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Pandaria: Day One

Posted by garrett Tuesday September 25 2012 at 1:16PM
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I got up early to play Mists this morning and begin my exploration of Pandaria. Undergeared and learning the new talents, I ventured forth. I wanted to list out the good and bad on my first impressions today. Also, I plan to continue tonight and work through all of Jade Forest and hopefully try some of the other systems.  I will say this, there are very certain game mechanics that have been introduced lately to MMOs that have really impacted my play in WoW. Let’s not even be coy about it, I’m talking about Guild Wars 2, and others like The Secret World, TERA, and even SWTOR.

Let’s start with the good things however. Logging into the game I found myself back in Orgrimmar with a new quest for war. Heading into to see Hellscream the short cut scene was fun to watch. The Alliance found some new island in the mists? Go and destroy them! What a great approach; I am sold! Got on the ship and flew over to Pandaria to discover the Jade Forest and a huge battle with the Alliance going on as we got into view. The quick cannon quest was fun and then it asked you to rappel down from the ship to the temple where the Alliance camps were. Well I fell, who cares, I’m a shaman and can reincarnate. So up I go to check things out.

This is where the not so good begins. I realize I never completed the rappel quest from the ship therefore I cannot unlock any other quests until that one is completed. Hey what about open zones and events? Oh wait… wrong game. Luckily I found a portal up to the ship and was able to rappel down. Suddenly the camp unlocks and my quests appear. Now I have to go and destroy some ammo stores as well as kill Alliance. Up the temple steps I go to find other players destroying ammo and fighting Allies. I run over to start attacking a lion-shirted goody-good and suddenly realize his bar is grey. Someone else had pulled the kill from me and I wasn’t getting XP for the fight. But…but… why can’t we help each other?

These two simple mechanics came to light very quickly for me and I realized I was spoiled. I still had to contend with players for mobs and objectives to do my quests. Also, if I didn’t complete something to the letter, I could not unlock the zone quests further. It all seemed so linear. I began to get disappointed.

I completed the quests and followed the formula, but that was just it. The formula for MMOs has changed.  So now I had to be careful and make sure I finished all my quests. I also had to try and find places where players were not in vast numbers to achieve my goals. I soldiered on though and found the quests and storyline pretty interesting. I love the Sha and their Dark Karmic approach. It was cool to have them spawn when you hurt the land of Pandaria. Once I got through the initial quests we went into the storyline more and I was at Honeydew Village picking up more to do.

I have not yet tried the pet battles or any dungeons. I do look forward to exploring more in the open world first. I always like to at least be one level into the expansion before entering any instances. For me, Mists is still World of Warcraft. It is fun and I do love my shaman that I have since day one almost 8 years ago. I switched back to enhancement spec on talents to level and will keep restoration in reserve for instances. The overall experience was a good one, yet it was marred by some of the mechanics that Guild Wars 2 has built into its everyday game play and cannot break free from. The largest was not getting experience for helping other players. I never really thought about how important a feature like that truly is! Mists of Pandaria is definitely fun, and it breathes some life into an aging game, but I’d be willing to bet that Blizzard is watching its competitors and that with a few big patches we might see some changes that definitely would improve a few mechanics. Sorry Azeroth, Tyria has some great stuff to it. You’re just going to have to learn to share the spotlight. 

Harbinger1975 writes:



All joking aside though, it really does become a shock to the system because we became so quickly spoiled to what ArenaNet has done to the sharing of mobs between players. 

Tue Sep 25 2012 2:04PM Report
Psychow writes: You should just uninstall now and go back to whatever game you think is "better". Sorry that the game isn't as fun for you. Tue Sep 25 2012 2:40PM Report
Harbinger1975 writes: The joke was apparently lost on you. Tue Sep 25 2012 3:02PM Report
ohpower writes:

Well, it sure goes with my experience, but I didn't expect to see GW2 considered as such a game-changer by a member of's staff. Maybe times are really changing after all, even if I think -and selflessly hope- MoP will stay a very good game for those that like WoW.

Anyway, good trip in Pandaria, mr garrett!

Tue Sep 25 2012 4:12PM Report
Stx11 writes:

I feel for ya Garrett...

This is what we called "The GW2 Effect" in the forums after the BWEs when we went back to try and play other MMOs.

GW2 certainly isn't for everyone and not everybody will like it, but there are design elements in the game that many of us really really would love to see in other games - cooperative combat, "!-less" gameplay, and shared nodes/resources are hard to play without once you experience them.

Tue Sep 25 2012 9:02PM Report
daltanious writes:

Agree with stx11. To repeat, my 1st is SWTOR, long years was WOW which is now 2nd. On third place I'm really not sure if to put Rift or GW2, guess should wait at least half leveling up with GW2 to decide to have hones compare.

About MOP, of course started to play at midnight and of course with monk. :-)

I do not have not even minimal problem with lienar quest for START. As introduction. But if they will continue this way like in Cata ... this is bad, very bad. Only exception should be class/main quest.

World is beautiful so far, combat fun enough,.... Another sucessfull expansion. Or ... may not be.

