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Thoughts on the New Expansion by Paragon, Ensidia and For the Horde

Article originally posted on Manaflask

After yesterday's reveal of the talent revamp there has been a lot of discussion over whether it's a good thing for the game and whether it will even work properly, so we contacted Ensidia, Paragon and For the Horde to just quickly see what they thought about the whole thing, and a little about the expansion news so far in general. As you can imagine there were some pretty strong opinions to be found, since this changes the game fairly fundamentally.

Arx

People are a bit concerned that the next launch will be a replay of the Cataclysm launch tier, which took a brutal 11 months of non-stop gaming even for the fastest guilds. How it ends up being depends largely on when the heroic modes end up being available, whether progression is linear or not, and how the encounters themselves are tuned.

We'd like to see perhaps a very slight delay (one week?) in the opening of heroic modes, which helps an awful lot with the gear deficit you have in the first raid. Linearity in the instances would also help, since you can focus and plan better with a clear progression path than with multiple choices.

The new talent system has good potential for forcing real choices, not just meaningless ones, as happens in most talent trees right now -- I like it.

Hiski

Too little to customize, too much is baseline


Lappé

Better than the current one, at least as an idea, but it needs a good implementation


Rinku

Very interesting, the most interesting thing revealed so far during Blizzcon


Tuutti

Going to be interesting to see how they are going to balance a system like that



Caleb

I'd like to mostly say a few words about these challenge modes. I feel like this is not going to be what they want it to be. It is just going to be mindless class stacking. If the leaderboards can not be filtered based on class or role then there is very little point to it, because for each challenge the top spots will be taken by a team that consists of the currently most "overpowered" class. Also the sense of competition will only last till the point where people start to find shortcuts, exploits, bugs. They abuse them, get some ridiculously good time, and Blizzard will not have the resources or will to take action on these abuses.
On another note, beer drinking pandas are totally fine by me.

Ekyu

Recently I was thinking that compared to back in the day I had less options on how to spec my character and less talents to play with. Yesterday was a big slap in my face to remind me that they aren't done dumbing down the game yet. I don't mind the pandas, though making an expansion over a joke seems absurd / not serious.

Too many bosses yet again for the first tier, doesn't speak good for what's going to be left of the PvE after Dragon Soul. They said they were tired of bashing villains but that has been so far the essence of their game and it's PvE (considering that the PvP part of the game is awful and doesn't even deserve to be called so), and they still have plenty of stories to tell lore wise that could make for more interesting boss fights.

The pokemon pets thing is a giant joke.
Overall after the first day of presentation I expected them to cloture on something along the lines of "trolled lol".

Mancy

Apparently they forgot how they themselves said that the first tier of Cataclysm had too many bosses and took too long. According to them, boss number is based on assigning enough loot and not taking them too much time to release the patch, no one cares how much it takes hardcore raiders to clear the instance it seems like.
Also, every single thing they said yesterday sounded absolutely horrible to me.

Attero

While the Pandattero in me wants to roam the world of Pokémon and catch 'em all, the raider and online player in me wanted to believe that this was just a bit more serious that that. I guess not.
Some of the others seem to worry about having too many bosses, well, after hearing an Q&A Panel comment that "it was probably overtuned to begin with" on the smouldering pile of disappointment that once was Firelands, I believe that having too much to do as a hardcore raider is the least of your concerns.

Ascar

Pandas, how cool is that? After running months with my Pandarian Monk companion I finally get my own little playable Kung-Fu Panda Monk, yay!

About the talent changes, I like the way they want talents to work, it's more individual and fun than the actual "cookie cutter" builds are. On the other hand, regarding the DK talents, I'm disappointed, they also seem to be cookie cutter choices for your role (dps/tank/pvp) and therefore they didn't actually achieve their goal. The only thing I really like is having Runic Corruption available with every spec and by that skipping the annoying RE RNG. Anyway, I think if it's going to end up well, depends on how they design the Specialization tab we couldn't see yet.

