First of all, I have approximately 23 draft posts that have yet to be finished and may never see the light of
dawn day. Life has been busy lately, to say the least, so forgive me my lack of posts. (You should listen to my mostly-weekly podcast, Blessing of Frost, if you miss my opinionated self.)
At 3am ET tomorrow, Monday, March 19th, all the WoW sites everywhere will basically explode with information about the forthcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria.
It would be an understatement to say that I have been a negative nancy since I learned that pandas were going to show up in this game. In fact, I no longer say “sad panda“, which I’ve said for years. I’ve taken to saying “sad moose” instead (often #sadmoose on Twitter!). One of my guildies, Kamilla, actually made me a sad moose of my very own! (I love him. Isn’t the tear awesome?)
Anyhow, this blog has chronicled my feelings and experiences from Burning Crusade through Wrath of the Lich King and through Cataclysm. I have played since 2005. As negative as I have been about the panda expansion, I would be lying if I didn’t say I had some measure of hope that maybe I’ll find something to be excited about.
I know that there have been spoilers and leaks, but I haven’t checked them out. I’m content to wait until 3am.
However, due to the fact that I am unspoiled beyond what Blizzard’s already told us, I thought I’d share some of my hopes for the new expansion, some of which will surely be crushed in about seven hours.
- Exciting raid content for 25-man raid groups. By “exciting”, I don’t mean “gimmicky”. I do not mean “vehicles”. I do not mean “instances completely full of trash”, nor do I mean “instances lacking trash entirely”. I do not mean raid instances reliant upon the interrupt mechanic. I do not mean a state of flux with regards to the number of healers, tanks and DPS from encounter to encounter. I do not mean encounters where a single person can and will wipe the entire raid without question if they make a single mistake. I mean exciting raid content that is well-balanced, well-tuned, challenging and dependent on people to do their jobs well, but if there’s a mistake (or two or three) made, it’s still recoverable.
- Less grindy stuff. Or at least stuff that feels less grindy. I know. It’s an MMO. I don’t think Valor Points are going anywhere and I don’t think grinding out your weekly VP will go anywhere. Is grinding VP any different from running Scholo 24 times for my helm? Not really, but it’s less “fun”, I guess. See, part of my issue with the direction the game’s taken is that they make it really easy to do things alone. Oddly, this bothers me. I LOVE being self-sufficient and self-reliant, but I think the fact that I can queue up for random dungeons or raids takes something from the game. I spent hours and hours and hours running the dungeons back in Vanilla. Hours upon hours. And I laughed. I had so much fun! I was challenged — 45 minute Strat run, anyone? I think that incenting us, somehow, to run things with friends (and yes, I know that you get guild funds for doing the dungeons with guildies, etc) rather than just queue up whenever I feel like it, would be helpful in getting rid of the grindy feeling. I always do stuff on my own because I CAN. But some of my best memories are with other people in this game. Most of them, really.
- Relatedly, the challenge dungeon things? I am hopeful that they will be awesome. The gear normalization thing would really have to pan out and be done well, though. This is something I could get really excited about and, to be honest, I hope I do. I would love to not be limited to level 90 dungeons with it, though. Like, let me go do Strat Undead competitively.
- I would love to see some kind of reward for older players. This is something that Blizzard has never really done until transmog/void storage came out. Sure, there’s all kinds of fancy new stuff for everyone, but hey, I just lived through an expansion (or at least part of it). Doesn’t my loyalty mean anything? I have zero clue what that kind of reward would be. Maybe it would just be acknowledgement. Maybe it would be in-jokes about Rhyolith or Yor’sahj or Nefarian. Maybe it would be a pet or a title or something. Just… something. To indicate that we long-term players matter. Even though we clearly don’t. I WANT to drink the Kool-Aid, Blizzard. Give me a reason to do so.
- Attunements. GOD, I want attunements and keys back. I know, this will be crushed shortly. But a girl can dream, can’t she?
- Epic quests. Fewer legendaries, more epic class quests that force you to use your class in the most awesome ways. See: Rhok’delar quest, Benediction quest. I know it won’t happen. But I want it to.
- Finally, I hope that Mists of Pandaria, being the first expansion without a “big bad” to kill (no Illidan, no Arthas, no Deathwing) can maybe return us to the days of Vanilla, where we fought many big bads along the way (and many smaller bads to boot) and had a great time doing it. We didn’t really know what would come next (at least I didn’t) and it was a real surprise to me to learn that progression went MC -> BWL -> AQ40 -> Naxx. There didn’t seem to be an underlying story through them all. Maybe we can get back to that. That could be fun.
Oh. Wait, one more.
- I fully expect beta for Mists to be out in April sometime and I expect a beta announcement in this press thing.
See you on the other side.