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160 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Level, Long-Time Player
I normally don't write reviews for products, but in this case I feel the need to write one with honest opinions from someone who has played the game since the beginning and is currently max level (90). Before I begin let me start by saying this: I understand everyone will have their own opinions about what this game "should" be, but how can you possibly give a good...
Published on September 27, 2012 by Aithos

124 of 160 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The magic is spent
I adored WOW when it came out. MMO aspect aside, it was one of the most beautiful game worlds ever conceived. The art direction was awe-inspiring, and the combat was very good. I was invested in the warcraft lore and so actually being able to run in a building was pretty amazing to me. Thunder Bluff, the Undercity, Stormwind, Tendrassill have some of the best...
Published 23 months ago by totally dude

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124 of 160 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The magic is spent, November 19, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
I adored WOW when it came out. MMO aspect aside, it was one of the most beautiful game worlds ever conceived. The art direction was awe-inspiring, and the combat was very good. I was invested in the warcraft lore and so actually being able to run in a building was pretty amazing to me. Thunder Bluff, the Undercity, Stormwind, Tendrassill have some of the best architectures ever seen, in real life or in virtual life.

I played through burning legion then took a break. But when I came back for trials, I'd still play ravishingly, burning through the new content as fast as I could while the trial lasted. The last time I did this was with the Cataclysm scroll of resurrection.

I just played the trial. I played a hours of it, completed a few quests.

Then got bored. It was a chore to complete. I stopped at the first pandaria 85 zone.

The magic is gone.

WOW has really changed over the years. Where it had once been bustling with life, now it is largely empty. I remember when it was so full that completing newbie quests could be hard because there was always someone killing the newbie stuff. Now, I go to 85 Horde Pandaria area like one month after launch and it is *empty*. It's like the people who still are playing the game max out the level within a week of release and then go raiding.

World PVP used to be real. Starting around level 25, Alliance and Horde were channeled to the same zones and so while completing a quest you might see an opposite faction player and decide to gank him, or he gank you. That added a sense of chaotic spontaneity and I loved it.

Now, you largely quest alone and there's no one to challenge you. Or, a high level griefer will drop by, kill you, and then fly off with a flying mount.

All of this is I believe a natural result of MMO's developing expansions which spread out the player base, as well as the game just getting old.

My biggest problem with WOW as it is right now though are the numbers. My druid has something like 16 million health. I remember when he was like level 15 and had 112 HP. I prefer having HP and damage be in the low 3 digits and the high 2 digits. That makes it easy to keep track of stuff. Now, stats are in the hundreds of thousands which makes them meaningless. I do not notice out how a piece that improves my agi from 293 to 333 makes things better, because the damage goes from like 30,203 to 31,212.

In RPG's, it's really cool getting a new sword that lets you increase your damage from just 8 to 9. But from 68382 to 72384?

Also, WOW as it has aged has only streamlined more and shed its RPG lineage. Shamans and Paladins are had on each faction. Yeah, balance, but still it takes away contrast. Druids used to go on this epic two-continent quest to get water travel form. The quests were tied in with the lore, because the people in charge were story-tellers first, power-levelers last.

Now, the power-levelers have taken over. You train water form at the trainer. Exciting, I know.

Also, complexity has increased exponentially, and customizability has gone down. With my druid there are like three charge skills, 5 "oh shit" skills, 5 finishing moves, 4 bleed moves, at any times there will be like 15 -20 skills to hit. But the other classes got skills too. So basically it's just all overwhelming and it all evens out anyways so you're frantically hitting buttons with no real idea how it will affect the underlying statistics.

There used to be 31 point talents. You could jigger out new builds using talent calculators.

Now, you pick from three abilities at certain tiers.

The game is more a beat-em-up game now than it is an RPG. A shame. I actually stopped playing 3 days into the trial and couldn't get myself to go back in the game. A first for me, and a last.
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132 of 171 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This game would be great... if it weren't for the players, January 8, 2013
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
**WoWInsider asks Ghostcrawler about the decline in 25-man raiding, and how 10-man raids seem to be the only kind now:
WoWInsider: Do you think 25 man raiding has stabilized at all, or is it still in decline? Are you guys working on anything to address that?
Ghostcrawler: I don't know -- overall, I haven't looked at the numbers in awhile -- my hunch would be that it's still in decline honestly, because there aren't a lot of -- it's just entropy, that 25 man guilds collapse into 10 man guilds, and it's really hard for a 10 man guild to decide "Hey, let's recruit a bunch and become 25!"*

This was my biggest issue with MoP. The raid lockouts for both 10 and 25 are the same, and no one wanted to be in a 25-man guild. There were hundreds (maybe thousands) of guilds on the server I played on when I quit, because all of them were 10-man, and only a handful were 25-man. As I state later in the review, this made joining a guild and creating one almost impossible.**

In Wrath of the Lich King, you had your crazies and your jerks, but at least they didn't take up ninety percent of the WoW population. Since Cataclysm, the playerbase has strongly changed, turned into some globular, filthy black mass of selfishness... kind of like a Sha, but a lot harder to kill.

Like I said, I've played during Wrath of the Lich King, and I loved that expansion. I heard that The Burning Crusade was the best out of all of them, and I believe it, because some of the more amazing tales I've heard about the game involved that expansion. Guilds were massive, raids were actually important, and people relied on one another to get the job done. In WotLK that happened as well, in Cata, not so much, then it just completely vanished in MoP.

For a while, I wasn't sure why this was. The game had improved at least a tiny bit from Cataclysm, but the players just seemed to get worse. I play a wide range of various MMORPGs, and I can say with complete honesty, I have not run into players so hateful, so selfish, and so childlike as I have in MoP WoW, and before I quit the game, it was an epidemic, brought on by TERRIBLE ideas and additions to the world by the developers.

