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[General Article] World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Review In Progress - Quests & PvE

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

With World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria now live, we are going to offer a series of articles leading up to our final review in a few weeks. This week, we take a look at questing and PvE in Mists of Pandaria. Read on!

World of Warcraft changed last week for everyone as Mists of Pandaria launched. The new expansion offered a host of new features which we will be focusing on throughout the reviews. I am slowly playing through the 85 to 90 zones in hopes of taking the expansion seriously. There are a lot of good elements, but in my travels I have also seen a lot of bad. The bad really adds up to how vanilla WoW has become and how the game still has a ton of potential to grow, yet seems to have stalled with this expansion. This week I want to focus on PvE and Questing. The good with the bad, let’s begin our review of Mists of Pandaria. 

Read more of Garrett Fuller's World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Review in Progress #1 - Quests & PvE.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • MardukkMardukk Posts: 1,557Member Uncommon
    That linear questing started driving me nuts around WOTLK and I finally quit for good shortly after leveling in Cata.  The complete lack of solo PvE challenge and linear questing should be some items Blizz should look at in the future.
  • MukeMuke BredaPosts: 2,172Member Uncommon
    like the updated graphics+ design on those kungfu panda zones, but about time they should update the graphics on the old lore as well...it looks waaaaaay too outdated.

    "going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by Mardukk
    That linear questing started driving me nuts around WOTLK and I finally quit for good shortly after leveling in Cata.  The complete lack of solo PvE challenge and linear questing should be some items Blizz should look at in the future.

    Cata was extremely linear

    but I didnt think WOTLK hub questing was any worse than BC hub questing

  • expressoexpresso mePosts: 2,183Member Uncommon

    Just to correct the point made about there being no quests off the beaten road, no roaming quest NPC's... well maybe not in Jade forest but there are plently in the proceeding zones.

     

    Shame no point was made about the new voice over for most of the story line quests and the numerous ingame cutscenes.

  • MuppetierMuppetier SouthamptonPosts: 277Member

    Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

    Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

    There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,280Member Uncommon

    Cata was bad. There is no other way to put it. From questing to pvp. I had lost all hope for blizzard and WoW.

     

    Pandas unexpectedly seems pretty alright. Wpvp lives in pandaland, no joke, and the questing is more akin to Wotlk, even a little BCish.

  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon

    Review seems to suggest that you cannot do anything else while questing. Also the zones after Jade Forrest do have roaming NPC's that have quests for you.

    There was a blue response on the official forums from someone asking why on the zone map they could see and ! quest icon and this was the response: 

    The zones are set up in such a way that exploring the world is going to yield quests and quest hubs that you aren't directed toward during the course of the main story line. The exclamation points on the map help give a hint, at least, where some of them are. Certainly though you'll find more just by exploring.

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  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,280Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Muppetier

    Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

    Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

    There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

    You can skip within you level range as far as I can see. I'm not sure if you can quest more than 2-3 levels beyond. 

     

    It's more akin to you have to read 1 page out of each chapter.

  • AcvivmAcvivm Austin, TXPosts: 321Member Uncommon

    So you can't take this game seriously but we are supposed to take your "review" seriously....right. I can already tell you that there is more choice available then Cata ever had, there are many times where they give options on where you want to quest next.

     

    There are tons of quests that arent even connected to the main quest chains at all, for instance the quests that are found in the Nayeli Lagoon (Krasarang Wilds) aren't connected to the main quest lines and if you decide to not explore down there you will miss them. This whole idea that you have to do every quest line is just simply not true, In the Valley of the Four Winds you can do the main quest line that leads to the Stormstout Brewery and get the quest that leads to the Kunlai Summit long before you ever finish the zone or even the Krasarang Wilds. Heck, there is even a quest that sends you directly to Krasarang Wilds right out of the first questing hub in the VotFW, you could do all of Krasarang Wilds before you even barely started VotFWs. If that isn't choice then I don't know what is...

     

    I personally feel this expansion has some of the best questing WoW has ever had, Kunlai Summit was a notable questing zone because there were options to go all over the map almost from the get go, If I wanted to go do the Temple of the White Tiger to open up the Vale of Eternal Blossoms I could, if I wanted I could go do the Shadopan quests or talk to the Grummles and do their quests.

