It’s a whole new game.

I’m bloody well shocked. Cassie says there is no way… NO WAY that this can last.

The new instances are out… and I love them.

I mean, I LOVE them, love them. I run them for fun. I run them on my Hunter, get nothing, and don’t give a shit because the journey was fun.

I capped out on Valor from running them for the week and didn’t notice. “Oh hey, I’m Valor capped. When did that happen?”

Even if you hate them yourself, take a moment and think about that.

When was the last time you ran an instance in World of Warcraft that you didn’t endure because you had to do it to get to the fun stuff?

I’m sitting here loving life, and the sad thing about it is, this is supposed to be normal. I’m supposed to be looking forward to logging in and playing with people at the content level I am at.

For a long, long time, instances have been the necessary evil I endure to get the gear, Justice and Valor points to gear up to be able to qualify for the content I actually WANT to do.

How many conversations have we seen where people talk about how you should run Trollroics to get your Valor to get raid gear, and how miserable a grind it is, and how miserable the instances are, but how that’s what you just have to deal with to get the gear for your raids. You take it for the team. “It’s not that bad, it’s just a couple hours a night during the week to get capped”. Or a few less if you run older content. Etc, etc.

The unspoken fact we’ve been dealing with is the content, the Zulroics, just weren’t FUN.

They sounded fun. The concept was good. But then, the concept was good on all the instances we had at Cataclysms’ launch, too. Bring back challenge, bring back CC, bring back having to play with skill intead of steamrolling through with gearscores.

The reality gave us a very simple mathematical formula; DPS long queue time plus endless trash multiplied by complex mechanics equals OMIGOD GO GO GO THIS IS TAKING ALL F’ING NIGHT!

I think I may have done each of the Trollzoics a few times, then just said “Oh, hell no. I respect myself too much for this crap.”

The first thing I like about the new dungeons; they’re short. I mean, damn short. The trash is an appetizer, rather than the bulk of the meal. The boss encounters themselves are the main courses, as they should be.

The second thing I like is that the encounters, whether trash or boss, are all interesting and at least mildly challenging.

Have you noticed that almost everything is CCable? It’s not important to the discussion, it’s just a fun observation. Even the Eyes on the ramp leading to Queen Azshara can be controlled by Warlocks, and aren’t they a hoot. You can drop a frost trap on them too, but Warlocks frown on you taking away their toys.

It’s almost as though Blizzard said to themselves, “We know they don’t use CC anyway, so why not let them CC whatever the hell they like, and if they try they’ll be rewarded? Why restrict it? If a group actually WANTS to use it, screw it, let ‘em go for it.”

Really, I’m having a complete blast.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t wiped. Oh, good lord, have I wiped. I’ve done some pugs on my Warrior that just… hoochie mama.

But you know, it’s still been fun. It really is like a balanced meal. You get some nice tastes of trash, each with it’s own cute little quirks, and then just when you’re about tired of the taste of trash, right at that moment, you get a good solid meal.

My favorite, my complete favorite, is the trash before Sylvanas in End Time.

We’ve been trained, we see one big goon surrounded by a bunch of itty bitty mobs, you beat down the big guy and then clean up the rest.

WHOOPS! What happened there? WTF?

Oh my, you have to kill everyone BUT the big guy! Ooh, well played, Blizz, well played. Got me, yes you did.

Of course, you can run in while the fight is still going on, so if things get tight, you can get back in and help your team pull out a win if you’re fast enough.

You good players out there, you might not have found that out, because of the whole, you know, not dying thing.

I’ll admit, it’s a shocker to me. I’m enjoying running the instances so much, dear lord I might even resume TANKING for pugs.

On my Druid, my Warrior, AND my new Paladin!

No, really!

Whats even more interesting, I’m hearing great things about how fun and doable the Looking For Raid is turning out.

It’s funny to me that I keep hearing how people are upset at how easy everything is.

I’ll grant you, the taste of instances and the new raid may very well becoming cloying after time. Too much spun sugar, not enough savory substance?

Band of Misfits, the guild I’m a part of in Azuremyst, just did a 100% complete clear this week. Two solid nights of raiding, about 8 hours total, and Team Wanda brought down Deathwing in 10 person normal mode for a server first. Oh, and grats, btw. Badasses, the lot of ‘em.

They said it was fun.

I believe them.

Does this mean they will grow bored with Deathwing Heroic modes in a few months? Possibly so, possibly so.

But here’s the thing, the thing people do tend to forget.

The point is, it’s fun NOW. It’s tuned right for us to get there and have fun NOW. And I’m going to do just that.

I understand that people are worried about tomorrow, or two months from now, and are foreseeing a drought of content that will drag on forever.

I understand, I really do.

Perhaps this is timed just to last with so much fun and excitement, so much delicious sugar, that people will be too sick to have room to sample Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I’ll worry about what I’ll do when I get there.

