The Dungeon Doldrums

“It’s bad enough wasting time without killing it.”
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

The Dungeon Doldrums

I enjoy the Dev discussion videos. We are amused with them as they discuss bad quest design as “go kill ten bears” or “go collect 15 bones”. They know it is bad design but also acknowledge that there are places in the game where they are necessary.

I am still staggering under the 80 Heroic Dungeon quest. We are to build this Soul Prism in the Illidan storyline and need the parts which only drop from the final boss of a Heroic Dungeon (maybe mythic too). Not also Big Bads out in the world or Raid Bosses; no, we are consigned to do Dungeons.

Stepping back, I can see almost every facet of the game is funneled through the Dungeon system. Blood of Sargeras drops in dungeons quite well, for example. The road to success is dungeons with the Very Long Road available to those who don’t want to play the designed game. Every thing goes through dungeons.

That is as bad as collecting 15 bear bones, right?

Story Time
Once upon a time, I was a teacher at a college. All colleges and universities have a type of Academic Council. This is where the Faculty Senate nominates and elects one member from each school or department to represent them. Then this Council meets as a group to discuss policy and large matters and small matters. In attendance is the President of the college, the Provost, the President of Student Council, the President of the Staff Council and occasionally a member of the Board of Trustees.

Believe it or not, I was the Chairman for the Academic Council for three years at my college. We did a loose Robert’s Rules of Order, “the chair recognizes the representative from the Music School” or “let the minutes show that a vote has been cast” or “I hear a motion on the table, do I hear a second”.

One time, we were going over the Grievance Policy. If a faculty member feels that they are unhappy, there is a process and a ladder to climb if there is continued dissatisfaction. The Provost announced proudly that our school had never seen a Grievance go to court (the big final step). We all sat back, smiling, thinking that our Policy must be very successful.

One of our faculty members, paused, and said, “Madame Provost, with all due respect, is that a good thing?”

Whoa. Maybe our policy was deflecting our own faculty from having a successful path.

The moral of my story is that the one question, “with all due respect, is that a good thing” was profound and has stuck with me. I try to ask it often now when faced with abundant and sure facts.

At some point, I imagine, Blizzard will post one of those metric things that announce how many people ran Dungeons or Mythic Dungeons (it will be in the millions with billions of total dungeons ran). We saw it with Invasions and how many players made a new Demon Hunter. This will be a Meter of Success.

I’ll be asking that question again: “with all due respect, is that a good thing?” Funneling players through a single type of experience as a success path in a MMO may not be the best of things.


4 thoughts on “The Dungeon Doldrums

  1. As of Friday evening I had 4 of the 80. Three were from the Karazahn attunment. The last from a Heroic I ran Friday evening with some people in guild. I honestly doubt I will get the remaining 76 by running dungeons. Instanced content has no appeal to me any more. And I am leery of progressing the Suramar one until my wife has an opportunity to catch up. She has to cap ley line feeds in town, and I forget where they were. And she does not enjoy being in the city at all. I am sure for folks that enjoyed farming Warbringers in Pandaria, the city is a playground. For us? She loves being the healer, I’m the glass cannon. We first ran into the problem when we went to do one world quest. As I drove us into an area, we became phased and she ended up dismounted in a pack of guards. The world quest was on my map, but disappeared when I got near the target. I submitted a bug report. I doubt anything will be done.

    Much like everything else, I am sure once we reach a point where most “should” be finishing the 80,if many are not, they will boost drops to other dungeon bosses, or start having them drop from missions. I think the phrase, if they want it bad enough they will do it, just doesn’t work any more. It’s a new form of Mechinar syndrome. Except now, people just don’t bother with the story. It is spread out across so many weeks that the timeframe is too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The idea that legendary drops are tied very closely to the amount of dgns you run/bosses you kill is what makes me think this is why such a high number of compulsory dgns was placed into the game. This is one way of ensuring people do content guaranteed to eventually give you legendaries, thereby ensuring people would see legendaries at some point in this expansion. Just in case they weren’t likely to go do them on their own.

    Liked by 1 person

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