Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Cross-server dungeons for WoW
This is a side train of thought I had when writing about Blizzard's new fast forward mid-level game: In spite of them also improving the mid-level dungeons by reducing the level-range and making the loot better, a faster mid-level game probably means even less people visiting the mid-level dungeons. If people go through these levels faster, it becomes even harder to find a group of the appropriate level range. Already cities are full of lower level players begging for level 70s to run them through dungeons. This is not the way to enjoy the dungeon content.
When World of Warcraft had a similar problem with getting enough players of the right level range into the PvP battlegrounds, they solved that by introducing cross-server battlegrounds. So why not introduce cross-server dungeons? Dungeons being instances just like battlegrounds, there should be no technical problem with that.
To make that successful, we would need a better LFG system. You should be able to specify what classes you'd want in your group. Like having one slot for either a warrior or feral druid as tank, one slot for a priest or paladin as healer, and three slots where you'd accept any dps class. Players could see all the not complete groups waiting for a dungeon, and see where there is room for their character, of set up a new group if there isn't any. And this dungeon group forming interface would be shared between several servers, thereby much increasing the number of potential participants.
I enjoyed playing World of Warcraft by joining lots of groups for dungeons of all levels. Some places like Shadowfang Keep or the Deadmines are really great. It would be a pity if new players couldn't experience them, just because there are too few other mid-level players around. Cross-server dungeons could really boost this sort of gameplay. And by playing in groups early, players would arrive at the end game with a much better understanding of how to play in groups. The "level up to 70 solo and then group / raid" concept isn't really working all that well, people simply don't know how to play well in groups if they never did it.