Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hopes for Mists of Pandaria Expansion

I've talked about what I thought about the Cataclysm expansion. I've planned what I'd like to get done before Mists. Here is what I hope to see in Mists of Pandaria.

I am, as usual, excited about all the new things for Pandaria. I have quite deliberately kept away from any sort of story spoiler. Yes, I know there will be Pandaren and Monks, and there is a new continent called Pandaria, and Garrosh is the end boss, but that's all I know. In fact, I have instituted a No Spoilers rule in guild chat and on our vent server. People who start to say something I think might be a spoiler get the same noise that I use when the dogs or cats are misbehaving. I have not tried the beta at all. And I've pretty much entirely stopped reading WoW Insider, except for the Drama Mamas.

New Stories

I am looking forward to the new dungeons and raids. I hope that the heroic dungeons are kept challenging, at least to start. It was awesomely fun to fight through the heroic dungeons for the first time in Cata. The group was really challenged to do their best tanking/dps/healing, and I hope we get that same experience at the start of Mists. I love fighting my way to the end of a instance and getting to see all the cool stuff that happens along the way.

The new story for Pandaria should also be quite exciting. I like reading quest text and seeing what all the NPCs have to say. I really enjoy video games as a method of storytelling, and I'm looking forward to the next Warcraft installment. I really, really hope that the way the story develops isn't dumb with respect to how Garrosh gets taken down. And I hope that the way that Pandas are available for both Horde and Alliance is dealt with delicately as well.


I'm also hoping that Mists raids don't have melee vs ranged damage requirements. In Dragon Soul there are two fights where you absolutely cannot succeed unless you have fewer or even numbers of melee compared to ranged. The rest of the fights are merely harder if you have too many melee. I'm currently having to juggle people so that we don't have too many melee dps. And adding another melee spec isn't going to help that. Currently it's never a problem if there are too many ranged, just have one of them stand in melee range or target the usual melee target. But it's just not possible for melee classes to stand with the ranged or target the ranged target, if there are separate targets.
    With monks there will be 11 classes, with 34 different talent specs (since druids will get 4)
  • tank specs: 5 (blood DK, prot Pally, prot Warrior, bear Druid, and new tank Monk)
  • healer specs: 6 (holy Pally, resto Shaman, resto Druid, holy and disc Priest, and new healer Monk)
  • ranged specs: 12 (ele Shaman, 3xHunter, balance Druid, 3xMage, 3xWarlock, shadow Priest)
  • melee specs: 11 (ret Pally, 2xWarrior, 2xDK, enhance Shaman, cat Druid, 3xRogue, new dps Monk)
Monk adds 1 to each of tank, melee and healer. Granted there are, and will be, fewer melee than ranged specs but my anecdotal evidence comes down on the side of there continuing to be more melee dps available. I'm guessing that has some sort of relation to the number of pure dps specs, but that speculation is outside the scope of this post.

Death Knights

I have not been actively avoiding DK talent and skill information, but I'm not yet doing any research. Honestly I think it's still a bit early, and besides I'm busy having fun with my current WoW playing. There is no reason to rush off to the next expansion yet.

That said, I'm a bit worried about Blood DKs. We're in a good spot now at the end of Cata, and I'm worried that will not continue into Mists. There are things I would change, but I like our Death Strike/Mastery mechanic. I hope that in Mists that doesn't get messed up or overly needlessly complicated.

One good thing about the new Monk class, with respect to DKs, is that it'll be the new class on the block. I'm sure it'll start out just as ridiculously OP as DKs were in early Wrath. But maybe, just maybe, all the faddish people will reroll Monk and abandon their DKs. Hopefully most of the dumbest DKs will swap to Monk and then those of us who are competent will get less crap just for being DKs.

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