I got word today, via our guild forums that my SWTOR guild has officially folded. I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. I did. I know I could try to find another guild in SWTOR, but I really want to see how the game does with the conversion to a Free To Play model before I make the commitment to a guild. If I’m just going to go Free to Play in November, there’s little point in trying to get established in a guild right now.
Besides I’m a little busy with Pandas.
I have three Level 85 toons in WoW : Hunter, Paladin, Warrior. I had already decided I wanted to take the Paladin to the new level cap of 90. I couldn’t take any time off of work so I didn’t get started until Tuesday evening. It wouldn’t have mattered even if I did. I have a toddler at home, and he makes it very hard to do anything on the computer when he’s awake.
I started out in Orgrimmar, and like most of my nights I knocked out the cooking and Jewelcrafting daily. I figured it would be some fast, free experience points. The bar barely moved.
As I was flying around, I noticed the quest giver mark over the Battle Pet trainer. I flew down and, trained, and did the first quest. I also hadn’t gotten into Beta, nor had I read much about MoP. For the first time with an Expansion pack, I was going in fresh.
I had not intended to do Pet Battles. I thought the entire idea was silly. Pokemon, really? But I figured, again, that this would be fast, free experience.
The next 30 minutes vanished in an blink.
I didn’t want to like Pet Battles, I really didn’t, but it was so much fun.
WoW has given us this wonderfully deep mini-game. Pets have different classes (Beasts, Mechanical, Flying etc.) and they have different attacks. Each has strengths and weakness against other types in a very rock, paper, scissors kind of game. It’s a system that is easy to learn, but tough to master. I love the fact it’s turned based. Over my years of playing WoW, I’ve observed my reflexes have gotten slower. Reflexes don’t matter with Pet Battles.
I leveled my Panda Cub, and then one of my guild mates suggested the Curious Wolvar Pup. He did really well, and he has this trap attack that really does major damage.
While I was channeling my inner Ash Ketchum I saw one of the warriors asking in guild chat if anyone wanted to queue. Even though I hadn’t stepped foot in Pandaria, I went ahead and queued up. We got Temple of the Jade Dragon or something like that. You know, it’s funny, I find doing dungeons as DPS to be like being a passenger in a car going someplace new. You get a general idea how to get there, but not the detail you get when you are driving. When I’m tanking, I tend to soak in more details like I would when I’m driving.
I learned one lesson very quickly. Sha puddles HURT. Thank you, repair bill. The first couple of bosses were pretty simple. It’s gotta be a little tough on the encounter designers. We’ve seen so many diferent raid and dungeon bosses, it’s almost a game of figuring out which mechanics we’ve seen before. The first boss did a Lurker Below kind of spray around the room. The final boss summoned copies of ourselves. We wiped once on that boss. I’m not sure why. The tank told us to stand on him and we did. The healer said he messed up, and we pulled again. This time we killed him.
I completed the two instance quests. I briefly thought about switching to my Prot spec before picking up the reward, but someone said there would be a vendor to buy tank gear, so i went ahead and got the Ret Bracers, and Legs.
I still don’t have a good bead on what I’m going to be doing in our raids. I’m hoping that gets settled soon.
When I left the dungeon, I was back in Orgrimmar. I did the quest to talk to General Nazgrim and saw the cut scene between him and Garrosh. Honors made a rude gesture to Garrosh right before he ran out of the room. It sort of makes me wish I was more into RP because Honors is a very conflicted character these days.
I finally got to Pandaria and started questing in earnest. We lost another gunship. Gallywix is going to love that. I’m sure he’s bidding on the contract to replace it already.
I didn’t get very far and logged off just after I started on some quests to kill these monkeys called Hozen.
I know some people have commented on how linear the Jade Forest is, and I’m sure it’ll be a grind on my 3rd or 4th alt, but last night the story was amazing. I felt a sense of wonderment and exploration I haven’t felt since the opening of the Dark Portal. I loved the fact that my toon was IN a couple of the cut scenes. It isn’t as good as the SWTOR storytelling, but it’s not as invasive if that makes any sense.