Mists of Pandaria: First impressions.

This is not a review. It’s a brief explosion of happiness.

So. Mists of Pandaria. I’ve barely even scraped the surface of the new content, but I already feel justified in saying that it’s amazing.

Pet battles. Amazing. Pandas. Amazing. Jinyu fishy people. Amazing. The soundtrack. OMFG! Amazing. Pandaria. Well. I have only seen the Jade Forest properly (I did ALL the quests there and got to just beyond level 86) and it was… AMAZING. (The amazingness has fried my brain and left me with only one functioning adjective.) But seriously. I wasn’t even reading the quests properly because I want to get my Gemsquash to level 90 fairly quickly and then do the quests slowly with an alt for lore appreciation at a later stage, but I could still follow and enjoy the story. And the place… it’s eyeball-meltingly beautiful with brain-bendingly gorgeous music to match. I like the way the new area achievements are set up. I like the class-specific quest rewards. I like the general quest mechanics. I like the towns and the architecture of the Pandaren structures. I like the new critters and beasts and races, especially the Jinyu. I hope they will be playable as an Alliance race in future. Please, please, please, please…! (There is, of course, one massive problem with the Jinyu. I wrote about it in my other blog.)

Basically I have basically nothing bad to say about this expansion at the moment. I had a few login issues right after it launched, but that’s to be expected and I’ve had almost no other issues so far. I was nervous because the game was an absolute nightmare for me after Cataclysm was released. So far so good. My mage did seem a little squishier than normal, but I can attribute that to the fact that I’m used to being overgeared for quest mobs and now everything’s just that much stronger and also I was so distracted by all the pretties, that I was being a bit sloppy with my mob-avoidance and general combat skills. I died a few times. No big deal.

I played the Pandaren starting zone in beta, and I had a feeling the expansion was going to be great after experiencing only that much, but I never got to the high level stuff after all the racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and linguistic prejudice in beta general chat chased me away (You people don’t deserve this game. I hope the ban hammer flattens you!) so I had no idea just how much awesomeness there was going to be. I’m glad that I didn’t see any of the Pandaria stuff in beta because now it’s like xmas every time I turn a corner.

I’m at work today, so I have to endure many hours of wistful dreaming about Pandaland… but I did bring the art book from the collector’s edition along with me to the office so that I can stroke it from time to time and peek between the pages when I need to soothe my brain. Listening to the soundtrack also helps.

“It’s mine… my own… my precious…” *stroke stroke*

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