A Burning Crusade Tank trying to make it in the Mists!

Posts tagged “new players

The Calm Before the Storm

It seems to me that many people are looking at the next expansion, Mist of Pandaria, as a nice little piece of fluff that signals that Blizzard has lost its edge and catering to the “casual” player.  That the Pandaren storyline is not relevent to the overall theme of World of Warcraft.

Many view the Pandarans like this:

While I choose to want/view Pandarans as this:

Truth is, this is SUPPOSED TO BE the CALM before the storm of WAR.

Think about it.  You can’t fire a weapon forever.  It has to cool down sometime.  Maybe even get some maintenance.  So those of you out there that think Mist of Pandaria is just some fluff should look at it as sort of a cool down before jumping back into action.  Sure, the landscape is majestic and pretty, but keep playing and you will eventually zone into some action.  Not to mention that the Monk Panda has some pretty nice animated moves so far!

With the exception of Vanilla WoW, Horde and Alliance HAD to work together.  The villans were so powerful, it required cooperation of both opposing factions.

In some ways, it seemed kinda stupid though.  I mean Horde and Alliance needed to work together to stop the Evil Threat but they still continued to fight with each other.  How do you join forces against a common enemy when you continue to create casualties on both sides?

My point is this – You can’t constantly be in a state of Conflict.

EVENTUALLY there is a time of PEACE or at least recovery before the next big Battle or War.

The world did not go DIRECTLY into World War II the day after World War I.

A Heavyweight Champion does not schedule another Title Fight the day after he wins his current title.

Mist of Pandaria is supposed to provide that needed break to get ready for the next big conflict.  Not for the Horde or Alliance, but for the subscribers.

As a veteran player you had to gear up to fight the Burning Legion  and Illidan or try to get to Sunwell.   Then there was the constant gearing up for ICC and eventually the Lich King.  Deathwing throws a tantrum and messes up everything – now we have to kick his arse!  From a linear point of view, it seems never-ending.  No humanoid species can endure that constant barrage of conflict and threat.  (well, except the undead)

In Mist of Pandaria, we get back to the time when there was no supervillan to take care of.  In fact, the cause of the problems on Pandaria is due to the conflict between the Horde and Alliance.  The only real bad guy is the one you’ve been dying to take care of once and for all!

As a veteran WoW player, wouldn’t it be more epic to REALLY FIGHT the opposing faction as the MAIN point of this game???   I think so!

So you get a chance to see some Pandas.  Learn how to be a Monk and then sway some of those Pandas to your factions agenda .

Everyone picks sides and then we go at it!  Yes!  Finally!

Only problem, there are several other native races out there to deal with at the same time and THEN you have to deal with some misty manifestation of Evil (the Sha) causing problems while you’re trying to get all that done!  Fantastic!  Hope you all had your Orange Juice!!

The Sha which turns out to be the manifestation of negative energy.  Initial concept drawings give the impression that they are like Void Walkers.  I haven’t seen any additional pictures of them outside of BlizzCon, so it will be interesting seeing what the final animation will look like in the Beta and Live games.

But take heart!  You get to make some native friends to help you out!

If you are Alliance, you have partnered up with the Hozu.

If you are Horde, you have hooked up with the Jinyu.

Along the way you have the nuisance of the Verming. (Who I would already like to kill by the thousands)

The Mantid, which is a sentient insect like creature, doesn’t look like their on the list of friendlies.

And the Mogu look like they have a bad attitude to start with!

There you have it!  You get all involved in your faction’s war against the other and you have little mutant rabbits and insectoids and people with bad attitudes to deal with IN ADDITION to some Evil Manifestation sneaking up on you when you’re not looking …Great!

So that is WHY you need to have Pandas!  A little calm and comic relief to enjoy before the next War!

I, for one, can’t wait!



Mist of Pandaria

Well  its been a while since BlizzCon, and I’m still putting thoughts together about the upcoming expansion.

I guess it was the fact that, for three days, I was right in the middle of two of the happiest places in the world – Disney Land and BlizzCon!

Today, I want to give anyone who graces my blog my opinion on the Mist of Pandaria and it’s starting zone.

I know a lot of people think that Pandas in World of  Warcraft are a step back for the franchise.

I can see the so-called “hardcore” players saying that.  After all, Pandas are cute, right?  I mean, I like Jack Black, but he’s only gonna kick a lot of Arse because it’s written in the script.

But to me, there is something so cool about a Beer-Bellied Bear that can whip some Arse then sit down with you and have a brew!!!  Its like – “Lets see what you got . . . ok good . . Lets have a drink!

