Yesterday, Sept. 17, the Fall of Theramore scenario was unlocked just after 6pm eastern time. A number of us quickly formed 3 man groups and entered the queue. Only to wait..and wait..and wait…my guess is there was some sort of gatekeeper at the entrance to the instance servers letting in a certain number at a time to prevent horrid crashes.
I wanted to give my impressions of this scenario and what I think we can anticipate from Scenarios when Mists of Pandaria arrives next week.
I have not yet read Tides of War, but I know enough of the plot to understand what is going on when one enters the Fall of Theramore scenario. There are elements of the scenario that make more sense if one has read Tides of War, and I think a number of players felt that the scenario itself felt disjointed, as there were no “in-game” elements leading to what one saw in the scenario to have the whole thing make sense. Given that, since this is MoP content, there may be something in-game that leads to the scenario when level 90 is reached, like a quest chain.
I experienced a variety of reactions to Fall of Theramore. The reactions ranged from “cool” or “neat” to “this is the most god awful thing ever fuck you Blizz you are terribad at everything DIAF.” Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but perhaps in sharing mine, folks can look at this scenario in a different light.
I am an optimist. I am the “glass is half full” guy. It’s who I am. Sue me. I viewed the elements of this scenario from the point of view of what I liked, not what I didn’t like. Sure, there were things in it that I thought could have been done better, but my lens was set to see what was cool about this thing. Try pleasing 20 people all at once. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Didn’t work did it? Now try pleasing millions of people all at once. I won’t wait this time because it cannot be done.
The only thing I didn’t like about Fall of Theramore was the common complaint about the lack of any story leading up to it, to have what you are doing there make sense outside of “kill the Horde!” or “kill the Alliance.” These are foundational elements of the game and go without saying :D So, having said it anyway, I would hope that when this becomes a level 90 Scenario, there will be that story. Given the Alliance vs. Horde element to MoP, I think there will be.
On with impressions and “likes”:
The Fall of Theramore scenario is something new to the game. Greater than a quest…less than a 5 man instance. It falls between. Thus, the mobs were easy to defeat. There is no danger so bad here that a healer is required. I believe this may get a bit tougher as a level 90 scenario, but Blizzard has said that Scenarios are not designed to have a “role” requirement. The damage was pretty light, and when folks did need healing, I provided. If there was no healer in your group, there was enough downtime between mob packs to sit and eat.
The artwork was great. The detail of the ships was one artistic element that really caught my eye. The ruins of Theramore, in the Alliance side of the scenario, were well done and quite detailed. The crater where this Focusing Iris/Doomsday weapon of the Horde was a jarring sight.
I did play the scenario on the Horde side as well. It was a different story to say the least: different time of day as well as goals. I did take a screenie from the Horde side. Again, artwork was awesome.
Another thing about doing the scenario as Horde, there is a movie at the end showing the dropping of the bomb. Cool movie bro.
Item artwork was nice as well. I got a cloak and a sword from my 3 runs of the scenario. There were complaints about how “plain” the items looked. I disagree. The gear is not glittery and/or fancy, I’ll give you that. The detail in the “plain-ness” of them is quite good, however. I also thought about items vs. location. This is not ultra-cool, wacko-high-tech Ulduar. This is Theramore. A little outpost in a swamp. The definition of “plain.” I do not know what the devs thought about when designing this loot, but I’d wager that in a simple frontier outpost you will find “plain” things. To me, this makes sense.
All in all…a good job. Remember folks, this is a scenario, not a global, earth-shattering event. This is a taste of what a scenario is as we move forward into MoP. Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love. I thought it was neat. Just that. Neat. A positive review from one little player. I look forward to what is yet to come…