Then I did some thinking (a lot of it), which eventually caused my inevitable unsubscribing. The guilds were too small, and too many of them existed. Every guild I ran into had at most, fifteen people in them. In BC and WotLK that was UNHEARD OF. The reason for that is because the change to raids. Before I start ranting, in my WoW days, I was a hardcore raider. I loved to raid, and I loved to make my guild large enough to take on serious bosses. Raiding has just died completely now, and for two reasons: the same loot drops in ten-player and twenty-five-player modes, so there is no need to make a big guild to do twenty-five-player. Therefore, guilds have shrank, and everyone was in a guild. No one was guildless, and if they were, it was very briefly, because there were so, so many barely useful guilds running around. This made it extremely tough to find players to join your guild so that you could raid, because everyone was already in tiny little guilds that could barely do anything. In Wrath, on the server I used to play on, there were three or four "top guilds" which were HUGE in size, and everyone wanted to join them. Yeah, casuals played in their dinky little guilds that never did anything, but at least "Raiding Guilds" actually existed. Even when moving to a populated server in MoP, I couldn't find a single guild that was worth a damn.

The other reason is Raid Finder. I know, I know, it's not meant to replace actual raids, but here's the thing: it has. People don't join guilds because there's no reason to. Why should they? You no longer need a guild to raid. Just run the baby raid. Your chances of getting gear are pretty much the same either way, and the stuff that drops from Raid Finder is only a few item levels lower than that of actual raid drops. So, when you think about it, why would anyone even bother joining a guild? If I was a casual player, I wouldn't. There's no point. Run the baby raid and never do anything with anyone on your server, ever.

I believe these two things have caused the steady decline in player accountability, respect, and of course, dignity. No one talks to each other except to call each other hateful, cruel things, or to spam general chat with crude, childish opinions. I felt lucky when another player even bother to say "hello" to me, and I was as polite as I could manage!! People will steal your mobs after waiting for them to kill you, they'll roll need on things they don't need, and they'll pretend to have good intentions when joining your guild, only to steal everything from your bank and running like hell. The world is packed FULL of these people. It's not just a small percentage, it's practically EVERYONE. If someone sees you're in trouble, they will NOT help you. They will simply stand there and watch you die, and never say a word to you. Ask someone for some help with quests? Forget about it. They call you something horrible or laugh or something, then blow you off. God forbid you ever accidentally kill one of the mobs someone meant to kill. You better put that person on ignore before they get a chance to sling ridiculous insults at you, usually insinuating your sexual orientation, regardless of your gender.

As I've said, I play many other MMORPGs. Everquest, Guild Wars 2, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Final Fantasy XI... none of which have a playerbase like WoW's. Take EQ for example... I have yet to run into a rude person. Even the cold, non-speaking types will surprise you and buy you some gear, even though they barely know you. People rely on each other, because if you help someone, IT MATTERS. For helping other people, it doesn't waste your time or hurt you in any way. Same with Guild Wars 2. I have never met a rude person in that game, either, and that's because it actually BENEFITS you to help other people, and furthermore, it's impossible to steal from others. In WoW, it's possible to steal from others, and there is no benefit whatsoever to applying your resources to save another player. People don't care, because they don't have to care. If you die, it doesn't hurt them in any way, hell, it may even help them, because a rare mob that they want to kill just hacked you to pieces. After running to your corpse, you see they took your rare mob and left. No one cares. Everyone is selfish. Everyone is a jerk.

Which brings me to my final point. Why would I want to play a game full of people that hate me for no reason? I'd rather play with someone who was a bad player but was at least friendly, than I would a mediocre player who is a complete jerk, but in MoP, they were scarce, and when you did find one, they left the guild in a matter of days, guild-hopping like crazy, because a guild is useless now. Why bother staying to prove yourself to your new guild? There's only ten people or so in it....

This is a harsh reality, but it's reality. If people don't see it, then they need to wake up and smell the coffee. WoW has a problem, and it's not going to get better the way it's going. By now, honestly, it should have been free-to-play. Most games have gone that route by now, and they really need to make some changes and stop being greedy. One of my main thoughts when leaving the game was "why should I have to pay fifteen bucks a month to get crapped on every time I log on? There are better ways to spend my money." I'm sure others have had the same mentality when quitting for good.

As for the game itself: The pandas are just stupid. I realize that most of the WoW playerbase is Asian........... but come on. I haven't met a Westerner who gives a crap about pandas. Everyone's reaction was pretty much a simultaneous groan, followed up by questions such as: why couldn't it have been Nagas or something cooler?

The environments are enjoyable, though they seem a bit recycled. Don't get me wrong, I really like them. It's easy to immerse yourself in Pandaria, because a lot of the zones are calming. I didn't like the Valley however. It strangely made me thirsty whenever I played in it. Let's just say that Pandaria is weak in aesthetics compared to the beautiful Northrend, and the music is nowhere near as good as Northrend's or Cata's, either. All-in-all, I just don't like Pandaria. I associate with boredom.

When I first started doing daily quests during MoP's launch, they were brutal on me. I was a freshly geared caster and the mobs cut through me like butter. I couldn't do most of the Shado-Pan quests without assistance from a friend. There are certain things I really love to grind, and reputation is one of them, but I can't stress enough how boring daily quests are. They're monotonous and mindless, and after doing the same dumb quest fifteen times each on multiple characters, you just want to strangle someone. If Blizzard were to change anything in the next expansion, it ought to be reputation via quests. Make it one long, continuous story quest, where each quest progresses you through the reputation, and each one gives a large chunk of reputation. Make it interesting, and if you're going to make daily quests, at least make them fun, not, "Kill X a million times." Since resubscribing recently, they're easier to tolerate because I have a couple of friends to do them with.

