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  1. #1
    Legendary! Callace's Avatar
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    Mists of Pandaria: A Postmortem

    Well, here we are again. What was it that made this time around full of win-or-fail sauce?

    Honestly, I'll start with the sights and sounds, because I loved them. There was a lot to take in, and it had more personality than any expansion so far. The artists at Blizzard know how to knock it out of the park. Despite the setbacks of a generic concept (lost continent closely resembling China) and such a meager amount of new fiction to work with, they were absolutely killing it. The music was gorgeous, on par with contemporary cinema if not better. To be frank, probably better than most could appreciate. At its worst, the music was chorus and keyboard filler, at its best, think Morricone (The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly). The models and graphics were vibrant and expressive, the best to date. Impressive feats of architecture lie waiting around every corner, and were fun to explore too! The world felt livelier, shit happened everywhere without loads of phasing. The only drawback was that it was slightly too terrestrial.Trees, mountains, rivers...we get it! Beautiful, but perhaps too much greenery. Epic landscapes, nonetheless. The story started out slowly and clumsily enough, but at least managed to build momentum until the end. For what it was -a necessary intermission from the series (how do you up the intensity after a planet-destroying internet monster? you don't...)- I think it played out really successfully as an aside-story.

    All that being said, the gameplay design was fucking horrible. "Flexibility" was the only successful idea of the batch, and should have been added years ago in LFR's place (I hope they expand on it!). Scenarios are the biggest cop-out to date. They're literally nothing more than an excuse to reuse resources and force people to wait in line to do every single fucking aspect of the game. In terms of system mechanics, Mr. Ghostcrawler is sapping every last drop of creativity out of the game in order to make it easier for him to balance. Balance? Best to date! Fun? Oh, HELL NO! I'm sure he views players as his interval-ratio-reinforcement psychology experiment that rewards only Blizzard's investors. I am convinced that if he had more control, the game would be stripped down to its wireframes so that he could more easily see the correlation between his design decisions and sub-losses. I'm not going to comment on individual instances, they all seemed to hit their stride. All were pretty enjoyable and none were phenomenal; tho' there probably should have been more. No comment on the pet stuff either. It was a nice way to attract new people, for sure.

    I would rate this expansion somewhere in the vast gulf of quality that separated WotLK and Cataclysm. 3/5.

    Excellent art. Cool characters. Some nice instances. Too little story. Stale play.
    And perhaps a testament that Blizzard is willing to learn from some of their mistakes...
    ...if not all of them.

    What's your take?
    Last edited by Callace; 2013-11-02 at 04:43 PM.

  2. #2
    I've yet to see a 5/5 expansion, so this gets a 3/5 from me.

    Pros:
    -A lot of stuff to do at end game.
    -SoO
    -MSV
    -PvP (yes, carry on about hunters and warriors all day. Every expansion has op classes, and always will)
    -Storytelling mechanisms used. Even if you don't like the lore going on now, how it's being told in game is better than past efforts.
    -Timeless Isle and IoT, even if their benefits were rather temporary.
    -World bosses and various rares in general.
    -Flex mode is good, I see it's queuing tech being adapted for normal mode eventually.
    -Legendary quest was good. I see them taking the 'very long quest chain' approach again, probably with a big more variety next time.

    Cons:
    -Very on rails questing. This is the second 5 level expansion, and both have been an absolute failure in this regard, especially on replay. More levels = more zones = more variance on replay.
    -An excessive amount of tween content. Hozen and vermin immediately come to mind.
    -Hiding plot lines behind rep gain. The cut scenes that unfolded throughout the 5.1 dailies were fairly crucial to events that unfolded, and probably should have been more directly accessible.
    -The barrens event was... ok, not as good as it could have been.
    -Pet battles.
    -5 man dungeons across the board were a HUGE letdown, easily the worst of any expansion. I look at something like Stormstout, and then I look back at something like BRD, and I wonder what happened to this shell of a company in terms of creativity and detail.
    -Artwork. Detail on armor and weapons was good, and the artwork is crisper than ever, but very little stylistically impressed me in terms of armor sets and weapons in this expansion.

