11 Feb 2010

Truly random dungeons

What’s WoW missing? And I don’t mean Guild housing. I mean, do you really want to spend your play time sat in an instance with nothing in it except you and your guildies? Missing out on trade spam? Doing nothing except talking in guild chat? Are you too lazy to run to a bank to access the guild’s resources?

No, what WoW is missing – certainly in instance terms – is a random dungeon. Not a random let’s-grind-emblems-of-triumph random instance, but a truly random dungeon.

Consider the amount of content you could plough through, playing properly rather than spamming the same abilities over and over, if there was a random dungeon generator. Please Blizz, set up a couple of instance servers that randomly put together a layout each time you visit it. Stick some caves or entrances around the place and phase them so everybody else sees a sealed-off cave or locked door once you or your party has gone inside.

And what would I put in it? Well, the mobs in WoW come in different flavours. There’s the easy, who-cares mob you grind for fun. Then there’s the slightly better version; the “Elder” boar or “Greater” spider or whatever. Then you have elite mobs. Then you have rare elite mobs.

Why not use this to stock a small instance with mobs? When you enter – or just outside the door - you fight the rubbish ones. When you get inside there are slightly harder ones. Towards the end are elites, with a mini-boss to tackle to complete it.

Layouts may sound like a problem given there’s a persistent world to take into account, but even that’s solved fairly easily. Azeroth is a true 3D world, so put a spiral staircase or shaft to take you well down into the ground. As I recall from levelling, there’s a place under Feralas which I hated having to go into to do quests because it plunged straight down before entering a rabbit-warren of passages. Something like that would be ideal.

It would be different every time you went in, which might offend some lore purists, but who cares? It’s different every time, something you don’t really get in PvE.

Once you have a set of predefined ‘tiles’ which lay out into an instance, apply a set of textures to it. Fancy a crypt – voila! A cave? Here you go.

Personally, I’d be more than happy to take these on. Especially if each generated an ID in the same way raids do – enter your ID at the door and you’re back in the same instance.

But it’s a lot of development, I guess, which could be better spent elsewhere. Buffing BM spec for hunters would be good. But failing that, could we please have more randomness?

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