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Posts with tag scenarios

Scenarios, daily quests, and events in Warlords

It's true that scenarios still exist in Warlords of Draenor, but it's also true that their existence is radically altered - no more the easy three person content you can queue for at max level for easy rewards. Now, you may be trumpeting this as a grand thing, and in some ways you may even be right, but scenarios and heroic scenarios served a purpose in Mists and I'm starting to be concerned about their removal and the change in dungeons. One of the things to keep in mind is, with the removal of valor points and the conversion of many items to costing gold, we're essentially taking out the mechanism that once served as a consolation prize when it was first introduced back in The Burning Crusade. Furthermore, by removing scenarios as content players can essentially run whenever and wherever they wish, we're winnowing down options at endgame. The Timeless Isle model for endgame content has its flaws, and converting all of Warlords to it has some potential pitfalls.

For starters, the heavy de-emphasis on daily quests combined with the lack of scenarios and the placing of heroic dungeons behind the proving ground barrier removes a solid amount of low pressure, easily accessed content. Considered separately these ideas aren't an issue, but when you put them all together you can start to see one problem - they remove choices for players, and in doing so offer no replacement. This may be by design. Some players lament that there's too much to do in Mists of Pandaria's endgame. Starved for choice is a real phenomenon, and it may be a good move to thin out those options. But it may not.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Solo scenario and quest improvements

Leveling content and design has been an ongoing process since day one of WoW. In vanilla, quest chains would literally send you from one end of Azeroth to the other and back again in search of some relic or document or other item that was vitally important to the NPC who happened to be on the wrong continent to retrieve it. As time went on, quest flow was re-designed again and again, with more of an eye for keeping things bite-size and compact, less lengthy and drawn out. In Cataclysm, that envelope was arguably pushed too far, featuring story-heavy leveling zones that felt like they were on rails, leading players from one hub to the next with little exploration encouraged. Thankfully, Mists relaxed the rigid structure and went a little more free-form with quest flow.

It's hard to describe the differences in quest progression and flow on the beta for Warlords. Although the test servers are currently riddled with players, which means they are also riddled with extreme amounts of lag here and there, it's still possible to get an overall idea of how the quest design and flow has changed from Mists ... and there are some major changes afoot.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Looking back on scenarios

Earlier this month, I penned an edition of The Queue that sparked a lively debate about Mists of Pandaria's scenarios. Some loved them and want scenarios to stick around in future expansions. Some didn't and wish they were gone. Some didn't care either way. That's how most mass debates turn out, but it was interesting to watch nonetheless.

Personally, I loved scenarios, even the super easy ones. In fact, especially the super easy ones. I've been playing WoW since it launched. As I get older, I find I have fewer days in a week to dedicate long hours to a game. I still get those days, just not as often. The days where my time is limited, it was nice to have something quick and straightforward to do that still contributed to character progression in some way. Should Blizzard design content with that playstyle in mind? Maybe not. If you design a game to be consumed in 10-15 minutes, wherein the player doesn't need to pay much attention to what's happening, it isn't much of a game. There are very good games that can be played that way, but they aren't MMOs. Still, it was nice to have the option available. Pet battles were the other available option, but didn't contribute to character advancement.

I'd like to see scenarios continue as a part of max-level group gameplay, but I'd also understand if they faded away. I don't want them to fade away, but I would understand it. What about all of you? Love scenarios? Hate them? Don't care?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

How will we take our content?

How will we take our content
I do a podcast from time to time about World of Warcraft, and as a result I tend to talk about the game, instead of just play it or even writing about it. One of the conversations I've had about the game that I've never really sat down and explored is this - Mists of Pandaria has seemed like a gigantic experiment in terms of how we receive our content. From the original Golden Lotus daily questing hub, which in turn unlocked the Shado-Pan and August Celestials, to patch 5.1's daily quests that unlocked regular, one-off quests that further advanced the story, to patch 5.2's progression on the Throne of Thunder unlocked unique solo scenarios. Patch 5.3 brought us no dailies at all, but a short series of quests that led to an unlockable weekly quest that was, frankly, one of my favorite ways to get the Lesser Charm of Good Fortune in the numbers needed for my weekly raiding.

Now in patch 5.4 we've lost dailies (the Golden Lotus have been pared back to a few in the west of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, now the Vale of Eternal Sorrows) and we've gained a content hub which is mostly about exploration and good old fashioned grinding in the Timeless Isle. Over the course of this expansion we've seen all sorts of delivery systems for content - scenarios, heroic scenarios, flex raiding - and we've even seen some complaints from players about older, tried and true systems like five man dungeons not getting the emphasis people might want. And this leads me to wonder what we've got in store for us down the road. How will the next expansion present itself to us? I expect there will be the usual leveling quests, they work pretty well overall and there's room for flexibility in their design, but what will the max level content look like?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The hope for more future five-mans

Dire Maul
A common refrain among casual players this expansion has been the lament for five-man content. Mists of Pandaria hasn't added any new five-man dungeons since it launched, and for fans of that format, it's a bit of a bummer. In fact, Mists of Pandaria marks the first time that Blizzard hasn't added new dungeons post-launch. In classic WoW, Maraudon was added in patch 1.2, and the Dire Maul set in patch 1.3. The Burning Crusade saw Magister's Terrace in patch 2.4, Wrath gained the three Icecrown five-mans in patch 3.3, Cataclysm had Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub retooled as 5-mans in 4.2, plus the Well of Eternity dungeon suite in 4.3. Yes, if five-mans are your thing, Mists probably has you feeling pretty glum right about now.

