When Blizzard announced the next expansion to MMO behemoth World of Warcraft last week at Blizzcon, I was nonplussed. Kung-fu pandas? Really? Was my disinterest symptomatic of the gradual decline in satisfaction I’ve felt while playing WoW since early this year, or could it be attributed to other factors?

At the time of this writing, the official Mists of Pandaria preview trailer on YouTube has 18,000 likes and 16,400 dislikes, a near even split. Personally, I found the trailer entirely uninspiring. Compared to the impending threat and wow factor conveyed in the Cataclysm trailer, it lacks the same punch.

I’ve played WoW on and off since 2007, shortly after the Burning Crusade expansion went live. My heaviest period of play was during the Wrath of the Lich King era, including the year long wait between the Icecrown raid and Cataclysm launch. Finally taking down the Lich King was one of my favorite moments in WoW. I was fairly motivated back then, even during the great update drought, where several of my guild mates grew burnt-out from the lack of content and the status quo.

I thought Cataclysm was great – for the first few months. Ultimately, not enough had changed to hold my interest. I didn’t object to the dungeons becoming difficult again, in fact I enjoyed the challenge. The same goes for raid content. I just ran out of things to do. I was losing interest. From what I’ve read and seen, Mists of Pandaria offers more of the same – five new levels to gain and a burst of end game content (the novelty of which will soon wear off), with the Pandaren race and pet battles providing the real meat of the expansion.

This time last year, I was pumped for Cataclysm. I’d been collecting achievements to occupy myself, PvPing, reading up on the new zones, talents etc. So I wonder, what has changed? Perhaps I’ve simply outgrown the game. That said, if the expansion had contained something to revitalize my interest, perhaps I would have resubscribed shortly before its presumed arrival next year. Even the incentive of a free copy of Diablo III isn’t enough to encourage me to sign up for another 12 months.

There are a few factors in play as to why the Mists of Pandaria announcement failed to ignite my passion:

  • I’ve pre-ordered Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’m looking for something fresh and new, with updated graphics and more importantly, a story I actually care about. I’ve mentioned before that I have very little interest in the Star Wars Universe itself. What does interest me is innovation, while surrounded by familiar elements.
  • Even if SWTOR fails to retain my interest after a few months, Guild Wars 2 is on the horizon. GW2 promises even more than SWTOR in terms of innovation when it comes to MMO mechanics. How well those promises are implemented remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say that the thrill of something ‘new’ will always divert interest from an aging but well established game.
  • World of Warcraft has never really had any ‘real’ competitors. I’m not suggesting SWTOR or GW2 will be the death of WoW in any way – they won’t. They do, however, have the potential to carve their own niches in the MMO market with more success than the challengers which have attempted to do so before them. That’s not to say MMO’s like Dungeons and Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online aren’t profitable – if they weren’t, they’d no longer be operational. Plenty of MMO’s have launched during my years as a WoW subscriber, but other than Rift, none of them have caught enough of my attention to persuade me to sub. Arguably, this is partly because I was still very invested in WoW at the time. Still, from my perspective BioWare is a company that can rival Blizzard in terms of creating amazing worlds and designing enjoyable games. They also have an edge when it comes to storytelling. All reasons I’m prepared to give SWTOR a chance.
  • Thinking of Pandaren results in my face distorting into an unfortunate expression. It’s an odd reaction, sure, considering World of Warcraft has never been a particularly serious MMO, and Pandaren were introduced as part of Azeroth’s lore in Warcraft III (I wasn’t fond of them then either). I’m tempted to attribute this dislike to my age bracket (almost 30, or as my young cousins would say, ‘old’). Pandaren are quite obviously designed to appeal to a younger audience, but then so is much of WoW. Throw in the new Pokemon style pet mini-game intended for Mists of Pandaria and I believe Blizzard is shifting their focus towards a younger demographic. I’d be remiss not to acknowledge that plenty of mothers and fathers have no qualms at all with Pandaren, and are looking forward to playing them with their children. Similarly, I’m sure there are plenty of 30+’s out there who are genuinely excited for MoP.
  • I’m tired of glacial paced updates. While I was subscribed to Rift, I was spoiled by the rate of content updates. Five updates in seven months. In World of Warcraft, Blizzard would manage two in the same time period. Static worlds no longer ‘content’ me. Finding something new to do every six weeks keeps me entertained, especially when the focus isn’t almost exclusively on endgame raiding.

