Tobold's Blog
Friday, August 10, 2007
Sorry, you missed it

Two things happened yesterday, totally unrelated, but they ended up being about the same thing. One was an e-mail from a reader proposing heroic deadmines, basically creating more level 70 content by offering a level 70 version of all the old world dungeons. Sounds good, but what do you do when the level cap rises again, do you make them all level 80? The other event was a friend telling me how his guild did a touristic trip to Molten Core, because there were several people in his guild who had never been there, so they gathered 20 Karazhan raiders and kicked some ass in MC for fun. Another form of reuse for old content. Lots of people commented that it is nearly impossible to find groups for old world dungeons, so they either end up not going at all, or they cruise through at high speed with the help a level 70 character from a friend.

All of that made me happy that I played through the old world dungeons when I did it, the time when everybody was still using that content. Because doing the Deadmines either transformed to heroic, or with a level 70 guide, just isn't the same. Molten Core isn't the same at level 70. Not only is the challenge gone, but also the rewards would be considered worthless now.

If you didn't visit the Deadmines when the game was much younger and people still gathered in crowds at the entrance to form groups, you will never see them in their full glory. If you didn't raid Molten Core before the Burning Crusade, you will never get the same sort of experience we had. Sorry, you missed it. It might appear as if the Deadmines and Molten Core are still in the game, but those are just empty shadows. The Deadmines experience, or the Molten Core experience, was about going there at the appropriate level with other people of the same level, all of which were hoping to get some rewards which were cool for that level and that time. The dungeons remain, but the people are gone.

For places like the Deadmines there are possible solutions, for example cross-server instances or a better LFG system. There are still people at level 20, and if you could just gather them, you could still have fun in the Deadmines and get decent loot for your level. But places like Molten Core are lost. Even if you had 40 level 60 characters available, they'd rather go and form 8 groups for the Hellfire Ramparts, which would go a lot faster and give better rewards than forming one MC raid. Just like in real life, we can't turn back the clock.
The first (and only) time I killed Onyxia was with 6 or 7 level 70s. I'm glad I did it, but wouldn't do it again.

Also, I decided to have a mooch in the old world again, and tried to solo Strat. Didn't do too badly until I got splatted quite hard by the crypt fiend boss. Perhaps I should've kited him some more, but all the same, not as interesting as rushing to do it in 45 minutes at level 60.
I never saw MC prior to BC, and to be honest I didn't want to. 40 man raids do not appeal to me in the slightest. I have been there now, I have seen Ragnaros, and have defeated him. It was worth a visit for that reason alone - to see it.
I don't lament that I never went there at lv 60.

It's not quite over, Tobold. If you want to experience the old raid instances you can; there are guilds out there who like to play Azeroth-only content, mainly old-school raiders who don't like BC, and want to stick to MC, BWL and AQ. The only gear permitted is drops from Azeroth; BC gear is banned.
It might be best simply for Blizzard revisit the level 60 dungeons and normalise the loot tables and quest rewards so that even the best rewards are not immediately surpassed by green world drops in Hellfire Peninsula.

Who tries to get tier-0 gear these days when early quest rewards in Outlands give almost tier-2 quality loot? I think it's a real shame that all the level 60 dungeons have been almost emptied, as there is a lot of good quality content in them.
Blizzard just needs to set aside servers for different level ranges, but that would mean free characters transfers, and they wouldn't like that.

Imagine a server where there is no TBC and anyone who hits 60 has the ability to get a free transfer back to their old server.
I don't think Deadmines suffers from quite the same level of abandonment as the old endgame content does.

It's been a month or two since I had an alt in the area, but at the time it was just as easy as ever to put together a group for Deadmines. I think it benefits from the fact that for an experienced altaholic it's almost trivial to get a character to the late teens.

Scarlet Monestary also seems to have pretty regular traffic.

I think the biggest difference between those two and the endgame content (and even other Azeroth instances) is that it's possible for a decent group to do a full Deadmines run in under 30 minutes, and even a group that wipes and has problems can bully through in an hour. It is also very forgiving to people who don't know what they're doing.

Similarly, SM's wings can each be taken care of in about half an hour or so, and because it's broken up it's very easy to leave a group that isn't working properly and to find another one.

A lot of the other (Alliance at least, I am less familiar with early Horde content) Azeroth instances require a more significant time investment, knowledge of the instance, and your character's role in a group.
In the guild I was in before I left WoW (pre-BC), most people had a lot of alts at different level ranges. So if a newbie guild member needed help with a Deadmines quest, people just switched to a low level alt. The veteran players seemed to have quite a fun time revisiting old content.

If Blizzard wants veteran players to replay old content then I think they need to reward players somehow for doing so. Otherwise many new players will get discouraged early because their level-appropriate zones are empty.
Or if they'd just go through and upgrade all the MC BWL, AQ and NAX epics to BC standards, then they'd be good leveling instances for anyone that wanted to level that way. If they just put the extra stamina that is on all the BC greens to the gear that dropped in the old raid instances I bet that alone would give people a reason to go back to them.
At level 70 myself, my husband and three or four others worked on some trash at the beginning of Molten Core just for fun. What we talked about more was how sad it was inside Black Rock Mountain. We were the ONLY ones there. It was far from the days of lagging out in front of the portal guy to MC because of the massive amount of players standing there waiting.
Blizzard should add a mentoring system into WOW. Running a low/mid level dungeon would be fun with high level skills but scaled back so the dungeon is still a challenge.
I think MC will be back, when we get to lvl 80 I am sure there will be a Heoric option with much better loot, and at lvl80 you can 10 man MC!
I am glad I was there for all the content pre BC. I joined a guild the week after theyt dropped rag for teh very first time. I joined them in a complete Dungeon set 1 gear. I stayed with that guild all the way through BWL, AQ40 through C'thun, and the first 5 bosses of Naxx.

When the expansion came out I was saddened by the destruction of that time period. It is the same sadness you feel when you first realize a part of your youth has passed and you cannot recapture those times.

Just for the nostalgia factor, (and a badge of where I have been), I wear my yellow dungeon set 2 gear whenever I am in a major city. As for tier 2, that has since been de'd. And when my first quest green was a tier 2 upgrade, it broke my heart...

When the cap goes to 80, they will have done the same thing to BC. It just might be enough for me to lose interest in accomplishing something else in this game.
Not sure exactly how to work this in, but I'll just mention that they plan to re-itemize and retune Naxx as an entry level dungeon in WOTLK. Wonder if any other dungeons will get the same treatment.
Well, it isn't realistic to run Deadmines, or even MC, forever.
That sounds more like purgatory than fun to me. :-)

Frankly, due to RL commitments and 40-man raids I was dead-ended before the BC anyway -- a heavy PvP-er as much out of necessity as for fun. My lasting impression is that pre-BC pretty much the *only* route to truly top-end gear was raiding, period.

But the BC changed that, with PvP and crafted gear providing alternate gear-progression routes. I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised that Blizz has maintained parallel gear routes instead of just gearing up the exclusive "leet raiders". In the BC it's not at all unusual to see raiding toons geared with a combination of raiding, PvP, and crafted gear.
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