    Summary:
    Not great, but good. Whatever comes next really does need to be great.
    Benevolence is a luxury for the strong - Wrathion
    Next time you guys log in, Blizzard should freeze your character, spawn your favourite mount and shoot it in the head. - Mormolyce

  3. #3
    The Patient Tahuun's Avatar
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    Way better than Cataclysm but not the best expansion they had done. Shows that Blizzard still cares about the game. You forgot to mention that they have sped up the frequency of patches considerably and made them actually sub-worthy. Unlike Cataclysm(*cough* 4.1 *cough*).

    My FC: 2981-6039-7711 (list full for now). Trainer Name: Vito. PM if you add me.

  4. #4
    Pros:
    Pace of patches
    Good questing, nice use of phasing and storytelling elements
    Timeless Isle proved to be a little different than most WoW content
    Panda lore better than expected.

    Cons:
    Over simplification of the RPG elements of the game. Talent system should have been an addition to the old (not cata) system. Trust us to spec ourselves Blizz!
    Too much focus on dailys in the start.
    5-mans some of the laziest I have ever seen. In any game.
    Bring the player, not the class. Classes feel too alike.
    Raids were mostly uninspired art wise. Disappointing.
    Stats etc. has exploded into stupid high numbers...
    Weak main antagonist, weak overall Alliance vs. Horde climax

    Summary:
    Alot better than Cataclysm in almost all aspects, if you count out early Cata, which I found to be both better and more interesting than MoP. Both story wise and mechanics wise. Almost no diversity anymore, no niche specs etc. No reason to log in to just be immersed in the world...of warcraft. Weakest expansion to date if we exclude later Cataclysm.

    This is my opinion...

  5. #5
    Stood in the Fire Balager's Avatar
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    Well Yeah launch cataclysm was awesome but the patch cycle was a horrid atrocity. The weak points in MoP are the "talent system" and the Chinese-ness of Pandaria instead of Asian-ness. All in all a solid expansion but nowhere near the absolute king: WotlK.

  6. #6
    Titan Kangodo's Avatar
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    Pros:
    Story
    Talents
    LFR, Flex and the shitton of end-content

    Cons:
    End-content is still not enough, it might be much.. But the focus is too much on "one-time things" and raids.
    I am also a bit dissatisfied with the amount of dungeons.

  7. #7
    Pit Lord SL1200's Avatar
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    I turned against mob because they didn't make 5 man dungeons. I am really pissed about it. Even low quality 5 mans would have been better than no 5 mans.

  8. #8
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    For me I'd say:

    Pros:
    * Flex
    * Beautiful area
    * Very good lore, being a big fan of Chinese/Japanese mythology
    * Quests were IMO very good
    * Cooking catch-up

    Cons:
    * Flex, adding an additional difficulty instead of properly balancing Normal
    * Lack of 5-man dungeons
    * Challenge Mode being keyed to a timer, encouraging cheesing things
    * Lack of endgame content in general
    * Flying only at 90
    * More and more gold sinks
    * Profession catch-ups need to be more like cooking and less like Mining/Herbing

    I still preferred Wrath, to be honest

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  9. #9
    Herald of the Titans Tehterokkar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melodramocracy View Post
    I've yet to see a 5/5 expansion, so this gets a 3/5 from me.

    Pros:
    -A lot of stuff to do at end game.
    -SoO
    -MSV
    -PvP (yes, carry on about hunters and warriors all day. Every expansion has op classes, and always will)
    -Storytelling mechanisms used. Even if you don't like the lore going on now, how it's being told in game is better than past efforts.
    -Timeless Isle and IoT, even if their benefits were rather temporary.
    -World bosses and various rares in general.
    -Flex mode is good, I see it's queuing tech being adapted for normal mode eventually.
    -Legendary quest was good. I see them taking the 'very long quest chain' approach again, probably with a big more variety next time.