So maybe the following tweet from Ghostcrawler will cheer you up a bit:

Instead of five-man dungeons, Mists definitely saw a focus on scenarios for casual group content. And while scenarios are fun, if you're a healer or a tank, you're not really necessary for them. I personally would love to see a bit more balance in the future between implementing scenarios and implementing five-mans, so here's to a WoW future where both will shine. What about you? Are you hoping for more five-mains, or could you do without them?

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Untitled

The Queue Untitled
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Insert introductory text here.

HadenHenderson asked:

Whats going to happen to the MOP scenarios when the next expansion hits? Has Blizzard said anything? Will my higher level character be able to Q for them? Will they still be level 90?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Patch 5.4 PTR news roundup

Patch 54 PTR news roundup
Patch 5.4 has hit the PTR and a flurry of information regarding the latest patch has already been released. Featuring a new raid, patch 5.4 will also include a variety of new features that are quickly shaping up to be game-changers. Curious about all the new stuff? Take a look at our coverage for more information on patch 5.4 and the upcoming content.
Stay tuned for more patch 5.4 information, and keep your eyes peeled for the PTR.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: New scenario, Stromgarde Keep

Patch 54 PTR New scenario, Stromgarde Keep
Tucked in among all the other patch 5.4 files dug up by Wowhead is a new scenario with little to no information in terms of maps, bosses, or achievements. You might overlook this scenario in favor of other information, but Alliance players in particular may want to look again, because it looks as though we'll be paying a visit to Stromgarde Keep. Players may or may not remember the deserted ruins over in the Arathi Highlands, once home to the Trollbane line -- unfortunately, the zone didn't get much of a revamp during Cataclysm.

But the potential for this new scenario is huge, depending on what exactly we'll be doing while we're in there. There doesn't appear to be a faction requirement for the scenario, so it seems both Alliance and Horde players will be entering the zone -- whether or not we'll be able to keep our appearance, or be under another disguise effect, is currently a mystery. However, Stromgarde holds tremendous potential, because it represents a foothold steeped in a staggering amount of history for the Alliance, and the human race.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Heroic Scenario reward system updated

Don't lock yourself out of epic Scenario rewards
A couple of weeks back, WoW Insider posted an important public service announcement, warning players of a rather counter-intuitive system whereby only the first scenario of the day would award a loot cache, regardless of whether that scenario was normal or heroic. We warned players to avoid them being locked out of a chance at 516 loot, and the palpable frustration that came with it.

Now, though, Blizzard Community Manager Taepsilum has posted about a very recent change. It should be noted that this is not in the most recent batch of hotfixes, and that Taepsilum is an EU Community Manager, posting the day after EU servers restart. Therefore, it is possible that this change is currently only live in the EU. Proceed with caution.
Taepsilum
Quote:
Remember that you only get the Heroic Cache of Treasures from the first scenario you do in a day (and only if it's a HC scenario. so if you do a normal scenario first you won't get one at all). The rest of the time you just get Greater Cache of Treasures.

This has actually been changed today and the hotfix should already be live.

You should be able to get both of these rewards now, as long as you complete one heroic and at least one normal scenario once per day.
You shouldn't have to worry about doing a heroic scenario before you do a normal one, the order doesn't matter anymore.

This is a great change to what was a rather counter-intuitive system, but please do be very careful about trying it, especially on US servers.

I have tested it on EU servers and can confirm that it does work, I did a normal scenario first, followed by a heroic one, and received the Greater Cache, then the Heroic Cache.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: Rifts and scenarios

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Return of the RIFT character header images! Run away!

MikeLinton said:

I have to seriously question the "super positive response" that you are seeing to scenarios. I only see my small slice of the WoW community, of course, but what I'm seeing tells me the opposite. The only people I knew that ran regular scenarios were for either daily valor or guild gold, and they didn't like doing it. Heroic scenarios are a little better because Blizzard made the rewards awesome and forced people to go in with a full group. If Heroic 5-mans were the same way, then they would be far more enjoyable to heroic scenarios.

I know this isn't a question, but I feel a need to respond to it. What I tend to see personally is that people who play only healers or only tanks dislike scenarios for the most part. People who primarily play DPS (like myself) enjoy them quite a bit. As a DPS player, queues for dungeons and raids are (were?) so absurdly long that I stopped bothering. Scenarios didn't have that problem, plus they give me much more freedom in how I played. Scenarios had me digging tools out of my belt that were never relevant in the tank/healer/DPS tinity, but made a big difference in scenario performance. Not being locked into the trinity is refreshing.