You know why?

Because there ain’t a damn thing I can do to change the rate at which content is released. Not a damn thing. And, hey, unless you work at Blizzard, neither can you.

So why not sit back, relax, and have some fun?

You remember, that thing we used to take for granted was a part of why we played the game?

All I can do is play, or not play. If I play and have a lot of fun in these rockin’ instances and LFR and even, dare I say it, normal raids, then I’ll be having fun and living in the moment right the heck now.

In a few months, well… IF I am bored, IF the content is totally exhausted, well…

When is Diablo II coming out, again?

21 Responses to “Old Adventures in New Instances”
  1. Roneebean says:

    Well written that bear! i enjoyed this especially in contrast to the angry rant on EU wow forums denouncing the new dungeons as an utter disgrace to Warcraft. My shaman ran, looted and enjoyed all three and found them a pleasant relief after the Zuleroics.

  2. syggy says:

    Diablo II came out many many years ago. :P

    • bigbearbutt says:

      If I update my post to fix that you would look right silly.

      But we both know, it’s a fair cop.

      • syggy says:

        nah, I wasn’t worry. Because you would have said something indicating it was boogered up or deleted the post – you are that kind of person. :D

        As far as the new dungeons. still havent made it to Cata yet. lvl 81 is still too low. But glad to hear they are fun, quick and much improvement has been made. Now if the older content (BE’s, Space Goats and instances) would be worked on, brought up to the new standards and released as patches… well one can dream. :)

  3. Thomas says:

    Dude you are so right, these are tuned perfectly with still a high amount of DPS needed. There are no one shot mechanics that derail a pug. We are older gamers with only an hour or so to play. It is perfect for us, thank you blizzard for making it “bearable”.

  4. Pawzy says:

    I have -LOVED- this patch so far! I adore running the new 5 mans, heck, I’ve even geared up my 3 favorite alts, in addition to a few slots that needed upgrading on my main! All 3 of my healing specs are nicely geared up thanks to the instances, and the dps specs are coming along at a fast clip, too! I valor capped for the week on day one of 4.3. Oops. ;)

    I was afraid that LFR was going to be a festering cess pit like LFD had been for months. But I got brave and tried one. I had a blast! It inspired me to get my alts up to snuff so I could run it on them as well, thus the new 5 man heroic grinding. Not so much as even one cuss word or snark was had in any of the 3 LFRs I ran this week. I am impressed.

  5. E says:

    I’ve definitely enjoyed these dungeons, and am kicking myself for not jumping into them sooner (I was afraid of a repeat of the epic fail and wiping in Troll dungeons). I went from initially just planning on gearing up my “big” hunter, to just planning on gearing up my crafter alts (BS, LW, etc), to now trying the dungeons on all my 85s (and I have…just a few. lol).

    Noticing more ninja-looting though, akin to what I was seeing during the various holiday bosses. Not sure I get that, but…yeah.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I haven’t seen that much of it, but also the 372 barrier for LFR might be making people antsy for loot.

  6. Elladrion says:

    I love the new 5 mans. Well of eternity is a little long, there’s SO much rp that it would be nice to skip ahead a bit more (you spend a lot of time waiting for illidan to monologue) but that’s a fairly minor quibble. The instances are fats, the queue times are fast, they give fantastic gear. I’m having a blast with em. LFR is ok, a BIT too easy for my tastes but you get in and out quick and I’ve seen no loot drama, so that’s great for my many many alts.

    I do have a real problem with normal raiding being too easy. The first night my raid team went 5/8, next night we went 7/8, and we shoulc kill deathwing if tonight shakes out (11% so far is our best). We’re a good team but are far from a high-end progression guild, and this progression is fairly common among guilds. Only the gunship fight and madness of deathwing have given us any real difficulty, we one-shot many of the bosses. As the last raid before MoP, I’m worried if it will keep our interest for the 6~9 months that it’ll take for the next expansion.

  7. Leit says:

    Definitely enjoying the dungeons. I’ve even hauled my old pally tank out of the mothballs he’s been mouldering under since the zulroics first came out. It’s just so much easier to motivate going out there and grabbing the gear.

    LFR was also a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to be troll purgatory, but so far most of the folks have been more interested in killing internet dragons (and their assorted cosmic horror chums).

  8. Tesh says:

    So wait, it’s fun to *play*?

    …something must be broken. :P

    (Tongue out of cheeky text, if I’m not having fun with the game, I don’t play it. I still think there’s fun there to be had. It’s good to see you as a veteran having fun still. It gives me hope that it’s not all just down here in the leveling curve.)

    • Tesh says:

      Oh, and in passing, I think it’s *healthy* for a game (any game!) not to string you along for the next 6-9 months. Play, have fun, and if you get bored, feel free to wander off. Don’t let yourself get burned out by dancing to their tune. There are too many good games out there to be stuck in one you start to loathe.

