ,will still go there once or twice, even after the Expansion has come out.

First: There are Quests who give Experience and Items.

Second: Most people whould like to see all Dungeons, even they may not get the uber-loot.

It surely will not be farmed like now for T0 Sets...

T0-T2 Sets may become more of a "Lost Content".

Dungeons will still be fun to visit a few times.

Apart of that, times moves on. New Dungeons will come, maybe patched in, or in the next Expansions.

I find it great that you get to choose between more than just one dungeon to visit at a certain level.
 
So what do you think? Will there be a big part of the previous level 60 content unused after the expansion comes out?

When Hellfire takes less time for the better rewards, than it's superior content for me. Why should new players suffer the same pain we did. Even content kinda loses its value, its mudflation in every aspect. Every content has it's time and WoWs 1.0 content's time is ticking right now. Though i did not run Hellfire with level 50 greens like i did Stratholme more than a year ago. Hellfire may feel the same difficulty in MC/BWL epics, but it may seem different in intended gear levels?

That said, i am pretty sure that we will see Blizzard ressurrect some of the old stuff with patches, for events or new quests, melting old content with the new. Think tier 4.5 armor with a 20 minute baron run, or hard mode Scholomance grinds. The whole hard-mode-system is really easy to build upon: new faction, new reward vendor and people will run the instance X-number of times for sure. We all know somethin like this will come sooner or later.

What i am more concerned is the sheer masses of new faction vendors for such little things like enchants. I hate the plaguelands faction grind and BC is full of such vendors. They offer simple dungeon runs for huge upgrades but require slow grinds for small things like enchants and recipies.
 
What i am more concerned is the sheer masses of new faction vendors for such little things like enchants. I hate the plaguelands faction grind and BC is full of such vendors. They offer simple dungeon runs for huge upgrades but require slow grinds for small things like enchants and recipies.

Agreed. I would like the pattern for the 24-slot herb bag, but it needs revered with Cenarion Circle. The amount of faction grinding that would be needed to get this one recipe is absolutely insane.

But for BC I'm not sure if faction grinding is that bad. The factions I've seen up to now were mostly linked to some dungeon. So they are more like the current Argent Dawn faction, which is easy enough to get with a couple of Scholo/Strat runs. Even Cenarion Circle faction gets easier to achieve if you raid AQ20 regularly, instead of doing Silithus grinding. As long as faction is just an added reward for dungeon visits, and not an additional grind, I can live with it.
 
Also a note about making existing level 60 content "useless".

I don't think this is quite valid. After all, Deadmines is a level 17-22 instance and lots of 60's go there just for fun or to farm linen. Same goes for SM and several other instances.

I'll admit that the effort it takes to do lvl 60 instances is significantly more than deadmines but then again we'll be level 70 and have loads of +sta if the pictures floating about is any indication.

There will be a slow down in traffic for these lvl 60 instances, but I don't think you can quite rule them out yet. After all, don't we all want a chance at the Undead Mount? And if you're a new alchemist, there's only one way to get that major Mana pot recipe
 
I agree with emyln. While going back to instances at higher levels might not be what the developers intended, I do just that. I just ran a friend through some of the Scarlet Monastery wings over the weekend. And I soloed Shadowfang Keep, just to see if I could do it.

From how you describe it, the Burning Crusade is taking an extreme jump from the normal incremental upgrades that you normally come across while leveling. If this is true, perhaps its a selling point to make players purchase the xpac.

If its not, then I can imagine players will still run Scholomance while leveling up the same way they would run Maraudon or Zul'Farak. They just won't be stuck there because there's nowhere else to go at 60.
 
I've said for a while that the 40 man instances will be barren. I think the 5/10 man instances will be quieter but will mostly be used to farm for gold (and that only holds true if they nerf the gold people say they're getting in the beta).

The fact of the matter is, most of us have run those instances 20-100 times. New players will have very little luck finding groups to go through except on rare occasions.

The 40 mans are even worse, with guilds about to be set up with 25 man instances in mind. I have a VERY hard time believing some of the Naxx encounters could be done with 25 even at level 70, and even if they could be done why would level 70's be bothering with that instance except to possibly complete Atiesh?
 
From how you describe it, the Burning Crusade is taking an extreme jump from the normal incremental upgrades that you normally come across while leveling. If this is true, perhaps its a selling point to make players purchase the xpac.

