I remember participating in my first raid in World of Warcraft
The feverish excitement of finally cracking one of the big instances in
the game had me almost giddy with thoughts of being part of some heroic
undertaking. When we finally started, the raid leader led us through
the instance with constant commands, such as, “Walk up to
this line here, but don’t go over so you don’t
aggro that passing patrol” and “Hug the east wall
so as to avoid the flames that shoot out of the west wall.”
My heroic dreams were dashed on the hard shoals of mundane reality
where epic questing was reduced to following a pattern or making sure
that you only color within the lines. Where was the sense of
exploration and joy of discovery? What about the adrenaline rush of a
sudden ambush where the entire party had to scramble to survive? Sorry,
gamers, but don’t look for such things here. Instead, we just
follow a dull pattern of Step A, Step B, Step C, and so on.
Glad we followed the same old
steps to this boss...yawn.
Why can’t we have dynamic instancing? What if every time we
entered an instance, the layout was different with varying mobs of
creatures? How about having differing loot drops and traps at different
locations? That way, every time we go into an instance, we get that joy
of discovery and our sense of accomplishment is even greater at
conquering it. What is so special about following the same boring
pattern time after time?
What makes this even more frustrating is that we know that dynamic
instancing can be done. Let’s set the Wayback Machine to the
year 1996 when Diablo
came out. In Diablo
we had fixed points for the various dungeon instances, but when you
entered the dungeon, it was randomly generated. The layout, the mobs,
and the loot were all created when you stepped in. The only fixed
feature was the room with the final boss, and even that room was
randomly located on a fixed level. If the big boss was to be found on
level three, then his fixed room was always on level three, but you
didn’t know where
it was to be found on that level as it was randomly placed.
Random layout of a
The creatures you fought in each dungeon could vary each time you
entered the dungeon. That was a great feature that allowed for a large
amount of replayability. Fight mostly skeletons the first time around?
The next time you might fight zombies or wraiths! Plus, the placement
of the mobs would vary due to the random layout of the dungeon. Even
later games, such as Left 4 Dead
have random mobs of zombies if the game’s AI thinks that the
party is taking their time or spending too much time in one location.
In addition, the location of weapons and ammo is slightly randomized in
, where each level has
several locations where those supplies might be found.