Well, I had initially wanted to do a first impressions post about a month ago, but it kept slipping my mind until I remembered today that I still had to write up my impressions!
Seeing as how there’s really too much to talk about in one post (the draft I wrote was rather long, and that was with only a week’s worth of playing!), I’ll do my best to summarize, then talk about whatever else is on my mind. Sorry if you want something more in-depth, I might get around to it again later.
So, time for a post in which I talk about whatever!
It’s better than both Wrath and Cata in my eyes, so that’s a plus. Leveling was pretty fun throughout, full of pretty interesting questlines. A few highlights:
- I think the Jade Forest rework was a smart move, as it gets you into the story almost immediately. I do kinda miss the shipwrecked story, but the rework was more fun to play through.
- Valley of the Four Winds is still probably my favorite zone, as it’s a refreshing change of pace from “oh god stop the awful bad things oh noooooo.” Sometimes it’s nice to just help out some farmers, y’know?
- I liked how the zones flowed, and how you weren’t really penalized if you decided to stick around in a zone for a while after you leveled up. Each zone has its own identity without resorting to Cata’s “FIRE ZONE WATER ZONE CAVE ZONE DESERT ZONE TWILIGHT ZONE” design.
The dungeons are all fairly fun, with bosses that aren’t too challenging, but not necessarily faceroll either. A lot of “stand behind the boss while it rotates and fires a beam of death” bosses, surprisingly. The environments are very good to look at, and I like that they made every dungeon have a presence in the world, even extending to the raids.
Speaking of raids, they’re really well-designed, with no two fights playing out exactly the same. There’s council fights, multi-phase fights, tons of fire to not stand in, and some really impressive bosses. Elegon is pretty brutal, I gotta say.
With regards to everything else, I love how much more alive Pandaria feels compared to previous expansions. It looks like an actually lived-in environment, with minor things changing from day to day. The dailies can be a bit overwhelming, but in most cases aren’t too bad. I love that reputations actually offer more than gear again, and hope that remains the trend going forward. The Tillers are by far one of my favorite reputations in the game, and I never thought that developing a farm would be something I looked forward to every day! Pet battles are surprisingly fun, though I haven’t had as much time as I would like to really give it a whirl. And the goblin glider is by far the best engineering tinker ever.
Oh, and enhance is a hell of a lot of fun, too. Dropping totems, beating baddies’ faces in, and so many fun abilities to use make it a truly great spec. A lot of issues got fixed, and we haven’t been this good since…probably since the game started. To say I’m pleased is an understatement.
And a last note: pandaren are awesome.
The new stuff
And patch 5.1 is already on the PTR, giving us a considerable chunk of new content to look forward to. I think that the tick-tock model of content development will really work for Blizz if the can keep it going. A tick gives us a smaller patch to tide us over until a tock drops the next raiding tier. Rather than waiting at least six months for the next bit of content, we might see stuff every couple months. Assuming they don’t slow down again, of course.
The new daily areas haven’t really been previewed much yet, though they should be interesting at least. Apparently you’ll be able to hire faction warriors to provide buffs for your side, which is pretty neat and should encourage cooperation. And of course, Wrathion’s got another stage in the legendary chain for you to continue, which looks to reward an upgraded legendary gem.
The other major highlight of the patch is the Brawler’s Guild, a solo PVE addition where you fight against different enemies in an arena for fun and profit. Entrance can either be bought off the BMAH, or obtained from someone else who has. It’ll be a bit difficult at first, I’m sure, but since everyone who gets in can invite ten more, it shouldn’t be hard for long. I’ll be looking into it for sure.
Oh, and for soloers like myself, there are a few changes that are going to be really nice. First, pre-Mists raids will be able to be entered without a raid group, finally removing a requirement that was really only an inconvenience at best. Second, a couple bosses have been given tweaks to make them more easy to solo, such as Razorgore (more health! less damage from adds! faster egg destroying!) and Viscidus (fewer hits required to freeze and shatter!). Finally, several bosses in classic raids (including Naxx) have been given special battle pets in their drop tables, giving more incentive to get out there and solo. Collecting all twelve even rewards you with Mr. Bigglesworth, Kel’Thuzad’s cat!
Where have I been?
In short, college is a bitch. Lot of work and very draining. Add onto that raiding two nights a week and all the other Pandaria stuff, and it’s pretty easy to see why I haven’t been writing much. I don’t want to give up on this blog, not at all, so I’ll keep trying to post something up. I’ll attempt to write something new every week, even if it’s just an update post.
Anyway, I’ll break this off here at the risk of going on too long. See you next time!