bump... looking for more input
Well, I'll give you another bump and a little feedback.
As someone who just killed a WLD campaign I was playing in (details here
), these are my thoughts.
(1) There is a lot of repetition. Some of the levels do the same thing over and over.
(2) There is a lot of inconsistency. That's going to happen when different people write various sections of a large project.
(3) There is a lot of wonkiness. And by that, I mean things like creatures in rooms who can't use their full abilities (e.g., the 40' creature in the 30x30 room syndrome; yes that's an exaggeration--don't take it literally).
We quit playing last Monday. This weekend, I got the book from my DM (I had paid for it) and we went through parts of it together. I saw some great encounters that would be challenging & interesting (for role-playing and for combat). But I also saw a lot of encounters that wouldn't challenge (or interest) a decent party of the level the WLD says they should be for that section of the dungeon. When almost every room has "hostile" inhabitants, you're going to end up in combat 90% of the time.
If every combat really challenged the party, they'd be dead soon (since there's not always a "safe" room nearby). The covers of the seven Hacklopedia of Beasts
come to mind--one by one, the PCs die (see attachments below). OK, so some combat encounters won't be at the "appropriate level" for the party. OK--but then why are they always "hostile" which (by nature) almost has to denigrate into combat? So, then we'll have to really underpower the opponents. Great--in a section for PCs level 16-18, they'll have an encounter that's ECL 10. Then, the DM has two choices: (1) run a lot of tedious combats, or (2) "hand wave" the tedious combats--which is just as silly.
I actually think that a lot of the problems with WLD are due to the fact that it went into production so quickly--and it shows. What was it--8 months from idea to publication? That's fast. Too fast, actually, for a product this large.
Now. Having said all that.
We had a blast (80% of the time). If I had everything to do over again, I would. It was money well spent when you play 15-20 sessions with a $70 product (about what I paid at amazon.com). And some of our sessions were long (6-8 hours).
I think the main plot behind WLD is great. And the encounters that related to that plot were the most fun to play. Even if they were only slightly related--like trying to ally with creatures in the first region, just to find a way out!
As I flipped through the book with my DM yesterday, we found an encounter with a red dragon. I actually asked him if we could just level to the "minimum" level for that section of the dungeon (we were 9th level and I think that was in the 18-20 level) and run that one encounter just for fun. He said sure. We both liked that encounter, but didn't want to wade through 20 other "lame" encounters to get there.