Thursday, February 24, 2011

An already chewed chewing gum loses its flavour quickly

I don’t normally chew chewing gums, for various reasons. One is that it makes me look stupid. Cows look peaceful as they’re grinding their jaws. Humans not so very much. Another is that I never know what to do with it when I’m done. There is never any bin around when I need it, throwing it on the ground is unthinkable and swallowing it seems unhealthy. I can’t stop imagining it will get stuck somewhere and mess around with my digestion.

However, I have munched a few chewing gums in my childhood and one thing I remember is that you could reuse it. First you chewed it until it lost all flavour. Then you put it at rest, putting it back in the wrap. And after some hours, when it had matured, you could put it back into the mouth. At this time a miracle occurred! For some reason the chewing gum had accumulated more taste again. It wasn’t as the first time you put it into the mouth. But at least it was far better than the tasteless piece of junk you had spit out a few hours earlier.

Diminishing returns
There was this thing about second time chewing though: you always knew that it would be a short pleasure. This was a clear case of diminishing returns. Within a few minutes you’d just want to get rid of it again.

This summarizes my feelings about the news on the upcoming 4.1 patch, where once again Blizzard will recycle content, this time in the form of the old raid instances Zul Gurub and Zul Aman, appearing as 5-man heroics.

I was a bit surprised to see the – at least initially – rather enthusiastic comments at MMO-champion. People immediately started to drool over mounts or recalling the raid instances from the past that they used to love so much.

I too can see why a quick trip back to ZA could be fun. Once. Chew it again, feel the taste! But in the long run?

I doubt that those who already have done those instances a number of times will be able to enjoy them as interesting, added content. You only need to think about what happened to Onyxia’s comeback in wrath. While it was thrilling and interesting for a couple of times, our interest for it faded every so quickly.

Recycling as a trend
The trend is there. Blizzard is cycling through the content once again. And I can see where they’re coming from. The turnover probably makes this content new to many of the current players, and the veterans who still are around will hopefully embrace it as well for nostalgic reasons. So what’s the harm?

Well, the harm is if the existence of rehashed material will gimp the efforts they put into creating new, original content. It’s been said that there will be a shiny 5-man instance as well, Abyssal Maw, and if this turns out to be correct I guess I needn’t whine too much about this patch.

I can’t help wondering though how much more of recycled content we’re going to see in the future. Karazhan 5-man? Tempest Keep? A miniature version of Black Temple?

To be honest I’d rather see them put all effort they could into creating new content. After all, if you’re in the mood for a walk on the memory lane, what is there to stop you from venturing into it in a miniature raid today?

42 comments:

Analogue said...

I might agree, except that I really enjoy their re-visited content. Deadmines is a completely different place than it used to be. I think it's one of the most creative heroic instances we've got right now and I think a lot of that is that since they weren't working on layout and basic concept, they spent more time perfecting it.

ZG was a place nobody went any more, except to solo-farm mounts. I like that it's relevant again. It seems to me that this should appeal to nostalgia as well as being brand new for people who never saw it back in the day, and there's plenty of those. I certainly didn't run it when it was relevant content!

Selyndia said...

Well, honestly, I’m more okay with this recycling than I am with Naxx or Onyxia.

First, this isn’t coming alone. There will also be a third 5 man heroic with these, as well as the raid instances (And if they follow the trend, we can expect at least three of those as well). This means that it will be different than tier 7 where the vast majority of the content was refurbished (And even then it really didn’t change from the original). I am perfectly fine with recycled five mans when things are pretty different than the original. Deadmines and SFK are both good examples of this, with all of the new bosses and events in them. As iconic and memorable as Smite and Arugal were, it’s okay that they’re gone. It also gives the instances an actual “story progression” in that they aren’t just completely frozen in time showing that actions in the past there actually mattered.

Also, existing as five mans, means that for the real raid encounters, where you want to see Blizzard experiment with new raid mechanics, they will get to be new unique encounters. Rehashed instances really will never have this. Sure a few might be further tweaked or tuned, but they aren’t really new. Further, with how many times we normally “have” to run a five man, rehashed content there isn’t as big of a deal to me, because of how often we’re going to be doing it anyways.

