Well, that was awful. Happy as I was to get my mage a new weapon (that’s right, first time, hehe) I was pretty disappointed in Blizzard’s first live scenario. Some people have pointed out the lack of compelling gameplay and storytelling, and they are both right. It was a boring and irrelevant stompfest that added nothing to the lore of World of Warcraft that we didn’t already know. In addition, simply logging in and standing in Stormwind did not alert you to the fact that anything had happened at all. Pretty disappointing.
In terms of storytelling my problem is not that we weren’t there to try and save Theramore and failed. That would have made no sense. Based on my understanding of the situation, the bomb caught Theramore off-guard, and having heroes hanging out in Theramore because that is just what max level characters do doesn’t really fit. But there are no pockets of resistance to come to the aid of, only Jaina Proudmoore standing in the middle of the crater. Here is my recollection of how it went.
“Look what the Horde did! Those bastards! Let’s kill them!”
“Hold on Jaina, just let me find my [insert AoE ability here] button. Got it.”
“Yeah. These guys are like Naxxramas level trash. Total roflstomp. Kinda surprised you couldn’t take them yourself, you trashed Orgrimmar not too long ago.”
“My bad. Kinda distracted with the whole bomb thing, the decimation of my city, the blatant murder, etc.”
“No worries. Totally understandable.”
The Fall of Theramore was pretty terrible, but I’ve heard very good things about the Mists of Pandaria scenarios, so I’m not worried in the slightest, just disappointed.
I think Blizzard made two mistakes with this scenario. The first, is that it’s available way too close to the launch of MoP. It makes sense to put a little less effort into something that people will only do for a week or so (I really can’t imagine running it at 90 unless I really need the loot), but it makes more sense to release this scenario 3-4 weeks before an expansion so that the content is accessible for longer. You could then justify diverting more resources to it.
The second is the gameplay. The Horde has dropped a bomb on Theramore. They have occupied the ruins. HOW ARE WE NOT PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS. One ship shows up to Theramore?! One!! There should be a tug-of-war situation here. Alliance soldiers streaming off of ships engaging Horde soldiers with us, Alliance Heroes, aiding them and pushing the Horde back, engaging Horde captains as they rally their troops. You could even have a Alliance/Horde meter on the screen, showing when you have broken the Horde and pushed them back from Theramore, culminating with a final engagement at the crater with Jaina. Instead Varian Wrynn sends 3 Heroes on one ship to fix the problem.
I love Blizzard products. I don’t agree with them blindly, but I pretty much love everything they make. However, this scenario is terrible. It is WAY below the standards Blizzard sets for themselves. I’m not sure what kind of resources it would take, but the Fall of Theramore is worthless as a lore device or entertainment, and could be vastly improved. I really wish they would shut it down and improve it, because if it was more entertaining, I would absolutely do it when I reach max level in Mists of Pandaria.