Tobold's Blog
Monday, September 24, 2012
Thoughts on Theramore

The Fall of Theramore in its level 85 version was only playable for one week, ending today. From tomorrow on the scenario will be level 90. So some people missed it, because they got discouraged by the minimum iLevel needed. Unnecessarily, I might add, because it was easy enough to get to that iLevel by buying cheap blue "vicious" crafted PvP gear. The Fall of Theramore scenario is easy enough that three pure dps with just that blue PvP gear can easily win the scenario, which gives me some hope that the level 90 scenarios will remain equally accessible. And that PvP gear is a good set to start Mists of Pandaria with, although I expect it will be replaced by greens soon enough.

Having said that, by running the scenario multiple times with different alts, I met some people whose damage output was up to 5 times mine. In one run a death knight wearing what I think from a quick inspection was best-in-slot Cataclysm gear basically soloed the scenario, with me and another guy running behind. I had recount running, and the death knight did 75% of all damage dealt. Impressive!

Apart from some runs having extremely powerful players, the main difference I observed in these scenario runs was that some groups cleverly avoided most of the trash, while others pulled every single patrol and group of mobs, making the run a lot slower. That was especially an issue in the Horde version, which has more trash that can potentially be avoided, while the Alliance version is somewhat more straightforward. Please, Horde players, after killing the war machine you can go up the stairs to the wall, jump with your mount to the gate tower, and get to the castle without having to fight any of the mob groups. And you can get *to* the war machine from the gryphons without a fight as well, by hugging the wall and timing the run through the smith. The scenario gets much faster that way.

After having collected a sufficient number of data points, it appears that every player has a one-in-three chance to find an epic in his loot bag, and that this epic is one his class can "use". So sometimes nobody gets an epic, often there is one epic, and sometimes two or even three players get an epic. And some people will complain, because while a hunter can technically "use" a polearm, or a warlock can "use" gear with spirit on it, chances are they don't want to.

I got a staff for my cleric, a hat for my mage, a two-handed axe for my fighter, and head piece for my paladin, all with the "right" stats. I also got a few pieces I'm not going to use, like 1H weapons for my fighter and paladin and a "healer" helmet for the pally. I would have liked a second 2H axe for my fighter, and one of them for my pally too, but ultimately gave up after having run the scenario too often for my taste.

And then I used transmogrification for the first time. I don't know if it was for some deliberate reason or just rushed, but the epics in the Theramore scenario all look extremely basic and not "epic" at all. Fortunately my priest still had his level 60 class staff, Benediction, and could transmogrify the ugly Theramore staff into something looking somewhat decent. My fighter actually had to buy an axe from the AH to change the basic axe look into something more fitting his style.

Overall the Fall of Theramore wasn't all bad, although it still is the weakest of the pre-expansion events up to date. Especially the story makes no sense at all if you only experience it in-game. You need to read the book or the new lore blog from Blizzard to even get an idea what the Fall of Theramore is about. Far from ideal!

The Theramore Epics are a throwback to the Vanilla gear with similar names. (sort of what the rebooted Onyxia raid had). So it is very much on purpose, and those of us that remember just how butt ugly standard gear in vanilla was, are enjoying it :)
Shame it didn't players like you, who aren't perhaps watching wow as closely.

I liked the event, as a teaser and intro to what scenarios are... only, why is that suddenly enough as an "event" to launch an expansion? Maybe that's just me, but I feel like Blizz themselves don't really belive in their game anymore. Between this and the long long run without new content
Please don't turn into one of those whiny gogogo players who demands everyone has to take their preferred optimised route though every instance. It's not the end of the world if people kill a few extra trash packs.
It's not the end of the world if people kill a few extra trash packs.

If the design is such that a character will run the instance 10+ times to get all the gear drops he needs, and that *per alt*, killing a few extra trash packs adds up to hours of time lost. I totally agree that for the first run you might want to take it slow and explore everything, but then you kind of need to find a group especially for that.
Cleric? Fighter? This isn't D&D! ;)
I don't run instances 10 times to get all the gear I need when they're only up for a week and all the gear is going to be outdated next week anyway.

I think YOU need to find a speedrun grind group if you want to do that :)
I enjoyed the scenario, but I do agree with the Ancient Noob that it was a pity they put the gear requirement so high. Like him, the vast majority of my toons were geared in nothing by the regular mix of questing blue/green.

I didn't run the scenario for gear (not only would it seem a bit self-defeating with the expansion just around the corner, but for me it always lessens the enjoyment of my gaming to do things that I admit to myself are "grinding-type" tasks), but I think I would have enjoyed to try it on different toons. But I shouldn't complain: I did get to try the scenario and got my share of fun from it!
Compared to all of the other events leading up to a new expac, this is the most "blah". No in-game story, no nothing.

Like I mentioned on Rades' blog, I think that Blizz blew all of their plot tokens on Pandaria, and are hoping that hand waving will get us from point a to point b. Either that or they suspect we don't really care at all, because those that did care would have bought the books.

I would find it encouraging that people are using smarts rather than blindly attacking every mob. It's not that I object to killing extra trash, and I always used to laugh (it was that or cry) when people insisted on thaking the shortcut in Slave Pens, fell in the water, and ended up taking longer to complete the heroic.

But on the other hand, look at Escape from Durnholde Keep heroic. You could never get a group to do that, because there were a couple of patrols you basically had to avoid unless your group was ridiculously overgeared. Avoiding a patrol was apparently too exotic a concept for the average player, and faceroll heroics in WotLK can onlt have made matters worse.

There should be *some* content that rewards intelligent play.

Also, the AH on my realm has very few pieces of overpriced blue PvP gear, not enough to up the iLvl of my huntress.
The scenario was not meant to be a pre-event, in fact there was no pre-event at all this time. It was just a teaser.

Although I have a char that is meant to be 85 lvl stop char who could use all the stuff I didn't even run it once with him. 4 runs on 3 different chars was all I did... well we'll run a lot of scenarios over the next two years so no need to burn the first one out in a couple of days ;-)
You will note that in my post I mentioned buying PvP gear to try and bump my iLevel. Unfortunately, I couldn't get enough slots filled with such gear from the AH on my server to put me over the iLevel limit. Such is life.
Even Tobold is playing WoW again. It's like the Star Wars prequels--- I swore I wouldn't see the third one, and I believed I wouldn't until I ended up at a show on opening day.

I would have preferred to leave my slacker priest in 333. But yes as a tailor it took all of 10 minutes and 200g to make the minimum ilvl.

I did'nt get any weapons but all 3 of my characters are wearing hats/transmog hats. Said priest got the white pointy one:) and the grey healer circlet goes well with pally T13
Reading this makes me want to load up and play again, but I keep reminding myself that every time I've done so since Cataclysm I am disappointed, the game is a hollow shell to me now. Must...resist....going to load up the methodone treatment (Torchlight II) to get through this week. If I can just get through the next month, when everyone starts blogging about how they hit level cap and it sucks again, I'll be okay.
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