WoW – 86 of 90 – Jade Forest

I’ve been experiencing a lot of drama at work lately, so vegging out with WoW has been pretty awesome. By the time I get home I’m not in any mood for challenging gameplay. I tried the Death Knight for the first time and couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to use all those weird rune resources or whatever. So on we go toward level 90 with the Hunter!

I was going to spend a little more time in the Twilight Highlands to see what happened with the dwarves, but then I noticed that my experience bar barely moved after I turned in a few quests post-85. That was when I realized how many XP were required to get from 85 to 86 and I dropped everything to start the Mists of Pandaria quest line in Stormwind.

That's pretty far-fetched even for gnomes.
That’s a big flying helicopter boat thingy, all right.

So I got on the big, physics-defying flying ship thingy and went off to chase somebody’s lost son in Pandaria, and ended up in yet another big ol’ war zone. Is it really necessary to fight the Horde every time? I mean, I remember seeing quite a few Horde races as quest givers in the past few expansion zones, so when are we going to have a lasting peace with these guys? It’s still rather annoying that I can’t mail things from my Alliance players to my Horde players, you know. Rift gave up those silly faction restrictions years ago. Get with the times, Blizzard!

One thing I’ve noticed right away: Pandaria is actually somewhat difficult. It actually takes time to kill the mobs. I run out of Focus all of the time now. I actually got killed a couple of times trying to harvest one stupid plant that was surrounded by packs of mobs.

Probably this is because I only had level 84 quest gear when I went in there, instead of the years of collected dungeon and raid gear that most people would have started with. (Though I don’t remember this problem in the previous expansion zones.)

I’m not pleased that I need another flying license. I’m grounded for the first time since around level 65, riding a plain old swift sabre cat. I still haven’t quite saved up the 5,000 gold for the stupid Artisan trait, and now I’m sure I’m going to need another 5,000 gold for another license on top of that. It’s madness!

One other thing I’ve noticed is an increased focus on story-telling. There are more cut scenes, and we have an over-arching mission to find somebody’s son. (Maybe there were over-arching missions before, but I don’t remember anything but localized stories for the area you happened to be in.) I’m hearing a lot more voiceovers, and seeing quests that put you in the place of NPCs while they act out a story. (“No! Gizmo!”) I’m not sure what I think about that. It’s a change of pace, but it’s also weird for an MMO.

I'll name him Gizmo!
Gizmo!

Also, seriously, why aren’t those fish people a playable race? Come on. That would be awesome.

P.S. I discovered a neat trick for increasing the amount of damage that a Frost Mage does in dungeons: It’s called reading your abilities and using the new ones. I have no idea when I got “Blizzard,” but it’s basically doubled my damage output while simultaneously reducing the number of abilities I need to use to one. It makes dungeon runs very relaxing. Step 1: Follow tank. Step 2: Cast Blizzard. Step 3: Collect experience points and gear.

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