World of Warcraft State of Game – As The Mist Clears…
One does not simply review a World of Warcraft expansion; one has to explore it in all lengths and peak in every proverbial nook and cranny. Of course, there are judgments one can pass within the first hour or two of the game’s launch, yet others demand a much longer period of evaluation. So, how were the first weeks of the game? Join us for this week’s State of the Game: As the mist clears…
The Exploration of Pandaria
In short, overall assessment and general consensus (as far as such thing is possible!) of the Mists of Pandaria expansion is that the game is really good. Not mind-breaking, not insanely good, but still very good. In fact, most of the skeptically inclined players have stated that they were actually surprised by the amount of content that the new expansion was bringing to the table. That was the first general surprise. The second was the fact that Pandaren came off as much more, well, acceptable – if not realistic – addition to Azeroth.Mind you, we are talking about a game with talking cows, space goats and alike, so realism is truly a difficult category in terms of World of Warcraft.
One of the big upsets for the residents of World of Warcraft recently was an interesting hack exploit that enabled a bunch of level 1 toons to go around main cities and virtually insta-kill everyone in their path, both players and NPC’s. No, in case you’ve mistaken, we are not talking about the recent death knight bug that enabled DK’s to inflict damage on allied players and even kill them. This was a real hack, based of an exploit in the game that some players decided to use for the purpose of raising hell in Stormwind’s and Orgrimmar’s across the servers. Some players were furious, Blizzard swung the perma-ban hammer and quickly fixed the exploit, but in the end, most players just had a good laugh (even the killed ones) and it came off as a curious and a fun ingame event.
The level 1 priests of doom with the Touch of Death didn’t appear on the server where I have my alliance toons. Probably because the server is already dead.
The Art of Storytelling
So far, the storytelling in MoP has been great. After spending years in WoW and getting fairly used to accepting a quest and simply checking out how many rats I needed to kill, I found myself actually enjoying the stories that the Mists of Pandaria provided. Both the alliance and horde stories are fun and engaging, and are definitely something you shouldn’t miss out on in the very beginning of the game. Matter a fact, if you got toons from both factions, I would advise to level one from each faction at a time, and thus avoid running through the same stories several times in a row. The streamlined questing as it was introduced with Wrath of the Lich King and improved upon with Cataclysm is now perfected with Mists of Pandaria, and you are definitely going to enjoy yourself following the story.
There is the music, too. It is great, obviously highly influenced by Asian culture, and fits well into the general atmosphere without being tacky. The crazy inn music may be just a tad too much for a serious music critic, but I for one think they all just fail to truly appreciate the skill of a rampaging kazoo player.
Oh, and the phat loot?
Well, there is something a bit negative to say about the loot. Whereas you will no doubt quickly enjoy many new pieces of gear on your alts, the initial dungeons won’t provide you with too much loot for your class. There is a piece here and there, but don’t expect that you will be geared up and looking like a whole new person within the first couple of levels in the new area. There are some expressed misgivings on lack of specific loot type, notably on agility daggers for rogues, where people have been complaining that playing a rogue with maces is anything but sticking with the lore. Personally, I agree with that, and have never played my rogue with anything else but daggers. On the other hand, you may suffer in your DPS department for sticking with the lore, so think it over before you go for it.
All in all, there is a lot to like in this expansion, and there are a lot of things to explore and enjoy. My initial feeling is that there are no regrets whatsoever for embarking into the World of Warcraft once again.