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WoW: The Pandaria Tour

October 3, 2016

Finished up my run through Pandaria’s dungeons with the last of the non-heroics last night, and reached another leveling milestone in the process:

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Mists of Pandaria was a weird expansion to run through doing only dungeons.  It took basically no time at all to get to level 90, but it was plenty of time for all of the dungeons to overstay their welcome.  Temple of the Jade Serpent in particular is on my Least Favorite Dungeons ever list, because it is full of ground effects that kill parties, and some of them are a really pretty aquamarine color that doesn’t really scream DANGER.

This lead to a cheery exchange with a particular rogue who couldn’t seem to avoid the lovely blue splashes.

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Only my second snarky dps in 90 levels, though (the first was in Deadmines back at level 15, of all places), so it didn’t kill the mood too much.

Fortunately, once you get past that dungeon, the ground effects are appropriately nasty-looking.  Lots of yellow goo and black smokey circles and stuff that just screams DO NOT TOUCH.  I had a much easier time healing in those, because I was usually only healing the tank and the occasional careless melee character.

Putting the dungeons aside, however, I did need to do an overland quest chain to get into the expansion’s hub city, and this is where Pandaria shines.  It’s an absolutely beautiful landscape and you can tell that the modelers really loved their job designing the architecture and the terrain – some of the mountains seem copied straight from antique silk paintings.  It’s just a shame that there really isn’t any reason to hang out in it once you pass level 90.

I also tried my hand at soloing a couple of Wrath of the Lich King raids and got a neat mount out of one of them:

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And then my wife and I went and stomped Onyxia and Malygos and the Firelands and a bunch of other old raid content in search of pretty cosmetic gear and mounts, with lots of the former and none of the latter to be had.

The joy of steamrollering old raids is just one of those things that transcends games – standing in front of a boss that used to take 25 people to defeat and yawning in its face as you mush it into goo is one of the best payoffs of mudflation.

Making the jump from Pandaria to Warlords of Draenor is going to take running through the intro quest of WoD, so that’s tonight’s mission.  Unlike every expansion up to this point, I’ve been able to hit the previous level cap and then immediately queue for the new dungeons, but Blizzard did a huge gear reset with the launch of WoD and anyone who wasn’t tip-to-toe in Pandaria raid loot needs to get caught up through a 20-or-so quest chain before any instances can happen.

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