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A proposal for scenarios in Mists of Pandaria

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We have seen and heard a ton of information on questing, dungeons, and even Pet Battles in the Mists of Pandaria beta, but one thing that has been absent thus far is also one of the things I'm most excited about -- scenarios. From what information we received at BlizzCon, we know that Blizzard intends for scenarios to be phased and quest-like in their presentation. They could be used to move stories forward, with players interacting with non-player heroes directly and even fighting alongside them in important battles.

An idea for this new game mode that I have been tossing back and forth with a few friends is creating a series of how-to scenarios that introduces the player to the aspects of group play. Meloree at Sacred Duty has suggested this as a prerequisite to entering the Dungeon Finder, but I think even having the option would improve grouping experiences dramatically. Tanks could enter dungeons and raids with a better grasp on basics like threat, positioning, and proactive cooldown usage. Healers could learn mana management, throughput efficiency, and this fabled triage model that we keep hearing so much about. Damage dealers could become familiar with high-movement fights, interrupting, and burn phase cooldown maximization.

Clearly, this seems to be well within Blizzard's capabilities to produce. We already see NPCs that tank, heal, and DPS in the game in various quests. In my opinion, there are only a couple of things that may stand in the way:
  1. Is this something the designers can do easily and quickly, or would a significant amount of resources need to be allotted to the development of this idea?
  2. Would players react positively to such tools being made available to them? Would they feel pressured or upset if they failed to complete the scenarios in their chosen role?
What do you think? Is this something you would use? Would this help the dungeon running and raiding experiences, or is the potential for disaster too great here?

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

BlizzCon 2011: Overview of PVE Scenarios

Scenarios

Mists of Pandaria will introduce Scenarios to give us instances similar to PVE Battlegrounds as well as staged, instanced group quests to revisit older content. These quests are designed for a few players and are intended to be short instances.

In order to enter a Scenario, players will queue in something similar to the Dungeon Finder, but will not have to choose a role -- hopefully making the queues very short. Scenarios are designed so that players won't have to designate a tank or healer and still be successful, much like when questing as a group normally.

Remember the days of Alterac Valley when the PVE elements were actually used and it wasn't just a PVP zerg? (I miss those days.) The Scenarios like PVE battlegrounds will be very much like Alterac Valley but without the PVP. The group of players will have staged objectives to complete in order to beat the scenario such as killing a number of enemies and capturing towers. This was designed for players who want to experience Battlegrounds but don't like PVP.

There will also be staged quests set in familiar locations, such as the Battle of Goldshire. Players and their groupmates will complete the objective of each stage until coming to the final boss. The example given was that the first stage might be to kill 25 kobolds, then you would rescue 4 children in the second stage and finally killing Goldtooth in the third. These will most likely be the replacement for group quests.

The rewards for completing Scenarios would include Valor points, much like the new daily quests. This continues Blizzard's goal of most gear being accessible to all players, regardless of playstyle.

Remember, all of this may change before launch.

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

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