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The QueueMay 26, 2015 11:00 am CT

The Queue: Dungeons

I'm getting to you in fair time, chill out. I wish it had been the gates, honestly.

Hi. You may remember me from such posts as the ones I did yesterday. Today, I’m doing The Queue. That’s this here post where y’all ask questions about Blizzard games. Sometimes I go off on little tangents about dinosaurs or whatever, but today I’m not going to do that. Let’s talk about games.


On dungeons – I’ve been playing the game every day since launch. I’ve got three 100s, a couple of mod 90s chars, and a ton of 90s. And I still haven’t even set foot in all the dungeons. I definitely haven’t done shadowmoon burial grounds, or the everbloom. Maybe there’s others I haven’t done, that I can’t think of. Because I only have limited time each day to play, and running dungeons is neither a viable gearing method, nor an efficient way if levelling.

And it’s a damn shame, because 5 mans were always my favourite content.

Evelinda didn’t actually ask a question here, but I wanted to talk about dungeons from my perspective, and so her comment was a pretty solid way for me to do so. For me, dungeons have several problems right now. I’m sure Alex mentioned some of them, but it’s okay to cover the same ground.

1 – dungeons aren’t terribly rewarding right now. I’m hopeful that mythic dungeons will in some way alleviate this. At present, you can get geared well enough to enter LFR from doing quests in Nagrand and getting lucky on a couple of upgrades from quests rolling out as epic instead of green. When you can more easily gear your character up in LFR than in dungeons, you can do so sooner and the gear you get in dungeons is inferior to LFR gear, and the removal of Justice/Valor meant that I wasn’t even running the dungeons for eventual purchases/upgrades.

2 – the pendulum of dungeon design swung a bit towards harder dungeons this time, which I actually liked, but by making players go through Proving Grounds to get into heroics (and again, you can skip that and just run LFR from the get go) you shrank the pool of available players. I’m not particularly annoyed by having to get silver in Proving Grounds, but I do wonder why it was so important to filter out players for heroic dungeons and not LFR – was it an attempt to funnel players into LFR over dungeons? Because that’s the reality. That’s where players have gone.

3 – in Mists of Pandaria we had an elegant solution to the problem of super long queue times for DPS. (And if you’re a tank or healer and you don’t see that as a problem, hang on and I’ll explain why it is.) That solution was Scenarios. Scenarios for DPS players were a godsend. They allowed you to get near instant queues, put your dungeon queue in suspension so you didn’t lose your place, and gather up a bit of valor or justice as a reward, and get to do something while you waited. It was ideal, and it kept a lot of DPS players queued. Happy DPS players sticking around for the dungeons is better for everyone – it means less waiting for that one DPS player to click yes only to see him or her time out, for example. It means that when they get into the dungeon, they’re less likely to pull a diva moment and do something awful to try and wipe the group before rage dropping. We’ve all had these experiences with other players.

There were certainly problems in dungeons by the end of Mists of Pandaria, including people in raid gear curb stomping the dungeons so hard that tanks/healers were almost trivialized. But I feel like we’ve seen a pattern in design choices made from expansion to expansion and it tends towards overcompensation, and dungeon design this time around did that. Dropping valor/justice and making LFR so much more accessible, and then making it so much more rewarding all had a cumulative effect that squeezed players out of dungeons this expansion. The fact is, long queues for DPS players ultimately hurt everyone – by removing the scenario safety valve, you dropped DPS players back into the world of ‘okay, I’ve queued for a dungeon and now I have an hour to kill’ without the reliable ‘guess I’ll chain some scenarios’ solution they once had, and without any new solution to take its place.

I have high hopes for mythic dungeons, but we’ll see how they work out.


Why doesn’t Blizz just increase the ilevel for dungeons and raids as time goes on? If dungeons gave the same ilvl gear as BRF lfr wouldn’t that be some incentive to run them? Couldn’t they keep content somewhat “current” by increasing the ilvl of the gear?

At least for raids, Blizzard wants you to move on to the next thing. You’re not supposed to stay in Highmaul forever, you’re supposed to eventually move on to BRF and then Hellfire Citadel and… it’s a progression path. If you want new, higher ilevel gear you’re supposed to move on to the new raid. In the past, when Blizzard has buffed gear (remember when they buffed BRF gear to be more clearly an upgrade from Highmaul) the gear people had already earned got upgraded as well, and that would make the change a retroactive buff to players who’d earned that gear.

For dungeons, that gear issue remains – if they simply adjust the drops in dungeons up in this manner buffs that gear overall. If there’s a DPS trinket in a five man that suddenly becomes the new hotness when it gets buffed, then players are forced to either go back and run that dungeon for it or, if they already have it, to keep using it over a LFR drop that should be an upgrade.

So no, sadly, it’s not as simple as ‘turn the dial up’ on dungeons and older raids. There’s an element of planned obsolescence that has to be accounted for.


You talked about bratwurst for a very long time.

Look, I enjoy a solid discussion of sausages as much as the next guy, but seriously, that was disturbing with all the pictures of people staring at brats and soaking them in beer. I’m concerned for your health, Queuesters. Is that a word? It should be a word.

I’m just saying, I worry.


Q4tQ Seeing how Blizz already resurrected retired legendaries as Diablo 3 loot, any chance you think we’ll see pre cata maps (classic barrens, ashenvale, theramore etc.) brought back in D3 as a kind of anniversary special?

I really don’t think so.

For one thing, they’d basically have to completely redesign them – D3 and WoW don’t share much of anything, they’re entirely different games with different engines. Heck, look at Thunderfury in Diablo, it really doesn’t look much at all like the WoW version. So it’s as much work as just designing more Diablo specific maps, and ultimately the maps wouldn’t work for Sanctuary and would be of limited appeal.

I’d sooner expect them to do what they did for WoW‘s 10th anniversary and do something like the Tarren Mill/Southshore death matches or Molten Core, bringing back a classic raid or zone in that manner. Even then they had to actually rebuild old Tarren Mill and Southshore.


Ok, maybe this is more philosophy than a question, but here goes:
Just saw that Matt Rossi started his article on the future of the Draenei with: “One of the things I’ve loved this expansion…” And that’s just one example, I’ve heard similar things said all around. Is it just me or is everyone talking about Warlords as if it were over already? Folks, we’re only seven months in!

And at the same time, I understand the feeling. This expansion feels strangely “old” already, as if it’s been around for years.


I think you’re overthinking my statement. When I say “One of the things I’ve loved this expansion” I simply mean exactly that. It’s one of the things I’ve loved this expansion. In an article like the one you’re referencing, which is looking at what might happen in the future, my love for the draenei story in Warlords is simply referenced in the past tense because it is past – it’s the story I’ve played through and enjoyed, and now I’m musing on where it might/could go in the future.

I don’t think of Warlords as a particularly old expansion, nor do I think of it as being ‘over’. Depending on what content drops in 6.2/6.3, we could be in Draenor for another year and I’d be fine with that. As long as there’s content, I’m happy.

And that’s the Queue for today. I believe Alex is up tomorrow, and then Liz on Thursday, so be nice to them both and I’ll see you on Friday. Me you don’t have to be nice to. I feel like our relationship can handle it.

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