What Can We Expect From Mists of Pandaria?

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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is just hours away from release but what do we expect from Blizzard’s latest expansion?

Hi my name is Aryel Abrahami, I am the resident World of Warcraft nut here at NGB although I have to admit, I have barely kept up with the upcoming Mists of pandaria, let alone played the Beta.

Before we look forward lets look back and see what we took from previous expansions and see where Mists of Pandaria fits in.

I remember the launch of the first WoW expansion well, The Burning Crusade launch was pretty epic, half the server stood at the gates to Outland, a portal once dormant came alive for a lucky few. This was before the days of digital releases that could garuntee entry at 12am CET on the release dot, only those that had snagged an early copy, had their accounts setup, and game installed could enter the portal and enter the baron land that is Hellfire Peninsula and what a start to a game.

If the original WoW was vanilla then TBC (The Burning Crusade) was Ben & Jerry’s phish food. There were so many exciting new areas to explore, new quest mechanics, and a complexity we had not yet witnessed in an MMO. Perhaps I look back at The Burning Crusade with rose tinted glasses but it was the most exciting expansion to level, raid, and generally play in.

Wrath of The Lich King was probably most exciting in the first trailer and during the Beta. The promise of meeting Arthas on the frozenthrone excited the lore nerd inside me but the expansion itself missed a beat. New world PvP in the form of lake Wintergrasp was fun and new but failed to excite the same way TBC’s new features did. By the end of the expansion the Lich King was dead but it cost me. Weeks of hardcore raiding left me burnt out and the thought of entering another raid or killing another mob made me feel sick. If Wratch of The Lich King was ice cream then I had eaten too much.

Cataclysm gets a lot of heat for it’s raid dungeons and the noobification of raiding with the swanky new raid finder that promised raiding for the casual and a difficulty to match, I’ll get on to that but first we have to cover the good points. For me Cataclysm offered the best story telling of a WoW expansion, quest text is just plain boring and annoying to read and is still present in Cataclysm but the cinematic events were something else entirely. There were epic little nuggets of story telling that bookended each zone very well. The leveling experience in Cataclsym was good and I never did enough raiding to properly analyze Blizzard’s end game that time around. I tried some casual raiding with friends, Cataclysm introduced 10 man raiding that offered the same rewards as the larger 25 man counterpart but I am an all or nothing guy when it comes to raiding. I soon got bored of the casual jaunts into Black Wing whatever it’s called and found myself playing other games, bringing an end to my subscription and my life of WoW.

Now I find myself with a boxed copy of Mists of Pandaria in my hand, ready for tonight’s launch but I am not getting back into WoW, honest.

I am NOT expecting the new dungeons and raids to pull me back in.

I am NOT expecting this expansion to be WoW’s great saviour.

I am NOT expecting the Pandaren race to be some awesome new thing that changes the game drastically.

I AM expecting the questing and levelling to be somewhat new and dare I say exciting?

I AM looking forward to exploring the new zones, they look cool in screenshots.

I AM expecting this to be a good game with something in the region of 20-50 hours well spent.

I will be updating my progress here on NGB giving my thoughts on the expansion and if you are really interested you can catch our live stream over on BuffUpTv.

If like me you have not been keeping up with Mists of Pandaria, the trailer below does well to fill the gaps.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOeUvGrugbc&list=UUbLj9QP9FAaHs_647QckGtg&index=4&feature=plcp[/youtube]

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