Grimrail Depot and Motion Sickness

So, I was asked to make a thread about this to help bring some more light to the issue outside of my replies to other threads and other people’s comments on social media. With Grimrail Depot most likely being one of the two dungeons being returned for Shadowlands Season 4, this issue needs to be brought up again, especially with Blizzard having employees specifically to address accessibility concerns now.

For those who weren’t around in WoD, one of the major complaints other than cut content or flying back then was that people got horrible motion sickness in Grimrail Depot. I’m one of them.

Unlike most motion sickness in game, which can be helped immensely with the accessibility options that were recentlyish added to disable camera shaking and such, it does no such thing in Grimrail, as most people (most, not all) have a reaction to the moving background. And unlike the only other (I believe?) encounter with a constantly moving background (Spine of Deathwing), this can’t be alleviated by simply moving the camera, as there’s mechanics that require seeing the entire arena.

This motion sickness can be bad - I’ve had to do Grimrail 4 times this week for Timewalking. I could not simply leave because you get a 30 minute debuff if you do. All but one of those times, I ended up in bed for hours afterwards feeling like I’m going to throw up, to be blunt. The other time was with my guild, and they were understanding that I needed to focus on not the background, so I was less useful than I could have been, but I was able to get through it.


What could be done, you ask?

As documented in this article 3 years ago, the train isn’t actually moving at all. The background is the thing moving. (This is actually a really fascinating article and I recommend anyone who’s ever been curious about Grimrail read it. I read it back when it was posted)

So this brings me two ideas that I think would be relatively simple:

  1. Add an NPC at the start of Grimrail that offers the option to witness the train in a static environment. As I believe this would likely be a group-wide thing, having the leader do it would make the most sense, and people could actively avoid joining groups unwilling to do this. Simply put, it would be Grimrail, but it’d be like the train was stopped. Though this may be an issue in random dungeon queues in Chromie Time and Timewalking if it relies on the leader.
  2. Add an NPC at the start of Grimrail that causes a mist/shadows/etc. to envelope the train (something that could be per-person as we’ve seen in the past, not necessary to alter the party like #1) that simply obscures the background to the point you see black/white/grey, instead of the actual background.

There are possibly other solutions as well, but those are the two I can think of off the top of my head. Thoughts are appreciated.

And since I know someone in General Discussion will tag me and ask: “But Mai - you don’t do M+, why do you care?” - I’m not the only one with this issue, and I’ve been slowly trying to break out of my comfort zone and deal with my anxiety and go into +2s. I may go further later on. I don’t know yet. But I do know if Grimrail goes live like this, I won’t be able to.

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I can vouch for this, a friend had a similarly bad time back when we did Grimrail back in WoD. With the likeliness of this being brought back it’d be very good to give that another look.

The moving terrain is made out of serverside objects (#1, #2, #3, maybe more) so adding an NPC that can despawn those objects and maybe spawn some objects with a misty look to them as OP mentioned in there instead shouldn’t be too difficult?

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Greetings!

Thank you for taking the time to share this feedback. Motion sickness was a concern when we first talked about the possibility of Grimrail becoming a Mythic+ dungeon. Fortunately, one of our designers came up with a clever solution which he was happy to share in the video below:

As mentioned in the video this is currently a one-off solution for places we’ve identified motion sickness as a concern due to background motion, but we hope it’s helpful for those affected and we’ll keep an eye out for any other places where it might be applicable.

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This is a fantastic compromise as well as a great insight to other places that may have similar experiences. Doesn’t change the dungeon for everyone else, but has a great fix for those who may have issues with motion sickness. Well done!

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Great change!!! More accessibility is always a plus.

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This is an excellent solution! Thanks, Ken!

Can we buy an elixir for those peons too? They don’t seem to be having a good time.

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Thank you :heart: I’ll have to check it out on the PTR when I have time. Looks good though. I didn’t even realize Maw of Souls had a moving background. But I guess that’s cause I play zoomed in rather close lol.

Fantastic change! I don’t get motion sickness myself, but I love how seriously Blizzard is taking accessibility these days.

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One other dungeon that I can think of at the top of my head that may need a look at is Return to Karazhan and the falling down right after Shade of Medivh. Not as severe as Maw and Grim, but I can see it possibly being an issue, especially for those who suffer from flashing lights.

I’ve clipped this link from a review from a while back for reference.

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this is insane good changes really looking forward to more

Ooo! VERY cool. Elegant solution! Those are hard to do!