Over the weekend I had a chance to finally jump into some heroic dungeons. I had been level 90 for a week but I only qualified for Scenarios due to the level of my gear. A couple drops and quests in Dread Wastes and I was ok to go.
Firstly, Heroics is not the right name. These are basic level 90 dungeons. In fact, if you do the dungeons while levelling, you’re likely to have a harder time. Each one can last 20 minutes up to 45 minutes, with 3-5 bosses. Each has some weird mechanic and a few are quite gimmicky. Hopper in the Brewery is a good example; you get swamped continuously with virmen (sort of rats) and need to use a hammer to keep them airborne.
Interestingly, in the 5 or so heroics I ran, I only met one “go go go” person. I actually mentioned to the group that I thought they were extinct, to might lols. Everyone so far has been quite friendly. I had a brand new tank in one group. That was a lot of fun since it was a low pressure situation. I’m sure I’ll start scraping the bottom of barrel at some point but this lower point of entry seems to also reduce the stress level of other players.
In all the heroics I’ve run so far (maybe 8), I’ve seen 2 upgrades. So, statistically, I’ve seen 2 upgrades out of a possible ~35 drops – not the best ratio. This is compounded by the gear variants. As a monk, I only have 2 types – AGI or INT leather. A paladin though, they use 3; STR, INT and tanking. At last count, I see 12 gear variants. Poor design is when you have one gear variant per class. Like shamans having not only casting mail but healing mail gear. That means that on any given boss, I have a 1 in 12 chance of seeing an upgrade (or close to it). Not so motivating if I only wanted gear – especially if you go a run and no one wants anything that drops.
RIFT took a similar path but with a simpler foundation, there are only 7 types needed and since there aren’t “classes” you don’t see gear that no one wants. I mean, every Cleric uses tanking gear just like they all use casting gear.
Back on topic. I’m reaching the point I normally come to when playing an MMO, lack of appreciable progress. Going the dungeon route just leads to the raiding route, an end point I’m not a fan of. Dailies could be their own topic. How many times do I have to heal those baby serpents before you clue in that I’m a good guy? Farming is what you think it is, except for the moving part. There could have been massive progress towards player housing here. Scenarios are a run for achievements type of event. Challenge modes do not interest me. Pet battles are an interesting side project though. I think I can stretch this out a couple weeks until Storm Legion comes out.