Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Death with the Dungeon Finder

Traditionally, dungeons in WoW were in the hidden corners of the world. Players would get several quests leading them further and further until they finally uncovered the entrance. Deadmines is the classic example of this. This method was pretty good, reinforcing the idea of dungeons being in uncovered areas, while providing a storyline leading up to it. A consequence of this design was that players knew how to get to the dungeon.

With the new Dungeon Finder, this is no longer true. Now, if people die and respawn, they may have no idea where the dungeon is located. Then they have to use the Spirit Healer to respawn, and end up stuck in the middle of nowhere. Alliance has this problem very early, as the first dungeon is Ragefire Chasm, in the middle of Orgrimmar. A lot of people who haven't played Horde have no idea where RFC is.

Imagine trying to find Blackrock Depths if you've never been there before.

Not being able to find your way back to the dungeon is very frustrating. In Cataclysm, word is that Blizzard plans to address this problem by making the player "discover" the dungeon before they can access it through the Dungeon Finder. While this is a reasonable plan, it will cut down on the number of people who can enter a given dungeon at any time, making it harder to find groups.

My solution would be to change how death is handled in dungeons. When you die, the Release Spirit button should be disabled until the group is out of combat. Then if you hit Release, you respawn at the start of the instance. This is a simple mechanism that prevents graveyard-zerging, but removes a lot of the frustration from the run back. As well, it would train people to not release immediately, making it much easier to resurrect them after the fight, instead of having to hunt pixels to find their body.

19 comments:

Analogue said...

I've thought the same thing. Nothing like agreeing to rez that one lost person, only to get back and not be able to find the corpse anywhere... additionally, Blizzard really needs to add maps to older dungeons so we can find lost party members.

Anonymous said...

Generally a pretty good idea, but still wouldn't catch the situation were everyone who can rez dies.

Kazim said...

My son plays in dungeons. He is eight. He is perfectly competent when it comes to dealing damage, staying behind the tank, buffing everyone, and pulling. The big problem he has is that if he can't find his way back to the dungeon, he gets frustrated and quits.

This is no problem if I am playing with him, but he would like to be able to run on his own once in a while, and I usually can't allow it because I'm concerned about the etiquette of him disappearing for no good reason. I definitely think that hunting for the dungeon entrance is an unnecessary waste of time and added stress.

Rhii said...

Your solution is much better. I wish someone had suggested it before they decided to make it discovery based.

Think of very low level alliance... they won't be able to use dungeon finder for several levels beyond where horde can, because the only instance it queues you for at 15 is RFC. Are level 15 alliance going to be discovering RFC? I don't think so...

Redbeard said...

Alliance has this problem very early, as the first dungeon is Ragefire Chasm, in the middle of Orgrimmar. A lot of people who haven't played Horde have no idea where RFC is.

Stockades is the same way for Horde; I've created an Alliance character just to putz around Stormwind and figure out the quickest path to the Stockade for my L80 Pally.


In Cataclysm, word is that Blizzard plans to address this problem by making the player "discover" the dungeon before they can access it through the Dungeon Finder.

With the BC instances of Caverns of Time, WoW already has this. CoS is the exception there, but the other ones apparently require you to go through the intro quests to the place before you can queue them in the LFD tool.

Phelps said...

BTW, Blizz has said that in Cata, you won't have dungeons available until you have discovered the entrance.

jeffo said...

"Imagine trying to find Blackrock Depths if you've never been there before"

Hehe, my first experience in BRD I got summoned to the stone. When I died for the first of many times I was completely, totally lost. First I had to figure out where I was in relation to the mountain, then I had to figure out where the entrance was. Running down the chain was not exactly intuitive.

Anonymous said...

only problem I see with this is they'd have to make the dungeons very linear (without multiple wings) or else people will just die on purpose to get ported back to the starting area instead of walking back. Imagine if you could do this in Nexus.

And I don't like this whole discovery idea...with all the alts I have it's gonna be a major pain in the butt.

Kring said...

One of the most annoying bugs for me in WoW is the "you never get out of combat in dungeons" bug. It was very bad in TBC and in the beginning of WotLK.

I don't like your idea as I think this bug will be back in Cataclysm when the server load climbs again.

