Panda Beta Initial Thoughts
Last night I finished off the Panda starting area on the Beta. When it was all done, my baby monk dinged level 12. As I was playing through the area, I had a few opinions about the area.
- Nice revision to the character creation UI. It's nice being able to see options for hair, skin, etc. before you apply it to your character. "Ooo, I like how that face has the stripe across the eye.". I wasn't absolutely thrilled on the Orc faces (grumpy, dopey, sleepy... ). Little deceptive, ATM, because picking a race/class, shows mid-level tier gear, then swaps to level 1 gear once you select the class/level. Playing my warlock, I never (don't remember) running at any-time with a staff with a felhound head on it. Of course, Elk never raided in TBC.
- The leveling went REALLY quick. I went from 0 to 12 in about 4 hours played. Truth be told, I hate leveling and this was (IMHO) a nice speed. Even without the aide of BOA gear, I am able to delve into BGs and start playing with specializations before finishing the zone. In addition, if I really needed to get all the way to 90!!, passing through the 'training' levels quickly will make it that much more pleasant.
- Some humor was a bit off color. What's really stuck with me is a segment with the monkeys. They're bad monkeys, and they vandalized Panda's propaganda. You destroy the monkey's flag, but it's read to you at that time. "poo is not to be eaten", "mouth only hole for banana", etc.. IMHO, this seemed (a bit) offensive. Sure it's got a 'crude humor' warning on the box (and this is Beta), I know...
- Mixed use of phasing - There were phased portions, like escort quests and there were non-phased, grind, quests. In the beta with only a few dozen people in the area, killing 10 monsters wasn't THAT bad, but... I was really hoping to not have to. I didn't have to wait for my escort to appear, but I did have to wait for the other guy to kill the guardian spirit (maybe that was a beta bug).
- Oh, that's a vehicle? There was a section where you need to jump on pillars using the vehicle mechanic. Hop to next pillar as by selecting the next vehicle. This created some nice changes to the standard game play.
- Garrosh made me want to go Alliance. When you finally make it to Orgrimmar and swear your allegiance to the Horde, Garrosh is down right nasty. "If you see your dirty alliance brethren, kill them. Don't feel any sympathy, they made the wrong choice, blah blah blah." Oops! Sorry Garrosh, I meant to go Alliance.. They're definitely laying the ground-work for us to kill him at the end of MoP. Felt more welcomed as a DK.