Now to bad. My monk is now lv. 15. And will probably stay there. Because of this horrible disaster of new talent system is completely unappealing to play. What is fun with leveling is, at least at lower levels, to get some candy. At least works for me. Now I have to wait to kind'a mediocre candy at 15th level. Will have to wait next 15 levels for another possibly great/mediocre/useless spell. Also new spells coming at alarming slow rate for start. I can not believe it ... but looks to me this could be first time since release of wow I'm not interested in leveling of new class. Had since BC as I remember all 9, later 10 classes. They were all ready for MOP. For the first time not sure if will stay in game enough long to see them all leveled.

But I'm pretty sure one of them will be shaman. They have worsened him beyond belief, close to what they did to (caster) druids in Cata.

About endgame in form of 5man (never liked raids, have job and work to do, even so playing to much) ... Cata have killed permanently my wish even for future expansions.

In general would say Blizzard does more good changes then bad ... but I have impression their mistakes have decreased sub number far far beyond what have good decisions brought in. And I'm very sorry for this once no1 game for me. Before end game of Cata came I could easyily immagine myself to play wow even after 10, 20 years. After Cata was not sure anymore. Now with MOP I'm unfortunately pretty sure this will not be the case.


Wed Sep 26 2012 4:43AM Report
bone12 writes:

Day 1 alot of people got to 90 already so sad.. and day 2 alot of people would have cleared every dungeon more then 5 times already.. day 3 all raids that are accesable will be cleared....


okay maybe not but i hope u get what i mean. Wow is Dead boring and to easy.

Wed Sep 26 2012 5:29AM Report
gbooster writes:


Questing sucks in WoW today, they at least made these quests almost interesting in parts, but that has very little to do with what WoW is today.

Everyone who has played the game in the past knows that WoW excels at end game raiding. The 85-90 quest/leveling journey represents about 1% of the time people are going to be playing in this expansion. WoW offers the best end game experience, raiding and otherwise, over any other game out there.

This is where so many other MMOs fail. They offer a great 2 week romp of PVE leveling content and then... sub par end game. 

I hope you keep that in mind as you make your review.

Wed Sep 26 2012 1:20PM Report
Roxtarr writes: Great read.  I hope that more games start to take notice of what GW2 has brought to the table.  Seal it all Blizzard! Steal it all!  WoW + GW2 mechanics would be amazing. Wed Sep 26 2012 6:48PM Report
Mixxathon writes:

WoW with GW2 Graphics + shared content + dynamic events + SWTOR's questing system + Voice Acting and LOTRO's Epic Quests + feeling of immersion in the world would really make Pandaria the game to play.

WoW + pandas = not so much....



3. GW2

4. Secret World

5. WoW

Thu Sep 27 2012 5:33AM Report
Lukyan writes: I brought GW2 played it, until level 10, its absolutely horrible game, I lost my money. I tryed Tera, nice game, but no friends playing and a enchant system that depends on lucky, where I lost all my gold trying to put +9/+12. I came back to wow, now new Expansion MOP. Before it all I played: Aion, Tera, RF, Lineage and tryed GW2 (horrible game). I played 5 years of  WOW before all tose MMO. Mistis of pandaria is really fun, good content, ok wow graphics aren't better than Tera and Aion, but the game is more fun than both right now.  MOP expansion is going to me better than cataclysm, my friends are playing it. Im going to where the fun is, and pandas? They are amazing. Thu Sep 27 2012 8:25AM Report
MurlockDance writes:

I think Garrett has hit on why I am disappointed with MoP, but it is more than just the nice systems brought in by GW2 such as phased nodes, cooperative play, DEs, etc, that are missing. The areas are just... well... boring and feel very rehashed or like a poor ripoff of some GW2 areas.

Plus the content is really short this time round. I spent a good amount of time getting max level in TBC and Wrath, but Cata seems to have set us on a decline of time spent leveling to max. Instead, it is coercing us to get into dungeons quickly and redo them ad nauseum, a type of gameplay I do not care for.

Some of the new quests are really kiddy and I find that unappealing. A little panda asking my big, badass warlock, who is so corrupt that he is virtually a demon himself, to go save some of her little buddies near a witch's house? Why on earth would she ask my character to do that? For all that she knows, my character could be far, far more evil than the witch...

And then all of the ooking monkies, don't get me started on them.

It is too limiting, and too on-rails now. You only have a choice of going to the Jade Forest too.. there are no alternative leveling paths.

Sun Sep 30 2012 4:21AM Report
erikk3189 writes:

My neighbors 10 year old and his school buddies are split between thinking this game is so-so and not liking it that much.

One mentioned he thought the game was way too simple and this from a 11 year old.

Blizzard whose sole attempt has been to pull in the kiddies as well as the Asians, will most likely be terribly disappointed in seeing their target audiences leave as quickly as they came.

So much hype and so much work and still,  all they've accomplished is to water-down a game who can practically be played using just one finger on the keyboard.

Ha...but it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.



Sun Sep 30 2012 8:07PM Report
erikk3189 writes:

Truth be told, there is nothing nowadays that's worth playing. Not Swtor (which I just left), Not Planetside 2, not any of the other MMO's and certainly not the trash WoW has become.

It's unfortunate but the MMO world  is full of garbage games.

Sun Sep 30 2012 8:12PM Report writes:
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