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3-17-2011 @ 2:49PM
@AmlEvil,A lot of what you are seeing is simply because it's a new expansion and a gear reset. At the end of Wrath, dungeon runs were a blazing 10-15 minutes (or less) primarily because gear levels had gotten so high. Even without any raiding at all, players had very high level epic gear from badges. This gear vastly overpowered dungeons meant for blue 5-man dungeon gear. Very similar in fact to running the dungeons with 5-10 extra character levels. Going from this overpowered state to an even-con state was a huge shock for many people. Even if the Cata dungeons had the exact same level of difficulty as the Wrath ones at launch, this still would have been a big shock. As big? Probably not, but it'd still be noticeable.Why didn't we see a similar shock between Vanilla/BC and BC/Wrath? Two reasons: Badges and Dungeon Finder. The badge system in Wrath, as mentioned, offered very high level gear to just about anyone. This was a new feature of Wrath, something not present in Vanilla or BC. It's true that the badge system started in BC, but it wasn't as extensive. Even though some Sunwell gear was available from badges, it was only 2-3 pieces. In Wrath, anyone could get full tier sets! Non-raiding players in BC just weren't as geared out as non-raiders in Wrath, so they didn't get as big a gear reset. On top of that, Wrath dungeons were a bit easier than BC dungeons, so the "power-shift" would have been fairly mild. Another factor would have been the longer leveling process. A longer leveling time in Cataclysm would've helped that "super-powered" factor wear off a bit more.Even bigger than the gear shift is the impact of the Dungeon Finder. Quite simply, it's convenience made running dungeons easy. Never before had getting a dungeon group been so effortless. It also fostered a lack of investment. Since there was no effort involved in getting the group, the group didn't matter. Previous to Dungeon Finder, the others in your group were people. Now they often feel like little more than NPCs. People forgot that groups used to mean something. They forgot the time and effort it took to get a good group and now assume that it's their right to have that automatically. Dungeon Finder has some really great benefits, but it's also fostered some really negative stuff too.Overpowered gear combined with the ease and non-involved nature of the Dungeon Finder has, in my opinion, fostered the current state of Cataclysm. Have harder dungeons contributed? Yes. Are they the source of the problem? No. The age of the game is also a factor. I've seen several people saying they're bored of the game now and I think a lot of that just has to do with the game getting old. Even as much as Blizzard tries to keep it fresh and new, Cataclysm has the same model that WoW has always had. Run dungeons, get gear, run raids.As a side note, the notion that the game is grindy NOW surprises and baffles me. The game has always been grindy. Wasn't chain-running Heroic dungeons in Wrath for your alt "grindy?" Why is Cataclysm "grindier" than Wrath? We ran dungeons for rep in Wrath. Did the same dailies every day out at the Argent Tournament. Ran the Heroic every day for more badges. But Cataclysm is grindy? Huh? I just don't get it.
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