Let’s Do The Timewalk: Revisit Older Dungeons In WoW

Welcome back

Sounds pretty straightforward to me – I mean it’s just a jump to the left and then a step to the right, with your hands on you hi… oh. My bad. “Timewalk”. Blizzard want you to do a “Timewalk” in World of Warcraft [official site].

The WoW devs are setting up a couple of weekend events dedicated to letting players attack old-school dungeons. It looks like they’re tinkering with character scaling in order to make older dungeons for babby players relevant to the old guard:

“When you Timewalk these dungeons, you’ll find that your character’s power and gear has been scaled down to a fraction of what they normally are. For the first time in years, some dungeons you outgrew long ago will once more put your skills to the test.”

More specifically, your powers get adjusted to the level of the dungeon but you get to keep all your skills and talents. It’ll be available for characters level 71 and above for Burning Crusade content, 81 and above for Wrath of the Lich King.

But what goes down must come up (actually it mustn’t, that’s not how physics works – this is just me titting about with a popular saying just so I can use it as a segue in this article. It would probably have passed without comment if I hadn’t put this big long comment in myself). In addition to scaling you down so you can get a meaningful challenge as you play, the loot you’ll garner is scaled up to be appropriate for your actual level.

According to Blizzard: “We will also be testing additional rewards, such as a level 100 quest that rewards one Seal of Tempered Fate per weekend, so keep an eye on the in-game calendar.”

The dungeons will be trialed in the public test realm over the next few weeks – here’s the list:

  • The Arcatraz
  • Black Morass
  • Mana-Tombs
  • The Shattered Halls
  • The Slave Pens
  • Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom
  • Gundrak
  • Halls of Lightning
  • The Nexus
  • Utgarde Pinnacle


  1. Maxheadroom says:

    All those dungoens were ‘new’ around about the time i stopped playing.

    Did go back for a nostalgic trip through Karazhan a couple of years ago with a few old guildies.
    While it was fun to spend an hour in there 1 shotting the old bosses that used to give us so much trouble while reminiscing about the old times, you couldnt pay me to go back to the 6 hour / 2 night slog it used to be to get through that place.

    But then I dont think this update is aimed at former players like me anyway

    • ScubaMonster says:

      That’s why I never really could get into traditional raiding. I did it temporarily way back when, but the time commitment and having to sign up for raids in advance just killed it. Raid finder is nice, but it’s not a full raid or at normal difficulties. I hear they made raid finder raids even easier in WoD.

      • ScubaMonster says:

        Which I suppose a full raid is exactly what didn’t work for me so that’s kind of moot. It was just that the raids were too long. Raid finder gives you lower difficulties with weaker loot, but at least it’s divided up into digestible chunks.

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        phuzz says:

        I used to share a house with two people who were in a pretty hardcore raiding guild, and they’d have to be online at least three nights a week, and probably at least another couple of evenings as well to practise each new raid, because if you weren’t good enough, you might get dropped from the regular crew.
        I did point out that this seemed to be more of a pain in the arse than a real job, and they didn’t disagree…

        (both are doing well and haven’t mmo’d for a couple of years now, but remember kids, WoW is like crack, except with crack you still have your dignity)

      • Moraven says:

        I used to to hardcore raiding in vanilla and half of BC.

        Transitioned to 10man Kara, ZG. Wrath our group lasted till Ulduar. Still had a lot of fun doing a pick up group 1-2 nights a week. Cata was a server change and we lasted only a few months. LFR was new at the end and allowed you to see content but its easy.

        Panda was back on our old server and only got halfway into the first raid. Still lots of do and pick up if you really want to. There was always LFR.

        Warlords of Draenor I feel the boss progression is streamlined very well on normal for casuals to pick up and go. Flex is great. No longer are we confined to exactly 10 people. We usually start with 10-12 people and end up with 14-15 as people can not make it at the start.
        We only raid once a week for 3 hours. We have done all of Highmaul (with no Blackrock gear) and are 6/10 into Blackrock normal.

