Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Things I'll Miss From Mists

In just over 2 months we will be playing a new expansion for warcraft but anyone that has played mists will surely be looking back in these coming weeks before the expansion and I am no exception.  There have been some high points and some low points of mists but I would have to say that mists was one of the better expansions and quite honestly if it were not for 5.4 and the following length of it, it could have been the best expansion in my opinion.  But 5.4 and its 14 month existence did put a huge dent in what was otherwise a very solid expansion.

But this is not about what I liked best or worst in mists, it is about the things we have (had) in mists that will no longer be in the game come warlords.  Things I think mists did right and I wish there would be more of it in warlords.  The things I will miss from mists.

Hunter Balance:

Hunters had their ups and downs through the expansion.  From being over powered a bit which every class loves even if they refuse to admit it to being under powered a bit which every class hates and freely speaks about.  Hunters ran the gamut throughout the expansion but never too far in any one direction.  My only complaint about hunters over the course of the expansion is the fact we never really had any useful raid utility (and still won't in warlord, sorry fox).  We had the best tool kit in the game as far as utility went, but not really always for group content.

The best part of hunter balance this expansion was with our classes and specs.  Never in the history of the game had the three classes been so close to each other.  Sure there was a best spec to be, there always will be for people trying to get the most out of their class but the specs were never this close to each other before and if you were not pressing for world or server first an argument could be made for the fact you could really play any spec you wanted and not actually hurt your raid.

It got even better for hunters too in terms of balance with secondary stats and it is probably the thing I am going to miss the most.  Critical strike, haste and mastery were so well balanced that it really did not matter which one you had on gear.  Sure, like anything else involving numbers, there was a better stat to have but the stats were so close together if you didn't have the right stats it would not completely destroy you like it was for most other classes.  I don't think any class in the history of the game has ever had that type of balance before and I don't think we will ever see any class have that type of balance again.

I plan to make a post on how good hunters had it in mists at a later date so I will not go deeper into any of this but the fact that hunters had a good expansion over all is something I am going to miss.  Hey, everyone likes when their class has a good expansion, so why can't I?


Added in cataclysm, removed in mists.  Reforging, we hardly knew you.  I am going to miss reforging a lot and even more so being it is getting removed just as we need it most.  With warlords adding a completely useless stat for ever class called versatility, we need reforging to get rid of it.  No one likes seeing a stat on their gear that is completely useless.  Like getting hit on a piece of gear when you are already hit capped.  At least hit is being removed so that is one less thing to worry about, but with the addition of a stat that seems intended to be useless, reforging is really needed.

Forget for a moment that I just spoke about how awesome it was to be a hunter because of the fantastic balance of secondary stats this expansion, reforging was still awesome.   Whether you were using it to min max out your class to get that last ounce of DPS or you were using it because you preferred a crit build or a haste build or you were using it to stack spirit or trim spirit on your healer, reforging gave you the amazing ability to customize the stats for your character.

While you can argue there was always a right and wrong with numbers, and you would be right, reforging offered us a choice.  While you can argue that it was never a choice because you always did the best thing I offer you this as a rebuttal.  When you are stuck with versatility on every drop you are lucky enough to get wouldn't you rather have the choice to change it to something else?  I thought so.  Reforging, even if there was a mathematical right and wrong, for damage dealers at least, offered a very powerful choice and I will really miss it.

Lesser Charms:

Something so small and something so huge all at once. Sure it stated off as more of an annoyance than anything else when my bags were completely filled with them before they were moved to the currency tab but once they were moved I really started to love them for many reasons.

One was the fact that there was no limit to how many you could get.  Lesser charms instead were limited by how many you could spend and that was an ingenious idea.  Why can't blizzard do more design that way?  I think that is what I loved about lesser charms.  Not so much they were lesser charms but the fact they were something we could control our collection of.

Later in the expansion when they added more ways to get lesser charms they really made lesser charms everything they were capable of being.  They dropped everywhere, no matter what you did it seemed, and you could collect as many or as few as you wished to being there was effectively no cap.  If you wanted to farm up 500 today so you could get coins for the next 10 weeks or farm just 50 a week as you needed them, it was up to you, if you were like me and had well over 6K of them just a month or so into the expansion you were basically set for the entire expansion.  What else in this game has ever had that type of freedom to gather when you wanted to and let you gather enough for extended long term use?  Nothing.

