Have you slept?
Have you eaten?
Have you maintained your social life?
If you have said yes to one or all of these questions, then you quite possible have not been one of the many people playing World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. When the new areas became available, through a quip during the countdown stream they opened 3 minutes ahead of schedule, milliona of players logged in and lined up for recruitment to explore the new lands. The starting quest hub for the alliance is definite proof they put the WAR back in Warcraft, and if that isn’t enough to convince someone, there are multiple other quest hubs where you fight on the front lines to ward off encroaching hordes of enemies.
Just past the nasty field of battle, the beauty of the rainforest looms over the player. Blizzard did a top notch job of making the new areas feel alive. Waterfowl stand near clutches of eggs, carrion creatures do their best to clean the landscape of the fallen, and even the water teams with fish that are far beyond the flat scenery of the past. There are still some issues with faster mounts as Blizzard has yet to realize that sometimes it isn’t the speed of the animation that needs to increase, but the gait of the step, and a 2500g goldsink yak mount should have a better run cycle.
The music is well done, this time even more so than previous expansions. It can bring you from serenity to sillyness with a step into the right area. Going into a tavern has the element of joy, lighting the incense at a funeral in another zone can bring you to /kneel and say a remembrance to the fallen, even if they are just random npc’s and pixels you didn’t care about 3 quests before. If you are one who normally keeps the music off during the game, turn it on and give it a go.
The new Pandaren starting zones should be played all the way through, without skipping cutscenes, as should the 85+ zones. The story is so deep and well played out this go around, and the way the new zones are handled are akin to Burning Crusades, only with better quest flow. The Pandas are full of whimsy, but also full of awesomeness. Blizzard knew that players would be making Kung Fu Panda references and jokes, so they ran with them instead of shying away, their racial bonus is to eating afterall.
A few minigames have been added this time to give something to do for those who want to waste a few minutes instead of hours. Farmville players will love the gardening games. Pokemon players will get into the Pet Battles.Cooking has taken center stage this expansion, in Halfhill village you will find every type of cooking skill you could want.
This is a great expansion to hop in to, there is new stuff at the beginning, and the endgame. The author of this piece regrets to inform of the abrupt ending, he is only 89 and needs to get to 90 soon, it is also Brewfesr.