    HEAVEN OR HELL
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  • MueslinatorMueslinator AugsburgPosts: 78Member
    Originally posted by Muppetier

    Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

    Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

    There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

    The problem is: MMORPGs are not books. Video games as a whole are not books. They're a different medium altogether. And it is known that it yet has to find its tropes, its devices of how to present your creation in a way that isn't leaning heavily on other, older media (cutscenes equal movies, for example). Plus,  Blizzard has never been known for gripping stories. In fact, their "we change the lore to fit the game" approach runs opposite to anything I consider good storytelling.

    @article: Cataclysm was the "ultimate" in questing along a given path without deviations wanted or even possible; that's not strictly news for MoP. It doesn't bode well, however, if they're still following that design philosophy. I have only played the Pandaren starting zone (am not going to give one more buck to Blizzard) to get a feel of MoP. I was utterly disappointed. No much-touted awe-inspiring graphics, no awesome conflict between horde and alliance, no decent story. It'S cataclysm all over again, with minor tweaks.
  • logan400klogan400k Owings Mills, MDPosts: 68Member Uncommon

    The review does seem a bit incomplete. More so since it was only done from the Hoard POV. (Get back to that in a second). Quest Hubs and linear questing, not sure how that is a surprise. Eight years of playing WoW and the questing has never really changed. I know some people try and sell that bill of goods, but I never buy it. So that aspect of MoP does not bother me nor do I see it as a down side.

     

    I am geenrally pretty lenient on reviews and on reviewers but I am going to be a bit of a picky @$%^ this time. I am not going to criticize the reviewer, but I am going lay plenty of "unsatisfctory" at the feet of MMORPG. Someone should have looked at this review and said "incomplete". Some other folks pointed out some of the stuff missed, but just on listening to friends stories I know there is more to the first zones than that.  Both the writer and the readers were short changed here because someone on the inside did not demand more. I am very happy the Horde gets to have fun in Pandaris, but what about the Alliance? Is WoW making content for them that is interesting as the Horde side content usually is? Are we still questioning why anyone plays Alliance anymore? (A bit hyperbole there, but only a little bit). 

     

    There are a lot of questions still unanswered for me.

    Just My 2 Lunars

  • MueslinatorMueslinator AugsburgPosts: 78Member
    Originally posted by logan400k

    The review does seem a bit incomplete.[...]

    that might be because it is. It's titled "Review in Progress" for a reason: They review the game over a longer period of time, and instead of publishing it at the end of the time, they do so intermittently.

     

    Quest hubs in Vanilla and BC were definitely different: You went to any quest hub in a zone and could pick up a ton of quests. Most were not required to advance in the zone: The player had in hand where in a zone he wanted to quest when. he could leave bits out without a problem.

    Since Cataclysm this isn't possible any more. You are led through a zone by a string of missions, most of which are prerequisites for your next quest hub. You HAVE to do them all in the correct order to advance. If you do not, chances are that you can't pick up any quests in the next hub.

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    @Logan400k:

    It's a review in progress that will be "episodic" over a few weeks leading up to the final and VERY complete review. 

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

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  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    It is titled "quests and PvE" though, when in reality this review should be entitled "Jade Forrest".

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  • happytklzhappytklz Charlottesville, VAPosts: 128Member

    My no one cares review in progress :o):

    Good: XP for gathering; beautiful zones; pet combat; interesting story telling through a dynamic mix of cutscenes and "play as someone in the story" quests; the writing of quest language and NPC statements continues to improve, with more subtle wit and some not-too-embarassing references to Zen philosophy and practice. 

    Bad: the game is much stickier again for my pretty darn new PC; I had a massive crash problem for days, solved by updating drivers - Yes, I'm a relatively ignorant player, but Blizz was worse than no help, offering a series of ridiculous non-fixes based on totally not listening to my initial report of a problem; the pandas look pretty vacant and ditzy, just not believable as fighting machines; MUCH bigger problem is the excessive linearity of quest chains mentioned by the writer of the above review - I really felt kinda led around by the nose, not what one is generally looking for in an MMO, definitely feels even more single player than previous iterations. 

    I'm hoping that the creativity of quest lines in the rest of the Pandaria zones outweighs the negatives, perhaps others, those who are faster levelers than this working parent of two young children, can attest to that. :o)

    Overall, not a massive disappointment, not a home run in my view. 

