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[beta] Panda Land March 25, 2012

Posted by Ben in Beta, Leveling, Pandaria.
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Yesterday, I leveled a pudgy monk (Beytarush, if you were wondering what I named him) through the new Pandaren starting experience.

Visually, The Wandering Isle is the most beautiful starting zone that Blizz has created. This is a title that I previously gave to Eversong Woods.

Comparing the general experience to the most recent new races, Blizzard has gotten it right. The Goblin experience was fun, but often a bit frantic, and used phasing to such an extent that you seemed constantly pushed forward. The worgen experience was a great zone, but just got a little long towards the end. Without heirlooms (and I have no idea why so many Pandas were wearing them on the Beta server yesterday) you are just about level 11 or 12 as you leave the island, which is the perfect place that leaves you at the same level as all the other non-Goblin/Worgen toons as you enter the second zone.

In terms of story however, there needs to be some more work. Your character is supposedly motivated by some sort of danger that has afflicted the giant turtle that you’ve lived on your entire life, but outside of the quest text you’d never know. And even then, it’s vaguely peripheral until you find out exactly what’s causing it. [SPOILER – The Alliance airship (yes, they one that we took to attack Deathwing) has crashed/stabbed our turtle home] The other story breakdown is choosing which faction you’ll join. The singular crashed ship contains both Horde and Alliance members who don’t seem to be particularly antagonistic towards one another, and then as the final quest without any explanation you’re sent out to heal the world and told to choose sides. Now, to be fair, 90% or more of players will have chosen a faction long before this quest at level 11-12, but your character should have gotten some sort of motivation. I can’t tell why they’re leaving the Isle, much less they why they decided to pledge fealty to Varian Wrynn (other than that he’s now totally bro-tastic) But this is a beta in it’s very first week, so I’m assuming/hopeful that this will be fixed in the coming weeks.

And when you get out of the rest of the world you discover that Pandaren (both male and female) are slightly taller than dwarves. This surprised me. I thought they were tall like Tauren.

My thoughts on the Monk class are going to be in another post, maybe after I’ve level up a bit further. I’m excited to continue leveling and get more abilities (there is a weird gap of learned skills between level 5 and 18 that needs to be addressed).

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