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Filed under: The Queue

I hate scenarios

blood in the snow
Behind the scenes at WoW Insider, we've been talking a lot about scenarios recently, for various reasons - some of which we hope to be able to soon share! In those discussions, I relatively quickly had to come out and admit, yeah, I kind of hate scenarios. It's not that I think there's anything actually bad about them. Maybe individual scenarios have certain annoying mechanics, I honestly haven't done enough of them to know. But I kind of dread doing them, and avoid them for the most part, and there is a very simple reason why: when I first go into one, I don't necessarily know what I'm supposed to be doing.

I cannot communicate how much I despise that feeling. It's why I love being a healer. Here is your job as a healer, in any dungeon or raid ever: you stay out of the bad stuff on the ground and you play Rejuvenation (or Holy Light, or Healing Wave, or whatever) whack-a-mole with health bars. It's great. It's structured and straightforward and it's always the same. Sometimes there are additional mechanics you have to be aware of but, here's the thing - boss needs interrupts? Not a healer's job. Mobs need kiting? Not a healer's job. Turtles need kicking? Not a healer's job. Boxes need clicking? Not a healer's job (usually).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor

The useless distinction between casual and hardcore

The useless distinction between casual and hardcore
If the words 'casual' and 'hardcore' ever had a useful role in determining the differences between players in World of Warcraft, and I am not convinced they ever did, they no longer do. A player who wants to have an alt of every single class at max level and makes that happen is not playing the game casually even if she never raids. A player who collects several hundred pets and levels many of them through pet battles, or has a similarly high number of mounts, or determines to go out and get every cooking recipe in the game (including Dirge's Kickin' Chimeraok Chops which you can't even get anymore but somehow he finds a way) is playing the game very seriously indeed.

Quite frankly, despite the fact that I raid a set schedule, I often feel like I'm significantly more 'casual' than many players who never raid at all. I know I play a lot less - I definitely do not log on every day, I don't run LFR unless I missed a boss in normal (because I want a shot at my Secrets of the Empire off of that boss) and I don't do pet battles, farm, or even do daily quests anymore. So with my roughly fifteen hours of WoW a week, 12 of it spent inside a raid and the other three futzing about older raids for transmog gear, am I casual or hardcore? And does it matter?

Ordinarily I'd explore the answer in the paragraphs to come. But frankly, the answer is no. It doesn't matter. It is so far from mattering that the light from it mattering won't reach us for fifty thousand years. What matters is finding out what players want to do with their time and letting them do it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard's official look at patch 5.3

Blizzard Blogs on patch 53
Blizzard has been blogging up a storm about patch 5.3, and there have recently been 2 more articles added to their arsenal. The first is a run-down of the new scenarios available, posted by Community Manager Nethaera, which runs players down the four new three-player scenarios coming in patch 5.3. Neth gives us a quick summary of the stories behind the scenarios, while doing a great job of not being too spoiler-heavy. She runs down the background of Blood in the Snow, Dark Heart of Pandaria, Secrets of Ragefire and Battle on the High Seas. You can also check out WoW Insider's own articles on Blood in the Snow and Dark Heart of Pandaria, but beware the light spoilers that lurk within!

Nethaera also briefly discusses the new difficulty level that will be added with patch 5.3, heroic scenarios. She clarifies that they are intended for pre-made groups of three players, and will award a hefty 120 valor, as well as bonus valor for completing the objectives.

What's more, Blizzard has recently published a guide to getting geared for 5.3, aimed at players with alts, and players who are returning to the game. They've got some great tips in there, even going so far as to acknowledge some neat tricks that'll have you running the Raid Finder in no time.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Ghostcrawler on the lessons learned in Mists

Ghostcrawler on the lessons learned in Mists
Long-term WoW Insider readers will likely remember the post-Cataclysm dissection where the developers discussed the mistakes they had made and how they planned to rectify them for future expansions. Well, a twitter user has asked Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street the same question, for Mists of Pandaria, and Ghostcrawler had the following to say in reply:

Firstly, one of the great things about Ghostcrawler is how readily he owns up to the team's mistakes here. There's no shame in getting things wrong, but maintaining that you're infallible is both irritating and generally untrue.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

What's the purpose of a heroic dungeon?

What is the purpose of a heroic dungeon
One of the more volatile announcements that we've heard so far from Blizzard regarding Mists of Pandaria is the fact that Mists will not include any more 5-man dungeons. In an expansion where new content seems to be rolling out on a much faster, tighter basis than any expansion prior this seems a little bizarre to players, particularly those that enjoy dungeon-based content. Yet one of the things Mists has been doing consistently throughout the expansion is delivering a wider array of things to do. In fact, there's such a variety in endgame content that players sometimes feel legitimately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it.

But just because we aren't getting any new dungeons doesn't mean we aren't getting alternate ways to obtain all that sweet, sweet gear we know and love. Patch 5.3 will see the introduction of heroic scenarios, slightly tougher versions of the scenarios we've already seen this expansion. In addition to valor, the heroic scenarios will offer raid-finder level rewards for players that choose to participate in them -- better than any gear you'll find in a heroic dungeon at this point.

While this may seem pretty cool for some people, it does make one wonder -- what's the purpose of heroic dungeons?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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