Friday, January 08, 2021

More Thoughts on Torghast

Today a couple of guildmates and I did Layer 8 of Torghast Skoldus Halls. Then, not knowing what we were getting into, we tried Layer 1 of Twisting Corridors. 18 floors is a lot of Torghast!

It was pretty fun, though. By the 18th floor I was doing almost 100k dps as Retribution. A buffed Wings, multiple charges of Hammer of Wrath, HoW extending Wings, HoW boosting Templar's Verdict, Forbearance buffing damage. It was pretty crazy.

It's interesting to look at how the community views Torghast versus what I think was Blizzard's original design intention. I think Blizzard wanted to make challenging solo content. The original complaint about Torghast was that the bosses were too difficult. That you'd spend a hour clearing to the boss, and then get nuked.

Blizzard responded by making the lower floors of Torghast more difficult. I believe this meant that Blizzard saw the difficulty of the end bosses as correct, and increased the difficulty of the lower floors to ramp up more smoothly to the end boss. That's the correct response for content which is meant to be a challenge. If someone is not yet ready, they should wash out earlier.

However, the community sees Torghast as a "Rextroy simulator". Rextroy is a content creator who finds crazy combinations of abilities, then makes a video one-shotting everyone in PvP, and Blizzard issues a hotfix.

Torghast is that for a normal player. They get crazy combinations of abilities and get to go hog-wild, while not really affecting anything of real importance. There's no gear, just Soul Ash, which is fairly easy to get. It's PvE, so you aren't even destroying other players. You can even do it in groups, so classes with less powerful combinations can still come along. Of course, it would be better for Blizzard to give them some interesting options too.

As a result, the players do not really want Torghast to be a true challenge. It's not really compatible with their Rextroy simulator.

To their credit, Blizzard backtracked quickly on their original goal, and made Torghast more in-line with what the community thinks it is. I imagine that when they expand on it in future patches, the emphasize will be put on new quirky and unusual combinations of abilities.

I don't think I'll ever do a huge amount of Torghast. But I think that doing one or two Layers a week is a fun change of pace, and is a great addition in Shadowlands.


  1. Torghast is a rogue-lite. The rewards are 100% gated around completing it, and there's no passive rewards (in Torghast, the Maw has some) that improve future runs, except experience.

    Plenty of examples of games that do this, but few of them require an hour to give you a fail state. Multiple times. This is dumb, and no other WoW system works this way.

    The mage tower and visions are decent comparisons. Visions had no real RNG, and provided rewards at multiple stages. Mage tower had a single reward, but the time investment was smaller.

    I do give credit to Blizz on making the pivot, and so quickly.

    1. Which is why Blizzard increased the difficulty of the lower floors. So you hit the fail state earlier.

      If you want content to be challenging, you have to fail at some point. Then you refine and improve your gameplay. Cruising through the first 5 floors and then faceplanting was bad. But the current design is not particularly challenging. Which is what the audience wants, but wasn't the original intent, in my view.

  2. I hate Torghast. Maybe it's because I started with a Fury Warrior first and I wanted to get my legendary, but I simply do not enjoy it. Not saying it's undoable but it was simply not fun and still mandatory content. I switched to Prot just for it and have been doing layer 4-5 each week until I had enough Soul Ash for my Rank 4 legendary and I won't enter again unless I need an offspec one or to progress the quest. And I think that's the main thing. If it was like Islands or pet battles I could simply say "not interested, have fun, I'm doing something else" - but if you want to progress the quests and/or get a legendary, you have to do it. For comparison I did it on my iLvl 171 Retri Pally this week and layer 1 and 2 practically flew by. So if this is your first experience you might not be annoyed right from the start.

    And yeah, the "trash too easy, boss too hard" was a problem, but I think I didn't even manage the layer 4 boss as Fury at the time (week 2), the variance between classes or even specs is just too high for it to be fun content for all. If that type of content is even fun to you in the first place, there's a reason I don't play roguelikes.

    1. Yeah, I have some of the same feeling on my Shadow Priest. I would recommend trying it in a group, or even just with a partner. Simply having another person there can compensate for your weaknesses and smooth out the gameplay considerably.

      Plus you can laugh at them when they fall off the chains.

  3. I like Torghast in small doses, but only as small group content. I was never interested in solo-raid challenges (like the mage-tower) in WoW, and wouldn't be interested in playing this solo either.

    Likewise I'm not interested in pushing higher levels, and the 18 level version can forget it. Normal mode on occasion to get some ash is fine with me...

    1. Twisting Corridors does take a fair bit of time, but it's pretty neat. You're stacking 3 normal Torghast layers worth of powers into one run, so by the end everything is crazy.

      I think it's worth trying once.