Why I won’t be playing Mists of Pandaria

Not really a need to get a CE this time around with the Digital Deluxe version having what most people want.

Mists of Pandaria launches September 25, but I won’t be playing — at least right away.  World of Warcraft and I have had an off and on again relationship over the years.  I played right up until Burning Crusade launched, server 1sted all of the content and ran with the hardcore crowd, then quit and never played BC.  Then I picked up again a few weeks after WotLK launched, played, quit, then returned again for a longer stint until a few months before Cataclysm, played Cataclysm a bit, quit, returned, then quit again.  Are you lost yet?  I’ve decided to stay away from this expansion for a few reasons.

First, I’ll be playing Guild Wars 2.  I don’t intend on taking GW2 lightly, either.  I took a very slow and easy approach to SWTOR, but this time around I want to play hard and accomplish more in GW2 than I have in recent MMO’s.  I fully plan on playing and streaming in all of my free time.  It will be a significant change from my recent laid back approach to MMO’s.  I will be extremely shocked if I am not still engrossed in Guild Wars so soon into launch.

Second, I’m done pretending like I can ignore the pattern.  I really enjoy WoW’s questing.  I may even enjoy it more than GW2’s.  But I hate what happens to WoW when you finish questing.  I hate gear treadmills, raiding to get gear to be able to raid to get the next gear tier.   Literally, turning on a dime, WoW changes from one game to another — in this case, a game I enjoy into a game I hate.

Mists of Pandaria is going to be just like Cataclysm, just like Wrath of the Lich King, and just like everything we know and love to hate about WoW. If you like more of the same, as millions do, then power to you.  Blizzard hasn’t shown me  they can do anything new.

So that’s my excuse, for now.  I can’t promise that I won’t, one day, pick up Mists if GW2 content is getting stale.  I’m not averse to giving the game a try one day, but I know it will be for the questing, a few trips through the dungeons, and nothing else.

  • I won’t be play because for.one Pandas……two my experience in bwe 3of.GW 2 was.so.rich…..crafting….Meta.events. WvW….spvp. I.tried.to.experience.it all……made.it.to level.30. Even jump puzzles.had.me……so fun

  • I never could get past the very fact that you could work for months “gearing up” in WoW, doing the Raids, making your character excellent, having fun…. only to have them release an expansion that quite literally makes absolutely everything you had achieved up until that date horrendously useless and a waste of time. Now you are under the level cap, and the amazing items you worked so hard for are worse than random loot you will find hitting the new level cap.

    And people pay for it over and over.

    Has always boggled my mind.

  • @Rawblin: It doesn’t even have to be an expansion. You can stop playing for a month, miss a patch, and you come back with your gear being completely worthless because you can get better in the new 5-man dungeon.

  • I’ve followed a very similar pattern with WoW and share your views on it. I don’t expect to get MoP right off the bat or at all. I may check it out at some point for no other reason than they finally added monks, which I had been hoping for since the first time I ran Scarlet Monastery, but I’m just tired of that model. I LOVE the WoW engine and the way the game feels, but I know I’ll burn out quickly as soon as it turns into a gear treadmill. My most recent return a few months back (after I realized I didn’t have the time to properly enjoy Darkfall, which I love conceptually) only lasted 6 weeks.

    I too am looking forward to GW2.

  • I have an annual pass and I won’t be buying MOP. I say that even though I actually like a lot of the changes they made (challenge dungeons, pet battles, monk class, etc). I just hate the gear grind. I hate that PvP is influenced so much by gear and mods. I hate raiding. I hate that there is nothing left for me to explore. I’m tired of the way WoW quests are set up.

    WoW is still a great game but I’ve been playing it on and off since launch. It’s time to move on.

  • I like how people readily accept cow people, wolf people, and people from space but for some reason draw the line at pandas.

  • I have beefs with WoW but not what Rawblin describes. Why wouldn’t there be new gear? I would be quite bored wearing the same gear for 7 years.

