Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to solve the low level instance problem

Earlier today WoW Insider had a nice little topic about WoW's biggest mistakes. I got to the party a bit late, but I managed to voice my concern, which apparently is shared by other folks. It's pretty much about leaving the old content behind.

I made a post last week about how I feel the old world in WoW needs to updated. While giving a whole place a face lift might be a bit of a stretch, there's a way to improve the game by making the low level instances more accesible.

As it stands, the earliest people get to do instances is in Outlands. You can hang around all day in Tanaris trying to group for Zul`Farrak, but even if you do find 5 people, it's highly likely the whole thing will go to hell once you realize that the tank wants to heal and the healer wants to tank (true story!).

Now, the new LFG system from 3.1 let's you put a tag on your toon, so that other people can see if you're DPS, tank or a healer. So why not have all the 5-man old world instances follow a similar pattern? Let's have them geared towards 3-man parties consisting of a tank, DPS and healer!

SFK - one of the best instances, now abandoned (source: Wowwiki)

First of all, grouping will be much easier and lowbies can take advantage of the new LFG tags. Finding 2 other people instead of 4 increases the chances to do an instance by 50%! But there's more.

These days if you miss an instance during leveling you can solo it later on. There's one problem with that - there's no reason to do it, as by the time you're able to solo an instance, the quests and mobs are sure to yield no experience, not to mention shitty gear. Now, if the content is geared towards 3 man groups, you should be, in theory, able to solo it with a stronger character while your quests are still green. You just have to be really good at playing your class, which could work as a benchmark. If you skip the old world instances, you really don't know just how good you're playing until you step into an instance, and as I mentioned before, it's unlikely this is going to happen before 70.

Sunken Temple - love to go, but I've never been (source: Wowwiki)

I still would love to have heroic versions of all the instances, but I can see a problem with that solution - once players spread out, there actually might be not enough people to fill all the lvl 80 groups in Northrend, not to mention the work that would have to be done on retooling the encounters and perhaps working on new loot tables. 3-man instances feel like an elegant solution with added bonuses for all. Leveling a toon might get a bit of it's charm back.

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