This post was on wowinsider a week ago, and it refers to the fact that Blizzard feels that it may need to tweak 5 mans as they’re not completely happy with them. A lot of discussion was generated, with some interesting ideas. A few people commented that instances these days don’t have the old “dungeon” feel to them, like Blackrock Depths and Sunken Temple. Others mentioned the old Dungeon Armor Sets, and how they added to the game. People asked for hard modes. The mount drop in the timed Strat run is seen as a huge motivator to run that 5 man. People mentioned how atunements in old 5 mans and raids worked well.
A lot of people think that the answer is for Blizzard to design a bunch of new 5 man instances that are on a Naxx 25 level, with new loot and rewards. That would be a hell of a lot of work from Blizzard and I think that the idea isn’t that great. So you have a bunch of new instances, so what? We have a huge amount of new instances in Wrath and they didn’t fix this problem.
I don’t think at this point that the answer is to provide new content. I believe that Blizzard needs to revitalise and repackage the old world content that already exists. As one comment on the wow-insider thread said: Deadmines heroic!
It’s a good idea, if implemented properly. For the last few weeks I’ve been traveling around the Old World, mining nodes in preparation for my mega-fast level of Jewelcrafting. There is a lot of content out there. And it’s good. It’s big, and it’s epic. And what’s more, we remember it fondly. The Deadmines was my first ever instance. It was mind-blowing at the time. Would it be mind-blowing for me again? Not to that extent, but I’d love to go back and run it with my level 80 rogue as a heroic 5 man. What would Blizzard have to do to make it viable?
Apart from the obvious work of tweaking the fights for level 80′s, the major task would be incentives, reasons to go there and to balance it out. There are a bunch of ways that this could be done. Apart from having emblem rewards on the bosses, they could bring in new dungeon armor sets, with different pieces being found in different instances. Never underestimate the will of the player base to collect stuff. This game is all about stuff – getting stuff and having stuff and showing off that stuff. Achievements would be an obvious one as well, but not mega hard achievements where you have to finish every single instance on heroic mode and special boss fights. Break it up into sections, with a reward at each step. That way it’s easier for players to keep at it.
The most important thing? I think that Blizzard would have to do it all at the same time, every single Old World instance. Otherwise we will still have the situation of players moving from one part of the world to the next all together at the same time, the classic “pig in the python” effect. Bring them all back and create some dynamism in the game again. While they’re at it, instead of bringing in new zones, why not actually do something with the zones that they already have? Azshara, anyone? Stonetalon Mountains, perhaps? There are zones that have never been utilized or were just badly designed in the first place.
I really think that this would create some genuine excitement in the Warcraft World. It would need to be carefully balanced, particularly with regards to gear drops, but I for one would be first in line to PUG a group for Deadmines.