I have no doubt that Mists of Pandaria will be a successful expansion. The list of announced features and changes is as extensive as its cataclysmic predecessor, although as with Path of the Titans (an alternate advancement system which was scrapped before Cataclysm’s launch), what is promised and what you actually receive may differ.

At the risk of looking like an idiot a year from now, I think MoP will be more successful than Cataclysm in terms of subscription retention and pleasing the player base, due to the refocus towards a younger audience that I believe is taking place. WoW is an aging MMO, destined to continue leaking subscribers as older players and long time subscribers move on to other games (including Blizzard’s own Titan project).

As a 10 year-old kid, I didn’t care about the graphics presented on my NES copy of Super Mario Brothers. All that mattered was the fact that could play an amazing game which was fun and cool. I suspect the same applies today. Pandaren (and much of the rest of WoW) are cute. Pokemon style battles are still incredibly popular among teens and pre-teens. Simplified talent systems make for fewer decisions and more time spent playing.

However, in the oft uttered words of my father, ‘It’s just not my cup of tea.’

90 COMMENTS

    • It’s been mentioned numerous times by the devs that it is ‘something they would like to do’. I expect it will happen ‘eventually’, but as I mention in my article, cutting edge graphics don’t concern kids as much as a bright and cheerful environment with minimal frustration. 

      The outdated graphics are certainly part of my own disillusion with WoW.

  1. I’ve got to be honest, I think think that the opinion being shared in this review is one that many long-term WoW subscribers will hold. WotLK was a good expansion because it had deep, extensive lore intertwined into it while still having a dark and gritty aspect to it which WoW has always had lurking in the background. MoP doesn’t look to share too many of those qualities. Although…this is probably aimed at a much younger generation…and I’m saying that as a 17 year old xD

  2. I’ve got to be honest, I think think that the opinion being shared in this review is one that many long-term WoW subscribers will hold. WotLK was a good expansion because it had deep, extensive lore intertwined into it while still having a dark and gritty aspect to it which WoW has always had lurking in the background. MoP doesn’t look to share too many of those qualities. Although…this is probably aimed at a much younger generation…and I’m saying that as a 17 year old xD

  3. I’ve got to be honest, I think think that the opinion being shared in this review is one that many long-term WoW subscribers will hold. WotLK was a good expansion because it had deep, extensive lore intertwined into it while still having a dark and gritty aspect to it which WoW has always had lurking in the background. MoP doesn’t look to share too many of those qualities. Although…this is probably aimed at a much younger generation…and I’m saying that as a 17 year old xD

    • Absolutely. WoTLK was WoW’s pinnacle in terms of design and subscriptions. I feel MoP is moving back towards that model, albeit without the gritty story. The design shift implemented with Cataclysm hasn’t worked out, and Blizzard is refocusing on a more accessible and (as much as the word is used out of context these days) social experience.

    • Absolutely. WoTLK was WoW’s pinnacle in terms of design and subscriptions. I feel MoP is moving back towards that model, albeit without the gritty story. The design shift implemented with Cataclysm hasn’t worked out, and Blizzard is refocusing on a more accessible and (as much as the word is used out of context these days) social experience.

    • Absolutely. WoTLK was WoW’s pinnacle in terms of design and subscriptions. I feel MoP is moving back towards that model, albeit without the gritty story. The design shift implemented with Cataclysm hasn’t worked out, and Blizzard is refocusing on a more accessible and (as much as the word is used out of context these days) social experience.

    • Absolutely. WoTLK was WoW’s pinnacle in terms of design and subscriptions. I feel MoP is moving back towards that model, albeit without the gritty story. The design shift implemented with Cataclysm hasn’t worked out, and Blizzard is refocusing on a more accessible and (as much as the word is used out of context these days) social experience.

      • “WoTLK was WoW’s pinnacle in terms of design and subscriptions.” Gonna have to agree with you here. I absolutely loved using a Frost death knight for tanking– it made me interested in the role as a whole. I’d have tanks with a gearscore of a thousand above me tell me they weren’t going to try tanking trash anymore because they couldn’t keep a single thing off of me on my first attempt at tanking a raid (I had been in ICC before many times on my Shadow Priest, so it wasn’t like I was going in blind or anything). Tragic to see it lost to Blood and it’s by comparison crap AoE threat beneath the wave of “Tanks should heal themselves because that’s what healers are for.” And before anyone mentions the blood shield mechanic, that came with Cataclysm.

