The Theramore’s Fall scenario is now live in United States and Europe servers. Launch the Raid Finder, select the Scenarios option at the bottom, and queue up. The scenario can be accomplished with three-players in about ten minutes.
There’s been a lot of feedback from players, both good and bad. Some feel disappointed, while others have tweeted Bashiok with all kinds of good opinions such as: “@Bashiok: Just did the scenario, One word…AMAZING!”
I can understand people were expecting a memorable world event. Back in 2004, I experienced the classic World of Warcraft world event. It was total mayhem with developers controlling Magmadar, Ragnaros, Onyxia, Lady Jaina Proudmoore, and other bosses — literally killing thousands of players as they protected towns and capital cities.
In 2007, the classic World of Warcraft finale had players complete quests to halt the demonic invasion coming through the Dark Portal. The problem was that hundreds of thousands of players gathered into that small place to AOE incoming waves of Dreadlords, Fel Hunters, and Felguards. This caused major lag, and likely world crashes. The least to happen was that players were unable to complete the quests in a short time, sometimes getting one successful kill credited in the quest log every 3-5 minutes — if you were lucky.
In late 2008, Blizzard Entertainment changed their approach with World Events. Instead of limiting the World Event to a specific place, they spread around the player population. Undead attacked major cities and players infected with the zombie plague would get a new spell bar to attack other players and infect them, too. A scourge Nexus would spawn randomly at different locations (Tanaris, Orgrimmar, Stormwind, etc.). Players could loot gear, items, and even keep a memento (a Scourge Shade) following them for as long as they had the item on their bag inventory. This World Event method was very fun.
In late 2010, the WoTLK finale world event had the capital cities attacked by elementals, and a lengthy questline had players uncover a conspiracy from within. The Twilight’s Hammer had infiltrated the Alliance and the Horde. The lore was exquisite, and the gameplay and mechanics were exciting. Traitors had been among our midst all along hoping to bring about the Hour of Twilight upon the world of Azeroth.
Today, the Cataclysm finale world event was approached differently by Blizzard Entertainment introducing the first Scenario dungeon. If this is the world event, it’s contained into a dungeon divided in five stages.
This definitely makes the experience less laggy than previous world events, and thus more stable. It offers a replayability factor too, where previous world events lasted a week and were gone forever. The Theramore’s Fall scenario will require level 85 (iLevel 353 gear) and will last until September 24th. Once Mists of Pandaria goes live on September 25th, the Theramore’s Fall scenario will require level 90 (iLevel 425 gear).
Adding to this is the fact the Alliance and the Horde players will experience two different Theramore’s Fall scenarios. The Horde has to disable the 7th fleet, the gryphons and a Dwarven Tank. Their final goal is to rescue the Blood Elf Sunreaver who betrayed the Kirin Tor.
I could see how Christie Golden and the developers managed to orchestrate some of the objectives in the Horde version of Theramore’s Fall: the gryphons, the fleet, the rescue of the traitor. These are factual events that happen in World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War.
Are there ways Blizzard Entertainment could enhance the experience? Sure. One of the things fans are complaining about is there isn’t an overall feel that there’s a war going on. There is no explosion sounds at random distant and nearby locations, battlecries or screams. We don’t hear the noises of war around Theramore. Especially, near the gates by Big Bessa.
The very reason the spy is captured is because the gates were blown open and this caused the Horde to enter inside Theramore.
In the novel, Garrosh Hellscream, Baine Bloodhoof and Vol’jin were inside Theramore fighting the Alliance — keeping everyone busy for the special ops team (players) to infiltrate and kill the gryphons and rescue the spy.
I didn’t see any of them in the scenario. There are no Horde catapults hurling fire balls above the city walls. No Horde vs Alliance fighting on each side of the road — considering in the novel at this stage the gates were split wide open. There should be trolls and tauren in the frontlines.
These could easily be added to the scenario — and why not? … even offer optional side quests with special loot. For as long as we still accomplish the final objective, this doesn’t deviate from the novel’s objectives. There are areas in the scenario that my team didn’t particularly path through where the developers could buff up the scenario to match what we read in the novel.
I was particularly glad to see Lady Jaina Proudmoore, Kalecgos and Rhonin at Jaina’s Tower. The only “Red Shirt Guy”-like opinion about that scene is that Kalecgos is labeled as Aspect of Magic, when this is no longer the case since Deathwing’s Fall. Easily edited. No big deal.
The Theramore’s Fall Scenario feels pretty easy as a Paladin healer. I rarely saw the Death Knight fall below 50% health, and my character rarely went below 75% health in situations where I aggroed. For someone with experience playing the scenario, it can be easily done within 10-12 minutes. There’s no clue how this will be scaled once the Scenario becomes level 90.
These are the Theramore’s Fall Scenario Objectives — video available in 1080HD (click the wheel icon after playing the video to change resolution):
Stage 1: To the Waterline!
The objective is to rig the powder barrels on all six ships. The Horde arrives aboard The Sea Wolf ship to the Theramore harbor.
Captain Drok: The unthinkable has happened: Our siege of Theramore has failed. You’re the contingency plan. Your mission is to infiltrate Theramore Isle. Burn their ships. Butcher their flightmaster. Sabotage their war machines. And rescue oru spy! Throw them into chaos while we regroup. The eyes of Hellscream are upon you!
Players can use mounts to travel along the piers to reach each ship. You don’t really need to kill every mob in the ship. Some mobs are far enough to not aggro. The barrels can be either next to the stair, or by the higher area of the ship.
