It’s been five months since I first logged into the Mists of Pandaria beta. My invite came at such a low time in my gaming life that I desperately needed something to take my mind off what I had just lost – the Guild I had loved for so long. I was feeling so low at the time that I needed something positive to try and take my mind off it. I also wanted to be able to share what I had experienced as the blog has given me a great creative outlet over the past ten months. It’s hard to believe that my first Blogiversary is coming up in a couple of months.
So as the beta draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to look back on what I’ve accomplished and what I will miss.
This mount was automatically given to players as I found her sitting in my mount journal, as with the two engineering mounts.
As soon as I saw that The Lorewalkers rewarded you with this awesome looking mount, I set off to obtain it with minimal effort once I reached level 90.
I spent A LOT of time obtaining as much information as I could for the Pet Battle System. It wasn’t just exciting to try out the process because I saw it as a great opportunity to catch as many pets as I could. See the ‘Pet Battles’ tab above for all the info. In a few days I will be starting from scratch but I’ve gained some valuable experience from it all.
It was actually quite easy to get exalted with all The Tillers once I had done the research.
Free PVP Set
These sets were freely available to players once you had reached max level. It was a clear upgrade to what we had accumulated from dungeons and quest rewards.
My Goody Bag
Here you can see a lot of the activities I’ve dabbled in over the past couple of months. Although I really only focused on a few of them once I hit max level – which came quite late in the beta.
There were so many things I immersed myself in without feeling like I’d spoiled myself with the quests and story. I know I’ll be at a definite advantage when it comes to the factions, dailies and landmarks. As a certain old school druid once told me – know your terrain. I know what I’ll be focusing on when it hits midnight on the 25th.
So here’s to the last five months.
I hope you’ve enjoyed experiencing the beta with me for those who haven’t been avoiding my blog. I know I’ve gained some new readers from it and I hope to keep you interested in whatever else I uncover in the future :)
Not long to go now…
Over the last couple of days, I managed to do quite a bit of pet battling in Northrend, as well as looking through some of the latest priest changes. However, when Cool came to pick me up, I didn’t notice anything unusual at first because I was busy with my pet battles. But BOY did I notice when I finally captured my Eagle…
At first I thought he was just showing off but when I stopped to look at him, I realised that he could easily qualify for my Game Glitches post. Turns out it happened as part of a transporter malfunction :P
Since he looked like some crazy, naked Alliance toon, I suggested we duel.
Actually, I remembered I had glyphed my Penance spell which allows me to cast on the run so I wanted to try it out. It’s a nice addition to our abilities, even when I decided to replace my instant Holy Fire – another fun addition. The funny thing was, after I finished playing with my spell, Cool noticed that my critter was attacking him :P So he suggested I summon another pet I wouldn’t mind getting killed but to summon some pet I wouldn’t mind losing, in case he kills it and it disappears from my journal. So I summoned a L10 squirrel. Guess what? As soon as he came out, he ran straight for the woods. I guess I would too if I saw a hostile L87.
After that bit of shenanigans, Cool and I looked at buying another vendor set for my Shadow spec but I was having a lot of crashing issues as soon as I ported from Org to the Valley. So as soon as I was physically able, we set off for Kun-Lai Summit which offers another vendor to purchase some more level quality gear. Our currents sets for our off-specs were mostly LFR quality so the new gear was quite a nice upgrade.
A lot of weapons have new designs, including the staff I was using. It reminds me of an activity on Romper Room, an old kid’s TV show, just more ornate :P
There was also a new loading screen which looked pretty cool…
We queued up to DPS in a dungeon, but the wait was about half an hour. So to fill in the time, we went looking for some more champions, managing to find another four. The dungeon turned out to be Temple of the Jade Serpent, a dungeon we had done before, early in the beta. I didn’t have much fun the first time being L85, having no addons and not really knowing what to expect. But I’m happy to say, today it was – as Shadow. The first boss, I hated back then as I was so focused on healing that I was having a horrible time jumping around when I needed to move. But today as a DPS it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, all the bosses were pretty straight forward and died without much issue. We even managed to complete the quests there and I managed to get a couple of upgrades which was nice.
