Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MoP - Day Twelve

After nearly two weeks of waiting, I finally got a good evening (and morning) alone with a semi working beta account.  After completing the level 3 bugged out quest, I was able to continue into the rest of the Pandarian starting zone.  I fought a karate master and then was sent to protect some chick while meditating - waves of weak NPCs flowed at her while the other two NPCs just killed them while I sat there and waited until the appropriate number were killed.

I was then sent to kill some monkeys who some how set fire to a Panda mans house, before being sent to confront my first element - Fire.  I should mention that the entire point of the Pandarian 1-12 story line is that the island of Pandaria is actually on the back of a giant turtle, who is in pain and such, so you have to confront the elements and stuff like that before talking to him.

While traveling to the fire element, I had a second to check out my new abilities - Roll (rolls forward), an ability that does 50% more damage when my enemy is above half health, and another ability that does more damage and puts a DoT on the enemy when they're below half health.  After pointlessly being buffed to a few thousand health and a few thousand damage to fight to get to the fire elemental, I had to travel to the main town of Pandaria, the temple of the five elements or something like that.

I won't go over every quest in the zone, but I basically traveled from element to element, gaining knowledge and also fighting those monkey fuckers who for some reason are able to be a threat to giant pandas; as well as rat men who undermined Pandarian fields and worshiped a giant carrot.

The quests themselves were not very memorable, kill and gather quests with a few flavorful ones thrown in, but overall nothing new to WoW.  However, the quests themselves did seem extremely childish: dealing with the monkeys you read some of their teachings, including "Mouth only hole for banana" and "Poo is good for throwing, bad for eating" etc.  There were also a decent number of pop culture references, but not nearly as many as Cataclysm (at least so far), so that's good.

After gathering the elements, you fly on a hot air balloon and literally speak with the turtle and he tells you 'there is a thorn in my side in the forbidden forest' or something similar.  After flying a little further you realize an alliance airship has crashed into the side of the turtle and he's bleeding.  You land and enter the forest where you meet, for the first time in Pandarian history, members of the Horde and Alliance.

After some meaningless gather/kill quests, you are sent to actually inspect the wreckage, where you find the naga are being general dicks.  After killing naga and rescuing Alliance soldiers and gathering supplies, the main panda dude decides to remove the airship, where the screen simply cuts to black, you hear an explosion, then it fades back in to the airship being gone but a river of blood flowing out of the cut where the ship once was.

At this point, I reached level ten and got to pick a spec - Brewmaster (tank), Windwalker (DPS) or Mistweaver (healer).  I've always been partial to tanking and figured it'd be easy to get into dungeons as a tank, so I chose Brewmaster.  I was given a tank stance ability and the ability to throw casks of brew at no cooldown in a semi large area to debuff enemies, giving them a 3% chance per stack to hit themselves on melee instead of me.  

You then have to protect menders while they heal the wound from waves of Naga until it is fixed.  You return to the temple where a giant window flashes on the center of your screen reading 'ALLIANCE OR HORDE?'.  I picked Alliance because I'm not an angsty teenager.  After clicking it Alliance, the screen faded to black with the text "Video clip of balloon ride to Stormwind".  I hop out of the balloon at the city gates and walk into the same Stormwind as cataclysm, all fiery and burnt out with not a single statue fixed.

After walking to the palace, Varian walks around with me, tells me if I want to be an Alliance I have to abide by their laws, and then tells me to fight him.  I do, and the Pandarian quest comes to an abrupt halt.  No chain or anything from the king, so I head to Westfall, killing Hogger on the way, get a few quests in the zone and realize Two-Shoed Lou is bugged.

I ground and changed zones, then qued for the random dungeon finder.  Though it felt good to be tanking in a dungeon again, playing with five other identical monks took a bit away from it.
I got to level 22 or so that night, then realized I could simply copy over a level 85 monk and try out the new content, so that is what I most likely will do.

As I expect a lot of people tl;dr'd this, here's a summary:
 -Decent zone with art work, but nothing special quest wise
 -Pandarian seem extremely gimmicky, almost like a joke with no real substance to them
 -Monks are pretty fun to play

I'll probably make another post in a few days with a more generalized list of impressions instead of a "walk through" like I did here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

MoP - Day Nine

Unfortunately, the person with the MoP account I have been using has been away for the last few days so I have been unable to get the authenticator code from him, however other friends have confirmed that you can, in fact, get past the third quest in the zone now.

As always, GMod+TF2.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MoP - Day Five

Yet again, the beta realms are offline, but it's on a Wednesday not the typical Patch Tuesday that Blizzard has. 

Maybe this will mean the quests are fixed.  Maybe.  We shall see.

In the meantime, here's some more G-Mod + TF2 crazyness.

Monday, April 9, 2012

MoP - Day Three

The quest is still broken. As are all gathering quests.
Hope fading.

On another note, here's this.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

MoP - Day One

 All the people waiting for the bugged quest to get fixed

I logged on to Mists of Pandaria today after dealing with a finicky downloader off and on for the last few days.  I was able to create a character I was happy with, and logged in.  The first thing I was greeted with was literal planes of pink.  The hottest pink you can imagine in vertical and horizontal planes to the point where you couldn't see very much at all.  After asking in /s, I was told to turn the graphics from High to Good.  That fixed it just fine.

I was greeted by a typical dojo-esque area, full of pandas, punching bags and Asian architecture - similar to the starting area of Wakfu, for those of you who have played it.  The first quest was to talk to Master Something-China-y.  He sent me to pick up some gloves and beat up punching bags.  I did and returned and was given a belt.  Then I was sent to beat up six trainees.  Though slightly harder than inanimate objects, I managed to prevail.

