Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Theramore's Fall: Opinions and Review

I've read many reviews of the first scenario to be released, Theramore's Fall.  Most of the reviews are bad and a few here and there are good.  I did it on alliance side the second it was released but wanted to wait until I did it horde side as well before I made my decisions on how I felt about it.  There are a few different aspects of the new scenario I have opinions on and I will touch on them all.  I will also keep this as spoiler free as possible for those that have not done it yet but wish to do so.

Even if I did the horde one second that will be the one I address first because for anyone that has done both of them will know the horde one comes first anyway.

Scenario's, for anyone that does not know, are like group quests.  They are not meant to be challenging but just a little adventure that is better handled with a few adventures than on your own.


Horde Side: The horde version seemed rather short and did not really feel as if you were living out some part of a story as I believe it should have.  Simple stuff like do this a few times, kill a few of those, and rescue someone that leaves you wondering how they got caught to begin with as the people guarding them could not even fight their way out of a paper bag.

It did not seem overly difficult at all even with me on my horde hunter that I had not updated my bars yet and twice got caught wondering where the hell my spells where.  I was left looking around and clicking when I did find things because for some reason my keybinds were wiped out.  I moved a few abilities to the number binds and went with it that way sort of on the fly.

With my amazing ineptitude in being ready for it I did not do very well but was still way ahead of a blood elf paladin that was more interested in how good their armor looked on them than they were in killing the theramore guards.  Even with my ineptitude for the first third of it and the paladin doing less DPS than you would see in a wrath dungeon we finished it with very few issues.

I had to bandage a few times here and there as those guys still hit hard enough to let you know they are there but not so hard that you can not take a few shots here and there.  It was made better when I realized that my aspect was not on and put it on, the ironhawk's reduction of 15% damage did help.  Like I said, I had not been on this character since the changes.  So over all, even with bad damage dealers there, me only doing 15K, the paladin only doing 6K and a death knight that was doing 20K, we had few issues.

The horde side, as I said, seemed rather short and it ended with the horde rescuing their people and taking control of theramore and dropping the bomb.

Alliance Side: The alliance side starts exactly were the horde side left off, as the bomb drops.  Its your job to retake Theramore and chase out the horde left behind to destroy what the bomb did not and pillage whatever they could.  Simple enough and at least the first time I did this one it was with a guild group as opposed to with randoms.

After the first full pulls I noticed that this really is like a group quest.  As a hunter, with everything set up correctly on this one, I could have easily soloed this without even coming close to worrying about anything.  The elites could take a short time to down solo but they did not seem to really give me any issue.  Even more so when you consider that it was me with my main guild tank and the top DPS in the guild.

We blew through is as if we were killing mobs in northrend and not level 85s mixed with elites.  As well we should, being we are all over geared for the content.  The one main difference was, even if we were speed running it, the alliance side still took considerably longer than the horde side version.  So much so that I did not like it, I will explain more on that later.

We went around killing the horde left behind and finally chase them out and that is that.  Our little group quest known as a scenario is over.  I was left thinking, well, what now?

So now that I give my review of the two versions, hopefully without spoiling anything for anyone I will give my opinions.

Horde Side:  Seemed shorter in comparison, even with randoms.  Actually seemed closer to what I would expect of a group quest even if there was a lot of running around doing nothing involved and still too long.
Alliance Side:  Even speeding through it with over geared people it seemed to drag on way to long for what it was designed to be, a group quest.

Horde Side: Why are we attacking?  Not really clear.  At least we figure out we are here to rescue people, but why were they there?  Not really clear.
Alliance Side: At least alliance have a clear reason to be there, to force the enemy out.  Still did not know why they did what they did.
Overall:  Without actual quests, just objectives, it did not tell much of a story from either side and is just another step in the nameless faceless grind fest for valor that it will be.

Scenario Objective:
They are supposed to be quick, easy and accessible, let examine that.

As for accessible: Part of the reason for scenarios is to ease the wait time for DPS by offering something that three damage dealers could do on their own.  With 35 minute wait times (personally waited so I know it is actually 35 minutes) and others reporting over 1 hour in waiting time, accessible is not really a word I would use for them.  I've heard rumors that there is an error with the finder and I have to believe that is true, there is no way it takes that long to find three of anything and if for some reason it does than this is the biggest failure on the part of blizzard ever.  An hour to find three of anything = failure.  Heck, more than 3 minutes to find 3 of anything = failure.

