We’re in that odd gray space. The last content patch for Mists has been released, and we have no firm news on what the next expansion will be. Seems to a good time to complain about everything Blizz got wrong in Mists.
For me, the expansions have been going downhill for a while. Burning Crusade rocked. Wrath was good. Cataclysm over promised and under delivered. Mists?
Mists… is a problem child. There are some aspects that I really like. For instance, graphics in Warcraft have never looked better. Um. There are pandas? I think that’s a good thing… Let’s start at the top.
Why did *everything* have to be oriental themed? Is it cool? Sure. I guess – in moderation. Its like Soy Sauce. I love Soy Sauce, but I only need a bit of it at dinner. If I had to put Soy Sauce on everything, every meal, every day… my god. I’d be tracking down some Soy Sauce factories to take them out.
And it isn’t just that its ‘all oriental, all the time’ – it’s also that it’s all badly stereotype oriental, all the time. I’ve cringed more than a few times at the constant bad Asian accents that most of the Pandarian NPCs speak with.
Of course, Blizz tends to go overboard on the ‘themes’ for their expansions anyway – I’m remembering all the ‘scourge’ based raid armor sets from WotLK. Maybe they need to step back a bit from that in general.
The Mechanic Changes
The new talent system? I don’t think it worked as well as they were hoping, and I’m expecting yet another Talent system change for the next expansion. I’m really not a fan of the concept of ‘change your talents for each boss’ mechanic,
As I’m sure you are all aware, I hate hate HATE the changes to travelling in Mists. “Have Group, Will Travel” needs to come back. This was an incredibly useful perk for Guilds. Ghostcrawler beats the ‘We need to get people out of cities, and into the world!’ and “We want people to see the beautiful world we made!’ arguments when this comes up. Problem is, people – once they hit 90 – either hang out in a city waiting for LFR now, or go to the current Daily Quest hub. Not a lot of travel and exploring happening there.
They also need to allow flying for all once you die and need to run back. The most frustrating thing about it is that their isn’t because the game can’t handle it – but because they ‘want to encourage people to explore the world’. Um. Once I’m dead, I’m not doing ANY MORE exploring! Don’t really care what it looks like, just let me get back to my body.
The entire conceit of ‘We want people to see the beautiful world we made!’ also seems narcissistic at best. Yes. The design team did a good job. But. If you need to *force* us to walk places to make us look at the scenery, then maybe your story/quests for that area need a bit of work? Make us *want* to be there – don’t make it a place where we trudge through only because we have to.
Which brings us to the weakness of Mists – the Lore. I’m a huge Lore fan for Warcraft, and I feel cheated. Burning Crusade rocked hard because it *continued the story*. Wrath rocked hard because it *continued the story*. Cata, well, didn’t really continue anything – but a sudden Apocalypse that interrupts everything? That kinda rocks. Except for this whole Thrall is a Demi-God fan-service storyline.
Mists, though? WTF? Let’s look at this within the context of the world. EVERYTHING had almost been destroyed. NO ONE has the resources to continue to fight, and both factions are busy trying to recover.
So what do we do? Find a new island and dedicate resources into exploring it.
What the hell?
And this Sha thing? And Garrosh? And what?
It feels contrived. Blizz wants it to be epic, and it just isn’t, in my opinion. Beyond ‘Hey! Look at this place we discovered!’ there just isn’t a reason to care about it, let alone even be there.
Beyond, of course, Blizz placing the new Raids there.
I also get that we’re supposed to feel bad about how the war let the Sha out, and how we made a mess of things, and etc, etc… but again – that presumes that we care about Pandaria in the first place. And – really – I don’t. To be honest, I’ve never bothered to complete all the quests there – I’ve gotten as far as the start of the Dread Wastes (I think that’s it), hit 90 and then I promptly stopped caring about whatever the hell was happening there.
I’m looking forward to getting out of Pandaria, and back into traditional lore content – fighting the Shadow Council. Exploring the Emerald Dream. Taking on Azshara. Kul Tiras. Things that we’ve heard about, and that have been teased for years – instead of something that honestly started as an April Fool’s Joke.