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Utgarde Keep beta impressions

I've run Utgarde Keep a few times on the Wrath beta using a couple of different characters now, and it's... not bad. I like the atmosphere, the mobs, the visuals and the bosses had decent flavor, but it was hard to take it seriously. It was really, really easy.

I guess that aspect of things is to be expected, it's an entry level dungeon that needs to be balanced for people in full green gear. Still, I wish it was a little more challenging. Even in level 70 blues you can completely brute force your way through the dungeon, slamming your face on your keyboard willy nilly while the bad guys fall over. I don't really want the trash mobs to be terribly difficult, but even in pulls of four and five giant hulking vrykul there's not much reason to use all of that brand new CC some classes are getting.

The bosses are all quite easy, too. However, each of them has a gimmick that will trip up players in greens and players in Sunwell epics all the same, and might cause you to wipe your first time seeing them. That will only really work once, though, if it even actually manages to kill you. They're just small, easily handled things that make you go, "Oooh, duh!" after you die.

The last boss, Ingvar the Plunderer, is the most notable example of this. Our first time pulling him we all laughed as our tank got nailed for 21,000 damage. The second time pulling him, we knew exactly how to avoid it and the boss was a complete joke. The boss's hits besides that special ability are so weak that it actually has a stacking debuff mechanic so you can't make the encounter last forever by kiting him around the dungeon. Still, that hasn't stopped people from doing it. Holy Paladins have solo'd him, and I actually took the final 65% of Ingvar's health off solo after everyone else died in a PUG once upon a time.

I wouldn't say Utgarde is a bad dungeon, but they took that "entry level dungeon" bit a little too far. I still enjoy the zone simply because of visuals and story, but there's really no challenge to it. As I said, you might wipe to the bosses once, but after that you never really should ever again. If you know how to play your class or have decent gear (both is overkill) then this dungeon is trivial.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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