Finally, if they actually make the new mounts ‘performance’ based, similar to how the drake was in Caverns of Time (Without it being so…trivial so early) then I don’t have an issue with it at all, especially as, while they are similar mounts, they aren’t the same as the originals. Actually, with ZG, they could be really awesome, and leave the original “Hakkar gets stronger” mechanic in where he gains extra abilities, based on which priests you left alive, and make it similar to how Sarth worked resulting in a truly challenging 5 man encounter to act similar to a hard mode.

Beruthiel said...

I honestly can't help but wonder if today's PTR release was done specifically to combat Rift's pre-release and release happening today. You know, sort of Blizzard's way of saying "we're still here too!".

Not only that, but I can't help but feel that the PTR going up isn't a bit premature. I mean, we've had this content for all of three months? How many guilds can boast that they have completely cleared it and all of its hard modes? Heck, for that matter how many guilds can boast that they cleared it on normal? Shockingly few.

And yet here we are with an announcement of new content already?

I'm not ready for "new" content yet, recycled or not. It just feels all so very rushed. Hopefully this PTR has a very long life, so that players have a chance to complete what's already been given to them before being shoved into something else.

Klepsacovic said...

Changing deadmines worked really well for me. As a leveling instance I hadn't run it to death and it had some bit of nostalgia. Then the remake was just plain awesome.

Raids don't have quite the same replay value. Or maybe they do, since we ran the originals like crazed hamsters for loot, so what's to stop that from working again? For the level of complaining about lack of new content, people show a strange willingness to run the old stuff over and over and over.

spinksville said...

I did wonder about how few people commented that it's a nostalgia patch.

I guess partly it's the target audience now never ran the originals when they were current but has heard about them (ZG and ZA were really popular so they've probably heard good things).

And some people are so excited about new mounts and pets they they might not mind if the instance consisted of blue cubes on a white background.

And some people are just nostalgic I guess.

For me, once I have beaten a raid instance I'd really rather move on but I may be in the minority :)

Selyndia said...

The timing of the PTR, while rather…coincidental with Rifts release isn’t that far off. Most content patches come between 5 and 7 months between each other in previous expansions. In WoTLK the content was released in April, August, December for Tier 8, 9 and then 10 respectively. Considering PTR for a content patch is likely to last about two months, it means we’re right on schedule.

“New Content” is a very interesting thing. What my “new content” is, might be very different than someone elses, as I have experienced different things in the game. We right now mockingly refer to all of the new subscribers since WoTLK was released as Wrath Babies, but if there are so many of them, then surely five year old (ZG) and three year old (ZA) content that predates them would be all new content for them. I had never done 40 man Naxx, so Tier 7’s Naxx was completely new content to me; though Onyxia, I had done at 60, so that wasn’t new content. But even the “rehashed” stuff from Cataclysm in the new revamped instances aren’t the same as the WoTLK rehashes. Onyxia and Naxx were virtually unchanged, but every single boss in SFK and Deadmines is pretty different than the originals (With the possible exceptions of Springvale and Silvermane).

Zy said...

I'd rather see recycled content than another ToC. I just hope they stop rushing things. Quality > quantity. There was so much that just wasn't ready when Cata released.

mystic said...

I kind of agree and disagree with this post at the same time. I've been thinking of posting something similar all day...

I like the nostalgia of going back to the places where you 'grew up', some of my earliest memories (and the formation of my guild) happened back in the early days of Vanilla WOW in SFK and I've loved seeing it again. but where do you draw the line? Kara and other newer instances don't really hold the same affection for me (though I'd understand they might for others who came to WOW later).

I've been thinking for a few months that I'd love to see a higher level version of Molten Core (providing they give me a map and a tom tom this time so I don't get lost _every_ time I'm there) but on the same token I think I quite like the memories of how MC 'used to be' and the fun we used to have, I suppose it's a bit like that fling you had when you were 17 that you still look back to with fondness because your brain highlights the good bits and conveniently forgets the relationship was a train crash waiting to happen...

I don't think I'm against revisiting content, providing its done AS WELL as creating new stuff and not INSTEAD of. and it comes with maps, lots of maps, and sign posts.

Saithir said...

