In patch 5.3, we're getting four new scenarios -- three of which are interesting from a lore perspective, and one of which, Battle on the High Seas, is just a rollicking good time. There aren't any lore reveals. There's nothing in the scenario to further the story of patch 5.3, or lead into patch 5.4. The only thing Battle on the High Seas offers is the opportunity to smack the heck out of the opposite fashion in true swashbuckling style ... and honestly, that's more than enough reason to do it as far as I'm concerned!
Please note that this is being written from the Horde perspective of the scenario. I'm assuming that the Alliance side is much the same, just with a role-reversal involved.
Please note: This post contains spoilers for patch 5.3 content.
See that big red ring that the orc in the screenshot above is standing in? Yeah, that's the big red ring of death. It won't kill you instantly, but it'll knock a good chunk of your health off. And if you get hit by too many of those, you can kiss your life goodbye -- as the orc in the above screenshot figured out. This cannon fire will continue throughout the entirety of the scenario. If you and the rest of your party can avoid getting hit by cannon fire throughout the entire instance, you'll get the achievement Keep Those Bombs Away! from me... -- which sounds pretty easy until you're on the ship and you see exactly how much cannon fire gets thrown at you.
Once you've cleared out the enemy attackers, you're sent to the next ship. Oh, you don't swim, or climb a ladder, or anything remotely like that. You hop into a cannon and get shot over there -- because that's so much more ridiculously entertaining. Please keep in mind that jumping in the water is the last thing you want to do. Remember that whale shark from Cataclysm? The one, if you were as obsessive about collecting achievements as I was, you killed for From Hell's Heart I Stab at Thee? Yeah, his son is in the water and won't hesitate to swallow you whole. Just take the cannon. Trust me.
There are also other items around the ship that you can interact with as well. Rapiers, pirate hats, and the very interesting Strange Bowl of Dice. Clicking on the bowl of dice can either give you a nice buff, do nothing at all, or it can open up a Cannon Barrage. The cannon barrage is evil. You remember that nice orc in the screenshot above? Yeah, I accidentally killed him again by clicking the dice. I uh ... left the dice alone after that. I'm really sorry, mister orc. We can still be friends, right?
Once you've gathered the explosives, it's a quick trip to the bottom of the ship in order to set them up to detonate. Oh, and you're not done there -- you've got a 20 second countdown to make it back to the top of the ship and grab a rope before the ship explodes. If you don't manage to click the rope in time, you're dead. It's pretty funny, actually. These are all boat models that have been in game since vanilla, yet they're still a maze -- especially if you're in a hurry to get out. I missed the click by a second. Make sure you don't dally around on your trip out of there.
It might sound that way -- but it's ridiculously fast-paced and frenetic in there. In fact, it's the fastest-paced scenario I've been in to date. The scenarios I'm not particularly fond of are the ones that have a major delay in between phases -- Battle on the High Seas just doesn't let up, not for a moment. There's no delay, there's no letting up in the action, and that's most of the reason I really enjoyed it.
Although it might not quite edge out Unga Ingoo for title of favorite scenario this expansion, Battle on the High Seas is definitely worth checking out. It may not have the story elements of the other three scenarios introduced this time around, but it makes up for that with a lot of fast-paced fun. If you're just looking to smack around some Horde, or smack around some Alliance, this is the perfect scenario for some satisfying factional rampage.