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Pandaria: The First Week October 1, 2012

Posted by Stormy in Pandaria.

Many greetings, friends of the Grummles! I feel like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is such a cheap and cheesy way to organize things, but I’m going to do it anyway…

The Good:

1. Pandaria itself. Pandaria is beautiful. Valley of the Four Winds is, hands down, my favorite zone in the game. I’ve always loved Nagrand and Tirisfal Glades, but Valley of the Four Winds blows them all away. When I first saw the giant fountain/dam carved into the mountain in the Valley I just sat there in awe and took screnshots. (Valley of the Four Winds gets a 9/10 from me–I’m deducting a full point for the Larry the Cable Guy reference simply because it completely jerked me out of my immersion and made me think “A Larry the Cable Guy reference? Really, Blizzard?” Visually this is some of the best work Blizzard has ever done.

2. I know I’m a weirdo, but I love “kill ten rats” quests. They’re easy and quick, and they actually let me play my class the way I want to play it.

3. Also on the questing front, I love the “inhabit the body of an NPC and do a mini-scenario in their shoes” quests in Jade Forest. They can be buggy, but they’re fun to do and very immersive.

4. Most professions seem fairly easy to level, and mats are plentiful. You can’t swing a dead hozen in Jade Forst without hitting a ghost iron node, which provides a steady income for my orphaned raiding toon on Azuremyst and a steady supply of mats for my jewelcrafter on Garrosh. I do think it’s interesting that they’ve brought back location requirements for crafting, at least for Imperial Silk, which must be crafted in Silken Fields in the Valley of the Four Winds. I was under the impression this had gone the way of the dodo in Wrath.

5. I. Love. Halfhill. I know I’ve already gushed about Valley of the Four Winds, but Halfhill is my new favorite place in the game. If only it had trainers and an auction house I’d never leave. (As it is, I’ve taken to logging out of the game and posting my auctions with my phone–mobile AH for the win.) I haven’t yet figured out how to crack open the vendors and start earning rep (and I don’t appreciate the Golden Carp gatingfor the so-called easy cooking leveling) but I don’t even care. Halfhill is amazing.

6. Wherein I am slightly hypocritical: I was pretty vocal of my hatred of the pygmies in Uldum. They’re brown, wear turbans and speak gibberish. They’re racist, plain and simple. So why is it that I love their Pandarian equivalent, the Grummles? They’re so adorable, yet loyal and friendly, and I can’t get enough of them!

The Bad:

1. I’m sorry,  I know there’s a debate raging about this in various corners of the internet, but the leveling grind is too damned long. I have, at a minimum, four toons that are going to need to be leveled to 90 ASAP (both my priests as my co-mains on the Alliance and Horde sides, my jewelcrafting druid and my paladin the scribe) and the prospect of doing this four times just makes me nauseous.

2. Something’s going to have to give when it comes to Spirits of Harmony. I’ve been questing since last Wednesday morning and I’ve collected a grand total of three of them. They’re BoP, extremely rare, and not really farmable like Chaos Orbs. You can “grow” them at your farm in Halfhill, one mote at a time, at the expense of all your other cooking mats if you wish.

3. Look, I know database space isn’t cheap, and I know Blizzard is actively cutting expenses when it comes to WoW (Oh come on, you really thought CRZ’s were there to help the playerbase? With CRZ’s Blizzard only has to run 5 copies of Outland, not 200+). I can respect that. There are over nine million active accounts, and given that most people have at least ten toons, that’s a lot of database entries to track all the crap in our bags. I get it. Still, it’s time for more bag space. If we’re going to have transmog sets, a gazillion different crafting materials, tons of cool trinkety-things with on-use effects and all that nonsense, it’s time for more bag space. I’m not even a hardcore transmog fan or hardcore crafter and I’m already screaming for bag space.

The Ugly:

1. Just one: Kun-Lai Summit. Kun-Lai Summit reminds me far too much of pre-Cataclysm Aszhara, and not in a good way. It’s dark, cold, dreary and depressing, not to mention far too long and repetitive. “Oh, look, my friend is possessed by a Sha! Kill the Sha! Kill it again! Kill it six thousand times!” OK, I get it. It’s also nearly impossible to get around in without a flying mount. I understand the decision to make us live without flying mounts until 90, but Kun-Lai is far too difficult to get around in without it.

I should probably be doing less blogposting and more leveling. I’m only halfway through 88 on my first character, and I really would like to get at least one Alliance toon and one Horde toon to 90 as soon as possible. I knew I was a slow leveler, but this is insane.


EDIT! I completely forgot to complain about the one thing I actually came here to complain about!

The Ugliest:

1. A few weeks ago during the beta I wrote a post about how pet battles was the lamest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Now that I’ve had a chance to actually play a pet battle on live, I stand by that assessment 100%. They’re boring, they require exactly zero intellectual investment, and they have zero effect on your character whatsoever. If someone at Blizzard actually wanted to take the time to program this, they should have bought the rights to the Pokemon IP from whoever owns it and released Pokemon Online. As it is, there are plenty of bugs (CRZ I’m looking at you) and plenty of other things that could have/should have been implemented with the MoP launch (Theramore story I’m looking at you) and yet they spent god-knows-how-many man hours coding and debugging this garbage.



1. aygaren - October 2, 2012

Wholly agree with Valley of the Four Winds! Start and end my days at Halfhill as well 🙂

I got three I am going to take to 90, but in no real hurry so the questing repeats don’t bother me, yet. There’s just too much to see!

Kun-Lai Summit is next on Dufit’s list, thanks for the heads up about it.

Have you visited the Black Market yet?

Ben - October 2, 2012

I’ll counter Stormy’s displeasure of Kun-Lai with my enjoyment. It’s not quite at the level of the other zones, but not every hit can be a home run.

Also, the (SPOILERS!!!!) subtle way that Blizzard is using the Horde-Alliance conflict as a large portion of why certain things are going wrong in Pandaria is incredible. Particularly at the end of the Jade Forest.

2. Eric Moser - October 2, 2012

On the leveling time… I think it’s perfect, actually. Definitely quicker than Cataclysm in the beginning, but no so quick as to be trivial.

You probably know this, but by saying “I have, at a minimum, four toons that are going to need to be leveled to 90 ASAP” it’s kind of disqualifying you from being part of the bulk of the audience here. Don’t get me wrong, I had 7 level 85s myself waiting as of last week… but I believe that most players are more interested in taking the time to explore the new content than get to 90 so we can begin farming dailies/heroics again. For me at one week in I have my priest at 88 and my shaman at 86 (and a monk at 10) and I’m pretty satisfied with that.

3. Maruka - October 2, 2012

The Good:

#1, I agree wholeheartedly with you on.

#3, buggy is putting it mildly.

The Bad:

#1, I disagree with you about the rate of leveling though, but I have a minority stance on questing so that’s on par I guess.

#3, I agree with you there. Prior to Pandaria, I could run heroics and quest at the same time and bag space was never an issue. Now, with just questing, my bags fill up fast and it’s annoying.

The Ugliest:

Wow. I just disagree here. Pet battles are a welcome distraction, especially in the beginning post-expansion days when over population is such an issue. At least it is on my realm anyway. When I get frustrated with questing because there are so many stinking pandas that I can’t get anything accomplished, I’ll level my pets instead. It’s fun, it’s mindless, and it’s a nice alternative.

Just my opinion though. Great post. 🙂

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