@Beruthiel

I fail to see what's wrong with releasing the patch notes today. Obviously they're competitors, did you expect them to congratulate Trion on their game? Of course the release date of a competing game is the best moment to show off your new stuff.

The only problem I have is the choosing of new stuff to show off - they'd get much better reaction if they decided to focus only on ZG (leaving ZA unannounced for now) and one of the other new raids like Firelands.

Also, the PTR isn't too soon. Patch 3.1 PTR notes showed up at beginning of February, 3.1 went live in middle of April. Wrath released in mid of November. So the timing is pretty much the same here - I expect 4.1 in the second half of May.

Rades said...

I'm thrilled to see ZA and ZG make a return, because to me, they're not old, rehashed content. I wasn't playing when they were new & current, so I've never seen them except as lolfacepwn runs through for attempts at mounts or to get achievements.

I realize if I *had* done them when they were current, though, I would likely feel much different. I'd hardly be thrilled to see a return to ICC, after all.

I guess that is one of the problems Blizzard faces with a customer base that varies so widely. Even if two players like exactly the same thing, the fact that one has played since Vanilla and one since Wrath makes their desires and preferences different right there.

Laurel said...

I think we've seen demonstrations of both the good and the bad ways to recycle content. The bad, in the form of places like Naxx or Onyxia, is characterized by copy+paste fights updated to the new gearlevel. The good, in the form of places like Deadmines or Shadowfang, is characterized by completely new bosses in old landscapes. Adding in performance elements would only serve to encourage more traffic into those dungeons, instead of letting them become the wasteland that the ICC 5-mans were a month after they were introduced.

So as to 4.1, I'd prefer to hope that it will be more like reaching for that old wrapper, only to be surprised at the new piece of gum waiting inside.

Anonymous said...

Once they did a rehash of Naxx and then Onyxia, I was worried that they would continue the trend. They conveniently got rid of ZG at the beginning of Cataclysm all so they could spit it back in our faces as a cheap way of making new content.

Don't get me wrong; I'm sure the new 5-mans will be fun and much quicker than the original raids. I just worry what it implies. For example, when can we expect the new and improved Molten Core? Or Blackwing Lair? I know that Blizzard has said that don't have plans to revamp MC, but given recent history, it's hard to believe them.

Even the new raids in this expansion fall prey to this issue. Whoopee, we get to fight Nefarian again! Is it really that hard to create new characters that we have to re-use the same ones over and over again?

Maybe I'm jaded, but I can't help but feel this and a number of other issues indicate a shift in Blizzard's focus on WoW. I doubt WoW will be "killed" by any new MMOGs, but it really seems like it has hit its peak and is now on the (very slow) decline. The fact that they spent the development time on fixing the leveling zones is very telling; it indicates a desire to pull in more players. However, back when WoW was on the rise, leveling was much harder than it is now and people still played.

Anyway, I hope to see you all in the Ahn'Qiraj five-man any day now.

Kierbuu said...

Happy to see ZG back as it was my favorite of the old world raids. Sad to see it as a five man. Was really hoping it would return as a competely re-imagined raid.

Anonymous said...

I would much rather prefer something new and fresh. I'm fine with them continuing the troll story line with Hakkar. Give us a new troll raid with a tie in to Hakkar and I'd be entertained. Releasing ZA and ZG again isn't quite as epic.

Then again many of us could be envisioning a rehash of the old content as a 5 man. If it's the same map, but with new bosses and a new story, then I'd be more than happy to run on their treadmill again.

If they choose to include mount rewards, I'd much rather they make the requirements as onerous as possible. A new skin would be a good start too. CoT's timed run wasn't difficult at all. (Sold quite a few mount runs at the start of LK.) I'd much rather something in the vein of how difficult it was to do a timed run of UD Strat back in the day.

Andrei said...

Make no mistake about the timing - this is a move from the marketing copybook. But it sends the message that is not exactly what Blizzard wants their fan base to hear. WoW has entered the twilight phase of its life. On one hand it is golden age. It is a period when great tasks are accomplished and it is time to enjoy the benefits brought by the hard work in the past years. But it is also a euphemism for retirement with its second hand pleasures and living off the memories of youth.

Jayd said...

