Looking to liven up the world… of Warcraft; Blizzard have put many hours into planning more user friendly, and ultimately better experiences throughout the levelling process to maximum level, and before it. Many of the gripes players had in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of The Lich King expansion sets was the hurdle of having to level through older content to reach the new. In Cataclysm, we all know this changed, when they not only revisited many of the older dungeons and zones, but also added new content for maximum level players too. It was a huge undertaking if you think about it, 2 continents of areas completely revisited and entire quest lines changed and modernised. Occasionally you find the odd quest that remains from the days of Vanilla WoW, but honestly they are so far and few between, you would have to go off the beaten track to even find the breadcrumb quest to begin any of them. So when we look at newer expansions such as MoP, and now WoD, very little needs to be done to the old world, if at all to make it conform to the next chapter in the WoW storyline, however that is not to say that Blizzard wants to completely leave the old world behind, trapped in a strange time paradox where Deathwing is still around, so they are revisiting some older dungeons again, only this time adding new WoD storylines to them.
First on the list to change is Blackfathom Deeps, an instance I always get the irritating urge to change to ‘Blackfathom Depths’ instead, however despite my grammar Nazi attitude to the place, it is still one of my more least visited low level dungeons and least favourite in the game. All that is about to change however, as the things I disliked about the instance seem to have been hammered out with a large mallet called “old instances shouldn’t be long and boring”. This hammer is something we saw a great deal of in Cataclysm, but Warlords is taking it to the next level. Walking inside BFD you see a series of new npc’s offering quests relating to a new threat, not to spoil things to much, it basically involves you defeating a new series of bosses relating to this new ‘threat’, and tentacles, lots of tentacles.
The first major change is one of the first areas, if you recall there used to be a rather irritating jumping puzzle, requiring you to hop across a group of giant boulders to get to the next area, below is water, in which you would have to swim back to the land if you fell and do it all over again. Now, don’t get me wrong, I really don’t see how people can fail such a simple jump, but World of Warcraft is not something that really works too well with jumping puzzles or anything requiring use of its fairly basic jump animations.
This has now changed; if one of your party makes it across they can now click on a new rope doodad, which will throw the rope down to the ground below where that warrior has fallen 56 times in the past minute, where they can click it and be thrown up to you. Thank the light for that! All this time, all this suffering, watching and waiting as people press their space-bar too soon or too late, gone in a single change.
That’s not to say this is the only change to the dungeon, but is certainly the most welcome. The dungeon is the same layout as before, and actually contains more bosses I think (citation needed), but each one has a series of dialog and some incredibly fun mechanics, usually found much, much later in the game.
The second instance I looked at was none other than Razor Fen Downs; a rather awkward dungeon located in the southern Barrens. This place had the most annoying escort quest in the history of video games, well possibly. The quest in question was part way through the first area and past the first boss, involving you to backtrack all the way back near the entrance of the dungeon to escort a human to do something with a furnace ( I cannot remember nor care what it was). Thankfully this quest has been completed, and there are no longer any humans to rescue. Whoop! What then instead, is the captivating tale of the red dragon from the old instance, who has returned to ask for your help defeating the last boss, a Lich. The Lich in question survived our first attack in previous expansions and ultimately lives because we forgot to destroy his Phylactery, a vial which preserves the life of a Lich if it’s destroyed and can return it back to life. Sloppy work on the part of the dragon then, but fortunately you take no chances this time in swift, decisive butchering of new and old, returned bosses you may be familiar with.
New mechanics, much like those found in the new version of Black Fathom Deeps are also present within RFD, and much to my delight the run already feels 5-6 minutes shorter than before. If there’s one thing Blizzard have addressed, is that people don’t want to spend longer than 10-15 minutes within a dungeon anymore, and that levelling shouldn’t be a chore, but fun and interesting. I can thankfully say I no longer fear these two dungeons and cannot wait to run new alts through them in the future.
Many new dungeons litter Warlords of Draenor, and some are getting there own heroic modes, however BFD and RFD are NOT getting level 100 variants, only low level remakes, which again shows Blizz’s dedication to all aspects and facets of the game they are containing to maintain quality over over everything else, even after 10 years of gametime. Be sure to check out future posts on WoW.Stratics as we cover each new dungeon and ultimately everything related to Warlords of Draenor. I have embedded below two videos showing each of the two dungeons I have talked about today from the Warlords of Draenor Alpha / beta Testing phase, be warned however that they contain spoilers! My names Meoni, and I shall see you all next time.