Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dungeon Finder

Lets try something different. I’m going to talk about what is bad with World of Warcraft 3.3 before I’m actually tired of it. It seems like my opinion would be more impartial if I’m criticing it while still enjoying the content.

Dungeon Finder is amazing. That being said I can see some potential pitfalls with it. With the new feature Dungeon Finder I can queue up for a 5 man PvE instance anywhere in the world. I’m then grouped with 4 other people from random servers and ported to the instance. I don’t know these people, I don’t really talk to them, and after the instance is done I probably won’t see them again.

This entire feature reminds me of the opening scene in Fight Club with the Narrator (Edward Norton) talking about “single-serving” friend. I meet people for the sole purpose of beating a dungeon as quickly as possible then I never see them again. It really breaks up the lack of community that would have normally existed if the group had been comprised of people off your own server.

Another issue I’ve found is that after a wipe, some people don’t know how to get back to the instance. As amazing as that sounds some people are still playing WoW their first time through. Going into Hellfire Citadel after a wipe one Hunter, yes it was a Hunter, got lost on the way back to the zone in.

People are experiencing less of the world, though they get to participate in the dungeons more. It’s a trade off, I guess everything in a MMO or video game is a trade off. You cannot have solo content and group content that is equally rewarding, because one will always be easier and players flock to the easiest way of progression. You cannot have instanced groups and retain a sense of “world” within the game.

I’ve been back to WoW for nearly a week and my Warlock is now level 63, started at 57. I love instancing and Dungeon Finder gets me to the group faster than anything else. However the game doesn’t really feel like a MMO as much. The world feels more like a chat room while I wait for a group to pop. I’ve spent some time questing while I was waiting but more often than not I find myself sitting around in the Undercity waiting for a group… a glorified chat room.

I think all MMOs that come out from now on will have to consider implementing a Dungeon Finder type feature. The problem is it makes the world disjointed. I think Dungeon Feature is one more step towards all MMO combat being instanced with just graphical chat rooms we hang out in. (Cities)

This is one of those features that is going to start out great, and in the end I think its going to be one of those things that we reflect back on as a temporary fix that just caused more issues down the road. The problem is that it will be perceived as a huge benefit to the game, and genre, other games will be forced to implement it.


  1. This is the best written small MMO blog with no comments on any stories. Either the trolls have yet to find you or your comment system is broken.

    If you can read this then it's not broken I suppose. In any case, nice ramblings, keep up the good work. ^_^

  2. Haha thanks. I don't really advertise so I guess I don't have any readers. I just feel like a dbag posting links to here in other bloggers comment sections.

  3. Well for what it's worth I found you through keen and graev's gaming blog which I also enjoy. You are listed on their blogroll. So I'm not the only one noticing this tiny gem.