Greetings, reader! You’ve probably noticed by now that I love to wax nostalgic about the World of Warcraft of 5+ years ago. And, I mean, I do. I can’t really deny that. But I was thinking about leveling experiences by expansion, and realized that I think the one that is the most fun to level through isn’t even all that retro.
Mists of Pandaria, friends, has, for my money, the best leveling experience. It’s just an absolute joy to level from 85 to 90. I don’t know if it’s the quests themselves or just how relaxed everything is. But it’s so nice to sit back with some pandas and have a little fun. It’s a shame that the experience needed to do it these days was nerfed so hard that I feel like I just zip through a zone and a half and then rush away. I mean, I’m 100% fine with a leveling nerf in regards to old content, but when I mess around on other alts in Outland or Northrend and then compare it to Pandaria, it just feels like Pandaria was tuned too sharply. When you can dash right through a level in an hour, without flight, that’s just weird.
But yeah. Thinking back on it it’s funny that MoP had a lot of stuff I liked in it (the 85-90 leveling experience, the music, the 5.1 storyline, etc.) and yet I played it the least out of all the expansions thus far. Honestly, I think what kicked me out was the lack of normal dungeons at max level and the resulting huge congregations of jerkoffs in Heroic pugs who didn’t want to deal with a freshly-dinged 90. But that, my friends, is all a story for another day and another post!
Before I go into this I need to caveat this by saying that I quit raiding halfway through WotLK so this is coming purely from a “casual” perspective. I know that there are some kerfuffles going on regarding raiding but I have no personal experience with that so I can’t comment on it.
That said, Mists of Pandaria is fantastic so far. I really don’t have enough praise for it. I love the pandas. I love the quests. I love that I can group with people on other servers. I really love the zones. Every single zone so far is better than every one of the Cata zones (with the exception of Uldum but Uldum was just god-tier in every way so it sort of doesn’t count.)
Blizz has made a lot of really great quality of life changes and I appreciate them. I’m still waiting for a “toybox” or something to hold all of the toys we’re getting in panda quests because my bags could really use a break, but BEYOND THAT I love everything.
MoP has really revitalized the game for me. Cata was just… I don’t know. I wanted so much to like it. I appreciate all the immense amount of work Blizzard put into revamping 1-60, I really do. But something about it just didn’t click for me. Uldum, and to a lesser extent Vas’jir, were the only two new zones that I liked, and the others were thoroughly forgettable. Similarly I only really liked two of the new dungeons while the others just… urgh. Anyways, that’s why I hardly played at all during that expac.
But now here we are and I’m having a blast and Mr. Pike and I are talking about doing Loremaster because we’re just having that much fun!
Also, apparently a male blood elf hunter is my main now. I know, I know. But Mr. Pike rolled a female blood elf mage and grouping them up together is ridiculously adorable. Fun fact: this blood elf of mine has been around since Burning Crusade. No really, I think he was in his 50s or something when Wrath hit. Then I got him to 63 or so and quit leveling him entirely until about four weeks ago and now he’s level 88.
Also he’s cute. Shut up. MALE BLOOD ELVES ARE CUTE OKAY. I mean look at this bad boy:
So work decided to dump all sorts of overtime on me right as MoP hit. I do have a guaranteed day off every week! …on Tuesday, and because of my current odd schedule, maintenance is usually starting the minute I wake up. Between this and wanting to get a decent amount of sleep every night, WoW is, sadly, taking the hit.
The raid bosses are creatures that I specifically went after to add to my raid boss pet collection (which began with Magmadar back in 4.0 or something), but the spirit beasts I just stumbled across and tamed spur-of-the-moment. The owl and blue cat make me happy because, as looooong time readers will remember, my very first pets ever were, in fact, an owl and a blue cat, so I think it’s neat to have… “evolved” versions of them, so to speak! (I still have the originals, of course.)
I really want to play more WoW and scope out Pandaland and such but yeah, time issues. I promise I haven’t abandoned you all yet, though!