A Gryphon’s-Eye View of Mists of Pandaria

By Alec Meer on September 24th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

nice cherry blossoms, dude

We know World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has kung-fun pandas in it. I’ve seen it on adverts on the telly and everything. What else does it have in it? Well, if you’ve got seven minutes you can find out, with the below flyover trailer that runs through some of the new zones, enemies, abilities and dungeons to be found in WoW’s fourth expansion. It’s like a timeshare brochure, but with flying ships, angry crab-men and Chinese temples.

Phew, that music is so relentlessly epic that I feel exhausted. Can’t it have a nice, calm Brian Eno soundtrack or something?

Mists of Pandaria arrives Tuesday night, at any rate, and no doubt there will be mad people queuing overnight for something they can just buy online. I bet it’s because they’re very excited about the new Farmville-esque mini-game.

Who here’s on their tenterest hooks for Pandaria? What feature is that you’re most excited about? ANSWER ME DAMMIT.

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67 Comments »

  1. frightlever says:

    I guess this has to be a success or WOW will be looking at a f2p model. Yeah, I went there.

    • Curzen says:

      pretty sure that even if they lost half of their players they’d still be shoveling mad amounts of money into their vaults, more than f2p with cash shop would bring in. Especially as they already have such a shop for mounts, pets and whatnot.

    • AlphaCentauri says:

      As far as I know, they need to be below one million subscribers to start actively lose money on the game.

      But the worst thing is that the closer to this number they get, the cheaper the game gets to run – half the playerbase quit? Splendid, just remove half the servers! Suddenly it’s a lot cheaper to maintain the game and bam, the threshold under which they don’t earn money from it is even lower.

  2. Neurotic says:

    I had to struggle a tiny bit to get myself to buy Cataclysm, which nevertheless I really liked. But, I just can’t find the love for WoW anymore. My warmest memories of the game are mostly guild-related, and since our guild has largely moved on now, I don’t forsee myself purchasing Panda until much, much later. Eventually, yes, but not for a good long while.

    WoW was a terrific stage in my gaming history, and being guilded was one of the top two or three memories ever (I’m 40 now, for the record). But, it’s a stage I’ve progressed past now, to the point where 8-9 Euros to go back for one month on a little tourism is still a struggle to justify. Eh, I wish it the best though. If they ever do a WoW 2.0 or something, I’ll be in for that in a heartbeat.

    • chuckles73 says:

      “and being guilded was one of the top two or three memories ever”

      Reading this first as “gelded” then as “gilded” really brightened out my morning.

    • Edradour says:

      I guess thats how most people feel, for me its the opposite i completly lost all interest a while ago but most of my online friends started playing again. And I KNOW that it will be fun atleast for the first few weeks as you explore everything together and replace all your gear etc.
      I dont expect it to entertain me for more than a month by now but thats more than enough to justify spending 50€ .

      Well haters gonna hate anyways :P

  3. AmateurScience says:

    We had a good run WoW, you and I. But it’s time for us to go our separate ways. It’s not you it’s me.

  4. Tony M says:

    Like every MMO preview, it looks awesome right up until the first footage of combat.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, at least when monks still hit even after only vaguely swiping at air in the correct direction of the enemy they can pretend it’s some sort of “chi” power.

    • Ritashi says:

      I’m glad to see that RPS commenters still care more about gameplay than about bad graphics/animations!

      In all seriousness, OF COURSE WoW combat looks terrible in a trailer. WoW wasn’t designed for you to sit around staring at your character’s animations while you press buttons in combat. WoW combat is all about interacting with your UI, between all sorts of buffs/debuffs, enemy abilities triggering, health bars, cooldowns, ally cooldowns, and then you also have to keep an eye out for some ground based effects. Watch a video of someone playing WoW, you’ll notice that most of your attention is drawn towards the UI elements, because that’s how WoW informs you of what’s going on around you in combat. If you want to say that looking at your UI is bad and that in combat you should be looking at your characters, then fine, but I hope you’re willing to throw every tactics game (and generally every turn based game) under the bus with WoW. There is nothing wrong with combat that focuses on the UI and on numbers rather than on shiny animations. There are actually reasons why so many people still play WoW, and while many of them certainly remain because of their communities, I find it hard to believe that the majority of WoW players dislike the gameplay but keep paying $15 a month just to hang out with friends. The only, and I do mean *only* reason I ever left WoW was that I couldn’t deal with the grind (spending weeks getting ready to have fun, instead of just diving in and having fun, combined with an arms race that required you to log in literally daily to keep up, plus a small server that made finding a decent raid group basically impossible, unless you were in a good raiding guild, but you had to already be raiding successfully to get into one of those…). The combat? That was pretty fun. I *like* learning a boss, inside and out. I like considering the raid composition I had available, and figuring out how to use our cooldowns in the most effective way possible. I like developing new strategies, even if they’re all standing on the shoulders of the people who came before me. I like the challenge, the constant knowledge that no matter how well I was doing, I could be doing better. I like knowing that there are people out there who are at the bleeding edge of new content, the ones who wound up writing the guides I study; most of all, I like knowing that someday, if I get good enough, I could *be* one of them.

