Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dungeon Finder coverage

As I don't like questing in Outlands that much, I leveled my druid in World of Warcraft from level 60 to now 69 only by doing dungeons. And then I found that at level 69 the Dungeon Finder already queues you up for the Northrend dungeons, which give nearly twice the xp per kill and better loot. So I looked through the list of Outland dungeons to check which ones I have missed, and was astonished to find out that I missed half of them. Basically the list of Outland dungeons was split evenly into those I did at least half a dozen times, and those I didn't visit at all. Obviously it would have been more fun to have a more even coverage, visiting every dungeon a few times.

At closer inspection the culprit appears to be World of Warcraft's "level fast - stay at level cap a long time" structure. Every expansion has a lot of dungeons which are for level capped characters, even in normal mode. But once the next expansion comes out, people leveling up just rush through the old level cap, often switching to the next expansion content before they even hit the old cap. Thus e.g. the dungeons in Netherstorm, which are for level 69 to 70, never show up in the Dungeon Finder. Not to mention the "extra hard" dungeons introduced later in an expansion, like Magister's Terrace for Burning Crusade.

Once Cataclysm strikes, the same will happen to Northrend Dungeons. Somebody new to the game and leveling through group content with the Dungeon Finder will never see certain Wrath of the Lich King dungeons, like the Icecrown ones. That is a shame, because there is an obvious interest for both Blizzard and the players to make *all* old content accessible to new players.

I think Blizzard should modify the Dungeon Finder so that it covers the old dungeons more evenly. Basically somebody who levels from 60 to 70 through dungeons should statistically see every Burning Crusade dungeon at least once or twice. And somebody who levels from 70 to 80 after Cataclysm should see all Wrath of the Lich King dungeons.

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