I used to spam ZG back when it first came out. Almost every day, my guild and I would be in there working our butts off to get to Hakkar and get him down. At the time it turned into a bit of a pain towards the end, but looking back it was one of the most fun instances I've ever done. I will be glad to see it return and I'll love running it again.

What concerns me is how quickly this new (and recycled) stuff is being brought out. Cata's only been out for a couple of months and already they're going to bring in new content? I don't know how this timeframe equates to earlier instances of the game, but this seems too soon. Perhaps this is just my perspective as I've been very slow levelling and gearing up in this expansion but it seems like we only just got in to the first few dungeons. Surely everyone can't be sick of them yet?

Gronthe said...

For me, since I never really did either ZG or ZA, I won't mind much seeing those as 5-mans. But the bigger picture I agree with you on, that is recycled content.

It actually happens a lot in TV shows that reach the 7,8 9, or 10 years, stories are far less original and often old enemies come back to provide flair, but the spark fizzles because of familiarity.

I guess I'm a fence sitter, seeing both the good and bad. For the sake of the "long run", I would definately prefer new content over recycled.

Matthew said...

Hm, is this really “recycled” content? Onyxia was, for sure. It was the same map with the same boss with the same mechanics.

But look at Deadmines and SFK. People ran these things millions of times, especially the former. They took what was effectively the same map, added a few environment changes, changed up all the bosses, and it really is nostalgic but not “recycled”.

I guess my point is, if I have one at all, that recycling old maps is not on the same level as recycling bosses.

Ratshag said...

Is why I sticks me used gum between me toes - refreshifies the flavorings.

As far as Zul'this and Zul'that goes, I's in the "Let's see what else they got in 4.1" camp. If what we gets is mostly the same old Zuls re-tuned fer 85 then, well, I won't be impressed. But if these is same geographies but new fights, and is in addition ta all-new dungeons, then I calls it a win.

Andrei said...

@Matthew Even if Deadmines is not a recycled content (but I still believe it is) at least it is a re-make and in the worst possible way. In Vanilla Deadmines was the first instance you encounter on Alliance side and it had truly epic feel and probably the best storyline in WoW that continued after the main boss was defeated. The boss encounters were very polished and bosses did pretty much what you would expect them to do in the place like Deadmaines. It was Blizzard game design at its best. I wish they kept the original storyline and original instance for low levels and had level 85 version as continuation of the old story. Something like you completed Deadmines and the quest line and moved to a better and bigger things. After a while and after "growing up" to a level 85 you decided to visit old places you had helped to clean up. Whoa... you see that new baddies had moved in and the place is in the dire need of your services again.

What we have instead just doesn't feel right. Most boss mechanics simply do not belong except for Cookie fight which is brilliant btw. It is yet another flavor of new WoW dungeon treadmill with little attention to the story and content and with arcade game like mechanics.

Jod said...

I think its great, but I always did enjoy these two and being able to do them as a 5 man dungeon as a possibilty of a random compared to say stonecore or yet another Halls of Origination run, is a pleaseing thought. To me making them heroics are no different then creating a heroic SFK or Deadmines encounter, in fact they are going to bring one area (ZG) back to life entirely.

I just hope that there is some justfication in bringing them back like there was with the new SFK and Deadmines storylines.

Koch (Aszune) said...

A cunning move, Blizzard. We all know that each expansion has to have a lost troll empire hiding out somewhere. This way, the problem is neatly solved (and it hopefully wraps up my cute raptor minipet quest).

And why I am looking forward to this: Rebalanced for level 85 this will actually be a (moderate, certainly) challenge. It definitely beats just going back to an old raid. I was too little to join raiding when Molten Core was good, and now I never get to see a Son of Ragnaros!

I want to be scared by bats throwing fiery bombs (or at least mildly inconvenienced) instead of just killing the boss in three hits (one if specced subtlety).

Ixobelle said...

I miss the internets. <3

Larísa said...

@Analogue: I never did ZG when it was current content either, so I’m not in such a bad position. But I’m afraid that it might not hold interest for too long, at least not for those who did it back in the days. Of course it depends on how they design it. And I agree that new DM is wonderful. But then I never did it at appropriate level, so to me the recycling wasn’t such a big problem in that case.

