Mists of Pandaria has been out for… a while now. And of course I haven’t managed to post a single word about it, or anything else for that matter. But I’ve finally found myself in a writing mood, so I figure I’ll take advantage of it before the moment passes.
What have I been up to for the last few months? For the most part, I’ve actually been playing WOW. I’ve actually been logging on almost every night, and enjoying the game again. In short: Mists is everything I hoped it would be. From exploring the gorgeous scenery, to the Tillers, to interesting quests with a less on-the-rails feel, to heroics, and scenarios and beyond, I think that MoP is a great experience. I could ramble on about my initial impressions for a while, but you’ve already heard it from a hundred other people and I really don’t have any new spin on the topic.
Other things I don’t really feel like belaboring on about: cross-realm zones, dailies, or class balance. I’m at the point where I just want to enjoy the game, and I don’t feel like trying to “fix” everything with long discussions about everything Blizzard is doing wrong. If you want to read an eloquent post on one of these subjects that I agree with wholeheartedly, try this.
Now let’s jump around randomly to a few things I do want to talk about.
Bag space. Seriously. There are way too many cool on-use quest items in MoP. Adding that to my collection of archaeology artifacts, transmog gear, random mats, and holiday items means my bag and bank are not in a good place. It’s getting as crowded as my real-life t-shirt drawer (what, doesn’t everyone have a drawer stuffed full of unfolded t-shirts, where you have to shove things in to get the drawer closed?). Oh yes, I’m whining that Blizzard gave us too many toys that I want to keep. And yes, I realize this is a problem that they can never actually solve because no matter how much space they give me it will never be enough. But I just wish they could give us bigger bags. Especially that darn backpack. I realize as a programmer that they probably hardcoded it to 16, and it would be a huge pain in the ass to change its size. If it weren’t hard they would have done it already. This doesn’t stop me from hoping.
The Tillers have been hands down the best faction experience ever. I love how you grow your farm slowly over time and feel like you’re actually making progress with each bit of rep you gain. I love that you can grow your own profession mats and cooking ingredients. I love how each “Best Friend” gives you another digital addition to your farm. It’s so well-designed that I can only hope they can put as much love and care into future factions.
There are certainly bits of annoyance, like how that darn Chrysoberyl never seems to spawn, or how much I hate finding Old Hillpaw’s prize chicken. Farming itself can be infuriating when the “wrong” kinds of plants spawn. For example I recently had this lovely moment – 5 Alluring crops at once.
Overall, it’s been an absolute blast. I think it would be really cool if Blizzard would consider extending the farming experience in later patches. New crops, or new “friends” could be added to spice things up over time.
I’m still in love with my shaman in this expansion. The new talents are full of interesting choices. Ascendance is definitely my favorite – giant elemental form that does powerful healing or damage. Healing heroic dungeons isn’t as painful as it was in the beginning of Cataclysm. I’m just beginning to raid and shake of the rust, and am amazed at the realization that I actually have quite a few cooldowns now. Cooldown usage is definitely my weakest point as a healer right now – there are just so many of them to remember, and most of them are new in MoP.
For the first time I’m actually OK with not having a shield. This umbrella from Archaeology is the best offhand ever.
Real life has been a bit painful lately. Work has been an absolute mess. My company did a re-org back in July, and it has shaken up so much to the point of making it almost impossible to get actual work done. Everything has turned political as people try to define their roles, and try to avoid taking responsibility for anything. I keep telling myself that it will get better and that I agree with their vision of where we want to end up. The only problem is that I can’t for the life of me see how we can possibly get there. My goal of sticking it out until at least next June for my 5 year anniversary is feeling harder and harder.
Last random item of note for today. Apparently I was so focused on WOW that I missed fall, and it is now winter. Today was the first real snow that stuck to the ground. Oh the joys of living in Minnesota…