Chainfire

I am beyond disappointed at their plans for the next expansion. Every change looks to be targeted towards the pop-culture generation and reeks of desperation from Blizzard. Adding what is essentially Pokemon as a mini-game as well as catering for silly 3-5 man "kill xx mobs" challenges shows how far blizzard have deviated from their roots of huge multiplayer raiding for organised guilds. Compare the Mists of Pandaria trailer to the Cataclysm one and you'll see what I mean.

Changing the talent system to remove "cookie cutter builds" is retarded, Wow is a computer game and there will always be optimal builds, it's unavoidable.
A friend told me this: "I AM sure we'll see some players LEAVING over these changes; I for one am undecided, but I'm fairly certain this will cause a RIFT in the playerbase." And I agree with him.

They promised us old-gods and delivered us plushie-toys. Wow dies with Deathwing.

Deify

A new era is on the horizon, where WoW will be accessible for 6 yearolds. On the plus side there will be more recruits - capped at 12 years old tops.


Cynixia

I'm really looking forward to the new class and its playstyle, and the Pandas are also a good addition. The new talent system looks very promising, but it still has to be worked on a bit for certain classes. I'll use the warrior as an example: Death Wish is just a poor man's Berserker Rage that does the same thing only with a higher CD and higer damage taken. And I have some doubts about how much creativity there will be in the PvP specs.
The fact that I can choose my own faction with the Pandaren sounds really interesting.
So all in all it sounds pretty interesting, just needs some fine tuning in certain areas.

Depression

The atmosphere in Mists of Pandaria reminds me most of Guildwars, which I really like and so this is one of the things I'm most looking forward to. And I also think Pandas are great! I'm also particularly looking forward to the new talent system.
Pokémon in WoW is a completely stupid idea and I really think they shouldn't put it in.
And also: "Hey, is that warrior really using Ashkhandi as a throwing weapon?!", some changes are really a bit weird.
I hope Mists of Pandaria surprises me in a good way, don't have any great expectations for it.

Konion

I'm disappointed with the new class, I expected something more interesting, and the Monk is yet another melee class... Pandaren are kinda fun. What I'm really looking forward to is the new talent system, I think you'll have to respec everything at certain bosses, and I also think the system will offer much more individuality.
I hope the PvE Scenarios don't end up being just group quests, but more like actual campaigns.
The pet battle system doesn't interest me at all, sounds just ridiculous.
As far as raids go, I think it's too bad they aren't changing anything about the 10/25 man system.

Leeds

The Panda theme sits pretty well with me, I'm already looking forward to playing one and roleplaying in Chinatown.
The complete revamp of the talent tree is a good idea and I think it will change the game a lot and make it more interesting. I hope they add some more talents that are useful in specific encounters and for specific roles, and so have to be chosen carefully. For instance, it would be great if each class had to choose between an AoE or single target damage or healing cooldown. The choice between Bladestorm and Deathwish comes to mind here, so that you have to weigh what to take and what's worth it more. I also think a lot of these choices are focused too much on things like self healing that simply won't affect your gameplay much at all.
It would be cool if you could play encounters in a completely differnt way if you speced a "crazy" build, and could even make that crazy spec be better than then purely math-optimal a-la EJ one through skilled play and combination.

Class balance will be really difficult after all these changes and the new class, and I hope it works out at least to some degree.
The fact that Blizzard is focusing more on engame content is great and makes a lot of sense, and I hope that the raids come out well most of all.

Things like the pet battles, Blizzard Dota and PvE BGs aren't really my thing and I'll check them out eventually, but I definitely want to have a Gold medal from every instance! We shouldn't get upset about these new changes so much, we have to remember that WoW isn't just for the raiders and PvPers out there, but is supposed to be fun for both young and old.

I'm looking forward to the new expansion and hope that everything to do with the endgame/raidcontent doesn't suffer because of all the new gimmicks being introduced.

Mogi

My excitement for the new expansion knows no bounds right now. As people that watched my stream know, I find the fireworks of new changes really good. Or at least very interesting, I don't want to make it sound like everything is going to be great and awesome, but there are many new things coming to WoW. I'm most looking forward to the new talent system. Each boss could mean a new and different talent setup, and this should really bring in some variety in raids.
There is one thing that is completely unacceptable, though... Palas can't be Pandas!