The worst thing to happen to World of Warcraft were the novels.
Ever since the novels started coming out, the in-game storytelling has been downright shoddy. WoW stories has never been high art, but at least they were more or less cohesive in-game. Now, nothing really makes sense unless you read the companion book.
Last year, I predicted:
Now, it's probable that, like most major storyline events, [the destruction of Theramore] will happen "off-screen", in a novel or comic, or maybe a cut-scene before Mists of Pandaria comes out.And that's exactly what happened. Out of nowhere, the Horde nukes Theramore. With an actual
Apparently it makes sense if you read Tides of War. I just wish it made sense in-game.
Stories need a beginning, a middle, and an end. More and more, it seems that Blizzard is putting the beginning and end in a book, and featuring a small part of the middle in-game. Even a random quest from King Varian Wrynn sending you to Theramore would have added so much.
Onto the actual scenario mechanics, they seem about what you can expect from a 3 dps group. It's a bit of a zerg, with some mechanics and some running around. This particular scenario wasn't very hard, especially if you're in full raid gear. On the whole I think this was a good thing, in order to allow everyone to see the content within a window of only a week.
I started as Holy, got bored of spamming Denounce, and switched to Ret. I did have to heal myself a few times. I do like how Blizzard used swarms of enemies. With three dps, this allows you to split the aggro, and thus split the damage in a sensible way.
On the whole, the scenario mechanics seem okay, and probably as good as non-Trinity content can be. Hopefully the level 90 scenarios are a bit more difficult.
Back to the storyline, one thing I dislike about WoW's current direction is that it's heading in a very technological direction. I blame the goblins. Now, WoW has always had steampunk elements with the gnomes, but lately I think they're going too far. I liked the fantasy style with paladins and dragons. Honestly, I think nuclear weapons being dropped from planes crosses a line.
It's like, what was wrong with an actual siege and battle involving armies? That's traditional fantasy. Why resort to having a nuclear weapon? Or even a warlock/mage ritual. More fantasy, less technology.
(Yes, I know the mana bombs appeared or were foreshadowed in TBC.)
I did also hope that Theramore would make the players central characters once again. Make them take responsibility for the Horde/Alliance war. Sadly, Blizzard stuck to their current style and had the NPCs do everything, with the players just acting as clean up once again.
I hope that Theramore is not a sample of what we can expect in Pandaria. I fear that it will be, though.