As for easy: Lets forget for the moment that I said I could easily solo this as a hunter.  I am raid geared and the type of player that was soloing cataclysm heroics, or at least attempting to, from the moment I hit 85.  So what I say doesn't really mean anything when I say I could solo it.

Look at it from the standpoint of three random players, or better yet, three bad random players.  This is still way too hard for them.  I did one on my lock, which is by far the class I am worst on, with two others that were of the same ability, meaning bad, and we took forever to get it done and had to watch each and every pull.  I even died once.

While they are without a doubt easy in concept they are not as easy as they should be.  Kill 6 of these and one of those.  Destroy three of these and kill 20 of those.  They are still a handful for a lesser skilled group and they still need a tank.

Sorry, don't care what anyone says, they still need a tank.  In ran it, on both sides, in groups and in randoms, and the hardest time I ever had with it was in a group that I went into with three ranged classes.  We got it done, but it was not easy without a melee, preferably a tank, to keep them all in one nice little bundle to AoE them down.  So are they easy?  Nope, they will not be easy for the average player.  Not even in the slightest.

As for quick: I guess it all depends on your definition of quick.  Compared to a dungeon it is quick.  But when I think of quick this is not exactly what I had in mind.  I was thinking 5 minutes when I was thinking quick.  You will spend more than 5 minutes running around to cover all the ground you have to cover.  If you get a group that is lower in the DPS department it could actually start to take as long as a dungeon would.  These are anything but quick.  Using the word quick and scenario in the same sentence should not be allowed and should be a banable offense if you ever say them on the forums.  Again, your definition of quick might be different from mine but by my definition, quick is 5 minutes, and these are not quick at all.

Prelaunch Event:
This is not a prelaunch event.  Many of the complaints I see about the scenario is that it is the worst prelaunch event ever.  There is a reason for that and that is because it is not a prelaunch event.  It is a preview of what the scenarios will be like.

With that said, I think blizzard did a horrible disservice to the game by not having a prelaunch event.  They could have given us this preview and added a quest line leading up to this preview that told more of the story, the stuff that is in the book, and made a prelaunch event out of that which would lead up to this preview of scenarios.

If anything I think that a perfect prelaunch event would be that the newly phased destroyed Theramore would be an open world battleground that both horde and alliance could fight it out in.  All honor gained within the boundaries of the ruins of Theramore would also award a second type of credit that could then be used to buy memorabilia suitable for both sides.

That would have been a great way to introduce the concept that mists is all about war and it would tie into the preview of scenarios.  To keep it from being for max level only and people that want to PvP, as the open world battle ground would be, there would be war effort quests for lower levels and non PvPers that would earn those players the tokens that could be used to buy things as well.  Now that would have been a prelaunch even.   As it is, we had no prelaunch event and that feels kind of lacking in my opinion, from what we have come to expect.


Alliance Side: You get a tabard and are told to remember Theramore, it is a touching moment and a fitting tribute to remembrance even if the tabard itself is not the greatest idea.

Since the introduction of transmog people wear tabards that fit their clothing or don't wear one at all.  So having to wear a tabard to use the special ability and not having a way to hide the tabard like we do with helm and back is a bad decision, at least in my opinion.  They would have been much better served if the on use could be used without equiping the tabard.  But at least you can put it on, use it and take it off, so it is not all that bad, but could have been better.

Horde Side:  You get a mini mana bomb and a note that says the guy laughs every time he thinks about it. Now we are really touching a point here were I can see people having problems with this whole thing and blizzard in general.

If the note said something along the lines of the mini mana bomb was in remembrance of their swift and sure victory over the military forces of threamore it would have been fine.  Saying you laugh each time thinking about the wholesale slaughter of thousands of innocent people is another thing all together.

As someone that lives and works in new york and was at work watching the towers get hit and come down from outside of my job, just a little bit away, close enough that I could taste the dust, thinking that someone would say they should laugh at remembering the slaughter of thousands of innocents just hits me as completely wrong.

Even if these are pixels in a game, NPCs as it would be, and the thousands were never seen, just known to live there in lore, it is still wrong on every single level of wrong to laugh at that and I think blizzard was wrong for including that line there.  Should have said it like I suggested and left out the laughing over the slaughter of thousands of innocents.  Whoever wrote that flavor text for the mail should be fired and whoever approved it for release should be fired.

Mind you, I am an insensitive jerk for the most part.  I don't care about anything, and it even bugged me.  Not much, but enough to think that the people who wrote that are dicks, but I can surely see how this can really be a huge turn off to many people that play the game and if they ever wanted to make a stink over it and demand those people get fired, I would gladly sign on the dotted line and support them in getting those people removed from the writing staff and fired.

Both Sides: You get fireworks. Okay for the horde but what the hell were they thinking about giving fireworks to the alliance.  What are they celebrating, the death and destruction of their own people, many of them innocent?  Woohoo, all our friends and family just died, let us celebrate with fireworks.  Blizzard needs to get a clue sometimes.  That was a stupid thing to give the losing team.

End Note:

If this is what scenarios are really like color me unimpressed.  To long, to boring, and still to hard for the masses.

Tips and Tricks:

If you are like me and can solo these and also have two extra accounts laying around have I got a trick for you on earning valor a little faster.

Have yourself group with your two other accounts and queue up for one and solo it.  Earn three times the valor at one time.  Unlike dungeons, which need 5 and are harder to solo, you can easily solo cap your valor on these for three characters at once.


  1. I think they were just trying to portray how evil is seeping into the Horde and they are becoming as bad as when they were in the first war. Evil elements such as the Blackrock Clan ideals and the old horde ideals are becoming prevalent.

    Don't know why you're so sensitive all of a sudden. Remember what it means when you fire people. You are depriving people of their livelihoods. I don't see how that is so offensive that it is a firing offence (they didn't fire anyone for the torture quest).

    1. I am not sensitive even in the slightest. Hence the reason I said something about it. If it is something that popped into my mind and I am the type that really doesn't give a crap, I can see how it could offend many people.

      From a business standpoint, and that is exactly what this is, if you make my company look bad you will be collecting unemployment. Simple as that. How I would feel about it means nothing. This is how business works. Nothing personal.

      PS: Like I said, if the mail said "we beat the military" it would be fine as is. It is the saying "laugh when I think about it" that would offended people, because that turns it from being a fight with willing participants, to being a slaughter of innocents.

      This issues is with that mail. Laughing at the death of innocent people. That is a whole world away from torturing an enemy combatant, which is what you referred to. In that case, who cares, you are the enemy, be happy you were not killed. Huge difference.

    2. (I haven't read the mail so I am assuming that the one saying it is the sender of the mail who also gives you a mana bomb.)

      Does that mean they can never turn Horde remotely evil? They can't have evil characters in the horde doing evil things and gloating about it? Then how are they supposed to do the Garrosh becomes evil storyline? Shouldn't Garrosh be gloating how they killed all the humans in a genocidal fashion and then it rubs off on his subordinates?

      When you say offend people, are you talking about in general or in context of WOW? Because if it's in general, then that means Warhammer Online should be banned.

    3. I think they should be shown as evil. I believe it could have been done in a better way as well.

      Even if he said, I don't care if thousands of innocents died, we won and that is all that matters, I have no issues with it. Innocents die all the time in war. Collateral damage and all.

      I just think the laughing line took it a little to far.

      Yes, it was the person sending the mail and giving you the bomb. Perhaps you can chalk it up to one sicko out there in a world filled with them, but like I said, if someone was offended by it I can understand them being so.

      We all have lines we draw in the sand on what we believe is acceptable and I can completely understand the people that would be offended by it. And where my line is would mean I would support them.

      I've never play WO so I can not comment on that as I have no knowledge of it.

      Over the years I have heard a lot of people be offended by a lot of things on the forums. 99.9% of the time I chalk it up to someone being too sensitive but if it bothers them, they have all right to speak up. I think this is the first time if someone complained I would agree with them.

    4. I guess we'll just have to agree to being offended by different things. Sort of like how polarizing the dickwolves thing was (though "team rape" should go die).

