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Dec 25, 2012

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Review

The newest expansion for World Of Warcraft has settled in now and I can "try" to give an idea of what you will face.
The leveling through new content is fun, gone are the "hubs" from the last Xpac, there is an actual new continent to explore with many new factions, races and lore.
When you reach the level cap of 90 you can fly in the new areas, until then you are restricted to ground mounts, this forces you to explore and deal with the new terrain and prevents you from grabbing too much to start.
The real job starts at 90...
If you want 'epic' gear (purple) you will have to make friends with the new factions, run 'dailys' and collect "valor" points to spend on gear. You earn VP pts by doing these dailys (repeatable daily quests) and dungeons, you need to be "revered" with the faction before you can buy the gear that faction offers... so if you need a chest, pants, head, etc, you earn the right to each.
The reason you need to earn the gear from factions is to raise your "iLevel", the level of your gear, you must have a high ilevel to enter a raid and earn the real epics, the ones you need to beat the highest rated content.
What this means is if you want to raid, you Must do the dailys, this has many upset, the dailys can take hours, even if you take on half of them you will spend hours, leaving all the rest of fun stuff on the back shelf. These daily quests are very repetitive and after awhile you can do them with your eyes closed (not really, but it feels like it, LOL), this is a daily "Groundhog Day" experience. If you plan to raid, plan to have long reputation grinds to even enter a raid, this is a huge barrier to those who were used to running dungeons to gear up, since the gear from them is all "rare", not epic (blue vs purple) and will not get you to an ilevel high enough for a raid.

If you don't plan to raid, then the game opens up with so much to do, so much to see and so many items to collect that can be fun... pets, mounts, rare items from hard to find NPC's (non-player characters), you can visit all the new shrines and earn a flying disc, you can enter the world of Player vs Player (PVP) and fight other players, just to name a few.
The new area is filled with rare spawns, Very hard to kill 'elite' monsters that will drop rare items, each having special attacks and loot. You can hardly explore without seeing a few along the way, but beware, these are not like the older 'rares', these fight back, these Will kill you if you don't pay attention to the patterns of attack.

To sum up my opinion here..
If you are a raider in WoW be prepared to grind dailys... a lot, this can be seen as unfair, but it's a fact,
If you are an explorer, loremaster, collector of rare items, and casual player the dailys are there, but just running the 'normal' quests in each of the new provinces can keep you busy way past your $50 bucks worth. The lore is outstanding, the rewards for exploring can be great and there are 'scenarios" that you can run for fun and loot.
This is a fun expansion, but the harsh critics do have a point, raiding has been at the heart of WoW since 'vanilla' and to make it so inaccessible to them without long, boring reputation grinds is unfair. No game should force you to suffer through something you don't like to play something you do, give them multiple paths, give them a 'raiding' path to raiding, not a groundhog grind of epic proportions.

Last note, if you want the Collectors Edition of this title you can buy the digital download at $20 less than the boxed version, it's at Blizzards web site (keep in mind, no music CD, no hardbound book, you get the game and digital bonus items only).
Verdict: 60/100

Genre Role-Playing
Style Persistent World Online RPG
Themes Anthropomorphic Animals
Release Date September 25, 2012
Developer Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher Blizzard Entertainment
Controls Keyboard, Mouse
Flags Expansion Pack, Features Dolby Digital Sound


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