I'm hugely disappointed with this Scenario. I haven't been this disappointed with the game since I found out no Spirit cloth would be dropping in Firelands, and I was rather apathetic about my guild's lack of progression for that raid tier because of it. Theramore's Fall absolutely fails as a pre-launch event. It fails to be engaging, it fails to be relevant, and it fails thematically.The Burning Crusade
had a rough pre-launch event. It was the first pre-launch event, so it was a bit rough. But it gave players something to do. It included demons, which are arguably a huge part of the Burning Legion. And the Dark Portal was reopened! Demons came forth! The high-level demon (Kazzak, I think?) wandered Azeroth and posed something of a threat to capital cities and other zones. It had relevance to the expansion and it worked thematically: invaders from The Unknown, beyond the Dark Portal—and that's exactly what TBC was all about. We were exploring the unknown. At the same time, to the denizens of Draenor (or what was left of it), we were invaders from beyond the Dark Portal.Wrath of the Lich King
had the best pre-launch event. (This is not just my opinion, but an indisputable fact, because there's no logical fallacy here.) We see the return of the necropolises (necropoli?) from the Naxxramas event. Oh hey, Naxxramas returned in WotLK. This made sense. Then there was the zombie plague, and we saw the introduction of Grand Apothecary Putress, who had nothing
to do with the expansion, let alone the biggest in-game event which started in Dragonblight. Nope, Putress was completely irrelevant. (THIS IS SARCASM.) The zombie plague brought the Horde and the Alliance together over a common threat; we were literally brought together because we could communicate cross-faction with the zombie language, and we sort of united against the Lich King in Northrend (who deals heavily in, uh... textiles, I guess?) There were the attacks against Stormwind and Orgrimmar. To cap it all off, Garrosh and Thrall butted heads over leadership in the Org arena. It was almost as if Thrall was going to be preparing Garrosh to take over as Warchief throughout the expansion. Oh hey, Ulduar trailer, I didn't see you there standing next to Argent Tournament vignettes.
's pre-launch event had relevance. The Twilight's Hammer cult recruiting new members. Elementals invading and having to defend our cities. Our leaders tried to understand the coming threat by investigating it, instead of simply wiping it out. We see Thrall step down as warchief and the introduction of Aggra. Except for the water boss, we went to a location relevant to each elemental domain: Ahn'Qiraj for air, AND HEY LOOK THE ONLY GOOD BITS OF ULDUM ALL REVOLVE AROUND AL'AKIR AND SKYWALL; Blackrock Depths for fire, and we returned to Blackrock Mountain on two occasions (both contrived, but I digress); Maraudon for earth, to kill Therazane's daughter, which incidentally comes up in conversation when we first meet her in Deepholme. (JUST A COINCIDENCE, I BET.)
Here, member of the Horde, go attack an Alliance town for no reason. Oh hey, here's a bomb. Members of the Alliance, go see what just happened and do nothing important. It's so bad, I've been advising returning WoW players to skip the Scenario and just play around with the new talent system instead, maybe take a romp through LFD or LFR to get themselves reacquainted.
There's nothing relevant there. Mists of Pandaria
is supposed to ratchet up the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. This has nothing to do with that; sure, this is a catastrophe (albeit an anticlimactic catastrophe completely unbeffiting of all the hype), but it's just so... flat. In Southern Barrens, we see conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. There is no easy black/white morality here, everything is in shades of gray. We see that the Alliance commander wanted to do things honorably. We see concession by the Horde that Taurajo was a valid war target. All of this comes through in-game, we see that both sides want to do the right thing (and that the other side is a complete bastard), and we're left with nothing other than a grim reminder that war is ugly. Theramore's Fail? It's completely dependent on reading Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
for context. The events in-game are inherently black/white in nature—you know, that lazy morality from before: Horde drops bomb on Theramore. There are no explanations given. Horde players are lied to about what is going on until literally the last second. We don't even know what makes the bomb so potent, or how it came to be, without either reading the damned novel or rolling an Alliance character and raising it to max level.
The event fails thematically, too. This is the first Scenario we get to see on live. What is offered for story content? Nothing. Reports from beta are that this is the only bad Scenario; every other Scenario is engaging, relevant to the expansion, and provides ample amounts of story content in-game
. There is so much lore presented throughout Mists
, and the storytelling is Blizzard's best work to date (again, these are the reports from beta). Theramore's Fail is completely unlike the rest of Mists
, completely unlike every other pre-launch event. Why? It's an utter disappointment.
Oh, but there's this little gem from MMO-Champion; a tweet (possibly by Ghostcrawler? MMO-C doesn't provide source links for tweets, so this might even be coming from a CM or Dave Kozak):
"Theramore scenario completely underwhelming compared to other pre expansion events. It's Meh."
Was never meant to be a world event. It's the first Scenario of the game. Tons more content coming next week!
So, if it's not supposed to be a world event, not supposed to be a pre-expansion event... then where is the pre-expansion event? Why bother releasing this one event—sorry, Scenario—early? Why not hold off on the Scenario until the "plot points" (as if there is any plot point beyond "here's a bomb, LOL!") are relevant to players?
It fails as a pre-launch event because it's "not meant to be a world event." It fails to be engaging because it requires out-of-game materials; Wowpedia, if we can't be bothered to get the book. (Aside: isn't it disturbing that the relevant parts of the book—that the Horde stole the Focusing Iris after the events of Dragon Soul—can be summarized in one sentence but that this same sentence can't be properly conveyed in-game?) It fails to be relevant because there is no gorram context given, and no readily apparent ties to the upcoming expansion. It fails thematically because it is so incongruous from the rest of the expansion.
I mean, I obviously care about the game still if I can work up the effort for this post. I'm still going to buy Mists of Pandaria
(because I've known for several months that Mists is going to be awesome, unlike this Scenario which was kept under wraps for whatever pointless reason.) And, I even care enough
about the Scenario that I'm going to plead that Blizzard doesn't do "Theramore's Fall: Extended Cut," if only because I want this indelible error to stain Blizzard's otherwise-pretty-good track record.
It's still very disappointing, though.