Its honest to say my love of Warcraft has lapsed over the last few months. Content burnout mixed with the knowledge that the gear slate is going to be wiped clean shortly has taken its toll.
Wrath of the lich king has been a mixed bag for me. Over all it boils down to the old gameplay quirks being “improved”. During the late TBC and WOLTK expansions there have been lots of changes that improve the game on paper but these changes ended up changing the game in bad unexpected ways as well. One place a lot of these intersect is the heroic dungeons which has lead them to be not fun but in my opinion a chore.
Daily Dungeon Quests
The Problem: Previous to the introduction of the daily dungeon quests once you out geared dungeons you would rarely visit them. You effectively out grew the content to the point where it was rarely used because the player got little out of it.
Blizzard’s answer: Have the player complete a random dungeon each day for a reward which was useful no matter what level of progression the player was.
Side Effect: The dungeon now has a goal, and that is to reach the end boss. Any other bosses can be ignored.
The Problem: If a boss didn’t drop loot you wanted your time in a dungeon or raid was effectively wasted. You would have nothing to show for your time investment.
Blizzard’s answer: Give the player a token for each boss kill, a large number of these tokens can be turned in for items that are near the top level or gear.
Side Effect: Time is now a commodity, the quicker you run a dungeon the more tokens you can get in a fixed amount of time. These leads to people wanted to go through dungeons as quickly as possible and skipping dungeons that aren’t token/time efficient .
The Problem: It can take some time and effort to find groups for dungeons.
Blizzards answer: The dungeon finder tool. After selecting your role the tool finds other group members that either want to go to the same dungeon as your or a random dungeon.
Side Effect: Due to the lack of time and effort you have invested in to finding a dungeon you have very little attachment to it, if you don’t like the dungeon or otherwise don’t want to be there you can just leave. Easy come, easy go. Secondly as the groups are formed randomly from people across your battlegroup you are more like a group of anonymous people acting as individuals, as a result people are treated as they are disposable. Due to the speed and ease of getting groups this also worsens the Badge system and daily dungeon quest side effects.
The Problem: The need to make content accessible to all so that content isn’t wasted.
Blizzards answer: Hard modes provide the better players a bigger challenge and a bigger reward but still allow standard players to access the content in an easier form.
Side Effect: Hard modes require another level of gear for every level of raiding. However it was never designed in to the original WOTLK framework as a result item level is massively above what was originally intended. Due to this dungeon content is trivialised, no mechanics or strategies have to be followed.
When all these factors intersect you are left with a system where dungeons are run as fast as possible, with no requirement for group participation and no opportunity for players to really play their class. GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO!