So, in case it isn’t obvious, the following contains Theramore spoilers.
Well, Pandaria hits in a week and the big event now is the destruction of Theramore. The way that this presented itself within the game is that you could use the Dungeon Finder and select “Fall of Theramore” from the Scenario tab. A few moments later, the queue pops and poof, you’re on a boat.
Yes, a boat. That somehow made it into a Theramore harbor now controlled by the horde. You and two of your best friends then are tasked with… something. There’s a helpful little box on the right hand of the screen that gives you some fairly useless information like “push forward to the docks” or “kill the siege engine” or something. The practical upshot is that, like any other instance, you and your friends plow forward and kill everything that moves. Which is a lot of things, ranging from grunts that get oneshot to guards that get two shot to minibosses that take maybe five fireballs, a living bomb and a couple pyroblasts.
None of this is particularly challenging, but then again Jana is wearing item level 403 gear so your mileage may vary.
You go through Theramore without any real rhyme or reason until finally you meet up with Jaina Proudmoore, who gives you the first real information here. The Horde used the Focusing Iris, yes, the thing that Malygos protected for quite a while, and the thing Thrall used to bring down Deathwing (with the help of the Alliance, I might add — even if you’re a Horde group running Dragon Soul). This is bad, and you have to recover it before they use it again. This you do without much difficulty, before finally “guarding” Jaina Proudmoore in a final attack against the commander of the Horde at Theramore.
Honestly? Jaina Proudmoore could kick that guy’s ass to Northrend and back without breaking a sweat. She doesn’t need the protection of three reasonably geared Alliance adventurers. We were just along for the ride.
There are some clues to the whole thing, but I was left a bit mystified as to exactly what happened, and exactly what my purpose was in the whole thing. Apparently Blizzard expected you to read “Tides of War” if you wanted to know the whole story, but I haven’t and have no plans to. Fortunately, a kind person was able to summarize the book in a post on the official forums. Here’s the summary:
- The Horde stole the Focusing Iris from the Blue Dragonflight. Kalecgos asks Jaina to help him find it.
- The Horde destroys Northwatch Hold and marches into Dustwallow Marsh.
- The Horde makes a super powerful mana bomb with the Focusing Iris.
- Jaina calls for backup from the Alliance and Dalaran. Big names arrive in Theramore to fight the Horde.
- Mages form a barrier to protect Theramore from the Horde’s attack.
- A blood elf spy sabotages the gates and the Horde enters Theramore. The spy is captured and imprisoned in the barracks.
- Kalecgos and the Alliance push the Horde back.
- Horde adventurers rescue the blood elf. (This is the Horde scenario).
- Kalecgos tries to stop the zeppelin carrying the bomb, but he is knocked out into the ocean.
- Rhonin sacrifices himself to save Jaina as the bomb drops.
- Everyone in Theramore dies.
- Jaina wakes up on an island near Theramore. She returns to the ruins.
- Alliance adventurers arrive to assist Jaina. (This is the Alliance scenario.)
This would have been helpful to know beforehand, but as an Alliance Player in World of Warcraft events 1-12 are a complete mystery. Presumably they happened but there is in fact no word of anything; Step 4 was never communicated, for instance, to any Alliance player.
A bit of a breadcrumb quest would have been really nice here. Blizzard’s done those things time and time again to explain what’s going on in all sorts of places, and while they may have seemed tedious, they actually helped people understand what was going on in Yashj’ir, Northrend, Gnomeregan, Zul’gurub, Zul’Aman, the Sunwell, and so forth.
My goodness. Remember the Sunwell? Remember how we took the island step by step as measured by daily quests done. Was it a pain in the ass? Yes, if only because opening the Sunwell didn’t seem to be as much of a transformative event as it did adding another raid. Nuking Theramore is a transformative event. Couldn’t it have been done in steps to make it understandable?
In any case, the scenario makes me ask a bunch of questions, for none of which I have even the remotest of satisfactory answers.
What the hell was Garrosh thinking? Crossing the Dragonflights and Dalaran, stealing a relic all to destroy Theramore? Does he not realize that this will bring all of those forces, plus the Alliance, down on him to utterly decimate his rule?
For that matter, what about the Horde? Are the Tauren, Trolls and Blood Elves really going to stand for this sort of thing? If not from their own conscience then at least for the consequences of pissing off the factions listed above?
What about supposedly neutral factions? Do you really think the Argent Crusade will want to have anything to do with the Horde after they’ve done this? The Cenarion Expedition? The Earthen Ring? The Scryers (who know a thing or two about mana bombs)? The Aldor (who know a thing or two about cities being leveled)?
And then there’s Dalaran. Why does Sunreaver’s Sanctuary still exist? Why is any horde player not killed on sight upon entering Dalaran? Are you seriously suggesting, Blizzard, that the Kirin Tor is going to allow anyone even loosely associated with the Horde anywhere near Dalaran?
And now the Dragonflights. Why are the Horde allowed near any Caverns of Time instance? Why are they welcome at Wyrmrest Temple? Why would any member of any Dragonflight trust any member of the Horde with any task?
But none of these things will actually happen. Kalecgos will happily assign quests to Horde at the Wyrmrest Temple just like nothing has happened. The Kirin Tor — who had every reason to be hostile to or suspicious of the Horde before — will still welcome Horde players with open arms and even set aside valuable Dalaran real estate for their exclusive use. The Cenarion Expedition will happily assign tasks designed to preserve nature to the Horde. The Argent Crusade will welcome the Horde with open arms, as if nothing had happened.
Why? Well, the reason is obvious. If everyone did what was natural and logical and perfectly reasonable, it would suck to be a Horde player. There would be no real home city in Northrend. Or, as might be very likely, Outland as well. Major swaths of the Plaguelands, Silithus, Dragonblight and Zangarmarsh, at the very least, would become unavailable. And that’s not even contemplating the very real chance that major factions within the Horde will split off from Garrosh and tell him to go to hell, not at 5.4.0 or whenever the final patch for Pandaria will hit, but right now.
That is, I think, what troubles me most about this event. Alliance players suffer for this. We now have no standing port on the continent of Kalimdor. A slew of quests that began or ended in Theramore are now gone, including several of my favorites. I can only assume that a slew of quests in the Southern Barrens are gone as well. Mages who level in Pandaria now have no portal to anything close to Southern Kalimdor. But the Horde?
Hell, the Horde can kill the leader of the Kirin Tor and still be welcomed in Dalaran with open arms.
I’d like to see some sort of Alliance counter-offensive with real teeth, not in 5.4 or 5.3 or 5.2, but now. But really, what I’d like most to see is for people to treat leaders like Garrosh and Sylvanas like the filth they are. They are not to be trusted, they are not to be welcomed. Anyone following them should suffer the consequence, not welcomed with open arms.
I’m not holding my breath.