Talking about Blizzcon Dungeon Announcements

This is more the province of Tish Tosh Tesh, but I thought it’d be fun to talk about the evolution of dungeon design in WoW… also known as, be careful what you wish for.

Blizzcon is this weekend, heck it’s going on now, (oh yeah, and MMO Champion was apparently correct in every particular except no confirmation on Troll Druids… Gnome Priests ARE confirmed), and on Saturday one of the panels to look forward to is Dungeon and Raids.

BEAREDIT IN DA MIDDLE! It looks like the Alliance version of the Troll Druid is… the Worgen Druid! And if so, yes, I’ll play one. Two Alliance Druids? Oh, why the hell not.

Before we see what Blizzard has to say while looking ahead, let’s take a look at the dungeons of the past, and what we liked about them, hated, and how they’ve changed over time, shall we?

I could do a traditional Bearwall, and go over every dungeon one at a time, but I’d actually like to hear YOU talk about the various dungeons, what you liked about them, what you hated. Especially with a focus on the originals.


Because one of the most recent Blizzcon announcements (besides flight confirmed in Azeroth) was a total revamp of the old world, and the old dungeons all refreshed…. with the addition of Heroic modes.

That’s right, Heroic modes.

Heroic Shadowfang Keep was mentioned. Yes, yes it was, damnit!

So, I’d like to get the conversation started. We’ve had a lot of discussion recently in WoW about the gradual changes in instance design, moving from instances heavy with patrols and mobs requiring the use of crowd control, innovative tactics and full on teamwork, and moving towards what some feel is a simple CC free tank and spank in your face borefest.

Will this change all that? If so, for the better or worse?

Will a Heroic BRD become the new psuedo-raid? Good lord, BRD when done purely at level is freaking nuts.

In fact, I challenge anyone to go in as a two person group, even at 80, and blow through all of BRD in less than an hour and a half. Since I know of folks that can clear Kara in that, that’s saying something.

The old style dungeons had an interesting mix of architecture and style, and while I know some folks try as hard as they can to do things at the appropriate level… when it’s an instance tuned for Heroic level 80 challenges, how will we fare?

I’m sorry, I know we’ve all done these a million times, and yes I know people will be tired of seeing them no matter what they’re level. I won’t argue that point. I think it’s a valid point to talk about.

Are there some instances that will feel vibrant and fun, challenging and brutal at 80? Will a Deadmines run bring us back to see Van Cleef and his minions once again… or will Cataclysm bring not only a power boost to the old instances, but also a change to where they fit in the lore?

Just two points to start the completely idle speculation…

Deadmines. Will the presence of Stormwind Docks change Deadmines, so that the end actually consists of fighting aboard a launched mega-cannon ship, fighting to stop it before it reaches the Stormwind Harbor and shells the ships lying in wait?

Gnomeregan. When they revamp it, will we be fighting a massive battle in a phased Gnomeregan, where we will finally fight the war to reclaim and save Gnomeregan, giving Gnomes a true capitol city once again?

On the flip side, will Trolls gain a capitol of their own?

Will Shadowfang Keep, with the addition of Worgen as a playable race, become something totally different?

Blizzcon is a go, Boubouille is vindicated and then some, and the WoW world will never be the same.

Go! Talk! Be free!

BEAREDIT!!!! So, yeah, totally made it sound like all old world Azeroth instances were getting the level 85 Heroic makeover. I think that was premature. Maybe you know more than I, but as of right now, all I know FOR SURE is that Deadmines and Shadowfang keep are getting 85 heroic versions. NOT BRD.

Maybe others will, maybe not. I’m sorry for the confusion.


21 thoughts on “Talking about Blizzcon Dungeon Announcements

  1. Not intending to be a downer for the party, but it they don’t reliably fix the ability to *access* the dungeons, it matters not whether they change existing dungeons or add new ones.

    The lack of ability to play the dungeons of late is incredibly infuriating.


