Can't wait for real dungeon exploration to make a comeback in wow classic... before anyone misunderstands me - I'm not saying vanilla dungeons were harder (mythics on live right now are pretty challenging and require a lot of strategy) - what I'm saying is that they're just not DEEP enough.
Take blackrock depths for example, described in the well known and much shared image above which compares it with a newer instance at the bottom. What do I mean about depth? An expansive and elaborate layout with plenty of secrets, interconnections and dead ends.
Blizz built a fucking multi level underground city and populated it with places like the tavern, which serve no purpose other than housing rep vendors and providing immersion. Places like this lent BRD depth of character - so much work clearly went into making this place desirable to explore and replay over and over again.
I just loved how BRD and MC were connected by the legendary Sulfuras - you would have to farm cores and Dark Iron from BRD as a start towards crafting the Sulfuras hammer. Not only that but you needed the rep from BRD too. This made the world feel massive, where revisiting earlier instances had tangible value and gave them deep significance even in the end game.
Any other fond memories for this place or simply for dungeon design back in vanilla wow?
Thank John Staats for this amazing dungeon layout
Even Blackrock Spire was his work. He was talking about it in the Classic Cast podcast if you wanted to take a look. He also wrote a book about game development and there is a lot of information about vanilla dev specifically. Considering buying it actually.
DOOM 2016 seemed to do pretty well with its level design most of the time. Most shooters now though admittedly aren't that far from that picture. That is if the game even bothers to include a single player campaign anymore.
Back to WoW though, the complexity of the dungeons is what earned them the name of dungeon in the first place. BfA's current dungeons are pretty and somewhat fun the first time around but they are just slogs of trash mobs on M+ difficulties. I honestly also just don't care for time trials either. I want to enjoy the content, not rush through it.
Just make dungeons brutal again. I am 100% certain that players returning for Classic will be better at them than they were in 2005.
I am also 100% certain that their overconfidence after a generation of heirloomed, enchanted, faceroll tanks and endless-mana healers will wipe them the first time they step into Deadmines.
BRD is hand down, in my opinion, the best dungeon ever designed. It's not just a dungeon, it's a real piece of art. It really is a capital city that you are invading, starting from the underground and up to the throne's room. And the best thing is that, even if it isn't an endgame dungeon, it has a shit ton of motivations to come back there.
As a miner/blacksmith just the sole fact that to smelt/forge anything related to dark iron I had to come back here was AMAZING. Inconvenient for sure, but really immersive.
It had also quite a good replayability just for some of the randomness: the arena changed, the dark keeper changed you could exit the Grim Guzzler in many different ways... really the best dungeon ever made.
Another interesting thing I recently discovered is that Ambassador Flamelash was supposed to be the last boss and that they added the part after that thinking that the dungeon would have been too short otherwise :D Really a different design perspective to this day WoW.