Updated Fri, Oct 26, 2012 by Messiah
What are Scenarios?
Scenarios are a new form of PVE content being added with the Mists of Pandaria patch. While most of them will be aimed at level 90 players there will be one for level 85 players of each faction as part of the run up to Mist of Pandaria’s release. It remains to be seen if scenarios will be added for players at other levels at a later date.
Ok, so you now know that scenarios are level 90 PVE content, but besides that what are they really?
Scenarios are essentially an additional form of instanced PVE content. Much like queuing up for a dungeon, heroic dungeon, or raid a scenario is a way to group with and play with other players in an area away from the general population.
So if they are just more PVE content what makes scenarios different than the other forms of instanced content out there?
One of the biggest things that is different than dungeons, heroics, or raids is that scenarios do not have a role component. Everyone who queues is essentially sent in as a DPS player as the scenarios are aimed at groups being able to complete without having a tank or healer available.
The next big difference is that scenarios are aimed at very small groups, never mind 25 player raids, 10 player raids, or even 5 player dungeons, scenarios are meant for groups of three players of any class or specialization.
Another difference is that scenarios are goal based. What this means is that there will be several phases to them that once you complete one the next one starts. The phases could happen at the same location or a different one, they could require you to move to the next or play a brief cut scene and transport you to the next location.
The other difference is that scenarios are designed to be completed in much less time than an instance. Depending on the scenario and how well you are geared you should be able to complete at least 2 scenarios (and potentially up to 3 or 4 if you are fast) in the same amount of time that it would take you to complete an issue free instance.
While scenarios are different in many ways they are also similar to dungeons, heroics, and raids in other ways.
Scenarios are being added to the game in an effort to provide the developers a way to tell short stories and interact with players in much the same way as group quests did in the past. While this is similar to dungeons and raids it is easier to do on this smaller scale and since it has no role requirement and are completed quickly it allows everyone to participate easily. In this way they are the same as other instances as they allow story telling in a way that is controllable out of the regular world.
Scenarios are also similar to other instanced content in that they are separate from the world servers. This allows many more players to complete them at the same time than they would be able to if they were not instanced. It also allows players from different realms to be groups together to complete a scenario, exactly the same way as in a dungeon, heroic, or raid.
Lastly, scenarios are similar to the other instanced PVE content in that they will provide a boss fight at the end as well as some form of reward in the form of Valor Points and rare gear rewards.
With so many different things to do in the game you might be wondering why you should spend your time doing scenarios at all, especially if you already do other instanced content, or if your really don’t like group play.
The first reason to run scenarios is that it gets you out of the solo aspect of the game and into a group play situation. Many players get to the end game never having grouped at all, scenarios allow those players to get a feel of what it is like to play with other people.
For those players that like group content the option to play with other people should be reason enough to jump into a scenario. For those players that have had bad experiences and prefer solo content this could be the group content to change your mind. Since there are no role requirements for scenarios there are less chances of having a bad group experience. In theory anyone should be able to group up and complete them without typical group drama.
Next up, and probably the most important reason to play a scenario is the fun of it. Being mainly a PVE player, any chance to do some other form of PVE group content is a chance to have some fun. Once at the level cap there are only so many things to do in the game that are group based. Adding in more options is always a good thing as it keeps all the other options fresher since you have more variety.
Another huge reason to run a scenario instead of a dungeon, heroic, or raid for many players will be the fast queue time. If you are a DPS player you likely get extremely frustrated with long queue times for instances, especially during peak hours. Having a form of instanced content to be able to jump into where everyone is in the same queue and therefore as soon as 3 players queue they are placed into it will greatly decrease their wait times and increase their enjoyment.
Lastly, another good reason to run scenarios is for the rewards that will provide. Scenarios are currently providing a reward of Valor Points and a reward bag that will contain an appropriate level rare item.
In genera Scenarios will only be available to players that have reached level 90 and that of course means not until Mists of Pandaria has been released. However pre-MoP launch there will be one scenario available for each faction based around the Battle of Theramore that will kick off the war that sends players to Pandaria.
The Battle of Theramore scenario will be available to level 85 players for the week leading up to the release of MOP on September 25th and will then change to a level 90 scenario once MOP has been released.
Once Mists of Pandaria is released there will be many different scenarios available, each requiring different objectives to be completed to defeat them. Here is a listing of some of the scenarios and a brief description of what is required to complete them.
Arena of Annihilation – This scenario is essentially a Ring of Blood type event. There are several different bosses that get progressively hard as you move through the scenario. There are five different bosses including a giant turtle, a yeti, a fire elemental, a Yaungol warlord, and a Saurok warlord. Defeat them all to beat the scenario.
UPDATE: You can find a complete guide to this scenario right here: Arena of Annihilation Scenario Guide.
A Brewing Storm– This scenario focuses on helping a brewmaster brew a special brew during a lightning storm. To do this you need to fend of sauroks while the brew is being struck by lightning while putting out fires that are started by the lightning. The second phase of the scenario has you escort the brewmaster down the road to the monastery being careful to not be knocked off the path. The last phase involves defeating a giant saurok that is attacking the monastery to win the scenario.
UPDATE: You can find a complete guide to this scenario right here: A Brewing Storm Scenario Guide.
Brewmoon Festival – This scenario focuses on the Pandaren Brewmoon Festival and starts with you collecting various ingredients required to brew some beer for the Brewmoon Festival. Once you have brewed the beer the Yaungol (a tauren like race) attack the village and you will need to defend it. After holding off the waves of Yaungol the final boss will appear which is Warbringer Qobi, defeat him to win the scenario.
Crypt of Forgotten Kings – This scenario focuses on you investigating an ancient Mogu crypt. The first part of the scenario involves clearing out some Sha and then a defeating a mini-boss. Called Jin Ironfist Next up involves making your way to the pool of life and clearing the waves of Sha. You then have to fight some of the ancient Mogu that have appeared and then some Quillen (which look like Asian Temple Dogs) to make your way to the final boss which is an abomination of anger, a giant Sha manifestation. Once defeated the scenario ends.
Greenstone Village – This scenario focuses on defending the village of Greenstone from invaders. It starts off with you having to rescue the villagers that are hiding from the various elementals that have attacked their town. After you have saved the villagers you need to make your way to Tzu’s Dojo to save the brewmaster. Tzu and you then find that the beer has been stolen and you need to find it and return it to the dojo. After the brew has been returned you need to head across the town to save some additional villagers. The last part of the scenario has you fighting the elemental called Vengeful Hui to win the scenario.
Unga Ingoo – This is yet another scenario that focuses on a brewmaster, you have to love the Pandaren priorities, who you have to escorting through an area infested with Hozen to his brew site. Once there you need to defend him from waves of Hozen brew pirates coming in from the pirate ships off shore while collecting various brews for the brewmaster to add to his own. The last phase of the scenario involves defeating the fearsome Captain Ook who comes into shore on his banana boat. Defeat him and you will win the scenario.
Now that you know all about scenarios, what is your opinion on them? Are they something that excites you, will you jump into them often, or just try them a few times. Let us all hear what you think in the comments section below.