With the prepatch applied to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Blizzard has made some heavy alterations to the title. Leveling is one of the more affected mechanics of the game, with a leveling squish, heirloom overhaul, and more.
One of the more notable changes is the arrival of Chromie Time, a new leveling mechanic for players to choose where they level. Opting in, players can pick any of the game’s expansions to level 10-50.
Each zone has its own pros and cons, but many have been picking whichever is fastest – Warlords of Draenor being the fastest, with Legion not being far behind. There are a few consequences of this, though, such as longer dungeon queues.
But no matter which expansion you pick with Chromie Time, dungeons, in general, have gotten to be a bit more time-consuming. With the leveling changes and scaling mechanics, dungeons take longer to clear in general.
Much of this is because of the way leveling now scales. Any players in the same Chromie Time expansion are eligible to be queued together for a dungeon.
Players also are able to do dungeons with players in other Chromie Times, but if using the Dungeon Finder tool, they may have to wait a bit longer. After an extended time in queue, the Dungeon Finder will ask if players wish to expand to other expansions to help make the queue finish up.
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While scaling brings everyone into a similar range, there are a few things that the scaling can’t account for. For example, abilities still unlock at different points for classes, regardless of what expansion is picked.
This makes it so that a level 10 that just stepped into Chromie Time can step into a dungeon with, say, a level 48. The lower-leveled character will have very few abilities unlocked for their class.
Meanwhile, the higher-leveled character still has enough abilities unlocked to have a strong rotation, despite still missing several abilities. While players aren’t currently able to hit the level cap of 60 until Shadowlands releases fully, a level 50 still has the majority of their abilities.
This causes dungeons to be held back by healers, tanks, and DPS that are working with barely any abilities. Doing so drastically slows progression, making dungeons a much more lengthy process.
That isn’t to say that Chromie Time is terrible or dungeons have been ruined – they’re still quite doable if a bit slower. But whether it was an intended consequence or not, from queues to finishing a dungeon, Chromie Time has made the experience take significantly longer.