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Patch 5.3 PTR: Battle on the High Seas overview

Patch 53 PTR Battle on the High Seas overview
One of my favorite scenarios to this day is Unga Ingoo. It's not because it has any major lore significance, some major story reveal that was shocking or inspired. It's not because it had any kind of meaningful impact on what we're doing right now, or on the leveling experience itself. No, the reason I love Unga Ingoo is because ships, ropes, and beating up pirates are all ridiculously fun things. Even more so when the pirates are monkey pirates.

In patch 5.3, we're getting four new scenarios -- three of which are interesting from a lore perspective, and one of which, Battle on the High Seas, is just a rollicking good time. There aren't any lore reveals. There's nothing in the scenario to further the story of patch 5.3, or lead into patch 5.4. The only thing Battle on the High Seas offers is the opportunity to smack the heck out of the opposite fashion in true swashbuckling style ... and honestly, that's more than enough reason to do it as far as I'm concerned!

Please note that this is being written from the Horde perspective of the scenario. I'm assuming that the Alliance side is much the same, just with a role-reversal involved.

Please note: This post contains spoilers for patch 5.3 content.

Patch 53 PTR Battle on the High Seas overview
The thing I really enjoy about this scenario is that there is absolutely no down time, unless you decide to pause for a moment. The action starts the moment you zone in -- your ship is under attack by the opposing faction, and it's up to you to fend off the attack. The soldiers really don't present a huge problem as far a mobs go, they're relatively easy to beat. The challenge in this particular scenario is avoiding the cannon fire from the other ships as you go along.

See that big red ring that the orc in the screenshot above is standing in? Yeah, that's the big red ring of death. It won't kill you instantly, but it'll knock a good chunk of your health off. And if you get hit by too many of those, you can kiss your life goodbye -- as the orc in the above screenshot figured out. This cannon fire will continue throughout the entirety of the scenario. If you and the rest of your party can avoid getting hit by cannon fire throughout the entire instance, you'll get the achievement Keep Those Bombs Away! from me... -- which sounds pretty easy until you're on the ship and you see exactly how much cannon fire gets thrown at you.

Once you've cleared out the enemy attackers, you're sent to the next ship. Oh, you don't swim, or climb a ladder, or anything remotely like that. You hop into a cannon and get shot over there -- because that's so much more ridiculously entertaining. Please keep in mind that jumping in the water is the last thing you want to do. Remember that whale shark from Cataclysm? The one, if you were as obsessive about collecting achievements as I was, you killed for From Hell's Heart I Stab at Thee? Yeah, his son is in the water and won't hesitate to swallow you whole. Just take the cannon. Trust me.
Patch 53 PTR Battle on the High Seas overview
Now that you're on the next ship, it's another round of attackers to content with, and a round of explosives gathering as well. Why all the explosives? Because you're going to detonate them and blow the ship sky-high. Who doesn't love a good round of explosions? Silly people, that's who. If you happen to find yourself low on health in the scenario, look around for barrels of oranges. Not only will they restore your health, they'll also help prevent any pesky cases of scurvy. Always appreciated!

There are also other items around the ship that you can interact with as well. Rapiers, pirate hats, and the very interesting Strange Bowl of Dice. Clicking on the bowl of dice can either give you a nice buff, do nothing at all, or it can open up a Cannon Barrage. The cannon barrage is evil. You remember that nice orc in the screenshot above? Yeah, I accidentally killed him again by clicking the dice. I uh ... left the dice alone after that. I'm really sorry, mister orc. We can still be friends, right?

Once you've gathered the explosives, it's a quick trip to the bottom of the ship in order to set them up to detonate. Oh, and you're not done there -- you've got a 20 second countdown to make it back to the top of the ship and grab a rope before the ship explodes. If you don't manage to click the rope in time, you're dead. It's pretty funny, actually. These are all boat models that have been in game since vanilla, yet they're still a maze -- especially if you're in a hurry to get out. I missed the click by a second. Make sure you don't dally around on your trip out of there.
Patch 53 PTR Battle on the High Seas overview
The last task is fairly simple -- that rope is going to swing you onto the enemy ship. Kill the Admiral on the upper deck of the ship. Again, you'll want to watch out for ground effects and stay the heck out of them if you'd like to remain alive. When the Admiral takes a dirt nap, that's the end of the scenario. Simple, isn't it?

It might sound that way -- but it's ridiculously fast-paced and frenetic in there. In fact, it's the fastest-paced scenario I've been in to date. The scenarios I'm not particularly fond of are the ones that have a major delay in between phases -- Battle on the High Seas just doesn't let up, not for a moment. There's no delay, there's no letting up in the action, and that's most of the reason I really enjoyed it.

Although it might not quite edge out Unga Ingoo for title of favorite scenario this expansion, Battle on the High Seas is definitely worth checking out. It may not have the story elements of the other three scenarios introduced this time around, but it makes up for that with a lot of fast-paced fun. If you're just looking to smack around some Horde, or smack around some Alliance, this is the perfect scenario for some satisfying factional rampage.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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