WoW Wednesday – Mists of Pandaria Live First Impressions
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG WoW Reporter
Normally before an expansion launch there is a good deal of hype and events. The launch for Mists of Pandaria didn’t see much in the way of Blizzard introduced events but that doesn’t mean the players themselves didn’t throw a party the night of launch.
The launch was going to happen at 11pm BST so I logged in at about ten figuring I would hang out in Stormwind with everyone else. I couldn’t decide between my pilgrim outfit and my matador/mariachi outfit but in the end I went with the Spanish flair. It just felt more festive. Pilgrims weren’t really known for their partying. I found my guild already in the Dwarven District dancing around the guild standard with a disco ball, barbeques, kegs and a lot of AoE. The more sparkly the better. It wasn’t long before there were other guilds doing the same. There were loads of players all over Stormwind but it didn’t seem near as many as previous expansions and no doubt that was due to the late hour.
Lag was always going to be an issue. It always is with major launches and players have come to expect it and know little tricks to deal with the large quantity of players. When 11pm rolled around a quest popped up to report to the keep to start the mission that would eventually take us to Pandaria. The lag aboard the ship became unplayable for a lot of people. I have a well-known brand gaming rig so it wasn’t a huge issue for me. What was a huge issue was that it was late and I didn’t have the patience at that time to deal with players tapping multiple targets, standing on quest givers and just the general asshattery that goes along with these launches.
Tuesday was spent questing and getting my priest to 86, which took me about 6 hours. At about the 11 hour mark from the launch start our server saw its first level 90 and within the next few hours more realm firsts were achieved by various classes getting to 90. I don’t quite understand how they got to 90 in 12 hours when it took me half of that time to gain one level of steady questing. To each their own though. The levelling curve is rather steep from 85 to 86, which was quite a refreshing change given how quick levelling is now in WoW pre 85.
There are a lot of quests in MoP with no shortage of things to do. While most players seem to be just steadily levelling through and enjoying the content, others have chosen to spend their time with the pet battle system, farming or the professions. One of the best things about questing in MoP (at least before 87 which is my highest level currently) is that questing doesn’t seem to be as linear as it was in Cataclysm, which is another welcome change. I have always been a zone hopper while levelling and it’s nice to have that option again. The quests and zones are diverse and interesting and not just because they are new. Taking alts through the new content should be good for a couple goes at least.
All in all it has been a success. Blizzard are the masters of making players want to play. They can do that intangible thing better than any other game out there. I found myself at one point desperately needing a cup of coffee but couldn’t tear myself away long enough to get it. I just wanted to finish the quest I was on which then led to another quest I wanted to do because there was an upgrade as a reward. And if anyone understands this drive to keep going it is a WoW player. There was a time when it was jokingly called the World of Warcrack and for good reason. With Mists of Pandaria Blizzard is certainly supplying us with our drug of choice. Now, if you will excuse me, I’ve a priest to get to level 88 today. Onwards and upwards!