PvP: At launch, it was terrible. We lost more than half of our BGs because the Alliance (yes, I'm Horde), had way too many healers, and despite having more damage than heals on our team, we couldn't out-damage the healing constantly going around on their team. Now, I noticed a huge spike in wins, and their team isn't cluttered with healers every single game. We usually don't have more than two... but at least they usually don't, either. Of course, people still do the wrong thing (like running the flag in EotS, because hey, who cares?), but even the losses don't seem like such a waste of time anymore, because I'm not thinking "get ready to lose the next four BGs, too." It seems much more balanced now.

Raids and dungeons: Here are the raids I've tried in MoP-- MSV, HoF, and the first half of ToT. Of all of them, MSV was the funnest. Even with the same old "run away from X, don't stand in Y, hit CDs at Z," it seemed more authentic. Some of the fights in the other two were just... dumb. Not HARD, just dumb. I don't really get psyched about weaving around tornadoes (too many headaches from Alysrazor) or killing spinning turtles. Again, not hard, just dumb. Elegon in MSV was the funnest raid fight I've done in MoP so far.

Mounts: I'm a collector, so I'm drawn to every new mount they released.

Pet battles: I didn't think I like these at first, but they were actually pretty fun. They're not required for anything but achievements, but they can be pretty addicting once you try them out.

UPDATE (5.4): Since the release of Timeless Isle, I've seen some improvements. The improvements aren't wide or sizable, but when it was released, floods of people returned to the game. Guilds are advertising once again. People are looking to do REAL raids, not just LFR, even if it's just Flex raids. All kinds of people are forming groups to get reputation together, inviting people in to help them get some kills and coins. There are no more daily quests, not on Timeless Isle. It's a breath of fresh air to be rid of those. You can collect BoA purple items to give to your fresh 90 alts to help gear them up faster (another brilliant addition, in my opinion, since I have a lot of alts now). Are there still trolls? Oh, absolutely, but I can honestly say I don't see as many as you'd think there would be. People still hurt others, but in ways that make it a bit more... productive, depending on your view. You can purchase items that flag you for PvP, regardless of faction. Sometimes you win... aaaand sometimes you lose... hard. You could face off against a class weaker than you who is semi-AFK from their keyboard only to get mutilated by a group of people who saw you do it. Now, people are still a bit on the lazy side, and communication is still... off at times. But since lots of players returned with this patch, it's only a minor complaint, as opposed to a major pandemic. With many new guilds forming and old ones recruiting for the new raid and core RBG groups, things on my realm seemed to have gotten a bit better. Before 5.4, the server was pretty dead, and only trolls were left hanging around.

UPDATE (5.3): I've returned to World of Warcraft after eight months of unsubscribing to reassess my opinion, to rejoin a returning companion, and to check out if anything has changed. If anything, I'd say things are a little worse, in terms of community. Here are some examples:
--No less than a week of playing, I've experienced someone pulling world bosses to grief raid groups. Not only did they wipe a raid once this way, but about four times. When asked to report the harassing offender, he laughed and said "Lol GMs won't care, go ahead." The sad thing is, he's totally right. He probably does this all the time, and never once got in trouble for it. When bringing it up to a friend of mine, she said "Oh, yeah, it happens all the time." So, half the populace is thirteen years old, I suppose. I have to question the motives behind this. Doesn't it waste a lot of time, not only yours, but everyone else's? What are you doing in this game where you are not entertained by anything else it has to offer and pay your fifteen bucks a month only to annoy others? It's depressing to think how it actually worked, because half of the raid left. I've never heard of such a thing as leaving a raid after a few short wipes. I stayed with the group and waited for more patient players and we killed the boss anyway. So, good job, and stuff.
--Ran roughly three Raid Finder raids, each one complete with its own "jerk of the group." Sure, everyone was a jerk in their own way the entire time, but it was so glaringly obvious who was the bigger one. First RF I ran after getting back, a shaman lost his mind when accused of using Bloodlust at an inopportune time. He started swearing and ranting and just wouldn't stop. I can't even remember if he was right or not, and it didn't matter. In another RF, someone constantly pulled trash mobs to grief the raid, and rolled need on every dropping green item. He was vote-kicked at least, but it cost everyone repair bills, because we continuously wiped on trash. In yet another RF, someone placed a feast down before a boss. Without a ready check or any warning, tank ran in and engaged before anyone got the chance to eat. When told off for it, they pronounced "Sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can go out and get drunk." So, people aren't really thirteen in the game, they just act like they're thirteen. The feast was wasted, by the way. I'm sure that player appreciates it. I have not run a single Raid Finder where something like this DIDN'T HAPPEN.
--When I came back, I saw no one ran normal raids on my realm. Ever. People sit in cities on their mount and troll trade. I got a new addon to help with that. More on that later.
--People kill-steal rare mobs by manipulating/exploiting game mechanics to reset their tap. Paladins camp Halfhill market and attack players, and via exploit, escape unharmed by guards while they kill the people he attacks. There is one particular guy on our server who does this all day, and I mean... all... day.

It's not that I can blame the players. Blizzard appealed to kids, and that's who flocked in. They are now down to 7.7 million subscribers, and are still losing large chunks of them in short time frames, the worst they've ever seen. I rarely see classic or BC veterans. I initially quit because I couldn't stand the kind of idiots I played with, but also because Pandaria is a little on the boring side and leveling there is a pain. I didn't mind banging out levels in Northrend because I liked Northrend.

