Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Instance re playability

Had a quick visit in Zul'Gurub to see if the mounts would have dropped. In fact there were four of us, all from the guild, and for me this was the first visit in the instance ever. It was kind of interesting and sad to hear the explanations about the instance from others as we plunged straight to the mount dropping bosses, like this was hard due to that and this fight was interesting because of this and so on. The instance is beautiful and I remember back in the day when I was starting my first real toon in WoW that this was one of the culmination points of the raid progression.

Now it's an empty shell, pretty but neglected. With no re playability what so ever.

As it happens, I was listening to Van Hemlock Podcast (episode #77) this morning and Tim mentioned something that struck a chord with the Zul'Gurub experience. That in Guild Wars there are instances which they know by heart by now, but run just because they are fun. And he made the reference that in Borderlands there are similar instances, too, which you really do not need for the story to progress (after the first run) but which you run for the heck of it only because they are fun.

There are no such instances in WoW. You run them once to get past the content and then you are -at the cap- forced to run the daily heroics time and again, not for the fun factor (as it happens the least fun instances get neglected after a few runs, anyway) but because they are dailies and reward you with badges.

And because the instances are static in their challenge, the ones you pass in levelling are forgotten -and I bet in some cases the newer players do not even know about some of them- just for the sake of getting to the top level.

Cataclysm comes, and changes the world. The instances which have been forgotten from the old vanilla content are getting revamped and changed, and will be no more. Instead of shaking the crust of the Azeroth the instances could have been scaling from the beginning. I'm not putting my head on the platter that the instances of Azeroth will get a scaling challenge levels after the Cataclysm, but I can hope for that.

Because there are no such instances which you would run for fun anymore. Without the glint of a new badge gear or a new achievement in your eye, only for the fun factor of the instance being interesting, beautiful or just pure fun run.

Or are there?