        The new Group Finder makes it very easy to get into a pick up group if you want to do more.

        It will be fun to redo these old dungeons. I hope they do some basic balancing to make them a little challenging. Shattered Halls was always a pain. You really needed all 5 people to perform and know what they were doing on Heroic SH.

  2. Auru says:

    On the surface, I think this is a great idea.. this game is 10+ years old now.. I think it makes perfect sense to bring back some of that old content for current players, hard to really say how to treat it since many games don’t go on this long with the kind of support WoW gets.

    What is not okay though is any kind of incentive to play these timewalking dungeons past pure nostalgia.. I know they said they are going to test other reward mechanics but gaining a seal of tempered fate is so completely uninspired as a reward.. ugh.

    One step forward one step back, Blizz all over.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Moreso, I’ve heard people suggest tis is but a way to rehash old content to draw out the time they have until the next content update. Especially considering they don’t allow people to access all old dungeons all the time (“Get in there now while it’s available, if you don’t you may have to wait a few months!”). Of course it’s still a nice thing to have in the game, regardless.

      • Auru says:

        I honestly think it’s fine to ‘rehash’ this old stuff.. this is YEARS old and it’s great stuff, in a game this old I think it makes good sense to get more use out of that older content.

        What you say about it being tied to weekends though, I completely agree with.. it makes little to no sense from a gamers PoV but what it does look like is them trying to string it out as long as possible.

        They should never get stuck in this mindset of trying to string content along for ages, they tell us they doubled the WoW team after they canned Titan but what have they shown for it? Sure WoD launched with some great stuff (fantastic raids tbh) but 6.1 has ended up being a joke filler…

        Feels like they have knocked WoW down their prio list pretty heavily.

  3. Rizlar says:

    No BRD? :'( To be honest none of those dungeons would have been my first choice to for resurrection but you could never even get groups to run BRD when it was new; confusing, amazing labyrinth that it was.

    Presumably they have picked some of the more straightforward ones to begin with. This is exactly what WoW should be doing though, making all the thousands of hours of content from it’s entire life cycle available to players. Perhaps once they finally stop updating it one day in the future we will be able to dip in and out of whatever vintage of WoW we desire.

    • Aquifel says:

      BRD was split into two dungeons way back, it makes it slightly less confusing but, its still kind of a mess when you get it in LFG. Well, it wasn’t really split, its just to complete the objectives and get your goody bag you only have to kill certain bosses. Describing it, it seems, has actually become more difficult.

    • skalpadda says:

      The last time I took a brief plunge back into WoW the most fun I had was running the entirety of BRD in a 3-man pug team of appropriate level. Took about an hour and a half (ages by modern MMO standards), but it actually feels like a proper place with teamwork required, we had time to chat and talk about routes through the place, there were choices to make and heck, even a few simple puzzles to solve.

      Actually enjoying the content as we ran it was fun every step of the way, and the fact that feels like a rare thing, I think says something about what WoW has become. It was such a far cry from the mentality that took hold from Wrath and beyond, where dungeons (and even raids) are just loot/token piñatas to be sped through as fast as possible.

      Sadly I had less luck trying to convince randoms to do a Dire Maul Tribute run.

  4. morbiusnl says:

    oooh Shattered Halls, was frigging HARD on release. I remember those multiple mob pulls at a time, cc was the only way to survive.

    • Moraven says:

      And a Paladin tank. AOE tanking was their time to shine in BC. Otherwise you still used Warriors exclusively.

      • Graerth says:

        Eh, I find “Exclusively” a bit too strict, there was a boss here and there where paladin was actually better option (telling your guild that “Oh, I’d want to MT this boss btw, really fits my kit” was another matter and challenge to some paladins though).
        Warrior off-spec dps was way better than paladin flailing with a spell power mace getting oom after 2 minutes too which was good reason for me to ask for the tank job sometimes (as i’d be glorified mana/healing fountain otherwise).

