I recently got an invitation to the “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Beta,” and it wasn’t nearly as “kiddy” or “girly” as a lot of people were trying to make it out to be. There is far too much alcohol involved for this to be a Disney movie.
The starting area does feel like what people think ancient China looked like, and there is a fair amount of mysticism involved, as well as monks. Monks are everywhere in the starting zone. Not only are the monks players, but also they are the computer-controlled characters — the characters you had to fight. Almost everything involved in the starting area involves monks.
The quests involve food, thieves, weapons, fighting, training and four elemental spirits.
Getting anything done with the collection is painful, as there are about 500 people in any new area at any given time, or what feels like it. That causes a bit of a problem sometimes, as the more players there are in any given area, the higher the rate at which the server creates creatures.
Given that, the number of players now is quite a bit higher than it was say, three months into the new expansion once released. The rate will go down by what seems like three-fourths of current, and will seem like a crawl at times.
Generally, the quests aren’t too terribly difficult as long as they involve killing monsters for quest items, though one or two of them take a while per spawn, and a lot of people won’t quest up for you. I suggest ambushing them with invites so they are either going to join up with you for the quest, or distracted by screens popping up.
I suggest asking for groups before slinging invites at them. Most of the quests aren’t that bad though.
The only problem I’ve come across so far are groups of reeds you need to collect. I could only find one that actually worked, and had to sit and wait for it to re-appear eight times. I’m not too concerned with the issues in gameplay, as beta testing is used for testing purposes. Everything will be better by the time the game is for sale.
Questing aside, the game is really fun from the start of the area, but I was unable to get much further than that due to various reasons.
Overall, if you were expecting the game to be more like “Kung Fu Panda,” you probably won’t be too disappointed, though I noticed more of “Mulan” in there — with less singing, of course.
I want them to hurry up and put in pet combat. “Pokemon” in my “World of Warcraft”? Hell yes.
To contact Robert Bolton, email email@example.com.