@Selyndia: If it will be on par with Onyxia or not depends on how different they manage to make it. But if they want to make it *really* different, what’s the point in recycling anyway? Couldn’t’ they have done something new then?
It’s true that we don’t do 5-mans as much as we used to. I don’t cap valor points every week but I still can’t motivate myself to do daily randoms to be honest.

@Beruthiel: Well, I suppose so, not that I think it matters as much in the long run. Some bloggers seem to be almost upset about it which I find a bit amusing. It’s not as if someone who was inclined on trying Rift would stop all of a sudden: “noooo, I won’t do that now that I’ll be able to do ZA five man in the future!”. Well someone might think so but I think it’s very very rare.

And yeah, even if it goes up on PTR I wonder if we won’t have quite a long wait before we see it live.

@klepsacovic: DM is fun, but then I think I’ve only done it three times or so in the new version and very little in the old one. I’m not sure about the replay value of raids but I have the feeling they might get old quickly. And it certainly smells a bit of laziness.

@Spinksville: Yes, it seems surprisingly much as if you and I are in minority here. Not that I won’t run the new ones, I’m sure I will. But I’d rather see new content, given the choice.

@Zy: Yeah. I don’t see any need to rush out content at the moment.

@Mystic: Sometimes I wonder if we for all our longing shouldn’t leave some memories as they are, beautiful memories. Revival can sometimes lead to disappointments I think.

@Saithir: Second half of May, ugh. I reckon we’ll have time to chew this piece of news for a long time then.

Larísa said...

@Rades: Yes, you’re obviously one of the winners in this. My gut feeling now is that Blizzard has given up on the old time players. They’ll move on regardless of what they do.

@Laurel: Hehe, I loved that chewing gum picture! Cheers for sticking to my analogy.

@Anonymous: Sad conclusions but I’m kind of with you.

@Kierbuu: Well we haven’t seen it yet. Perhaps it won’t have that much in common with the original after all.

@Anonymous: It would be cool if they dared to do something THAT challenging in a 5-man. Considering how unpopular the last ICC 5 man was, the one with the gauntlet, and how people just dropped groups as soon as they saw where they were, I’m not sure they will. But it would be fun with a 5-man instance with a strong this-is-a-tough-raid feeling in it.
@Andrei: I’m afraid I’m starting to think you’re right.

@Jayd: Well, to be fair – it probably will be quite a while before we see it life. Maybe even months, as some commenters here suggest. We’ll have to wait and see. It certainly won’t come tomorrow.

@Gronthe: Oh, I had originally planned to include the TV show example in this post, but killed my darling in the end. I had one that I watched recently on DVD. Three first seasons were brilliant. Then there was a short break and when they started to broadcast it again they did it as a “continuation”, but as a matter of fact you recognize tons of scenes, lines, gags etc, because it’s recycled, just with a twist. It made me hugely disappointed to see.

@Matthew: It’s not really said, is it? Naxx was recycled with the same stuff. And that was a raid. I don’t know if they’ll find it worthwhile to tear ZA into pieces, just keeping the shell.

@Ratshag: Ewwww

@Jod: Again: I don’t mind them bringing it back as much as I worry about not making an effort to create new original content.

@Koch: There has to be a hidden troll empire? I didn’t know. But now that you say so… I’m such a lore noob!

@Ixobelle: The Internets miss Ixobelle <3

Syl said...

It's really sad to read all this. I can't say I'm very enthused at the state of the game as it is, but these news put me off even more. oh well :(

Pewter said...

@Larisa/@spinksville it actually feels like there are more people put off by the ZA/ZG bonus news than there are folk who are focusing on the new raids, class changes and 5 mans.

I posted my full reply in a post.

Larísa said...

@Pewter: I just see enthusiasm, which surprised me, but maybe we look in different places. However I think that the focus on the ZA and ZG content has to do with the fact that there - as far as I know - is none information available about the new raid/5-man. If more information comes later on I bet the buzz about it will increase.

Saga said...

I am generally okay with them re-doing old content if it's done well like they managed with Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines.

Naxx and Onyxia.. did not do so well.