The extreme jump is certainly there, from my experience in the the beta. But I don't think it is a stupid marketing trick, it has solid game development reasons. Basically the jump is necessary to put people who just arrive at level 60 at the same level as people who are level 60 for over a year now and are clad in full epic gear. The extreme jump in reward quality closes the gap between the different gears of level 60 characters by lifting everybody up to the higher level. There is an incremental increase from tier 2 to BC, which makes the jump from tier 0 to BC rather huge.
 
But who would for example do the incredibly difficult tier 0.5 upgrade quest when he can do simple level 60 quests in Hellfire Peninsula which give much better green gear as rewards? And if you can level up further, why would you want to spend a lot of time grinding faction, for example doing the field duty quests in Silithus?

No one, and with good reason. The 0.5 and Silithus field duty quests were very much 'tide me over' things to give non raiders and casuals some kind of gear progression past Strat/Scholo/DM. The 0.5 quests were quickly put together, time consuming pieces of crap anyway, so its no loss. Even someone new to 60 after BC comes out would look at them and just wonder why they would even bother, so they wont be missing it either.

As for the faction grinds in BC, yeah, there are a whole lot more factions. New ones for every zone, but you do have to consider that you'll be spending far longer in a single zone than you likely would in the current world due to the XP required per level. Ontop of that, as stated, most are tied to dungeons you'll have to run anyway. Ontop of that according to a couple of friends in the beta, the repeatable quests for a few of the factions (the ones they have encountered so far) a) reward signifigantly more rep than current rep grind repeatables, and b) the items required drop fairly often, so youll build up rep items just from killing stuff for quests anyway.

For example, grinding AD rep, you get scourgestones. 20 minions get turned in for 55 rep, plus a token for another 55. Contrast that with, say, one of the the Cenarion Expedition quests that requires 10 of a particular items that many mobs drop, and rewards 250 rep, along with a bag that possibly contains an item that starts another repeatable quest that rewards 500 rep (this is how it was described too me).

Now, of course, it could simply be this easy because Blizzard want the rewards tested, but if that was the case, they could just remove the rep requirement for beta. I would think Blizzard have learnt their lesson about painful faction grinds (Cenarion Circle *shudder*)
 
The current 'endgame' five man instances and rep grinds will definately see a massive decrease in use. Why run DM North when you could run Hellfire Ramparts instead and get much better rewards? Why grind endlessly in silithus when you can do a fast grind in outland for better rewards?

People will probably do Strat/Scholo/DM a couple of times and then never go back unless they're farming righteous orbs or the like. Annoyingly tedious quest chains like the 0.5 quests will never be done again. The effort vs. the reward is not viable compared to spending 20-30 minutes on a quest in outland for a vastly superior reward. You can't even start the tier 0.5 quests until level 58--why bother? I've completed the 45 minute baron run and still can't be bothered to progress further.
 
IMO, the "old endgame" will finally be judged by the players in a free market system:
- The interesting, well-designed, well-rewarded portions of the existing endgame will continue to see traffic.
- The poorly-designed kill-for-points grinds in the base product will be recognized as a glorified "Space Invaders" game component and will justly die.
 
The poorly-designed kill-for-points grinds in the base product will be recognized as a glorified "Space Invaders" game component and will justly die.

This is a good point. Notice that many people rerun SM and deadmines but much fewer bother with instances like Zul'ffaruk (sp?) in Tanaris.

Also, from Blizzard's perspective, its not a waste. Their developers gained knowledge building each instance (notice the similarities between DM and the new BC instances?)

Their effort and work has gotten them 7+million subscribers. New players might choose to bypass the older instances but us old timers have certainly farmed them countless times. So if no one ever steps into those old instances, its of no real loss to anyone.


PS. BWL/AQ40/Nexx have very good scripted boss fights. Unique enough that I think there will still be others willing to brave it. After all, with tier 2 & 3 gear we know Ony can be 5 manned. So why not Nexx with 20 tier 4 & 5's?
 
Hey, don't lump Zul'Farrak in there! That's one instance that I do with every alt, and not just for the Carrot on a Stick. Even with all the scripted bosses/events I've seen in WoW I love the ZF temple script. It's quite possibly still my favorite event in WoW.
 
