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News & Features Discussion  » [General Article] World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Review In Progress - Quests & PvE

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37 posts found
  SBFord

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 12054

 
OP  10/03/12 8:30:17 PM#1

With World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria now live, we are going to offer a series of articles leading up to our final review in a few weeks. This week, we take a look at questing and PvE in Mists of Pandaria. Read on!

World of Warcraft changed last week for everyone as Mists of Pandaria launched. The new expansion offered a host of new features which we will be focusing on throughout the reviews. I am slowly playing through the 85 to 90 zones in hopes of taking the expansion seriously. There are a lot of good elements, but in my travels I have also seen a lot of bad. The bad really adds up to how vanilla WoW has become and how the game still has a ton of potential to grow, yet seems to have stalled with this expansion. This week I want to focus on PvE and Questing. The good with the bad, let’s begin our review of Mists of Pandaria. 

Read more of Garrett Fuller's World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Review in Progress #1 - Quests & PvE.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Mardukk

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1266

10/04/12 7:15:41 AM#2
That linear questing started driving me nuts around WOTLK and I finally quit for good shortly after leveling in Cata.  The complete lack of solo PvE challenge and linear questing should be some items Blizz should look at in the future.
  Muke

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 1478

10/04/12 7:23:30 AM#3
like the updated graphics+ design on those kungfu panda zones, but about time they should update the graphics on the old lore as well...it looks waaaaaay too outdated.

"going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 10803

10/04/12 7:27:46 AM#4
Originally posted by Mardukk
That linear questing started driving me nuts around WOTLK and I finally quit for good shortly after leveling in Cata.  The complete lack of solo PvE challenge and linear questing should be some items Blizz should look at in the future.

Cata was extremely linear

but I didnt think WOTLK hub questing was any worse than BC hub questing

  expresso

Tipster

Joined: 3/10/10
Posts: 2065

10/04/12 7:32:26 AM#5

Just to correct the point made about there being no quests off the beaten road, no roaming quest NPC's... well maybe not in Jade forest but there are plently in the proceeding zones.

 

Shame no point was made about the new voice over for most of the story line quests and the numerous ingame cutscenes.

  Muppetier

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/05/09
Posts: 229

10/04/12 7:35:28 AM#6

Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 6477

10/04/12 7:47:49 AM#7

Cata was bad. There is no other way to put it. From questing to pvp. I had lost all hope for blizzard and WoW.

 

Pandas unexpectedly seems pretty alright. Wpvp lives in pandaland, no joke, and the questing is more akin to Wotlk, even a little BCish.

  SlickShoes

Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/06
Posts: 1040

10/04/12 7:49:44 AM#8

Review seems to suggest that you cannot do anything else while questing. Also the zones after Jade Forrest do have roaming NPC's that have quests for you.

There was a blue response on the official forums from someone asking why on the zone map they could see and ! quest icon and this was the response: 

The zones are set up in such a way that exploring the world is going to yield quests and quest hubs that you aren't directed toward during the course of the main story line. The exclamation points on the map help give a hint, at least, where some of them are. Certainly though you'll find more just by exploring.

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 6477

10/04/12 7:51:30 AM#9
Originally posted by Muppetier

Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

You can skip within you level range as far as I can see. I'm not sure if you can quest more than 2-3 levels beyond. 

 

It's more akin to you have to read 1 page out of each chapter.

  Acvivm

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/25/10
Posts: 311

10/04/12 8:09:04 AM#10

So you can't take this game seriously but we are supposed to take your "review" seriously....right. I can already tell you that there is more choice available then Cata ever had, there are many times where they give options on where you want to quest next.

 

There are tons of quests that arent even connected to the main quest chains at all, for instance the quests that are found in the Nayeli Lagoon (Krasarang Wilds) aren't connected to the main quest lines and if you decide to not explore down there you will miss them. This whole idea that you have to do every quest line is just simply not true, In the Valley of the Four Winds you can do the main quest line that leads to the Stormstout Brewery and get the quest that leads to the Kunlai Summit long before you ever finish the zone or even the Krasarang Wilds. Heck, there is even a quest that sends you directly to Krasarang Wilds right out of the first questing hub in the VotFW, you could do all of Krasarang Wilds before you even barely started VotFWs. If that isn't choice then I don't know what is...

 

I personally feel this expansion has some of the best questing WoW has ever had, Kunlai Summit was a notable questing zone because there were options to go all over the map almost from the get go, If I wanted to go do the Temple of the White Tiger to open up the Vale of Eternal Blossoms I could, if I wanted I could go do the Shadopan quests or talk to the Grummles and do their quests.

HEAVEN OR HELL
Duel 1
Lets ROCK!

  Mueslinator

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/08/11
Posts: 78

10/04/12 8:12:27 AM#11
Originally posted by Muppetier

Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

The problem is: MMORPGs are not books. Video games as a whole are not books. They're a different medium altogether. And it is known that it yet has to find its tropes, its devices of how to present your creation in a way that isn't leaning heavily on other, older media (cutscenes equal movies, for example). Plus,  Blizzard has never been known for gripping stories. In fact, their "we change the lore to fit the game" approach runs opposite to anything I consider good storytelling.

