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Customer Review

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the pandas fool you, October 29, 2012
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This review is from: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - Collector's Edition (Video Game)
I am a long-time WoW player, having been given the very first game as a gift right after the launch. I was given the collector's edition by my friend, and have purchased all of them that way because I like to have matching sets. I am NOT however obsessed with this game, as I actually took the last year and a half off from it because MMOs have become somewhat tiresome to me, and I doubt I'll ever return to raiding.

One important note is that I have only played WoW extensively, and Warcraft III somewhat sparingly; that is, most of the way through the campaign until something else came along and distracted me. That said, I had no idea about the whole Pandaria thing that I guess comes from WC2, until people in my guild explained it to me. I was actually going to skip this expansion because I didn't know or care much about the lore behind it, but my guild-mates showed me enough content through trailers, Beta videos and screencaps that I decided to give it a shot.

Make no mistake, this is still World Of Warcraft. The gameplay mechanics have been altered somewhat, mostly through the reduction and refinement of talents per class. That was actually fine with me because I am back in school and super busy, so I haven't had time to do any research on classes and just mostly play the way I used to when I hit 85 in Cataclysm. I do like the return to forced-ground exploration, as I never felt like I did as much of that with the Cataclysm revamp. I'm sure there are lots of smaller changes I haven't discovered yet but mostly it feels like the same game.

However. The landscapes so fare in the first zone I have explored are gorgeous, even with the 'dated' graphics. Blizzard really went all out on design with many vistas that would look perfectly normal in Asian art displays. Building design, environment, and also quest-related animations are very impressive. I am fascinated with Asian art & culture, which was really the big attraction for me with this expansion, and I have not been disappointed. The storylines I've encountered thus far are very engaging, and in fact one made me tear up a little due to the emotion of it, yet I have not even hit level 87 yet so I am sure there is lots more for me to discover. The writing and character depth have really redeemed this 'silly' expansion for me.

As for the collector's edition, for the most part it is very nice, just like all the other ones. I like the art book a lot more than the one from The Burning Crusade, again because I love Asian cultures and it is beautiful. I have not yet had time to watch the DVD or listen to the soundtrack, although the music I've heard in game was quite lovely. From what I remember of Cataclysm's music, I turned it off and didn't miss it, but that hasn't happened with this expansion.

One thing that does annoy me however is that there is no cloth map. I don't remember if there was one with Cataclysm or WOTLK, but I am pretty sure at least two of these CEs had them and I really liked the addition. I'm fine without the card game card packs, since I never played it and basically just left them in the box, but the map or something else would have been nice, especially since the price on these things has been creeping up over the years. This was $80 when I bought it, and I distinctly remember that WOTL was $70, so higher price for fewer collectibles is a bit off-putting.

Bottom line is, I didn't care about the Pandaria lore and frankly thought I was burned out from WoW in general, but I'm enjoying my time in the leveling zones. Once I feel I am done with at least a majority of the lore, I will probably quit again since daily quests bore me to tears after a few times, but I am glad I bought this and wish I had more time to play it. Being back in real-time with my guild members is especially nice, since I've been playing with them for six years now and some are like family.

So if you are on the fence, don't look at it from a WoW-fan perspective, think of it as a way to reconnect with old friends for a while, and see some new lands while you're at it. The pandas are far less silly than I thought they would be.
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