The Ninjabot

Mists of Pandaria Review

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm by Justin Cavender

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria launched at midnight on September 25, 2012. I can remember the moments leading up to the release so vividly. My friends and I were making fun of each other (like we always do) over Skype. Then much to our surprise Mists of Pandaria went live seven minutes early. After clocking several hours of playtime, I’ve finally crawled out of my cave to give you this review.

Let me start by saying I love this expansion! Right out of the gate, Blizzard has blown me away. The moment I stepped foot on Pandaria, I have been engaged in the ridiculous amount of new content. Regardless of whether I’m questing, farming reputation, running dungeons or scenarios, I’m hooked. I still feel like a kid in a candy store, and I can’t make up my mind on what to do next.

Getting back to launch night, my friends and I didn’t waste much time before queuing up for our first dungeon, the Stormstout Brewery. All five of us were amazed at the amount of fun we had running this instance. We could tell Blizzard had fun with this one too. During the first boss encounter, players hop on beer barrels and smash them into the boss, giving him a stacking debuff. Fun mechanics like this should never go unnoticed  or unappreciated. I will never complain about fun and engaging encounters. The second boss involves crazy rabbits, vomit, and mallets. I know, awesome right?!?! Finally the third boss was a series of several phases, mixing the encounter with a bit of the brewing process. Again, fun and engaging, what more could you ask for?

World map of Pandaria

After we running a couple dungeons to the ground, we decided to start questing. Blizzard has really gone above and beyond with making questing much more than just a simple grind. Of course there are still gathering and kill quests, but Blizz found a way to mix it up by adding cutscenes and story arcs. Each zone has several story arcs in different regional locations of the same map. Additionally, it’s up to the player to decide where they want to quest next. With the previous expansion, Cataclysm, the questing zones were much more linear. In Mists of Pandaria, players aren’t limited to the “cookie cutter” quests in each zone.

Within the first 48 hours I managed to hit level 90, the new level cap for this expansion. Now the real grind begins. There are nine heroic dungeons to help gear up players for future raids. If heroics aren’t your thing or if you need a break, grab two of your friends and run scenarios. A scenario is a three player instance with phases and objectives. They take anywhere from ten to twenty minutes to complete. There is a chance at item level 453 loot in your grab bag upon completion. Good luck with that.

With every new expansion in World of Warcraft, new factions are introduced. Of course with new factions we get new dailies! Wait, damn it, I hate dailies. On the plus side, each of the eight new factions have mounts to add to your collection. Choose from Cloud Serpents, Golden Lotus Cranes, and Shado-Pan Tigers to name a few.  The only thing standing in the way of your new mount is the reputation grind to exalted. In previous expansions, players were limited to twenty-five dailies per day. Good news, there is no longer a maximum number a daily quests you can complete. So grab your energy drink and collect your mounts.

Cloud Serpent mounts are available for purchase when you reach exalted status with Order of the Cloud Serpent

Mists of Pandaria brought us a new playable race, the Pandaren. These pandas have amazing looking character models and I fell in love with them pretty quickly. All races in World of Warcraft have unique abilities and the Pandaren have some fun ones.

  • EPICUREAN – Your love of food allows you to receive double the stats from Well Fed effects.
  • GOURMAND – Cooking skill increased by 15.
  • INNER PEACE – Your rested experience bonus lasts twice as long.
  • BOUNCY – You take 50% less falling damage.
  • QUAKING PALM – Strikes the target with lightning speed, incapacitating them for 4 seconds.

My new Monk

I took the time to play the new Monk class. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but if the starting zone was anything like the level 85 zone, the Jade Forrest, then I was in for a real treat. Sure enough, the Wandering Isle didn’t disappoint. Pandaren start off as a neutral race, meaning they have no affiliation with either the Horde or Alliance. Upon completion of the entire quest line in the Wandering Isle, your character will be able to choose which side to align with, I chose Horde. The entire zone took me just over two hours to complete. The beginning areas consisted mostly of killing x number of mobs, or gathering items to complete quests. However, things got pretty interesting once I met Shen-zin Su, the giant turtle.

Taking a trip to meet Shen-zin Su.

Pandaria truly is a unique continent, filled with delightful pandas, ancient monsters, beautiful architecture, creepy crawlies, cloud serpents, and scary world bosses. I have spent countless hours playing Mists of Pandaria over the last six days, and I can’t wait for the new raid content to open up. I’m ready to take nine of my friends and save the world, AGAIN.

RATING 9/10

 

You can follow Justin on Twitter @Edgyarmo

    • Rudy del Rio

      Can't wait to level my monk. Great review.

    • Michael

      So far it's the best expansion to date. I agree with Snackbar about the player base though.

    • Eric

      Total home run. My interest had been slipping, but everything about this expansion makes me happy… Down there. 😉

      • JediJay

        Yeah, it kinda gives me a game-boner too. The Panda racials are actually pretty worthwhile!

    • Names Norm

      The game starts at 90. so true. That's when the real grind behind.

    • Randy

      I was really never interested in levelIng a Panda until I read this. But with that sweet rested-xp boost you could be 90 in no time. Well played…

    • Jennifer

      Sounds RAD.

    • Zug Zug

      Can't wait to kill Hellscream. Hope Thrall stops by to help.

      • Thrall

        That guy has ruined the Horde. I hope they mount his head on a spike in Org like they do with the dragons.

    • Tyler

      Monk is the first class to make weapons feel like weapons and not just things in your hands that give you stats, I couldn't be happier

    • Claire

      Dinged 90 on my monk this morning. Most fun I've ever had healing.

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