But because I had such a collection of them, it took me a while to figure out what my magic three was going to be. :O
After much deliberation, thought, compositional and strategic counsel, I’ve managed to finalise the terrible trio that will wreak havoc upon my enemies and lay waste to the untamed, feral creatures that inhabit Azeroth. There can be no hiding place, no respite and no escape from Zell’s Zoological Zealots!
Zell’s Zoological Zealots Unveiled!
The first harbinger of pain is Little Ras!
Little Ras, once a full-sized hedge mage who committed suicide before being reborn as a Lich, was previously a favoured pupil of Kel’Thuzad and instructor at the Scholomance. Now, having been heroically “rescued” by yours truly prior to the mists lifting, he sows discord and death as a member of ZZZ!
Next up is the ferocious doggie, Mitchi!
The anthropomorphic son of Mitchi the wolf, lifelong companion of my friend and adventuring confidante Arabisan, Mitchi was a gift from one pal to another who quickly developed a nasty bite. He usually plays nice with the other warriors in the stable, but savaging enemies is ever in his thoughts!
Lastly, the cunning crustacean, Navie!
Like most magical crawdad, Navie appeared seemingly out of thin air and spread happiness all around him upon his arrival. After an inspiring visit from druid and fellow-blogger Navimie, Zell found Navie amongst his traps spreading warmth and tranquillity to the entire stable; hail to the happiest of crabs!
So, there it is – dare you confront ZZZ and get your backside ceremoniously handed to you in an agonising and harrowing defeat?
Come at me, bro!
So, er, Theramore…
I think it’s only fair that I comment a bit on the Theramore scenario that formed the Mists of Pandaria launch event. The forums, Twitterati and blogging communities around the world are, by and large, pretty unsparing with their criticism right at the moment. The reception is overwhelmingly negative. For me, it’s not quite as simple as all that because you have to look at it from two points of view.
First of all, it’s a scenario; it forms part of several such 3-man instances at level 90 that players will be able to quickly burn through for Valor. It’s not supposed to be challenging given its overarching role in the game, and I was one of those lucky enough to complete it on both Horde and Alliance without any bugs/breaks/problems.
Truthfully, I see a huge amount of potential in scenarios and find the feature to be really very smooth – one stage leads quickly into the next, there’s next to no down time, and the extremely low tuning was deliberately done because this particular scenario was released five levels too early and is part of a launch event Blizzard want everyone to see. The conclusion was anti-climactic (particularly on Horde side) but, all in all, I like the system and think it’s going to be fun come the expansion.
Unfortunately, that’s not the sole purpose of this particular scenario. As it takes its place against the opening of the Dark Portal, the Scourge Plague and the Elemental Invasion as a launch event, it needs to also be judged against those three… And it sadly pales in comparison. I didn’t think these world events could get much worse than the Elemental Invasion and, sadly, I’ve been proven wrong.
The Fall of Theramore is a terrible launch event. Worse, it also highlights some pretty grubby behaviour on the part of Blizzard and it’s no stretch to think players will punish them for it.
1) It’s not a world event at all, it’s a 10-minute group quest that involves an extraordinarily small amount of people given the magnitude of the event itself. Perhaps, just for level 85, upgrading everything to 10/15-man might have made it seem a bit more meaningful before downsizing back down at level 90.
2) It’s been badly bugged (expected, due to no external testing) and the queue seems extremely slow. That could be because nobody really knew it was open, there weren’t many people online on a Monday night, or players simply aren’t interested in it after their first playthrough. We’ll see how this pans out.
3) As a lore event, it’s sorely lacking in immersion and/or detail. Sorely. The set up is extremely short, the conclusion barely any better, and no explanation is given as to how certain things happened (Jaina’s white hair and survival). Also, there is a huge lore casualty and this isn’t mentioned. AT ALL (spoilers).
4) Dealing with the event in this fashion is disassociating, unless you buy Tides of War or read up on external websites. That’s TOTALLY unacceptable. The event should deal with the subject in its entirety, and I honestly hoped they’d learned from Cataclysm about how silly a practice this is.
This is NOT cool.
Ultimately, I think scenarios will work in the main and that they’ll be good fun when it comes to killing time at level 90 and picking up what is essentially free Valor. I’m positive about the feature.
Alas, as a launch event, the Fall of Theramore does a complete disservice to players by providing the most obscure, uneventful and unobtrusive piece of lore it can, while simultaneously treating that piece of lore (which is vital to the story arc) in as diluted and haphazard a fashion as possible so as not to “spoil” the contents of a novel.
That’s what I meant by a grubby practice on the part of Blizzard. I’m paying a subscription fee, as well as buying an expansion box, so that I can experience the story of the game I’m playing; World of Warcraft. Asking me to spend MORE money on a novel, just so that I can experience that story in its entirety, is bang out of order and, frankly, Blizzard should be ashamed of themselves for taking this route two expansions in a row.
We can now say with certainty that the next expansion will do exactly the same thing and that nothing was learned from The Shattering leading into Cataclysm. Expect another novel near the start of the next expansion, and expect any world events in-game to be thoroughly anaemic as a result.
Fall of Theramore: bad.
I’m very disappointed with Blizzard about this.