Everyone sets goals for themselves and with the first raid and PvP season cycles ending soon we can take a look back and see where we are, when it comes to fun, and how much we have enjoyed this expansion thus far.
Are we there yet?
If the destination is fun, I would have to say yes, this expansion has been a great success so far in my opinion. Sure, you see me complain about things but as I mentioned here on more than one occasion, complaining is a complement. People only complain about the things they care about and if I wasn't having fun I wouldn't complain because I wouldn't care. If you follow what I am saying.
Not to mention, complaining is just more fun, but today I am going to talk about some of the things I have enjoyed. Won't be as exciting of course because it is a lot easier to point out why you dislike something than it is to point out why you like something. For example, I love the roll club quest. Why? Don't know, just do. See, saying what you like is boring, so get ready for some boring stuff.
The new rare mobs around the world made leveling fun as a hunter. I would see each and every one while leveling as I was ahead of the pack and I would take each encounter as a personal challenge. It was great fun and I even wrote a post about one of those battles a short time ago when I was leveling another hunter.
Rare hunting, as it has become known, has become a way to have a little fun while leveling. My priest was not able to solo any of them while leveling sadly, but my hunters are gold with them and much to my surprise my death knight makes killing them even easier than my hunter did. I heard horror stories from melee people saying how hard they were on melee. Either death knights are really that super over powered or these people need to learn how to play better because my death knight, while it will never come as close to my hunters in speed killing, are easier than my hunter to kill the things on.
Every character I level I look out for them and give them a shot. Every time I see one while flying around I always land and kill them just for the chance at the bag of goodies. I've even made travel plans in the summit and kill all of them as soon as they spawn if I am on, as I know exactly when they spawn so I can get them all easily. Nothing is better then getting a baggie with 40 golden lotus in it. While rare, it makes killing those rares in the summit well worth it. I've gotten more sha crystals, golden lotus, good feasts for 10 and 25 man, magnificent hides, and trillium than I can count, all for free, all for killing those rares. Yeah, I love it.
While I still worry about losing this addition come next expansion I am hoping its success will force them to consider moving it to a more centralized location where we can use it forever and not make it a mists only thing.
I've all but stopped doing my farming. I only do it once in a while if I have some time to waste on a character or when leveling a new character up reputation wise. It just takes way to long when you have as many characters as I do and you do not have unlimited time. If it were just pick and plant it would be more enjoyable but farming was and is a success and a great part of what was added that is mostly enjoyable this expansion.
I like the idea that with the stable of characters I have I can massively build up materials on a moments notice by planting the appropriate seed. I like that it is something you can do while waiting in queue. I like that it is phased as it gives us hope that something resembling player housing is on the way. Outside of the stupid birds and vermin and other annoying junk that once you reach exalted you should never get as you are now an expert farmer, farming is really a great addition.
3) Pet Battles
I did not expect to get into this as much as I have and I only seem to get into it in spurts where I will do it like crazy for a few days and then not do it for a few weeks, but that is what pet battles are perfect for.
There is no continued push. Once you reach level 25 on a pet it is done. No gearing it up, no need to gear it up again when a new patch comes out, no need to valor cap your pet, no need to do anything with it. It serves no purpose what so ever. It is there just to have some fun with, to pass the time and it fills that role with absolute perfection.
I do it while waiting for the raid to assemble. I do it while waiting in queue. I do it when I know I will be logging soon and do not want to get involved in anything. I do it just to waste a little time. I do it on low levels for experience with the dailies.
Like I said, I never expected much from it and did not think I would like it but I do and I think that is another reason why I consider it a huge success this expansion. When you have high hopes for something you can only be let down. When you have no hopes for something you can only be surprised and pet battles surprised me. Good work blizzard, you ripped off an idea and made it yours, and it is a huge plus for this expansion and unlike farming where it seems tied to one expansion, pet battles are tied to the game, throughout it all, as a whole, and that is the absolute best part of it because we know it is here to stay and worth investing some time into.
I can really only talk about normal modes as I have not even attempted a heroic mode this expansion. We plan to give heroic MV a try some time soon, but no rush because we are not done with all the normals yet and that is why I call normal mode raiding a huge success this expansion.
If a guild like mine was doing heroics or was not downing things consistently even with our lesser time spent raiding, it would have been a failure. We are not doing heroics and we are moving forward, which in my mind, makes it a success. A casual guild like mine should not be going into heroics easily and should also not be held back by massive cock blocks. While there are a few bumps in the road here and there, nothing was insurmountable.
There is a solid progression for a casual guild like mine. No boss has taken us more than 30 attempts to down but being we do not raid much, only 2 hours, that 30 attempts could take 2 weeks or even 3 on a long fight, it still makes for a solid progression rate. One new boss every 2 weeks on average, never extending lock outs, and that, in my opinion is a fantastic rate of progression and as it should be for a casual raiding guild with so little time spent raiding.
We hopefully will finish the normals by the time 5.2 comes out but even if we don't it doesn't feel bad at all because the forward motion, while slower then a regular raiding team that does more than 2 hours progression, always seemed to flow nicely.
I have not been overly impressed with any of the fights this raiding tier and there are none I can really say I like to do but that is okay. It is the forward motion that matters and it always feels like we are moving forward. Sure I would have liked a few fights I considered fun mixed in and there are none, but I can live with that.
On a side note to gripe, because I can't just not complain about anything, the LFR still sucks. The loot drama has changed for the better with the new looting system but it is still there. Everyone complains all they got was gold and the one person that links what they got will always be sure to hear, how come the baddies always win something. So the drama is still there. And if you me, the loot god hate is still there as well. Still no bow even using a coin every week and running it multiple times a few weeks. That is one reason the old way worked better. One person I run with has won the bow three time, old school LFR he could have given it to me. I want that old school back because my luck sucks. My luck aside, the only problem I see with the LFR is that it is still too hard for the masses that are in it and the ones it is meant for.
5) One Land
Never discount how important this is for your enjoyment of the game. Most people like that everything in is on land mass now and I am one of them. Cataclysm was horrible with its all over the place design that it makes it feel extra nice to have one simple land mass to play on again. To be able to fly directly from zone to zone.
Whether it is gathering, exploring, hunting for something, heading to a destination, having everything in a set place just makes the game more enjoyable for many, myself included. Most people might over look that fact and even if they are liking mists more they will never consider that this is actually part of the reason for that.
Could you imagine doing my rare hunting back in cataclysm where zones are all over the place? It would not be even half as fun as it is now being able to go from one area to the next. Even if people have issues with dailies it is nice that you can just make a path and go from one set to the next as they are all in the same part of the world instead of all over the place, like they would have needed to be in cataclysm if they had this design with dailies then.
So if the destination is fun and you ask, are we there yet, over all for me I would have to say yes. While there are a lot of things I can complain about this expansion it gets a thumbs up from me so far. Something I don't think I was ever able to say at any point during cataclysm. I was hard pressed to find anything redeeming about that clusterfuck. Mists is a success in its first raid/pvp cycle, at least as I see it. Even with those things to complain about, it has a hell of a lot of good stuff going for it.
Two things I would like to see to make it better.
1) An Ulduar Style Raid.
5.2's raid is being called that but I will not just accept the reports, I have to see it to believe it. Will it feel as great as that instance did? Playing it will be the only real way to tell.
2) Become Alt Friednly
Seriously, for someone with one character mists is already the greatest expansion ever. For anyone with alts, it can down right suck unless you have massive amounts of free time. They need to make it more alt friendly, and from the early reports on 5.2, that is not happening.