I know that BWL, AQ40 and Naxx have interesting boss fights. But that's about the only interesting thing about them for an endgame guild composed of level 70ies. Would it be worth the trouble of organizing 20+ people for a run?

One other issue is whether Burning Crusade endgame instances require tactics that are a step up from current endgame or not. Because the new endgame instances will be 25-man, the role of a single raider will be more important than in 40-mans. This is generally a good thing to guilds that have a small group of core raiders and a bunch of slackers. The guilds don't need the slackers anymore to go to Molten Snore. But what if the cure raiders' skills aren't enough? If the encounters are more unforgiving to mistakes as the Four Horsemen are, many raiding guilds would hit the proverbial wall. I hope I'm wrong about this, but smaller raiding guilds who could do only AQ20 and ZG now might have a rude awakening when they hit the new endgame. And I certainly hope not to be the raid leader that has to convince his guild to go learn tactics in the legacy endgame instances.
 
Hey, don't lump Zul'Farrak in there! That's one instance that I do with every alt, and not just for the Carrot on a Stick. Even with all the scripted bosses/events I've seen in WoW I love the ZF temple script. It's quite possibly still my favorite event in WoW.

I agree with Brian there. The Zul'Farrak temple pyramid event is absolutely awesome.

I don't think high level people going to Deadmines or Scarlet Monastery do it because these places are the most fun. They do it because the farming is good there. In the BC beta my low-level Draenei mage needed a lot of linen and wool for tailoring/enchanting, and so I went to farm the Deadmines with my level 60 priest, cleaning out the place with Holy Nova. And while I like the underground pirate ship, the Deadmines doesn't really have any interesting scripted events.
 
I'm going to jump on the "Zul'Farrak bandwagon". I know a guild that farmed ZF for fun in the 45-55 level range because they enjoyed it so much, and there are a TON of ZF quests to do too.

The Sergeant Bly subplot may be the very best I've seen in WoW.
The first time I stood on the Temple and looked at the mob milling below, knowing they were coming for *us* -- well, the feeling was indescribable.
Way cool. Don't miss it.

Not to mention, the ZF boss drops and quest rewards are decent. I wore the Mason's Fraternity ring until I got a couple of good ring drops in ST. Carrot on a Stick is humorous; I still use it when I know the ride will be a long one. Squishies want a headpiece that drops off the witch doctor. Overall, it seems like ZF tends toward leather drops, so leather-wearers should not skip ZF. I expect that my druid alt will spend some quality time in ZF; he's level 43, so he's almost there. He has some level-60 friends, so maybe he can enlist help and get the ZF key :P

What I meant about "Space Invaders grind" was not instances, but rather things like the endless mind-numbing killing of mobs for +5 rep each to get rep with some faction in order to buy a recipe.
 
I know that BWL, AQ40 and Naxx have interesting boss fights. But that's about the only interesting thing about them for an endgame guild composed of level 70ies. Would it be worth the trouble of organizing 20+ people for a run?

That's the million dollar question. People won't agree on the answer, but I have a really hard time believing that people will head back to the level 40 instances. As the boss encounters get more unique, the chances of "strong-arming" the encounter down just because you're 10 levels too high drops significantly. So while you could probably run through BWL with minimal effort and a handful of people who know what they're doing, why would you? Tier 2 looks to be replaced before 70 anyhow, so you'll get 25 friends together to farm nexus crystals?

After that, we have AQ40. I can see how some of the semi-challenging fights in AQ40 could be strong-armed. Sartura's chaos would probably be laughable and the instance wouldn't really be challenging before the Emps. Again, almost none of the gear there will even be looked at by level 70 players though.

Naxx, the loot scales better. So theoretically it might be worthwhile to run Naxx for a handful of items, and possibly for the Atiesh staff pieces. The thing with Naxx is that you won't be able to go in at level 70 and tear it up with little research. Anub'Rekan would rip up a group of 25 level 70's if they didn't know what to do. I don't care how many HP you have, if you're standing in Locust Swarm then things are about to get ugly. Fights like Noth would actually be more difficult (cleansing 15 people when you have 10 cleansers is a heck of a lot easier than cleansing 15 with 6 or so). So Naxx will be an instance that will actually still be challenging, and for minimal rewards once you succeed. That doesn't sound like an easy sell.
 
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