Community Soapbox: World of Warcraft’s Mists of Pandaria, three months on

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

By on January 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

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I’ve been playing World of Warcraft on and off since the initial release of the game. Generally I get excited when hearing about details of an upcoming expansion pack — however with the details being released on Mists of Pandaria I wasn’t happy at all. I felt that jumping on the Kung Fu Panda bandwagon and releasing an expansion based on a small part of the lore of the world was a mistake, and it didn’t help that the released intro for the expansion had comedic elements to it. So I had decided this would be the first expansion I wasn’t going to play.

That was until someone decided it would make a good birthday gift.

So I decided not to waste it and loaded it up. Maybe it’s because I was expecting a disaster, but Mists of Pandaria is a mostly well made expansion. Blizzard seem to have figured out that questing is good for delivering story: voiced character conversation and cutscenes are used more in this expansion then any other. Because of this the gimmick type quests, ones that involve vehicles and weird quest items, are few and far between. I liked it this way, however some people have complained in game about it being too monotonous.

Cyrinno has also made a video version of this review, if that’s your thing! Enjoy.

Dungeons are generally well made, but they feel unchallenging. Half the dungeons you can access while levelling up and the others are heroic only. Heroic isn’t what it used to be, crowd control isn’t really necessary and everything still gets AOE’d down. Blizzards attempt to add danger and difficulty usually involve just avoiding new AOE and cone attacks.

Scenarios have been added too, which essentially are three player quests that are in an instance instead of out in the usual questing zones. These also have no challenge at all and are only good at pushing the story onwards — but just barely.

There’s also the raid finder. Most raids start off easy, but it does ramp up. Even though I found it still too easy, the raids are still the hardest content that is non-hard mode and found it enjoyable. Here we see the problem: when most of the game is easy, there is no challenge and there is just grind. By having the game so accessible and with there being so much competition, I haven’t felt the need to move onto hard-mode content as I have with previous expansions.

Then there are Pokemon style battles between player pets which is good for killing time while waiting for raids, but the system — while well constructed — lacks flash. Combat moves from pets in the battle system just re-used already existing assets with very simple moves, and I found this disappointing. X-COM: Enemy Unknown has shown what a few good cutscenes can do even in turn based combat.

The new class added to the game is the Monk. The new starting area is, again, well-constructed, but I found it disappointing having to level up from scratch again. Starting off a bit higher such as the death knight would have been welcome. When levelling up as a monk you aren’t really given that many skills to use, and it can feel a bit dull. The tanking spec at low levels seems to outdo the DPS spec by a large margin as well.

Last of the big changes is the talent system. They have removed talent points, and instead added a system where you choose from one of three talents every 15 levels or so. The idea is for the player to make hard choices, but it generally doesn’t come down to that. Usually the talent that you want to choose is very straight forward. I never came to a point in the game where it was a hard choice. The system really should have been implemented instead of the glyph system and kept in combination with passive talent points.

With the new system of talents, however, levels are starting to lose all meaning. Mists of Pandaria advertises that it includes five extra levels, but it may as well just be one level. The other four are essentially meaningless, although at least you can pat yourself on the back.

Overall, I found the expansion to be serious, and of generally high quality. The questing is well made and so are the dungeons, and the new talent system works but is underwhelming. Mists of Pandaria makes the game feel far too accessible, resulting in a been-there, done-that feeling. Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition these days in the MMO market — and I felt there wasn’t much of a reason for me to keep playing the game after I had completed it.

16 comments (Leave your own)

I play these games and skip all story so boring, so slow, i dont wanna be leveling any longer then need be.

One thing i hate about MoP is that there is no alternate ways to level your character, its always the same place same quests same everything, i’ve lvled 3 90′s and it was painful all the way through. Atleast with Vanilla you had 2 or 3 zones to go level in your level bracket, if you were sick of one area, just change zones. Not too easy anymore to chose where to have fun and much more boring.

 

I wish Blizzard opened some Official 1.12.1 servers. Then i wont have to lvl the 6th time to 60 and the server dies.

 

There’s also the raid finder. Most raids start off easy, but it does ramp up. Even though I found it still too easy, the raids are still the hardest content that is non-hard mode and found it enjoyable. Here we see the problem: when most of the game is easy, there is no challenge and there is just grind.

The raid finder was never meant to be hard. The raid finder is there for the casuals who cant commit to a full time raiding guild but still want the experience and results of one. It can also be used as a leg up for an active raiding member in gearing for the actual raiding content.

I agree with you on the point that it is low on challenge unless you are in an active raiding guild as the 10 and 25 man raids are actually challenging… It’s very easy to wipe. But that is the way wow has always been, If you aren’t interested in committing to see end game content then you are playing the wrong game. Something which blizzard had started to cater to but thankfully have backed off a bit in MoP.

I am still annoyed with this raid finder bs, I as a committed hardcore raider, don’t want the average joe to spend less 3x less time working their ass off to see end game content. I worked my ass off to get where I am, and so should they.

 

collect0r: The raid finder was never meant to be hard. The raid finder is there for the casuals who cant commit to a full time raiding guild but still want the experience and results of one. It can also be used as a leg up for an active raiding member in gearing for the actual raiding content.

I agree with you on the point that it is low on challenge unless you are in an active raiding guild as the 10 and 25 man raids are actually challenging… It’s very easy to wipe. But that is the way wow has always been, If you aren’t interested in committing to see end game content then you are playing the wrong game. Something which blizzard had started to cater to but thankfully have backed off a bit in MoP.

