The End of an Era

Goodbye Pandaria!

Goodbye Pandaria!

Mists of Pandaria is finally coming to a close.  Come Thursday, we will rush from her mist-shrouded shores to the savage new lands of Draenor.  But what legacy will Pandaria leave behind? What went well, what missed the mark, what will be remembered forever?

Fussypants:  Mists has been my favorite expansion thus far.  In this expansion, I discovered raiding, really got to know the awesome people in my guild, started a blog and met all you amazing folks, and really experienced everything in the expansion for the first time.  This was the first expansion where WoW became a social game for me, and now that’s one of the biggest reasons for me to log in.  I also absolutely loved the stories and the feels of the zones, and the music and aesthetic.  I will definitely be remembering this expansion for yeas to come.

For me, the most successful elements of this expansion were flex raiding (and its’ increased access), the lore, and the state of healing. This was my first expansion raiding and healing and I have to say, I couldn’t have asked for a better one to start in.  I feel I have a pretty good grasp on how to raid, how to heal, and how to heal raids.  And with the increased accessibility, I got the experience I needed to call myself a raider.

While some people weren’t so keen on the lore, I absolutely loved the story.  It was light and happy at times, and appropriately dark at others.  Jade Forest is one of my favorite zones in the game, all due to it’s beauty and fantastic storytelling.  The sha was very well done and the faction war was believable and intense.

The least successful elements of this expansion were PvP and professions.  PvP was entirely too gear and CC based, so unless you started at the beginning of the expansion, you had little chance.  I leveled a character for the strict purpose of trying PvP for the first time, but it was so intimidating and difficult that I quickly stopped participating.  PvP was pretty much stunstunstunstunstunstunyoudied.  Not my definition of fun.

And professions, they were just boring.  You got it to 600, and then made one daily cooldown and that was pretty much it.  Or, you could grind out rep for forever and get more recipes, many of which required more daily cooldowns.  I was thoroughly unimpressed.  Professions should be a fun mini game into themselves, not a boring grindfest.

All in all, taking the good with the bad, I absolutely loved MoP.  I will even go as far as to say that it was my favorite expansion to date. All the same, bring on WoD!

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Yotaan: What would the legacy of Pandaria be?  In my opinion, it will be the sights and sounds.  The visuals were amazing and beautiful.  Many times I would pause and just look around.  My favorites were the bridges, particularly in the Jade Forest.  The music was great and always set the mood.  I always have the challenge of setting the music sliders, I tend to make them too loud  and I miss the other sounds!
The less positive legacy will be the daily quests.  They did put me off.  Blizzard started with way too many and then overcompensated and removed all of them by the time the Timeless Isle appeared.  I have to say, though, the patch in which we were in the Barrens was very good, and I think they should expand upon that notion.
Overall, Mists was a very good expansion.  Of course, the best part was playing with my daughter.

But enough reminiscing on the past! What are you looking forward to in WoD?

Fussypants: HOLD UP! Before I start to get all excited about WoD, I need to decide my main.  Yup, one day out and I still don’t know who I’m going to play!! I’m totally split on this too!

Just to recap, I have a gnome frost mage, a draenei holy paladin, a night elf resto druid, a blood elf disc/shadow priest, and an undead fury/prot warrior. This is the order I’ve gotten thus far for leveling.

1) ???
2) ???
3) Undead Warrior
4) Belf Priest
5) Nelf Druid

It’s between my draenei paladin (Fussypants) and my gnome mage (my ‘main’).  Here’s my conundrum. I want to level Fussypants because she’s a draenei and this is the draenei expansion.  On the other hand she is holy, so leveling will be a long and at times painful process.  I would have to change her to ret, and I’m not sure I’d want to do that.  However, my mage is already a dps class, which makes leveling easier.  But, she’s not a draenei, and I would be missing that unique experience first time round.  So should I level my mage or my pally? Help!

As for what I look forward in WoD, leveling? Raiding? Pretty much just new content.  I’m not super interested in garrisons right now, but I’m sure I’ll find something I love.  I honestly just want the expansion to drop.

Oh, and I’m also going to log out all my characters at my five favorite spots in Pandaria.  It seems like an appropriate good bye to the continent!

Yotaan:
I miss PvP, so Ashran looks awesome.  I leveled a rogue just in case its as fun as I want it to be.  The changes they made, such as the scaling back of CC, will be a motivator for more folks to try PvP, always a good thing.
I also fully expect some great lore and surprises.  I do remember Outland well, so the contrast with that as well will be exciting.  I loved the Warlords videos and I studiously avoided lore spoilers, so here we go!

What did you think of MoP? What are you looking forwards in WoD? What are your last minute preparations?

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10 thoughts on “The End of an Era

  1. While the new expansion is going great guns at the moment – I really won’t be missing Pandaria all that much due to the fact that I have quite a few alts that will be going through there even if they happen to be 90s – I hate to leave things unfinished before I start on another.

    I really thought that Pandaria had everything hands down with the artwork and the Lore. I don’t think I ever really had a bad day there at all. I’m looking forward to all of the things in WoD, however, I will always have a very fond place in my heart for MoP.