    Cons:
    -Very on rails questing. This is the second 5 level expansion, and both have been an absolute failure in this regard, especially on replay. More levels = more zones = more variance on replay.
    -An excessive amount of tween content. Hozen and vermin immediately come to mind.
    -Hiding plot lines behind rep gain. The cut scenes that unfolded throughout the 5.1 dailies were fairly crucial to events that unfolded, and probably should have been more directly accessible.
    -The barrens event was... ok, not as good as it could have been.
    -Pet battles.
    -5 man dungeons across the board were a HUGE letdown, easily the worst of any expansion. I look at something like Stormstout, and then I look back at something like BRD, and I wonder what happened to this shell of a company in terms of creativity and detail.
    -Artwork. Detail on armor and weapons was good, and the artwork is crisper than ever, but very little stylistically impressed me in terms of armor sets and weapons in this expansion.

    Summary:
    Not great, but good. Whatever comes next really does need to be great.
    You can't really put Pet battles in any category, since it's something that nothing requires you to do, it's like PvP to a PvE-only player, a minigame.

  10. #10
    I didn't get to fully experience Vanilla or BC during their time (I started in BC and by the time I got to max level it was basically too late to start raiding), but ...

    I dunno, it's hard to compare the eras. Things going in my life that have nothing to do with the game but yet affect my perception. For different reasons I'd probably give Wrath and MoP both an 8.5/10. Cata I'd probably give a 7.5/10
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  11. #11
    The Lightbringer Mokoshne's Avatar
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    Pro's:
    Challenge Modes
    LFR updates
    Flexi
    First Tier of heroic Raiding

    Cons:
    SoO is pretty average
    Scenario's are pretty bleh
    Overall story i didn't enjoy
    My weekly podcast can be downloaded here this week a chinese website sets up a way to rent a boyfriend. How much are you worth?

  12. #12
    Stood in the Fire Hooliganz's Avatar
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    MOP is simply bad or the worst thing happened to wow

    what can u say with the majority who like it ? im sorry most of the people who have good taste quit the game

    Post constructively please.
    Last edited by Zaelsino; 2013-11-02 at 07:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Legendary! Destil's Avatar
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    Pros:
    Raiding as amazing as it was in Wrath
    LFR management
    Fixing the Casual Problem over the coarse of the expansion
    Handling the story extremely well
    Flex
    Brawler's Guild
    Challenge Modes
    More community communication
    Multitude of fixes to PVP
    Scenarios
    Pandaren were handled AMAZINGLY

    Cons:
    Pvp is unfortunately still unbalanced
    Casual problem at the beginning of the expansion
    LFR still has some issues to be worked out
    Balancing Normal vs LFR
    Constrained art styles due to expansion theme
    Low diversity in dungeons
    Challenge modes need to be tweaked

    Overall:

    Fantastic expansion. Tweak the cons somehow for the next expansion and we'll have an expansion even better than Mists.

    9/10

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooliganz View Post
    MOP is simply bad or the worst thing happened to wow

    what can u say with the majority who like it ? im sorry most of the people who have good taste quit the game
    Sigh.

    I just.. can't.

  14. #14
    Liked:
    Pet battles
    flex
    amazing looking zones
    farmville
    new talent system
    minor glyphs
    pace of the expansion

    didn't like:
    Challenge modes being a timer
    no new 5 mans
    major glyphs are boring
    flying only at 90 and no ghost flying in many areas that need it


    I liked BC and WotLK better, but that isn't saying I dislike MoP. All 3 are good and the only expansion I think that has been bad was Cata.

  15. #15
    Legendary! Gheld's Avatar
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    Art wise, it's probably the best xpac yet. 4.5/5. Losing .5 because they still haven't fixed the in-game quirk where sometimes it'll call up the wrong music loop, or no music loop at all. So you'll really be bathed in the experience, and then suddenly the epic music stops and you're like, yo wtf, where am I bro?

