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[Review] World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Great Fun, But Flawed

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,581MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

World of Warcraft has been top dog in the MMO space for a good long while. Each expansion brings renewed hope that it will continue to sit atop the heap. How does Mists of Pandaria fare? Find out in our official review then leave us your thoughts in the comments.

I began playing World of Warcraft the day it launched in 2004. I anticipate that on the ten year reunion of the game we will get the next expansion. In the meantime, we have Mists of Pandaria. Mists was a tough journey in the beginning but became a much more fun experience as I went through the content and worked my way up. For me, Mists is an excellent Worl d of Warcraft expansion. However, in terms of MMOs in general it does not bring the thunder that a WoW expansion used too. If you are a veteran WoW player than Mists has a lot to offer in terms of game play and especially content. If you are a hardened MMO vet looking for something new this is not the game for you any more. Let’s go through the stages and get this final score underway. 

Read more of Garrett Fuller's World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - Great Fun, But Flawed.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • dasX82dasX82 TenerifePosts: 84Member
    Rift is much better game so far.
  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,261Member Uncommon

    Kinda a strange score. 7 for social seems low when GW2 got an 8.

    Innovation a 6? Yet games that copy WoW get higher scores for innovation.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,754Member Uncommon

    i still have 2 days left from my MoP 10 day trial (lost 6 days due to hurricane sandy), but im having a lot of fun with my lvl 35 Draenei Monk, and my lvl 20+ Undead Monk too.

    Bought MoP yesterday and will buy one month(yes, one month only) of subscription after i finish all the free days ive got.

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  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Lancaster, UKPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon

    For me the 'fun factor' of WoW has reduced in the last two expansions. I hated the phasing in Cata and the way they changed some of the class mechanics expcially the hunter. Then the butchering of the talent system in MoP for me made Talent Specs worthless. I tried it for about a week, only logging in to try toi claw back some enjoyment for my $55 expense ($40 for the exp and $15 for the months sub) but in the end cancelled mys sub as I knew I was wasting my time seeking something I would never find.

     

  • KanethKaneth Posts: 1,922Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Kinda a strange score. 7 for social seems low when GW2 got an 8.

    Innovation a 6? Yet games that copy WoW get higher scores for innovation.

    Well, I think the innovation score is deserved. While Blizzard has done some interesting things, such as Tillers Farm and Pet Battles, the core of the gameplay experience is still the same tried and true questing. The new Scenario system is something I've had quite a bit of fun with, but ultimately is just a 3 man dungeon. Blizzard could push the envelope a bit more in terms of content delivery, but WoW will not be where it's done. They are looking to the future now.

    The overall score of 8.1 is well deserved. The expansion is a lot of fun, but it's also 1 expansion too late for many. If Pandaria had released instead of Cataclysm, I don't think the population drop would have been so dramatic.

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,934Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Kinda a strange score. 7 for social seems low when GW2 got an 8.

    Innovation a 6? Yet games that copy WoW get higher scores for innovation.

     They probably mean amount of players by social rather than actual interactions.

    You join WvW zerg or DE train with many other players / bots and you get social score 8.

    Having content which requires 25 players to be perfectly organized / synchronized in order to achieve something, you get 7.

    I think that new games tend to get better score than expansions for old ones.

    Nevertheless, the score is still subjective no matter if its given by player or by site`s employee, so that it is pointless to argue against it.

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    I have been playing it recently and can't really argue with that score, there is plenty to in game and the game has a bit of new life after the mess that was cata. The only thing for me that gets annoying is sheer amount of daily quests is off putting, I know I don't have to do them but when you discover so many of them it's hard to switch of that part of my brain and not feel overwhelmed by trying to churn out as many as possible before doing something else.

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  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,181Member Uncommon

    First off in all the years of playing Warcraft and Wow, I never ever saw a panda, so it might have been in the lore, just not in the games.  Panda's was all about the chinese preferences and of course the popularity of kung-fu panda.  It was a real stretch if you ask me.

    The changes in the talent system killed the game far as I am concerned.  Everyone is a cookie cutter build now.  Worst decision Blizzard ever made IMO.  It adds nothing to the game and takes away alot.  Anyone trying to argue there are more choices is wearing blinders.

    They did a nice job on the expansion, but I would not rate it over 7.5, just really nothing new except for the monk class.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,754Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by konecta
    Rift is much better game so far.