      …I’ll stop before I get into another design and business model rant. ;)

  9. [...] This bear has the right of it. The new instances are… fun! And it’s fun seeing the points and gear rack up in a single evening! Not having to spend an entire day’s playtime for a measly 140 valour and maybe a maelstrom is awesome! [...]

  10. Ely says:

    I agree that the new instances are fun but maybe I’m seeing different peeps than you Bear. I was getting kicked for having low dps for my first time in them and this is after not playing for about 3 months. (Going to school didn’t want to take time from my course as I was not sure how hard the classes would be ) I hate getting snarked on for not playing, :(

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Hi Ely! I know what you’ve been up to, haven’t you seen I have your blog on my feedreader? It’s linked right there on the corner of my website. :) As usual, you are teh aw3some.

      Well, I’ll certainly admit that the go go go crowd is still out there, and i’ve seen some real idiots, as usual.

      If you are just coming back for a bit before SWTOR comes out, though, I’d seriously recommend running with friends in ‘em until you get geared out all OP. I’m hearing that 40k is the new 20k OP level of DPS.

      You know, those of us that thought our 20k was all that and a bag of chips are finding out it isn’t so.

  11. Imakulata says:

    Hmm, let me see, the last time I had fun in dungeons was after patch 4.1 which was the last patch before 4.3 that introduced new ones. :-) Although this ones are shorter, the longest one so far took about a hour for me – Zulroics used to take 40-50 minutes at least even at the end of 4.2.

    As to whether they will become boring, sure they will – but I agree it’s important to enjoy what we have.

  12. Zy says:

    I ran the Zulroics once. On my main. And never set foot into them again. Thankfully I got all my VP by raiding cause I would’ve chosen not capping my VP over doing the Zulroics. All my alts at level cap languished.

    The Dragon Soul 5 mans? I ran them on my main. Then I ran them again because I’m traveling in Norway and can’t raid this week. I’ll probably cap my weekly VP just thru the random 5 mans for the first time in months, if not this entire expansion. Then you know what? The next day I got on my horde mage and ran them. All three of them. I was sure she wouldn’t get in since she was almost entirely in blue gear but she did and the runs went smoothly. Then I got on another alt and ran the first one again. Fourth time in a week! AND HAD FUN. I can’t wait to finish leveling my priest because I finally have something to look forward to. The priest is going to get geared and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be playing my alts again. The dungeons aren’t painful and punishing. You can absolutely wipe (especially on trash!) but the fights are pretty darn cool, I especially loved Murozond and Benedictus. Jaina and Sylvanis? Fun.

    I can see both sides of the arguments for the new dungeons but I have to admit which side I come down on. I know very few folks that like the Zulroics at all so the fact that large numbers of people are having fun in Dragon Soul says quite a bit.

  13. Reliquary says:

    I always use the lul period after the last content patch and once the Raid is on farm to level my alts. During WotLK I leveled 90% of my existing alts.

  14. BR says:

    Well said, I haven’t had this much fun since WotLK.

  15. Thelandira says:

    I agree, the new 5 mans are a lot of fun. I’ve only been in the first two, but have had a blast none the less…even when my first step into them was as tank on my DK (whom I haven’t used as a tank in forever and was a bit rusty). I can’t wait to see what the third one has to offer.

    I’ve even dusted off a few alts to get them geared enough to run the new 5 mans. The only thing I wish is that Blizz didn’t put the Zulroics in with the reg-roics. I would love to bypass them altogether because they still suck for pugs. I don’t get to play often during the time frames that most of my guildies are on. So puggin’ is my only option. Every time I que up I keep my fingers crossed that it won’t be a Zulroic.

  16. dub says:

    I have to admit, that after trying out the trollics a few times I was glad to see the new instances were not the same. I too had been getting all of my valor lately from doing the Firelands raid. I actually enjoyed it more than most of the heroics and found it easier and less frustrating than trollics.

    So far I don’t find the new 4.3 content too easy. I assume thats because I’m not all that hardcore. I guess the experience is a mix of circumstances, some out of your control, that make the experience hard, easy, fun or not fun to play. I have grouped with both ass-hats and nice people in the new stuff. I don’t think it is that possible to get away from on any server if you PUG, maybe on an RP server. My goal is generally just to finish the storyline and see the content so I’m not really in a hurry and I tend to try and group with guildies as much as possible.
    I have only played WOW since the end of BC but I am still finding things that I didn’t know existed in the world. Ive only have two 85’s and the next closest in level is 67, the rest are way are below that. I assume thats part of why I still find a lot of fun in the game.
    The other thing is that I still find things to occupy my limited play time when I am not raiding. Whether its pet/mount hunting, leveling an alt, gathering materials or leveling up crafting skills, I never really run out of things to do so I’m not too concerned myself about wearing out the content.

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