That answer

A couple of days ago I was asked what I’m going to be doing first when 5.2 drops. The answer was surprisingly quick in coming: scenarios.

Now, with the new LFRs, yet more new dailies to grind, pet raids, moar valour to grind and the like – and no new scenarios – this probably seems like a bit of an odd choice. I mean, the only enhancement scenarios are seeing is the ability to champion rep, and that’s going in for dungeons as well.

That said, though, scenarios have a few very important benefits that have had me enjoying them thoroughly:

  • The queue time is effectively instant. Quick payoff can’t be underestimated.
  • Taking responsibility for one’s own survival is satisfying.
  • Personal performance generates more feedback compared to being one of the guys hiding behind the tank, or one of those 20 or so lesser souls beating on a giant insect/statue/troll/whatever.
  • No gear requirement.
  • No grinding.
  • The ability to use some of those cool but impractical buttons that sort of languish on your bars as soon as you hit instancing level.
  • As an altoholic, every spec feels different and can bring things other than their straight rotation to the table that matter.
  • They’re quick to complete. Probably the longest scenario is Theramore, and even that is around 15 minutes long.
  • It’s very difficult for bad players to ruin the experience.
Shouldn't be nearly as vicariously thrilling as it is.

Of course, it could always just be my DBM screwing around.

That last point deserves a bit of elaboration. Since starting to play I’ve seen people mass-pull mobs and leave, refuse to perform their roles, need on all gear whether they need it or not, abuse fight mechanics to try and wipe the raid/party and generally do their level best to irritate and discommodate the members of their group.

None of these tactics work in scenarios. Mobs are spaced so that pulling too many is quite difficult, gear is per-player if you’re lucky enough to get something in your chest, fight mechanics are generally designed to punish the person who screws up rather than anyone in the screw-up’s general vicinity, and refusal to perform just means looking foolish when there are no roles and most scenarios can be soloed anyway.

Seriously, about the closest I’ve seen to an effective party-wipe tactic is to pull all four of the end-waves of Domination Point at once, and if you’ve seen that done once then it’s easy enough to survive. Scenarios are, so far, proof against the greatest barrier to enjoyment of every other instance type: other players.

As such, the people in them tend to be less arrogant and more inclined to be friendly in general. Where there’s no payoff to troll, there aren’t any trolls. The worst someone can do is try to express themselves negatively through party chat, and that’s what ignore is for.

About the only thing to complain about in scenarios is that they’re not worth very much valour… which is a bloody stupid complaint in an expansion where valour comes in as a pittance from pretty much every content type, most of which require either grinding repetitive bullshit quests for the millionth time running or wasting time in a queue. During which, of course, you could always queue for a scenario…

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1 comment
  1. repgrind said:

    I’ve actually enjoyed running scenarios when I’ve done them, for pretty much the same reasons you’ve outlined here. They’re as close to ‘painless group activity’ as it gets (and I pretty much hate group activities that include random people)

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