  • I’m in a pretty similar boat. I played WoW on release day, TBC, WotLK and Cataclysm all on release day. But I don’t expect to pick up Pandaria on release – because, like you, I expect to still be immersed in GW2.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think every WoW expansion has been great, and Cataclysm easily the best of the lot. I expect Pandaria to be crammed with absolutely fantastic entertaining content. But I no longer feel that I’ve got to get in there at release. It’ll be waiting for me just fine when I’m next at a loose end for something to play. Maybe patch 5.1 will be out by then, or 5.2, and there will be even more stuff to do.

  • I was actually leaning towards picking up MoP to play for a month or two, I’m one of the few people who likes the Pandas and some of the other new things sound good (like the mini pet battles). Then I read that the final “boss” of the expansion is Garrosh, and you siege Orgrimmar. As a lifetime horde player, just no. What a huge disappointment.

  • I’ll be playing, maybe not as much as I use to though. My wife still really enjoys WoW and now my boy has kinda gotten into it. Expansion time is always kinda fun in WoW too, lots of folks out and about questing and PvPing, etc. Leveling now is so blah…can play for hours and never see another player.

    Plus, I like a lot of what the devs have been saying about lessons learned from Cataclysm and trying to create ways to get folks out into the world and open PvP. We’ll see if they can pull off undoing some of the linearity and theme park-ness of the last several expansions.

    Don’t get me wrong, WoW will always be a theme park, but if they can make it a bit more like vanilla in getting people exploring and out into the world I think it will do the game a lot of good for my enjoyment at least. We’ll see.

    I wish they would make the trip from 85-90 take a long time. Like, the time it took to get from 1-60 or maybe even 1-85. But, you know there will be people raiding with a week of its release though…

  • COuldnt agree with you more if I wanted too Keen. The days of Vertical Progression are over for me. Unlike you though, I detest, loath, hate WoW questing….everything about it screams childish and archaic at best. Kill 10 rats can never again be considered good content.

  • I’m definitely in the on again/off again relationship with wow, and I am going to pick up MoP basically entirely because I am currently in the “on again” part at the moment.

    Still, I have to quibble a bit: While the core of WoW will still be raiding, I don’t think this expansion will be like every one before it. It appears blizzard has devoted a large amount of time in focusing on that problem specifically, and there are loads of “alternative” things to do at level caps. Previous expansions have always had raiding as the singular final goal, and while people are obviously welcome to dislike other options, this is the first time they have really made an effort to add them in.

    Pet battles have the potential to be as addicting as pokemon. And perhaps more importantly, challenge modes are basically the absolute antithesis of the raid treadmill, with rewards that give no statistical advantages, and gear having little to no effect on how good you are at doing them. Should be great.

    …deja vu…

  • My only real concern for GW2 is that WoW players who try it will do precisely what they do in WoW and then consider that they have “finished” the game, since there’s no raiding: No doubt, the first will start getting to level cap in a week or less, so we won’t have long to find out if that does happen. It seems that Blizzard have been a bit more conservative, though, in giving their refugees a month to get bored of GW2, before they are expecting a mass return to the warm embrace of Azeroth and Pandaria – as has happened with previous games that had the temerity to imagine they could challenge the mighty Blizz.

  • MOP will be the first WoW expansion I will not buy at release, for two reasons…

    I’m not really excited by the radical changes to existing classes, the down dumbing of the talent system, and they are totally changing the way some classes actually play (e.g. feral druid).

    I’ll be playing GW2… yeah, like many. To be honest, I still have my 2 WoW accounts active in order to pass time until GW2 releases, but even PvP seems boring and bland now that I’ve tried World vs World in GW2. Building your own balista in a HUGE World vs World area to take down the walls of a huge keep beats carrying some flag in a tiny BG, specially when you’ve been doing that for years. And I also have a hard time with the WoW clone questing models now that I’ve tried the GW2 dynamic events.

    I still intend to buy Pandaria later. Blizzard still have an awesome art team, and I want to see the new areas.

  • Not buying, probably won’t buy; basically, Keen’s comment about missing a patch, coming back and having your gear (and your mounts, and your faction rep, and anything that would’ve been a pretty long-term fixture of your character) completely outdated is not something I condone. And I’m done with WoW leveling. And the daily caps on everything make me want to tear out the eyes of whichever designer decided I was only allowed an hour of progress in their game before being patted on the head and told I can do no more in case I make more progress than the father of 20 with 3 jobs and 10 pets.