      Sorry for ranting, but I am *sick* of the constant bashing of hotkey MMO combat, without a single shred of supporting evidence for why it’s bad. Not once have I *ever* seen a single person offer an explanation for why MMO combat is bad, other than snide remarks about “hotkey combat” or vaguely claiming “it’s not action game combat, so it’s bad”. Either own up to the fact that you only care about visuals, or shut up and stop just vomiting out whatever you’ve heard everyone else say. If you have some *other* reason why you dislike MMO combat, then please, enlighten me, because you will literally be the first person I’ve ever heard give a rational defense of that stance (other than “I dislike the visuals”, which is a statement about the person, not a statement about the game).

      • Dragon Master says:

        This. This sums it up. As well as the reasons why I quit WoW.

      • The Magic says:

        Allow me to try and make some explanation for the hate (just as a mention, i am terrible at explaining.) The problem is also one of the reasons I dont like the average JRPG combat. The problem is that there is no physicality, as you say it’s all UI, it’s all abstract, making the presentation generally discordant with the gameplay. MMOs like wow have an element of positioning, of placement in the world, of a physical presence, when in actuality you are nothing but a node interacting with entities. There isn’t a reason to move around, there isn’t a reason to really interact with the primary presentation. You are instead interacting with the UI.

        Now i haven’t played WoW, i’ve only played Guild Wars and Lucent Heart, and i do hear there is an element of positioning in some of the bigger, more complex fights or Raids or whatever they’re called. (MMO knowledge, top notch.) But that is only a small element. A lot of people, when they see things presented like you’re part of the world want to see the cause and effect presented in the same way, rather than looking at status notifiers and what have you.

        You say that turn based games are all UI, except… well they’re not. You look at Chess or Blood Bowl or XCom. The primary presentation is what you will be looking at the most. (You’ll also note these are very positional games, about these things having a presence in the world.) In blood bowl, if someone gets tackled, you dont look at the UI, in XCom, if a guy gets a headcrab thingy on him, there is no notifier other than the headcrab thingy on the guy’s head. (sorry xcom fans for not knowing the campy 70s sci fi names)

        i know I’m rambling but when a game is as visual as WoW, people assume that the visuals will mean something, and will get disappointed when they realise it’s mostly a facade of pretty colours and bouncy characters.

        • Consumatopia says:

          An interesting contrast would be with EVE. It’s still a game of timing and buffs and stuff, but it kind of makes sense that spaceships in the distant future would fight each other that way. It doesn’t make sense that people fighting each other or monsters with melee weapons would fight that way. It’s like those puzzle games that try to add RPG or story elements. It’s not even “ludonarrative dissonance”, it’s more like ludonarrative dada–the relationship between graphics, world, story, and theme and the actual combat is arbitrary.

          I could see an abstract Parameters-style game done with WoW-ish combat being kind of interesting. I can’t imagine playing with it for much more than the couple hours I messed with Parameters–while hotkey-timing isn’t a bad game, it’s not a particularly great game either. Even Ritashi’s rant didn’t offer a reason to think this form of combat is particularly compelling. It’s like Match-3–it’s not bad, it’s just not particularly exciting.

          I’m also not entirely sure it’s possible to separate WoW’s combat (or EVE’s) from its grind–gaining new hotkey abilities gives meaning to the grind (and does so in a very predictable, metrics-friendly way) and the difficulty of grind means that players have heterogeneous, asymmetric powers, without which I suspect hotkey/timing combat would be less interesting. Hotkeys and grind–two great tastes that taste great together.