    • Yup, I’m seeing a lot of dinosaur bone grinding in my future, lol. I know for a fact that I won’t be completely abandoning Pandaria; I just have too much left to do! And now with WoD, I’m going to be completely swamped! There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
      The story of Pandaria is one of my absolute favorite in the WoW universe. It was unique, had a compelling evil force (the Sha), and had very intriguing factions (the Klaxxi, the Shado Pan, etc). I loved that there was peaceful farming quests next to heroic Mantid slaying ones. The diversity and mood were fantastic!
      And the armor! I foresee lots of transmog from MoP for me!

  2. I suggest you could choose a ret spec for leveling.

    I noticed that like they announced, new things have bonuses for all of your class (like I got an axe today with both agility AND intellect for my shaman; intellect inactive cause I’m enh).

    And playing ret is very simple: you use 3 abilities on CD to gain Power of Light, you use 2 more to spend it on 5 stacks (one for single target and one for multiple targets), and you use 1 finishing move with low foe health.

    6 buttons will be essentially enough for leveling.

    • Looking at the polls, I’m thinking that I will be going with my paladin. 🙂
      I’m toying with the idea of creating a shockadin build for leveling purposes. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and now I have a legitimate excuse to set one up! However, if that won’t work I will probably switch my unused prot spec to ret.

  3. Yes, I think Mists had a beautiful aesthetic – the art, the music, all the little details and surprises throughout the zones.

    The gated rep behind dailies was a horrible mistake but so was taking it all away. Blizzard just didn’t seem to understand how to balance it all, and from what I’ve seen in the WoD Beta they still haven’t found it.

    I’ll be going back to Pandaria because I don’t like the WoD grind fest (too much like TBC.) and I really don’t like Ashran as the main “hub” (too dirty and dreary.) Anyway, I think there is still going to be a market for Royal Satchels so I’ll be keeping a couple of farms going with characters I won’t be leveling to 100 for a while. I haven’t even made myself a Sky Golem yet so I’m going to be needing Mists mats for some stuff.

    I look at Pandaria as a nice “vacation” spot when I get fed up with the WoD grind and need a break even if it’s just to do some daily pet battles. 😀

    • Pandaria was the most ‘alive’ of all the continents. You see where it’s people live, know how they grow their food, and understand their way of life and thinking. For example, every single house had little details which told the story of it’s inhabitants. In my mind, that is one of the coolest things Blizzard has ever done.

      As for dailies, Blizzard does seem to have an unfortunate habit of ping ponging extremes. The dailies at the beginning were too much, but the lack at the end wasn’t any better. In my mind, 5.2 had the best balance for dailies because they included an advancing story.

      I haven’t gotten into Draenor yet, so I have not had a chance to experience the world. However, like you, I think that I will be spending a pretty good amount of time in Pandaria, as a vacation of sorts from ORCS ORCS ORCS.

  4. I suddenly feel a bit sad about leaving Pandaria. Mists was definitely one of my favorite expansions, right up there with Wrath. I love how it can be so beautiful and peaceful at times, which is a welcome break from all the killing and end-of-the-world stuff we otherwise deal with. To me it felt like Pandaria was a place you could actually live in, with real farms that could feed the towns and stuff. I think most of my characters would retire to Half-Hill if they could.

    So right now I’m saying good bye to Pandaria by going to all my farms and planting trees. That way, if I ever go back to one of my farms I will find an orchard instead of a barren field. And it makes me feel just a little bit less guilty about abandoning Farmer Yoon’s family farm after I promised I would take good care of it.

    • The Mists expansion did very well with its balance between peace and war. There were zones where you could relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery as well as zones where you could be the big hero. And for a game like WARcraft, those more peaceful moments are fleeting. Pandaria did an amazing job of creating serenity.
      As for The Valley of the Four Winds, I think that’s the smartest zone that Blizzard has ever put in. People actively live and work at Halfhill, making it feel far more ‘real’ than Stormwind or Orgrimmar. The whole place is a farm, so the whole continent feels more alive. We know how the people of Pandaria eat!
      I said goodbye to Pandaria by finding all my favorite spots in the game and logging out there. My paladin logged out in the Jade Forest overlooking the Arboretum, my mage logged out in the Valley of the Four Winds by those marshes, my priest logged by a pool in the Vale that was still glowing, and my druid logged at the top of the Shrine.

  5. It took a long time to wash the taste of Cataclysm out of my mouth before I played MoP. Looking back now I wish I had played it a lot sooner. For me it will be the expansion of visually improving the game as well as experiencing stories. I liked discovering side stories and interesting characters as I leveled through Pandaria.
    I voted for your paladin. I am going to main on my protection warrior because he will be needed for dungeons and raids as soon as I hit level cap. Damage classes will be required, but it is a nice feeling to be needed. 🙂

    • I didn’t even think of that while writing the post but you’re right! All the side stories and little surprises in the world gave it much more depth. The Lobster questline and the details in every house come to mind.
      It seems you are not alone on the paladin voting front! My guild also wants me to level my pally first, mostly because she is a healer for our runs, heh. Looking at the polls right now, I’m thinking I’ll be dusting off my shockadin build for WoD!

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