Mists of Pandaria, to Buy or Not to Buy?

Mists Of Pandaria Logo add on world warcraft pandas expansionWorld of Warcraft expansions are always a cue for the gaming industry to get excited as the fans divide themselves down the middle. Half of the Warcraft fans herald the expansion as the saviour of the MMO while the other refuse to have anything to do with it because it changes something that they think is fundamental or because it includes pandas or something.

The latest World of Warcraft expansion called Mists of Pandaria is due for release on the 25th September this year.

‘Mists of Pandaria’ brings with it…

  • Another 5 levels, bringing the maximum level to 90
  • The Monk class
  • The Pandaran race, basically pandas.
  • A vanity pet combat system
  • A revamp of the talent trees
  • The new continent Pandaria
  • Challenge mode dungeons
  • PvE Scenarios

You can find more info on all of those here on the Official Mists of Pandaria site and the trailer just a eye-movement away.

It’s been out for pre-order for a while, but up until recently I wasn’t even sure if I was going to buy it. I had been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic and enjoying it well enough, but I found myself missing the familiarity of World of Warcraft. Over a few days, my enthusiasm with SWTOR disappeared altogether and was replaced with wow. So much so, that I cancelled Star Wars and subscribed back to World of Warcraft.

Even while I was playing, I knew that were so many things against the new expansion that it seemed pretty silly and wasteful to buy it. The biggest issues I had with Mists of Pandaria were…

  1. Panda’s – I mean Panda’s. Of all the bears to choose from, there’s only really koala’s which are further down the scary list than pandas.
  2. All the issues I have with the game will still be there after the expansion. Not being able to devote time to end game, getting bored with the endless questing zones, and the repetitive PvP gameplay.
  3. It costs about £30 to buy and if I’m not sure I’m going to play it, it’s a waste of money.

They were, and in many ways still are the issues that run across my mind. Though honestly, the panda thing doesn’t bother me that much. I’m not a lore junkie, if you can have giant talking cows why not giant talking panda’s. Regardless, I know that all those issues will still be there come launch day.

Mists of Pandaria World of Warcraft box art cover design

Yet I know that I am going to buy it. I’m not resigned to buying it, I actually think it will be quite fun. How does Blizzard do that? Make a game that can split me down the middle so much. Usually it’s so simple in my mind; Big Brother, Twilight movies, rectal examinations = bad; cheesecake, lottery wins, stroking a puppy = good. See, simple, but not where Blizzard is concerned. Diablo 3 had a similar ambivalence about it though to a lesser extent. I’ve not bought it yet but I think that was down to not affording it rather than deliberately not buying it.

So yes, I am definitely excited about Mists of Pandaria even though it includes Panda’s and WoW Pokémon. Even though I will hit the same enthusiasm barriers I do with every World of Warcraft expansion. I’m excited because I know the content will be fun to play, though for how long is questionable. Do you get free months with expansion packs? I don’t think you do, do you? Oh well.

I will probably always end up going back to World of Warcraft, it’s the familiarity of the game.I know I have used this familiarity as a reason why I left WoW in the past, but even if that was the case it’s what brings me back as well. I don’t have time to devote myself to finding out everything in another MMO, so to go to one which seems so comfortable is easy and honestly that’s what I want in a game.

So, until the post where I undoubtedly decided to leave World of Warcraft for one reason or another I’m gonna quietly look forward to the new Mists of Pandaria expansion but at the same time hope my enthusiasm has worn off before I spend the £30 to buy it.

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.

13 thoughts on “Mists of Pandaria, to Buy or Not to Buy?

  • August 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm
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    Just so you know, koalas can be quite scary. My husband has scars down one arm from where a koala grabbed hold of him and sank its claws all the way to the bone. (Sadly, I’m not even joking.) Also, koalas aren’t actually bears.