I've been told once "it doesn't matter where you go or what game you play-- you're going to get jerks no matter what. WoW is an MMO, so of course you're going to get mean players." I disagree with that. I've already stated in this review that WoW was hardly the only MMO I've ever played. I've had the pleasure of playing with other communities, and I'm sorry, but they are nowhere near as bad as WoW's. Yes, there is truth in the statement that "you will always have jerks," but it's in WoW where it's the worst. It's so bad that when someone tries to help me kill something, I think they're trying to hurt me in some way. That's how paranoid WoW has made me. I don't get that feeling of "history of abuse" in other games, in fact, I'm far more trusting. The average of polite players in other games is much higher than that of WoW's, because in those games, if you aren't nice, you aren't getting anywhere with anyone. You NEED to work together to complete something. In WoW, you can sit back and watch bosses die and just auto-attack. If there is no effort required, do you really, honestly think people are going to bother putting in any effort at all? Of course not.

I realize that WoW might possibly still have players that are just as tired of this plague of childishness as I am. Don't assume I hate every single WoW player. In my return, I've actually encountered some good people, who were surprisingly good players. Just yesterday I ran some YOLO RBGs with a bunch of completely random people, and they listened to our instructions quite well, didn't screw off, and we won our games. Some of them were cool to talk to, as well. The problem isn't them, of course. It's the other jerks around them ruining not only my experience, but theirs. They're addicted to WoW, just like I am, and maybe can't quit, because it's a big part of their life. That doesn't mean those people don't suffer through some of the most agonizing, irritating displays of selfishness. They're just stronger than I am for tolerating it and moving on.

It's realistic to think that "trolls will be trolls," but I can live in a world of trolls. However, I cannot live in a World of Warcraft where every other person is out to waste your time, hurt you in some way, or make you feel bad. There is no other reason for it other than narcissistic satisfaction, of taking your problems out on others. I can even claim that it's not your fault. It's Blizzard's fault. They made this game for you, not for me, or the other hardworking individuals that put their sweat and blood into their raiding schedule. PvP is really the only reason to come back and stay, and if it's not your thing, stay away. That's all I can say about it. Luckily, I really enjoy PvP, and PvP is one of the few things WoW does right.

Update: I began to utilize an addon called "OQueue," a very handy little tool that allows you to create groups for all types of WoW things such as raids, dungeons, BGs and RBGs, and advertise for it cross-realm. You can also join one of the many other groups being advertised on a constant basis. It allows me to do raids and RBGs despite the fact that my server has lost half its population. If I were to try to get a group on my own server, I'd be searching for hours and might not even fill the raid group. I don't have to run LFRs all the time after all. I can actually be a part of something greater. If you're interested, you can download OQueue at

Speaking of LFRs, I continued to run some over the course of my return. In every group, someone rolls need on green items.
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160 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Level, Long-Time Player, September 27, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
I normally don't write reviews for products, but in this case I feel the need to write one with honest opinions from someone who has played the game since the beginning and is currently max level (90). Before I begin let me start by saying this: I understand everyone will have their own opinions about what this game "should" be, but how can you possibly give a good review of an expansion without having even played enough of it to know? I'd wager most of the reviews posted are not even close to max level (at a decent solo pace questing it takes 25 hours) so I know you all haven't gotten there yet. At any rate, here are my early impressions:

- Area flow during leveling is amazing. This has really been lacking in a lot of expansions, the quests seem to line up well and you can very naturally go through the whole zone without missing obscure quests along the way. You also won't be running back and forth 20 times in the same zone for quests, each hub is clearly marked when you are of appropriate level and the mini-achievements pop up at the end of each hub so you know you're done. Probably the best questing I've ever seen. The quests themselves have some neat variety but there is only so much you can do, it's questing. I really like that you can't fly until 90, this is obviously the reason they spent so much time designing the flow of each area. People would have been pissed at not being able to fly AND having shitty questing like the old game (Vanilla) when most people grinded mobs to level instead.

- System design (talents, professions, reputations). I know some people hate the new talents, I personally love it. No longer do I have to read up on theorycrafting sites to find the optimal raiding builds, I don't have to look at top pvpers for arena builds, I don't have to port back to town between fights to respec a billion points several times a night. I also get to do some things (like have shadowstep with mutilate as a rogue) that have always been needed, now I won't just have to be subtlety for PVP like in Wrath/Cata because assassination and combat have a chance like they did in Vanilla/BC. No more rep tabards! The cooking changes with multiple branches are cool and leveling professions seems a bit easier which is nice.

- Things to do (Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Challenge mode, Pet battles) There are a TON of things to do. Once you hit max level you can get Valor a bunch of different ways, it is easier than ever to get gear (more on this later) and you aren't forced to do a bunch of stuff every week just for the sake of capping valor points. I don't understand the complaints about pet battles being "childish", you aren't forced to do it. I will probably never take part myself, but I have some guildmates who collect pets who are super excited about it. Why hate on someone elses fun just because you think its silly? I like the farming stuff too, plant some seeds and come back the next day to harvest. It makes raiding a little easier since you can make your own consumables pretty easily instead of farming a bunch of stuff or spending gold on consumables.

- Game difficulty. I can't comment on raiding yet since our first one is next week, but thus far I think they have nailed the progession from quest gear, to dungeons to heroics. Burning Crusade heroics were too hard, Wrath were too easy, Cataclysm were too hard (for average players) but I think that it is easy enough to start off that people won't be struggling for months to gear up for raids. I like that you can get gear a bunch of different ways and professions have easy access to upgrades early on, combined with the new gear rewards for questing people should be more prepared. For those of you who haven't hit max level you may not have noticed, quest rewards are now ALL useable by your class. You no longer get a choice between 4 pieces where none are useful and your bags get full of stuff you won't ever use. I replaced nearly all my 397+ gear by the time I hit 90. Most pieces being replaced at 88/89 like they should be. Again, the design team nailed this expansion.