  2. OMG OMG OMG, I am completely wigging out at all this!!! I just watched all the trailers and looked at screenshots and all I can say is…


    It’s gonna be a long year or more til we get this, I’m sure…. 🙂 Patience is going to be tough…


  3. Goblins…..why did it have to be goblins /sob

    Oh and I am not happy that it seems like Garrosh is in control of the Horde. I dislike him and Varian. Basically I don’t like new characters being shoved down my damn throat.


  4. Oh and if you want confirmation of Troll druids watch the trailer at the 3:14 mark there is a troll Druid in Tier gear


  5. Maybe it’s just me. When I play RPGs, I play one Character and that’s pretty much it. I’m not on an RP server or anything, but my focus is on one toon (in the case of WoW, a Tauren Druid) and any other toons I play are there mainly in support of that toon. (Bank alt, and a Warlock/Tailor/Enchanter for mats and bags)

    So I just can’t get excited about Goblins, Worgen, Troll Druids, etc. I won’t play them. They won’t affect me at all.

    Just put some epic questlines and lore in the game. Give me something that makes it seem like what my toon does matters in this game.

    Barring that, keep me busy until D3 comes out!


  6. About Troll druids: in the video trailer, there’s a troll female going into tree form. Also a tauren casting seal of command and divine storm, a gnome healing someone in tier 7, and a human with a pet/bow.

    Also, I, for one, can’t wait.

    I’m a bit frustrated whenever the Alliance gets anything (ANYTHING), so I’m trying to convince myself that worgen will be more of a curse than a blessing.

    For all you alliance on RP servers, you will now have to deal with Werewolves.



  7. My two bits:

    Tired of BRD? NEVER! Joining up during TBC, I only got in there briefly around 60, and then have popped in periodically to help out levelling guildies. To see it as a challenge, at level? And get emblems?

    And Maraudon? My all-time favourite instance – absolutely gorgeous setting, epic-takes-two-runs-to-finish-long, and nobody else would run it cause it was stuck in Desolace and they already levelled past it. But now? For emblems? And if it’s the daily?

    I see this announcement alone transforming the game for me, bringing life back to old parts of Azeroth, and really mixing players of all levels in most areas, instead of pushing upper levels off to some end-game city. It’ll feel like it’s some kind of massively multi-player experience. Um, like it’s supposed to be.

    Skippy happy tree!


  8. The biggest impediment to fininshing BRD in 1.5 hours, even at level 80 . . . how can you possible just blow through it without stopping to admire how beautiful a place it is?


  9. I think that the worgen will be treated somewhat like the undead are to the horde.
    The enemy of my enemy is my “friend”.

    I think there will be quite a rep hurdle to get over for worgens, at least if they are not in human form.
    I would have reaction modifyers based on what form you are in. Humans will tend to trust other humans, but… to trust a werewolf/worgen?

    Then again, with the horde gaining goblins and all their engineering prowess for blowing things up. The alliance might be nervous enough to accept help, even if it comes with fleas.

    I will probably roll up a worgen to see what it’s like when the time comes, but.. it won’t be a druid. I’m happy with Kattrinsaa and Badmoorising. A worgen hunter might be fun.. perhaps.. dunno.. any more hunters and i’ll be accused of trying to be like pike. 🙂 which isn’t a bad thing imo.

    Not sure if i’ll roll a goblin.. i wonder what goblin jokes are like..
    I bet the worgen laugh (laughs? one for each form?) will be quite bestial.

    I like the whole revamp of the main world concept. Cant wait to see more.


  10. I hit 60 about a month and a half before TBC came out so I never really hit the old raiding scene much. At most I went to about 10 raids. Then TBC came out and I was off to Outlands. So revamping old raids is fine by me. I never really saw them. That said, I know plenty of people who go back just for the hell of it.
    If they revamp some of the instances I’d like to see them either winged or shorter. Deadmines has a ton of trash in it. I’ve always been of the opinion that instances at lower levels should be shorter. Something you could do in an hour. When you have to clear a ton of trash it makes repeating instances a real drag.

    The new races look like fun. Especially if the Worgen can shape-shift. Mixing up the current race/class combos I’m so-so on. I don’t really care about that.
    Still, I’d want more character slots. I’ve used all 10 on my server so I’d need some more. I really don’t want to delete and alt so I can roll a new race.


