World of Warcraft's latest expansion has been mostly a ton of fun, and in some ways, a return to form for Blizzard. However, there have been some notable growing pains with Torghast, one of Shadowlands' main selling points. Now that Twisting Corridors has opened, it's clear it suffers from the same flaws the rest of Torghast has struggled with.
If you've been keeping up with the Bolvar quest chain to rescue the four kidnapped heroes, then the Twisting Corridors opened for you this past week. The Twisting Corridors are different from the other wings in three main ways. The first is unlike the other wings, which are only available on a rotation; once you’ve unlocked the Twisting Corridors, they are always open. The upside of this is we'll have plenty of time to work through them, which is particularly lovely because layer progress from the other wings doesn't carry over. You'll start the Twisting Corridors at layer 1.
It's particularly good they are always available because unlike all the other wings, which have six floors per layer, the Twisting Corridors has 18 floors per layer. In fact, each layer of the Twisting Corridors is set-up exactly as if three other wings were compressed into one layer. The first two levels have mobs to go through and an elite at the end, then there is an intermission floor with a broker, two more floors with mobs and elites at the end, and a boss after that. Repeat that pattern three times, and you have one layer of the Twisting Corridors. When I ran it, each set of six floors seemed like they came from a different wing as well. I'm not sure if that is a pattern that will hold or not, but it's what I experienced this week.
The last way the Twisting Corridors are unlike the other wings is, players get nothing tied with power from them. In the other wings, the big draw is getting soul ash for making legendaries. However, the rewards for Twisting Corridors are all achievements and cosmetic/QoL rewards. For example, there are pets and toys which are rewards, and completing layer 8 rewards a mount that can be used in the Maw. That mount would be an excellent quality of life upgrade for non-druids since not being able to mount in the Maw has been a source of consternation among many players.
I was looking forward to Twisting Corridors, and I hoped, since none of the rewards are "necessary," it would be where the real challenge in Torghast comes in. I would have been fine with not completing the other wings at the highest layers too, but I understood why that might not have been acceptable for some players. After all, not completing layer eight every week would substantially slow down the players' rate of crafting legendaries. Since Twisting Corridors is cosmetic, not finishing it right away should be more palatable to players. Unfortunately, I found that the Corridors suffer from some of the same issues the rest of Torghast does.
The first and most obvious issue is the vast difference in difficulty between the various classes and specs. The fact this issue carried over isn't surprising, though since the corridors work precisely how the rest of Torghast does, however, it feels like an amplified issue because each layer is a much more significant time investment. There's also a lot of variabilities depending on luck with anima powers. Of course, since there are so many more floors, there's more chance to get the good ones, but sometimes getting certain powers early on, rather than later, makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, this is an issue that doesn't have a good simple solution, so it'll probably take a while to work out.
The bigger problem with Twisting Corridors is the return of the uneven difficulty within one layer. For example, I ran a layer with my boyfriend, who plays a Windwalker Monk. For floors 1-12, everything was effortless, and we were laughing the whole way. Then we got to floor 13, and things were suddenly much harder. Floors 1-6 seemed to be from Fractured Chambers, and 7-12 seemed to be from Coldheart Interstitia. Floors 13-18 were very clearly from Mort'regar and were very obviously more challenging. We were able to get through 13 and 14 with a couple of issues, but floors 16 & 17 just hammered us, and before we knew it, we had used up all of our lives. Before that point, we hadn't used any of them. It was pretty disheartening to fail so far in and after two hours of progress.
This was the exact issue the other wings suffered from at the beginning of the expansion. Unfortunately, in that case, Blizzard went the route of nerfing all of Torghast down. I hope they don't do the same thing with the Twisting Corridors. It's good that they have some difficulty and challenge to them. The problem is, it shouldn't take two hours of play to realize something might be too hard. Or at the very least that you might have to employ some actual tactics to progress.
Obviously, things should get a bit more difficult on each level to accommodate the growing power from accumulating the anima powers. It's also hard to accurately predict how much the difficulty should increase because that depends on which powers have been gained. But something should be done to even everything out a bit. If we had been working hard and struggling the whole way, I would have felt less disappointed at failing on floor 17. I also have a suspicion that if the last six layers had been anything other than Mort'reger, we'd have been fine.
I'm hoping they can employ a bit more of a scalpel when they get around to addressing this issue than they did with it came up previously. Challenge is good; we need to be able to adequately judge how difficult it will be from the beginning of a run rather than near the end. Anyway, that was my experience with Twisting Corridors this week, how was yours?