[WoW] Thought for the Day: On playing a new expansion


It is tempting to go with a first impression, or start making broad predictions quite early on in an expansion, before you’ve played through all of the PvE. Be careful if you try that with Mists of Pandaria, because each zone I have seen so far is better than the last. The cool stuff is paced and spread out much better than any of the previous expansions. I have more thoughts noted down, and the game is still very much WoW at its core. But the questline/event for Savior of Stoneplow is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in any game ever. It is better than Wrathgate.

I have also seen questlines that made me laugh (honestly, that monkey guy in the Horde Jade Forest special assault group! I heard my partner giggling from across the room earlier and knew that was what he was playing through too) and that made me cry (if you are playing Horde, you will know this one when you see it). The music is also wonderful.

I miss the freedom to just head out and explore that I had gotten used to in GW2. Pandaria is less on rails than Cataclysm, and you could just head off and find new quest hubs if you want, but the longer storylines just work better if you don’t push it too far because you will meet NPCs from one zone in another further down the line. You can end up feeling like Doctor Who if you go back and forth (as in: Hi, I know this is the first time we’ve met  for you but I’ve spoken to your future self and I’m really sorry about your wife/dog/favourite sword.)

But when WoW hits the mark, it really does hit the mark and I’m enjoying meeting so many memorable NPCs and places that make me care about them. My advice to bloggers: be cautious about making conclusions about this until you have played it to the end, you may not have hit some of the big payoffs yet.

5 thoughts on “[WoW] Thought for the Day: On playing a new expansion

  1. I’m absolutely loving Pandaria. Where during the first hour of playing Cataclysm I’d already gotten the “meh”-feeling quite a few times, I’m now enjoying myself greatly in every aspect of the game.
    The whole going back to the roots of Warcraft is exactly what the game needed in my eyes.

    And the Hozen must be among the greatest npc’s ever. “Ookin wicket!”

    • I think this could well be Blizzard’s masterpiece. So blown away by what I have seen so far. There are slower parts (like wandering through Valley of the Four Winds) but the payoff, when it comes, is amazing.

  2. This phase of game development is where Blizzard truly shines. I am extremely impressed with my story and play experience so far. It’s a beautiful world, with engaging npcs and interesting quest designs.

    I would also offer that I was similarly pleased with Mount Hyjal at this stage. I didn’t feel the malaise set in until I’d played through all the story content.

    This is what Blizzard does best. This is their golden moment. I’m really hopeful that the extended game play through the multiple factions will keep me interested for a long time, but I’m not embarrassed to be enjoying myself immensely right now.

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