Thursday, January 30, 2014

What is Your Favorite Mists Addition?

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.

Pet Battles:

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.

Challenge Modes:

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.

Bonus Rolls:

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:

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?

Valor Upgrades:

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?

Brawlers Guild:

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?

Proving Grounds:

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.


  1. I think I'm with you, pet battles is probably the best overall but I don't do it so it can't be my personal favourite. Flex would probably be my favourite from the options on your list.

    My actual favourite new feature in MoP, though... AoE looting, hands down. I'd sacrifice everything on this list, including Flex, if that's what it took to keep AoE looting in the game. Kind of ridiculous when I think about it but it's true...

    I'd like to see the BMAH continue but as one of the target audience for gold sinks, the frequency that interesting items comes up needs to increase SIGNIFICANTLY. I haven't put a bid on an item in over a month on two servers... I haven't seen a gold cap mount show up in 6 months. There should be a piece of heroic gear every day. A piece of top-level PvP gear every day. Viable WEAPONS and TRINKETS, just pull them randomly off boss loot tables. Each day should have a rare pet and a random mount off the mount list. Each day should have a no longer available tmog item.

    Far too many days are just brawler's guild invites... or those plus a 496 recipe for 20K (I mean, c'mon, why are those even still listed?). Why are pets on there starting at 1K that sell on the AH for 2g? Why's there a pet that actually has a starting price of 1g (and an actual value that roughly matches)?

    I also like the potential for Proving Grounds more than the implementation... if/when it becomes a prerequisite for activities it'll move up on my list.

    In terms of other things not on your list, I'll give honourable mention to rare mob indicators on the minimap... Blingtron... BoA loot tokens... world bosses... solo scenarios for plot/lore/challenge purposes... Crystal of Insanity... the eventual lack of double gating (*cough*)... relatively easy heroics... cheap crafting mats on the AH from week one... daily cooldown-based crafting and recipe acquisition (except the JC one)...

    As you say, lots of options. :)

    1. It is interesting to see someone that did not even do pet battles agree that it was the best addition, even if not their favorite. It has been a boon for the game and its players over all as I see it.

      I completely forgot AoE looting. I must have just gotten so used to it is almost feels as if it has always been there. It was a great addition.

      I agree. I have not seen anything I would bid on over 4 servers witch characters that can get to it (IE 90) in at least 6 months. It is always junk and the one rare occasion there was something I would have bid on it was 999,999 capped the second it was placed on there.

      You point out a lot of great little things added to the game. Goes to show you that so much was really added with mists. It truly is the most jam packed expansion with additions so far.

  2. Pet battles. Relaxing, fun, grindy in a good way, solo, gift heaven.

    1. For as long as you have been commenting here I would have never guessed you as a pet battler. It does seem to sneak up on all types, doesn't it?

      It surely is the best addition as I see it.

  3. When I first started reading this I, too, was going to say the Farm. Like you, not for the fact that it itself was added, but that it opened the opportunity for player housing. I saw it right away as Blizz's testing grounds for new tech. And that made me very excited.

    The farm itself is cool...the amounts of stuff you needed to grow/harvest for cooking was not cool.

    As to something you didn't mention (and hopefully I'm remembering correctly), the ability to walk into an old raid without being in a raid group was a nice addition in Mists. Thankfully I have two accounts, so this was never really and issue. But it was certainly a quality of life change. On my desktop it was fine having two accounts logged in...not so much on my would lag like crazy in major cities. On my laptop I would have to log into each account separately and move the toon I wanted to run the raid with to the raid itself before having both accounts open at the same time.

    Even though I'm a little burned out on Pet Battles, it would get my vote for BEST addition to Mists.

    Another thing you didn't mention is the fishing quest at Halfhill and the random zone of the "Catch of the Day". Another quality of life addition if you ask me for two reasons.

    1.) if you have a toon high enough level to get to Halfhill (but has a low fishing skill) you could accept the quest, stand there and fish, never catch trash (as long as you didn't turn in the quest) and train up your fishing skill at the quest NPC who is also a Fishing Trainer.

    The main fish you would catch is the Golden Carp. But sometimes you would catch some better quality fish. But never would you get "Tangled Fishing Line" or junk like that.

    2.) the random zone of the daily "Catch of the Day" is a nice way to stock up on cooking mats. It's nice to fish in the random zone for an hour and walk away with many stacks of fish.

    Something I didn't like was the removal of "insta-knowledge-of-flight-paths" when you attain the correct level for a new zone. It made it easy for lowbie alts to get around. Instead of removing it all together they could have made it so that if your lowbie alt took the quest from the "Heroes Board" the closest flight path to that quest could have popped open for you.

