World of Warcraft previews: The solo scenario system
With patch 5.2, Blizzard introduced us to the first set of solo scenarios. Taking the three-player scenario system a tiny step further, we now have some very unique content that has much potential. These scenarios serve the purpose of a mini-game and also a fun way of progressing story elements on the Isle of Thunder. I continue to be a big fan of the scenario system, in both the original three-player scenarios and these new solo iterations. A lot of my friends and guildmates also seem to enjoy them just as much which got me thinking, "what more can the scenario systems be used for?"
Phasing and Scenarios = "Pharios"
The single player scenarios that were introduced in patch 5.2 come in two varieties. The first scenario is the Troves of the Thunder King which is a time-based mission in which you try to grab as much loot as you can before a five minute timer expires. The other type of solo scenarios are linked to the Isle of Thunder progression. As each stage of the Isle is unlocked, a one-time scenario becomes available that furthers the story of the assault. These allow players to see the story unfold in the event they're not logged in when a stage is completed.
In addition to scenarios, the Mists of Pandaria expansion also introduced Sunsong Ranch which gives each player a phased plot of land to farm on. This phasing technology, which isn't new to the game, is used to separate players from one another who aren't in the same phase. In the case of the Ranch, each player is in a unique phase in which no other players can see. These phases are geo fenced areas in the game world and once you step in, you enter your personal phase that no one else can interfere with. This is different from scenarios as they are essentially the same as a regular dungeon or raid instance - something that you load into.
The ideas that I have could utilize either of these technologies, so going forward I'll refer to them both as one system, the "pharios system" (pronounced fair?e?ohs). I'm not sure yet if that is clever or just a stupid idea but for the time being, I'm going with it. Phario's not a system, he's a man¹. Okay moving along - Taking these two systems, or Pharios, I have come up with a few crazy ideas that could add some interesting twists to existing World of Warcraft gameplay systems.