    Right, my national pride is now assuaged. Carry on with your Pokemon-owning Panda Paladin. 😉

    Reply
    • Jim Franklin
      August 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm
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      …of course, you’re right. Koalas aren’t bears that was quite a school boy error on my part. 🙁

      I never would have pegged them for being even remotely vicious though. Being nearly at opposite sides of the world the closest I’ve ever got to one was in a zoo.

      Hopefully we’ve avoided any possible diplomatic incidents 🙂

      Reply
    • September 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm
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      panda’s are not bears either to be exact :D, they are related to racoons.

      Reply
        • September 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm
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          Cole is mistaken. Great panda are bears but red panda are non-bears related to raccoons. In Japanese, panda means “bamboo eater” so it’s a diverse group.

          Reply
          • Jim Franklin
            September 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm
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            Ah right, well that makes sense.

            Well bears or not, Red Pandas are cute little buggers 😀

  • September 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm
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    im not going to buy it. an example why would be that it used to feel like an online RPG that was epicly challenging and rewarding. the game now feels as easy as farmville with added ugly characters, flashy spells and swords. the only reason why this game has 10-12 million subscribers is because they have made it THAT easy, that easy to pick up, dumbed it down so much that any non gamer can even play it. A game is played by gamers. This is not a game anymore. Grannys are playing it. Husbands or wives are playing it for 1 hour a night instead of watching TV. kids are playing it before bed time after their schoolwork. Really… not a game anymore. A proper game has a community of dedicated and / or hardcore players who really dig into it and compete with one another. This game has losers running around battlegrounds not giving a toss if they win or lose, because they get their honor points in any case. Same goes for dungeons and raids. People want fast easy runs so they insist on gear levels and achievements, no one wants to sit down and have a challenge or simply just play the damn game like it was meant to be played. real online games dont have 10-12 million subscribers, but they sure do have maybe 1-2 million active and super switched on players which warcraft has none of nowadays out of their 12 million mass of human disgrace. for that reason i am no longer going to sub or buy its expansions. the community has been shaped by blizzard to be a bunch of useless idiots, and the company has changed the game to keep these idiots addicted and paying. its an online service for fags, not actually an mmorpg.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm
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      I am quitting the game for the same reasons also, but not because it is for fags, seeing as I am one, if it was for fags/gays I would still be playing it. This is not the case as being gay has nothing to do with it. It simply is not a game for people who wish to be immersed in the game any longer; I believe this is what you meant to say.

      Please do not, associate gays with every bad thing. This kind of mentality leads to a group thinking in the public overall that leads to my friends being unable to see their partners minutes before they pass away in hospitals never to have that closure or express their love one last time.

      Thank you

      Reply
      • Jim Franklin
        September 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm
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        Completely agree, he made some points I agreed with and others I didn’t. The gay comment at the end was definitely one of the latter.

        Reply
    • Jim Franklin
      September 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm
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      Personally, now I’m over thirty I don’t have half the amount of time I used to to play games, so I’m quite grateful for the ‘easy-mode’ although i have to admit I do look back on the days of 4o man raids in BWL with great fondness.

      Also, unless I am grossly misreading Blizzards Terms and Conditions I’m pretty sure World of Warcraft has nothing to do with online dating, gay or otherwise. 🙂

      Reply
      • September 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm
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        I never even really had an opportunity to raid in vanilla when I played back then since I was at college, I do, however, remember still having a blast leveling and experiencing the lore. Now, it seems, I can barely stay on for more than 30 min, because it is so mind numbingly easy. This is just how I feel, there may be other factors. All i know is that I used to play all the time, now it feels like a chore… 🙁

        Reply
        • Jim Franklin
          September 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm
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          It is really easy. I’ve been trying to catch-up on all the stuff I probably won’t get chance to do after the expansion. I ran all the heroics I’d missed, mainly the well of eternity stuff and ran them all via PUG for the first time and didn’t die once. I don’t think I saw the healer on less then 90% mana either. No one came close to dying.

          I expect my enthusiasm will wane after a few weeks, but I just can’t stop going back to WoW.

          Reply
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