    1. I like being able to walk right into old raids as well. A very nice quality of life change. While it did slip my mind I still don't think it would have been something I would have added to the list. It is more an change or rules than an update in my opinion.

      Looks like we have another vote for pet battles as best addition. I figured that would be the majority of peoples opinions.

      If I listed catch of the day I would have put it under mists only. I do not think that one will follow us, but I too like it a lot. A great way to level fishing and catch relevant fish while doing so.

      I am a little divided on the instant flight path thing. I like going and grabbing them all when passing through a zone, but I hate going to a zone I had never been to and it taking forever for me to get there.

    2. The no instant flight paths definitely sucks when doing RaF. I want to quest while waiting on dungeon queues, but in the time it takes me to get to the next zone on the Warchief's board I will have already out leveled it.

    3. It is quite the trek to some of those places they send you, even more so if you had the character sitting for a while but were doing darkmoon or holiday quests and gained 20 levels while sitting in the city and it sends you somewhere that the closest path you have is 3 zones away. That can be annoying as heck.

  4. Pet Battles. Because they are big, that's a lot more content than anything else. If they were small, as in, if there were as many pets ad there are bosses in Brawler's Guild, they would be almost the last thing I'd mention. I don't enjoy battles themselves, but I do enjoy collecting all pets - again, because there are many of them.

    1. Seems to be the top choice of the replies. I guess pet battles is the best addition to the game like I suspected.

      But what is your favorite?

  5. Pet Battles - meh...

    Challenge Modes - meh...

    Farm - lot of fun and a lot of content

    Legendary - lot of fun and a lot of content (some annoying things though)

    Scenarios - meh... would have preferred dungeons

    Bonus Rolls - more of a tease than a good feature. We don't need more RNG.

    Flexible Raids - no personal experience, but great for the game

    Black Market Auction House - bad idea

    Valor Upgrades - too complicated and not worth the loss of valor gear

    Brawlers Guild - OK, but too much RNG in the fights

    Proving Grounds - never did one

    AoE Looting - glad that Blizz finally jumped on the bandwagon

    My favorite is probably the Farm.

    I think the best addition for the game was Flexible Raiding.

    1. You are the first that did not give props to pet battles. lol

      Interesting to see the farm as your favorite addition. You are the first to go there. Is it your favorite as it is, or because of what it can become? As in garrisons and player housing.

  6. My favorite is probably the the solo scenarios specifically. I thought those were great, and a good way to tell story or give challenging solo content. Flexible raids would probably be my next favorite, but specifically the cross server nature of them. I'm glad they are expanding that to what is currently called normals next expansion. As a mostly solo player with most of my friends on other servers now anything that can allow me to do challenging content withough needing people on my server to do it is probably king.

    I think you are definitely right that the best is the pet battles despite not having as much interest in them anymore they were very well done.

    1. I forgot to add those, they were a great addition definitely for their story telling purposes (like on thunder isle) and for the challenge purposes (legendary). I would like to see more of those for sure.

      As I said, pet battles are just to big to ignore even if you do not do them. I knew they would go over well, but was amazed how developed blizzard made them. They seem to have put more effort into pet battles than any other addition they ever added to the game.

  7. A lot of people are saying pet battles, so I wanted to throw in my two cents.

    I think that overall, pet battles are a great addition to the game. But by golly do I despise max level pet battles.

    I am sure that there are many players that love going up against a really hard NPC trainer and figuring out the a combination of pets and skills that would allow them to trounce the competition, but for me, all that boils down to is going on the internet and seeing exactly what pet and what skill set I need. Then, and this happens almost all the time, I need to go find the pets I need and level them all the way to level 25, because of course I do not have the one-three pets I'll need among the 35+ I've already raised to max level.

    Nothing is also more discouraging to me then seeing a level 25 legendary pet hit my pet with an attack type it is supposedly strong against and see 1/2 - 1/3 of its life bar reduced by that one hit. And then realizing that the legendary pet wasn't even using its strongest multi-turn cooldown attack to do so, but its basic "chomp" type attack that it can use every turn.

    1. Everything is less fun at max level. That includes pet battles. I lost interest in it myself after I got all the achievements (except the PvP ones) and the only thing left was max level battles with other players. No thank you.

      Some of those legendary pets are down right annoying. You almost have to get "lucky" to win verse them. There was one doing the elders I believe that I fought over and over 30 or so times until I got lucky and they missed once and I won. The design should not be that I need to wait for luck to win or have some massive combo.

      If there was one thing I could and do complain about are abilties that have 90% or 95% hit chance. As I always say, blizzard and math hate each other. When I can use an ability that has a 95% hit chance and miss 4 times in a row there is something wrong with the game design.

      Over all I think pet battles are awesome even if I no longer mess around with them because it is not fun at max level, the fun was leveling.