Blizzard has revealed that it's to revamp every "classic" dungeon in World of Warcraft, with most updating in the first patch for third expansion Cataclysm.
The aim is to make World of Warcraft's older dungeons less confusing, shorter and more fun, designer Corey Stockton told the audience for the Dungeons and Raids panel at BlizzCon today.
Infamously overlong and convoluted dungeons like Uldaman and Maraudon are being broken up into two or more bite-sized wings to make them easier to deal with.
Others, including Wailing Caverns and Sunken Temple, are the subject of drastic cuts. Sunken Temple has lost its entire lower floor.
We already know that two classic low-level dungeons, Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines, are being completely overhauled for new max-level Heroic versions. They will be revamped in their normal modes as well.
Graveyard runs will be much shorter for every dungeon in the game, reduced to no more than 30 seconds, with many graveyards right in front of the dungeon entrance. Some dungeons will also be given teleporters to make it faster to move through them.
"Lots of" these changes will appear in the first patch for Cataclysm, 4.1.0. The new Sunken Temple will appear by Cataclysm's launch on December 7th.
Also appearing in 4.1.0 will be a new max-level raid called Firelands and a new five-man dungeon, Abyssal Maw.
Firelands is an outdoor raid on the elemental plane of fire, accessed from Mount Hyjal. It will climax with an indoor encounter with classic boss Ragnaros in a different and much more powerful form than he took in vintage WOW raid Molten Core. In keeping with a plan to make shorter raids that can be completed in one evening, it will have seven bosses.
Abyssal Maw will be an underwater dungeon in the elemental plane of water accessed from the Vashj'ir zone. It will have four bosses, with players hopping between raised areas divided by deep chasms.
Finally, Stockton talked about enahnced dungeon maps. In a future patch, every dungeon in WOW will be given a 2D map, like those in Wrath of the Lich King. These will also feature detailed boss information (loot, lore, abilities, 3D portraits) so players won't have to tab out of WOW to fansite databases so often while playing.
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