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Breakfast Topic: Are catch-up dungeons a good or a bad thing?

We posted recently on WoW Insider about Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas' Twitter response to a player blog, talking about 5-man dungeons. The blog in question raised some interesting ideas about where dungeons ought to lie, and as ever, it got me thinking about the differences between dungeons in Cata and Mists.

If we recall, the big complaint back at the end of Cataclysm was that the catch-up dungeons made it too easy to get raid geared. The Hour of Twilight heroics, if they could really be called that, were largely very easy indeed. Arcurion and Queen Azshara were the only bosses that really gave groups any trouble. And they dropped ilvl 378 loot. This was the same item level as Firelands normal gear, and while there weren't set bonuses and the stats were often less optimal, it was still decent for filling in the gaps before players progressed into Dragon Soul. This had been done the tier before, too, with the Zulroics dropping 353 gear, almost as good as the 359s available from tier 11 normal raids.

And the community didn't like it much, or at least a sufficiently vocal group didn't. So come Mists, catch-up dungeons were gone. They were never planned for later patches than the initial release, instead, you were meant to gear from LFR and from the upgrade system.

So I'm asking you, what did you prefer, if you had to choose one method, and what might be a happy medium? Personally, I much prefer the Cata method over the Mists one. The Zulroic slightly-lower-than-last-normal-tier approach would work well in Warlords, and I hope it's what they do.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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