  5. Caiman says:

    Despite the obvious talents of the art department, this game is looking decidedly old. Characters standing around playing canned animations. Basic particle effects. Low poly models. If it wasn’t WoW I would assume it was a free browser game. And gameplay wise it’s exactly the same thing we’ve been playing for 8 years now. At least Guild Wars 2 has iterated on the formula with great success, while looking stunning to boot. I really can’t go back to clicking on guys with yellow exclamation marks above their heads.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Indeed. Even Perfect World Entertainment’s oldest WoW copy looks better in places.

    • po says:

      That’s the real problem I have with WoW and Blizzard.

      Iteration.

      While they do add features, it’s not like they then put in any reasonable effort to develop and improve upon them (in many cases to the point where they actually work, and are worth making use of).

      As developers they come across as rather up themselves (probably because of the game’s success), and to anyone who’s been on their forums long enough, and seen the same topics come up repeatedly asking for the same things to be fixed, they A: aren’t willing to admit that what they’ve done might not be up to scratch. B: aren’t willing to fix problems with what they’ve done, because that would be the same as admitting that it wasn’t perfect when they made it.

      They then forget about the half-completed feature, and go back to ‘developing’ the next raid (copying the mechanics from old raids into bosses with new visual designs, in new settings, because lets face it, most of the newer players won’t have done the old raids anyway).

      Of course none of this is remotely evident to the vast majority of WoW players who A: don’t read the forums. B: don’t play any other games, so that they can compare WoW to anything else.

      I’ve played a lot of games, for a very long time, and after Cataclysm drove me to cancel my WoW sub, I gave RIFT a go, and saw that they’d fixed a lot of things that are still problems in WoW (I might still be playing RIFT, if it weren’t for GW2). GW2 has also shown that these problems can be solved, and the MMO formula improved upon greatly (it’s not perfect, but it’s so much better, especially considering it’s not subscription).

      What really opened my eyes though was playing EVE. As far as I’m concerned, post monoclegate, CCP have set the standard when it comes to game development, because they actually develop their game.

      It’s older than WoW, but the graphics have been improved upon, and are still being improved, to make use of current generation hardware features (tessellation).

      They added features like Wormholes, Faction War and Incursions, improved upon them after they were added, and are still improving upon them now.

      They’re in the process of rebalancing all the ships, starting with the ones players start off in, and gradually working through them all to the biggest and most expensive.

      Compare this last item to WoW, where class balance is repeatedly being screwed all to hell every expansion, thanks to complete redesigns of the talents and abilities, and new tiers of equipment, and where rebalancing is focused only at endgame (which is where the goalposts are shifted every time a new set of raid/arena gear comes out).

      The lead designer for WoW said that balancing was hard. That’s because they’re making it hard for themselves, by not having a solid foundation to build upon. Because of that PvP balance at endgame is poor, and at any lower level has always been completely non-existant, unless it was entirely down to luck.

      Anyway, when it comes to WoW, the are so many ‘could have dones’ that would have improved the game dramatically. They happened, just not in WoW. I didn’t see any point in paying a subscription, when it was obvious so little of it was being put towards any actual development (content expansions are not development, and in other games the expansions are free).

      To put it simply, the kind of money WoW has made, compared to all these other games, you’d expect to see a lot more from it than just pandas.

      Seeing what other developers have managed to do, with a lot less, WoW just doesn’t live up to my expectations, unless all I expect from it is minimum effort, for maximum profit.

      • Moraven says:

        To be fair, EVE is x100 easier to update the graphics and art.

        They have mentioned they want to update character models for a couple years now and is in the works, but who knows when we will see them. Important NPCs (Jaina, Garrosh, etc) have the updated models and they look great.

        Other thing to look at is how much of a computer hardware hit would it take for people to run updated graphics, one thing WoW is good at is running on ancient hardware.

      • PopeJamal says:

        “To put it simply, the kind of money WoW has made, compared to all these other games, you’d expect to see a lot more from it than just pandas.

        Seeing what other developers have managed to do, with a lot less, WoW just doesn’t live up to my expectations, unless all I expect from it is minimum effort, for maximum profit.”

        This is so true, it almost physically hurts to read it. They’ve been resting on their laurels for quite a while at this point. Sure, they’ve made “improvements”, but that just isn’t enough:

        Blizz: “We don’t have the resources for that kind of improvement.”

        Are you f-ing kidding me? WoW could be so much more if they just put in more than the minimum amount of effort.