        The one thing I think BC trumped WotLK in was some of the equipment designs. There were a lot of really cool looking items in BC. It’s a shame BLizzard waited until now to push out a system to allow you to keep weapon and armor graphics on later gear. It’d have been a much better move before Wrath hit, or at the very least right around.

      • “WoTLK was WoW’s pinnacle in terms of design and subscriptions.” Gonna have to agree with you here. I absolutely loved using a Frost death knight for tanking– it made me interested in the role as a whole. I’d have tanks with a gearscore of a thousand above me tell me they weren’t going to try tanking trash anymore because they couldn’t keep a single thing off of me on my first attempt at tanking a raid (I had been in ICC before many times on my Shadow Priest, so it wasn’t like I was going in blind or anything). Tragic to see it lost to Blood and it’s by comparison crap AoE threat beneath the wave of “Tanks should heal themselves because that’s what healers are for.” And before anyone mentions the blood shield mechanic, that came with Cataclysm.

        The one thing I think BC trumped WotLK in was some of the equipment designs. There were a lot of really cool looking items in BC. It’s a shame BLizzard waited until now to push out a system to allow you to keep weapon and armor graphics on later gear. It’d have been a much better move before Wrath hit, or at the very least right around.

  4. If I had the time, I probably would have written the exact same article ^__^

    For me, WoW has officially Jumped The Shark with this expansion

  5. If I had the time, I probably would have written the exact same article ^__^

    For me, WoW has officially Jumped The Shark with this expansion

  6. If I had the time, I probably would have written the exact same article ^__^

    For me, WoW has officially Jumped The Shark with this expansion

  7. No, stfu.  Mists of Pandaria might be extremely stupid, but that’s what WoW players pay for.  People have been eating up Blizz’s crap for the longest time, if they wanted to quit they would’ve quit after the first expansion.  And, the people that whine and complain about the absurdity of the new expansion should stfu and quit, instead of whining about it.

    • I’ve cancelled my subscription, although I did so a month ago. Had the new expansion been of interest to me, there’s a chance that I would have resubbed. However, the overall theme for Mists of Pandaria only confirms my belief that my time spent enjoying World of Warcraft is at an end.

      I wouldn’t call WoW stupid, however. It’s certainly always been light and frilly compared to other fare, but there’s a marked difference between the darker themes of WoTLK and Cataclysm and what we can expect in Mists of Pandaria.

  8. You are horribly HORRIBLY, stupid if you think it is going to be based around Panda’s, it is the Alliance Vs Horde War the expansion is based around, they just need new land to keep the people from screaming, ‘NO NEW PLACES WTF’.

  9. You are horribly HORRIBLY, stupid if you think it is going to be based around Panda’s, it is the Alliance Vs Horde War the expansion is based around, they just need new land to keep the people from screaming, ‘NO NEW PLACES WTF’.

    • I’m aware the focus is supposed to be placed on the ongoing war between the Horde and the Alliance instead of a new ‘big bad’ being introduced. However, to suggest that Pandaren won’t play a gigantic part in the storylines or have an impact on the virtual world is shortsighted. Pandaren will dominate the new expansion. They’re the hook.

    • And you are incredibly stupid if you think an expansion titled “Mists of Pandaria” will NOT be largely based around these pandas. Every other expansion pack to date they have released has been…*gasp*  …about the thing exactly listed in their title.

      Burning Crusade– About the Burning Legion in Outlands. In which their war is clearly a Crusade.
      Wrath of the Lich King– The Lich King trying to turn everyone into Scourge and rule over all.
      Cataclysm– About Deathwing coming back and causing a new sundering, a new cataclysm.
      See the trend here? Saying that “Mists of Pandaria” won’t be based around Pandas is not only foolish but contradictory to how the game has ran since the first expansion came to be. But, if you think they;re going to introduce to the subbed community a new playable race with lore and full locations yet not be about them, when they’re in the bleeding title, you go ahead and enjoy that little fantasy.

      What you’re saying is like comparing an ongoing story based on…we’ll say World War II. And along the way the stories cover the opening of the war itself, then the economic struggles of various nations, the repercussions in these societies from decisions made throughout the first few years, and then what civilian life for the common man would be from any primary nation involved during the third year. Here’s where your argument comes in: “If you think this is based around what civilians went through halfway through the war then you’re HORRIBLY stupid, it was about this country vs this country”.