Then I was sent to 'Fetch a scroll of eternal flame from the masters hand' (or something like that).  I followed the endless waves of pandas up the stairs in the temple until I reached a little balcony with about four dozen pandas just standing around.  After asking, I got the unanimous response of 'the quest is bugged, it won't spawn.  They'll patch it.'

My monk training ended what seemed like before it began.
Maybe Monday will bring forth a patch (oh wait - then I have to deal with the patcher) to remedy this.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

MoP Downloader

Well.  Thanks to a mix of slow internet (2 Mb/s max) and a super buggy beta launcher, I am yet to actually log in to the Mists of Pandaria beta.
The first night I started downloading and went to bed.  When I woke up it was at about 3% - it crashed shortly after I went to bed.
The next five or so times I went to reset it, it would get stuck at Initializing or Synching files or something like that.  I had to end a ghost process, delete the folder in ProgramData, and restart my computer in different combinations before it finally got going again.
Shortly after, it crashed again and I had to go through the same thing as above.
Today, it was at roughly 55%, so I decided to try logging in, seeing as you can play past about 10% and it downloads files in the background.  After sitting on the 'retrieving characters' screen for about the ten minutes, the character creation screen finally popped up...and as soon as I clicked 'create new character' I got a critical error.
After doing the stuff above for about 10 more minutes, it finally started again.  But this time, it started at 55% while in the setup stage (aka not able to play while background downloading), with optimal (playable) at about 85%.

tl;dr, extremely buggy launcher.  2/10 would not bang.
I should be able to - knock on wood - play and give some initial thoughts by tomorrow.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Beta Access

Today I gained access to the World of Warcraft - Mists of Pandaria beta. (I wasn't a sucker enough to buy a year of WoW - but luckily I have a friend who was). After the 20 GB download, I will be sharing my thoughts on it as I go through.

A little background on me - I have been playing WoW since November of 2004.  I quit during patch 4.1 after doing all of the current content, came back in 4.3 with Scroll of Resurrection, got completely geared in 3 days, killed Deathwing, and haven't gone back.

My initial thoughts on it (after watching videos of the new instances etc):

1. Rehashing Old Content
  • Scholomance is being completely redone in a more streamlined manner, with some new bosses and some old ones. 
  • Scarlet Monastery is being completely redone, turning the initial four into two (Graveyard and Cathedral have been combined, as well as Armory and Library)
  • Ragefire Chasm is being completely redone, with a little more depth and story to it, as well as new models such as the fire hounds used in the Firelands
To me this is a good and a bad thing, but mostly bad. 
Scarlet Monasterys two lesser wings were quit lackluster, and needed to be redone or integrated.
Scholo was (and this may be nostalgia) pretty great on its own.
Ragefire Chasm was empty and boring, and I'm glad they're doing something to it as well.

HOWEVER - The fact they completely removed (I think) 10 bosses from Scholo is ridiculous.  Granted, most of them were the minor ones before the final boss, but it was still a different style from the "Five major boss" style that almost every dungeon uses today.
I also don't like the fact it is completely linear now.  A lot of the fun in it was being able to skip things you didn't want to do, and missing things if you went through it too quickly.  I also don't like the fact that they introduced new bosses with similar names in the same locations.

This was done a lot in SM too.  Mograine, Herod and Doan no longer exist, but they have same model counterparts with different names.  To confuse you even more, Whitemane still has the same name.

Players are also unable to run the old dungeons ever again, which, in my opinion, is stupid.  Developers should never release a dungeon, make it an integrated part of the game and story, and then trash it because it's old.

And, finally, it's fun to see old content again, but for christs sake Blizzard has done WAY to much of it recently - ZA, ZG, Deadmines, Ragnaros, SM, Scholo, RFC, Onyxia (twice), Nefarian...  We get it Blizzard, you did something right at one point in time.  It would be nice to see some new bosses from new content, like the Emerald Dream.  Now stop glorifying it and do something else right!

2. Pandas
Where to start.  Possibly at the fact that Pandas started pretty much as an April Fools joke by Blizzard, and were slowly bastardized into WoW game play.  I'm not going to delve too much into that though.
Their racials (better rested experience, better well feed, +15 to cooking, reduction of fall damage) are all just terrible.  Every other race has something that makes slightly different at end game - pandas just get a stat buff from the extra food.  The fall damage will be unnoticeable and the bonus XP will be non existent.  Overall, Blizzard just ended up Panda-ring.

3. Pet Battle System
I haven't seen much about the pet battling system, but I do know you can basically pokemon battle your minipets and are able to capture more by fighting them in the wild. 
I really don't think I need to say more, though it may turn out better than expected.  Is this still WoW I'm playing? 

4. New Talent 'Trees'
Now, I know Blizzard has had a lot of issues with talent trees and the past, and this is understandable.  Keeping everything balanced for a total of thirty specs seems like a near impossible task.  But in my opinion, Blizzard dumbed it down a little too much.  Instead of getting a talent every level past ten and being able to stick it where you want, you now get a (that's right, one) talent point every fifteen levels.  You must spend it in one of three talents in that tree.  You may not double up points in any tier of the six tiers of talents.  This means at level ninety you have a total of six points, one per tier of the tree.
Some of them are a bit ridiculous, some are practically mandatory, especially for the spec you are going.  The biggest thing, though, is that not many new things are being added.  Almost all of the abilities were already in talent trees during Cataclysm. 

That's all for now.  Probably a tl;dr for a lot of you, but for those it wasn't, I would like to hear your thoughts as well!