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Mists of Desperation

For the first time in years, a Blizzcon has come and left me with, dare I say it, LESS desire to play WoW than than before. Forgive me for sounding a little negative but am I the only one who finds this whole Mists of Panderia thing a bit pathetic? This is what the death of a giant looks like.

The game will see an influx of players, of course, but I fail to see how any long term player can see this as anything other than pouring a giant bucket of water into what was once a potent mix of serious story and light-hearted humor. There is nothing worth taking seriously anymore. Not the ‘epic’ raids (where we fight, what, a giant stuffed zebra?), because when you insert a bunch of Disney character wanna-bes into the role of ‘grand defenders’ the whole attempt becomes little more than a joke. But then, I guess they see that as their strong suit these days.

Other aspects of this expansion:

Challenge Dungeons: Because Blizzardifying good ideas never goes out of style. On the plus side, it’s safe to say that Blizzard as a whole company is now safely among the most derivative in all of PC gaming. I don’t care that you “forged this path” by releasing the original Diablo or Warcraft. The fact is, here we all all these years later and the amount of good ideas you’ve had on your own can be counted on one hand.

Pokepets: I actually really like this idea. It CAN fit in the game world and could be a lot of fun. It also really feels like an idea they scrapped as ‘too fluffy’ back in 05.

New Race/Class: Having players repeat the same leveling process is easy money. The Monk class sounds interesting. Going all out and calling it a ‘fat ninja’ was too far, I guess, but would probably have been more fitting with their new theme.

Talent Re-Vamp: I didn’t think it was possible for Blizzard to make WoW any MORE Vanilla but they’re doing it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give players any less choice than they already have. You know what’s horrible? When I read about this, the first thought that came into my mind is

Free Diablo 3 when you subscribe for twelve months: Because, sheesh, after finishing Cataclysm in three days, subscribing for a full year is asking a lot of people. Frankly, I’ll just buy D3 and save the $50.

In short, everything they’ve announced just reeks of desperation and struggling to find an identity that can compete with TOR, GW2, and every other game that makes WoW look old. While I watch coverage it won’t be to look for extra tidbits of x-pac info, it will be to see if their devs have the same ‘daddy knows best” attitude as last year.


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  1. Green Armadillo

    My reading list may be skewed (I don’t follow many pure WoW blogs) but I’m puzzled at the speed with which it feels like I’m one of Blizzard’s last defenders on the blogosphere (especially since I didn’t even like how Cata turned out either).

    Personally, as a non-raider, I won’t miss the epic story for a minute, because I never got to see any of it unless I went on Youtube. Vanilla WoW was very much a World in which Warcraft occurred, and it didn’t bug me as much that some of the storylines ended in raids I never cleared (and a few that I did). The moment I popped that TBC disc in the drive back in 2007, Illidan told me that I was not prepared and he was correct. After five years of paying for expansions that focus on building up a single foe that I don’t get to beat (until the charity raid finder arrives anyway), I’m perfectly happy to see a lighter storyline. Besides, how do you top a dragon who shattered the world?

    P.S. You’re missing the key component of the Poke-pets. They’re not just any Poke-pets, they are the same pets that everyone already has dozens of without even trying because we’ve been inadvertently collecting them for years. On day zero, players will have already invested years getting ready for this system. They would have to completely bungle this for it to be anything less than a huge success.

  2. kinzlayer

    It’s just really funny how badly people can remember their facts, the kung fu panda came with out in Warcraft 3. If anything the Disney movie is a variation on the Chinese theme.

    1. Chris

      Oh, I know that the Pandaren came about in WC3 and not from Disney. I raise the comparison because Kung Fu Panda is more recent and near to people’s minds than an afterthought of an almost decade old RTS. And I mean, come on, if I can’t connect the dots between “Kung Fu Panda” and “Pandas who do Kung Fu,” what can I do?

  3. Maxivik

    I am pretty stoked about this XPac. Removing the big bad villain at the end frees me up to enjoy other aspects of the game like dungeon challenges, horde v alliance, pokemon etc. It removes one of the big “grind” like aspects of end game. At the same time, there will still be raids to do. I like the apparent lack of focus this seems to be bringing to the game.

    As far as talents go, I welcome any change from the cookie cutter builds that we have now. Today I got to decide between a total of two talents when I respecced my resto as we hit hard-mode rag (last hard boss available with current path). What I am hoping to see is more utility vs regen vs throughput etc decisions for healing talents.

