Mists of Pandaria Beta – My first impressions.
This week I have taken a little time away from Midkemia Online to have a go on the new Mists of Pandaria beta, the upcoming expansion of World of Warcraft.
The first thing I noticed was that the character models are now slightly smoother, though not by much, the newer races aside of course. Being that Monks were the new class, I decided that that was what I would create. After creating my new Panda Monk I started playing through the newbie area and I realized something. Nothing has changed; this is all the same wow albeit in a different skin. Everything I did I felt I had done before; there was nothing new for me, not really. The level, while pretty and of a theme unseen that was all it offered.
I plowed on regardless but every minute I played the more I realized that this would just lead into another endless grind accumulating in a second endless grind before the third endless grind. I have built up three characters in the past to top tier. Grinding up to level 85, and then grinding up the all the gear needed to start raiding before finally raiding for top tier stuff. Thousands of hours for a game which in my opinion will never have the depth of MUDs. No true player controlled heroes, not controversy, just linear gameplay.
After completing the starting area to Mists of Pandaria I realized, Warcraft is on its way out, there is not much more that can be done to revive what was once a great game. All of the things that first drew me into WOW have now gone. Gone are the RPPVP servers, the epic quests for class specific mounts and abilities consigned to the graveyard of good ideas. Roleplay, in your typical graphical MMO is always an afterthought, yet the reason I play RPGs is for the roleplay.
The thing is, after playing Muds on the iron realms for so long, I have come to expect good quality, player run roleplay and epic character customization. There is only so much you can do in games like World of Warcraft to differentiate yourself from other people of the same race or class, often falling into cookie cutter type builds in order to be able to keep up with other players. In MUDs such as Midkemia Online you are able to customize pretty much any aspect of how your character can be played. You don’t have to put excessive effort into gearing for PVP and with a little practice almost anyone can do well at it. You rarely see two players who look or act the same and with the options of designing your own clothes, weapons, armor and in some cases even your pets and mounts I will always choose these kind of games over games produced commercially for the masses.
If someone was to ask me what is the best mmorpg 2011 or 2012 I would still answer Midkemia Online of the Iron Realms, with no hesitation. Whilst MUDs will never hold the masses like graphical MMOS, I think they are also Overlooked by many who, if they were to just try them would find it an utterly refreshing gaming experience and with that it is back to MKO for me.