      In other words: No shit. Orcs vs. Humans has been the primary idea all along. Saying that other aspects won’t headline when they have every other expac is a pipe dream.

      • PandarEN are not in the title, PandarIA is. It’s about the CONTINENT, not the Pandaren specifically. They pretty much said the raids are going to be about the races that lived on Pandaria BEFORE the Pandaren and the evil Sha.

        Now sure, you may have a decent amount of interaction with Pandaren, but that doesn’t mean that’s what the expansion will be all about.

        • Not ENTIRELY, no. Just like Wrath, for example, wasn’t even ENTIRELY about the Lich King. It still held on to the Orcs vs Humans roots as well as explored a little of the northrend trolls and the Tuskarr. But, again, anyone who thinks it won’t have a big heavy focus point on the Pendaren as well, considering they’re adding them as playables, is holding their eyes shut and singing “la la la”. They did it with the goblins and the worgen, and they WILL do it with this as well, mark my words.

          Besides, if that were entirely plausible, Rick, don’t you think the trailer linked above wouldn’t focus on the Pendaren almost the whole bleeding time save when it did the flashback to previous bosses?

  10. Cry me a river.

    I won’t be playing a Pandaren either, but Pandaria looks stunning, and the new China inspired designs and music have already hooked me.

    Don’t go complaining about a lack of content when all we’ve been shown is a two-minute preview. People who stomp their feet, throw a tantrum, and cancel their sub after only seeing a trailer are pretty pathetic. Everything deserves a chance – even pandas.

    IVE BIN PLAYING A GNOME SINCE VANILLA WOW BUT NOW IM CANCELING MY SUB AND PANDAS LOOK SO STUPID.

    • I agree that the new art designs are very pretty, and I don’t doubt that the expansion will be up to Blizzard’s usual quality. It’s just that nothing in the announced features for MoP particularly inspired me, and while it may be viewed as irrational given WoW’s general content, Pandaren veer too far into the cute and cuddly for me. 

      Keep in mind I’m not saying MoP will be awful, nor am I at all upset by Blizzard’s chosen direction. I think it’s a clever, calculated choice that will serve them well. It’s just not enough to keep me interested :)

        • No doubt I’ll be following its progress to launch. I’m not above altering my opinions based on the final product. If I’m not playing any other MMO at the time, I may even resub for a month just to see the new content, ‘if’ Blizzard can capture my attention again by that point.

    • I agree that the new art designs are very pretty, and I don’t doubt that the expansion will be up to Blizzard’s usual quality. It’s just that nothing in the announced features for MoP particularly inspired me, and while it may be viewed as irrational given WoW’s general content, Pandaren veer too far into the cute and cuddly for me. 

      Keep in mind I’m not saying MoP will be awful, nor am I at all upset by Blizzard’s chosen direction. I think it’s a clever, calculated choice that will serve them well. It’s just not enough to keep me interested :)

    • As a rule of thumb, if you have to characterize people you disagree with as tantrum-throwing children, you are probably a fanboy.

      • Obvious troll is obvious.
        …or stupid.

        I don’t disagree with anyone because there is nothing to disagree with. Any opinions formed at this stage are uneducated, because, as I said…all we’ve seen is a trailer.
        I’m just being optimistic. I’m not characterising them as tantrum-throwing children…they are quite literally throwing tantrums. There is no argument.

          • Ashley you are an idiot of the highest degree. There were only 5 levels in WotLK and clearly that kept you ‘reeled’ in. 1 new class and race is a fair bit, plus a new zone, new dungeons, new raids, pet battles, higher professions, new professions (maybe), revamped talent tree system etc. etc.

            However, your finishing comment of “go masturbate you fucking fag” saved your entire aegument by displaying your clear intelligence and wit, summing up your overall contention perfectly…

          • Actually, Wrath raised the level cap from 70 to 80. I may not agree with Ashley’s exuberance entirely, but get your own facts straight before insulting intelligence, mate.

            And if pet battles and a talent system so dumbed down a child could do it (and likely will do it since younglings seem to be more what’s being targeted now) is what you want then you enjoy your World of Warcraft: Hello Kitty expansion.