Lesser charms and how they were managed were a fantastic addition to the game and I would have loved to see them be used more in the game.  Unlimited ability to collect, many different ways to collect them that appealed to everyone, and then limit them on the spending side.  Now that was some incredibly intelligent design.  Who came up with this idea blizzard?  Give them a raise.  And a more important question, why did you already abandon the idea of the lesser charm collection formula?  It is one of the things I will miss most about mists.


Excuse me blizzard but where are the scenarios in warlords? Sure they did not have the following that dungeons or raids had but removing scenarios is equivalent to removing dungeons or raids.  It was a small form of group content and more importantly it filled a major role in the game for a great many people.  I know more than a few people that only do scenarios.  They do not do dungeons or raids but are more comfortable in small group content designed for ease.

They are easy to design because they do not require original art work as they use existing areas and models.  They do not need extensive tuning because they are meant to be easy and not require a tank or healer.  They were the ultimate in bite sized content for people of any and all skill levels.  And for late in the expansion like now they could be soloed by anyone in any class and any spec which means that makes for even faster content, which when you have been doing the same content for 2 years is pretty darn welcome.  When you have been doing the same things for 2 years fast is good because you have seen it so many times before.

Scenarios also made for excellent vehicles for story telling and even if many people went through them just to get the valor or the achievement and never paid attention to the story that is no reason to remove them, as one blue suggested was the reason new ones were not being made.  Hey, if you are going to remove everything that the majority just do to do and do not get the story from then remove dungeons and raids too.  And remove questing as well while you are at it.  Story is there for the people that want it and scenarios, both solo and group ones, were an awesome tool to deliver bite sized story.  At least the solo scenarios are still around to some extent.

I, and I am sure many others, would have loved to see some scenarios in warlords that played out the events that happened between downing garrosh and getting here.  Maybe even play as garrosh or the warlords as he earned the trust of the iron horde warlords in a few scenarios, it would have been cool and most definitely a great story for the people that read it and fun content just for people that wanted to do it.

How about scenarios that are from the past to tell us things that only happened in a book and put the lore into game.  Or maybe some scenarios where we go through different alternate universes where jaina stopped arthas and she became the lich queen instead, or how one dwarf clan wipe out the others, or how the taruen ruled the world and all other races where their slaves, all type of different fun sort of alternate universe scenarios could have been done and fit perfectly with the alternate universe theme of the expansion.  So much could have been done, such a good opportunity, all wasted.

I'll miss scenarios, but then again with no more valor my favorite part of scenarios, being able to valor cap in less than an hour with them, means so much less.  Still, I liked scenarios because they were a content option and I do not believe in removing solid options from the game and in my opinion at least, having scenarios removed is going to be a sad thing even more so when you think of what could have been as I mentioned.


Speaking of valor capping, I am actually going to miss valor capping.  It is not just valor in general, it was valor gear as well.  It meant a hell of a lot to the game and I don't think many people realize that.

The collection of valor itself was like a quest each week without having to pick up a quest somewhere.  The quest was to cap, or get some if you have so little time that you could not cap.  You could do so much in mists to get valor, it fit every play style.  Collect some valor doing quests, dungeons, scenarios, raids, what have you.

On alts you could slowly collect it and slowly build up their power.  For mains with bad luck it worked as a means to fill in those empty spaces where luck kicked you in the shins.  And for many a casual raid team valor was often used as a way to get some gear to get you past a boss that you were having trouble on.  If you were hitting your head on a wall within a few weeks everyone in the raid had the ability to get a new piece or two of gear that did not require being lucky to get and that gear in turn helped you get past a wall.

It was also a great tool for recruitment.  Most people don't see it as that but I always did.  Anyone can raid and get gear if they get lucky, but only someone that is really dedicated in doing whatever they can do to better their character would work their ass off to get the valor gear if there were not lucky enough to be raiding or not lucky enough to win anything.

With valor gear if someone says they wanted to raid and were serious about it you could see they have worked for the gear they are wearing by grinding it out week after week. Without valor they could just say, I have no gear because I have no luck with drops. 

Are they telling the truth or are they just not trying?  Sure you can look them up online and see if they are running LFR each week trying to get something to work their way on to a raid team, but with valor gear it was better.  First, valor gear is better than LFR gear and second, valor gear shows they are willing to work long term toward a goal and are actually doing something whereas even if they are doing LFR you do not know if they are actually working for something or just one of the lazy ones standing there in the bad while they collect loot.  People with valor gear showed they were willing to work for gear and that most likely that translates into being willing to work for the raid team.

