You may have noticed that Blizzard has made a server available to WoW: Burning Crusade Classic beta testers where you can stock up on level 70 characters. They have pretty decent gear, have access to many items from the reputation factions, and can pick up consumable items like vials, buff food, and potions, as well as jewels and enchantments from NPCs.

With the second raid test for Karazhan cancelled for now, beta testers are currently using the characters primarily for regular visits to Outland's heroic dungeons. And the feedback is building our anticipation for launch: The heroic dungeons are said to be delightfully crunchy, crisper than the Karazhan raid challenges and even Gruul's lair.

Here are a few specific observations from the recent Good Morning Azeroth chat session:

  • The heroic dungeons are of a very different caliber than the challenges we're used to in Classic.
  • This can be seen nicely in the playstyle of the healers. While in many Classic challenges you can simply "spam" the fastest healing spell most of the time to keep people alive, in the Heroic dungeons you have to use the right spell at the right time. Make the wrong choice or use a global cooldown incorrectly at a dangerous moment and people die. You're constantly under power, healing is hard but very fun work in Heroics.
  • Tanks with tier 4 level gear can be "geoneshotted" by attacks and mechanics.
  • The bosses aren't a huge challenge across the board, there are free-loot challenges here as well. The trash groups, however, are a different story. The "normal" opponents are no walk in the park in all heroic dungeons. Sometimes the tank damage is enormous, sometimes certain spells have to be interrupted or parts of the trash group have to be controlled or kited. If this does not happen => Wipe.
  • In fact, players die so often that groups take breaks within a dungeon run because characters have to repair their equipment urgently. Some groups have even had to pull the sails early because they couldn't get through Shattered Halls and the like with their class setup.
  • Since healers need to pump to keep the group alive, healing aggro is a major issue, especially with large groups tanked by Warriors or Bears. Pack talents that reduce your healing aggro!
  • If the difficulty stays like this, classes like mages that have reliable control spells will be popular for heroic dungeons. This was already the case back in the day. For example, in the early days of TBC, rogues had a hard time connecting with heroic dungeon groups outside of their guild (as the author of this article experienced firsthand).

Are you looking forward to the crunchy heroic dungeons of Outland? Tell us in the comments!

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