Morynne’s Early Beta Impressions

Morynne —  April 7, 2012 — 5 Comments

I’ve had beta for a little over a week, but the tough thing to remember is that I was on vacation, and away from my computers for a few days — so the extent of my testing has been pretty slim. I did get a chance to level a Pandaren Monk to 12 on Alliance side, and ran through the majority of the quests in the Jade Forest with my Hunter, and completed the Temple of the Jade Serpent (the first dungeon).

So, knowing I’ve gone through all of that, what’s my take?  There’s lots of work to do.  The level cap is currently 86, pet battles aren’t implemented yet, pet specs aren’t yet ironed out, and things are buggy.  Really really buggy.  I logged in today to a whole bunch of giant pink blocks until I turned down my graphics settings.

I will say that the questing through the Jade Forest is well thought out and pretty fun.  All of the quests have a very Asian feel to them, and give some emphasis into the spirituality of why we’re in that area to begin with.  I won’t spoil the stories, but just know you do have some great stories to look forward to.

The Temple of the Jade Serpent is also really buggy.  The first time I ran through it, the first boss bugged out, and I had to leave the instance.  The second time I ran it, I didn’t have any issue.  I’m going to refrain from talking strategy yet because, after all, it is beta.

The low level Pandaren area is well thought out, and has a good flow to the questing.  Unfortunately Blizzard still hasn’t graduated from the “everyone has to go click this one item that only spawns here” mentality. (We all remember the stupid clam in Cataclysm, don’t we?)  The stories are fun with exploration and wonder up to the point where you choose between helping the Alliance or the Horde — which will ultimately set up the latter plot lines in MoP.

Here’s my more detailed take on things:

  • The graphic models are amazing.  I can’t say enough about how beautiful and clean the environment looks.  The level of detail in the Asian artwork, and the level of detail is breathtaking.  When you get logged in, take some time to just look at all the work that the texture artists did.
  • It’s good that there are no add-ons for beta yet.  It lets testers really focus on the content and the overall game play instead of how much DPS or HPS they’re doing.  I can’t honestly tell you what is going to be the best spec just yet — or even what the optimized rotation will look like — it’s just too early, and I can’t even get to 90 at this point in the game.
  • The opening quest chains are great.  I thoroughly enjoyed running through them.  I will say that as beta gets more and more populated, we’ll hopefully show Blizzard that the “everyone has to go find this one thing that only spawns one place, and can only be used by one person at a time” is a bad model — it makes for a very frustrating experience.  I have not played through to the Horde side, but it’s my intention to do that well before beta is over.
  • For a 5-man dungeon at the beginning of an expansion, I think the Temple of the Jade Serpent is well tuned for levels 85-86.  There are upgrades from normal mode Deathwing there, so don’t get terribly attached to your purples from Dragon Soul.  The mechanics have been used before in some manner or another, but have been paired in each boss encounter slightly differently.  I had fun, and I think the Heroic Challenge modes will really make these instances even more challenging for the players who are looking for the bigger challenge.

Largely I think Blizzard has prepared very well for this expansion.  For now, and knowing what stage of beta we’re in, I don’t see any glaring flaws in what their goal is.  I’m really looking forward to playing through the next few zones and eventually getting to 90.  I’m very excited for the pet battles to be implemented, and really hope that comes next.

So, for those of you in Beta, what’s your take on what you’ve seen so far?

(As a side note, I’m tired of WordPress not implementing social media commenting, so I’ve swapped comment systems for now. It will let you comment via twitter, Facebook, openID, and others.  Check out Livefyre.com for more information)

Morynne

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Morynne is an avid hunter, and prefers Marksmanship. She has co-hosted the Hunting Party Podcast, and appeared on the Twisted Nether Blogcast. For more information, click here.

5 responses to Morynne’s Early Beta Impressions

  1. Have done much on the beta yet as I only got in via the last wave on invites, then the servers went down, then the EU character transfer was borked for a bit (and it was pointless rolling a panda as you couldn’t even see the first NPC in the sea of panda forms )  
     
    One thing I did notice was that pets (apart from my polar bear being the size of a house :) ) really do need healing more – at least as they stand currently. I trundled around pulled a few mobs as per usual and dear lord mr bear was nearly dead afterwards (partially due to me not paying attention and being used to him taking lots of damage. 
     
    Also as someone who solo’s most of the time ( for a few reasons I can’t really do dungeons and def no raids), the main thing I seem to *miss* almost straight off is Concussion Shot. (and talking of things missing what on earth are theses ‘spaces’ doing in my action bars?!?!?!). I understand its added to some of the talents, but I’m so used to that being available on it’s own.
     
    I do however like the traps being on and extended slot (the same as pets and shaman totem bars)

  2. No pet talents yet = none of the survivability talents.  Glyph into improved mend pet to help this.  I have been enjoying the beta thus far, it’s nice to see the concepts they’re working with.  The first zone is very beautifully done.  I would like to add, for all hunters there is currently a bug with “Call Beast”  there is no current cool down.  You can spam this to your hearts content, although this is clearly a bug, it’s hilarious to watch how fast dungeons and pvp go when spamming this. 
     
    The only negative I am taking away from the beta is that all chat is literally the same 4 questions every 30 seconds.
     
    - Is quest X bugged?
    - Why can’t I do quest Y?
    -This is stupid half the quests are broken
     
    I look forward to seeing more and giving my inputs to hopefully help the overall end product.  Until then I will keep playing and enjoying all of the new scenery/quests
     
    Demoniouss (H)(Maelstrom)  (H)(and for beta on Lost Isles US)

    •  @Demoniouss I can agree with the same questions on Beta, but you have to consider that a large portion of the current group in beta have never been exposed to a test situation.  I sincerely hope Blizzard implements the ticketing systems soon instead of going through the beta forums.  It would certainly make me much more likely to provide constructive feedback for things already implemented.
       
      I’m also on Lost Isles, Alliance side though. I’ll wave if I see you!

  3. Saw this today, and had to add it.  Hope you enjoy!  It’s not so much directly a hunter thing moreso a beta vid
     

     

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