Chromie Time, the new way to level in World of Warcraft, is making dungeon queue time frustratingly long. Players in Chromie Time have to wait 15 minutes for the queue to open up beyond the expansion they’re playing in, at which point the queue typically pops right away.
With patch 9.0.0, AKA the Shadowlands pre-expansion patch, Blizzard has completely reworked the leveling process. Instead of playing through each expansion sequentially on the slow march to level 120, players will not be able to select one of the 7 expansions to level up in as soon as they reach level 10 and finish the new starting area Exile’s Reach. This new system, called Chromie Time, allows players to experience all of the content from one specific expansion all the way from level 10 to level 50, the new level cap.
It’s a fantastic way to re-experience the stories and places from WoW’s past — or even experience them for the first time if you’re a newer player — but leveling this way does have one major downside: you can only queue for dungeons in the expansion you’ve chosen.
In Chromie Time, you can go anywhere in the world regardless of which expansion you choose and the enemies will scale to your level. The only thing you are restricted by with your choice is what dungeons you have access to. If you party with players that have chosen different expansions you’ll be able to queue with them, but the queue will still be restricted to the dungeons from a single expansion.
Naturally, the splits the matchmaking into 7 different queues of players. While many are returning to the game to experience the pre-expansion patch and level new alts, the population is still much lower than it will be after Shadowlands releases, and queue times are quite long. As a DPS player, you’ll likely be sitting in that queue for at least 15 minutes every single time.
After the 15 minutes, you’ll be asked if you’d like to open up the queue to other expansions. Anecdotally, I’ve gotten into a dungeon within a couple of minutes every single time after the queue opens up, and others seem to be having the same experience.
The total wait time after the queue opens up has been about 16-18 minutes, which is fairly in line with queue times pre-patch. It’s a player experience problem more than anything: if I feel like I’m not going to find a dungeon until the queue opens up to other expansions, it feels like those first 15 minutes of queue time are always an unnecessary waste of time.
Further, let’s say queue times for my expansion are 20 minutes on average, if the queue times for other expansion are significantly shorter, opening the queue to everyone will average the wait time out and bring significantly for me. Yes, the wait time would then increase for players queued in the fastest line, but wait times fluctuate constantly and this is just the more fair way to do it.
It doesn’t have to be one way or the other, either. All we need is an additional way to queue. When selecting a dungeon, if players could choose between queueing for the current expansion, queuing for all expansions, or queuing for a specific dungeon, the problem would be fixed. It ultimately may not change queue times dramatically for anyone, but it would prevent players from feeling like they’re waiting 15 minutes for no reason.
It’s not entirely clear why it’s the way that it is either. When you select an expansion to play you aren’t technically locked into playing just that expansion. If you choose to play through The Burning Crusade (which you really shouldn’t because it takes twice as long to level through TBC than it does to level through Warlords of Draenor) there’s nothing stopping you from taking a portal to Pandaria and playing through the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Why then are you locked into such a narrow dungeon queue?
It does seem related to the idea of time walking into the past to experience an earlier expansion. Sectioning out the queues to include current expansion plus previous expansions only would be really unfair to players in earlier expansions, so sectioning them out to just the current expansion seems like the next best solution.
Again, it comes down to a problem of perception more than some kind of actual bottle-necking, so I wouldn’t expect the queue system to change any time soon. It isn’t possible to predict or plan for which expansions have the best queue times, so you might as well just choose whichever expansion you actually want to play and deal with the long queues…or don’t play DPS.
Chromie Time has some interesting new details, so we put together a complete guide to the new way to level in World of Warcraft, which you can find here.
READ NEXT: World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands New Leveling Guide
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Eric Switzer is the Livestream News Editor for TheGamer as well as the lead for VR and Tech. He has written about comics and film for Bloody Disgusting and VFXwire. He is a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia and Vancouver Film School. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey…but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokémon is Umbreon.
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