Reminds me of a time when I took the Physical Agility portion of the Police Exam.  In my group of applicants were some strong contenders from the looks of them.  Now, I’m no runner type and I certainly don’t have a runners body.  But my group was sent off to attempt the 2 mile run portion of the exam.  I noticed one other guy in the group that I think weighed in at 300+ lbs.  We’ll call him Mr. Panda.  In fact, I think he was pretty much shaped like a Panda. (but a little rounder)

We lined up at the starting line and ready, set , go!   Some of my group shot down the coarse like they were being chased by Deathwing or something.  Some of us (me) were pacing ourselves.  There is a time limit on the run, but you don’t get any medal for the fastest time.  So I paced myself to make it a few seconds under the mark.

Since most of the group has run past me, I’m gonna stay near 300lb guy, cause he was keeping a good pace.  He looked like he was gonna pass out any second . . . but he’s keeping a good pace.

MY PLAN was to stay with this guy and sprint the last 500 feet to make myself look good. (don’t judge me!)  Leaving Mr. Panda in the dust.  Well . . Mr. Panda picked up the pace considerably!  (He apparently had the same plan)  It took all I had to beat that guy to the finish line.  In the end, everyone (including me) had a deeper respect for this guy, cause we all judged him on his looks.  However, he MORE than exceeded our expectations!

I think Mist of Pandaria will do the same!

Ready? . . . Set . . . GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!

I had the privilege of playing the Mist of Pandaria demo at BlizzCon and it was much fun and very amusing.

It has been a while since I have seen so many people in a starting zone.  I only wish I had tried to whisper someone and ask that person to stand up for a second so I could see how close or far from me they were.  Don’t even know if you COULD do that, because I was so into playing the toon.

The Character Screen is familiar and it being a Mist of Pandaria demo, it only showed your beginning Panda with the available classes for your black and white bear.

I wish I could say I was smart enough to have rolled a Monk right off the bat.  Habit had me pick a name (Zaren), choose a class, (Warrior) and hit GO!

Even though my first Pandarian was not a monk, it was fun running around completing quest and exploring the starting zone.  My level One Warrior owned all foes that he came up against!  Unfortunately, I wasn’t focused and only leveled to level 3 during the twenty-minute period that we were allowed to play.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and quickly got back in line to roll a monk.

OK!  Made my Pandarian Monk,  (Zaren) and got my first quest and quickly donned my weapon and moved on to the next quest.

The Starting Zone was very bright and Oriental in nature.   The Main Temple was fun to run through although it took me a while to find the scrolls that I needed.  Remember there are at least a hundred other people crammed into this zone picking up the needed items.

As I progressed, I had to fight several NPCs to complete the quest I was on.  This being a Demo, most of the NPCs looked alike.  (not being prejudice)  It was funny, however, that the female Panda looked the same, but had a subtext that said, “I’m A Girl!”  Nice!  🙂

Again with all the players in the same zone completing the same quest, it took a while to fight the correct number of NPCs.  You really have to get that first hit in quick, because another player would roll over to the NPC you want to fight and tag it before you even get to the NPC.  Mission accomplished!  On to the next quest!  Slowly but surely, you make your way away from the Temple to complete other objectives.  Over all it was extremely fun and I can’t wait to have my permanent Pandarian!

Some of the zones felt a little vague and incomplete, but what could you expect as the expansion was just announced earlier that day?  I’m sure all of this stuff will change by the Beta and again when it goes live.  Even so, I can’t wait to try it all out.

A lot of bloggers and fan sites are currently talking about talents, but I think it’s way too early to put that much attention to them.  As with Beta everything changes prior to LIVE.

Whether you think Pandas are silly and should not be a part of WoW Lore or you can’t wait to play these bouncy guys, you will enjoy seeing their story unfold and be interested how the developers and historians work this idea into the current game.

Is it just me or does this one look like it was inspired by Dr. Seuss?

More on Pandarians soon!

Breakfast Topic: How Would You Improve Leveling in WoW?


There has been much debate about whether the streamlined leveling is beneficial to the player’s experience in the World of Warcraft.

 For the new player, it’s a double-edged sword.  Yes, you can level faster to catch up with your friends, however, the new player may be missing out on the repetitious play that allows the player to learn their character’s abilities. 

If you join a level 25 guild (in the current system) that has all the guild perks, your leveling will go much faster than a player who doesn’t join a high-end guild. 