    Gameplay wise, 3/5. Meh. They really haven't fundamentally changed anything. They've dabbled a bit in experimenting with some of the "questing" mechanics of other mmos on timeless isle, but they barely dabbled. They could have gotten 4/5 if they took a bigger risk. Scenarios were a complete let down. I honestly thought scenarios would be really cool, and I think the technical aspects of the scenarios really have potential still, but their use was just yawn. Stage 1 Collect 500 barrels of carebear juice. Sweet. Stage 2, run down the road... Final stage, kill a mob. They are just time sinks. They should have focused more on using them for plot advancement, and to be honest, Heroic scenarios should stay 3 man, but I think they should use the "flex technology" to make regular scenarios 1-5 players, so that you can just do them alone or with guildies instead of with strangers.

    End Game wise, it sucked up until they released Flex. Flex is literally the best thing that has ever happened to raiding, as evidenced by the fact that so few people have actually downed Garrosh on normal mode. The average player is fully satisfied by Flex. It would almost make sense to drop it back down to a 3 difficulty model
    LFR = Easy, Flex = Normal and Normal = Hard

    So I think Blizzard started moving in the right direction toward the end with the end game, let's just hope they keep going the right way.

  16. #16
    Stood in the Fire Hooliganz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destil View Post
    Pros:
    Raiding as amazing as it was in Wrath
    LFR management
    Fixing the Casual Problem over the coarse of the expansion
    Handling the story extremely well
    Flex
    Brawler's Guild
    Challenge Modes
    More community communication
    Multitude of fixes to PVP
    Scenarios
    Pandaren were handled AMAZINGLY

    Cons:
    Pvp is unfortunately still unbalanced
    Casual problem at the beginning of the expansion
    LFR still has some issues to be worked out
    Balancing Normal vs LFR
    Constrained art styles due to expansion theme
    Low diversity in dungeons
    Challenge modes need to be tweaked

    Overall:

    Fantastic expansion. Tweak the cons somehow for the next expansion and we'll have an expansion even better than Mists.

    9/10



    Sigh.

    I just.. can't.
    dont sigh me, i quit a whole xpac dont need a sigh now

  17. #17
    pros:
    - MSV, SoO, ToT
    - Timeless isle
    - flex mode
    - challenge mode dungeons
    - lore telling method
    - beautiful environment
    - good legendary quest line
    - brawler's guild

    cons:
    - ways of gearing up outside of raid
    - 5man dungeons were way to easy & short, and not enough
    - lack of a strong main enemy. Garrosh was cool, but it didn't feel anywhere close to the scale as previous expansions.
    - some mobs were really lame like mantid, vermin
    -

  18. #18
    I liked the Lorewalkers, world rares and the items you can find out in the world on the ground. I didn't like... just about everything else. So here's my overall review:

    Quote Originally Posted by Extremity View Post
    I like turtles. I would like turtle-based tier sets. I would like a turtle shell helmet, and perhaps a cheeseburger backpack and a chestpiece that simply places a red gemstone on my bellybutton.

  19. #19
    The Patient Piitz's Avatar
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    Pros:
    - All 3 Raiding Tiers
    - Timeless Isle
    - Lore and the how the storytelling was done, especially the 5.1 content
    - Flex raiding
    - Legendary chain
    - Challange modes
    - Scenarios overall

    Cons
    - The rep grind at release was just horrific
    - Lack of 5mans
    - Healing specs not balanced
    - Dread Wastes, atleast when I leveled my first toon to 90 I truley hated the zone.
    - The first 8 bosses in SoO was quite badly tuned
    Last edited by Piitz; 2013-11-02 at 06:27 PM.

  20. #20
    Epic! Redpanda's Avatar
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    I don't get how people hate challenge modes. Almost any comp can do it all it requires is knowledge of how to handle certain pulls. He draw was to use your brains. When blizz debuted it even he dev team that ran against blood legion if I remember right used invis pots. That in itself showed that out of the box would only help you

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