I originally had a 500-word post written out that I found comfortably mediocre, but the forums ate it for dinner. Expect this one to be slightly more succinct.
Although I originally voted, "No!" I've come to realize that's essentially a vote to never hunt The Tower, Skull (without the overwhelming force of 8+ people), and Cr@usaar's. I'm not going to vote "Yes, make it 1 hour" to cancel it out, but I'm unofficially rescinding my earlier vote.
I want to be able to hunt the near-impossible dungeons and face down the threat of another horrible wipe. While I'm a stubborn man--I've had Gasby attempt the Tower on her own, and Nial actually does okay in Aborek--I recognize that the limited playerbase /is/ really hurting my ability to even explore some dungeons. If Nial sits in the entrance to Cr@usaar's, he'll die. And Skull is decent enough...until the multiple Poison Beasts and Gaper/Black 'Co combos on the other side of them.
What makes dungeons difficult is not the creatures in them (possible exception: Liches, MGs). What makes dungeons difficult is unexpected POPs, or a Wiz Para'd a Dragon at an inopportune moment and had to Invis., and whoops, said Dragon just ate two Clerics.
Several months ago...okay, almost a year ago, Ariki/Quiin proposed decreasing the spawn rates (i.e., "how many creatures POP at once"), but I don't think that's ever been the problem. Sure, when Nial has to run through three Gaper best friends and a Bone Mage out walking them, it gets a little sketchy. But most of Obie's playerbase can handle the numbers, if they have enough room to run around.
It's not the quantity of the POP, it's the frequency that wipes parties, from what I've seen. "How often you have to fight a Lich" is scarier to me than "It's Full Bleeding Moon, and there are two Liches." Most players are pros at kiting, nowadays.
I'm not saying we should leave the POP frequency permanently turned down to 3 (with it being at an 8 or 9 out of 10). I do seriously want to test having POP happen once every hour. It should still cause enough creatures to spawn that it hurts, but it shouldn't be enough to kill more than 1-2 players (out of a 4 or 5-PC party, I'm presuming).
I do wonder if it should be limited to the "unused dungeons," however. I mean, most people wouldn't set foot in Cr@usaar's with current spawn numbers and rates. If you lowered the spawn frequency to 1/12 as much, I'd be game to duo or trio it, at least up to the Stone Golems. Same with the Tower's upper levels. Same with Hell and Skull, usually.
This would be a great thing to consider for the inevitable 43.4 Update, as it could be very publicly announced which dungeons were "normal" (read: farmable) and which were "easymode" (read: less difficult mode).
At least one person has expressed concerns about unfair loot-gathering, and I'm sympathetic. What if the chest loot was--to borrow a word from a blue Cleric--"gutted" for the duration of the test? Yup, there'd still be Chests for Rogues to get LP/RT from, but the contents would be...deliberately underwhelming.
Basically, the more I think of this idea, the more I like it, but I'm more interested in a test for a few months than an immediate permanent change.