  11. I can’t begin to say who incredibly, unbelieveably excited I am to see them make heroic version of old world dungeons. I know people will QQ and QQ some more about “reusing old content” and what have you, but I really enjoyed those dungeons and I hated seeing them wasted – and they WERE being wasted, because it was virtually impossible to get at-level runs through them these days.

    I’ve rambled on about how awesome it would be to have heroic versions of old-world dungeons for years – in fact, since the very first time I set foot in a heroic-tuned dungeon in TBC. If they could tune a regular 60ish dungeon up to 70 heroic, they could take Shadowfang Keep and make it a heroic.

    To hit on a couple old instance:

    1) Deadmines. A heroic deadmines is, in my opinion, an entirely nostalgia-based dungeon. It wasn’t a particularly good instance (though it wasn’t bad either) but who hasn’t dreamed of epic Van Cleef battles?!
    2) Shadowfang Keep! In my opinion, this is a competitor for best instance of Warcraft, period. It has an awesome story, interesting points of progression through the instance (having the wizard open the door, etc), great ambiance. It’s just awesome. I’m super-stoked about this one in particular.
    3) Scarlet Monestary: The first winged dungeon (a truly excellent design feature imho), again a great setting and well fitting overall ambiance. It’s going to be a GREAT candidate for a max-level dungeon.
    4) BRD. Well. BRD is epic, but it is way, way, way too long. I hope they work a way to break it into wings like Dire Maul (where it *can* be done as one dungeon, but is more or less broken into manageable chunks.

    Remixing the old Azeroth is going to be so incredible. I just can’t stomach doing the old content *again* (I’ve been playing since shortly after release), but I *love* levellling through new content.

    Seriously, the best video game time I’ve ever had – in my life, no kidding – was my first time playing through Warcraft, exploring a huge, beautiful world.

    To have that experience again, for the full levelling experience, coupled with knowing how things were? I know the history of the world, but it’ll be all new. I can see the lush new barrens, explore it as I would a new zone, while remembering how things where. I’ll get to say, hey, what happened to this set of ruins, or those NPC’s, ya know?

    I love my night elf druid main, but… I’m gonna be REALLY hard pressed to resist switching to a worgen druid, and playing the whole game anew.

    I haven’t been this excited about a WoW, well, anything. Ever. TBC was kinda thrilling because it was the first expansion, but it was a huge letdown. I wasn’t even interested in WotLK, didnt’ even know it was coming, but renewed my account out of random boredom the month before WotLK was released, so I stuck around for it. It’s been good, on the whole, for me anyways great changes for the game. But still, it’s only really content for my main (I have several 70-80 alts, too, but I just can’t really get into them in any major way).

    But this? It’s like a whole new game. I’m *so* excited, I just can’t express it.


  12. Just a quick point: the leaks were wrong on at least one thing so far. Org is still there, but it’s being upgraded some. It’ll look different than it used to, but it’s not flooded or anything. Also, while there’s hints of trouble between Thrall and Garrosh, nothing so far saying that Thrall gives over control of the Horde to Garrosh and DEFINITELY nothing saying Thrall is the next Guardian of Tirisfal (thank the gods), so those are at best unconfirmed.


  13. Heh, thanks for the mention! 😀 It’s funny, actually; the discussion that you started here a year ago about revitalizing the Old World of Azeroth is something that prompted me to start blogging in the first place, and now they are actually going ahead and doing it. And so here we are, full circle.

    Of course, a further irony is that yes, I do muse about game design, but you and Ixobelle have a TON more experience than I have actually going in and playing these dungeons. But yes, I really do need to dig into the design decisions here once the dust settles… 😉

    Good on ya, BBB!
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Cataclysmic =-.


  14. Yes Tesh, it’s absolutely true that we once talked about revitalizing old world content on this blog… talked seriously. We are freaking pioneer cassandras, ain’t we. 🙂


  15. Just wanted to drop by and say I love your blog! I too am excited for this… and will be VERY happy to roll a second druid. I want two druids. A Night Elf and a Worgen. Each with dual spec. The NE will be a Bear/Tree (because of 2% agi), and the Worgen will be Kitty/Moonking (1% extra damage!). Perfect combos to cover all the Druid specializations. I love that idea. It will give me a lot of time to finish my NE and start anew on a Worgen.