I am still annoyed with this raid finder bs, I as a committed hardcore raider, don’t want the average joe to spend less 3x less time working their ass off to see end game content. I worked my ass off to get where I am, and so should they.

heh ?
Raid finder is awesome, back when i was going to high school and had time to spend raiding I might have agreed with you but now their’s just not enough hours in the day for me to be in a “hardcore” raiding guild.

It’s interesting you say “you’re in the wrong game”
Alot of people pre raid finder simply didn’t raid or puged what’s the point in designing content only 1% of your player base actually sees ?

I think people forget alot of the time that it is just a game and get way too obsessed with how much “work” they had to do.

 

collect0r: The raid finder was never meant to be hard. The raid finder is there for the casuals who cant commit to a full time raiding guild but still want the experience and results of one. It can also be used as a leg up for an active raiding member in gearing for the actual raiding content.

I agree with you on the point that it is low on challenge unless you are in an active raiding guild as the 10 and 25 man raids are actually challenging… It’s very easy to wipe. But that is the way wow has always been, If you aren’t interested in committing to see end game content then you are playing the wrong game. Something which blizzard had started to cater to but thankfully have backed off a bit in MoP.

I am still annoyed with this raid finder bs, I as a committed hardcore raider, don’t want the average joe to spend less 3x less time working their ass off to see end game content. I worked my ass off to get where I am, and so should they.

Oh I know I use to do hard modes so I know where to find the hard stuff, but I was just saying the easy stuff is too easy. Thats all :)

 

“Heroic isn’t what it used to be, crowd control isn’t really necessary and everything still gets AOE’d down”

Been AoE tanking/exploding things since the first heroics in TBC bro, nothing has changed in that respect for the last 5-6 years.

 

The biggest problem I found with this expansion (and ultimately the one that has made me (and the rest of my guild) decide to finally move on) is the way in which the developers decided to re-add long monotonous time sinks in order to raid with all the perks.

WotLK/Cata had a great model where you didn’t need to log on every day to compete, rather you could jump on during your day off and prepare for the rest of your raid week in a few hours easily.

With MoP, Blizzards idea of personal responsibility involves hours of repetitive daily quests each day so that you have enough VP to upgrade your gear, enough food to be eating the best buff food for raids, and enough coins to get extra rolls on loot during raids, Not to mention reputation you need to buy the gear in the first place.

WotLK/Cata involved minimal input from each member in order to have raid supplies each week, dailies were optional, and reputation grinds were not as drawn out. They had it right, why did they change it?

It’s really disappointing that the game isn’t fun for me any more, I’ve had a blast playing over the last 7-8 years but this expansion is just too much.

 

novocaine:

With MoP, Blizzards idea of personal responsibility involves hours of repetitive daily quests each day so that you have enough VP to upgrade your gear,

I haven’t upgraded one piece of gear with VP and survive fine. The upgrades to gear are very marginal and it isn’t going to be the difference between a boss kill and a wipe.

novocaine:
and enough coins to get extra rolls on loot during raids,

Not really required unless you are gear hungry, someone whom wouldn’t survive in my guild long.

novocaine:
Not to mention reputation you need to buy the gear in the first place.

Also no required, I went straight into 10 man raiding from heroic gear, not one rep farmed.

 

So I have a stupid amount of hours spent playing WoW..
I played MoP, leveled 1 toon to max did most of everything, partially leveled 7 others.. God the grind was horrid… couldnt make myself do it on a 2nd toon.
Got bored.
Tried skyrim again.. Still didnt finnish it…
Currently playing SWTOR as F2P prefered player, Takes aaaages to level but Im doing every single quest watching every clip and having more fun with it than I was in WoW.

 

Most people who get bored of WoW have never PvP’d. Try it. Pushing rating as a resto shaman in 3′s and RBG’s is a lot more fun than you may think.

 

drakaath:
Most people who get bored of WoW have never PvP’d. Try it. Pushing rating as a resto shaman in 3′s and RBG’s is a lot more fun than you may think.

I have long since given up on WoW but I have yet to play an MMO with equally solid PvP as WoW. Most MMOs fall very short of the mark and RIFT (of which I am a big fan of) got pretty close to the sweet spot that WoW had when I used to play it (Havent played since a bit after WOTLK days).

 

I found the PVP in this expansion to have even more CC then the previous ones making it even more annoying :P

 

collect0r: I haven’t upgraded one piece of gear with VP and survive fine. The upgrades to gear are very marginal and it isn’t going to be the difference between a boss kill and a wipe.

Not really required unless you are gear hungry, someone whom wouldn’t survive in my guild long.

Also no required, I went straight into 10 man raiding from heroic gear, not one rep farmed.

Well I’m glad for you that the other 9 people in your guild don’t mind carrying you. Upgrades might be marginal, but it all adds up. 1% wipes happen all the time.

You wouldn’t have survived in our guild long either.

 

novocaine: Well I’m glad for you that the other 9 people in your guild don’t mind carrying you. Upgrades might be marginal, but it all adds up. 1% wipes happen all the time.

Lol…

Hard to carry someone you are on the same level with. Just because you’re bad enough to wipe on a boss multiple times doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t have the skill to kill the boss.

Also i find it hard to believe a raid would be capable of carrying a main tank. An off tank sure… but main… yeah.. no.. you are talking out your ass on that one.

 

So you’re telling me your entire raid was in nothing but heroic blues? You’re either full of shit or 10m is incredibly easy.

 

novocaine:
So you’re telling me your entire raid was in nothing but heroic blues? You’re either full of shit or 10m is incredibly easy.

ToC 25 man heroic got completed by a guild in heroic blues. if you know how the mechanics and your class works content shouldn’t be an issue with any gear level /2 cents

 
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