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  1. #1

    What was the appeal of Vanilla dungeons?

    As the topic says, what was it about vanilla dungeons that kept them in so fond memories?

    And before you say nostalgia, I don't have the same feelings for TBC or WotLK and those were a really long time ago aswell, I won't even mention Cata.
    Is it that they each kinda had a soul of their own? They were long, majestic, filled with characters.

    Take Blackrock Depths as an example, that place was huge. Or Maraudon, my person favourite for the most beautiful dungeon of all time. Or maybe Sunken Temple. To this day I'm not 100% sure I ever completely explored it. I won't even mention the horrors of Stratholme or Scholomance.

    Why can't we have nice things like these anymore. Everything lacks that mystery factor that kept me going for so long, and no, it's not the websites, etc.
    I never check the dungeons on new expansions i visit for the first time on website, I always allow myself to be surprised. But it's just not working, and hasn't since a long time.

  2. #2
    They were very large, you didn't go in expecting to clear the whole thing, or if you did it would be after hours.

    The loot itself was really important. Rare crafting mats would be farmed, certain rare drops would be farmed, players had goals other than finish the dungeon for some VP.

  3. #3
    I don't know, I played a bit back to vanilla and what kept it so fond in my memory is how HORRIBLE, labyrinthine and never ending they were
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  4. #4
    Brewmaster ACES's Avatar
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    The appeal is definitely in the scale and effort it took to clear them. Dungeons after Vanilla were very linear and of a much smaller scale than Blackrock and I think this is because expectations of content difficulty and length have evolved since then. Personally I wouldn't wan't to go back to that old style dungeons purely because of time vs. gearing up concerns but WoD promises raids that are similar in size and feel so there's that to look forward toward. Plus in WoD we're going back to Blackrock.

  5. #5
    Oh how I remember running Dire Maul about 60 times over a few days to get 2x Mindtap talisman, for my paladin.
    That's all I had to say!

  6. #6
    Epic!
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    The only thing I remember about BRD is how fucking awful it was

    Walking around for 4 hours killing respawning trash and minibosses that nobody ever even needs is not fun

  7. #7
    Definitely the large and labyrinthine style to them. I think they had deeper and more interesting lore too.

    Every dungeon was an adventure of its own, and unlike modern LFD dungeons everyone in the group wanted to be there; they had specifically chosen to run this dungeon and were commtted to it.

    Modern dungeons really have more in common with scenarios than true vanilla dungeons. The LFD system and quick run mentality makes them feel pretty hollow, the only goal for most people being quick xp and points.

  8. #8
    I have a lot of fond memories of BC because that is when I started tanking.

  9. #9
    It took a lot of effort to complete them. The dungeon sets were moderately prestigious in the early days as well (at least early on when just having a 60 was awesome to have).

  10. #10
    For me, at level 60, before TBC, a Dungeon was something you prepared for. Now not all of them were like this but the larger ones for sure. I'd wait for some friends to come online, make the trek to Maruadon, and you could be in there for sometime. It was nice small group content. Same with Black Rock Depths and Spire. They not only looked large with expansive caverns but were large with corridors you could actually traverse and quests you didn't pick up at the dungeon entrance.

    I don't hate the evolution of dungeons. I just wish Blizzard had made a couple of larger dungeons for people like me. Raids are nice but the logistics behind them are not fun and LFR fails to give me that feeling I'm even working as a team. Oh and larger sprawling dungeons shouldn't be in Group Finder lists, I'd imagine most of the people that queue for dungeons solo aren't looking for an hours back and forth in a maze.

    I'd love for Karazahn to get some love and become a challenging 5man, connect and expand the crypts, throw in a castlevania style upside down version after you beat it normally for the week and BAM I think I'd melt in nerdgasm.

  11. #11
    Stood in the Fire Centerra's Avatar
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    Remember my first first BRD clear, had a group together from ZF and thought it would be the same sort of thing. 6 hours and 2 tanks later, after wipes and going round in circles trying to find the way forwards, leaving to get the key quest, and returning, we finally cleared the throneroom and took turns sitting in the throne to take screenshots. Good times, best fucking dungeon.