    Rift is adding a lot of new exciting stuff to the game indeed. The only reason i dont play it is that Trion dont care for people who spend more time on alts. I dont care about end game in mmos that offer limited endgame like WoW, Rift, Swtor, etc. I spend most of my time leveling different characters at once, learning their different lores and stuff. In Rift i had 1 character per faction and got bored and left....

    What i like about WoW is that it gives me the choice where and how to progress all my characters since there are different low level zones to choose without doing the same quests over and over.

    If Trion makes that happen in Rift i would go back to it.

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  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member

    I held off on buying MoP because I was afraid that it was simply going to give my 5 levels of the same type of content and then put me back on the same gear grind for PvE and PvP that I've always been caught in.  

    My brother purchased MoP and kept telling me how much fun he was having and that it felt like WoW used to be.  I caved in a bought it.  

    I leveled a Monk and I'm at level 45 and just can't seem to force myself to drudge through those levels.  I logged onto my level 85, took the trip to Pandaria and stalled out at about level 85 and 1/2.  

    I should have never spent the 40 bucks.  Anyone hoping for the game to be anything but WoW is entertaining a false hope.  If you like WoW, it's going to give you exactly what you've loved.  If you're tired of WoW or have moved on - this expac will disappoint.

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
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  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    First off in all the years of playing Warcraft and Wow, I never ever saw a panda, so it might have been in the lore, just not in the games.  Panda's was all about the chinese preferences and of course the popularity of kung-fu panda.  It was a real stretch if you ask me.

    The changes in the talent system killed the game far as I am concerned.  Everyone is a cookie cutter build now.  Worst decision Blizzard ever made IMO.  It adds nothing to the game and takes away alot.  Anyone trying to argue there are more choices is wearing blinders.

    They did a nice job on the expansion, but I would not rate it over 7.5, just really nothing new except for the monk class.

    Everyone was a cookie cutter build before too, if you weren't then you were probably playing a gimped spec.

    I don't think the pandaren are that bad, they have provided a really nice (art wise) continent to explore. I wouldn't play as that race because it doesn't appeal, much like worgen or tauren, but having them in the world around me is fine.

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  • Greymantle4Greymantle4 Posts: 802Member Uncommon

    [The new dungeons, scenarios, challenge modes, and the Pet Battles definitely save Mists from getting a low score]

    This is where you lost me. Pet Battles is one of your features that kept it from a low score? (Does Michael Vick play) sigh... This is a all time low for me. :(

  • halflife25halflife25 Toronto, ONPosts: 737Member
    My personal score for this expansion is around 7.
  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    I think the score is pretty fair all things considered.

    I bought MoP partly because I played WoW from the beginning until a year or so ago and ALL my friends still play. I have 9x 85's and 2x 90's (one a monk) and think it's an ok expansion but it's not enough to keep me playing as there’s really nothing new, so have cancelled my sub.

    I can see why the casual audience will like this expac but it’s this very thing that’s made me lose interest in WoW and the talent changes pretty much made the decision for me.

    I've played RiFT from the start also and it has far better direction than WoW has these days, dungeons and raids feel epic and the talent system allows for an insane amount of customization unlike its counterpart.

     

  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Kinda a strange score. 7 for social seems low when GW2 got an 8.

    Innovation a 6? Yet games that copy WoW get higher scores for innovation.

    Not at all, WoW isn't better at forcing those who simply refuse to whisper or refuse to seek out other players to make friends. That's who I keep seeing complain about GW2 that and people who've only played to level 11 and stopped.

    As far as innovation goes, it should really be a 5 imo since the majority of their ui enhancements have been from other games only added to prevent more people from leaving or added only after a couple of mil have dropped off the subscriber list. That's not innovation that's desparation. "Please don't leave here, we'll give you what you've been asking for for oh only about 3-4 years now that you are threatening to go!" Is what that says to me when they do that.

