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As someone who went into the launch of the pre-MoP scenario “Theramore’s Fall” having read the associated novel “Tides of War”, I was excited to finally see such a powerful and epic storyline event translated into an in-game experience. While I knew that much of the event was played out by the core lore figures, I assumed I would at least get to witness this event from a unique perspective and when it all finally came to a head, players would have a newfound hatred toward the Horde Warchief Garrosh Hellscream or perhaps a bloodlust reinvigorated toward the Alliance.
Unfortunately, all we got was a convoluted mess.
While I admit that I’ve only played the scenario from the Alliance perspective (the Horde have an alternative perspective on the scenario, obviously), I was incredibly disappointed that such a tremendously powerful moment where the Horde drops a massive mana bomb onto Theramore – powered by the Focusing Iris itself – was relegated to little more than a non-contextual cutscene. From there, you’re part of an Alliance crew sent to clean up the Horde that are now roaming the wastes of Theramore. Eventually, you meet up with Jaina Proudmore and help her in recovering the Focusing Iris and escaping the ruins of Theramore.
I expected the scenario to be brief. That was the nature of a scenario. I also didn’t expect to see every event that occurred in Tides of War unfold in this short scenario. But if you didn’t read Tides of War, you may have come out of the scenario with literally no idea what just happened. You enter, a cutscene shows some Goblins dropping a bomb on Theramore, and then you just fight ’til Jaina escapes. No explanation that Garrosh was behind the delivery of the bomb, that the bomb was a MANA BOMB (which many of us may remember from quests in Terrokar Forest in Outland) and that it was powered by one of the most powerful magical relics of the Blue Dragonflight, the Focusing Iris. These are all very, very important things to know going into this scenario and could have very easily been revealed to the player without wasting time. Instead, all we got was a generic event that had no context, no story and did nothing to live up to the storyline changes that occurred when Jaina was effected by the mana bomb.
Oh, you didn’t know that?
Yeah. That’s why Jaina looks the way she does. She was caught – barely – in the mana bomb’s blast. Without spoiling much of the Tides of War novel, let’s just say a lot of her post-blast story explains why she has gone from a neutral peacekeeper to completely angry toward the Horde.
But NONE OF THIS IS EXPLAINED.
I don’t think the scenario is bad, per se. It’s disappointing. It’s disappointing that a great, massive storyline event that could have done a lot to fuel the fires between the Horde and Alliance players leading into the new expansion was done so lackluster and was delivered so blandly. I didn’t expect an epic encounter nor did I expect this to be the only pre-Pandaria world event, but this event – THIS scenario – could have and should have been so much more.