    @Graev: “I like how people readily accept cow people, wolf people, and people from space but for some reason draw the line at pandas.”

    There’s a myriad of reasons (to be honest the pandas don’t even bother me that much, it’s the gameplay, but I understand why people hate them):

    1) Every other race, bar the Worgen (but they were designed by the same C Team so it’s no surprise they were poorly done)is creatively done. Tauren could be Graeco-Thracian savages who live in caves and murder innocent bystanders and live in labyrinths, but because they’re not just clones of Minotaurs, they actually have a different culture and way of fightng. Trolls could dwell under bridges, be large and eat people twice daily: instead, they’re an ancient gangly Afro-Caribbean people. Nelves could be white-skinned protectors of the forest who worship typical shit, or be dark, twisted elves. Instead, they’re rather unique, as elves go. The point? None of them are “Pandas! They live in Asia! Asian-themed bipedal pandas! The land is called Pandaria!”

    2) All those other races have at least some lore roots. Let’s put this into perspective: MoP is an expansion where the ONLY lore root is one neutral mercenary hero in Warcraft 3 who had nothing to do with any of the campaigns (or if he did, it was a small role) and reskinned furbolg mobs. They’re pretty much a joke.

    3) Related to point 1, every other race bar the Worgen (and, let’s be clear, their original lore before the C Team ruined them and Gilneas was pretty interesting) has interesting aesthetics. Pandaren and their aesthetics are pretty much a clone of Kung Fu Panda’s art style.

    Say whatever you want about “derp WoW already had animal people”, the fact is pandas represent how far WoW has sunk in terms of taking itself seriously and crafting a believable world. That’s my beef with them: it represents the themepark so completely. “Welcome to the Pandaland section of BlizzPark! £30 for entry, more if you want to skip the queues and get this free novelty hat!”

  • I’m also in the boat that MoP will be the first WoW expansion I don’t buy. I’m actually impressed with the scope of the expansion, but even then, I can’t justify going back. I’ve already thoroughly experienced what WoW has to offer, I can no longer get immersed in the world as I once did, I no longer find game designs like the gear treadmill compelling, and the game has simply aged quite a bit (in ways both good and bad, yeah). I’d much rather be playing MMOs like The Secret World, PlanetSide 2 and Guild Wars 2.

    Admittedly, there are times I still feel that pull toward WoW, but I know that’s a combination of nostalgia, familiarity and investment that would quickly give way to boredom and questions like “why am I wasting time playing this game?” were I to return. Personally, I think it’s time to move on completely.

  • This mirror’s my sentiments almost exactly. I love WoW, I think it’s a great game. But, i’m done with gear treadmills. The lack of PvP advances has put me off WoW. GW2 looks to offer me a casual experience. Where I’m not as focused on getting to max level and once i’m at max level having to worry over grinding out the gear so I can compete in PvP without being steamrolled.

  • It’s funny. While spouting out mindless drivel in Ventrilo as I usually do when playing games with my buddies, I happened to mention how funny it would be if Blizzard just went completely off-book for Warcraft lore. They had already installed Alien Space Goats into the game lore by that time.

    So I jokingly surmised how interesting it would be if they suddenly meshed Warcraft and Starcraft into the same WoW MMO. Suddenly Zerg have invaded, the Space Marines and Protoss hot on their heels to stop their invasion (and of course to hit each other in the face too!), and all three become new playable factions.

    Boom. I just ensured 16 more years of subs. Thank me later Blizz.

  • WoW lost me a long time ago. I did get one of each class to level 85 by a couple months after Cata came out and I was like why, the game continued to get dumbed down and I no longer had the drive to continue with the game. Since then Blizzard has made a lot of bad moves and while I enjoyed getting each character through the end on Diablo 3 I pretty much decided after that that unless Titan ends up being something totally amazing that I was finally going to distance myself from Blizzard.

    I do like some of the art direction for MoP. I think the monk class looks interesting, but at the end of the day I have just gotten to the point where I just can’t really stand to even think about putting any more time into the World of Warcraft.

    That plus by the time MoP comes out I see myself heavy into GuildWars 2 and Mechwarrior Online and don’t think I will even have the spare time to invest in another MMO.