  11. I fail to see how Mists of Pandaria is childish. The expansion isn’t based on the Pandaren, they’re just the new race, and their continent has nothing childish about it. The expansion is based on the Alliance vs. Horde war, which is very much NOT a childish thing, and the Sha, dark evil spirits that are pretty much entirely based on hate, death, and destruction. The pet battles are entirely OPTIONAL, not something the game is in any way focused around. The new talent system doesn’t reduce the number of choices, considering now at least 90% of talent choices are entirely non-optional unless you choose to be sub-optimal at your job. The new system actually requires you to think about what talents you want to choose.

    It seems as if the writer of this article missed all of the real important features. Challenge Dungeons, PvE world scenarios, changes to questing, including less linear questing, focus on getting players out into the world with stuff to do while not running dungeons/raiding/pvping, etc.

  12. I fail to see how Mists of Pandaria is childish. The expansion isn’t based on the Pandaren, they’re just the new race, and their continent has nothing childish about it. The expansion is based on the Alliance vs. Horde war, which is very much NOT a childish thing, and the Sha, dark evil spirits that are pretty much entirely based on hate, death, and destruction. The pet battles are entirely OPTIONAL, not something the game is in any way focused around. The new talent system doesn’t reduce the number of choices, considering now at least 90% of talent choices are entirely non-optional unless you choose to be sub-optimal at your job. The new system actually requires you to think about what talents you want to choose.

    It seems as if the writer of this article missed all of the real important features. Challenge Dungeons, PvE world scenarios, changes to questing, including less linear questing, focus on getting players out into the world with stuff to do while not running dungeons/raiding/pvping, etc.

    • I noted all the new features when they were announced last Friday. They’re all nice steps forward, and designed to deliver more of an end game which isn’t solely focused on raiding. That said, they’re not interesting enough ‘to me’ to overcome my feelings of discontent. I’m certain those extra features will help MoP succeed where Cata has failed.

      WoW has always been somewhat childish – MoP and Pandaren just heighten the awareness of such. I’ve enjoyed goblins and gnomes in my time, and the more amusing quests, but the thought of playing a Pandaren just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

      We’ll have to wait and see how the new talent system works out. Considering the system was ‘just’ revamped for Cata, and is being simplified (one choice every 15 levels), my feeling is that it will make playing the game a simpler experience for those who do not frequent Elitist Jerks or MMO Champion. Especially younger children.

      If the pet battle system had been introduced years ago, I’ve no doubt I would have enjoyed it. I don’t mind pokemon style gameplay, but again, what’s on offer doesn’t work for me.

      It’ll be a great expansion :) From ‘my’ perspective, it doesn’t captivate or hold my interest.

  13. pandaren is going to fail harder then anything else. bc had a legion of demons, outland, and dranei/blood elves. lich had arthas, a limitless zombie army, and death knights. cata has a badass dragon, 7 badass zones, and goblins/worgen. pandaren has pandas, 1 new race/class, and a single. fucking. zone. can anybody see the difference?

    • As a note, MoP has multiple zones, they’re just all on one island (which is itself resting atop a giant turtle’s shell). It’s similar to Northrend in that respect.

    • So let’s see here:
      MoP will have a continent with five zones that are each twice the size of the current largest zone, Twillight Highlands. That means you will play on a zone twice the size of Northend.

      You know not even half of what is coming with the expansions neither how it will fold out, and yet you are quick to assume things you don’t know about. There isn’t just 1 zone you retarded fucking inbred imbecile. There are five huge zones that puts Northend to shame.

    • So let’s see here:
      MoP will have a continent with five zones that are each twice the size of the current largest zone, Twillight Highlands. That means you will play on a zone twice the size of Northend.

      You know not even half of what is coming with the expansions neither how it will fold out, and yet you are quick to assume things you don’t know about. There isn’t just 1 zone you retarded fucking inbred imbecile. There are five huge zones that puts Northend to shame.

  14. Thanks for this. I was thinking about getting the WoW one year thing just for Diablo III. Seeing the Panderia trailer and reading this is enough to make me stay away.

  15. Thanks for this. I was thinking about getting the WoW one year thing just for Diablo III. Seeing the Panderia trailer and reading this is enough to make me stay away.

    • Fortunately, it wasn’t (and couldn’t possibly be) a review. It’s an opinion article. I’m certain the new features will be beneficial to those who continue playing. 

