Revamping old-world instances: Sunken Eternity

Okay, so there is a Blog Azeroth Shared topic going on that asks about old-world instances.

Seeing as how I leveled up as restoration, I’ve spent a LOT of time in the original lower level instances. The worst designed of all is the Sunken Temple, more officially known as “The temple of Atal’Hakkar”. I like to (not so fondly) refer to the instance as Sunken Eternity. It’s long, windy, confusing, and really hard for inexperienced players to understand what path to follow, seeing as how there are multiple events that you have to do in a certain order to unlock other bosses. Even after hitting level 60, I still managed to get a group lost in there and spent hours trying to figure out what we needed to kill to unlock the different bosses.

It would really be a shame to go back and re-shape Azeroth, but leave this monstrosity intact to torture people in future generations of WoW newbies.

Here’s a link to the current map, posted on wowwiki.

Yes, it has 5 floors. Yes, you have to do some things to unlock other things. They also have a map showing you how to find the actual instance portal, since it’s buried behind a bunch of trash mobs you have to clear just to get to the instance inside the temple.

What they really need to do is split this into 2  instances. Or, maybe just take it out completely and call it a lost cause (ie. maybe they “sunk” the temple for real this time, and it got swallowed up whole, never to return).

According to wowwiki, there are 10 regular bosses, 6 mini-bosses, and 3 named rare spawns (2 outside & 1 inside the instance). That is almost 19 different boss-type mobs to have to keep track of spread across a bunch of different areas. That’s just way too much for one instance.

So, they should split up some of the floors into different instances. The front entryway could be turned into having different portals. You could even require completion of one side to give you a key for the other side.

They could split up the bosses between the two different wings of the “new” dungeon, so that it seemed a little more evenly split.

Another option (if the developers don’t want to start from scratch) would be to remove the forced completion of certain encounters to unlock other encounters. If you want to go straight for the 4th floor and skip the rest, you should be allowed to do that.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted September 17, 2009 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    The Sunken Temple … I really hate that instance. I don’t mind longer instances full of bosses, rare mini-bosses, spawns, whatever, it’s just this one was designed by, I think, an honest-to-goodness sadist. It’s immensely unforgiving (you went left instead of right, bwahahaa, I shall close off half the bosses now), and this, coupled with the fact you have to do a heck of a lot of back-tracking and running around in circles, makes kind of the opposite of fun, especially with an impatient pug (as pugs so often are).

    I love the sprawling style of the old world instances, and I miss them up in streamlined Northrend but, yeah, they could sink this one with my blessing.

  2. Posted September 17, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I Love ST. Love it. I always had so much fun there. The first time I ever went there was with someone who knew the place inside and out, so I didn’t have to worry about not knowing where to go next. The first time I ever went there, every boss we killed dropped something that a resto druid could use. I thought the place was Druid heaven.

    The scale of it was awesome. The scripting, where you have to kill the shield bearers first then clear to Jammal’an, and make sure you killed each and every dragon before getting to Eranikus. Then the basement, where you had to click each statue in a specific order. I remember looking at the thottbot map and telling people when to click. It felt so immersive it was great. I’ve run ST on each and every one of my chracters as many times possible. It doesn’t hurt that each class has a quest to do in there.

    I used some of the gear I got in ST up until I was 60. I’m pretty sure I even started raiding ZG with something from ST still equipped.

  3. Alryn
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’ll join the group of “hate that place!!” One of the places I will definitely never ever go again.

  4. Posted September 17, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    It’s not THAT bad.

    If you’re in a group where nobody has ever been before I can understand how it may seem confusing. But if you know where you’re going it’s not a big deal at all.

    I haven’t been there in several years – but it was actually pretty fun if you knew what you were doing.

  5. Posted September 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I think a portal idea would work really well in ST. I would hate to see the instance thrown to the wolves as an abandoned behemoth, as I have some of my fondest Vanilla WoW memories there. I would like the instance to have some Mauradon-esque attunement that involved a regular run in all its massive confusion and intricacy. After that first run, you would be able to use your [Ethereal Heart of Hakkar] at the Altar of Translocation in order to travel to the specific sub-zones. Each subzones main boss would have a similar altar to take you back to the Altar of Translocation.

    Anyway, i loved this zone because we got to use Hibernate! So I hope it doesn’t fade into obscurity. I thought it was very cool, but felt unfinished.

  6. Posted September 17, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I used to enjoy the old dungeon crawls. Actually find it sad they didn’t add one in this expansion (last one too).

    Personally, I’ll never be a fan of short linear dungeons. I need something to make me think a little. However, I can definitely see why some people hate long dungeons.

  7. Posted September 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Most of the instances that I hate are the ones that are stupidly winding. I love the instance and the fights, the scenery, the bosses.. but why make them so awful to navigate through?

    I went back to ST not long ago to finish off my old dungeons, and it took ages because I couldn’t find my way up to the last troll that I had to kill. So irritating.

    I definitely prefer linear instances – or at most, branched instances.

    Look at Deadmines – it’s long and interesting, with various rooms and scenery – but (except for the entrance) you can’t get lost because it’s still linear.

    Love Sunken Temple, BRD, Wailing Caverns and the rest in theory – hate the fact that I spend most of the time wondering if I’m running in circles.

  8. Lissanna
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    You can also have non-linear dungeons that still make sense & are interesting, for example Halls of Stone has bosses you can do in different orders, and then you have to go back to the beginning to kill the final boss. It still needs to be a place that makes sense & you can figure out how to get through the dungeon without having an experienced player drag you along behind them…

  9. Osy
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    I was a late bloomer-came in after BC-so I have never ran this instance to the end. I have tried to solo it but realized you need a group to actually do the whole thing-don’t you have to have at least 2 people to unlock levels or something? No one on my server likes to run old content:( It seems, even though confusing, it would be a lot of fun.

  10. Maor
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    ST can burn. I hate that place. It’s annoying, long and to easy to get lost in if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m all for non-linear dungeons, but you shouldn’t need a compass and Harrison Jones to help you.

  11. Trazer
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    ST have epic potential, there are just a few things that makes it annoying.
    – Fix the damn green stuff hanging from the ceiling.
    – Make it into ‘wings’ for each floor.
    – Less running back.
    The stuff messing with my view is really a pain.
    The classic: ‘where are you? I am standing right on top of you on the mini-map .. d’uh, wrong floor (both run to another floor, of course not the same)”, could and should be avoided by making it into wings.
    If I have to run back through an instance, at least spawn some trash to kill, give us a reason to run back.

  12. Mortiseraph
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I have some fond memories of this place actually. One of the oldest screenshots in my folder (i havent deleted a single one since i started playing back when TBC launched) was of my guild-at-the-time commiting blasphemy dancing on the altar after killing the prophet. Fun times.

    However, it was lead by someone who knew what they were doing and it still took forever with all the backtracking. I think the portal idea would a great fix and still keep the great scenery intact.

  13. Chezza
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Not a fan of the maze-like structure of Sunken Temple. Hopefully, they’ll redesign it for Cataclysm. It’s one thing to have a long dungeon crawl like the old world instances had, but Sunken Temple is a confusing convoluted maze.

  14. Stupid Mage
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    They did the different wings thing properly in Zangarmarsh. Can you imagine if Slave Pens, Underbog, Steamvault, and Serpent Shrine were one instance?