We’re 13 days into the new year and that means we have 12 months of new things to look forward to. Sure, in theory the world will be ending in December but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy and look forward to a few things this year!
To start, at the end of December I made a change. I faction transferred and went to another server. I’m now a Troll on the Turalyon server named Entropya – unfortunately Entropia was taken by an extremely low level rogue on an active account so Blizzard didn’t give me any leeway in letting me name my name properly. Why the change? Well, I had transferred my Lock there already at the end of November. I was wooed by a friend from college to join up and raid 10 mans with them. So while I was raiding with my Lock there my Shaman was just putzing around on the LFR so it dawned on me – why don’t I transfer my Shaman there? If I was going to be doing actual raids, I’d prefer it to be on my Shaman. That and the guild I was now running with had another Warlock.
So running with an actual 10 man guild is a bit different experience. I previously did 10 mans with my last guild but that was with Alts. The guild currently runs 2 10 mans and it’s apparent there’s an A and B team, which is a bit discouraging considering I’m what’s considered the “B” team and often it shows. This guild is completely casual though, we only raid 2 nights a week, Sundays and Mondays which I am completely OK with and we don’t raid late at all so that’s another bonus for me. I don’t want to shit talk my last guild – but not having a thread after raid and seeing my GM having to “log dive” to pick out the minutiae of why a raid went the way it did is a breath of fresh air. That seems to have relieved a lot of pressure. I actually found it frustrating and annoying seeing these posts, “well at 05:03:01 at the fight, you started to cast a spell but the tank died at 05:03:03 so you should’ve started casting sooner”. It was nitpicking to an entirely new level.
Anyways, I barely do much on WoW anyway. I log on and do the LFR on Tuesday, raid Sunday and Monday and pretty much don’t do anything the rest of the week so being in this guild is a good fit. Though the lax attitude sometimes is a bit of a deterrent because some people don’t take it as seriously as I’d like them to.
So going forward 2012 has a few things in store for us – mainly Mists of Pandaria. This is going to be a doozey. A lot of people still aren’t sold on the idea of Pandaren being a playable race, or even an actual race. They’ve always been considered a joke race and thrown in as easter eggs but here we are. They’re going to be a playable race and we’re going to be in their homeland this coming expansion.
We’re also going into this expansion without a clear definition of a villain. When Burning Crusade was announced we were shown Illidan with his whole “YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!” statement. In Wrath we were shown the Lich King. Lastly for Cataclysm we had Deathwing tearing the world asunder. For MoP though, we haven’t been shown or told too much. At BlizzCon, Blizzard hinted that they would try and focus on more on the WAR part of World of Warcraft. This leads me to believe that we’ll be seeing raid leaders as potential raid bosses in the culmination. It seems that the next book based on WoW features the ever-lovable Jaina Proudmoore. So I have feeling that Jaina, who more or less has been all about peace and love for everyone will have a change of feelings which will lead into this whole new feud of The Alliance vs. The Horde.
Despite the skepticism going around, I’m staying optimistic in regards to the lore and story direction they’re going with this expansion. Back in my Warcraft 3 days, I loved the Pandaren Brewmaster hero and was a regular 2nd hero that I used when I played Human. If you played the Orc bonus campaign in The Frozen Throne called The Founding of Durotar you’ll know that there was a Pandaren Brewmaster by the name of Chen Stormstout. I thought it was pretty awesome when Blizzard said that we’d be going to the Stormstout Brewery (as an instance) and we’d be helping out Chen clear the evil demons and spirits.
Of course with every expansion we’re given an entirely new array of gameplay changes and introductions. The talents are being completely revamped so that we’re not picking talents like Lava Flows. Instead, they’ll be learned abilities that you get when you hit the appropriate level. Oh, and going back to a city to train? That’s gone. You learn spells on the spot when you level. Now talents are going to be more utility based and maybe applicable in different situations. I like this direction instead, there’s not going to be a cookie-cutter talent spec to strive as a lot of talents are going to be open to your own preference.
Pokemon Pet Battles in which you can take your non-combat pets and put them to battle against other people. I think this is a pretty cool feature, but ultimately – WHY? I’d rather Blizzard have focused on the core gameplay aspects rather than this but I’m sure I’ll participate in it just the same. The even better news out of this is that they’re going to make these pets account bound and they’re planning to do the same for mounts!
The last major thing, that I can think of off the top of my head, are the Challenge modes. Again, not something I really get why they put in when they should focus on the actual raiding and PvP end game. I’ll probably check them out and eventually the competitive side of me will strive to do as best as I can.
Before we get into Mists, we’ll have atleast one patch – 4.3.2 which is going to mostly be class balancing and bug fixes. I’m sure we’ll have one last patch between 4.3.2 and Mists that’ll act as an introductory patch and preface how we get to Pandaria anyway.
So 2012 should be an exciting year with the new expansion coming out. As long as we don’t get another 12 months of Dragon Soul, I think I’ll be content with the game.