Now that I've indulged in heaping helpings of scenarios over the past two weeks, have my thoughts about TSW's newest feature changed? Has my excitement diminished? Have I had my fill now and am I just looking forward to moving on to Tokyo, or am I still standing at that Council of Venice's console with my bowl held high saying, "Please, sir, I want some more"? To answer, let me show you my snazzy bowl! Then I'll share why I think the scenarios are more than worthwhile in spite of the naysayers.
Although scenarios are still intense, they are what I would call I light snack. Unlike dungeons and missions, they require absolutely no guesswork when it comes to how long a scenario gameplay session will take because the timer is constant. If you have only 30 minutes to sneak in some game time, you can pop right into a solo scenario and have at it -- as long as you aren't on cooldown, of course. Understandably, it may take longer to find others to join in for the duo or group versions, but once you do, the run will go for just 25 minutes. This can be especially handy on time-starved days when I still want to get something done (or livestreams!). And you can't discount the fact that a timer adds just a little bit of adrenaline rush to the mix. Just check out the second half of this video:
Another aspect of scenarios that keeps me interested relates to why I think others are frustrated with them: the random element. One of the reasons that I no longer participate in a plethora of raids or grind dungeons for gear over and over and over and over is because I can't stand the monotony. It's the same reason I am not fond of watching movies over again or even reading my favorite books repeatedly. I simply do not like knowing what to expect. With static dungeons and instances, once the run is known, nothing varies; you go in and get the job done. With scenarios, each run is unique. True, I have gotten familiar with certain waves, but I am far from exhausting the possible combinations of events.
That leads into the next reason I keep coming back for more: the fact that scenarios are all about thinking on your feet. With the aforementioned dungeons, once the tactics are known, you can start doing those runs in your sleep (or in the case of some groupmates I've had, while you're drunk). In scenarios, you can't go into the situation with a set build and a set plan and expect success. And there's no time to sit back and thoughtfully study out what to do for any given situation; you have to assess, make a choice, and then go. Switching builds on the run within a single scenario is likely to yield better success. I am far from mastering dealing with the various waves in scenarios, but it is a challenge that I am rising to meet. And it is exactly that challenge that I am liking.
However, if you are on the scenario-bashing bandwagon just because you're frustrated that you have not whizzed through the scenarios when you are used to winning, might I make an observation? You're not supposed to be able to breeze through all levels of the scenarios right from the get-go. No, really. Despite all your awesome knowledge about builds and synergies (and I say that seriously with the utmost respect!), the scenarios are meant to be a challenge. Yes, even to you uber players, and yes, even the "easiest" levels. They are meant for even the best players to have to work at, to give them a way to improve. What the heck good would it be to put tons of time and effort into a new feature that players fly through in just a week? I think we have all seen how well that really goes over. Personally, I disagree with the sentiments that scenarios missed their mark. I think they are performing their purpose splendidly.
It also doesn't hurt to remember that this newest feature is meant to be indulged in by those who have already progressed far in the game, have (hopefully) learned how to adjust builds for different situations, and have developed a number of viable builds with a variety of abilities. That's not to say that the scenarios are exclusive. They can be used by those without these qualifications, just usually only with the assistance of groupmates who do have them. So this is an endgame-level activity that is actually available before endgame, which I think is pretty nifty. No one is locked out; everyone is guaranteed the chance to participate, although no one is guaranteed success. But nothing in that suggests that everyone will like them.
So go ahead and try it. You might like it!
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