The Fall of Theramore

I meant to write this yesterday but was too caught up with The Avengers. I really do seriously love that movie. Anyway, I’ve only done the scenario once from the Alliance perspective. I really should do it again but my pugging aversion has grown. So I’m using the excuse that it’ll still be available at 90 to avoid queuing for it.

This scenario is the first of it’s kind, the first example of a new feature to be released. It’s also doubling as the in game launch event for Mists of Pandaria, so a lot is riding on one little instance.

What worked
I love the story driven aspect of the scenario. It feels a lot more immersive than a dungeon even though you’re performing similar actions, with killing trash and then bosses. I’m a big fan of lore and this has more lore interwoven other than being somewhere, killing some baddies that most dungeons seem to be about on the surface. Of course if you dig deeper in dungeons as to the reason why the bosses are there, why you are there tacking them, there is lore to be had there too. Scenarios are different though and they offer a great vehicle for experimentation. As they are so story driven they could be used to show us so many fantastic lore events. I forsee some Caverns of Time scenarios, as they’d be missing a trick if they didn’t do that.

I like that it can be done with any sort of mixture of a group. Well, I assume a group with more than one healer would find it less engaging. You wouldn’t die but things would take a while to die. Running without a healer is definitely possible although with the recent buff, that I haven’t run with, it might be harder with pug groups. I went with what was essentially three dps and we didn’t have any trouble. However, if things hit harder those without self healing, or those not used to popping cooldowns, those used to depending on healers to save them, might find it hard. I ran as a retribution paladin and I could have soloed the place if that had been possible. With the new buff to everything that might be more of a challenge, everything died very quickly when we ran it.

The speed at which it was completed was nice. There are occasions where you don’t have a lot of time, there’s enough that you want to do something, but not enough that you can really do anything. If scenarios take 10-15 minutes to complete then that would be perfect for those slices of time. These aren’t intended to be very challenging. In my mind scenarios were added for the majority of the player base, and those who want challenge got challenge modes. Scenarios are what they are, they aren’t something else. So if you look at the difficulty and the speed of completion like that, then I rather like them.

What didn’t work
It was a completely rubbish launch event. An instanced scenario that will also be able to be repeated wasn’t enough. Yes you get the feat of strength and the tabard/mini mana bomb to say that you were there. However, it just wasn’t very epic. As a first taste of what the new feature – scenarios – are like it was good. As an introduction to the expansion it didn’t live up to any of it’s predecessors.

Yes if you look at the scenario it demonstrates that Garrosh is waging war against the Alliance. That the quasi-true peace that has existed between the two factions, as they dealt with larger threats, is no longer in play.

That just isn’t enough. From reading various reports there was a lot more in Tides of War, the novel that isn’t shown in game. Now obviously if everything that was in the novel was in the game, there would be no reason to buy the novel. There needed to be more of an explanation as to events. I’m trying to separate out what I saw with what I already knew. As it’s easier to understand when you have more context. From reading Q&A sessions with the developers they’ve admitted they made a mistake not providing more context in game. There should have been an opening quest chain like for the Zul dungeons. However, there wasn’t so what we have is what we have.

Looking at the scenario by itself it’s an interesting piece of content. I think scenarios will be a great addition to the game. This scenario is not just another scenario though and that’s where the mistake was made. The developers said that rather than spend time on a launch event they focused on the expansion. If we think about it logically then that’s a good move for them to make. However, we’re not logical and while a flashy intro doesn’t actually help us, we still want it and like it.

I’m also a little disappointed that you can’t solo them. You can access to solo pretty much everything else in the game. Due to mechanics soloing isn’t always possible of course but you can try. However, given how low their tuning is, and if they continue to drop gold/cloth etc. then they would be far too easily farmed. So I understand the decision even if I don’t like it. I know that this game is meant to be played with other people and I do like that most of the time. I guess I’m just sad that Proving Grounds didn’t make it into the expansion at launch, although from developers comments it does sound promising that they haven’t been dropped.

I am so excited for Mists of Pandaria. I was in the beta and I saw firsthand how gorgeous the new world is, and how there’s so much to discover there. There just feels like there is so much to Mists. Such an epic expansion deserved more than what it’s got. It deserved an epic introduction to match the awesomeness of the coming expansion. As a scenario I’d rate the Fall of Theramore as a strong opener, as a launch event it was a miserable excuse of one.