As time ticks down on my WoW subscription I agreed last night to play through the Fall of Theramore scenario. PVE scenarios are the latest addition to the game, coming as level 90 instanced content with Mists of Pandaria. The Fall of Theramore is level 85 downscaled preview of this system already in the game since patch 5.04.
Scenarios are dungeons without the need for trinity according to the marketing blurb. So three dps characters can battle their way through. In our case we had my boomkin, a shadow priest and a retri paladin. The general setup is just like a Cataclysm era dungeon, with automatic quest-like objectives spelling out what to do in what order (with mini-map symbols making it absolutely clear where to go as well).
There are named, tougher mobs to fight with dungeon boss style mechanics but without the hard-hitting attacks. General background healing abilities and self-heals like the paladin holy word are enough to keep your health topped up if you don’t over pull like crazy.
A couple of the general changes seem well geared to this as well, I now have a talent that allows me to cast some of the druid heal spells without losing moonkin form, this allowed me to top up the continuous passive heals from the shadow priest with my own heal-over-time spells. Also I can now finally ride my normal mount in boomkin form, this was a brief moment of joy for me as it was only possible in rare bugged instances (such as Halls of Origination with the ridable camels).
Despite some changes for the better I remain extremely unimpressed with the direction WoW is being developed. I fully admit my bias here, this is an impressions post not a balanced review. One of my friends thinks they’ll be a nice content addition, the other stated simply “what’s the difference between these and dungeons?”. I fall into the latter camp firmly, does WoW really need yet more instanced content that is laughably easy for well-geared characters?
<cue inevitable moan>
What I wanted scenarios to be, were dynamic scripted events in the open world. A way to bring people together and make the world live again, in that context I think the renewed focus on Horde vs Alliance could have worked quite nicely. Attack our villages and settlements, make us care about this endless war between the two factions. As it is scenarios represent nothing new, nothing particularly compelling.