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10-28-2011 @ 5:44PM
Very excellent point, Rolly. In BC, the leveling was significantly slower paced with a couple extra zones left over. Then you ran a bunch of Normal mode dungeons for a while to get your rep up and THEN you smashed face against the Heroic modes. (I'm not sure I've experienced ANY 5-man dungeon as soul-crushing hard as Heroic Shattered Halls was at first. Maybe Heroic Magister's Terrace. Nothing in Cataclysm compares though.)Wrath...well, I'd almost say it didn't have a difficulty curve, but that's not entirely true. It is accurate that normals-at-max was non-existent. Everyone jumped straight into the Heroics, most of which were very easy. There were a few that were more difficult, but not up to the difficulty of BC Heroics. (Oculus in particular was hard due to learning the drakes, not necessarily the tuning itself.) Naxx was also fairly easy, but the difficulty did ramp up some when you got to Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad. When Ulduar hit, difficulty went up quite a bit, but it was still fairly gradual throughout the instance. Normal mode XT was not nearly as hard as Normal mode Mimiron. Or Vezax. Or Yogg. Wow, Yogg. Love that fight.I sort of mourn the loss of Normal mode dungeons that occurred in Wrath. Heroics were initially added as a difficult means of progressing your character without raiding, which was on oft-requested feature in Vanilla. In Wrath they turned into the norm, which gutted their purpose. I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing, because chain running X number of normal mode dungeons only to turn around and do the same dungeons on Heroic before you can consider raiding isn't that great an idea. Too prone to feel grindy and repetitive. I still love me a good challenging 5-man dungeon. Challenge modes may suffice, we'll see how it plays out.Where was I going? Oh yeah. One of Cataclysm's issues (love me the expansion, but it has issues) was that it tried to go back to the BC paradigm of "Heroics are HARD." It lacked BC's element of "go do some normals first" or more accurately, lacked enough normals to do. There was a level of content players were supposed to do before hitting Heroic 5-mans, but it barely exists in Cataclysm. So players jumped into Heroics and got smashed. Understandably, this was not a fun experience. Ultimately, it might be for the best that the "Normal -> Heroic 5-mans" run seems to be permanently dying in Mists. (Developer Q&A yesterday said there will be no normal max level dungeons.) Yet, I can't help but find it amusing that a "Heroic mode dungeon" is an easily clearable dungeon with a random PuG. Correct way to do it? Quite possibly. Amusing in it's oddness? Oh yeah.
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