Re-evaluating MoP Content in Remix

All the content people are engaging with in Mists of Pandaria: Remix right now has been in the game for ten years or more, but I reckon with how little reason WoW gives people to go back to old expansions, most players haven't actually seen or thought about any of it in a long time. Or they might never have played through it in the first place if they only picked up WoW for the first time at some point after 2014.

I've seen quite a few "I forgot how good this was" comments around the internet when people talk about Remix, so I wanted to give my own re-review of some of the content. I did play through most of MoP back when it was the current expansion, and I do have blog posts that talk about my initial impressions from back then to fact-check myself when it comes to what I actually thought of it at the time.

Quests & Story

Looking back at my writings about Pandaria's early questing zones from 2014, I was somewhat more critical of them than I remember, in the sense that after I'd just spent the last two years playing SWTOR almost exclusively, WoW's questing felt a bit clunky and dull in comparison. I did think the zones were beautiful though, and it did occur to me in Remix that I was somewhat reminded of Dragonflight in terms of how much the world is just pleasant to spend time in.

I also liked the pandaren more than I expected, though I was rather put off by the way the factions were portrayed. I saw someone say while talking about Remix that Pandaria showed how to do the faction conflict right, and all I could think was "haha, no". I hated how the introductory quest to the expansion has you machine-gunning down enemies from a helicopter, both for stretching the definition of "steampunk elements" to its limits and for making both factions look like horrible warmongers. No, their behaviour is not portrayed as a good thing in the context of the story, but it's not exactly condemned either? You bring so much suffering onto Pandria and except for Taran Zhu, everyone's just weirdly chill about it. Making me dislike my own faction is not great writing in my opinion.

Speaking of not great writing, I'd forgotten how MoP was also the era of... certain other narrative choices, such as Jaina's "I'm gonna be really mad and kill people" arc. Which, you know, is a valid direction to take her, I just never thought it was well done at all, and it still didn't feel that way upon replaying that storyline in Remix either. Mostly it felt like someone saw how people made fun of Jaina's weepiness in ICC at the end of Wrath and decided to make her do a 180 by making her a "badass" instead, even if it felt forced as hell. And oh, I remember all the grousing about the "A Little Patience" scenario and Varian lecturing a night elf leader who is thousands of years his senior about how to be patient...

Still, after recently spending some time in Cata questing zones and realising just how dire they were, Pandaria was definitely a step up in many ways.


On the subject of scenarios, this is another feature that I saw several people comment on with lines like "gosh, scenarios were so fun; I don't know why Blizzard didn't carry them forward into future expansions". Not me! For me it's really just been a reminder of how clunky and awkward they were and that I don't miss them one bit. Though Blizzard did improve one thing about them in Remix: unlike in original MoP, in Remix, mobs in scenarios actually drop loot.


I apparently never wrote much about MoP's dungeons, and I didn't have any particularly strong memories associated with any of them. On re-visiting them, they are a pretty varied and fun bunch, even if having the revamped Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance in the mix just because they were redone during that expansion seemed odd, considering that they have nothing to do with the expansion story otherwise. I do have a slight dislike for Mogu'shan Palace, because for some reason it's always that dungeon where I end up with an extremely weak group and everything takes forever to die, a problem I haven't had to the same extent anywhere else.


My experience with MoP's raids back in 2014 consisted of doing a couple of them in LFR, which went fine at the time. I apparently didn't write about it, but I'm reasonably sure that I must've done at least a couple of wings of Throne of Thunder as well, as it seemed quite familiar upon revisiting it. I never set foot into Siege of Orgrimmar.

Now, you can't really pass any judgement on raid mechanics in Remix, considering that LFR quickly turned into a zerg that has bosses dying in mere seconds, and even when we tried to under-man higher raid difficulties, we weren't too worried about mechanics and basically just wanted to see whether we could burst things down before they could kill us. I do think the first tier of raiding being split into three raids was a good decision back then and also makes that tier more enjoyable in Remix because you get to see a greater variety of environments, in smaller chunks. Comparatively, Throne of Thunder and Siege seem impossibly long with their 12-14 bosses, even when you're just zerging through them. I can't imagine how much of a drag that must've felt like when people were actually raiding those places properly.

Also, it's interesting to see how Blizzard clearly hadn't quite figured out how to handle the RP bits in raids yet back in 2014. Some might complain about things like Lorewalker Cho's endless monologuing between encounters in Mogu'shan Vaults, but I think that actually kind of works in Remix as it provides pacing and gives slower members of the group time to catch up, preventing the resident demon hunter from just rushing to the last boss with no care for anyone else. However, boss fights that are hard-coded to take a certain minium amount of time while some RP plays out, regardless of how fast you kill things, do not seem like great design. I'm looking at you, Galakras. Waiting for Lei Shen to finish humping his pillars is another one that I'm particularly un-fond of.

Isle of Thunder

I didn't write much about the Isle of Thunder back in 2014, other than to mention that I found it kind of disappointing after the way a friend had advertised it to me, and that I hated the chain of solo scenarios required to unlock it. At least I was mentally prepared for the latter this time, though I still wasn't a fan of the mechanic. The Isle itself was... fine, though? It's weird that fighting the forces of the Thunder King is made to be so much more annoying than fighting the enemy faction, but in general, the level of OP-ness in Remix makes it a much more chill place than it was back in the day. Back then, the mob density made it kind of dangerous, but in Remix that's not really a problem. While I haven't spent any Bronze on upgrading my shaman's gear, thousands of threads in her cloak still make it a breeze to waltz into the enemy camp and AoE everything in sight. I also got to see the Trove of the Thunder King scenario through to the end for the first time.

Timeless Isle

The Timeless Isle was somewhat interesting to me in 2014, and I praised it back in the day for encouraging grouping and providing an amazing loot rush for newly minted max-levels (among other things). In Remix, I've admittedly found it a lot less compelling. It's nice to finally have a cloak for easy access to Ordos, but in terms of Remix-specific rewards it doesn't really have much to offer. Similarly, it's convenient to be able to solo all the mobs with ease, but it makes hunting for rares even more of a futile endeavour than it was back in 2014. If a star mob doesn't spawn right in front of you, you'll basically have no chance of ever tagging it, and even then it can fail if someone else manages to one-shot it before you can even get your own instant cast off.

Obvious gameplay differences aside, I've got to admit that Remix has done a pretty good at letting people relive the general "vibe" of late Pandaria, encouraging you to zoom around a beautiful landscape to hunt down rare mobs and grinding endless dailies for rewards. I wonder whether another expansion would have worked quite as well with this framework.


  1. Playing Pandaria Remix and reaching the zones like Isle of Thunder and Timeless Isle and Isle of Giants reminded me how much I dislike end-game zones with no flying.

    1. That's an interesting point! On the Isle of Thunder I actually felt like it made for a nice change of pace... we keep getting new ground mounts that rarely have a reason to be used so it was nice to have an excuse to get one of them out. Timeless Isle and Isle of Giants more obviously felt like "we'll make you go the longest possible way to get where you want to go" in their design, so there it felt annoying to me too.

    2. On the Isle of Thunder, during the initial push against the Thunder King forces, it makes sense to not have flying. But once you have completed the mini campaign and start working on dailies for reputation, the lack of flying becomes really frustrating. (BTW same goes for Argus in Legion).
      Especially now with Dragonriding, it is quicker and more fun to fly from one end of the Pandaria continent to the other, than to go from one end of the island to the other.

      The only end-game zone where no flying still makes sense is the Maw in Shadowlands, as it was always the unfriendly zone where "you go to do quickly some stuff and then leave as fast as you can", not a zone to explore.