If there is one thing that I think most of the World of Warcraft player community can agree 100% with is that we have never before seen an era of the game that had more options for things to do once you hit the new level cap. There is stuff to do for the casual and hardcore, pet collectors and farmers, and everything in between during Mists of Pandaria. Let’s take a look at the options for characters at the level cap.
This has got to be the most plentiful, and the most controversial aspect of the Mists of Pandaria end game. With 7 reps from Mists launch to do dailies for once you hit 90, and an eighth that came in 5.1, not to mention another added in 5.2, there are a lot of reps to do dailies for in Mists of Pandaria. This is both the blessing and curse for the WoW dev team. It is a blessing so that players who only have one toon can still feel like they have something to do.
It is also a curse because many people feel like they need to do dailies, even though Blizzard has repeatedly pointed out they don’t. Those with alts who want to gear them up have a long, hard road. As someone with 6 toons max level in Cataclysm, I know this pain all too well. Personally, going forward I am going to focus on the reps with mounts and recipes I want. Gearing will happen, and if I finish those reps and want to get gear I am not far enough advanced with in rep, the commendations from 5.1 will get me the rep I need nice and fast.
Between Looking For Raid (LFR), normal, and hard mode raiding, there is ample opportunity to get as far into raiding as you want, assuming you can find a group, if you want to progress past the LFR level. As someone who has never really raided much, LFR has given me the opportunity to see the content that in the past I have been excluded from due to time and gearing problems.
Now I can see and experience the stories, and when the guild gets up to having enough 90s for a 10 or 25 man group, I can experience the launch raids and go forward from there. I know this came in with Cataclysm, but this is still an awesome feature, especially from the start of raiding. I couldn’t get the item level needed in cataclysm to do the LFR for Dragon Soul, so this is a new feature for me. With 3 tiers in normal, and 5 levels in LFR, there are 16 bosses to defeat in each difficulty for the launch raids to go through on your way to the 480 item level required for the 5.2 LFR.
I am going to admit something. Other than one run into the Scarlet Monastery, I have yet to do any dungeons in Mists. I know, shameful, because there are a lot of great dungeons in Mists of Pandaria, and the heroic modes are no doubt a lot of fun. However I have limited time to put in, and my experience with dungeons in Cataclysm was not good. Cataclysm dungeons soured me away from risking an hour or more in a dungeon, and I have not had the desire to risk so much time.
In Mists of Pandaria I have changed my group play time from dungeons, which I loved to run in Wrath and earlier, over to Scenarios. Scenarios are nice and short, have next to no queue time because they are not role specific, and in general you can always get loot at the end (and if you don’t, just run another since they are nice and quick). I am very glad I gave Scenarios another shot after the disappointment that was the Theramore scenario.
I know a few folks who did not want to do dungeons or finish the quests in game once they hit 90 who got fully geared for LFR through running endless scenarios, so that is definitely an option. It may take a very long time, but now every scenario will give you some Valor Points, and often the loot bag from running it on random will give you Justice Points as well. Add in the Scenaturday achievement(A | H), and running scenarios can be a super fun, and fast thing to do at 90.
Farmville. Well, ok, not really. When we heard about Sunsong ranch in the announcements about Mists, there was a lot of concern and consternation about this feature. People worried that, with the addition of the Pokemon like pet battle feature, the Tiller and your own personal farm was bringing yet another popular game into WoW and diluting the game. When you add in Pokemon via pet battles, and Plants vs Zombies via Peacebloom vs Ghouls, it’s not an unfair assessment at first glance.
As someone who’s significant other got them heavily into Farmville early on, I can tell you the game we have is nothing like the big name title from Zynga. I actually will cover the comparison between the two in an article in a few weeks, but needless to say the Blizzard mini game at Sunsong Ranch is a far stretch from the activities in Farmville. Some have compared it more to the game Harvest Moon, but as I have not played it, I cannot attest. With daily crops, no withering of crops, and special seeds that give materials for other professions, the farm at Halfhill is definitely a lot more fun than farming in the Zynga title. With changes in 5.2, the farm became even more fun for a lot of players, because who doesn’t want to work for themselves instead of a boss that just stands around?
PokeWow. Petkemon. This feature has had such a mix of reactions in the community that it is hard to tell what the overall view of the Pet Battle system is. Podcasts have been launched, segments created (including our own Taming Azeroth from Jan of Something Suggestive), and whole communities have cropped up surrounding it. There have also been a lot of negative reactions, including the aforementioned nicknames being the only family friendly ones I could find from the detractors of the Pet Battle system.
I like to think that there are more folks who have found that pet battles are actually a lot of fun than those who remain negative towards the feature. I know I was not sure, but have really come to like the system. Blizzard has done a fair number of quality of life fixes to the system, including the battle stones in 5.1, and the overpowered pets nerfs in 5.2. Even if you never get a pet to level 10, I really recommend trying the pet battle system, as it is a lot of fun, and easy to get started.
There you go, there is a lot of stuff to do once you hit the level cap in Mists of Pandaria, and I only expect that to continue to bring players in and give them more and more to do as they work through the patches until the next expansion launches. What is your favorite thing to do at level cap? Are you looking for something else, or taking part in one of these aspects of WoW?