- CRZ (Cross Realm Zone). I haven't really taken part in this myself since I leveled solo, but I've had a bunch of guildmates who leveled with RealID friends and ended up getting stuck on massively overpopulated/unbalanced realms because their friend was on one of those servers (try leveling alliance side Blackrock for instance). I know what their intent was, but I don't think it was executed very well at all.

- Zone appearance. I know a lot of people are hyped on the look of the new zones, and in some cases I am too (Jade Forest was awesome) but most of the zones were VERY uninspired. They look great, so don't take this as a complaint about the art itself. But running through Steppes and Dread Waste I felt like I could have been anywhere (Azeroth, Outland, Northrend) they just weren't very original. A wasteland filled with bugs? How many times can we see this theme? It was like they took Netherstorm and Silithus and had a baby. I get that there isn't a lot more than can be done in a game this large, but I would have preferred more Asian themed areas if that's the theme and beyond a few of the mountain cities I didn't really feel like I was there.

- Travel. I don't like the portal location and it seems like it takes forever to fly anywhere right now. I will be honest in saying that I haven't completely covered Vale of Eternal Blossoms because I dinged 90 in the evening yesterday so my opinion might change. But right now I don't see a central city and there is no AH anywhere so people will still be camped in SW and ORG just like last expansion. The fact the portal only goes to the starting area instead of a central city is a little annoying, hopefully it changes.

- Pandas. I don't love them or hate them. I thought the story was fine, some of the characters were cool but largely I was very MEH about the addition. I do think it is neat to have a race that both factions can be, I think each "race" picking a side and never having any conflict is a little ridiculous. Let's face it, humans would be both Alliance and Horde and we all know it. Just like some Taurens are good guys and some undead just want to be left alone. I have yet to try out the race myself, but from seeing them I like their animations so far. Also, the females don't look awful like the worgens.

Overall: I have been pleasantly surprised. I quit shortly after reaching max level in both Wrath and Cataclysm because I thought the expansions were pretty boring and only came back in the middle-late expansions to complete raid content. I don't anticipate quitting this time, there is enough to do and leveling was designed well enough to get me to level several of my characters now instead of later on when gear is super easy to get. I am excited to try scenarios and challenge dungeons and hopefully the raiding is a good balance of easy, normal and hard (raid finder, normal modes and heroic modes).

I think a lot of people have forgotten (or never known) what the original game was like and have unrealistic expectations of what this game should be. It is easier now that it has ever been in its history and gear is easier to obtain than ever before as well. You can make your character look like virtually anything you want with transmog, you can get your weekly points in any number of different ways and you don't have to spend endless hours playing to have fun. I sincerely hope they keep heroic modes extremely difficult as that is what keeps me going (Firelands was a pleasant surprise even if Ryolith was awful). It's not perfect, but nothing is. I have yet to find an Online RPG besides WoW that has ever been as fun over this long a period of time since the days of Text Based MUDs and has continued to adapt. I've liked some changes over the years and hated others, but the developers clearly try really hard to please as many people as possible.

I may edit this later with my impressions on raids, scenarios and challenge mode dungeons...
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32 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Something new but then again just more of the same., January 4, 2013
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
I put off reviewing World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria because I wanted to thoroughly play the game first. Wait for the "It's new give it time" people to fizzle out and the game to progress naturally. Now without any excuses you can truly see just how good this game is or isn't.

I will say that I'm not going to go into a reminiscing of the older days of WoW,I'm not going to talk about how outdated the game looks, I'm not going to talk about lacking the population is or any of that. I'm just going to talk about the game.

My first impressions of MOP was a new class but is it even worth it this late in the games life? Well for starters lets just get the concept of WoW. With each new expansion (excluding WOTLK)there's usually a new race/class to try that you start off with from Level 1. As always with each expansion there are 5-10 levels you need to reach to achieve the games new top level before you even matter to anyone and can join in on the other "fun" such as raiding,pvp etc. etc. Now with MOP the new level cap is 90! and you start off with a Pandarian at level 1. Now lets give that a thought. From levels 1-90 you have to re-experience all the game content you've been playing through for the past 6-7 years. After you clear the new starting ares of course, it's back to kill this and collect that been there done that. That might be okay for those fondly in love with the game but for others it gets tiring and repetitive.

The new class has new abilities, they look very interesting but that's the most I can say before I lost interest in the game as I was leveling. The game world as it is now in WoW just isn't a fun atmosphere to play in. Most of the games MMO mentality has changed into SPO (Single Player Online). Most people just quest alone in empty zones. Chat is nothing more than a messaging system to break through the mundanes of the game. The later expansions like WOTLK,Cataclysm,and MOP all tried to add something new to revive the game like interactive quests,altering the old world,new zones, better storyline, etc. etc. but the problem is that it's not new enough and the experience is short lived.

It's like a fresh new idea mixed in with an old idea. So while one part of the game might be new or fun everything surrounding it is old and tiresome and unfortunately if you plan on getting anywhere in the game you will have to go through the old and tiresome as well. The thing I always felt about wow expansions is that they are short lived. You don't explore a new world or universe from level 1-max. You just explore a small area for 5-10 levels or so and it's not enough to really impact the game.

