Gnomeregan ended up being a turning point.
When I last set foot into Gnomeregan shortly after the Shattering patch, I noted that it didn't appear to have been changed much, except for a couple of visual tweaks to some mobs and the removal of the old goblin escort quest. Imagine my surprise then, when we zoned into the instance this week and instead of a host of wacky quests telling us to collect punchcards and essential
We were left with an incomplete quest, seeing how we had been out of range when the Electrocutioner died, and a certain feeling of disappointment. Everyone's used to players taking the path of least resistance and wanting to skip things, but Blizzard adapting quest chains to actively encourage this behaviour just makes no sense. Usually dungeon quests serve to guide the group and lead players towards as much of the content as possible. Why Blizzard themselves consider their own dungeon bosses skip-worthy now is a bit of a mystery to me to be honest.
We re-queued for Gnomer in specific, and with the next group we just went with the boss-skipping flow so that we could at least complete our quest. Incidentally, this was also our first run where someone in the group brought up Recount. When they posted the dps numbers in chat, they showed that our warrior tank was doing more damage than the entire rest of the party put together. Low-level class balance is so bad it hurts.
The next dungeon on our list was Scarlet Halls, the first of the revamped Scarlet Monastery instances. We decided to give the dungeon finder another go and ended up in our most unpleasant run yet. There was absolutely no time to take in what was new about the instance, as the damage dealers rushed ahead as if it was their one hundredth run (which it very well might have been) and we struggled to keep up. I also clearly jinxed it in my last post when I breathed a sigh of relief about the lack of ninjas in our groups, as in this run we had not one, but two people rolling need on absolutely everything, which caused both me and my pet tank to lose out on gear that nobody else in the group could actually use. By the end of that run, I wasn't the only one fed up with the quality of pugs in Looking For Dungeon.
I brought up the duoing suggestion again. Gnomeregan had proved that a single protection warrior was clearly all the dps we needed, and our experience in Scarlet Halls had shown that trying to get a good look at new content with a group of randoms was a futile endeavour.
"So, how about we do a Scarlet Monastery run old school-like?"
"Isn't the Scarlet Monastery really far away?"
"Hey, back in my day we had to walk there every time we wanted to run the instance, and before we even had ground mounts! Uphill. In the snow. And we liked it."
As I had expected, duoing the two Scarlet instances turned out to be no problem whatsoever, and while working our way through them at our own pace, it actually gave us a chance to read the quests and take in the sights, which was nice. As for the actual changes to the dungeons, I'm honestly not sure what to think of them. Condensing the four wings into only two separate instances was probably a good idea, and I enjoyed seeing Lillian Voss again. In the cathedral I felt kind of sad when I went into the secret room off to the side and High Inquisitor Fairbanks' corpse was still lying there, unclickable now. Everything else kind of felt... awkwardly over the top to me though. Since when do all the Scarlets speak with funny German accents? Why are they all so incompetent, getting eaten by their own dogs and by zombified corpses that they are clearly unable to even burn properly? Weren't they supposed to be a morally ambiguous and fearsome organisation? Oh, and Whitemane's new champion is some guy with an oversized sword and anime hair... I don't know.
quest to kill Princess as we didn't take the exact path Blizzard prescribes to make the quest appear and we didn't bother to look up what had gone wrong until after the fact.)
Up next: Uldaman and Dire Maul.