After having a good look through my bags, I managed to create a pretty decent Shadow set, resulting in a lot of bag room from sold Cata raid items, etc. I was particularly excited to have a few new dungeon pieces to play with so I swapped a few items to add to my Disc set too. A few had no spirit but I wanted to test the limitations on the setup. We queued for our second dungeon as our main specs and managed to get Mogu’shan Palace, one we had not done yet. Even though we were unsure of where to go after one encounter, it wasn’t too bad. I did have a couple of mana issues, but that was partly due to being only my third dungeon healing since I started the beta. So after the dungeon, I went back to as much spirit gear as I could had which should help some.
Our new inn in the Vale
Later while working on some Archaeology, I noticed the new animation to Void Tendrils. They’ve become a lot bulkier again. I actually prefer the way they looked before but it’s still an improvement to how they originally looked.
I thought this Yak Wash was pretty interesting :)
A tranquil plain of lush farmland, bordered by dense mysterious jungles along the south and impassable mountains to the north. The valley is considered the “breadbasket” of Pandaria, but the year’s harvest is in jeopardy and a terrible malaise has overcome the pandaren that live along the coast. The valley is also the home of the legendary Stormstout Brewery, where Chen Stormstout and his niece Li Li hope to journey to discover the whereabouts of their long-lost ancestors.
When you first enter the second area open to players from the Jade Forest, you are met with Chen and Li Li. From the initial dialogue, it appears she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
The Valley itself is a lush area filled with an abundance of farmland and variety of crops which makes it the agricultural centre of Pandaria. It’s also home to the Stormstout Brewery where Chen will will ask you to help clear the Brewery as well as discovering what happened to his long lost ancestors.
One of the first things you’ll notice here are the extremely large vegetables said to be the result of the water flowing down from Vale of Eternal Blossoms for over a millennia. If you decide to explore the area as I did before questing, you’ll see part of the Great Wall showing it’s first cracks as the only thing dividing the violent Mantid race from the Pandaren.
Here you’ll also begin your reputation grind with the Tillers. Every day farmers will come to the farmer’s market, the social hub of the Valley, with different problems and providing daily quests:
- You will help Farmer Yoon fix up his overgrown farm, which in turn will show your progress with the faction.
- You can clear plots of land and plant things like cooking ingredients, herbalism nodes, gifts for the different NPCs to build your reputation. You then come back the next day to harvest what has grown.
You will be able to decorate the farm as you gain reputation. For example, you can add some pigs and slop, some other animals, and grow an apple orchard.
Other characters of note include Hemet Nesingwary and son. You know he was bound to make an appearance somewhere in Pandaria as he hasn’t failed to do so in past x-pacs. I love the name of the hot air balloon… The Killem’ Jaro
Oh, and one other thing… those turtles are really annoying…
The abundance of wildlife in Pandaria is amazing. You’ll find a variety of colours and re-skins, especially the tigers which are gorgeous. I may well get one, not sure in which colour though.
So for all the hunters out there, which one would you like to tame?
After capping out at level 86 yesterday, I decided to do some more exploring, in an attempt to try and find all the sections I had yet to see. So I headed towards the outskirts of the zone taking screenshots of anything interesting. Before too long, I had reached the starting area for the Alliance.
Before I even saw the Alliance banners, I noticed it getting more laggy. Mobs and players started appearing and I realised I had entered a phased area. Initially I was apprehensive as I thought it might flag me just by being in the area but luckily I wasn’t. So I continued along the shoreline to see what else I could uncover.
A few days earlier, I wrote about the bugged quest Scouting Report: Like Jinyu in a Barrel. I was a little excited when I saw the area before me as it was immediately recognisable and looked like such a scenic place from the quest. So I headed over for a closer look.
I expected some hostile creatures but just as I crossed the water I was dead.
Nice time for a walk
I wasn’t sure what had killed me so I headed back to my corpse. After rezzing my body away from the village, I died again about two seconds later. Now this I wasn’t expecting… level 90 elites?
Before I rezzed a second time, something had caught my eye. You don’t always get to take your screenshots in an ideal spot, especially when you’re in an Alliance friendly area, so in case I didn’t get a good shot later, I took a corpse shot of a Mirror Strider just hanging out on top of the water.
So Hordies beware.
Pearlfin Village is a town controlled by the Jinyu and friendly to the Alliance, located on the shores of Glass Lake in the Jade Forest.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.