When I think back to Vanilla and BC I remember having something to do all the time.
What could we do?
People could engage in a quest that they could follow at there own pace. This quest took weeks to complete but the reward was an epic item (back then epics actually felt epic). The quest fit the mold of an RPG and not some currency simulator. You actually felt like you were gearing yourself to fight the hardships in azeroth, not simply waiting for some arbitrary reset(once a week) to allow you to earn more currency.
A game of Points is not an RPG or Immersive
Would the legend of zelda be as fun if you could just buy the mastersword for 1000 valor? Or was it more immersive and engaging to be able to actually build the sword? What feels more like a currency SIM or an RPG?
Currently the game is starting to follow a standard "formula" and with it is losing it's creative edge.(subjective I know but this is how I feel)
- Farm valor to cap each week (because in WOW its not possible to earn anymore Prestige for killing stuff and making the world safer"RPG")
- Farm LFR and normal Dungeons (because in WOW every boss has 3 versions of itself ..... not very immersive )
Why Cataclysm dungeons Failed / That Epic Feeling
If anything the dungeons were not hard enough. People need difficult content to feel a sense of accomplishment for earning a reward. Would you be proud of an Olympic Gold Medal if you bought one from Walmart? No. Now think of that Medal as an EPIC you buy with Valor(currency).... Is it truly Epic or are they similar to Greens/Greys sold in Vanilla and BC from vendors for gold?
BC heroics offered a CHANCE at earning an epic item from the last boss. For example Sethek halls was extremely hard but it rewarded an epic gem(actually felt epic due to rarity) and the last boss droped an Epic staff with UNIQUE art and great stats. These dungeons offered something called a carrot on a stick for people to chase, with content that was repeatable on a daily basis (no waiting 1 week for reset giving players something to do all the time). Now what would you rather do? Dailies that people are complaining about all the time because of the tedious nature or overcoming a difficult obstacle with your friends to earn a reward that is not based on a frivalous currency(Valor) that is droped everywhere, lessening the EPIC feeling of it all.
Cataclysm Dungeons didn't offer rewards on the scale to how difficult the dungeons were. They offered no Epics to obtain from the last boss or as an example, Epic gems. They offered items that were also easily obtained by and overshadowed by Valor. No carrot on a stick for players to chase.
You may say Badge of Justice were the same thing as Valor and I disagree completely, at least the BC version(They got it right the first time and should never have changed it). If you are going to offer a currency for something at least allow that currency to hold some value due to the difficult nature in obtaining it. When people spent the Badges they earned, the epics that were rewarded actually felt EPIC to players earning them. Epics were not something just handed out to a bunch of kids trick or treating at Halloween (LFM Mumta, LFM GODA O look 15 valor!!!)
From my experience people only need to run LFR for 3 hours, knock out the bosses and they are done for the week. Blizzard has actually removed content by making previous content irrelevant and lessening the EPIC feeling items now hold (good bye unique looking armor tiers , Just transmog or run LFR for a recolour...). Blizzard has given players less to do by removing attunements or keys and taken way that RPG feeling (LBRS you will be missed, so long Scarlet Key). How can an epic reward feel "epic" if the ease of obtaining it is just earning some easy to obtain currency and removing the mystery of finally seeing content that you worked so hard lay eyes upon (just seeing an encounter could be considered just as epic as actually seeing that shiney purple drop).
When you are part of a fantasy world it make sense unlocking gates or obtaining keys. Rituals/mystery have always been a part of adventure (Looking at you indiana Jones) How great is it for the audience to finally see that door open or waters parts to expose the hidden treasures that await....
- Allow dungeons to be difficult again and part of an attunement chain of some sort
- Offer rewards on par with difficulty that share Adventure/RPG elements (eg. loot a part of an incomplete sword off a boss "o hi thunderfury")
- Lessen the feel of extemely commen items that are not truely epic (reduce visuals , give unique models to truely epic items on scale with difficulty to obtain)
- If you're going to follow the 3 sets of difficulty model at least reward each Difficulty with unique item art for each tier with the final tiers having some of the best designs in the game and unique items not just ilvl enhancements. ( again carrot on a stick for the players to reach for)
- More attunements , keys .... sense of exploration and unlocking the mystery that lay forth.
- Remove Valor Points or change it to a currency that actually holds some weight when you obtain it.
- More quest chains people can take part in out in the world (all of azeroth not just one island) with rewards on par with time spent or unlocking secrets(dungeons, bosses, items etc)
- Make this game feel like an MMO -RPG- again and return the sense of exploration rather than world of Drop down menu craft.