Player VS MoP: Blizzcon First Impressions

Now before anybody says anything, I know this is a little late. I’ve been meaning to do this now for some time, but haven’t really gotten around to getting my thoughts out yet. So without further ado, here’s how I see Mist of Pandaria’s announcements thus far.

New Race, Pandaren: This honestly doesn’t excite me that much. I do like that you will be able to choose your faction at level 10, but not that your bound to that side for the remainder of the game. In a previous MMO I spent time on, Dofus, you were able to become neutral again and choose the other faction for a cost. I think an idea such as that would add an additional element to the game. Being able to choose and be stuck at level 10 seems like a waste of an effort. If they had gone that little bit further, they’d really shine.

New Class, Monk: Again, I’m not terribly excited about this. From what I can tell, it will be a leather-wearing pally with a healing spec similar to an AA Disc Priest. Sorry, but not going to be the first person to jump on this boat either. I am glad to see another healing class, and hopefully people will at least try it out healing instead of rolling another DPS.

On a related note, it was mentioned that Pandaren/Monks will likely make use of fist weapons. This part I am extremely pleased about. Fist weapons haven’t been getting the credit they deserve for a long, long time.

New Zones: I have some ideas related to this, which will be posted on Friday. Let’s just say I like the idea of them being big, and some opportunities it holds.

World Bosses: Raid bosses just walking around the world and spawning randomly. They did this eons ago, and honestly it was a blast to do. I was deeply saddened when they went away. Given how much WoW has grown, their return will be awesome. There may be elite mobs out there now that spawn (such as many hunter pets) but never really a raid event around it. I want to see a badass dragon spawn outside Goldshire and rip people to hell. I then want to see 40 people group up to down him.

PVE Scenarios: This is either going to rock, or suck hardcore. I think it’s a fair enough assumption to say that running Zandoms each week has grown more than a little tiresome. It’s to the point that I run them now with less than 1/2 my gear on (I beat Jin’do pantless). Though this makes for some funny bragging rights, that’s about. I look forward to seeing a little bit of something more to do in dungeons other than just kill the boss at the end.

It could be fun to actually have a goal and set levels for additional difficulties on dungeons. This would also help combat simply over-gearing the dungeons, and being able to ignore fight mechanics.

New Dungeons: In addition to new Pandaren dungeons, they’re redoing Scarlet Monastary and Scholomance as Heroic dungeons. I hope this turns out better than what they did with Deadmines, because honestly that dungeon is a pain in the ass to do. It did need to be redone, don’t get me wrong, but I think they went overboard with the mechanics and length and made it grueling to do in a PUG. Shadowfang Keep on the other hand, they did pretty well on.

Personally, I’ve always really liked SM as a dungeon, because it seems like a place that could actually exist. I can believe that there are Scarlet Crazies held up in the hills in a church. I can believe that they’ve divided their headquarters into different wings. The same goes for having an old, broken down school in the heart of a plagued land filled with zombies. They’re good locations that make sense, and I’m happy to see them still playing at least a minor role in the world instead of falling by the road-side.

Talent Revamp: This is a long time coming. I’m glad something is coming out of it, but fear that it will still lead to many cookie-cutter builds. I’ll address Talent trees for classes I play at a later date.

Pet Battles: I almost hate to say it, but I’m excited about this. Yes, I was once a pokemaniac that dreamed of becoming a Pokemon Master. Yes, I caught all 150 Pokemon (then won Mew in a Nintendo contest, woot!). And Yes, I was almost tempted to buy the black/white version when it was recently released.

That said, the summation of Blizzard’s announcement for Pet Battles is that you’ll get to battle your companions against other companions. In addition, you can continue to collect and index your companions, level them up, and teach them new attacks by beating trainers around Azeroth! This sounds very much like Pokemon when it was first released by in the days of Blue/Red. What I’m hoping, is that it is just like those first Pokemon games. Quite frankly, they started spinning out of control with the Pokemon games when they started in on the 300 Pokemon.

I’m hoping the pet battle system mimics the way WoW currently operates. At face value, wow is easy. Most players would agree with this. But you can go into details, and crunch numbers and stats to fine tune the playing. There has been, and hopefully always will be, that line drawn between those who just push buttons and those that understand every button they push.
I want to see the pet battle system to work in similar fashion. I want anybody to be able to start playing it, but I want there to be enough in it to keep be interested. Fearful as I am for the release of this feature, I’m sure after a few patches it will eventually come to this.

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