        • briktal says:

          Maybe that is the real effect Activision has on Blizzard, sucking up some of the WoW money.

        • Flank Sinatra says:

          Acti-Blizz is probably putting most of their talent and money into developing their next gen “Titan” MMO. The last few WOW expansions seem like they just handed the game over to the B-team to keep it coasting until they can get the Titan thing out.
          I used to be a huge Blizzard fanboy. They were like the Beatles of gaming to me. But since they merged with Activision (Yoko?) I’ve been disappointed with them. Diablo 3 really destroyed my faith in Blizzard and these trailers for MoP are doing nothing to change that.

          • doho7744 says:

            The original developers of WoW left for “Titan” after Burning Crusade. So WotLK and on has been the “B” team. And personally I thought BC was their pinnacle. They did ok with Wrath, but later on when they started the homogenization of the characters they lost me.

            I also think the reason they continue to hold on to so many subscribers is due to the community not wanting to start off new some where else. The fun I had was also mainly due to my guildies and when that ended so did my love affair with WoW.

          • Moraven says:

            Lots of people go off elsewhere for a bit. There just has not been anything good to make people change.

            Rift did not have as big impact. SWG no.

            GW2 has potential.

  6. Barackus says:

    WoW, I used to love you so much. Now you just look dated..

  7. Shadram says:

    I miss the heady days of leading a raid guild in WoW, but at the same time am glad that I’m now free of its relentless hold over all of my free time all of it. Since I’m now living in New Zealand, and all my characters were on Euro servers, I can’t see me wanting to start again. The thought of doing the Outlands content again is enough to remind myself why I shouldn’t go back. Also because Guild Wars 2.

  8. Hardmood says:

    tbh,
    neither d3 nor the wow-addon is worth the money i have to spend, if theres already a bunch of great games out there for less or even for free.

    last addon i spent money for related to wow was burning crusade (including some month of subs). all others were gifts (and i spent maybe only 3 month/per subs).

    so to say
    i have to spent now money for this and the result is: no money for the addon AND no money for subbing!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      That’s probably WoW’s core problem with retention now… they can try and add new features to make it feel like a “whole new game”, but there are literally whole new games that you could just buy instead (GW2 is probably the most prominent at the moment, especially with its production values and non-subscription)

  9. jon_hill987 says:

    I thought it was Pokémon not Farmville…

  10. caddyB says:

    It was pretty good on the beta, I actually laughed loudly while doing a few of the quests, and the new zones are very beautiful. Pretty much everyone in the guild is excited about it, which I can’t say the same for Catacylsm.

    But there is no mistaking it for anything else, it is WoW, and if you didn’t like it earlier you won’t like it now. More of the same with more things to do instead of standing around in Stormwind/Orgrimmar is the name of the game here.

    And since it is WoW, we need talk about the raids.From what I’ve seen on the beta, the new boss encounters are lots of fun with interesting mechanics, and the raid instances themselves are very diverse and again, very very good looking. It feels very refreshing after months of Orange/Black Firelands and dull Dragon Soul.

    They’ve listened to the player feedback of “We want things to do while we aren’t raiding” so they’ve added hundreds of dailies that alternate every day, so it won’t be doing the same thing over and over again. Well, it will be, but a bit varied, I guess. They’ve also added the farming and pet battles minigames, complete waste of time I think, but it doesn’t bother me if people enjoy it, which is something most people in the internet have trouble with. I know that I’ll be doing them if they provide even the smallest amount of help in the raids, though.

    There is also the challenge mode dungeons which scale your gear down if you’re too well equipped ( but they don’t scale up, so raiders will still have the advantage ). They are very hard as the name implies, and drop no loot other than valor points that you’ve pretty much already capped if you really care about doing this. It’s a timed run that you can reset at will and try again, and I think it’s a good addition for those who felt that 5 man dungeons were too easy. ( They are ) Think of it like a precision platformer with 5 people, so I can’t wait to see what people come up with to gain a few precious seconds for the high score.

    I’m not a very big fan of the Asian feel, but they went with Chinese instead of Japanese in many places, so it’s not as boring as it could be. It is very different than the medieval fantasy of regular Warcraft and there is some light philosophy about hatred, warfare and endless killing. It doesn’t mean much since you still kill and loot and gather and only care for the numbers, but it’s there.