@article: Cataclysm was the "ultimate" in questing along a given path without deviations wanted or even possible; that's not strictly news for MoP. It doesn't bode well, however, if they're still following that design philosophy. I have only played the Pandaren starting zone (am not going to give one more buck to Blizzard) to get a feel of MoP. I was utterly disappointed. No much-touted awe-inspiring graphics, no awesome conflict between horde and alliance, no decent story. It'S cataclysm all over again, with minor tweaks.
  logan400k

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/09
Posts: 68

10/04/12 8:13:25 AM#12

The review does seem a bit incomplete. More so since it was only done from the Hoard POV. (Get back to that in a second). Quest Hubs and linear questing, not sure how that is a surprise. Eight years of playing WoW and the questing has never really changed. I know some people try and sell that bill of goods, but I never buy it. So that aspect of MoP does not bother me nor do I see it as a down side.

 

I am geenrally pretty lenient on reviews and on reviewers but I am going to be a bit of a picky @$%^ this time. I am not going to criticize the reviewer, but I am going lay plenty of "unsatisfctory" at the feet of MMORPG. Someone should have looked at this review and said "incomplete". Some other folks pointed out some of the stuff missed, but just on listening to friends stories I know there is more to the first zones than that.  Both the writer and the readers were short changed here because someone on the inside did not demand more. I am very happy the Horde gets to have fun in Pandaris, but what about the Alliance? Is WoW making content for them that is interesting as the Horde side content usually is? Are we still questioning why anyone plays Alliance anymore? (A bit hyperbole there, but only a little bit). 

 

There are a lot of questions still unanswered for me.

Just My 2 Lunars

  Mueslinator

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/08/11
Posts: 78

10/04/12 8:24:28 AM#13
Originally posted by logan400k

The review does seem a bit incomplete.[...]

that might be because it is. It's titled "Review in Progress" for a reason: They review the game over a longer period of time, and instead of publishing it at the end of the time, they do so intermittently.

 

Quest hubs in Vanilla and BC were definitely different: You went to any quest hub in a zone and could pick up a ton of quests. Most were not required to advance in the zone: The player had in hand where in a zone he wanted to quest when. he could leave bits out without a problem.

Since Cataclysm this isn't possible any more. You are led through a zone by a string of missions, most of which are prerequisites for your next quest hub. You HAVE to do them all in the correct order to advance. If you do not, chances are that you can't pick up any quests in the next hub.

  SBFord

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 12054

 
OP  10/04/12 8:26:24 AM#14

@Logan400k:

It's a review in progress that will be "episodic" over a few weeks leading up to the final and VERY complete review. 

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  SlickShoes

Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/06
Posts: 1040

10/04/12 8:35:49 AM#15
It is titled "quests and PvE" though, when in reality this review should be entitled "Jade Forrest".

  happytklz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/18/08
Posts: 128

10/04/12 8:36:22 AM#16

My no one cares review in progress :o):

Good: XP for gathering; beautiful zones; pet combat; interesting story telling through a dynamic mix of cutscenes and "play as someone in the story" quests; the writing of quest language and NPC statements continues to improve, with more subtle wit and some not-too-embarassing references to Zen philosophy and practice. 

Bad: the game is much stickier again for my pretty darn new PC; I had a massive crash problem for days, solved by updating drivers - Yes, I'm a relatively ignorant player, but Blizz was worse than no help, offering a series of ridiculous non-fixes based on totally not listening to my initial report of a problem; the pandas look pretty vacant and ditzy, just not believable as fighting machines; MUCH bigger problem is the excessive linearity of quest chains mentioned by the writer of the above review - I really felt kinda led around by the nose, not what one is generally looking for in an MMO, definitely feels even more single player than previous iterations. 

I'm hoping that the creativity of quest lines in the rest of the Pandaria zones outweighs the negatives, perhaps others, those who are faster levelers than this working parent of two young children, can attest to that. :o)

Overall, not a massive disappointment, not a home run in my view. 

  logan400k

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/09
Posts: 68

10/04/12 8:52:46 AM#17
@Suzie_Ford - I understand that. With all due respect (and I mean that), with the scope of what this review suggested, it is still very incomplete. It tells me nothing really about PVE and maybe, there is nothing new to tell. Its WoW and you do WoW things. /shrug I stand by what I said about that and about my comments on WoW questing in general.

Just My 2 Lunars

  FrodoFragins

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2709

10/04/12 8:55:45 AM#18
The only time linear quests really bugged me was in LOTRO:ROI.  It sounds like they could borrow from other games and let you knowwhich quests are story based and thus linear and which are optional.  That way you could focus on the story ones in the area and do whatever optional ones you want before moving on.
  Muppetier

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/05/09
Posts: 229

10/04/12 9:47:03 AM#19
Originally posted by bcbully
Originally posted by Muppetier

Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

You can skip within you level range as far as I can see. I'm not sure if you can quest more than 2-3 levels beyond. 

 

It's more akin to you have to read 1 page out of each chapter.

I think that is how most people level, and how I will level alts, but I prefer to experience the entire story at least once.

  Gravarg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/24/06
Posts: 2883

For the Queen!

10/04/12 9:58:26 AM#20
Originally posted by Muppetier

Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

QFT.  I like the questline, as it's very story driven.  Pandaria changes around you as you complete the quests as well, using phasing even more than Cataclysm did.

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