Theo’s Thoughts #18: Scenarios

This week, the Theramore’s fall scenario went live on servers. This gave players a glimpse into how scenarios will work in the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion. This scenario has not received the best response from players from the community. Some players feel that it was way too easy and that it did not do a great job of telling the story behind the scenario. Both of these complaints are valid, however, I do not want to talk about this specific scenario this week, since this one is just a small taste of what will be coming in Mists of Pandaria. So instead, let’s take a step back and look at the idea of scenarios and how they will change the game.

The first question to ask is, of course, what is the point of scenarios? The main idea behind these events are to take the place of group quests and to help tell the story of Azeroth in a more dynamic way. For example, players are able to do things in these events that they are unable to do in dungeons, since some stages of the scenario may not include killing a boss. This means that players will be able to interact with the environment in ways that they are unable to in normal five person dungeons. Another thing that people tend to forget is that these scenarios are not designed to be challenging. Since they are supposed to be complete-able with a group of people regardless of spec, they need to be easier then normal dungeons since there will not always be a tank or healer in the group. Finally, referring specifically to the preview players got this week, keep in mind that this was released at the end of an expansion, when players are ridiculously geared. This means that scenarios will most likely be a little more difficult when players are not fully geared.

So, what impact will scenarios have on World of Warcraft? Personally, I think the impact will be very small, yet it the small impact will be positive for the game. Why? Because honestly people will not be running scenarios that much. Mists of Pandaria is giving players a lot of new content, including new ways to get gear. Scenarios join dungeons and LFR as ways for players to gear up PVE. This means that, unless players absolutely love scenarios, they will not need to run them a lot. This means that players scenarios will have a small impact on the game, yet giving players another potential way to gear up characters is always a good thing (especially with alts).

The Theramore scenario definitely fell short of expectations, but it is not time for players to completely give up hope on the idea of scenarios. This event was released at the end of an expansion to do nothing more then to get players prepared for the upcoming expansion. It will still be a while till we see exactly how scenarios change the game, yet it still looks hopeful since they are something new, yet something that will not be required.