  16. good thing the pandarian brewmaster existed in Warcraft 3 as a neutral hero.. get your facts straight.. pandas are actually in the lore and even well before you even knew what warcraft is.. wow isnt the only game out there.. get a clue

    • I did mention I played Warcraft III :) And that I was going to play SWTOR. If you’re pumped for the new expansion, that’s great! I’m not.

    • I did mention I played Warcraft III :) And that I was going to play SWTOR. If you’re pumped for the new expansion, that’s great! I’m not.

  17. Please, please, please, remove any acknowledgement of Kung-Fu Panda from the article. It’s frustrating to see a random user on a forum say “trololol Blizz copied Kung-Fu Panda”, but it’s something entirely different for someone who is paid to write.

    • Why should I remove it when it’s one of the first things many people think when they view the trailer? I didn’t say Blizzard ‘copied’ that movie (although as I’ve mentioned in another comment, people far younger than I have seen the similarities). Just that the trailer and the Pandaren evoke memories of such. I may not like it, but I accept that it’s a sound marketing strategy.

    • Why should I remove it when it’s one of the first things many people think when they view the trailer? I didn’t say Blizzard ‘copied’ that movie (although as I’ve mentioned in another comment, people far younger than I have seen the similarities). Just that the trailer and the Pandaren evoke memories of such. I may not like it, but I accept that it’s a sound marketing strategy.

    • I started playing a few months after BC. The only raid I didn’t run was the late addition of Sunwell. I remember well the days before the dungeon finder. The wonderful thing about opinions is that anyone is entitled to have one (just as they’re entitled to disagree with them).

    • I started playing a few months after BC. The only raid I didn’t run was the late addition of Sunwell. I remember well the days before the dungeon finder. The wonderful thing about opinions is that anyone is entitled to have one (just as they’re entitled to disagree with them).

  18. You’ve got to be joking. Kung Fu Panda’s? I mean really. I know you mention it later on in the article, but Pandaren were invented long before that movie ever came out. It has been on Blizzards books since BC to put them in, so clearly they aren’t doing it to “shift” their demographic towards younger people. Just because YOU see Panda’s as a childish thing, doesn’t mean everyone else does. You could say the same for Worgen relating to Twilight, its absolute rubbish and has nothing to do with a focus on a new demographic. The idea behind the ‘Pokemon battles’ Im sure has more to do with giving players something to do in a short space of time.
    The problem with WoW is that once you hit endgame, you need to usually invest 1-2 hours plus to actually get anything done. A raid, a dungeon + queue time, etc. etc all need a big block of time at once. So in introducing these “pet battles”, WoW is just giving the player base something to do as a filler when they don’t have a large amount of time to spend on the game at a particular time. It has nothing to do with being more “child focused.” I
     know it is entirely subjective of whether or not you believe WoTLK was the ‘pinnacle’ of WoW – but I hardly think it was anywhere near as successful (game wise, not subscription wise) as BC, Cata or even Vanilla. The rehashed use of Naxx, plus two single boss raids took a huge amount of 2 days to clear (including leveling to 80.) WoTLK was an expansion full of laziness, in which the developers seemed as though they couldn’t be bothered coming up with new concepts.
    The introduction of “hard modes” instead of making encounters harder also displayed yet more laziness, in which instead of trying to create an actual balance between easy and hard, they just decided to add more health, more damage and a couple more moves to some bosses. This catering for the lowest common denominator defined WotLK, in which the only hard encounter really was HM LK.
     The Ruby Sanctum did hold some challenges and require a fair bit of co-ordination, but it was too little too late, and couldn’t stand up to the epic fights and battles residing in BC, Vanilla and even Cata. Youre talking about leaking subscribers? Do you actually know anything about the subscription base of WoW? Sure, while it may be leaking subscribers, you fail to mention that it is receiving more subscriptions to compensate for that. The number hovers around 11million – which is more than enough to take the majority market share for the industry.

    • The problem is, it doesn’t really ‘matter’ that Pandaren were an established part of WoW lore before the hit movie – the hit movie is the first thing plenty of people think of when they see that trailer. A blogger I read pointed out that his young daughter catalogued all the ways in which the trailer emulated scenes ‘from’ that movie :)

      The pet battle system will absolutely give folks something else to do. It will also be a huge hit with the younger crowd, just like Pandaren. It’s a nice adaption of the pokemon style system. It has just come a little too late to interest me.The reason I say WoTLK was the most successful period of WoW is because it was the expansion that was the most accessible to ‘everyone.’ If you raided heavily in BC, it was indeed a wonderful period. I raided during that time. I enjoyed it. Far ‘more’ people participated in Wrath. Cataclysm lost subscribers in part because it emulated the BC model. MoP is going to expand upon the Wrath model. Easier access to end game raids + more to do outside of raiding for those with little interest/less time.

