The latest World of Warcraft expansion has been on the market for a couple weeks, and I have been able to spend far too many hours playing it. I started playing WOW again a few months ago, before I even knew that Mists of Pandaria existed, and I could not be happier with my decision. There is so much to do in WOW, and this new expansion makes it all even better.
For anyone still on the fence about whether they want to jump back into the game, let me tell you, this expansion makes it completely worth it. Blizzard knocked it out of the park with this one. The gameplay, visuals, characters, story and almost anything else you could want in a World of Warcraft expansion are close to perfect here. If you are not sure about taking the WOW plunge, please jump into the magical world of the Pandas.
The zones of Pandaria are among some of the lushest, most beautiful Blizzard has ever produced. They are full of vibrant colors that are an absolute joy to the eye. There is an abundance of different enemies to keep you busy, and they all look great. Seriously, if you thought the world of Cataclysm left much to be desired (you are not alone in that belief) Pandas will restore your faith.
Another awesome thing Blizzard did with the world of Pandaria is force players to travel on ground mounts until they hit the level cap. This might sound like a negative at first, but being on the ground allows the player to traverse and experience the land in a way that other expansion packs failed to deliver.
Some players hate the new cross-realm zones. I am not one of those players. Cross-realm zones merge your server with another server when an area is unpopulated and makes it full of other players. WOW is an MMO after all, and most zones did not feel multiplayer at all before this feature was introduced. The only drawback is that there more competition when farming materials and killing enemies, but that is the way the game is meant to be played.
Another important part of this new feature is the ability to group with friends using BattleTags. This means you can go out into the world and quest with a friend on a different server. It opens a new world of people to play with, and since WOW is a social game, this feature is incredible.
This is a new feature designed to enhance the content for players at maximum level. It is just like running dungeons with a normal group, but everything is timed. This introduces a competitive element to PVE (player verses environment) that was always lacking.
Of course, this feature will only appeal to players who make it to level 90. Hopefully, awesome new features like this will help encourage players to keep leveling and get to the real meat and potatoes of WOW.
The Pandaren are an incredibly cool race. With them comes the new Monk class, which is heavily inspired by martial arts. Both of these, plus the environments, give WOW a different feel than it ever had before.
The Panda NPCs and the ability to make your very own Pandaren are just awesome. The spoken dialog with the Pandaren quest givers is by far the best I have seen in World of Warcraft. I have never been a big story person in WOW. I usually just kill whatever the quest tells me to and I don’t care why. With this expansion, I actually feel compelled to listen to what the characters have to say, and that is something no MMO has been able to do for me.
Seriously, if you have been thinking about getting back into World of Warcraft, there has never been a better time. I think this is the best expansion Blizzard has done for WOW so far, and that is saying a lot because Wrath of the Lich King was incredible. Stop reading and go play some WOW!