    • f1x says:

      The problem is, “we want something to do when we are not raiding” and Blizzard answer is more dailys, and mini-games, things that are gonna stay new for maybe a couple weeks,

      I mean, after 1 month you’ve done those dailys probably 1000 times already even if they are “random”, after that they can just add more dailys (not blizzard policy tho) but it will be just more and more of the same, the game is just too old to change in a radical way, and the expansion offers nothing new, being able to choose between “today you kill 10 bandits” and “today you collect 10 watermelons”….
      Also your own farm: Correct me if I’m wrong but it looks just like another sort of pack of daily quests, but in your farm (Now if they actually offering a housing system, that would be maybe something different, yeah silly but at least..)
      Pet battles: Yeah, well, personally I dont see the flus about it, just like dueling but with a pet
      Sure new raids and fun mechanics, but probably just more or less the same usual move from the void zone and press X button when the time is right (also please stop refrying old content, Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance)

      The scheme remains the same, because of course, its the same game, but I think its just too much now.
      Sorry for being so pesimistic but after playing wow from the beta in 2004 until pretty much the last year I dont see anything really inviting in this expansion, perhaps is just my problem because its been a too long relationship

      PD: Also, those freaking old models, watching the human model figthing one of the new mobs its not a pretty sight, it definitely needs to be updated (Actually they are supposed to be working on it, but I think they are afraid to actually change the vanilla char models)

      • caddyB says:

        Oh I totally agree with you, like I said, it’s just more WoW but in a different setting. It is going to get old, but they seem committed to more frequent patches which advance the story not just with raids but with more quests, factions and scenarios. I am a bit hopeful that they won’t repeat the mistakes of leaving the players with the same content for 9 months.

        I play it to raid with my friends though, and I like it. It doesn’t mean I don’t see the downsides to the game, and I do take frequent breaks when we clear the content and stay away from it for a few weeks.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        The thing with WoW is, it really set a precident as being a game that you could keep playing and playing and playing, but the truth is developers of any game simply cannot make content as fast as people consume it, however there are clearly a lot of ppl that still like WoW and the biggest criticisms the last couple of years has been, although players still enjoy their regular endgame of choice (raids, pvp, whatever) there is nothing to do just randomly when you have some time to kill.
        At least blizzard have listened to this, one thing they need to do in my opinion is make sure they don’t burden the player with too much “I must do X, Y and Z” type stuff. One thing GW2 has done brilliantly is to make the player feel like they can just do whatever they find fun at the time and that “fun” aspect is something MMO’s have lost over the last few years as everyone became obsessed with the end result of what they were doing, more gear, more levels etc.

  11. Drayk says:

    I played WOW for 5 years, with some time off. Now it’s been a year since I last touched the game. I am not going back.

  12. Turkey says:

    I like that the commercial is just like “Yeah. You already know the deal.” and then they just go through a list of a billion features.

  13. apocraphyn says:

    Played on and off between WoW’s beta and The Burning Crusade, started playing ‘properly’ towards the mid-end of TBC through to the beginning of Cataclysm (I’ll never forget you, Ulduar). But I’m not going back. Guild Wars 2 is enough for me at the moment, not to mention the many other games I have waiting (Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2, dozens of other games that weren’t released this week…)

  14. Soulstrider says:

    I left wow a couple of month after cata was released (mostly due to money constrains I couldn’t even afford cata) and this expansion left me a terrible impression since they had taken what was basically fun easter egg race and made a full expansion about them, filled with kung-fu panda nonsense.

    Actually this trailer left me with a better impression than I had, though I am an weird apple since I am one of the few people who seem to have liked cata changes since it made the leveling process and the zones much more interesting and vivid despite all the popular culture non-sense.

  15. tkioz says:

    My cousin hates me because of this game >:)

    I don’t play anymore, and it was my birthday today and we’re going out to a family dinner tomorrow and he is so very not happy about missing the launch due to “going to a stupid party”.

    Hah. Sucks to be him.

  16. mynsc says:

    Took a break during Cataclysm, but now I cannot wait to get back. I like some of the design decisions they made with this expansion (the new talent system, adding PvP Power into the mix, the changes to shaman totems, a unified continent instead of zones spread all over the old world, more focus on the open-world and endgame activities) and I also am attracted to some of the new features, like Challenge Mode for dungeons (normalized gear, server leaderboard, no cross-realm groups, race against time… awesome!) and the Scenarios. I definitely see myself trying the Pet Battle system too, during off-raid days.