The Burning Crusade did well because it was an entirely new universe to explore that was huge and full of new areas and content to explore. Everything else since than has just seemed like just an island or zone.
MOP is no exception to that. You only acknowledge the expansion when you have a reason to be in Pandaria or see a Pandarian in town. Other than that it's just a far off place that doesn't effect the rest of the game until you have a reason to go there.

Pandaria from what I experienced so far is the same Warcraft quality that they put into the starting zones. You Start out with a sense of RPG by following a story line and learning your character and after level 20 all that is forgotten. But, to be 100% honest when I played the Pandarian starter questline I was more reminded of Guild Wars Factions. It's hard to ignore the entire Temple and Asian culture them when Guild Wars Factions is an entire Game Expansion from level 1-Max with a complete new world and story to follow centered around Asian culture. That was the first time I saw something like that adapted into an MMOish styled game and that was about 5 years ago. MOP didn't blow me away because of that reason and I wasn't impressed with it because of that reason. It is as always charming in the way of Warcraft's cartoonish style. It's fun but very limited when you leave Pandaria to venture out into the world to quests in the zones that you are already tired to death of.

Since this is also a part of the game I will review it as well, and that's the current status of the games culture. Like Warcraft has always been it's a game about keeping up with Jones. Having this achieving that, etc. etc. is all this game is about. There are Many new mounts, achievements, random weapons and armor etc. etc. to keep people that enjoy that aspect of the game quite pleased. If you like collected and leveling up characters there is now more stuff than ever implemented into the game. If you are not the type of person to chase the dangling carrot there isn't much in the game to offer outside of a fun gaming social experience. The unfortunate part is that Guilds used to be the foundation of the game social experience but now that are more meaningless than ever since guild achievements were introduced. Now you can expect to have random people spam invite you into their guild with 500-900+ people for the sake of earning points,money, and achievements alone. The rewards and perks have cheapened the guild experience substantially. You will actually have to "work" to find a true guild or start your own. Just be aware that now Guilds are ranked and having a low rank might turn off people from joining (isn't that nice).

Additional changes after MOP also include Talent and Skill class changes for the 1,141,241,434,934th time. This time the skill sets are stretched out. Some of your favorites have been re arranged so you access certain skills you received sooner much later. You can also customize your skills a bit more by choosing skills that were role specific. There is more customization now to skill sets but, That also means you will have to pay each time you wish to fool around with them.

I just note that money is important to have in this game as you'll need it for armor repairs,changing your skill sets etc. etc. Having money is no problem for people who live in the game 24/7 but if your a casual player or someone coming back after a long time it will be a problem until you divulge the same time into the game farming money. Despite the fact that this is an MMO I dislike the idea of a game feeling like "work". Blizzard looks to improve the game to make it more fun and more accessible but still throws in their pitfalls. There is no casual way to play the game. It eats time and it is indeed a time waster. Nothing in the game is programmed to be achieved without wasting it, and that's truly what the game feels like now. WoW:MOP feels like a new waste of time. It's just an extension on the games already thinning hour glass.

It's 10% new and 90% old. If you have the time to spend releveling characters,farming for gold and items, or continuing to chase the carrot on the stick than you won't see MOP as a problem. If you have however matured in your preference of MMO's from just collecting weapons and armor to actually wanting an engaging story line and plot than you might want to try something else. At this point in WoW's history it's cards are on the table. It's as good as it's going to get and it will always be what it is. You'll either love it if this is why you play WoW, or hate it if you were already tired of doing the same redundant tasks.

Overall WOW:MOP is a 2/5 game. Not nearly new enough to be impressed by it.

Also, I forgot to talk about the new end level content of the MOP expansion. More dailies and more quest to get items like mounts. That's pretty much it. The game has changed a lot almost completely from the way it was 6-7 years ago in regards to how you level,quest, and build your character. It's been made to be a lot more simplistic and there isn't anything technical about the game anymore.

You spend time doing quest,doing rated BG's,or raiding through the now convenient "dungeon finder". If you have the time to spend you will do well in the game that is all that it requires at this point. It's made so anyone child or adult can play it. That's not necessarily a problem if you're looking for a simple and light game to get into. It's one of the reasons Warcraft was so successful but it's a turnoff for those looking for something more challenging.

Guildwars the original is what I left WoW for some years ago as my man MMO/online RPG experience. I left because it was a more technical game with a heavy focus on story/PVE. Guildwars 2 which is what I play now has the PVE but I also noticed that it's more simplistic than the previous version in how you level and build your character. I suppose that is the current trend for MMO's now.

Beyond doing what you've been doing the new MOP expansion doesn't add anything outside of what you're already familiar with when it comes down to WoW. It's just now in a more simpler form. The best part of the current game are the "merged" realms where zones are now like BG's where you play along side people from other servers. It makes the game feel full again in certain areas and that is nice, dungeon finder is also on the same level.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed, GAME CODE ripped off, December 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
I thought I was buying this game new. I received the game but the product code to use the CD was torn off the CD cover which made this product unusable. This was a Christmas Gift to my son. I ended up having to order it directed from World of Warcraft so my son wouldn't have to wait.
I'll just stick to ordering my kindle books only from now on.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WoW is dead., December 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
I've been playing since Vanilla WoW. I must say, I miss the original more than anything. It just isn't as rich in quality as it once was. So long, WoW.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same routine, December 12, 2012
Roberto Andino (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Certainly this is better than cataclysm, but if you came from Vanilla or Burning Crusade you probably are burned of doing the same thing, basically get to level 90, max professions, 2 weeks of heroics, then raid until another patch comes live, but with Pandaria they add something terrible you gotta do over 9000 daily quest... you'll be so burned that you don't even want to think leveling an alt and doing over 9000 dailies again.

