Through The Mist: Mists Of Pandaria Impressions

mists of pandaria impressions
Through the Mist is a regular column from Luke Le Page covering everything World of Warcraft. If you’d like something covered in a future column, drop us a line!

The Mists of Pandaria expansion has been live for just over a week and I thought it was past time for another column. Apologies for not putting one up sooner, but as you can imagine I have been spending a fair amount of time in game. (I know the feeling! – Ed)

A lot of this was covered in the Episode 43 podcast so I urge you all to have a listen to it. I felt that the launch was relatively smooth. Not having to log out was a huge leap forward compared to previous launches by Blizzard. The initial quests phased in quite well, despite the huge server loads.

The first Alliance quest in Pandaria however was bugged – a large number of people could not complete the quest. For those of you who are not aware of the Alliance introduction it involves jumping in a helicopter and completing a bombing run. I was stuck in the helicopter unable to complete the quest or even fire the vehicle’s attack move for around an hour. The second part of the quest involved destroying explosive crates on a ship that I could not see due to the amount of players stuck in the area. Eventually I received credit for a lucky shot and moved on.

That was about as bad as it got for me bug-wise, mob spawns are of course a different story, and my questing partner and I found a novel way around this by having him cast mind sear on me as I ran around like a headless chook hoping to get mob tags.

I really enjoyed the Jade Forest as a zone. I had played the very early version from the beta and it had some very nice changes made to it. It introduced us to a number of storylines that continue on all the way to 90 and hopefully beyond.

Overall I really enjoyed the levelling experience – I have to admit that I am a little annoyed that levelling is so fast. This is probably because I am a sour veteran that slogged through vanilla on a holy paladin.  The zones are absolutely beautifully designed and there is an amazing amount of immersion in the various quest lines. I got side tracked from levelling several times by chasing storylines and this eventually took me all the way into the Dread Wastes to the Insect race: the Kirk’thik. These remind me of the insects from the Star Wars universe. I am already looking forward to cutting a swathe through them in a raid environment and that is a feeling I have not gotten from WoW in quite some time.

I hit 90 relatively quickly, though nowhere near as quick as a lot of people as I was distracted by levelling a Monk, pet battles and exploration. I have to say there are a huge number of daily quests to complete and they offer a huge variety of styles so that it will hopefully take a long time to get bored of dailies.

I was reluctant to set foot into heroics immediately, so I began with a handful of scenarios. This was the first area in which I felt let down by Blizzard. While scenarios are interesting, they are extremely short and simple. They do not offer much in the way of difficulty and I feel that I will quickly become bored of them. However, the way in which they are structured (3 players of any spec) make them a good way to try and get gear when you have minimal time.

I have also completed around 5 heroics so far and I have to admit that they feel a little under-tuned. In one of my groups we managed an achievement without even trying for it, we also managed to pull 3 separate packs with no tank and no fuss. Difficulty aside I have thoroughly enjoyed the heroics that I have completed so far and I look forward to moving into raiding in the near future.

I also wanted to share this video with everyone as a form of thanks for reading, so enjoy it and have fun with your flying cloud!