Cap'n John said...

Part of the problem with people not wanting to Release is old school players knowing if you Release before the Boss is killed you lose the right to roll on Loot. Sure, you can now trade BoP Drops between Eligible Players but there's that qualifier "Eligible". And if you Release before the Boss dies you are NOT eligible for the Loot. (Not verified with respect to Trading BoPs).

I was recently in a Heroic ToC where I got dismounted and died. I didn't want to miss out on the chance at any Loot (even if I had died and thus "not earned it") so I didn't Release. I was chastised PDQ and told to run back so I did and I was amazed at how close the Spirit Healer is to the ToC entrance. By contrast, the Deadmines and BRD Spirit Runs are just horrible.

Shintar said...

With regards to the Cataclysm changes, I figured that those were only a temporary measure intended to prevent people from just jumping straight into the new dungeons without actually setting foot into the brave new world. I'm guessing that they won't make discovery of the instance entrance a requirement for all the older dungeons.

Anonymous said...

A bit of a side-track but, the issue with difficulties to resurrect a player who releases is really just something that they should deal with on its own terms regardless of what they decide to with graveyard running. If anything, that just feels like one of them age-old bugs which should have been ironed out a long time ago (along with pets randomly putting abilities on auto-cast).

Redbeard said...

@Cap'n John:

Don't forget you can play "spot the noob" on HoR by the people who release and fly back only to discover the doors are shut, barring your entry.

Everybody I play with has done that exactly once. Except me, who did it twice. (No, I don't know what I was thinking that second time.)

pugnaciouspriest.com said...

if not for my experience as Alliance then the few runs Ive had to do on my lobie dungeons would have caused me to need rescuing. Eg Stockades, and Deadmines - the zones are not discovered by my Tauren toon

Pazi said...

So what if you don't know RFC/Deadmines/Stockades/.. because you didn't discovered them and can't enter these through LFD? Nothing changes - you wouldn't go to RFC as alliance and you wouldn't go to Stockades as Horde. There's is nothing for Horde in Stockades except woolcloth anyway. The dedicated Horde would visit Deadmines and the dedicated Alliance would go to SFK/WC.

I'm sorry but I don't want the feature you suggested because it would only cause players to be even more dumb/shortminded. The kind of player that enters heroic nexus, doing 745 dps on Anomalus as a mage, gets lost after dying (seriously, you are 80 and can't find the entrance to nexus from the GY???).

I myself feel it. I visited SFK/WC/SM/BFD and RK on my little lvl31 dwarf priest but I couldn't even force myself to take the tunnel from loch modan to the wetlands or anything north of it nor did I took the boat to Auberdine from Stormwind. I'm lvl31 and I only have 5 flightpoints, by now I should have visited a least 15.

I agree that some GYs and the way back to the dungeon are very annoying (BRD, BFD, Mara) and Blizzard should finally fix that, maybe the way you suggested (although my cheater-sense is tingeling i.e. smells abusable) but I'm all for having to explore a dungeon first (maybe with a quest too like CoT) before you can enter it.

Anonymous said...

I had an embarrassing time not being able to find HoR in LFD.

But it just hit we how *wonderful* this is.

I would never, ever have discovered Occulus. So LFD could never send me there. What a great system!!!

Anonymous said...

How about they just give the shammy "pop" spell (forget the name) to all healers? Could even make it not usable in combat.

Tesh said...

Aw, but then I'd have had to find Kargath the long way, instead of just walking there from the graveyard when an Uldaman run went bad and everyone just quit.

...Yes, I didn't always know where the entrance was, Deadmines being a great example when I played a Forsaken Warrior for the first time a couple months ago. I didn't mind, it just meant more exploration. The minimap pointer (yer corpse is thataway) did a good job of letting me know where to go. It wasn't rocket science to go find the dungeon... but I'd at least like the *option* of what you suggest here. That way, if I don't want to do the spirit run, I can just bypass it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the late post on this, but I'm pretty sure the new feature where you will have to have 'found' the instance before you can enter it in LFD will only apply to the newer instances introduced for Cataclysm. So Alliance will still be able to queue for RFC and Horde for Deadmines without any problems.