      And yes, I’m aware WoW still has a healthy amount of subscribers. This doesn’t mean it hasn’t lost a good chunk (600,000 as of May). Of course via RMT, Blizzard offsets that loss, but they’re still going to want to get them back.

  19. Like you, I am interested to see what SWTOR has to offer, and I am
    reluctant to take Blizzard up on its offer of free Diablo III with a 12 year
    subscription commitment.

    However, WoW seems indestructible as an MMORPG. So many games purported to
    be the “WoW killer” and they have fizzled into obscurity.

    Anger directed at an expansion is pretty much typical. WoW’s first
    expansion met with sharp criticism with the addition of the tentacle bearded
    space goat race. It seems par for the course to mock the Pandaran race in these
    early stages.

    I think the reason you weren’t impressed with the trailer, and a big
    difference with the MoP expansion: There isn’t a principle antagonist for this
    expansion. No big bad boss to defeat this time.

    I am hoping for good things with SWTOR, but if it fails to impress and keep
    my interest I know WoW will be there for me to play and enjoy.

    • Sure. It’s not as if WoW is suddenly going to take a nose dive in terms of quality. It will be the leading MMO in terms of subs for a long time yet. You’re right that previously introduced races have met with poor reactions, and that a lack of a common goal in MoP influenced my opinion of the trailer. I’ve enjoyed many years playing WoW and others will enjoy many more long after I’ve stopped playing.

  20. When I first saw the trailer I thought that I was watching a fan made joke video. I laughed a few times and thought it was funny. Completely true.

  21. When I first saw the trailer I thought that I was watching a fan made joke video. I laughed a few times and thought it was funny. Completely true.

  22. Bliazzard don’t stand a chance in China with this, it’s not like they have a repressive government or anything.

    For those who scream “This is NOT Kung Fu Panda!!!11”, have a word with yourselves yeah?

  23. hating stuff you once loved is the the “new” way of standing out (to bad the goth kids did it long ago). WOW hasent changed anything since day one, sure more lands, more races, more carrots to chase, but a breastplate for a level 60 or a level 85 with correct stats for the level is not new.  A boss who shoots flame or a boss who shoots ice are not differnt other then the graphics.  A gme mechanic of kill till it drops has not changed ever. Changing one cool down for a differnt one sot oyu have to relearn which skills to push is not new, its called SWAPPING. Changing the skill trees every year or so, so you ahve to refigure them outy is not new, its SWAPPING. WOW has never did anything new. Thats not to say its not fun. But if grinding rep, dungeons or new sparkely armour and weapons or a new class holds little interest anymore the new expansion wont either. As a Beta tester in a that other game.. dont get your hopes up.. only new thing is voice acting (and AOC did this well for 20 level too).. personaly i would have liked more money spent on content other than voices..  And for the complaints about PANDA’s  just remember its the players who did that.. when asked what race you wanted Panda’s won that poll handily, so either you didnt vote for them and are in the minority or you did, and much like real voteing wont stand by your descision. Blizzard has nothing new, they just od what is old the best. quit… try the other 200 competitors, if you are going to play a MMORPG you wil probebly be back, they all copy or repeat with different graphics. “nothing new under the sun” is very true for MMORPG’s.

  24. hating stuff you once loved is the the “new” way of standing out (to bad the goth kids did it long ago). WOW hasent changed anything since day one, sure more lands, more races, more carrots to chase, but a breastplate for a level 60 or a level 85 with correct stats for the level is not new.  A boss who shoots flame or a boss who shoots ice are not differnt other then the graphics.  A gme mechanic of kill till it drops has not changed ever. Changing one cool down for a differnt one sot oyu have to relearn which skills to push is not new, its called SWAPPING. Changing the skill trees every year or so, so you ahve to refigure them outy is not new, its SWAPPING. WOW has never did anything new. Thats not to say its not fun. But if grinding rep, dungeons or new sparkely armour and weapons or a new class holds little interest anymore the new expansion wont either. As a Beta tester in a that other game.. dont get your hopes up.. only new thing is voice acting (and AOC did this well for 20 level too).. personaly i would have liked more money spent on content other than voices..  And for the complaints about PANDA’s  just remember its the players who did that.. when asked what race you wanted Panda’s won that poll handily, so either you didnt vote for them and are in the minority or you did, and much like real voteing wont stand by your descision. Blizzard has nothing new, they just od what is old the best. quit… try the other 200 competitors, if you are going to play a MMORPG you wil probebly be back, they all copy or repeat with different graphics. “nothing new under the sun” is very true for MMORPG’s.

