This past weekend, I was running Stratholme on my mage solo to try and farm Runecloth for tailoring. It was the first time I had run it on my mage, which even at level 80 was difficult. While most other dungeons, I could arcane explosion my way through the instance, Stratholme was different. It actually presented a challenge for my little under geared gnome mage. I’m sure I could come back on my druid tank and wreck some stuff in there and clear very quickly, but it took some actual strategy on my mage. It was also fun to see the differences between Culling of Stratholme and the actual Stratholme instance. Thinking back to how it was once a vibrant city a lot like Stormwind and now it is a wreck.
It was also fun having a lot of bosses in a 5 man. This goes to what we have heard about the Halls of Origination in Cataclysm. It is a seven boss 5 man dungeon. Originally, I was not very wild about that idea of having that big of a 5 man. However, going back and running Zul’farak and Stratholme while farming cloth made me realize that those dungeons are just awesome. Are the bosses hard? No, not really. It is mostly tank and spank fights. However, I don’t think people run 5 mans for the incredible strategy behind the boss fights. That is what raiding is for. Yes, there are some creative ones, like the guy who tosses boulders in Pit of Saron or Eadric the Pure in Trial of the Champion where you have to turn around. However, having a fight where you just have to hold off hordes of trolls with some prisoners only to have the prisoners turn on you after all is said and done is kind of awesome.
Even in Burning Crusade, you had to think about every single pull. Remember Magister’s Terrace. If you do what you do now in 5 mans in Magister’s Terrace, you were dead. By the end of Stratholme, I was thinking about every arcane blast I was shooting and not using arcane explosion at all. Especially during the gauntlet. I remember the times I have run the Zangarmarsh 5 mans on my druid and pulled when a patrol was coming. That usually meant a wipe in that instance.
Please don’t think I’m degrading current 5 mans. There are a lot of fun stuff in the current 5 mans. I appreciate the lack of trash in the current 5 mans. I appreciate that the bosses have a little more complexity than in past 5 mans. Overall, it seems the bosses became a little more complicated and trash became a little less complicated.
In Cataclysm, I hope they keep the bosses about where they are now and make the trash a little harder. While I like AOEing trash, I would like to get back to some of that strategy that was involved in 5 mans where you had to think about kill order, CCing, etc.
What are some of the things you are hoping for 5 mans from Cataclysm? Do you think they should get back to some of the complication from the original and BC? Do you think they should keep the Wrath model of 5 mans?