With mists hitting the point where it is the beginning of the end it is safe to say that no new additions to the game will be coming before warlords. While we might get instant 90s at the shop before warlords, it would be more as a lead up to warlords, so love or hate purchasing things like that from the shop, that is more a topic for the next expansion and what we will take out of it that we loved.
When cataclysm was at its end I shared my opinion on what was the best addition to the game. Cataclysm really only had three things I would have put up for nomination as a great addition to the game. Those three things were transmog, reforging and the looking for raid system. Reforging got my vote for the best thing to come out of cataclysm. Going into warlords it will be gone from the game. So much for things I like huh?
So as far as I am concerned I guess transmog is the best thing remaining in game that came out of cataclysm. Sure, LFR was good for the game but it was just as bad for the game. Weighting the positives and the negatives leaves LFR a net neutral as far as I see it. At least transmog fits perfectly into what I would consider a great update. For the people that choose to use it, it is there, for the people that don't choose to use it, it doesn't hurt them because it is in game. A nice addition, even if I still think reforging was better and that was my favorite addition to come out of cataclysm.
Mists offered us more additions to the game than any expansion I can remember and there are a lot of things I would think are worthy of consideration for the best addition to the game. Almost too many the more I think about it. I had three things in mind when I started to write this post and as of this very line I am up to six already. I am sure I will think of more as I write, mists was just that jam packed with new additions to the game. I keep noticing the changes made to the game, the additions to the game, that mists has bought to us and there are a lot that deserve recognition even if they do not win your vote for best new addition to the game.
So lets break down some of those additions to the game and, of course, I will share my opinion of that addition.
When I started to think about making this post and was going over ideas for which additions I would choose to mention I kept finding myself going back to this one addition. There is a reason for that. It is completely inescapable. Pets battles were so well done that not only were they added to the new expansion, they were added to the original game. They were added to BC, wrath and cataclysm as well. No matter what zone you go to, there are pet battles to be found. From level 5 to level 90 there is something for everyone and it is balanced throughout all levels of game play, not just end game like PvP. If someone were to start the game they might very well think it has always been there and that alone makes it one hell of a solid addition to the game.
With something that well placed throughout the entirely of warcraft it would be irresponsible for anyone to just ignore it even if they have stopped pet battling, never pet battled or never have any intention to pet battle. If this was titled what is the best mists addition then pet battles would win hands down and no one could even make an argument that would hold water against that. But this post is titled what is your favorite mists addition so if you are not a pet battler I am pretty sure, no matter how great of an addition to the game it is, this would not get your vote.
I will leave this section with just one little notation from warcraft by the numbers. There are more than double the amount of pet battle instances each day than there are dungeon, raid, battleground and arena instances combined. You can not deny the popularity of pet battling.
While there were not a great deal of them, only enough to match each dungeon on release and nothing was added during the course of the expansion, the addition of challenge modes opens the doors for so much more to come.
Scaled group content, that is what challenge modes added to the game. A type of content where a group of people will face a task that they can not over gear. It is completely skill based. The skills needed include the ability to plan best as well as carry out those plans in an effective, efficient and timely manner.
While not quite reaching the popularity I would have guessed it would, it is a solid addition to the game. Even more so when you think about what this addition could mean for the future. If there are ever scaled raids, scaled zones, level scaling for old content, or any type of scaled instanced content, it is all thanks to this addition.
I loved the farm at the beginning of the expansion and even if I have not done it on any characters in many months I still love the farm. Why do I call this an addition to the game when it is obviously a one hit wonder, something made for this expansion only? Because garrisons have been announced and if it were not for farms, and their popularity, garrisons would have never been considered.
So while our farms might not be following us into the next expansion and poor old dog will be left alone to tend to the farm, the tech it introduced will be following us in the form of garrisons. Who knows, this little addition could not only mean garrisons in the next expansion, but it could mean full fledged player housing in the one after. If any of those things are something you would love then perhaps the farm would get your vote for your favorite mists addition.
The legendary design was changed this expansion from the old collect stuff in a raid, the real one, for a weapon for one person at a time to a collect something in any version of the raid for an item everyone can use.
This is a hot button topic no doubt but it is a change in philosophy for the game and a change in balance. No more will one class with the chosen legendary be over powered for that tier because of it, each class can get it.
As it seems, this addition to the legendary process will be following us into the next expansion and probably every one to follow. For some that might have never had the chance to get a legendary because of their play style, as in they are not regular raiders, or because of their class, as in they are a hunter who would never see one again, this could very well be their favorite addition to mists. The addition that every class and every type of player is treated equally, in terms of ability to get a legendary if they are willing to put the time and effort into it.