    Having played GW2 in the last 4 weeks or so, I can say that yes, WoW looks old. At the same time though, the character movement and combat are so god damn polished and smooth, I’m almost willing to accept Minecraft-like graphics just to not lose this. Every spell / skill in this game feels awesome when you press it, you can do any maneuver fast and precisely and even when surrounded by tens of other players, nothing is chaotic and the game still runs smooth. Something I can’t say about GW2. It’s actually the main reason I’m taking a break from it: the combat and movement feel so clunky, especially knowing how they are in WoW, that I can’t accept them like that.

    • caddyB says:

      Eye of the beholder and all, I hated the graphics of GW2, even on highest settings. Not the graphics design, vistas and zones were beautiful, but animations ruined it for me.

      I’m not saying WoW is better, that’s ridiculous( have you seen a human male run ), but I’d expect every MMO to come out this last years to look as good as TERA did. Shame about the grind.Oh well, WoW is going for a graphics update anyway, they are remaking the character models for a later patch in MoP. I don’t hope for much, knowing what they did with Worgen females, hehe.

      The thing with them is they are very cleverly keeping the game within the reach of some of the lowest system specs and since this is a PC gaming website most people will be biased towards beastly PCs but I know a lot of people who run WoW at medium settings with 20 fps and actually enjoy it.

    • Kcalb says:

      I had the same problem in SWTOR when i felt my character wasn’t responding exactly to my commands (especially when you have to cast some “can’t be cast during movement” spells). I’ve tested many MMO’s and I’m always seduced by the gfx and almost immediately disgusted by the actual handiness / manoeuvrability of my hero compared to what I could experience playing my female tauren protection warrior in WoW, jumping around tanking, stunning, kiting, etc.

      Also, I love support roles and theorycrafting at a point that I don’t think I could play something else than WoW if I ever have the time to come back to MMORPG.

  17. yurusei says:

    And thus begins a new wave of Orientalism.

  18. caddyB says:

    I can see WoW slow the bleeding of subs a bit but stopping it and actually gaining them.. I don’t think it can happen. It’s too old, too tired and has been far too successful and it’s time is quickly passing.

    Then again they are still massively successful and it will be many years before they lose enough people to actually drop from the first place. Maybe it’s not the money printing machine it once was, but it is still one of the biggest cash cows that keeps on giving.

  19. Commander Gun says:

    I’ve had great times like a lot of others say here and i would love to give this a try. To be honest, the price is the single factor holding me off, both the price of the expansion and the monthly price. IMHO, it just can;t compete with other games and the F2P formula, though there are probably still millions who will prove me wrong in the end.

    Also, what an incredible month this is! Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2, GuildWars 2, and a few very good indie bundles. When i get home from work, i actually have a difficult time deciding what to play (so far Torchlight 2 is the winner though, especially multiplayer it is extremely fun).

  20. Spinks says:

    Getting a bit tired of trailers for games, but it is nice to see one that actually shows what is in the game.

    • DuddBudda says:

      I am very tired of pandaria trailers

      I play a couple matches of CSGO most evenings; this month I have been bellowed at about ‘WHY WE FIGHT’ [the advert is very very loud] around a hundred times and it’s starting to wear thin

      WHYFACE?

  21. Stevostin says:

    If Titan was out publishing this would look incredibly cool as a gesture of love for past title. As it’s not even shown, MoP just look like trying to over sale something that really can’t be. If I spend time in any MMO, that will be Guild Wars 2.

  22. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    Credit where it’s due, those dragon mounts look seriously awesome.

  23. Hunchback says:

    I find it amusing that they have the guts to milk this cow yet again.
    Don’t get me wrong, i’ve spent countless hours in WoW, ever since the original release i’ve played tons, quit and came back to check the newest expansion. But this one will be the expansion i won’t bother checking out. WoW was extremely old and repetitive already when they released WoTLK even though they’ve tried to add some new stuff that were more or less successful. I thought it would have been the last expansion, but then they announced Cataclysm. Cataclysm was generally pointless (to me, at least), it added about nothing at all… this time i was CERTAIN a future expansion would be ridiculous with the game being 8 years old and redone over 9000 times and all… But lol, one can’t simply underestimate Vivendi’s avarice… i guess.

    P.S. One thing that could have maybe intrigued me in this expansion is if they would design all the new content as an alternative to the last 10 levels in WoW, instead of adding more levels and making the new content “harder”. It just doesn’t make sense to me that some panda god or mystical demon spirit or whatever the bosses will be can actually be harder (and thus “stronger”) than Arthas. I mean, come on…

    • Obc says:

      The “Mystical Demon Spirit” is one of the seven parts of Yar’Saahj, a old god and they are surely on the same level as Arthas if the “feeling” they impersonate is strong on pandaria (like the sha of anger fueled by the anger the orcs and human bring to pandaria).

      also the story is taking a side step from the big baddies like KJ and DW. Garrosh will be the final boss.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Hehe, i do love your business sense, millions of players all out of content and wanting more and in your opinion they have the “guts” to release something when they shouldn’t.
      It’s called supply and demand, not to release an expansion for what is still the most played MMO in the world (by a long way) would amount to sheer stupidity on a cataclysmic level (pun intended). Noone is forcing you to like it or buy it but to question a business on making an almost certainly profitable move is incredibly short sighted.

      • Hunchback says:

        Oh but i don’t doubt their business decisions. I am quite sure they will make a tonne of cash again. I just find it… amusing. Not the fact that they are releasing this but the fact that people will actually pay for it.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      “this time i was CERTAIN a future expansion would be ridiculous with the game being 8 years old and redone over 9000 times and all”

      Huh? You know that there are much older games that are still getting expansions/updates, right?

  24. jealouspirate says:

    I’m *very* tempted to return to WoW for this, looks way better than Cataclysm. However, I’m also still neck-deep in GW2 right now, and I just don’t think there’s enough hours in the day for me to enjoy both at the same time.

  25. XCrusherX says:

    Like many people here I also had great times with WoW. I met wonderful people and had some of the most amazing gaming moments ever. It was such a great part of my life that I’m almost ashamed of it today. However, during the second expansion I felt like I was chasing something that simply isn’t there anymore. It seemed like the same was the case with my guild: It wasn’t really the game, but the connection to the community that kept you playing.
    Once I decided to stop I didn’t miss it in any way. This game has seen its best times and it’s time to do something new. Compared to Guild Wars 2 this expansion looks ridiculous, although the art designers still do a wonderful job of making beautiful places with limited resources.
    Anyway, my time for MMOs is over and if I’d start one anyway I would probably choose Guild Wars 2. These expansions feel like they’re replacing nails on a sinking ship.

    • derbefrier says:

      i completely agree, hell if i am honest i probably would have quit with TBC if it wasn’t for all the friends i made. I was already getting tired of it by that point but the social aspect kept bringing back until the 3rd expansion which by then i was so burned out and most everyone I had been playing with since launch had moved on to other games so i finally threw in the towel and quit. The game was great but for me and a lot of people it seems its just old and tired now

  26. Moraven says:

    Look forward to hopefully having longer lasting content. While I took my time with Cata, (starting with a lv 1 and playing the revampled old zones) many others did not and burned themselves out quick. The patches added some decent content but the last one did not add enough before this expansion to keep some people going for so long. (still played off and on)

    I see a lot of old players interested in this (after getting bored of SWG quick and not bothering with GW2). Hopefully there is enough to keep them interested for a long time.

    I look forward to:
    Challenge modes, friendship factions, Monk, new environment. Should be fun.

  27. Dances to Podcasts says:

    When you say Tuesday night, you mean tonight, right? Like, Tuesday morning, right? Because that’s when it’s launching, you journalist! (MMO Champion has a clock up for those confused)

  28. xaphoo says:

    Doubling down on the Asian-American market…

    • Nevard says:

      Surely this is pandering to non-asians though?
      Asians don’t need to look at Asian architecture all the time because they already live there.

      • xaphoo says:

        I guess I’m just thinking of my Asian American friends who like this kind of cartoony kung fu panda sarcastic approach to their own ancestral heritage. And this is a demographic that is far overrepresented among American gamers…

  29. Freud says:

    I’m Freud. I’ve been MMO-sober for three years.

  30. Universal Quitter says:

    Pandas. -_-

    This is one of those things that makes me wonder if the whole world has gone insane, or maybe there’s some enormous joke I’m just not in on.

    It’s like being Will Ferrel’s character, in that end of that Ben Stiller movie about models. “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills, here!”

  31. Laythe_AD says:

    I made the mistake of trying Mists after GW2. I tried to quest and level. I then realized and remembered that mob tagging existed, along with the rest of the horrifically dated quest design. I logged off. Can’t be arsed with that nonsense any more.

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