      Probably won't be blow up because the quest was unskippable while most people don't read mail text.

    5. I'd chalk this one up to me because of the close to home nature of it. Thousands of innocents dying because of some idiots.

      Like I said, we all have our own opinions on things, that is what makes the world great sometimes. Could you imagine how boring life would be if everyone believed the same thing about everything?

  2. I was going to say "too hard? you must be joking." in response to "still too hard for the masses." and then I actually thought about it.

    I've only done the Alliance side, and only that once, and that was with a guild group. The other two were on alts, a frost dk and a prot warrior, both of which can get into DS but I'm not sure have even done a normal clear. I was in my ret spec on my paladin, by far the worst gear I have on that. Until recently it was my off-off-spec so I'm sure you can imagine the mismatched gear. If people looked at my equipped ilevel instead of my general one I wouldn't get into DS on it. As an aside why do people always just judge on ilevel? I've known people with 400+ ilevels do 20k dps. On my kitty druid I have barely 380 and with a wing and a prayer I've topped 40k. These two alts are played by smart people so I guess the ilevel really is kinda irrelevant. They know what they're about even if their skills on the alts is nothing like what they can command on their mans. The dk on his resto druid is something to behold.

    Anyway, we found it a complete breeze. The prot warrior didn't have threat 90% of the time as the dk commanded it all, unless I got there first in which case the mobs were mine. I don't know what they were doing wrong but they haven't played it since the patch. The dk's health dipped down to about 50% a couple of times and so I healed him up with a WoG, sacrificed a bit of dps so it meant I didn't top the meter, but that was ok. I had zero health issues the whole way round, not even when I got bored and pulled a pack of about 10 mobs. I keep Sacred Shield up at all times, that and the occasional WoG and I was fine. I was kinda disappointed that no other defensive cds were required, my major and mini bubble didn't get any love. If I popped any dps cooldowns I then wondered why. The elite 'bosses' went down so quickly my cds were still active after they were dead.

    So yeah to me it was laughable but then I thought about those 50% health dips on the dk. If that happens to a skilled player, albeit not a skilled dk, then what would happen with regular players? I healed him up but would other players notice? Would other players use their resources to do that? That sounds like I'm bragging and I'm not. I made mistakes like I fell in the water going on a boat. The other two took that boat on alone but would two pug players have been able to do so?

    As a launch event it was useless. It showed an example of a new feature, and I suppose showed that the war is escalating between Alliance and Horde. For what, in my opinion, looks to be an epic expansion it really deserved more.

    TLDR: I agree even if my initial reaction was to disagree.

    1. I know what you mean. A hunter in my guild did BH yesterday and said there was another hunter there in similar gear, he just had one heroic piece different and he did 48K while the other hunter did 17K. Proof gear means nothing if the person using the gear doesn't know how to play. I still wonder how these people get that gear.

      Seems like you got exactly what I was trying to aim for when I said it was still too hard. A skilled, even slightly skilled, player would know to use cooldowns, self heals, or whatever, but what pug have you ever been in where you would see people that would notice that? Unless they play a healer I would guess no one even notices another persons health.

      Even skilled players, if they never played a healer, might never look at another persons health. And then to sacrifice their epeen DPS to save them? Out of the question, do not even think about that.

      Yeap, for random people, in 353 gear, I could see this being a long instance, that is for sure. Doable? Yes. Easy? Not even close.

    2. "As an aside why do people always just judge on ilevel? "

      Because the game teaches them to.

      During Wrath for example, the 'GearScore' addon was infamous and kept actually-good people from Raiding (most notably returning Vanilla-TBC Raiders), yet Blizz implmented the iLevel checks into the queuing system.

      Similarly, 'Link Achievement' led to the same kind of issues during Wrath and Cata, and, instead of trying to squash it, the Devs legitimized this behaviour also by implementing the Accountwide Achievements system.

      Wether either implementation was really warranted, esp. considering the % affected by the original issues and the effect esp. the Accountwide system has on other, at least as valid playstyles, is another discussion that would go too far here.

