Of all the MMOs I’ve dedicated time to over the years, WoW has not been one of them. Let me clarify: I did play Vanilla WoW right after launch for about a month. I don’t remember a whole lot other than I rolled a rogue, druid and hunter, and they were mostly all night elves. I remember fishing. A lot. I really enjoyed the fishing.
I don’t recall that I disliked the game. But I also don’t recall that I was swept away by it. That might be because I had just played EQ2 prior to trying WoW. In fact, I think I dropped my EQ2 sub to try WoW at my sister’s prodding. I don’t remember why I drifted away from both games in the end, but I did.
Here’s a secret: I’ve actually been proud that I am not a WoW player. I know that sounds silly. And it is. I mean, I don’t hold anything against WoW. It obviously must be doing something right to have so many subscribers. Maybe I just thought that set me apart from folks that seem to get caught up in WoW time and again.
I guess I always had it in my head that WoW wasn’t for me, despite me being an ultimate casual. When I think of WoW, I think of those crazy “More Dots” raiding groups. You know like…
However, I’ve been hearing so many good things about the new expansion, and that’s really impressive for a game of its age. After some time thinking about it, I decided to download the free trial, which now includes the MoP expansion, which was a big draw to me.
Go ahead. Point and laugh. I think the Pandas are cute, and that’s what I rolled. I also considered rolling a Worgen, but there was just a lot more Panda customization, and that drew me to my new monk. I might try a Worgen later because I like the idea of Worgen Death Knight.
WoW Noob Impressions
So, I’m pretty much a total noob to WoW. I’m not actually sure I should even try to play a brand new character from scratch at this point in the game’s development. But I figured, I might as well try the game and see what I think about it, to have that experience under my belt.
I rolled a Panda Monk, Aywren, on the Argent Dawn US server. I wanted an RP server, and AD was a name I remembered from back in the day.
The first thing I noticed was that character customization, compared to other games, is quite low. I’m so used to detailed sliders and such. But that’s fine, as I still created a character that I like to look at.
The second thing I noticed was that the art style of the game has aged quite well! Starting in the Pandaria expansion, I found the visuals to be colorful, vibrant, and smooth. Much smoother than I thought it would be – then again, what I remember was running off a computer 10 years ago.
The Pandas are well animated, and moved fluidly. I don’t know about older zones, but these zones are very pleasing to my eye, and I like the way my character looks. The oriental atmosphere is strong in this zone, and I’ve been surprisingly delighted by the look and feel of everything.
The game holds your hand. A lot. At first, this was great. But I don’t need it to keep reminding me to press “M” for map and press “C” to view the item I just equipt. Overall, the learning curve is low, and I was able to jump into the game without a problem. Just wish the tutorial would teach you how to auto loot – I had to Google that.
The story and quest line has been low-stress so far. I like the NPCs, and I while the story isn’t taking my breath away, some of the quests have delighted me. The world feels much more alive than I remember, seeing NPCs wandering around, some even stopping to acknowledge you as you pass through. There’s a lot of voice acting, which I like. There’s also a lot of Blizzard-brand humor, which I find amusing.
Leveling is moving along at a fair pace. I played a few hours last night, and got to level 6 without trying very hard. Lots of equipment loot from quests is nice, and not a ton of quests throwing “!” in your face all over the place, which is good. Just a nice, streamlined momentum through the area. The quest giver even appears to move through the zone with you so that you don’t have to do the run back to turn in stuff.
I’m interested in what I’ve played so far, and will continue to level and quest through this zone. I have a feeling that I’ll be seeing level 20 sooner than I know what to do with. That’s where the free trial ends.
Interestingly enough, Blizzard has the base WoW game for sale for $4.99 until next Tuesday. I couldn’t have timed a sale better myself. If I still intend to play after this weekend, I’m totally ready to pick up the box and a month’s sub for $4.99 and see where it takes me.
I’ll keep the blog updated with my thoughts and progression!