Sometimes there will be an elite captain to deal with. Some of the elites found in the ships are: “Mad” Morden Morgrensen, Squallshaper Lanara, Lieutenant Granders, Captain Tellern, Captain Brellinger, and Captain Dashing. These elites don’t seem to be part of the objectives as no onscreen update is shown after their demise.
This first stage is very straight-forward. Shouldn’t take too long.
Stage 2: The Blastmaster
Inform Blastmaster Sparkfuse of your success. This is a very simple stage. There is no mobs on your way back to the central area of the port. Look on your mini-map for the dialogue-balloon icon to locate him, or open your map.
Blastmaster Sparkfuse: We’re gonna turn this place into a sinkhole, heh.
You: We’ve rigged the powder barrels in every ship.
As soon as a player talks with Blastmaster Sparkfuse, a wave of Alliance mobs rush in toward the port.
Stage 3: Gryphon, Down
Slay Baldruc and his gryphons. Three gryphons come along in this stage.
Baldruc yells: The ships are aflame! Troops, to the harbor!
Players can see onscreen a warning: “Avoid or destroy Baldruc’s Storm totems.”
Stage 4: Tanks for Nothing!
Destroy Big Bessa and sabotage any unmanned tanks. The Big Bessa is located on the northwestern gate. The tank will channel an area-of-effect glyph on the ground and shoot a cannon blast. Players should avoid that area, and stand within melee range if possible. The tank simply walked in circles around the Big Bessa while hacking and slashing to avoid Big Bessa’s sights. This is a hunter-like icon floating on the player. The Dwarven Tank has a ramming ability like those seen in Ulduar’s player-manned tanks.
After its demise, click the unmanned tanks, and they will explode in five seconds. I assume two players can interact with these during the fight to speed things up.
Final Stage: Fly, Spy!
Slay Hedric Evencane and free Thalen Songweaver from Foothold Citadel. If you prefer to avoid the groups patrolling the area from Jaina’s tower to the Barracks, simply mount up and go back through the path you came from. Move toward the Barracks, and hug the wall. Jump the fence near the Barrack’s entrance and watch out for the patrol that stops near the entrance.
Go striaght upstairs to kill Hedric Evencane. Make sure to loot the key from his corpse. Now head down to the basement to free the spy from his chains.
Talk to the spy in the basement to free him. You will receive an item named Spoils of Theramore. It will randomly contain one of these items:
In addition, the spy will send mail to your inbox with a memento item: Mini Mana Bomb. Selecting it in your inventory will draw a glyph circle on the ground. Select where to drop the mini mana bomb and your character will hurl over that spot a replica of the mana bomb thrown at Theramore. Cooldown: 3 minutes.
Back to talking about the Theramore’s Fall scenario, the scenario ends, and the spy summons a portal to Orgrimmar.
After the group disbanded, I headed back to Jaina’s Tower for a closer look at Lady Jaina, Kalecgos and Rhonin.
I got way too close, and they were pretty pissed off with the Horde’s invasion upon Theramore.
I tried to bubble + hearth, but some evil evil god may have played some sort of joke on me because the divine shield ran off before completing my hearthstone channeling. It got pretty ugly, pretty quick. I only managed to smirk before meeting the makers. The Horde was shortly dropping a payload from the sky, and I would have my revenge.
A cinematic cutscene plays out after taking the portal to Orgrimmar, showing the scene from the novel when the zeppelin drops the mana bomb on Theramore Isle.
I wrote the review right after finishing Theramore’s Fall for the first time. Now in this afterthoughts section, I have had two runs on my Blood Elf Holy Paladin, and one run on my Undead Shadow Priest.
For a first taste at Scenarios, solo players will definitely find a new content to devour without the hassle of remembering every single boss’s abilities and mechanics, or complex trash mob strategies.
The Scenarios can be done with only three players. You don’t require a tank or a healer in the group per se. On the other hand, it felt just great to be able to DPS and to feel useful other than healing as a Holy Paladin. I’m usually 40 yards away from the action for survivability, but in Scenarios I’m able to dispense some DPS and tackle mobs one-on-one without fear of dying or getting distracted long enough to see a fellow player die.
On my third run through Theramore’s Fall, I played as a shadow priest. There were two shamans in my PUG. None of the Shamans seemed to want to heal, and they were getting some considerable load of damage to reach 30% health. In some situations, my shadow priest was tanking a few mobs, and it was lovely to cast Void Tendrils to root them and take a short break to … heal the two Shamans, then go back into shadow form to continue DPSing.
Two different classes, two different roles. I was able to DPS and Heal on both specs. I found that dynamic fantastic. There are no bosses, but at the end we get a random loot. The Scenario feels in a way like the Hallow’s End boss or the Brewfest boss in the Blackrock Depths’ tavern. You can repeat the scenario as many times as you want, and it merely takes 10 minutes to complete.
I experienced three Scenarios in Mists of Pandaria beta, and it felt truly challenging at level 90, and fun. It will pan out to be a good alternative for solo players, or friends who like to play together and don’t necessarily play raid dungeons.
Check out WoWHead’s interview with Christie Golden and further details/images from Theramore’s Fall.
The Theramore’s Fall Scenario was never meant to be a world event. According to Zarhym: “Was never meant to be a world event. It’s the first Scenario of the game. Tons more content coming next week!” — Twitter
From the Best Buy Developer Q&A held on Tuesday, Sept 18: “The Theramore scenario is intended to be a preview of what players can expect from scenarios in Mists. It is by no means a launch event and thats intentional. We made a call early on to put that time into developing more content for Mists that will last and not be over in a week.”