    I guess the thing is those dungeons were supposed to be end game (or close) content, and were made before blizzard really knew what people would be doing or want from endgame. But I have really fond memories of BRD, Strath and Scholo. Mara, Dire maul and UBRS not so much. In fact they all turned sour after the endless hours spent farming them for mats and dungeon sets but the first time as a bleary eyed noob was awesome.

    Don't think I'll ever feel the same attachment to the cookie cutter "arbitrary content segment" style they went forward with, even if clearing them was less of a nightmare.
    Last edited by Centerra; 2014-02-26 at 01:06 AM.

  12. #12
    The Lightbringer Tharkkun's Avatar
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    Most of the appeal or lack of appeal was how much time each dungeon took to complete. It was similar to dungeons in other games. People lashed out against this in BC. Shadow Labs, Shattered Halls, etc. When valor or currency rewards became the default for dungeons the long ones disappeared. People would leave immediately because the debuff was shorter than the hell of a 2 hour instance.

    For me though, I completely stopped running dungeons altogether unless a friend needed a run through. I hated them after about 5-10 runs and feel the same way on the current ones.

  13. #13
    Big, nonlinear, made you use your head, took more than 10 minutes to finish (OMG THATS SO MUCH). Basicly they were like reading a proper book compared to watching Jersey Shore which is how MoP dungeons feel.

  14. #14
    Legendary! Tommo's Avatar
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    They werent linear, and they had a reasonable challenge to them. Last time I used CC in a dungeon was Cata.

  15. #15
    Banned Alenarien's Avatar
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    1) They required crowd control - I haven't 'truly' used a CC in any dungeon since TBC.
    2) They required coordination - Whereas these days you can do dungeons without even talking to people.
    3) They seemed like actual dungeons - Grand, scary places that weren't going to be a walk in the park by any means. They had that classic 'fantasy' atmosphere to them (which is subjective of course, but I still liked it), and the enemies were uncompromising. If you didn't bring your A-game, it was doomed to fail.
    4) They were an investment of time/effort overall; compared to nowadays where dungeons tend to rarely break the mold of "10-20 min run for X loot and X points."

  16. #16
    The nonlinear instances felt more like mini-raids (Strat and BRS originally were 10 mans). There were more optional content, and a larger variety of ways to get from point A to point B. Granted this can also be considered why some people miss the old AV. There were other things to do, and felt like you were accomplishing something. Or beating your head against a wall depending.

  17. #17
    Honestly they just had better story and there was more of a sense of community and more of an emphasis on making friends in the game at that time, so dungeons were more fun than running them with random people. Actually forming the groups and getting everyone there though? Not so much fun.

    I think that TBC is the point where Blizzard really got it right for instances (Though some of them were still pretty terrible.)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ACES View Post
    The appeal is definitely in the scale and effort it took to clear them. Dungeons after Vanilla were very linear and of a much smaller scale than Blackrock and I think this is because expectations of content difficulty and length have evolved since then. Personally I wouldn't wan't to go back to that old style dungeons purely because of time vs. gearing up concerns but WoD promises raids that are similar in size and feel so there's that to look forward toward. Plus in WoD we're going back to Blackrock.
    Pretty much this...

    I will still say I still hate Dire Maul to this day though, regardless on how much they've changed it.

    I did also like getting a tier set out of dungeons, while I know they kept it going in BC, just feel it would cool if they kept that concept going.
    Last edited by Roamingstorm; 2014-02-26 at 01:19 AM.

  19. #19
    I've never heard anything good about vanilla dungeons other than nostalgic memories, it was new and fresh, a lot of stories and memories for people, but in terms of content/design/loot/bosses/mechanics, the actual gameplay, never seen people say anything specifically good.

    Seriously, never.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaitoc View Post
    The only thing I remember about BRD is how fucking awful it was

    Walking around for 4 hours killing respawning trash and minibosses that nobody ever even needs is not fun
    I hate to be that "lolnostalgia" guy, but this is pretty much what I remember of most people's opinion of BRD during Vanilla.
    I didn't find BRD to be that bad, but it never seemed well liked--mostly because it was so big and took forever--and people seemed to hate having to go in, even just for things like jailbreak.

    That said I enjoyed longer type dungeons, just like I enjoy longer BGs. I think it'd be nice to see one BRD sized dungeon not on the LFD random list with a large number of bosses and a somewhat convoluted possible kill order, a bunch of quests, etc.

    I'd like to see Dungeon set 4 finally too.
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