  16. Insider tip:
    An additional, previously unannounced, secondary profession will be added: “Breaking and Entering”. Leveling this skill will increase your chance of entering an instance while locked out…


  17. When it comes to revamping old content, I’m all for it, but lets not pretend like there’s no awareness or thought requires for any of the Wrath instances. When you’re walking in wearing full Conq gear like I am, tanking that stuff is pretty much for the lulz, but while it was still relevant it was narly. I flat out avoided Old Kingdom like a plague due to those bloody spiders.

    For a couple of examples of troublesome, if not unbeatable, mobs that shouldn’t just be AOE-ed down without paying any attention to them, I’d put up the Skirmishers (I think even you commented one time what it was like the first time you saw those), the lightning-whirlwind mobs from Halls of Lightning and half of the mobs in Old Kingdom (super-nuking spell bomb spiders and flamestriking party-wipers = owie).

    A little coordination makes it totally doable while it’s still fresh, but ignoring them even at much higher gear levels will get people killed.

    For the mechanics of old fight, I’m reminded of Dire Maul trash. There is a million and one stuns in that trash. It’s brutal, even at higher levels, to grab more then a couple at a time or you’ll end up chain-stunned. I’ve only done it once at 80 in full raid gear, but I’d absolutely burst in to tears trying to do it as it was originally intended.

    There’s requiring some sense of caution and knowledge, then there’s so long/slow that it isn’t worth doing. I think being terrified of every mob pull falls in the latter and artificially putting a mechanic cap on how fast I can run an instance (chain stuns from 4 mobs meaning no aggro) isn’t fun.


  18. I cannot begin to describe how incredibly stoked I am for this expansion. While others might QQ about recycling old content, in this case it sounds like it’s going to be a phenomenal adventure, and hopefully they take everything they’ve learned since launch…and make it all work.

    As far as the dungeons go, I was happiest with TBC’s dungeons, I think. I really want to see dungeons that require group cooperation and planning, with CC and the kill order and all that. Frankly, Wrath has failed to impress me because everything, even up to the raids, seems to be a straight on tank-N-spank, with no strategy required. My favorite TBC dungeon has got to be Shattered Halls, and I ran that thing hundreds of times. I’d love to see something like that again.

    Also (and I’m sure I’m not alone on this) I’d like to see attunements come back into the game. It goes with what BBB said about people playing at different levels, and I think attunements made that easier. For the casual person who wasn’t geared/interested in heroics, the attunements meant that there were people who needed regular instance runs to get the rep for their heroic key, so they weren’t left behind. I know on my server, you’re kind of stuck when your trying to get geared for heroics, because no one is interested in running the regular level 80 instances, so you are stuck enduring derision for not pulling your wait because of your substandard gear because you didn’t run the instances to get prepared because no one was running the instances… know the drill.

    As far as revamping the old instances, I’m cool with whatever they choose to do, but I think it would be AWESOME if they gave the gnomes Gnomergon as a capital city, because there is no way in HELL I’m going into a heroic Gnomeregon, not no way, not no how!


  19. I feel your pain TJ when I was running a guild a long while back, it was a punishable offense to even utter the word Gnomeregon in guild chat.

    (the pushishment being a required streaking run through stormwind. oddly enough, some people did this on purpose..) It would be my pick for the absolut most hated instance in the game. (including expansions)

    I would say my second most hated, (because of difficulty in the groups i was in, not for level design) was heroic shattered halls. That second main hallway with the groups that would respawn if you didn’t get all of them. That spot was too reliant on having a particular group with just the right CC (at appropriate level). I think my repair bills from that one instance alone overshadowed all my other TBC instances (including kara) combined.

    I just hope there are fewer gimmick instances, (ie cube clicking) in the future where one person’s lagging computer could have a devastating effect on everyone involved.


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