Five Reasons I’m Excited About Mists Of Pandaria

With the announcement in the last 24 hours that the next World of Warcraft Expansion will hit virtual or physical world shelves on September 25th, I thought I’d put down some reasons why I’m actually quite excited about the fourth expansion to one of the world’s most successful MMOs ever.

There are of course more than five reasons to be looking forward to MoP, and hopefully you’ll add some more below in comments, but for what they’re worth, here are mine:

1. New explorations

Despite the pandas, I’m excited to have a bunch of new territories in WoW to explore. Having played since Burning Crusade, I’ve always loved those initial days or checking out new zones. That’s not a WoW-specific joy by any means, but it’s still something that gets me going. And hell, I might even get to like the Pandarians.

2. Assessing whether the shark has been jumped

As much as I’m a dedicated WoW player and Blizzard follower since Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, I’m also cynical enough to be interested in whether Blizzard are able to grow WoW via this expansion, or just hold off the decline for a few more months. There’s also the potential that MoP doesn’t deliver, in which case the game will have well and truly ‘jumped the shark‘. Of course, some true cynics would argue WoW achieved that status after Burning Crusade…

3. Watchin’ the innovation

With each expansion Blizzard have delivered some innovative new aspects to MMO gameplay. MoP will be no different and I for one am excited to be able to log in, check out what’s changed, enjoy re-speccing and going out into the wide blue questing yonder. Being particularly selfish, I don’t just want to see WoW show off some new ideas, I want those ideas to be so good that they form a launching pad for my other favourite MMO SWTOR to mimic or even improve on. C’mon, it could happen!

4. Indulging my achievement junkie

I’m a diagnosed achievement junkie and I still think WoW’s achievement system is the best one going around. That alone means I’m keen to immerse myself in MoP and to see if there are some particularly cool achievements. I still tell everyone that will listen (there’s not many left) how I won the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza – so I’m hoping there’ll be some similar things I can get excited about. Hell, I just want to level up my fishing to the newest level cap!

5. It’s the Event, dummy

In the lead-up to Cataclysm, there was a series of World Events that were nearly as much fun as the expansion itself. Last time it was protecting your home city from being overrun. Who knows what it’ll be this time, but I can’t wait to see it.

So now it’s your turn: will you be buying MoP and if so, is it a return to WoW for you or just the latest expansion in a long period of playing?