Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pandaren - Just what the Doc ordered

Before this weekends WoW announcement of pandarens misty Expansion, I wrote this in a comment over on Spinksville:
[In regards to the new expansion] preferably not one with pandas in it. If they do announce mists of Pandora, to me, that would mean they have gone back on one too many promises.

What I would hope for is one last expansion, where they fight of Sargeras’ Burning Legion, holding them of Azeroth permanently. Thus ending the saga of WoW with a bang, rather than having it fizzle out due to fewer and fewer subscribers. To alas, that will never ever happen
 So why am I now claiming that MoP (Mists of Pandaria) is just what the Doc ordered? Well mostly because the rumors I had read about what the expansion would hold, where mostly unfounded. But what does the expansion hold, that I think will save WoW?
Let's take a look at what it has to offer (and what it, thankfully, does not)

New Class
- Gone is the adult themed dangerous DeathKnight, the (let's face it) Emo-class of WoW. And in comes the ninja. Sure they call him a monk, but to kids, that's just a mysterious Ninja. And kids is what WoW is all about. There are no complicated "father raised me to be a king, but i killed him and has myself become death incarnated" -themed Arthas. There are drunken pandaars, and... pretty landscapes.

New race.
They are cute, they are fun. That is something the Horde has been serverly missing. A non-brooding proud warrior or seedy undead'ish race. Alliance have both Gnome and Dwarf already, but still in my optics that is a race-choice that will be popular. So popular in fact, that they skipped it for The Burning Crusade as the new Alliance class, and instead Gave em to both Horde and Alliance. That - to me- speaks volumes on just how popular the Pandaars are out there.

Something for the kids
Like I mentioned before, WoW has had it's fair share of adult themes. Incest, patricide, Corruption ect ect ect. Now there will be Pokemon-ish combat where cute pets battle it out. There will be Public Quests (took em long enough) that gives you easy access to grand heroic type of stories. And like I said, a cool class, and a cool race. Not necessarily a deep class or race, but cool easygoing and fun.

Something for pvp
The whole expansion is about the war between the alliance and the horde, there isn't a big bad pve boss. So yea, pvp players will be happy

Something for pve
Challenge-mode dungeons, World bosses, Scenarios. Note that non of the new stuff is deep, but instead easy going and fun.

Something for the casual players
Look above, all the new things are for casual players. They even made the talent-system even easier. Historically there has really not been all that much for casual players to do, once they hit level-cap. Dailies, professions and digging, and that was pretty much it. Now, however, dungeons are made to be even shorter. So you "won't have to do just one per night". Any non-casual gamer would frown at that qoute, because not since vanilla have gamers felt like there was only time for one dungeon per night. But for casual players (and speaking as one since I got my baby-girl) finding time for ONE heroic per WEEK, is a hard job. So I can definitely see where they are coming from.

Still dark themes
The Mantid are ready to get more fleshed out. Oh there will be dark and cool and oh-wow things also.

Point is
Blizz have realised that hardcore gamers will always find plenty things to do. They will raid, they will pvp, they will raid with alts, so they can swap for perfect group setups. They will spend 50 hours camping a spot for a world boss spawn. Hardcore, are like that. So why cater to them? Now the casuals will be like Tobolds wife (and to some extend me, these days) They will level an alt from 1-85, look around. and reroll class. They can only do that so many times before they cancel their sub. With this expansion all of a sudden casuals will have plenty of stuff to do, other than leveling.

... also, Tauren Monk? Win! (or gnome monk)

What I am trying to get at, is that you can't compare Lightsabers with Pandas. If you do, you dont get it.
Wow has become a game for *everyone*. There are so many types of people playing this game. There won't be in swtor. WoW has an incredible wide appeal, swtor won't. WoW will with this expansion ensure that players like me, will return if swtor turns out to be yet another Conan/Aion/Global agenda/WAR ect ect game. A game that promises a lot, but do not deliver.

In fact, in order to ensure that I won't play swtor for very long, It only needs to fail at ensureing that I have plenty to do at end-game other than raids/dungeons/space-ship minigames.

So WoW has done everything right, in making sure that people who like or liked wow will continue to play, or return. and it has done a whole lot to ensure that new gamers will give it a go. Try selling wrath to your 12 year old Niece. Fat chance.
Try selling MoP to either a niece or a nephew. Won't be hard. Because it is a much wider game now, than both Wrath and Cata was.

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