    I can’t wait to roll a Pandarian Brewmaster, I think it’ll be hilarious. As far as I’m concerned they fit better with lore then the squid face (Draeni, who were the cause of countless “hard core blizzard people” to “quit” wow in BC… ).

    1. Maxivik

      Also, World Bosses = win

    2. Chris

      I should probably clarify a little where I’m coming from with this attitude; it’s probably the harshest reaction I’ve published here and that’s for good reason: I like the game. I do. It’s given me more hours of enjoyable game-time than probably all of my single player games combined. As far as I’m concerned, the core of WoW is still solid and appealing to many, many players. I might even come back with the next patch to see the Raid Finder in action.

      My animosity really stems from how cocky they were just one year ago. I recall someone asking when a wardrobe system would be added to the game and one of their head guy says, “What I want to know is who wants to play dress-up online,” or something like that. They didn’t even pretend to consider player’s ideas during the QA. I mean, come on guys, we can see your heads from outer space. That’s how it seemed to me, anyway.

      Today we see a WoW that’s still king of the hill but maybe not by so much. A lot of what was new and appealing when Cataclysm launched now looks outdated compared to new and upcoming MMOs. Then Blizzcon comes around and we’re seeing a full expansion based on “a joke race” that would “never be added to the game.” I also have a general vibe that this expansion does more to bring the game up to par with the rest of the genre than really offer much new, pet system excluded. The MMO landscape faces major change as this year ends and 2012 begins and if ever there was a time to draw people in and hold them, this would be it. Does Mists of Pandaria do that?

      All of that said, I don’t doubt the expansion will be good, silly race aside. If you don’t take it too seriously, there’s some neat stuff coming and giving players more to do at level cap is good. Challenge mode dungeons, I’m sure, will be fun in the same way dungeons have always been fun. If you don’t care much about the wider outlook, this expansion announcement is probably great. I can’t help but to look at things from the wider view, so I see the “we’re still cool, we’re hip, we’re with it” type undertone.

      But maybe they just don’t give a damn and are throwing some of their old sticking points to the wind. If the final product turns out to be a blast then I’ll have totally misread the thing and will probably re-sub to see what I’ve been missing.

      To be clear about one thing, though, and not just for you, Max: If you’re playing the game and are enjoying it, that’s great. It’s a good game as my /played will easily show.

  4. Chris "Syeric" Coke

    Also, maybe you can help me to understand better, what is it about the new talent system that appeals to you? To me, it really seems like they’re just taking away more choice. We went from having full, complex, and gimpable talent trees in Vanilla, to a choice every 15 levels.

  5. Maxivik

    Coming from a strictly druid perspective, they are doing some cool things. Finally they are breaking up Cat and Bear so we officially have four specs.

    What I like though, is it lets you actually make choices between abilities you want and value, as opposed to moving a couple talents here or there to be able to dispel magic or take 6% less magic damage etc. I feel like and am hopeful that decisions on what you take will actually effect your style of game play not just tweak it slightly. Hopefully all options will be atleast somewhat viable.

    Maybe I am too hopeful that they will design balanced talents to make decisions equally valid!

  6. MoP is EPIC...FAIL

    I think Blizzard are shitting themselves over the reception they have received. They can’t exactly do a U’turn and say “fooled you!”. Funny how Kung Fu Panda the video game was published by Activision so they must have some kind of license already…

    Let’s look at the bigger picture, people are losing jobs left and right, everyone is getting squeezed. Whilst mmo’s are a cheap form of entertainment, people are more choosy, savvy, picky, selective, then they have ever been. Especially when interest rates are at an all time low. I think people are finding other, cheaper, more basic forms of entertaining, hosting parties is becoming more popular, everyone needs to eat right.

    If people do chose an MMO as a form of entertainment, rather than spending that time updating job skills because they are scared, rightly so, that will lose or have lost their job. Then they need to be 100% sure that they got great entertainment from it. I don’t think an ageing game on it’s fourth expansion just excites people enough to fork out money. Especially if it is based on a joke, Easter egg, largely unpopular race from a game released 8 years ago.

  1. Mists of Pandaria blogosphere reactions mega-roundup – Blizzcon 2011 — MMO Melting Pot

    […] not wild about pandas eitherChris at Game By Night thinks it’s less Mists of Pandaria, more Mists of DesperationI thought that the new talent system was another example of Blizzard in a war against mathematicsWoW […]

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