There is a lot of raging and incoherent complaining going on right now, and I don't really want to add to that... but I'm sorry to say that I am disappointed. When the title of the next expansion first came up as a rumour, I said that I was feeling pretty indifferent about it... but I have to admit that since then I'd developed some hopes that regardless of what the expansion was actually going to be about, it would contain something that would reignite my spark for the game. Unfortunately the expansion preview panel hasn't revealed anything that excites me - on the contrary, I kept reading about plans for the game that I personally find nothing but extremely off-putting.
As far as the pandaren themselves go, I don't mind that Blizzard changed their mind about including them and that they want to make a former joke race a more serious part of the lore. New races have always been one of my favourite expansion additions. And a race that at least starts neutrally is something that I'm sure a fair amount of people are going to be quite excited about. (I have to admit I'm somewhat intrigued by the further-reaching implications myself - if Blizzard doesn't care about race as an easy way of identifying friend or foe anymore, could other races eventually be allowed to change sides as well?)
However: while I approve of new races in principle, I personally don't find the pandaren appealing at all, and unfortunately it kind of looks like there isn't really anything else to this expansion. I don't think Burning Crusade would have been as good if it had just been "WoW: Blood Elves and Draenei". Or think "Cataclysm: Goblins and Worgen", with no Deathwing or anything. I get the impression that Blizzard is counting on the pandaren being such massive fan favourites that nothing else will matter. Well, it doesn't work like that for this (soon to be former?) fan.
There are other features that don't sound bad in principle, like the pet battles (Pokemon is popular for a reason), but that simply don't interest me personally and just work to reinforce my feeling that I'm not part of the target audience anymore.
The real kicker for me however were a bunch of announcements that actively made me shudder:
Talent trees getting reworked again
Or is it more like "removed"? Whatever. Cataclysm's talent tree revamp was extremely painful for me and actually made me fall out of love with my favourite class for several months because things were just that bad. They did manage to balance things out somewhat after a while though, and in fairness, I did feel like it was worth it. I think the Cataclysm talent trees are good. Not perfect - people who love to go crazy with customisation find them boring I believe - but they achieved what they set out to do.
So why they hell do they want to turn everything upside down again? You know it's going to be another balancing nightmare, and I absolutely do not have the stomach to relearn everything about all the classes I play from scratch again. I think Elder Game has the right of it when he says that Ghostcrawler has gone overboard with the idea of trying to achieve perfect balance.
Challenge Mode Dungeons
"Complete a dungeon in x minutes". As Redbeard already pointed out in a comment, it's pretty ironic that this feature is announced right after I mentioned in my last post that I hate the "rush rush" culture that has developed in instances since the introduction of the dungeon finder. Meanwhile, Blizzard thinks that players should be encouraged to rush more! Sorry, but we simply don't see eye to eye about what makes a fun dungeon experience anymore.
Changes to Questing
"Incentives for dungeons/raiders to run quests and do outdoor/daily kind of stuff. For example finishing a quest might give you a buff for the day, and maybe that buff will let you roll on a loot that only appears to people with that buff." I don't know about you, but once again I can't help but think that this sounds like an absolute nightmare. Dailies and random dungeons are already making people feel burnt out with their subtle pressure to do ALL THE THINGS every day. At least you still have a bit of choice about whether to focus on dungeons or dailies right now, but with a system like that people will not just feel that they have to do the daily dungeon, but to make it worth it they also have to do the quests that will provide the extra loot later... ugh!
I suppose one should never say never, but I really can't see myself buying that one.
May in Review
10 hours ago