But back to alts.  There is a reason none of the 90s I have recently leveled have gear outside of a celestial or ordos drop.  No valor gear.  And as such, no reason to log in to get valor.  Having valor to collect and valor gear made me willing to play alts I might have no intention of raiding with.  It created content for me, just as something to do, and it did the same for many others too.  As long as there was a piece to buy with valor, there was a reason to play that alt.  Even if only once in a while to get a little valor here and there, they could slowly gear up that way.  They could slowly see themselves move forward.  They had a reason to be played.  Now they don't.  Valor gear was a great motivator.  Lucking into drops is not.


More specifically max level flying in current content, something we will not have in warlords.  It is a case of you don't know what you have until its gone.  Trust me, with no flight and the lack of reasons to go out in warlords it will get really boring really fast.

Even if there were reasons to go out in warlords having flight would make it so much more enjoyable.  Just doing the one daily and having to run sometimes to an area and get dismounted by annoying mobs that are not part of your task, drop nothing of consequence, and do not even pose a challenge gets annoying fast.

Take it from someone that loves to quest and level alts that there is nothing wrong with just wanting to land on the named mob you need to kill instead of having to kill 30 mobs on your way to it and another 30 mobs on your way back.  I really hate to waste time, anyone that reads here knows that.  My biggest pet peeve in game and out of game is wasting time and in my opinion having to fight mobs that serve no purpose is a waste of time.

I often would log in with nothing to do and just fly around.  Go mining, go herbing, go rare killing, just fly around aimlessly checking out the view.  Flying creates content for me.  It gives me something to do.  It is a reason to log in because you know you can just fly around until you find something to do, or just fly around doing nothing in particular.

Flying is freedom and I am going to miss having that freedom at max level even more than I thought I would.

So what about mists are you going to miss?  If anything.


  1. Scenarios - I only did a few and thought they were actually too hard, as hard as a dungeon but a little shorter (not much though). As far as valor, again, it was something I got from doing...well, I don't remember how how I got it, but I got some.

    I will and won't miss Mists. I miss a lot of the country side, BEFORE Blizzard brought out that damned patched and destroyed the land. Especially removing that one faction you needed to get to exhausted with before unlocking others. the one in front of teh two capital cities in Pandaria. Sorry, just cant think right now. I like doing those quests and if I remember it only took 2 weeks or alittle less to go to exalted with them. And the ending fight gave a great necklace.

    That is what I will not miss at all - the changing of the landscape to suit some silly story line. They should have done it where if you are lvl 90 and done teh quest to get it started, then you are, hell, you get that little blue bubble by your name when you have started something in a zone and the other person hasn't. Ok, sorry, brain ain't working. I know I will remember what in the same hell I am thinking later.

    1. Phased, that is what I remember it is called. That destroyed country side should be phased so if you don't want to start that story line, you would see everything as before and if you started it, then it would be different. They used it in Cata with good success.

    2. Seeing the vale destroyed was bad. Would like to see it fixed but for story reasons they can't. There would not longer be an entrance to the raid if they changed it back.

      That was the golden lotus quest hub. While the quests themselves were fine the fact they gated so many things and there seemed like there were 20 a day to do is what started all the backlash hate against dailies.

    3. thats where the vale being destroyed should have relied on 1 quest that a person starts to be phased into that raid. Phasing works for you and it works for me never having to see any area destroyed for another raiding story line.

      Phasing needs to be used a whole lot more.

      And the GL questing was only about 5 dailies. But add up, all the other dailies including the farm area, it is more than 20 and I agree, that is just too much. Before I got burned out, imagine doing it on 8 toons, 90's. I gave up.

    4. It was 5 dailies that led to another hub with 5 dailies then another hub after that with 5 dailies, all of which you had to do every day if you were rushing to max out reputation so you could open up SP and AG dailies and by process open up the ability to spend the valor you collected doing all those dailies.

    5. see, since they got rid of golden lotus as a valued faction and got rid of those hubs, I completely forgot them and what was needed to get to exhausted. : ( But I did finished on 3 toons though started on 4.

      Yeah, I know it doesnt add up, but after GL, finished getting 2 rogues, 1 druid, and 1 mage to 90.

      What golden lotus turned into, is so sad, it wasnt worth playing.

