World of Warcraft has always appeared to the naked eye as a “busy” game. If you’ve never played it, certain UIs will look unintelligible with masses of buttons, meters, and warnings all playing a role in the minute-to-minute gameplay experience.
WoW players are infamous for having some of the most cluttered UIs in all of gaming, but if you asked any of them to navigate their way through their custom HUD, they could explain every nuanced detail—as well as justify their necessities.
It’s only when their screens get filled with outside sources that WoW players start to feel uncomfortable. And in WoW Dragonflight, one source of visual pain has remained constant in almost all of the game’s Mythic+ dungeons: trees.
Many of Dragonflight’s Mythic+ dungeons take place in tight spaces, forcing players to get in closer to their characters—and there has been no greater contributor to visual clutter than trees. In almost every outdoor dungeon present in the first Mythic+ season of WoW Dragonflight, there is at least one particular sightline that’s obscured by leaves or branches. To make matters worse, these tree-infested sightlines manually obscure the vision of your character to a point where you’ll need to either adjust your camera angle with your mouse or completely zoom in to avoid the trees—two actions that could divert your focus away from dungeon mechanics.
Whether it’s the Court of Stars, Temple of the Jade Serpent, or the Ruby Life Pools, there’s almost always guaranteed to be at least one tree in your sightline during the course of a Mythic+ run.
Notable exceptions to this rule include the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds, which takes place entirely underground, and the Nokhud Offensive, which is staged across the open fields of the Ohn’ahran Plains. Still, in dungeons where trees are present, it’s almost guaranteed you’re going to get stuck looking at a branch instead of the action.
The worst offenders
The most glaring case of trees taking up space in your field of view during a Mythic+ run can be found in the Ruby Life Pools, just after the first boss of the dungeon, Melidrusa Chillworn. The gauntlet of Blazebound Elementals that must be defeated before taking on Kokia Blazehoof is relatively overgrown with trees, often causing you to readjust your FoV while trying to juggle mechanics. While the foliage of the Ruby Life Pools is negligible when you’re questing through the area during the Dragonflight campaign, it becomes a real visual pain when you’re trying to time a Mythic+ key in the area, especially during Fortified weeks.
Another brutally overgrown section of a particular Mythic+ dungeon is the Terrace of Twin Dragons in the Temple of the Jade Serpent. It’s in this area that players encounter the dungeon’s third boss, Liu Flameheart. Not only does the entrance to the area contain an overhanging tree that obscures vision of a tight corridor, but the entire area is surrounded by trees that can oftentimes be visible through a small slot in the upper section of the wall that surrounds the boss room. This menial break in an otherwise impervious wall will sometimes cause ranged DPS players to get a front-row seat to a faceful of green leaves.
How to have fewer trees in your line of sight
Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to get around the presence of trees in your dungeon runs barring a landscaping job by Blizzard. In the short term, your best option is to preemptively zoom in on your character when you know you’re approaching a visually dense area. Doing a slight zoom could curb the trees to a certain extent, especially during downtime when you’re not focused on combat.
You could also keep your camera angle positioned lower than usual; you’ll want your camera positioned over your character’s shoulders rather than an angled bird’s eye view. But this might be uncomfortable for some players as it forces them to change the way they view what’s going on, potentially making you play out of your element.
Your best bet would be to turn the camera slightly or position your character differently in an encounter so that their backs aren’t squared up to an intrusive tree branch.
Will this be an issue in season two?
While season one of Dragonflight features dungeons that primarily take place outside and are subject to sprouting trees, season two’s dungeon pool likely won’t have the same issue. With eight new dungeons introduced into the mix, season two will leave behind outdoor areas and bring us almost entirely into caves and underground complexes. Of the eight dungeons to be featured next season, five of them (Neltharus, Underrot, Halls of Infusion, Neltharion’s Lair, and Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr) take place indoors, while the other three (Freehold, Brackenhide Hollow, and the Vortex Pinnacle) are largely void of trees.
While there’s still room for potential visual clutter in any dungeon, the unique problem caused by a surplus of trees in season one will likely fall to the wayside when Dragonflight season two launches on May 9.