Add to that the benefit of Bind on Battle.net Account gear and the leveling experience becomes a cake-walk according to veteran WoW players.  I’ll even add to this mix a good Leveling Guide and some dungeons and the new player will find themselves doing less than half of the quest that were picked up in their current zone.

I, however, am of the school of thought that new players should get as much time as possible learning how to effectively play their characters.  New players should be required to level a base character (level one) to at least mid-range on the current leveling scale.

 But what about the veteran player?  I (like a lot of current players) have numerous alts.  Rolling a new alt every time I want to learn how a different class plays is not a good time!  (once you get past level 60)

 NOTE: Now I know Blizzard HATES the use of the word “HERO CLASS,” but they did use it in the beginning with Wrath of the Lich King, right?

 I’m not suggesting a “HERO CLASS” per se.  I’m suggesting a subscriber option that would be similar to how Death Knights start out in the game.

 This option (obviously) would be available to the veteran player.  And let’s make it only available to a player that has leveled a character to level cap.  This means you must have an account that you have leveled a character from level one to level cap.  (level 85 currently) 

I would even entertain a requirement to have a certain expansion or charge a small fee for this option!

 This would open up an option to create alternate characters that will start at level 55 with a mount and armor equivalent to level 65 or 70 content.

 A veteran player would then be able to create characters that would be available to Raid in a relatively short period of time.  This would help with the drop off of players during slow months like the summer months. No longer would you have to scourer the Looking for Guild Tool, or spamming capital city and trade chat for appropriate classes. 

 It would also allow diversity in guild groups as guild members would have access to the three roles needed for raiding.  Need a different healer type?  Chances are that someone in the guild will be able to have that class available in a short period of time.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

So Much Has Happened


 After a long day at work, I sat down to my computer to relax.  I loaded WoW and decided to give my Shaman, Dgilbert, some more attention.  (her jewelcrafting will save me some gold down the line)  She had recently dinged 68, so I got her cold weather flying ability from the trainer and rushed out to Northrend. 

When the loading screen appeared, it hit me how there are so many things that new WoW players have missed out on. 

My wife asked me if that was the Lich King that I used to talk about.  I said, “Yes, and No.” 

My wife has gotten snippets from me of the goings on of the game during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, (she’s now showing more interest in the game) but I found that just explaining the first picture was going to take a bit of time to explain.   This would take away from my “relax time”, but I enjoy when she wants to know more about the game I love.  As they say.  A picture is worth a thousand words! 🙂

Of course we know that the first picture is the Great Tirion Fordring who took the Lich King crown after the defeat of Lich King Arthas.  (There must always be a Lich King) 

She asked why he looks like that.   And I told her that he consumed and was changed by the fires from the Red Dragonflight used to cleanse the area of a plague unleashed by the forsaken. (Of course I explained the back story, but I’m not typing all that)

She apparently never saw or paid attention to this loading screen back when I played the Lich King expansion:


 Go to Northrend and you won’t see this picture load again. 

This guy was the reason I logged on for so many hours.  To level my character to get a chance to fight this smug Son of A @#$%&*.

So I explained to her why there must be a Lich King and why the first loading screen is really a sad reminder of a time gone by rather than an inspiration for the gameplay that is about to happen.

But for a new player, this will be totally missed. 

And maybe that’s why so many veteran WoW players get burned out and leave the game.  You get ready to play and the loading screen shows you where you are about to enter the world then the memories of how difficult it used to be pop into your head.  And even though you’re rolling and alternate character that is at the appropriate level for this content . . . it will NEVER be to same experience.  All the wonder is gone, cause you learned to play several characters (hopefully) and know the basic mechanics.  So basically the REAL challenge of learning on the fly is gone.

We all remember HATING to see the Deadmines loading screen, right? (or whatever your dreaded dungeon was)   My experience as a tank was seeing that smug bastard then joining a group and seeing this loading screen:

As a Warrior Tank, I HATED THAT PLACE with a passion!!!  I had difficulty with AOE threat and over zealous Dps!  Ugh!

New players will not know that uneasiness, because it will just be another leveling zone.  And even if they experience some sort of awe in the design and play of this zone, it will NEVER compare to what we experienced when the zone was relevent.

Personally, I love World of Warcraft.  I hope it never ends!  While I guess I will eventually find no challenge in the game in the future, but I can see myself logging on and exploring and rolling class and race combinations that I haven’t fully explored yet.

Well, enough with the buzz kill . . . . time to attack Northrend from the other side of the continent this time!  Weeeeeeee!