      That was a very nice neck piece as a reward.

    6. Yeah, and that last fight when you got there was kind of cool too.

  2. I will not miss pandaria. It had too much emphasis on "cute". And if one more panda bear tells me to slow down, find my center, and be peaceful, I will a really mean emote at him.

    I am a fighter, I am a killer, its what I do. I am not good at being peacful.

    (the Karate Kid training montage near the end of Valley of 4 Winds was pretty cool though)

    1. What is wrong with cute, I like cute. Well, in terms of battle pets mostly, but still. lol

      The karate kid one was good and offered a really nice chest piece at the time when you were first questing there. Over all there are no quests that stood out for me that I really liked. Even cataclysm had some quests I really liked but nothing in pandaria stood out quest wise for me.

    2. This Machinima by Oxhorn sums up my feeling on Pandas perfectly:

    3. That was funny.

      Lets go collect some rainbows and bunnies.

  3. Wow I'm surprised you were so positive Grumpy. Perhaps I'm just remembering your early impressions of Mists and you've since changed your mind, or I could just be remembering wrong.

    Anyway in regards to valor I've read that section three times now and I think we're actually more in agreement than I thought. I am a big fan of valor/points in general and I'm really unhappy to see it disappearing. You said that in Mists you could get valor gear and this is kinda where I wanted to disagree because from my point of view I couldn't. Oh I could on my main, where I didn't need it but on alts? Plus wasn't the valor gear lower ilevel for the first tier anyway? I only count the first tier as being kinda accessible for alts as after that there was no valor gear in 5.4 and the 5.2 gear was gated behind a raid reputation. I ran LFR very unwillingly on my main to get my legendary faster. I refuse point blank to run it on alts because they are for fun and LFR is anything but fun. So I guess really for me they removed valor and why it was great at the start of Mists, Warlords is just making it official.

    Are scenarios completely gone then? I thought I read somewhere that they might be used as solo scenarios ala Isle of Thunder for storytelling purposes. Well scenarios kinda annoyed me as they weren't available to solo. If not having them means more dungeons then I can get behind that. However, and I do mean this, it sucks. I don't want to be 'that guy' but to moan for a second, it does feel a little like blizz is giving less and less and expecting more over time e.g. sub rise, box price rise, longer content gaps etc. In my mind they should really keep bringing out scenarios as well as everything else. What's wrong with options? Letting people choose what they prefer or mix it up, rather than funnelling them all into one thing.

    I'm also unhappy about flying disappearing. Flying mounts look stupid on the ground. They introduced it and in my opinion that was a one way street. If they have to make us wait until cap that sucks, I think they should only make us wait till cap on my mains and then we can unlock it for our account, but if they have to make us wait then ok. At cap we should be able to fly, end of.

    What will I miss about Mists? Erm can I actually think of something? Oh Will of the Emperor kinda, that was my favourite encounter this expansion. I love it and I was always up for tanking it. I never grew bored. That's probably it. Oh well I will miss reforging too probably. I like control, I wanted more and not less.

    Oh I know what I will be missing - my tank. Have you seen the blue posts on tanking? I am not impressed. I know they said not to think 'sky is falling' but I can't help but feel like they are gutting us and for what reason? There's a phrase, if it's not broken don't fix it and tanking is fine, I love my paladin tank, tanking has never felt better. Why screw with it? Not impressed.

    1. Don't get me wrong there was a lot I disliked about the expansion as well. But there is good in every bad and bad in every good. Just because there were things I did not like doesn't mean that over all the expansion was not good in my opinion.

      Each expansion had something horrible to hang its hat on. Things that were annoying or an unneeded hurdle. Mists had double gated dailies, cataclysm had the zuls, wrath had ToC, BC had attunement hell, and classic, well, was classic also known as the grind.

      The idea is to weight the good with the bad. I could easily make a list of the bad things from mists such as being alt unfriendly, the rep grind to spend valor and the following removal of valor gear, the 14 month trip through SoO. But there was a lot to do. Pet battles, fast content patches early on, new and interesting content patches such as the barrens, isle of thunder story telling scenarios, timeless island rares not to mention rare hunting across the world. All in all mists had the most end game content of any expansion to date and that alone is why it ranks high for me. If warlords had been released in the first quarter, say march the latest, mists might even be able to rival wrath as the best expansion ever. But it would never over take it. Can't beat the story line of wrath with the best designed raid ever in ulduar.