OK Blizzard, I surrender. As we begin part three of The Inquisitr‘s hands-on review of World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria, I must concede that WoW is still unquestionably the best MMO in existence. Believe me, fellow gamers, I tried my best to find a better game. I played every new MMO that came out this year and returned to World Of Warcraft every time. The simple truth is that there is no other online game that offers so much content and runs so well.
As promised, I rolled my Padarain Monk and began the journey to level 90. This is the first time I have leveled a WoW character from scratch since rolling my Orc Hunter eight years ago. If you are an old hand at World Of Warcraft, you will quickly realize that creating a level one Pandarian Monk and exploring the new starting zone is as close as you will ever get to the joyous memory of your very first WoW character.
Pandarian monks are incredibly entertaining to watch and fun to play. When my monk is in combat, she is the ultimate Kung Fu fighter, with her deadly palm strikes and high pitched martial arts yells. Certainly there is a slight tip of the hat to the animated Kung Fu Panda movies, but WoW purists will be glad to remind us that Blizzard lore included Pandarian Brewmasters long before the film ever existed. Many players purchased a Pandarian Monk companion pet years ago, and we always knew that Pandas would eventually be part of the game.
World Of Warcraft starting zones are designed to teach new players how to properly play the game, and Pandaria follows the tradition. Even though the vast majority of players rolling a Pandarian have probably played WoW for years, Blizzard wisely gave players the option of being treated like a novice. All the tool tips and beginner information is available, and new players are gently guided through the various functions of their first character.
Experienced players can turn off the newbie tips and tear through the starting zone if they wish, but, if you rush, you will miss out on all the fun. Although the quests are still primarily kill quests and gathering quests, they are steeped in the lore of Pandaria. They are loaded with tradition and the wisdom of the ages. Players will want to take their time as they level and savor every moment.
As one travels around the zone, you are transported back to ancient China with its towering temples and traditional architecture. The background is dripping with blossom laden trees, high mountains, and foaming waterfalls that pour down from the peaks. There are lily covered ponds and green meadows, and, in the distance, the waves roll across a lonely sea.
The starting zone vibrates with color and life. Wild animals are everywhere; birds fill the sky, frogs croak loudly as they hop along the river banks, nasty monkeys chase after you and jump you from behind, peaceful white foxes stroll the fields, and hyperactive little sprites dart about, stealing anything that’s not nailed down.
No matter where you look, the scene is brimming with action and activity. Groups of male and female pandas dot the landscape, attired in colorful outfits, performing their martial arts training routines for observant masters. When you dash by, going from one quest to the next, the students continue to train and don’t even notice your presence, but the alert masters always bow politely as you pass. It is impossible not to smile and become absorbed in the world around. Before you know it, you really are part of a living, breathing world.
Continuing your exploration, you will enter small villages full of busy pandas, many of which are being overrun by packs of hostile creatures One of your primary duties as a novice monk will be to save the hapless villagers from certain destruction at the hands of their enemies. The battles are not particularly hard, but you will be taking an important first step on the way to becoming a hero in the World Of Warcraft.
After you drive the invaders from the beleaguered villages, a wise Pandarian ancient will order you to to seek out deep caves containing mysterious, magnificent shrines. In the caves, you will spar with elder monks, revive slumbering elemental spirits, and attempt to restore balance to the zone. Maintaining your focus and learning to properly utilize Chi energy will make is possible to accomplish your assigned tasks.
The quests in the starting zone are coming to an end, and my monk is almost ready to go out into the wilds. Then the fun will really begin, and the difficulty of my journey will increase. I will be sure to return and tell you more about my adventures in Pandaria. I feel like a newbie again, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. Until next we meet, be well and enjoy playing World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria.