So the level cap has been increased five levels. While that might not seem much, the ramp up from 85 to 90 is enormous. Going from 150,000 HP to 350,000 HP, needing 26 million experience points, and almost tripling your damage output from roughly 20,000 - 40,000 DPS (Damage Per Second) to 60,000 - 80,000 DPS. Leveling from 85 to 90 will more than likely take you all across the continent of Pandaria, if you chose to stick only to questing. Both Horde and Alliance characters start off in The Jade Forest. From there the entire quest line within will help rekindle the fiery rage you have against the opposite faction, which is intended. The whole purpose of patch 5.0 is to remind us all that the Horde and Alliance are fighting a war, and have been for many years.
The graphics with Mist of Pandaria have improved a bit, for those who do not own a decent or good gaming computer you may be out of luck in this department. Even without all the graphic settings on "Ultra" you will still be able to enjoy the breathtaking beauty that is held within Mists of Pandaria though. From the lush and nearly endless forest of The Jade Forest, to the barren and snow covered mountains of Kun-Lai Summit. The continent of Pandaria will give you that sense of exploration you may have missed in the previous expansion. Character models and armor have been updated as well.
The music and sounds within Mists of Pandaria is nothing short of epic and will instill the sense of wanderlust and adventure deep into your soul. I found myself playing with the music up a lot simply because of how wonderful and amazing it was. This was something I rarely did in the previous expansion. Although epic in its own right the music in Pandaria is just far superior. As you're playing the new content in Mists of Pandaria you will definitely notice that the game is a lot more "Cinematic" featuring over a dozen new cinematics, while the previous expansion was extremely sparse.
As you venture forward into this new land we find that there is new and powerful foe lying just beyond the walls of the Serpents Spine: The Mantid. A powerful race of insect-like creatures being controlled by an evil and corrupted Empress known as Shek'zeer. Once you finally hit level 90, five sets of daily quests open up for you; The Order of the Cloud Serpent, which upon reaching exalted will give you the ability to ride cloud serpents and will rewards you with your very own cloud serpent which you raised since it first hatched. The Klaxxi, a group of rebellious mantid that follows the "council" that keeps the Empress in check. As you grind out this reputation you will be resurrecting the lost Klaxxi warriors as well as facing traitors and betrayal. The Anglers, a multi-racial group of fishermen who help ease the pain of getting your fishing skill to level 600. The Tillers, a group of farmers who help you learn the six different pandaren cooking ways, as well as helping you plant, grow and harvest your very own crops. Each member of the Tillers have their "personal" reputation, upon reaching "best friend" with any and all of the members of the Tillers they will give you cosmetic items for your farm, and last but not least is the Golden Lotus; a group of pandaren warriors protecting the Valley of Eternal Blossoms from the Mantid Swarm and the evil and oppressive Mogu. Each daily quest also gives five valor points and is the main source of obtaining valor points and valor gear. Some factions will require you to be revered to start their daily quests. Such as the Shado-Pan, upon reaching revered with the Golden Lotus this and the August Celestials shall become available.
The new class, Monk, is a versatile class. They can either be Damage, Healers or Tanks, all depending on their spec. Although I have only been able to play the Damage spec of a Monk, others have said that tanking as a Monk is a lot of fun and very enjoyable. The same can be said about Healing Monks. I very much enjoy the play style of damage Monks and often find myself shouting out Kung-Fu noises as my character flies through the air towards my opponents. Monk use energy and chi as their resources. Certain abilities like "Jab" cost energy, but generate chi. Chi is used for more powerful attacks, such as Flying Serpent Kick, and Chi Blast.
While there is a lot to do, there are still some flaws within Mists of Pandaria. Playing on a PVP server and trying to enjoy the new content will more than likely result in three to five enemy players coming to kill you. Simply because the majority of the player base is Horde. So if you do decide to pick up Mists of Pandaria and World of Warcraft, I highly suggest playing on a PVE server. Even if you like PVP, I still suggest it.
My guild mates have been complaining about the Daily Quests, simply because it is the ONLY way to get Valor Gear. In the previous expansions getting valor gear meant completing Raids, and Heroic Dungeons, and then visiting your local "Valor Gear Vendor." In Mists of Pandaria you are forced to do Daily Quests and gain reputation with the new factions, because most of the Valor Gear does not become available to you until you are revered or exalted with that faction. So not only do you have to wait two to three weeks to get enough valor points (The weekly cap is 1,000) but you must also become revered or higher with certain factions to obtain the valor gear that you want.
As for end game content there isn't much at this moment. So far we only have a single raid that opened up a week after the release of Mists of Pandaria. In the previous expansion we had three raids and a "special" raid boss in the opening patch. This gave us about twelve or thirteen raid bosses total. Now we only have eight. While yes, some can argue that the open world bosses are "raids," I myself do not see them as being so. The two world bosses are The Sha of Anger and Salysis' Warband, both of which drop Tier 14 armor for all classes, but can only be looted once per week. World Bosses also require a whopping 40 players in order to properly defeat, while normally today's raid bosses only need 10, or 25.
Mists of Pandaria has had a bunch of bugs and glitches as of lately. Some of the more harsh ones were finally patched last Tuesday but more still remain. While it is nearly impossible to find and squash all bugs and glitches, some that are still in the game now should have been taken care of months ago in the public beta. One such bug is the "Ring of Valor" bug. The Ring of Valor is an arena stage where players are pitted against other players. Winning gives you a higher overall score, along with titles, achievements, and cool looking gear. But upon reaching the Ring of Valor stage the game crashes after 10 - 15 seconds, resulting in one or both teams forfeiting. This then reduces their overall score. In higher rankings like 1800 and up, this bug can cause serious damage to your rank. While some may says "well, that's an easy fix, just don't go to that level." Well, I have some bad news; the arena stage system is random. So you are screwed either way.
Mists of Pandaria has a boat load of new features. Such as "Challenge Mode" Dungeons, a Pokémon - like Pet Battle System and much more. The challenge mode dungeons are extremely hard and require you and your team to be really good. In challenge mode dungeons you are in a race against the clock to get gold, silver, or bronze. Getting medals awards extra valor points and getting medals in every challenge dungeon awards either, titles, a cool looking mount, or a full set of challenge mode armor. Be warned, this mode is not for the faint of heart.
The Pet Battle System in Mists of Pandaria is essentially homage to Pokémon. If you have played Pokémon then you will feel right at home with this new system. The Pet Battle System is account bound so any and all of your characters will have all of the same pets (same level, same abilities and same quests) and also grants titles and achievements. The Pet Battle System is highly addicting and will more than likely suck away your afternoon before you know it. Although there is a major flaw with the Pet Battle System. If you are playing on a PVP server and are attacked (by either an NPC or an enemy player) you will automatically forfeit the match and be taken out of the battle. Personally I find this to be highly annoying and should be changed to have your character "Phased" into another zone.
Overall Mists of Pandaria is a step in the right direction. While I would enjoy more "choice" in how I obtain my valor gear, more endgame content, and have PVP be a lot more balanced. World of Warcraft is still as addicting and as fun as ever. You can pick up Mists of Pandaria or Mists of Pandaria: Collector's Edition for $39.99 or $59.99 ($79.99 for the non-digital collectors version)
World of Warcraft is Free-to-Play up until level 20, all classes and races are also available from the start (except Pandaren and Monks of course). There is a $15 a month subscription fee, and the starting "battle chest" costs $20, and includes "Vanilla" World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, and The Wrath of the Lich King expansions. A month of game time, and a 250+ page starter book, to help you get ready for the experience. The Cataclysm expansion costs $30, so if you wish to dive head first into the wonderful World of Warcraft it is highly suggested that you buy the Battle Chest, and play on a PVE server for a month. See how you like it and if you want to take it to the next level then you should buy Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.
FOR THE ALLIANCE!!!
A copy of World Of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was personally purchased from a local retailer. I played Alliance on a PVP server.