While I have heard no news if we will have them in the next expansion I am going to go out on a limb and say we will. Quick little instanced content that does not require the holy trinity was a big hit when the game first came out but lack of decent rewards in either baggie or valor meant it lost steam pretty quickly.
Blizzard did not give up however, they stuck with this addition to the game with the release of heroic scenarios later in the expansion with slightly better baggie rewards and much better valor rewards. For many players just looking to cap their valor quickly these became the best thing since sliced bread. I have all too often taken advantage of them to cap valor in less than an hour, who would not like that.
The design of these scenarios was different from dungeons not only in the fact they did not require the holy trinity but they used existing landscapes and put us in a small battle that took place there. Those things that you would have remembered as the end of the line elite quest that you needed help for back in the day where now scenarios.
If I would have one gripe with them it would be that the arena of annihilation should have been an open world quest before you reached level cap just like its predecessors, the ring of blood, the amphitheater of anguish and the crucible of carnage. Otherwise, they were a solid addition to the game and perhaps to people that like using them to cap valor in less than an hour they might be considered the best addition to the game.
Okay, lets get this out of the way, they hate me. There, I said it. The addition of charms we could collect and a weekly quest we could do to get special coins that allowed us extra rolls in raid content was a great addition to the mists raiding package. For all of those that always had bad luck we could have bad luck twice as much, or speed up that bad streak so instead of not getting something for 20 weeks before it finally drops, we could not get it only for 10 weeks before it finally drops, in theory anyway.
In my opinion they best thing they did with this addition to the game is the implementation of it. At least after they made it a currency instead of items that stacked in your bag. Oh dear those early weeks when my already bursting at the seams bags and bank were filled with stacks of lesser coins was not fun, not at all.
They allowed you to collect as many lesser coins as you wanted, but you could only spend 50 (was 90) per week to get 3 coins. The addition of the bonus rolls not only gets a vote for allowing us to roll twice, but it gets a vote for showing blizzard there is another way to limit people without actually limiting people.
I often said this design introduced in mists for the coins should have been carried over to valor. Allowing as person to collect as much valor as they would like but limiting them to how much they could spend each week instead. It would really help those players that can not play every day so they could collect 1500 valor this week and none next week, and not feel as if they missed out on something by not being online. Perhaps blizzard will expand on this design and that alone makes this a good addition to the game, the design of it, even if you did not consider how great having extra rolls could be.
Be it the rolls themselves or the design they introduced there are some people that might consider this their favorite addition to the game. I am guessing those that do consider it their favorite addition to the game have won often with their rolls and for that, I hate you. Just kidding of course. Or am I?
Flexible raids are what normal mode raiding should have been from the get go. A type of raid where a group of friends spanning from the skilled player, to the semi skilled player, to the average player, to the under skilled player could get together and down some bosses with not much opposition if they are willing to put in a little bit of time to learn the fight.
Adding to that the fact that you could assemble your group with friends from other servers and that it was not just content that you could randomly queue up for meaning you could pick and choose your groups made for an old timey feel in a much better way with a higher chance of success.
Flexible raids had bought back the feeling of the ending days of wrath where there were pugs going 24/7 but now on a much larger scale. Sure there are still a lot of failures, there are a lot of bad groups with obnoxious players, but you have more control and could leave, or remove them if it was your group.
With the larger, much larger, pool of players to choose from instead of just those from your server, it gave you options for alts, or mains if this was the only way you had a chance to raid, to get into some raids, have some fun, kill some internet dragons, and maybe collect some loot all while possibly making a few friends.
I know my guild has recruited people from other realms after grabbing a few people and dragging them into our flex runs. They server transferred to our server shortly after so they could run normals with us.
And there is another beauty of the flexible runs. It gave guilds the perfect place to test out new players or trials without having to tell one of your mains you need them to sit out for the night to test someone. Someone could earn their spot in the flex runs.
You could run with 12 or 15 or 18, or anything between 10 and 25 that you wanted. It meant no more waiting for people to log on for your 25 man. If there are 19 on at start time, go in with 19, if 3 more log on at the last minute when you are walking up to boss one, add them and do it with 22 and then add people as they come and maybe you will have a full 25 by the time you get to boss 4. No longer will that one guy who just got a call that his daughter to pick her up have to say he is sorry because he has to leave, because it will not stop you from raiding, and lets face it, never be sorry if real life pops up. But now it does not effect other people adversely.
It also gives you the chance to test out some strategy in a slightly easier version, to practice a different spec, to gear up an alt, to play a class you never played before, to bring that one guy that always wants to come but you would never consider bringing on a normal run even if everyone in the guild likes him because he really is a great guy but a horrible player.