I did both ZG and ZA when they were current content, and I don't mind them coming back as 5 mans (as long as it's done well as I said before). In a way I can see why it's being done because it's a shame to leave really nice zones/dungeons under-used only to be seen by the lone player soloing it.

That said, I don't think everything should be re-tuned for the level cap. But a few things here and there, I don't mind.

I do look forward to the other things coming as well though. The new 5 man and I think I heard of a couple more raid instances (though I'm hoping it'll be a while longer since I'm still working on clearing this content!)

Kurnak said...

On one hand I like they're coming back to continue the lore, visit places I did way back in time. On the other I just think Blizz are a bunch of lazy asses by resuing old content again and again. No matter if bosses, tactic,s etc change. Been there, done that, why don't continue the troll lore in another way.
ZG and ZA are designed as just loot farms to close the gap between hcs and raids. You mention Onyxia, and old time favourite raid. It will happen the same, first days it's cool to go back and spank the dragon, then it turns into a mere loot farm until new dungeons come out that offer better loot. By the time 4.2 hits the street ZG and ZA will be just another dungeon you run for justice points, all the excitement, lore, etc long forgotten.

Selyndia said...

“By the time 4.2 hits the street ZG and ZA will be just another dungeon you run for justice points, all the excitement, lore, etc long forgotten.”

But…won’t that be the case with any 5 man they release, regardless if it is a refurbished one or not?

SpiritusRex said...

I guess I'm more in the /meh crowd leaning more towards /bah.

On the one hand, I can see it as an attempt to bridge the gap between the vanilla wow'ers to the newer players (which is good). "Hey, look, we've done some of the same stuff as you old-schoolers."

On the other, and probably more likely, I see it as an opportunity for all of the vanilla players to ridicule and shame the newer players by saying the cliche phrases that we are unfortunately becoming too familiar with. "Back in the day, ZA was so much better, worse, harder, easier [fill in your own descriptive term here] and you guys are so fail you would have never survived (bad).

Maybe it's just me in a pessimistic frame of mind, but I find it difficult to see the benefits of repacking old content, notwithstanding the fine job done on Deadmines. /shrug

Anywho, Innkeeper, I'll have my usual flask of elven wine to keep me contented as this week's accumulated detritus slowly wears off these old and tired bones. Also, if possible, to the extent that you have some meaty leftovers back in the kitchen, please feel free to toss them out back to my old sabercat, Mouser. I know she'd appreciate it, too, as we've both had a hard week killing all manner of dragons, constructs and various elementals.

As always, thank you and good wishes.

Kattiara said...

One thing I'm always curious about, when I see that Blizz is revamping old content, is how the current playbase breaks down as far as when they started playing. What percentage of people have been playing since Vanilla? Who came in during BC? How many Wrath babies ARE there, really?

ZG came out in patch 1.7, back in September of 2005 (for the record, ZA was in 2.3 in November 2007). I don't think we'll see 4.1 on the live servers before end of April at the earliest, more likely May or early June. So even though I ran ZG into the ground, that will have been 5½ years ago -- I'm ready and actually genuinely excited to revisit the place and see what they've changed.

I do think that Blizz learned from the Onyxia revamp -- that's why the places are coming back as 5mans. Yes, everyone will be excited about them for a month or two, and run them over and over. Then, when 4.2 comes out down the road, they'll fade back a bit, and mainly be assimilated into the dungeon finder. It'll be nice to have a few extra options when doing daily heroics for points.

As far as original vs reworked content -- if there's a mix of both, I'm fine with that. I think that Blizzard has gotten quite good at retuning old places; I really enjoyed the new DM and SFK. I think that part of the reason those feel so polished is because they weren't built from the ground up -- they were redone around an already solid base. While I'm all for totally original content that's of the highest quality, I do understand that generally takes significantly longer. I'd rather have some new things, and some shiny familar things, than wait an extra 3-4 months to have content that's all new, but will still become somewhat obsolete when 4.2 hits.

