I had to do, like, three dungeons to get this guy. Three! One was even heroic! That’s three more dungeons than I ever, ever want to do in modern!WoW and now they’re over I can go back to ignoring Blizzard’s garbage-tier content as per usual.
Speaking of which: I haven’t really done (non-solo’d) endgame dungeons in WoW since… yikes. Wrath of the Lich King, maybe? Dungeon design has changed a lot since then, and IMO not in a good way: the four Battle of Azeroth dungeons I’ve done (MOTHERLODE!!, Tol Dagor, Waycrest Manor, Shrine of the Storm, and Siege of Boralus) were uniformly dark and confusing, full of narrow cramped corridors that kept me clipping into the ceiling. In as much as these dungeons are “difficult,” they’re about fighting both the terrain’s line-of-sight and your own model.1 Every mob nowadays has don’t-stand-in-the-fire mechanics, and as a Druid I suppose I don’t have it too bad in the moving-while-casting stakes but gods only know how some of the other classes deal with it. GCD infects everything, so you’d better hope you didn’t accidentally sneak in a DoT just before the boss does a random aggro-switch mechanic on the Mage. Or that your tank decides to fight something with floor AoE in a narrow corridor where the only option to get out of the fire is to run around a corner. Hope everyone ran around the same corner!2
Meanwhile, the actual thing I was used to managing as a healer, back in Ye Oldene Days,3 i.e. mana, is effectively infinite. I almost ran out once in SoS during a failed mob-trash room pull, until the Tankadin got mad at the Mage and called a wipe. Because mana is infinite overhealing isn’t A Thing, so you may as well just constantly spam your biggest AoE heals all the time. Not to mention it means everyone will be trying to run the dungeon as fast as possible,4 with the tank pulling entire rooms at once, and there’s no aggro control and the entire floor will be lava, so you’re gonna need those AoEs because the DPS aren’t going to bother looking after themselves. Honestly, tanks may as well not even exist; I doubt it would make a difference.
Basically what I’m getting at here is, awful fucking map geometry aside, modern WoW dungeons seem to exist in this weird nothingspace between “classic” gameplay—with defined class roles, non-mobile casting, structured pulling, and so on—and the more modern action-MMO design seen in games like Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online, Secret World Legends, and even (before it closed) Wildstar and (probably more accurately) Diablo III. As with seemingly every mechanic Blizzard tries to copy off a modern title, the implementation ends up as basically a worst-of-both-worlds dumpster fire that manages to be both boring and stressful at the same time although, that being said, I’m aware I’m apparently in the minority here and people actually seem to… enjoy this gameplay? Somehow? Which… yikes. Talk about the sudden realization that you’re no longer the target audience for a game.
- Three normal-mode LFG dungeons: MOTHERLODE!!, Tol Dagor, Waycrest Manor, and Shrine of the Storm.
- Two heroic LFG dungeons: MOTHERLODE!!, and Siege of Boralus.
- One DPS run (heroic MOTHERLODE!!, done with a Healadin friend), everything else as a healer.
- One tank-called wipe in Shrine of Storms due to the Tankadin getting mad at the Mage for some reason. I still have no idea what went wrong here, except for the fact the trash never seemed to die and the tank got mad about Time Warp.
- One self-death due to fucking up boss mechanics on Chopper Redhook. Not combat-res’d due to lack of other Druids. Boss completed successfully, calling into question requirement for healer on boss fights at all, really.5
- Two DPS deaths due to LoS issues on Viq’Goth. Not combat res’d again due to LoS and the group having moved on. Boss completed successfully, calling into question requirement for DPS on boss fights at all, really.
- Mindbended twice on Lord Stormsong. I don’t specifically remember us wiping on this encounter but I suppose we must have? The second time I was MC’d I did the orbs thing correctly a la DBM’s instructions but I… don’t think there were enough up the first time?6 And the tank definitely did a passive-aggressive “so we’re not attacking the MC’d player now?” call-out, so… (The one other MC victim, in between my two goes, was DPS’d out of it.)
- Two Allied Races successfully unlocked.7
- No useful gear drops.
- Desire to ever do a dungeon again in any capacity: zero.
- Prior to the race change I was a Worgen, and I run dungeons as Resto-with-Balance. So half the time I’m a boomkin and stating at the back of my own head because the ceilings are so fucking low. Suddenly I know why everyone has that glyph that turns you transparent blue… [↩]
- I have a feeling that Blizzard put in all this shit as a way of making, in particular, DPS players “more responsible” for their own survival and thus taking some of the traditional skill requirements—specifically, resource management and triage, which used to be a thing and now totally aren’t—out of the healing role. And if that’s the case: Blizzard? Stop helping. [↩]
- Read: Main healing vanilla raids as a Shaman. [↩]
- Apparently this is also a Mythic requirement? [↩]
- In general, boss fights were miles easier to heal than general trash pulls which… okay, sure Blizz. [↩]
- It’s also, of course, really counter-intuitive to run into the fire. DBM tells you what to do but not why to do it, so there’s kind of a major trust thing going on there on the first run. [↩]
- MOTHERLODE!! is required for the Dark Iron unlock. [↩]