Now I have to say as well that the new continent is beautiful, it feels fresh and new and the landscape is awesome, new race and class sorta breaths new life in the game too, but like I said being playing since vanilla days you will burn out quickly.

Still this is a good expansion overall.

Well thats about the game, if you are like me and have purchase all the previous collector edition of World Of Warcraft then there's nothing new to see... bookart, mousepad, dvd version of the game, cd soundtrack and behind the scenes... not even a deck from the trading card game, no loot card and NOTHING else, not even a small panda statue, even Star Wars the Old Republic collector edition have a damn statue, blizzard fail big this time.
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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Review of a player who is done after nearly a decade of devotion, February 6, 2013
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
A number of important things to understand about the current state of WoW:

-Beginning with the last expansion pack (Cataclysm) the games quality took a MAJOR nosedive. What I mean is, the expansions themselves became half the size of their predecessors, allowing players only 5 instead of 10 more levels and accelerating the rate of content releases to negate the fact that players would plow through things twice as fast now and start complaining about nothing to do. This issue has doubled down in Mists of Pandaria and now the cut scenes look so stupid you'd think they belong in a kids movie done by pixar. Lots of fast, cheap, easy content and no more of the time and effort based content. In the minds of most players, the Lich King(final boss of Wrath of the Lich King, lvl 80 expansion) is still a bigger boss than Deathwing, the final boss in the Cataclysm lvl 85 expansion that came after it. Why? Because the Lich king took time and effort, the dungeon was gorgeous and clearly took effort to produce. None of that exists anymore. Just more content for the wood chipper. Most dedicated raiders only play WoW after new content addition now, unsubscribing once they plow through it in just a couple weeks time and run out of stuff to do again.

-It is still rated T for Teen but the atmosphere of the game has deteriorated to E for Everyone at best. It's goofy, it's cartoony, and it's borderline racist with all the Asian-blend themes. The one thousandth time you hear a squinty panda NPC with a straw hat say "White Tiger watch over you", in a painfully Asian accent it starts to get old.

-This game has largely become about the plethora of distractions available, and not about the combat or games actual mechanics, which are largely left on the proverbial back-burner while they focus more efforts on their pokemon-style pet battle system or improve their new Farmville-style mechanic. Yes you get a farm to tend to and grow crops for cooking and trading/selling in Mists of Pandaria. No I am not joking. Sadly.

-PvP has gotten so far out of hand that to join in anywhere in the game but at the launch of new expansion pack is basically a wasted effort. Ranked arena/battlegrounds belong to those who were prepared at the beginning and got that early head start. The next patch claims to address these issues, but the notes themselves translate into something more like an even bigger clusterf__k than exists in-game now.

-PvE content at the lowest level ('Looking for Raid' group-finder tool)has painfully broken mechanics for a number of classes. Players being rewarded loot that they can't use or already have left and right, and nothing but negligence from Blizzard who has yet to even admit that there is a problem much less address it. The raids themselves are about as unoriginal and repetitive as raids get. Theres a definitive lack or originality in the content and now all faction reputations are based off of daily quest grinds, meaning if you want exalted, you now get to do a plethora of daily quests every day. This was so repetitive that they had to go back and implement an item you can purchase when your half way done grinding (revered level) that will double the reputation reward for quests for the last half of reputation you'll still need to grind out with daily quests.

In general, as someone who played this game during its initial release, before any expansion packs came out and through each expansion pack that did come out, I can say that there is an unmistakable loss of quality in the game in the last expansion pack before MOP, and more than doubly so in MOP. I mean, watching the initial cinematic for WoW then watching the new MoP cinematic, it's almost not the same game. Die hard players of the game almost want to weep for what Blizzard has done to the gem that WoW once was. It's on Par with what Lucas/Spielberg did to Indiana Jones with the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It really has become the unilateral rape of a once good and respectable game and franchise.

WoW is now just a cash cow for Blizzard to rake in monthly sub fees through. It's not in...any...not in even the slightest notion worth paying such a monthly fee for. It's so far from original that the entire expansion borders on racist and shallow themes and the entire motivational direction of Blizzard seems to amount to presenting the players with more distracting nonsense that gets old in 5 minutes instead of correcting the mess no one asked them to make.

It's all just band-aids for bullet wounds now. They're constantly trying to patch up whatever wound is hemorrhaging the most players this patch but they have come to the point where there game delivers about as well as a submarine with screen doors. They hide behind patches full of half-assed content so no one stops to point out what a bad job they have done with the actual, core aspects of the game like combat mechanics. Except everyone is complaining anyway.

God, another important and frustrating thing. For like the last 3 expansions WoW has completely rewritten the entire player talent-trees and the way stat points are allocated. By now..It's such a tragic mess. there's no more talent trees and everything is such an imbalanced mess that entire classes have their entire rotations and specs completely rewritten with each new patch and the new abilities they added in MOP...just.. if you thought they half-assed cataclysm's new abilities for classes, you haven't seen nothin yet. Seriously. They shouldn't have even bothered. Every class I used to enjoy has been rewritten with rotations or mechanics that completely kill anything I enjoyed about them.

I've played a lot of MMORPGS over the years. WoW meant the most to me out of all of them, without a shadow of a doubt. But the current state of the game all but spells out that their current goal is to milk the cash cow for all it is worth while Blizzard and Activision put all of their attention and resources into their new 'Project Titan', which I rather suspect will not even make ripples compared to the waves WoW made when it splash landed on the market. Simply because Blizzard has lost so much credibility that much of it's player base no longer feels any loyalty to them as a company and will instantly abandon them as soon as something as addictive as the old WoW presents itself through a new company somewhere else.

