Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mists of...Say What?!

Nymphy is an arcane mage with Eff the Ineffable who just heard about MoPs. I mean she has an enchanted broom, why not a MoP? She guesses that said MoP is going to revolutionize the way she...wait...*peers at spelling* Oh! MoP as in the new land that revealed itself when Deathwing decided to throw a tantrum and shatter Azeroth as she knew it.

Orvillius is a protection paladin who finds the sudden existence of a new continent that people totally never noticed before completely plausible. After all, have you seen the shipping lanes from Stormwind to Darnassus? (It’s an honest question, Orv would never be caught in Darnassus)


Blizzcon has come and gone and once again there were plenty of shattering revelations. This year’s news has brought about an even greater uproar than most years. So all the furor has Orv and Nymphy digging to see exactly what all the fuss is about.
Haha good one Blizzard... What? They're serious?

Pandas.

ZOMG! PANDAS!!! These cute fuzzy bears have everyone in an uproar. These, along with the new features introduced seem to be a deal breaker for some people. Really? Pandas will break you? I mean that is plausible I guess, they DO have black belts. The Pandaren are introduced as the title race in Mists of Pandaria. They are a neutral starting race who choose, at level ten, whether to support the Horde or Alliance.

Look at how CUUUTE!

Nymphy: AMG! Pandas!! SQUEE!!! I personally LIKE the idea of pandas. I am already debating on whether or not to roll a panda mage or go with one of the new classes that are introduced.

Orv: Ugly green Orcs, rasta-parody Trolls, TAUREN!, GNOMES!, overly-stereotypical Dwarves, space-goats!, elves of all varieties, and the Pandas are what “jumped the shark”? I can’t buy it. The Pandaren are just as old as the Taurens (tweeting Rades to check on this). Just because we haven’t seen them in WoW doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of the Warcraft mythology. I’m interested in seeing their continent. If there was one thing I enjoyed about B.C. and Wrath that felt missing in Cata, it was the experience of exploring MORE of Azeroth (I know B.C. was Draenor, hush). Northrend and Outlands felt like whole new worlds, and walking off the boat in Northrend and having the initial quest givers react like Orv was a serious, hardcore hero was such a contrast to showing up at Honor Hold in Outlands and the “just try not to get anyone else killed when you die horribly” attitude of the quest givers there. I want to journey to Pandaria and be amazed by the scenery, the stories, and the world that has been presented to us. I want the same feeling of wonder that I had the first time I stood on the top of the dam in Loch Modan and looked out across the Wetlands.

New Talent Trees.

In Wrath we had 71 talent points to play with at level 80. The possibilites were EVERYWHERE! Nymphy fondly remembers Frostfire spec...burn and freeze ALL the things! She had her beloved Icy Veins paired with some yummy Arcane Power. Those were the days. In patch 4.0 talent trees were cut almost in half. Now we had to really think how we wanted to spend our measly 41 points at level 85. With the new upcoming talent trees, Blizzard has gone even farther and is allotting us 6 points, one for each of six tiers containing three possible choices.

So...many...SHEEP!

Nymphy: DOUBLE POLYMORPH?!?! Hmm now do I want a pig and a bunny? A monkey and a sheep? A penguin and a black cat? Two turtles? I am unsure about this new system overall, however. It is described as the end of “cookie-cutter” specs. NOW how am I supposed to figure out how to pew pew to the most destruction?

Orv: I don’t claim to be a theory-crafter, I’ve never been on the cutting edge of raiding, spending hours crunching numbers and building formulas to determine the absolute best spec for each encounter, but I have always enjoyed discussing spec choices with tanks who do things just a little bit differently from me to understand the thinking behind their choices, and what benefits they feel they are getting from those differences. That said, even I can agree that it was probably never more than five or ten points that were shifted around between the different “cookie-cutter” specs among the vast majority of raiding prot pallies. If that is the case, how much does it really matter whether I have 90 talent points with 85 of them exactly the same as every other paladin, or a fixed build where I get six talent points to choose among 18 different talents. I have not changed out my talent point choices since pre-patch 4.2, but I change my glyphs out from fight to fight, and if that is the model that is being discussed for these six talent points I feel like it will actually open up MORE customization, which is a good thing.

Non-Combat Pet Battles

This change has many people crying “Pokemon knock off.” The premise is that you can take your companion pets, train them up, and battle other players’ pets. In addition to the familiar avenues of pet acquisition (quest/acheese rewards, Blizzard store), the expansion offers you the chance to farm pets in the wild.

If you lose one more fight it's back to the orphanage for you!
Nymphy: Now where did I put my Pokeballs? In all seriousness this has made my pet collector self go absolutely mad with joy. MOAR pets? EVERYWHERE??!! Yes please! Hunters are not the only ones that are going to be privileged by having combat pets. Can we say Pheonix Hatchling, I choose you? I can see it now though, dog-fighting rings with the Pug and Corehound, “cock”-fighting with the Westfall and Ancona chickens, and those orphans? Oh those poor, poor orphans.

Orv: The first time they release a “pet” on the online store that Nymphy just has to have so she can battle with it my wallet is going to cry. Maybe not the first time, but definitely the fifth time. I don’t feel excited about this feature personally, but I look at it the same way I looked at fishing and cooking until late in Wrath, extras that I just was not going to spend much of my time on. Maybe I’ll give it a try now and again, but I don’t think it is for me. That said the introduction of this feature isn’t scaring me away. So long as there is enough new content that my time is filled up I’ll be happy, but if the environments, dungeons, and raids feel super light I’ll feel like the non-combat pet battles were development time poorly spent (even as I buy more of them for Nymphy).

Miscellania! or the Give Us Your Overall Opinion, Please. 

Stay back bird... I know Kung Fu

Nymphy: Overall Mists of Pandaria has me excited for new content. Rather than jumping ship immediately and going straight to another MMO such as SW: ToR, I am going to wait and see all that this expansion has to offer. A huge mystery is the end boss. In Wrath we knew eventually we would be fighting the Lich King just as we know that eventually we will be fighting Deathwing come Patch 4.3. Who else is there to fight at this point? I do know one thing however, (this is aimed at you Blizzard!) if I have to pew pew Onyxia, or Nefarion, or Ragnaros again....I will be angry and bring my Arcane Blasts to YOUR door! Let them stay DEAD! 

Orv: I have to admit I’ve been a HUGE Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, and I am excited to play a Sith Juggernaut this December (Nymphy always knew he was an evil bast--uh, person) but WoW time is my time with Nymphy and she is 100% in WoW’s corner, so unless ToR completely blows both of us out of the water I think I’ll be staying with WoW. That said I would love to see WoW roll out something along the lines of the story heavy flashpoints that I’m hearing about in ToR.

So there you have it, Mists of Pandaria. People are divided into I <3 Pandas and the OMG Blizzard Y U Ruin Ma Game!? camps. Orv and Nymphy are in the middle but will definitely be giving this expansion a try.

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