It's because they were "primarily designed" before the Looking For Dungeon tool kicked in, meaning they catered to guilds with players who knew one another, and thus how to work together.
The Heroic difficulty of its dungeons proved a major thorn for the community, as they targeted the "traditional audience that had always consumed dungeon content".
"Well, we’re constantly looking at feedback from our players and learning lessons. Sadly we’re not perfect in what we do but we try to improve and fix past mistakes," said Blizzard's Ion Hazzikostas in an . The studio has learnt that while quest phasing lets gamers feel like their having impact on the world, it also segregated users.
“On a dungeon related note,” he added “one thing that we’ve clearly heard from our players at the start of Cataclysm is that many of them found our heroic dungeons to be too difficult and they had a frustrating experience as a result, and some of that was a product of the fact that we began making our Cataclysm dungeons – and they were primarily designed – before the Looking For Dungeon tool was live on servers.”
"So we were designing dungeons for the traditional audience that had always consumed dungeon content, that is to say groups of friends and guild mates," explained Hazzikostas.
"But it turned out by the time Cataclysm came out there had been a massive shift in that regard as a result of the Looking For Dungeon feature and most dungeons were being run by randomly match-made groups of people who were queuing individually and were playing with others who they had likely never played with before and likely would never play with again and that completely changes the dynamic of how you respond to difficulty and how you respond to adversity.”
The team have taken lessons on board for Mists of Pandaria and promise they won't repeat Cataclysm’s frustrations.
"Obviously we quickly changed the tuning of the dungeons in Cataclysm, but these are lessons we’ve learnt and taken to heart moving forwards when designing the dungeons for Mists of Pandaria. Players who were frustrated by the Cataclysm dungeons should find a much better experience at level 90 when they start running dungeons.”
Check out thebetween Ion Hazzikostas and AusGamer. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria releases September 25th. This is the fourth expansion to the long-running MMO introducing a whole new race and new environment that has only been previously hinted at in Warcraft lore.
Blizzard address World of Warcraft: Cataclysm's difficult dungeons
24 September 2012 | By Simon Priest