If you're looking for an MMO that'll be worth your time, you may be waiting for Elder Scrolls Online. More of the generic medieval MMO business, but the company in charge of that has a slightly better reputation than Blizzard has had in recent years when it comes to player attentiveness and making games that please more people than they upset. Beyond that, Guild Wars 2 is semi new, due for new content at the end of February and free to play.

Another option is The Secret World, Funcom is restructuring so the game has been a bit slow on new content and pvp is in the throws of a massive overhaul, next patch is slated to further that agenda considerably..But most attractive about this game is that its an MMO with zombies, werewolves, a mature rating, dark creepyness and no subscription fee. The monologues in this game are unparalleled in even Hollywood these days. Personally this is where my devotion has been lately as even with the occasional glitches and the pvp imbalances that exist in game at the moment, The Secret World just ooooozes originality and innovative gameplay. There's more originality per sq foot in that game than there is in the last 2 WoW expansion packs combined. You get guns, magic, melee weapons, auxiliary weapons like a chainsaw or rocket launcher (soon the whip once the next content patch is out).

There's also Star Wars: The Old Republic which, if i have anything to say about, it is that they deserve an award for their 'Huttball' pvp mode. There is nothing like it in any other game, and the pve content is quite a bit of fun, so if you want to play a Republic trooper, a bounty hunter a jedi or a sith (single blade, dual weild, double blade) you may want to give that game a go.

TERA Online just went free to play as well. If you want a very visually pretty game with lots of elves that have just the most...massive, gorgeous, gravity-defying boobs ever. But hey, it's a South Korean MMO, what do you expect? Have you seen anime? Decent game though, unique and fun combat.

All good things, all without a monthly subscription.

Point in case:
WoW is dead, and they're still charging you by the month for it after buying the game and all 4 expansion packs for it. I suggest saving your monthly sub fee and getting a different MMO. There is nothing but wasted time and money to be had in Pandaria and they are so busy covering up their failures with new content that it's a waste of time to bother putting in any effort at all. The next expansion pack will probably even be released this year if not very early 2014.

Sorry to go on so long.. I know it was really long, but there is a LOT to take into consideration before shelling out for a game, 4 expansions for it, and a $15 monthly fee.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars i miss the old wow/blizz..., August 6, 2013
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
why i do not like world of warcraft anymore?

1)it has a hefty subscription fee. why pay its subscription fees when there are better games (secret world, guild wars 2, star wars:the old republic, etc) out there that do not charge them?

2)too many rude players in it (see the other reviews here for more details about them); and, frankly speaking, i am playing the game to enjoy it MYSELF, not to let other strangers determine to me how much i can enjoy it

3)talents,skills, and special moves for all classes change all the time! and i am not interested in getting used to a different playing/fighting style every month(a VERY BAD idea in pvp's and to welcome wow's old players again-especially after a long absence)

4)back in the GOOD OLD DAYS of the burning crusade, i fell in love with the sword "Blazefury" and actually DUAL-wielded it!! (any WOW-er KNOWS what hell i have been through to make them); they took me -if my memory serves me well- around TWO months to make them. soon after that, WOTLK comes out and i see players only four levels over me or so wielding weapons that are stronger than mine and were acquired in maybe a week or so. Tell me Blizz, what the heck are you thinking? Is that fair?

5)VERY shallow storyline (other online games like the secret world will prove that to you), and the only thing you can do after you hit the max. level is to grind and fight with other rude players over new gear; no new twists to the storyline(s) of the game and no other bonuses offered by it exist (like extra talent points for example-blizz, you come up with new stuff, not I, be creative)

to put my comments in perspective here, compare today's MOP and Diablo 3 with a blizzard classic such as, let us say, warcraft 3: reign of chaos for example; and see for yourself how QUALITY videogame-making concepts in blizzard's games such as the depth of the game's storyline, immersive (and yet) NON-grinding gameplay, HONORABLE [after the initial purchase of course] non-payment requirements to play further, and attachment to the game's characters have, sadly, deteriorated and became a thing of the past now...

in conclusion,wow now has 6.8 million players as of June 2014,the lowest number in over seven years.
enough said...

statista . com/statistics/208146/number-of-subscribers-of-world-of-warcraft/
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ... is that this is by far one of the worst choices you could make in gaming right now, September 17, 2014
This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac (DVD-ROM)
My opinion is that this is by far one of the worst choices you could make in gaming right now. The next expansion pack Warlords of Draenor will not change the worst parts of this game, because it's the newest additions and some of the stuff that has been around for years that is bad.

Definitely give it a try if you are that curious about the game, but not trying the much much much newer games and the games that you do not have to pay a monthly fee for first would not be too smart in my opinion. Seems like many more people play the free to play anyways and more friendly too.

Only reason Warcraft even seems to have any people playing anymore is because they merge servers. No longer in the hundreds when looking around at the players during peak hours in a main cities more like in the 10's. Giving you people that barely interact with anybody but guild members and people you cannot help really in any way. Even things like giving someone a simple buff or trading them a recipe or gear that you do no need is all gone.

I will put it to you this way. I am so disappointed in this game as a whole, including the very boring end game grinds, that I am going to turn off my PC and go purchase a PS4 and Destiny right now because I need to play something I know will be good. If I played anything even remotely bad right now I would probably quit gaming because of my experience returning to Warcraft the past couple months. The game is nothing like how it was when it was released and into the first expansion.

Warlords of Draenor will be the first Warcraft I do not purchase since Warcraft III. I hope Blizzard's next game makes us all forget what happened to one of the greatest games of all time.

My advice, maybe pick up your phone and download the most popular game, its cheaper and might give you about the same level of amusement.
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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC/Mac by Blizzard Entertainment (Mac, Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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