    3. While I hate the item level and achievement spammers I can understand them to some extent.

      Being there is no way to judge skill and a skilled player will usually do better than an unskilled player with better gear or the achievement, that gear and achievement system is all we have to judge people we do not know.

      What is really sad is that the game reenforces it and makes it seem as if it were really important when it is not.

      How many people have you seen in random dungeons that are in all 397 gear and can still not pull the DPS we were pulling the day we hit 85 in 329 quest greens? It is insane.

      Yet looking at it, they would seem better than those old versions of ourselves, because they have a higher item level.

      Until there is some way to judge skill, and there never will be, numbers are what people will always be hung up on.

      With that said, it is the person assembling the group that has to know the difference between the item level and achievement people and the solid players. If I was assembling a pug for DS and got these two whispers, guess which one I would take.

      #1 - [link heroic kill] 409 ilvl
      #2 - 385 item level, know all fights.

      I would take #2 in a heartbeat over the person that just linked the achievement and thinks that his item level speaks for itself.

      I have keywords I look for. If you say know all fights you are immediately put to the top of my list. Even if you have never done them, the fact you know them I like. You even gain more points with me if you say you have never done it but know it. Anyone that starts off with an achievement or item level only would be put on the bottom of my list.

  3. One observation to throw out there...

    It appeared to me there were two reasons that could have invoked the queue wait time. The first was that casual players didn't have a clue that there was a scenario to do. They don't look at welcome text and don't go to the website. So, they logged in and did their routine. In my guild it was known only after a concentrated effort to talk about it and explain where to find it, what it was, etc...

    The second thing that happened was "Meh..."

    The overwhelming majority of our guild members either had nothing to say about it, or said it wasn't anything to talk about. They didn't re-queue. So, after 8pm EST there weren't many takers.

    1. Both are suite possible. I would go with a fair deal of players not even noticing it was there as a major part.

      I think it might also have to do with the random finder system not working that well just yet. Just seems odd that not even three people over all the US servers queued up within a 35 minute span.

      I heard another interesting idea someone mentioned. Perhaps they were still trying to build groups on a make up of some sort and the new system got bogged down trying to assemble 3 man groups when it was not ready for it.

  4. I have ran the Theramore scenario five times total. I am a DS geared Discipline priest; Thrice I was in a guild group; with a hunter and warlock, another time with a hunter and mage, and again with a priest and mage; none of whom were raid geared.

    The other two times I PUG'd it, and never bothered to look at their gear.

    I don't think it's hard at all, even for quest geared folks but only as long as they know their abilities, use cooldowns and take it slowly.

    All in all, I'd give it a B+ (Alliance side) because I enjoyed it. I do feel that some introductory quests should have been added since there were a lot of people in trade who seemed to have no clue what it was all about or what it was happening in the first place.

    1. You did point out an important thing, "as long as they know their abilities, use cooldowns and take it slowly" Most pugs, I mean pure pugs, the type of people that don't know stuff, those people this would not be as easy as it was for us.

      I would be willing to bet everything I can in game that it will only be a matter of time that people are crying it is too hard and it will be with good reason, for bad players it is too hard.

  5. I did the Alliance version last night. The queue said like 20 minute wait. I was like "wtf!" but I think I only waited 3-5 minutes. Got grouped with a rogue and lock.

    I pet tanked it with a ferocity pet. It wasn't a problem for me being I am ilvl 404. Just kept using AoE and all my offensive CDs. I never bandaged or healed myself. I did throw out some mend pets but not a whole lot. The Rogue sapped some mobs but I just broke his CC. I think he was just messing around anyway since his CCs weren't very strategic.

    The rogue and lock both died during the fight with the siege engine and I really have no idea how they managed to die; my pet kept aggro. They must have stood in the big red circle that the game kept saying to get out of...

    Anyway, it was ok and it wasn't too long for an overgeared hunter, but I didn't like how there's no explanation for why the horde bombed Theramore.

    We really needed a true pre-launch event to explain what is going on.

    1. They did not move from the circle on the ground. That is how they died and things like that are the reason that I say or pug people it is still too hard. If you were not there and another one of "them" were there that would have been a wipe. As hard as that is to believe. lol

      I really think it would have been nice if they added more info on it instead of just leaving it to the book. What about all the people that don't want to read the book?