Crazy prediction time: BC had four major content patches over the course of just under 2 years. Wrath had 3 major content patches (3½ if you count 3.3.5 with Ruby Sanctum) in just over 2 years. I'm betting Cata will have 3 major content patches as well: 4.1 in May/June, 4.2 in the fall/towards the end of the year, 4.3 in early 2012. The next expansion will come out ~Q3 2012; possibly getting pushed back to the holidays that year.. but I think Blizz will make a big effort to avoid the Wrath effect of having the final major patch out for an entire year.

Grainger said...

Having been inside ZA and ZG maybe 5 times total, I don't mind them being recycled, but I can see where players who raided them often will be less than thrilled.

As fas as SFK and VC go, I was psyched when they announced them being made into heroics. SFK was maybe my favorite "at appropriate level" dungeon in the game.

But something funny happened that made me appreciate how the dungeon designs have changed. SFK and VC are just too damn small. And I don't mean lengthwise, I mean space-wise. Players aren't any bigger at level 85, yet the comfort level feels cramped and as a mage I often feel like I am casting blindly.

ZG and ZA were raids, so I'm thinking this may not have the same issue - just saying that I wish at least a little of the infrastructure could have changed for a better experience.

Tasha said...

I am very excited to see the return of an all new ZG!! I adore this raid! My guild and I had such fun fun times there. Well and while learning it crying of course!! I enjoy ZA too, but I wish they would make a whole new dungeon and not just re-hash the same old bosses. Do not get me wrong, I really like that place, but I want something new along with the new loot. I am really hoping they bring back AQ20, which is another raid I absolutely
adore! And since we are on the subject, maybe a new MC with a new boss? Since Rag will be busy in the Firelands Raid? I cannot wait to step back thru the doors of ZG or ring the gong of ZA again!!! Sqweee!

Anonymous said...

I'm just sick to death of Trolls. i wish Blizz would get over them, already.

Anonymous said...

The turnover probably makes this content new to many of the current players, and the veterans who still are around will hopefully embrace it as well for nostalgic reasons.

I think if veterans want a bit of nostalgia they would rather go back and run the original raid as it was, I like the way all the old content is still there, I never raided in vanilla but have been able to go back and see how things were then, giving alternatives of the old content is nice but to get rid of the originals makes me sad

Anonymous said...

How is running the new ZG more than 3 times different in any way, shape or form from running Grim Batol or Abyssal Maw for the fourth time?

All 5man lose flavor after 3 runs.

Anonymous said...

Since I consider LK to be a decline from TBC and Cata to be a smaller decline from LK, anything that hearkens back to better days is appreciated. My naive hope is also that Blizzard may be less likely to come up with something horrible like Occulus or jousting if they are constrained by the past.

So I am very enthusiastic about retreads!

Anonymous said...

I'll save judgment on ZA/ZG till I see them, but with Cata, Blizz has gone out of their way to show that "Recycled" content can still be new. The Deadmine and SFK are mostly the same dungeons but have entirely new stories, encounters, and mechanics. I like that as time has past some of these old dungeons have found new residents and have a new purpose. While I agree that entirely new content is shiny, it helps give fluidity to the world that old places can have new problems.

Killchrono said...

I'm very excited for the rehashed ZG and ZA. They were two of my favourite dungeons in Vanilla and TBC respectively, and the fact they're being updated to new dungeon content is great for both old and new players alike - as you said, it's nostalgic for veterans and a new experience for people who never played the dungeons when they were relevant.

The reason I'm not being skeptical is because I'm actually liking dungeon design in Cataclysm at the moment. The big problem with the re-hashed content in Wrath wasn't the reused content itself, it was the crappy gameplay design that plagued that whole expansion. Too much AOE, dumbed down bosses that any scrub player could kill even when standing in the fire, and no use for CC or any advanced tactics. In hindsight, it's a miracle that skilled players tolerated that kind of borderline faceroll game design.

Compare that to dungeon and raid design in Cataclysm. It is INFINITELY better. Just look at the rehashed Deadmines and SFK - they're excellent heroic dungeons with fun and challenging content. So long as ZG and ZA live up to the same quality with their encounter design and level of challenge, I'm really looking forward to going back to them.

TWM said...

I started playing WoW a few months before WotLK so I have never set foot in ZG. Personally, I am excited to visit the revised dungeons but I am skeptical that this will be enough to satisfy most raider's appetite until patch 4.2 lands.