Monday, November 10, 2014

Goodbye Pandaria, Hello Draenor!

farewell, pandaland
Warlords of Draenor comes out in just a few days! With its release comes the end of Mists of Pandaria (finally), our fourth expansion to World of Warcraft.

Mists came out on a Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Mists will have lasted two years, one month, and 18 days once Warlords is released this Thursday.

While two years in itself isn't super crazy long for an expansion in WoW, the fact that its final content patch, 5.4.0, lasted for a year, two months, and two days is a little dizzying. However, they did a pretty decent job keeping that last patch relevant for a long time - by adding heirloom weapons off of the last boss, and subsequently removing their drop chance with the release of Warlords, they created an incentive to continue to do the content up until the very last few days.

Today is Monday - Warlords will be out this very week - and people are still forming groups for Siege of Orgrimmar to down Garrosh for some last minute heirlooms. Not only the heirlooms, but the gear in general from heroic and mythic difficulties will be a great boon in helping to level up characters, considering the gear that drops in Draenor won't start getting good until higher levels.

raiding content lengths by expansion, click to zoom in!

Mists added a lot to the game, though some of the additions weren't exactly huge, hyped up features, like the introduction of items that "create" gear appropriate for your spec, via Timeless Isle. That token system will be seen in Warlords as the way we now gain tier items. They added treasure and relic hunting, as well as "Cutting Edge" raiding achievements to help satiate progression raiders who want their accomplishments to stay meaningful.

We also had huge big deal things like cross-realm raiding, a new raiding difficulty (resulting in a total raiding system revamp for Warlords), and AoE looting.

serious shout out to aoe looting, you're my hero

We also saw our talent system overhaul, the personal loot option, and the pet battling system. We saw our first all inclusive legendary questline and our cute little Sunsong Ranch was the first foray into what we are about to see when we get into our garrisons. While only really letting you plant some stuff and really nothing else (wow a mailbox, there isn't one mere yards away at the inn), the farm was definitely one of my favorite things they did in Mists.

goodbye, little farm!

There are varying opinions about Mists of Pandaria, but as with every expansion, my opinion is that I love World of Warcraft. I don't like content drought any more than the next player, but I can respect their little trick to keeping Siege of Orgrimmar relevant until the very end. In less than 72 hours we'll be saying goodbye to Pandaria as it enters the realm of outdated content.

goodbye, beautiful token asian architecture

And hello to Draenor!

wait is this right?

Nope, hang on

oh, here we go

Draenor! See you on Thursday!

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