With the confirmation of Classic Wrath of the Lich King, one thing players were curious about was the inclusion of the random dungeon finder. While not the iconic Warcraft villain most people are familiar with, it’s still a contentious point for the Classic community.
For those unaware, a pillar of the Classic releases is a lack of “modern” or “convenient” systems that exist in current retail WoW. One example is the looking for group tool that automates finding a party for a dungeon and, upon completion, teleporting players to the dungeon.
The argument against a random dungeon finder in Classic was always the same: it kills the social aspect and community building of World of Warcraft. Servers are filled with people and reputations: who to group with and who to avoid. Brian Birmingham, WoW Classic lead, feels that the community as a whole is in agreement.
The original poster is correct: it is a super iconic experience to spam the random dungeon finder with heirlooms as you level new characters. The argument here is that this kills the population of Azeroth; people aren’t leveling in the open world anymore. They’re leveling in dungeons.
A potentially bigger issue in Classic Wrath has nothing to do with the leveling experience. It has everything to do with the end-game experience.
Patch 3.3 brought not only the Icecrown Citadel raid but also the random dungeon finder tool itself. This would become a harmonious relationship; players would be able to kill bosses in the raid, pick up loot, and earn emblems. Running heroic dungeons would also earn players emblems, allowing them to easily obtain more gear.
The role of the dungeon finder was to easily allow players to obtain their “emblem cap,” ensuring they wouldn’t miss out on gear. Therefore, players in Classic Wrath will most likely be incentivized to run as many dungeons as possible in order to obtain as many emblems as they can.
Random Dungeon Finder Didn’t Kill the Social Part of Wow; Discord Did
If there’s anything that the Classic re-releases have taught us, it’s that players love to min-max. That’s not a “problem” specific to World of Warcraft; it’s something that is just a part of life. In gaming, sports, work, whatever. People want to find the best, most efficient way to do something.
Classic has, for all intents and purposes, always been a “solved” game. It has been theorycrafted, tested, and executed to precision over the past decade. People use outside resources, such as Reddit or Discord to talk and converse with each other. Guild conversations, which used to exist solely in-game, now happen in one of many channels on my guild’s Discord.
A key argument against the random dungeon finder in Classic Wrath is how it will destroy the social aspect of World of Warcraft. The issue here is that the community is already destroyed thanks to Discord. The days of talking in-game with a mass group of people are over. We’ve uninstalled Ventrillo and TeamSpeak and chat throughout the day on Discord. It’s not just our own guild Discord either; realm and class-specific Discords exist, fostering dozens of communities outside of Classic World of Warcraft.
Some of these Discords even include ways to form groups for heroics or raids, scheduling pre-planned events for pick-up groups. Why do people do it? Because sitting in a capital city and spamming trade chat is not a user-friendly experience. There’s a reason why the LFG Bulletin add-on exists.
To Blizzard’s credit, they’re open to tweaking the current in-game Looking for Group tool. Adding in better features to easily find groups is a step in the right direction. Still, using the current LFG tool isn’t an optimal experience. I’m not even asking for the ability to be teleported to a dungeon with people outside my own realm. If Classic Wrath has, post-launch, a random dungeon finder tool that can form a group while I play the game, I’d be thrilled.
While some of you may cry out that’s against the “classic experience,” I’d argue two things. First, it’s impossible to replicate the classic experience. Especially since we’re playing on mega servers with coordinated faction imbalances. I feel bad for people sticking it out on lower population realms. Searching in trade chat for a group is going to be a nightmare. Those people desperately need the random dungeon finder.
Second? RDF existed in Wrath of the Lich King. It’s part of the original experience and it’s still one of the greatest expansions the game has seen. It should be part of the Classic experience.
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