        Not to mention so many fights had adds and that it was just easier and better for everyone to have warrior on big guy and paladin on smaller ones.

        There was also no boss a warrior couldn’t tank (there was at least 1 practically impossible one for paladin and druid iirc) and they did have much better oh-shit buttons still during TBC (combine that with some itemization issues at least for paladins and warriors were the top dog for tanks in TBC).

        • Hebrind says:

          I was a paladin tank during TBC and I was never, ever a main tank in our raids because the spot was filled with either a druid or a warrior tank. They were the preferred choice, and who can blame them? The general idea behind a paladin tank was thusly:

          1) Throw holy frisbee
          2) Consecrate
          3) Pray to whatever gods you believed in
          4) Sprinkle with liberal doses of judgement every 8-10 seconds.

          Didn’t make for particularly engaging combat, in my opinion. I’m really glad they switched it up just before WotLK – I walked into Karazhan and Zul Aman after that pre-patch and pretty much said, “Don’t worry guys, I’ve got this!”

          Many undead were spanked that day, let me tell you, mainly with Holy Frying Pan (“Hammer of the Righteous”), which I so dubbed as when you used it, it went “wwhhhhhPANNGGGGGG”!

  5. King in Winter says:

    That’s interesting, it is the opposite of how Turbine chose to approach scaling in LotRO. They have the instances and loot scale instead (level setting defaulting to fellowship leader’s level) so once you get an instance open, it theoretically stays relevant to you forever. Well, that is, they turned some of the instances scalable so in older content there is now a major divide into scaling and unscaled instances.

  6. skalpadda says:

    Shame they went back and ruined so many of the old dungeons. I’d spend good money to go back and tourist for a week or two in some of the old content, but most of it doesn’t exist any more.

    I am entirely aware that much of my fondness for the WoW that was is entirely down to nostalgia, but I really do think they lost something over the years, as they made the mechanics too transparent, as every dungeon got boiled down to little 10-minute twitterised speed runs and the zones started leading you from quest to quest by the nose.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I do sincerely believe it’s a bit of both. When I think of leveling my first character in kalimdor and defending (well, trying to) Darkshore with a group of other low level characters, sneaking through the trees, shadowmelding, to the raids on Crossroads and capital cities, and roleplay. Long times in Alterac Valley, running Deadmines, Scarlet Monastery for the first time.. maybe it was the newness of it, but I don’t think that’s all that was. I do honestly think that the streamlined questing to aid in the ‘road to endgame’ diminished the game (for me). If you want to have the most fun with other players, you’d best be at or near max level and in appropriate zones for such if only because that’s where the most people are and most of the game world is a wasteland.

      In short, I think Blizzard’s mentality towards WoW has changed. And the way they treat old content and new content reflects that.

  7. malkav11 says:

    I dunno. I think a lot of this content is more fun -not- scaled, so you can come in and see the sights, perhaps with a few friends, but not have to deal with archaic design or spending ages repeating the same fights over and over.

  8. dolgion1 says:

    Ummm, isn’t this exactly what Guild Wars 2 offered from the start? It’s interesting that WoW is picking up some ideas from them.

    • Roxton says:

      Sort of; in GW2, all content, whether dungeons or open world, is scaled up to match your character level (but not your gear level), meaning that while the earlier zones/dungeons will get a bit easier as you level and presumably gain gear, they don’t ever become trivial in the way old areas can in WoW. The main difference here is that WoW is offering this as an optional extra rather than a mandatory default, so you can still go and faceroll old dungeons if you like. There are merits to both approaches. As has been pointed out here and elsewhere, WoW is now an old game with a huge amount of legacy content, and finding ways to reuse it (both thematically, as in the most recent expansion, and more prosaically with timewalking) is a very obvious idea which has been discussed by the community for many years now.

  9. 2Ben says:

    But it’s the pelvic thrust…