  • logan400klogan400k Owings Mills, MDPosts: 68Member Uncommon
    @Suzie_Ford - I understand that. With all due respect (and I mean that), with the scope of what this review suggested, it is still very incomplete. It tells me nothing really about PVE and maybe, there is nothing new to tell. Its WoW and you do WoW things. /shrug I stand by what I said about that and about my comments on WoW questing in general.

    Just My 2 Lunars

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,930Member Uncommon
    The only time linear quests really bugged me was in LOTRO:ROI.  It sounds like they could borrow from other games and let you knowwhich quests are story based and thus linear and which are optional.  That way you could focus on the story ones in the area and do whatever optional ones you want before moving on.
  • MuppetierMuppetier SouthamptonPosts: 277Member
    Originally posted by bcbully
    Originally posted by Muppetier

    Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

    Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

    There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

    You can skip within you level range as far as I can see. I'm not sure if you can quest more than 2-3 levels beyond. 

     

    It's more akin to you have to read 1 page out of each chapter.

    I think that is how most people level, and how I will level alts, but I prefer to experience the entire story at least once.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Muppetier

    Best way to treat each zone now is as you would a book.

    Yes it is linear, no you cannot skip chapters. But if the Author has written a compelling story then the book will be enjoyable.

    There are enough distractions and other activities while you read for it to still have the feel of an MMO.

    QFT.  I like the questline, as it's very story driven.  Pandaria changes around you as you complete the quests as well, using phasing even more than Cataclysm did.

  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Lancaster, UKPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Mardukk
    That linear questing started driving me nuts around WOTLK and I finally quit for good shortly after leveling in Cata.  The complete lack of solo PvE challenge and linear questing should be some items Blizz should look at in the future.

    Cata was extremely linear

    but I didnt think WOTLK hub questing was any worse than BC hub questing

    I thought the stupid phasing and the associated quest system was introduced in Cata too,

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common

    "There is no more exploration with WoW"

     

    Just wanted to point out that this is 100% false.  And for probably the first time since Vanilla its false.

     

    There are the new lore scrolls to find...some in obvious place, some off the beaten path.  In addition, there are cash loot items found off the beaten paths.  Not tremendous amounts, but some for 100g.  Rare mobs can sometimes be found in tricky places too, as well as dirt patches for Tillers rep.

     

    Its not on GW2s level, but its a drastic improvement over the last 6 years.

  • LethalityLethality Apopka, FLPosts: 61Member Uncommon

    Cata was linear. But the questing is perfect in MoP. 

     

    Notice how the zone achievements are based on "storyline" completion now, not numbers of quests. This is because there are 10-20 storyline quests in every zone that, yes, do depend on progression to tell them - and they are brilliant.

     

    You're still free to skip any of the storylines or stop along the way at any point- there is just as much flexibility as before, but with 10x better storytelling. 

     

    If all you're missing is the "Go kill 10 tigers" for no reason, why do you need a quest for that? Just go out and grind.

     
  • LethalityLethality Apopka, FLPosts: 61Member Uncommon

    My God man... no exploration!?!

     

    You can spend HOURS pouring over nooks and crannies of the zones, finding hidden areas and scrolls of lore, not to mention unqiue hidden items in the world and rare NPCs that give you awesome vanity rewrds.

     

    Exploration is better than it's ever been in WoW!

  • LethalityLethality Apopka, FLPosts: 61Member Uncommon

    Also it's clear the author hasn't played WoW for... years. The "non-tag" named boss mechanic has been in since Wrath.

     

     

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by Lethality

    My God man... no exploration!?!

     

    You can spend HOURS pouring over nooks and crannies of the zones, finding hidden areas and scrolls of lore, not to mention unqiue hidden items in the world and rare NPCs that give you awesome vanity rewrds.

     

    Exploration is better than it's ever been in WoW!

    I can understand not liking the game but to say to has no exploration is ridiculous.  

     

    That and players can NOT steal your kills.  You tag it first, its yours.  Sounds like he is more upset he couldnt steal other peoples kills.  The balance is fine...if it was a free for all youd have people running around tagging mobs and doing little damage to get credit and loot.  Which Ive personally done for the named mobs sometimes, if Im fighting a mob and I see a named mob being killed Ill chuck something at it real fast and go back to killing my mob.

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