    • I don’t hate WoW. I’m still very fond of it. You’re correct in that the game continues to adapt, but then that’s necessary to survive. It’s a matter of how you adapt and what you’re adapting for.

      I don’t expect the second coming from SWTOR – updated graphics and meaningful story/voice acting are enough to keep me entertained for several months, I believe. I still enjoy the core gameplay of themepark MMO’s. I’ve just moved on from WoW. 

      And I have no doubt Pandaren were the most clamoured for race and have been for a long time. The key is that the siren call has been resisted for several years. 

  25. I have been playing WoW and been a non-stop subscriber since 2005, when Vanilla was all we had. I have enjoyed all of the expansions thoroughly, well, Cataclysm not so much, but its still very enjoyable. I might speak for myself here, but as a long time veteran of this game, I feel as those myself and other players almost feel jaded by this new expansion. I know about the lore and I know thar Pandaren are there and have been there for a while. Pandaren have their place in the game, yes. However, this is something quite unsettling about this being the main focus of the new expansion. If it is not the main focus, then they should have not named the expansion leading people to believe so. A lot of people, like myself were looking for something a little more entwined with the path that the game was currently taking. It almost seems as though this expansion came out at the wrong time? Maybe not, but I never ever would have expected this to be the next expansion. Ok, enough babbling. What I’m just saying is that I have began losing my interest in the game ever since Cataclysm came out and this pretty much nailed the coffin shut for me. I was looking for something to enthuse me and really draw me back into the game. For me, this does the total opposite. I too, as many others have stated, thought that the trailer was a joke when I first saw it. I actually was a little mad and discontented when I learned it was real. Anyways, I’m sure many of you will enjoy this expac, it just leaves nothing left to be desired for me. I cancelled my subscription for the first time ever since 2005 and I have no plans of coming back. There are a number of games coming out that do capture my interest, and unfortunately this is no longer one of them.

    • Yes, my thoughts lean the same way. Interest began to wane during Cataclysm, and the Mists of Pandaria announcement had nothing to draw me back in. 

  26. Pull out the pandas is an idiom, first employed to describe a moment in the evolution of a massively multiplayer online game when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery.

  27. My thoughts exactly.

    These “pandaren” creatures are simply appealing to the younger audience, the only possible lore they are associated with is an April Fool’s joke way back in WC3.  They in no way reflect any decent, well thought out lore.  This is solely a money grab opportunity for Blizzard.  Similarly to Infinity Ward, they have stopped focusing on the game, and completely bowed down to the players.

    Just watch the new COD MW3 map pack video on youtube.  It’s an atrocity.  The salesman simply refers to everyone as “run and gunners” or other gamer terms.  Instead of simply putting out a good looking, serious toned map pack, COD decides that it’s better to directly relate to the audience.  That’s where Blizz is going too.  

    Instead of catering to the game and what people like it for, both companies have instead started catering to what the gamers have created.  I’d rather play a fantasy game that offers an experience of “I am a tauren warrior/American soldier and I am going to slaughter the enemy!” against “I’m going to pwn the noobs with my ilvl 288 axe/I’m going to rape with my run n’ gun mp40/ump”.  That’s the difference between COD4/5/6/possibly 7 and onwards.  The games just become a selling product to players and not an actual experience.  COD5 never referred to anyone as these stupid gamer definitions.

    I play video games to be a soldier, warrior, paladin, or knight.  Not a boxed up game where everything is regulated in gamer terms.

  28. I dont see how people can think that pandas appeal to young boys playing this game. Fighting pandas are cool with 5-8 year olds. any older and its the opposite. WoW is still an engulfing and complicated game that really young kids dont play. I would say the overwhelming audience will reject the lameness of pandas 

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