Flex just opened up so many doors all while closing none, which often happens when doors are opened, but not with this addition. Flex could very well be the favorite addition for a lot of people, and it would be hard to see any reason why it couldn't be.
One hit wonders: These following additions we do not know if we will ever see again, but they are additions to mists and as such can be your favorite mists additions. I would also like to ask, do you think we should see more of these additions or should they remain one hit wonders?
Black Market Auction House:
The black market auction house gave the ability to those with lots of gold in game to buy items they might not be able to get other wise. Like mounts that were removed from the game or old tier gear that is no longer attainable or heroic gear for the non heroic raider that spends their time making gold.
There is also the downside that this is not only an addition to the game for those that have lots of gold in the game but lots of cash in real life to buy the gold in the game from our friendly neighborhood gold farmers.
There are a lot of opinions on this one, good and bad, but it is easy to see how someone could consider this the best addition to mists like someone in my guild that has managed to snag four hard to get mounts and two removed from the game mounts from unmarked containers thus far all for under 30K each. I am sure she might consider this the best addition to the game. Do you think we should see more of this in next expansion and each one to follow?
For all we know valor might not even be in the game next expansion. But for this expansion valor upgrades were added for non raid patches as a way to keep getting upgrade. Do not be fooled either, upgrading a full set of 553 items to a full set of 561 item is a considerable upgrade in your characters potential.
So even if we do not know if the feature will make it to the next expansion, we do know it has had an impact on how we play this expansion and was a huge addition to the gearing up processes for so many, even those that did not raid. Do you think we should see more of this in the next expansion and each one to follow?
I was torn on where to put this one, in the pure additions section or the one hit wonders section, but being we do not know if they will be adding new bosses during the next expansion or not, for now I will leave it here. If you were to ask me I would guess they will add more to it because it would not be difficult to do so and it is not tied to mists in any way, shape or form as it takes place in each factions main city. So I am going to go with we will see more of this.
As my brawler title and my spiffy mushan mount will tell you I have enjoyed some time at the brawlers guild. While I did hate how when it was released we had three hour wait times to never even get into a fight, now that it has been out for quite a while and there are usually no more than 10 people there at a time, it has become a nice little feature to waste a little time and kill stuff and I do so like to kill stuff.
This addition to mists is not really just about the addition of the brawlers guild but the addition of solo content that can be challenging. Any thing that might come in the future that would allow you to face a challenge on your own, as it if were a solo dungeon or solo raid, it would owe its existence to the brawlers guild and its addition in mists. Do you think we should see more of this in the next expansion and each one to follow?
Using a bit of the scaling tech from challenge modes and the challenging solo encounter design that also exists in the brawlers guild comes the proving grounds. But unlike challenge modes you do this one alone, and unlike the brawlers guild there is no over gearing this one. The challenge is for you alone to do it in a set level of gear.
For many like myself we got our golds and never returned but for some that like to see how far they can go there is an endless mode. Be it for bragging rights or for the personal challenge you can keep going until you can't go any more and then start over again and see if you can get further next time.
For some people that like extreme solo challenges it does not get better than this. The fact you can not add gear to it to get further the only thing you can add to it is time and skill. By learning the round and how you need to handle each and every one of them you can press forward until it gets to the point it is just not possible to go further. That is the challenge because each wall you hit, each time you say I do not think I can make it further, you can press and press and press until you do.
The reason I put this in the mists only portion is because while they did say they would consider adding more proving grounds, in the end each one will be the same. You against a set item level based challenge. So even if they add more, it will be more of the same. So even if the proving grounds follows us to new expansion with more places to prove ourselves, at different levels meaning different skills available, it was added it mists and each new phase of it is just a different setting of what mists added. For those people that topped the ranks or those people that loved the solo item level locked challenge, this might be their favorite addition.
When it comes down to it, mists offered more additions to the game than any expansion before it and it is hard to think any expansion after it could add as much as mists did. I did not even list them all, I know there have to be some I forgot when I first thought of it. Maybe one of the additions I did not mention is your favorite addition to mists or maybe it is one of the ones I mentioned.
For my vote, it is a tie.
I can not make a decision between pet battles and flexible raiding. Even if I do not pet battle any longer, or do so very rarely, having once been top 100 in the world with it and really enjoying it when I did, knowing that I can always go back to it with no pressure, like you might find in raiding, because there is no such thing as end game for pet battles makes me still love it. I'd probably lean toward flex on this one however, but I would still like to see how that works out long term.
What is your favorite addition in mists?
And as a bonus question, what is the best addition in mists?
They can be two different things, like I said, even if I am leaning toward flex as my favorite addition to mists, pet battles is the best addition in mists in my opinion. It was so well done I can't see anything else even coming close to it.