Wednesday, February 16, 2011

[4.0.6] The Little Things & Teaching Dungeons

While there were many major changes with patch 4.0.6, there were also some tiny changes that I noticed.
  • You can now fly in the Temple of Earth (the central quest hub of Deepholm)
  • When you fly into Vir'Naal Dam in Uldum, it no longer dismounts you
Little additional conveniences like this are really cool in part because they really are just niceties, little detail things which one would not expect to receive attention.  Of course, the portals in the Temple of Earth still dismount you; apparently, they still think you can't fly there. :)

Shadowfang Keep Trash Changes

Shadowfang Keep saw some very subtle but significant reductions in trash.  They removed one pull from Baron Silverlane's room.  This makes clearing the Baron's room a little easier and removes a very real possibility of a multi-pull that could include two groups plus an extra patrol mob.  I have not seen it, but from the cramped quarters and poor visibility, it is quite possible.

They pulled out the Spitebone Skeleton patrol immediately after the Baron, as well as the pull that used to live upstairs to the right from the Baron's room.  Together, they turned an area that required significant caution and/or experience to avoid unwanted multi-pulls into a pretty straightforward trash clear.

They also yanked out the first Spitebone Skeleton patrol in the wolf pen (?) area (the big room with stairs going this way and that, and beds of straw).  This also removed a pull with a high chance of multi-pulls.

Finally, they yanked out on of the Pustulant Monstrosities from Lord Godfrey's room.  Again, another reduction in the chance of multi-pulls.  Although I have never seen it, some folks had complained about not only pulling all of the mobs, but also accidentally pulling the boss with them.

So, is it a good thing?  Before those changes, SFK was a pretty good teacher on how to pull properly.  The instance rewarded me, in a sense, because I long ago developed a great competence for surgical pulls and how to properly use CC around patrols.

The question becomes - how much are dungeons supposed to teach?  In prior content, dungeons often taught us some things, even if only in broad strokes, to prepare us for the raid content.  Cataclysm does that quite a lot.  Unlike specific creature abilities, though, pulling well is a basic Tanking skill.

Collectively, I think the dungeons still do a good job teaching Tanks how to pull, but they will still have a lot to learn when they hit raids, especially Bastion of Twilight.  The first room of trash in there requires very good application of CC to the right mobs, very good positioning, and very good timing on the pull.

Frankly, though, I suspect any dungeon that had trash as difficult to pull as the first room in Bastion of Twilight might suffer the same fate as Occulus, in that people would just drop and re-queue rather than face it.  Most folks, me included, find wiping on trash incredibly annoying.

Overall, I think it's a good change to Shadowfang Keep.  Dungeons have a role in teaching, but it should not bog down the dungeon either, since the dungeon also serves an important role in gearing up would-be raiders.  They are going to see those dungeons far more than they want to as it is; to drag out the time it takes to complete it is masochistic.

So, kudos Blizzard for fixing little things.

Is there a little thing that you noticed that you particularly liked?

No comments: