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My First Impressions of Mists of Pandaria

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My First Impressions of Mists of Pandaria

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The text discusses a player's initial experiences and impressions of the Mists of Pandaria remix in WoW, focusing on new features, quest dynamics, and gameplay mechanics.
🕑 2 Minutes: reading time
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The Mists of Pandaria remix is finally here. We now have the Mists of Pandaria remix, a brand new way of leveling up through Pandaria, where you have a Cloak that you slowly gain power for as you level.

You can find Items that you can socket into your gear to grant you new abilities, a new type of currency called bronze, new mounts, new Transmogs, and new everything to collect. It’s the Mists of Pandaria remix, everybody, and I think by this point, if you’ve had a chance to play it, we’ve gotten a nice little taste of it. At the time of recording this, I just hit level 20 on this blood elf hunter that I am leveling, and so I figured like okay, this is probably a good point where I can do some first impressions and just kind of share some initial thoughts.

Reexperiencing Pandaria

First of all, let’s talk about Pandaria. I have not leveled through Pandaria in a long time, probably since Mists of Pandaria itself. It’s not that Pandaria was a bad expansion; I mean, I really enjoyed Mists of Pandaria back in the day. Personally, just personal opinion, I’m not the biggest fan of the Aesthetic of Pandaria. I’ve never really been big into the whole Mystic East vibe, but that’s just me. I thought about something funny when I was leveling up this Blood Elf Hunter, right, and it’s this something.

Reflections on Pandaria’s Horde vs. Alliance Theme

I had kind of forgotten from all those years ago, from the first time I leveled up through Pandaria, that Battle for Azeroth was meant to be like the big Horde versus Alliance expansion. But, in my opinion, I think Mists of Pandaria captured the whole Horde versus Alliance conflict better than Battle for Azeroth did. Mists of Pandaria opens up with the Horde and the Alliance just ripping each other apart in the Jade Forest, causing chaos on this uncharted island, this new land.

These native peoples are caught right in the middle of it; they’re being forced to join sides, being pitted against each other. It feels like a genuine Horde versus Alliance war. You’ve got the Alliance gunning down Horde survivors, the Horde showing no mercy to Alliance prisoners, or the Darnassian locals. I had forgotten about the vibe of this expansion, so it’s been really cool, especially because, when I played through Pandaria back in the old days, I played as an Alliance character. So, I’ve actually never seen the Horde version of Pandaria. In all these years, I’ve never seen it, so it’s been fun.

New Discoveries and Quest Dynamics in Pandaria

One of the best parts about Pandaria, at least for me, is that I think Pandaria questing is pretty solid. Yes, it’s a little linear in places, especially in the beginning, just telling that initial story of the Sha, the Horde, the Alliance, and the conflict. But later on, you do have the option to go to different areas of the Jade Forest and pursue other quest lines and stuff. It’s got this nice balance where it’s a little bit linear sometimes, but it also allows you to go off the beaten path and pursue a quest line over there if that’s what you want to do.

I like that there’s also a great variety of quests, ranging from kill quests to lore to cinematic moments. Pandaria is great. The Pandaria experience, at least for me, has been a lot of fun. I’m sure some of you guys out there probably leveled through Pandaria a million times, so none of this is new to you, or nostalgic or refreshing like it is for me, but it’s cool.

New Abilities and Their Impact

Your health and the new abilities grant your character new powers. Some of these abilities are passive; for example, every time you get a critical strike, it causes an explosion of fire damage, affecting all nearby enemies. Alternatively, it could be an active ability like the epic orb ability, which summons a large magical orb that explodes after a short period. This concept of discovering Gems and new powers while questing is intriguing, but based on my experience, the implementation has been lackluster.

System Execution Challenges

The main issue with this system is that the Gems and abilities often don’t feel impactful. The most noticeable effects come from movement-related abilities, such as Heroic Leap—a warrior ability adapted for my hunter—that significantly enhances mobility.

Impact Analysis of Abilities

Consider the following scenario: my hunter is fully equipped with Gems that boost critical strike chance and enable explosive shots. Initially, it seems that I’m effortlessly clearing mobs. However, after removing all the Gems, there’s no noticeable difference in performance. The gameplay remains unchanged, which suggests that the gem system lacks meaningful impact.

This might be more apparent in PvP or dungeon settings, but for open-world activities, the enhancements feel superficial. The Gems don’t seem to accelerate questing, combat, or world traversal. Despite having advanced mobility options like dragon flying, the overall experience has been underwhelming, even on my Death Knight alt.

Positive Features of the Cloak of Infinite Potential

I’m kind of going from negative to positive here. Now let’s talk about something really good that I really like, and that is the Cloak of Infinite Potential. In my opinion, it is the best part of the remix. You get this Cloak on your character’s back, and as you quest, you’re going to be collecting little Items that periodically make your Cloak more powerful.

You’ll gain more stamina, more leech, more versatility, more mastery, and more experience points per quest or for each mob kill. It’s cool. As the Cloak levels up and becomes more powerful, it actually changes appearance too, which is awesome. The best part is that as you’re leveling up this Cloak on your main character, like my Hunter for example, if you then make an alt like the Death Knight I made, that Death Knight will have the Cloak and it will have all these upgraded stats on it already from having leveled it up already on your main character.

Inconsistencies in Cloak Upgrades

However, I will say that maybe I misunderstood something or maybe it’s a bug, but my hunter’s Cloak is decked out, and then I hopped onto my Death Knight. I got him the Cloak, and he’s missing so many of the stats that my hunter’s Cloak had. For example, on my hunter’s Cloak, I have a 12% experience gain, but on the Death Knight, I only get 2% experience gain.

I’m missing stats on the Death Knight side of things, and I’m not sure why. Is that intentional? Is it a bug? Even still, the Cloak that I started with on my DK was much more powerful than if I had started a brand new character, which starts with zeros for everything. I really like the Cloak of Infinite Potential.

Concerns About Loot Crates

Now, I want to talk a little bit about another negative, at least in my experience, and I’m curious to hear what you guys think about this having played as well, but I want to discuss the loot crates in Mists of Pandaria. I don’t really know what else to call them; they’re just little loot crates. These boxes that you get for completing every single quest in Mists of Pandaria contain a various number of supplies.

It could be new abilities that you can socket into your gear, Gems to enhance your stats, bandages, potions, whatever. The thing is, you get these loot crates all the time in Mists of Pandaria remix; every single quest gives you one of these crates. So, you go to a quest hub, you turn in five quests.

Frustrations with Loot Crate System

You always know what you’re going to get with every quest, even simple ones like, “Hey, walk over there and talk to that guy,” which invariably results in receiving a loot crate. I find myself spending as much time managing my inventory and sorting through crates as I do actually playing the game. Most of the Items, like potions and bandages, are completely superfluous; I haven’t had to use a bandage once, regardless of playing as my hunter or death knight.

Monotony and Overabundance of Loot Crates

Initially, receiving a loot crate can be exciting. You think, “Wow, a loot crate! Let’s see what’s inside.” But this excitement quickly fades as you realize the rewards are often mundane, like some Gems that don’t significantly impact gameplay. The frequency of these crates dilutes their value, making them feel more like a chore than a reward. I wish the crates were less frequent but contained Items that genuinely enhance the gameplay experience.

Enduring the Loot Crate Overload

I’m a damn terminator when it comes to handling loot crates while questing on my Hunter. I’ve reached a point where I don’t even bother opening these crates because there seems to be no point. I just stockpile them, saying to myself, “Okay, whatever, got a loot crate, I’ll open them once I’ve accumulated like 30.” This might be an indication that the two classes I am playing are just overly powerful, allowing them to cleave through Pandaria with ease. But regardless of the reason, the abundance of crates has become more of a nuisance than a benefit.

Reflections on Character Power and Game Balance

I think that because our characters are already so powerful, even without the Gems, when we do get them, we don’t really feel any more powerful because we were already overpowered. It feels like there’s some tuning that needs to be done, at least from my experience. But that’s just all first impressions.

Maybe you’re just overpowered for the first ten levels or something. I’m going to keep playing to see how it is. Maybe you guys will agree that I’m right, or perhaps you’ll think I’m wrong. Either way, the grand conclusion is: Is it fun? Yeah, I mean, it’s fun, I guess. It’s cool seeing everybody running around in Pandaria, but it’s not amazing; it’s just a neat little way to pass the time while we’re waiting for War Within.

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