|Spoilers? BEFORE the Performance?|
Why are some films not reviewed until after they are released in theaters?A lot of movies don't have critic screenings before their release because the studio does not have faith in them. It's a sign that the movie's being dumped or is going to be dumped, and they just don't think it's a movie that's going to gain anything by getting reviewed. Of course, these movies will get reviewed eventually, and people will find out that they're dogs. Maybe the studios are hoping that first weekend might be successful without a critic screening. The first two weeks are really the times when the studios start paying attention to the big box office, because after that there's drop-off and the figure critical attention can only hurt this movie, so they don't screen it ahead of time.
For a long time, something bothered me about the Theramore Scenario. The only (brief) look I got of it was via some fan-rendered models taken from the beta files: it never made it to the play stage during my time in Pandaria. In fact, unless you were MMO and able to datamine your own version, no-one got a sniff at this Lore-rich nugget during the entire Beta process. When the PTR launched for 5.0.4, again... no Scenario. I assumed this was because Blizzard was keen to keep the spoiler-rich nature of the encounter a secret until the Lore-related novel of the event was released. It never occurred to me that they might simply be hiding something below par...
I like the idea of Scenarios a lot: the concept of a 10 minute 'mini dungeon' is great, especially if you don't need a tank or a healer to complete it. I can see the potential this kind of event has in helping people without the time and ability to run LFR or LFG. What I'm finding really hard to swallow right now is threefold:
1. This lore event is too significant for a ten minute, three man scenario. Really, this is an act of Genocide on a massive scale, it will signal all out war between the Horde and the Alliance, and you deal with it in less time than it takes to get a pizza delivered...? I appreciate the time constraints we have in our busy lives, and the timing issues Blizzard had when making this expansion (and balancing what they could reasonably produce in the time available), but to go ten months without any new content in the game and then to be given what is a major life-changing world event in TEN MINUTES... I came out of the whole thing feeling... well, cheated. There's no other word for it. After lots of promises of things being fun and immersive again, this really doesn't do the cause any favours.
I am also aware of the significance of the novel that ties in with this entire event. I think it is not unreasonable to assume that I really should buy this novel, read it, and then understand what has happened in the context of both events. I don't think I should have to absorb secondary source material in order to better understand what I'm being given, I feel it is the job of the game I'm playing to do that in the first instance. Making me buy something else to make what I already pay money for more three dimensional is a smart move, but really should not be a requirement.
2. It took my initial party of three (two tanks and a dps) three tries to actually progress past Stage One of the Event. All of us massively outgeared the minimum restrictions, and we discovered eventually that we had to stand and wait to be told to do stuff before we proceeded... VERY slowly. Being forced to kill things at a vastly different speed to normal, effectively waiting for the NPC's to 'catch up' should not be a requirement in any situation. I understand the need to tune an event to the lowest geared individual, but not at the expense of making things unplayable if you do things the way you always do. In the end, this evening, my husband has run the Scenario seven times with only one successful completion. That's not a great average.
3. This event is not broken for everyone, but clearly it doesn't work 100% of the time: why was it never aired on Beta or the PTR? Surely the entire point when you have something new is to test it as much as possible? Why did Blizzard feel the need to keep this away from everybody until it was too late to do anything about it? Is it really because it's a 'dumper'? Was it because they were worried about spoilers? Who knows, but with a week to go before the Expansion hits there's not much else to do now: this is what you have for a week and then we move to Pandaria...
I really hope this isn't a portent of things to come, and is simply the last throws of an Expansion that I suspect a great many people will be very happy is finally coming to a close.