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The 5.1 Effect

Garrett Fuller Posted:
Columns All Things Warcraft 0

Now that Mists has been with us for a few months, World of Warcraft is taking steps to boost the battle between the Alliance and Horde with this new patch. One of the major trends in all MMOs we are seeing is the focus on PvP at the endgame. It seems like WoW is really starting to work towards this end with Landfall (Patch 5.1, which went live last week). It is great to see and getting players involved in their faction will likely add a lot to a game that used to be all about the war between two opposing sides. WoW has always had PvP as part of the game, but it always felt like a backseat to epic raids and the loot progression. However, it seems like Blizzard is giving us more reason to fight it out than ever before, and hopefully Landfall is just the beginning.

The patch lands (pun not intended) with a series of quests to work for your faction and their constant battle over the new land of Pandaria. The quest lines allow you to summon fleets and work with heroes of both sides to prepare for war. It really makes you wonder what the agenda Blizzard now has for Warcraft. Is it something that they will continue to grow until the game reaches all out open war? If they continue to add more rewards and quest lines Horde and Alliance players may escalate their conflicts. I mean afterall the expansion just came out, however there is a lot more of a swing towards PvP style game play. Even from a PvE standpoint with quest-lines and faction achievements to drive players’ motivations. If the game really is considering taking the factions to open war eventually it could be a bold move. I know if a WoW patch or expansion launched which focused on a huge PvP upgrade to the game I would definitely be excited about playing.

Another area of the patch that is cool is the Brawler’s Guild. This is a fun addition for players. Akin to Fight Club this aspect of the patch will give players another outlet for combat. The secret society aspect of it is fun too. The invite and going to the Guild for the first time are really cool additions. With more achievements to add this part of the patch is nice “fluff” that a lot of people forget exists in WoW. I definitely hope they expand on this feature in the future. It already gives the play a lot to chew on, but it might be fun to see it expand to other aspects of the game.

5.1 also has a lot of upgrade to quests and loot. With new quest lines that grow the rift between Horde and Alliance as well as some Legendary quests in the Krasarang Wilds, there is a lot to do on that front. These the faction quests are always fun and gaining reputation does not seem as bad as it used to be. I ran around to check out the first dailies that came in with the new patch and was not overwhelmed by the questing. It kept a good pace and moved smoothly. One of the things that many MMOs talk about lately is realm pride or faction pride. It seems like the whole game is moving in this direction with WoW.

I think patch 5.1 adds a lot to the game as Blizzard continues to define Mists of Pandaria as a solid expansion. The faction battles alone are a lot to bring into the game. If Blizzard really is going down a path to encourage open war between the factions it will be an amazing step for the game. Who knows what will come next? But it appears that Blizzard is pushing out patches at a decent level to keep players busy. A steady stream of content will really benefit the players and help keep people interested on many levels. Something that has traditionally not been the case with the stalwartly “when it’s ready” dev.  At this rate, I bet we’ll see 5.2 by February, which would be “nuts” in Blizzard-time.

Have you played any of Landfall since last week?  What do you think of the patch so far?  Are you happy to see the factions finally caring about their old rivalries once more?  Let us know in the comments!

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Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.