World of Warcraft: Getting to know the Pandas

So I’ve gotten to a point with my Death Knight that she doesn’t really have any normal quest lines left to complete in Legion until 7.2. Everything in my quest log is either raid- or mythic-related, so I guess I need to start dipping into that content a little more than I have been. Haven’t even done that Illidan thing yet because I need 80 dungeon doohickeys that are mostly shelled out in mythics.

I went to look for mythic runs the other night but came up wanting, which is when a guildie reminded me that most people were probably doing all of the Mists of Pandaria timewalking dungeons this week. And even though I wrote a news piece on that earlier this week, it had slipped my mind. So I jettisoned my mythic aspirations and went timewalking instead (bonus: the LFG works so much better for timewalking dungeons than mythics).

For many players, getting MoP timewalking into the rotation was a blast from the past. For me, it’s a brand-new experience. I wasn’t really around for the end of Wrath, all of Cataclysm, all of Pandaria, and the first year and a half of Draenor. There’s this huge gap of personal experience in WoW that I have, which means that dungeons everyone has run a billion times before are still wondrous to me. Guess I can solve that right quick by chain-running them!

There wasn’t really anything I wanted or needed with the time badges, but I figure that (a) it can’t hurt to stock up for when I do want to spend them, (b) it’d be neat to see Pandaria dungeons, and (c) transmog, transmog, transmog. My wardrobe options are limited and I’m a little too lazy to be doing dungeon runs where I actually have to travel to where the dungeon is.

I did a string of five runs for the weekly quest (which netted me a very nice titanforged ilevel 885 boots), and in that time, I feel like I sampled what it must have been like at the end of Pandaria’s expansion cycle. Everyone knew the dungeons by heart, no one talked, everyone blitzed, and I was gamely trotting along and trying to look like I fit in while secretly taking screenshots and being a total tourist.

I’m kind of ambivalent about Pandaria even today. I think it was a pretty enough expansion and more cohesive than Cataclysm, but the heavy dose of eastern aesthetic and design feels weirdly out of place in World of Warcraft. Almost like it’s a different game. And I never warmed up the Pandaran race, either. I don’t hate them, but I’d never voluntarily pick one to play and I honestly don’t see many running around in Legion.

Interestingly enough, almost all of my runs featured a Monk healer, which has sort of renewed my interest in leveling one. The spell effects look cool and there’s enough HoTs in there to appease my healing style. But dare I add a third character to my play schedule or bump one of the other two to the backburner? Eh, it’s all a game.

3 thoughts on “World of Warcraft: Getting to know the Pandas

  1. Rowan March 13, 2017 / 9:30 am

    Up until a couple months ago I was leveling a Monk healer alongside Scooter’s Hunter. Those two are hiatus right now. It worked out pretty well, although there’s not much need for dedicated healing in the open world. There’s one odd major HoT that uses no apparent resource. How OP is that!

  2. Tyler F.M. Edwards March 13, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    Pandaria isn’t really something you can sample here and there. It’s probably the most cohesive expansion they did in terms of lore and story. You need to play through it all in order to really appreciate everything that’s going on. Doesn’t help that Blizzard removed one of the core story arcs for the expansion…

    I also think it’s very strange that people keep saying that the Asian aesthetics feel out of place in WoW when they apparently had no problem with the Nordic aesthetics, Egyptian aesthetics, Middle Eastern aesthetics, Indian aesthetics, Native American aesthetics, Inuit aesthetics, Greco-Roman aesthetics, and non-Pandarian Asian aesthetics in the rest of the game.

  3. Thurro March 26, 2017 / 12:37 am

    Agree completely with Tyler’s first paragraph – everyone should do one full play through Pandaria – it is an incredibly rich and detailed adventure.

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