Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mists of Pandaria: First Impressions

I have very few negative things to say about the latest WoW expansion. I'm not one of those "race to 90" type of player, but I have been playing since the day of the release and I've been having a fantastic time.

I know that I'm in the minority when I say that questing is my favorite part of the game. I enjoy exploring the world, picking up quests, getting new gear, and just generally immersing myself in the game's world. I seriously cannot relate to the player who complains that it's taking too long to get to 90. I was, however, immensely pleased when I dinged 86 just last night. ;) That should give you some idea where I'm at in Pandaria. Okay, okay. I will admit that I'm chomping at the bit to get the new cloud serpent mount. All good things...

Pet Battles

Prior to the release, I was really looking forward to this new aspect of the game. It gives the player an alternate course of action instead of the constant raiding, PuGs, and leveling. The reality of this feature totally lived up to my expectations. The cheesy Final Fantasy-esque music. The silly turn-based attacks. The cutesy pets whose sole purpose in life is to kick ass. I love it. It's fun. It's distracting. It's addicting. I feel bad choosing to level certain companions over others. This has led to me trying to level several at one time which means that my highest level pet is only 11, lol. Questing in Pandaria and seeing the potential, capture-able pets makes me drool. I can't wait until I get a pet high enough so that I can start acquiring the new pets.

The Scenery

Come on. How can you not appreciate this??

If you don't like the scenery in Pandaria, I can only assume that you're color blind. It's visually striking and totally pleasing to the eye. If I hear one more person gripe about the graphics in WoW, I may have to turn stalker and pound on that person a bit. Maybe the graphics are not top shelf, but I still don't see what the complaining is all about.

Pandas. Squishy, Loveable, Ninja, Pandas!

This is another popular topic about which people like to complain. Do people know much about real, in the wild, pandas? Sure, they look cute, but I would like to see you come between a cub and it's mother. Polar bears, black bears, and grizzlies are cute too. Did you hear about that hiker that was taking video of a grizzly? All they found of him was the video. Anyway, my panda monk is only a level 14 so I can't speak on an "expert" level, but I'm having great fun playing her. She's pretty and she's pretty vicious.

My One Complaint

I think having cross-realm areas is a fantastic idea. I really like seeing other players when I'm out and about questing. However...It would have been nice if that had been turned off for the first few weeks after the expansion release. Over population is now the issue instead of dead areas. I was questing with my lowbie panda in the Northern Barrens and there weren't enough quilboars and sacks of rice to be found for all the dozens of pandas trying to do the same quests. It was just a bit frustrating. After a while, I gave up and went for some pet battles instead.

To Conclude

I've run into a few glitches here and there. I've run across totally asshole-y players stealing all the quest kills and gathers. What's new? After playing beta, I can see a big difference in the number of things that needed to be fixed versus the more polished final release. I am a realist. I expected hangups. So what? I think MoP is a complete breath of fresh air when compared to the somewhat more intense expansions of WotLK and Cataclysm. I still have no regrets signing up for the annual pass. I'll more than likely renew or, at the very least, keep my subscription current. I'm still having fun with the game, reading other's blog posts and tweets, and being part of the community that is WoW. I'm definitely not ready to throw in the towel.