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    What has done wow in for me on this expac is really the fact that its missing the badassness factor and more warm and cuddly factor. Without the badassness, I feel like I'm chasing nothing. Just a couple quick notes here on scores

    **** All other games on the face of the planet pay attention, especially Rift because Rift you could jump out onto the scene ahead here if only you had the fluidity and responsiveness that wow has and has had and is what makes doing even the dumb things like pet battles fun, so when I score polish its always a 10 because they just do it better than everyone and its just sad that others haven't met up to or beat them ***

    My overall score is a 3 which is why I don't have a sub, don't get me wrong I love wow, but without illidan/lich king bad ass factor .... I just have no motivation to play and thus my score drops way out.
  • DrealgrinDrealgrin Longwood, FLPosts: 156Member
    At least it's better than Rift.
  • theniffrigtheniffrig DublinPosts: 351Member
    Returned to WoW when mists released. Only stayed for the best part of a month before I unsubbed. Will be very interested to see the sub numbers for Q4. I'd bet that the gains blizz made from Mists will be very short-lived this time.
  • DragonantisDragonantis DublinPosts: 974Member
    I went back a week ago to test out the new expansion, I have to say impressed, the quests and storyline are alot better, ive been enjoying my lvling experience, but how ill feel once I hit 90 is another question. Likely I will get bored after questing and quit, since FFXIV is just around the corner.
  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon
    I was surprised to see no mention of endgame and specifically, the dailies and rep grinds. As a longtime WoW player, the increase in grind has really turned me off and would have lowered the score if I'd been doing the review.
  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member

    As far as the writer goes, yeah he's spot on.

    Can't for the life of me see how re-enforcing the elitest jerks by putting in a challenge mode for dungeons makes the game any better. There was already this sense of crazed urgency just to finish a dungeon for gear. Not impressed at all.

     one of the big problems with WoW is separating the code for pvp and pve, i will never return to the nightmare that GC caused after WoTLK and CATA when after launch they had to 'rebalance' pvp and I spent weeks trying to respec, relearn my rotation for my pve hunter over and over again just after launch. Yea that's fun.

    I know a guy who's sole fun in the game is leveling doing the questing the old fashioned way. He stopped raiding because it was the same old story. people not showing up on time or dropping, not knowing how to do a fixed rotation on their character's three buttons they simply must use on every boss fight, not getting the gear they need because frankly getting gear is like pulling teeth in this game, and that's the other thing, it's been how long now how many expansions and one still can't craft the gearsets needed instead of running 10 thousand times the same two dungeons to get something they need to drop?

    At the end of this expansions life, we'll see the shift again, allowing players who don't spend their entire existance raiding right after launch actually get to see the content by releasing better rewards more easily obtained (even tho the drop rate algrithm from 1992 will be the same). Strange how they have to "help" players see content that should have never been cutoff, I mean surely your payment is enough to include the content without having to do something special and surely by now someone at Blizzard has learned that lore should never be so cutoff from the players, one would not have to adjust such things if the game was balanced properly.

    I disagree with the writer's notion that Mist gives players a reason to explore the world all over again. There is no exploration in this game notably not rewarded exploration. Secondly. all they did was revamp some of the earlier questing like in Cata. That's not incentive that's just giving a cosmetic lift to something you've already seen countless times before while leveling in their old fashioned method. Quest hubs should have been replaced by now.

    "While I find the community on WoW really has become Eliteist Jerks" Typical. So glad that's not the community I have to deal with any longer.

    All in all I think this guy was a tad too generous with his score including value...

     

  • RimmersmanRimmersman MonacoPosts: 885Member
    And no matter what WOW is still top dog lol.

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  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zeppelin4

    [The new dungeons, scenarios, challenge modes, and the Pet Battles definitely save Mists from getting a low score]

    This is where you lost me. Pet Battles is one of your features that kept it from a low score? (Does Michael Vick play) sigh... This is a all time low for me. :(

    Did you really just compare a Pokemon style side activity to rearing and fighting real life dogs?

    Oh dear.

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  • halflife25halflife25 Toronto, ONPosts: 737Member
    Originally posted by itgrowls

     

    I disagree with the writer's notion that Mist gives players a reason to explore the world all over again. There is no exploration in this game notably not rewarded exploration. Secondly. all they did was revamp some of the earlier questing like in Cata. That's not incentive that's just giving a cosmetic lift to something you've already seen countless times before while leveling in their old fashioned method. Quest hubs should have been replaced by now.

     

    I wil take a page out of your own GW2 fan book.

    Exploration is about fun and not rewards or incentives.

    So yeah there is exploration to do even if it doesnt give you a chest full of goodies every time you complete a zone. Remember it is not about rewards but fun. Right? or that is what i have been reading for almsot two months now. i don't know why sudden change of philosophy when it comes to WOW.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common

    8.1 is fair.  Its a very strong expansion.  The new talent system drops it from an 8.5 to an 8.1.

     

    Storm Legion should get about an 8.5 (however it better not get anything above a 6 in innovation either, getting kill 20 quests from mobs instead of NPCS isnt innovation)

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