  • I share the same trajectory more or less when it comes to WoW save the hardcore vanilla portion.

    I played hard during TBC and fizzled out a bit into Wrath, and Cata saw my interest wane to the point where I’d sub for a month and take three off…

    Pandas are a bit of a sore spot with me, I understand they’ve been in the lore but I didn’t play the original past WC2, so warcraft to me has always been more or less Orcs and Humans. Some tertiary fantasy races have been tolerable (never played a Tauren in 7 years) but Pandas were not in the game I played and enjoyed. They bring a level of goofiness no longer compatible with my personal tastes. Likewise I’m sure the pet battles will be plenty of fun, but I’m way to old to have ever played Pokemon so it’s lost on me.

    That’s not to say I won’t change my mind post launch, but if nothing else the GW2 BWE3 has me reevaluating what I’m getting for $15/month. Even if GW2 were to launch with performance issues in tact, it would still be good enough to make me think twice about re-upping my WoW sub for quite some time.

  • Idont know how anyone could get more then one, maybe two classes to max level. The leveling is so brain deadening boring to the extent that all you do is roll your face across the keyboard and win. No sense of direction, Blizz tells you where to go and holds your hand and sings cum0by0ya while enroute.

  • I actually think the worst thing Blizz did to lessen the enjoyment of play was cater to the masses by hybridizing every class. There was a point where Warlocks were the DoT caster, Druids the HoT healer, Priests the AoE healer and Pallies the single target healer. They dumbed everything down so much that there is no distinction anymore. Why play a priest over a druid? Why play a Warlock over a Mage? Just made it very bland.

  • I’ll probably still buy it, which is odd as I dislike adding Pandas (yes I know Tauren are there) and also will not use pet battles. For me it is a casual friendly game which I can play month on month, and I have a good circle of friends who still play. Its the friends that make the difference for me. I know this as SWToR went Free to level 15 and nobody in my circle except me played, and that meant it felt solo.
    If I actually to to raid and get passionate again, then all the better.
    I’ll certainly try other games too, but a free demo is required for that and most companies do not offer free demos on mmos.

  • Definitely not buying it. I’m disgusted by what happened to WoW in Cataclysm (and to lesser extent in Wrath… they started breaking things in Wrath, but most of it happened with Cata). I kept playing in Wrath because I was hooked on hard mode raiding, but I regret wasting my time on Cata.

  • I kinda feel the same way. But I did the whole free diablo 3 so I’ll probably play the expansion since I have to pay the time anyways. It doesn’t bother me because even though it is the same, the same is reliable. It’s not a disappointment like most mmo’s are these days. I can rely on well thought out raids, solid pvp mechanics, and enjoyment questing. I can’t say many mmo’s can live up to that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m just hoping back in the treadmill but to be honest even though GW2 is coming out, I’m skeptical that it will be what I want it to be. This is one reason I’m actually revisiting EQ1 on an emulated server currently, because it was one of the few mmo’s I felt did it right and I want that again.

  • I played for 4 years and left when Cata was 2 months old. Every now and then, I get a nostalgic memory of a zone or a raid in WoW and think maybe I’ll re-sub again.

    Then I remember that it’s impossible to see those zones at a normal leveling pace now, that all classes have been homogenized to death, that the sense of exploration and achievement have been replaced with visiting a vendor in the city or buying something off the AH, and that raiding is no longer epic.

    I do miss the old WoW, but I doubt I’ll ever pick it up again. The devs aren’t aiming at people like me anymore.

  • The game is too easy now…. I LIKED: spell ranks, running to dungeon stones, running out of mana and health, planning how to best take on mobs ( and get back out alive), hybrid trees (real compelling choices). Now its just mindless button mashing that is so monotonous that my eyes bleed i can’t sit and play for hours on end anymore becaus there is challenge. time to play rift i think.

  • I think the problem comes from the community on the Blizzard forums…

    People that loved the game during Vanilla, TBC (like me) never complained.

    It’s all the people that did not like the game, those that the game was not for them that went on blizz forum to QQ. Either game was too hard for them or did not have enough time to play, or couldn’t see the content etc.

    Blizzard changed the game to please people that did not even like wow in the first place, and now that they ruined it… I doubt they even play it since it was not for them in the first place…