My honest reaction to the Pandas

90 Undead Warlock
11940
10/26/2011 02:46 AMPosted by Lundor
The new talent system, less points, less total choices, less individuality, which i thought was the point of changing talent trees(less cookie cutter)


I will have to disagree there. Cookie cutter is a term that means "All the cookie's are shaped the same."

You could have a talent tree with 200 points and if there was a 'best' allocation of points, you would still not have individuality. There would be a guide, people would read it, and it would only make sense to be the 'best' combination of talent options.

The new system is not offering less. The intent is to give you, each teir, three ways to accomplish a goal in different ways so you can do the one that fits you.

To be clear: Destro warlocks in PvE, who spec now, always have the same build. Every time. Theres no difference. That is cookie cutter.

However, in 5.0 (unless it changes) you can have a Destro lock who takes the AoE Stun, another who takes the AoE fear. One has Nether Ward, one has Hour of Twilight. One can heal over thirty second, the other heals in trash packs.

That may not be -perfect- customization but it is way more than what we have, and I believe thats the spirit of the thing they want to accomplish.

You wanna be destro? Heres the destro kit and all the spells you need to be functional. Now, pick of all these to determine how you want it to -feel-.
Edited by Laider on 10/26/2011 2:58 AM PDT
90 Blood Elf Paladin
5305
No, you don't get it. They are PANDAS. Fail.
82 Night Elf Hunter
1110
Dear Princess Celestia,


Today I learned a valuable lesson in not judging a book by its cover. Sometimes instincts can be good and get you out of trouble in life, but there are times when your first impression may not illuminate the truth and leave you alone and sad. Often, it is best to allow yourself to have an open mind and give something a chance because you never know when the chance you give can blossom into something truly wonderful and amazing!

Your faithful student,

Fluttershy
90 Pandaren Warrior
0
10/26/2011 02:20 AMPosted by Selenora
They asked "Come with us, come see what were doing here." So, Ill give it a shot. I mean, my roommate said it: "What -if- it turns out to be a lot of fun?"


I think a lot of the negative comments are passing over the fact that that it's not really the idea of the "panda world" that's off-putting, but the pseudo-Asian Kung Fu type tying that they're pushing into a world that probably won't naturally accommodate it.

Case in point:

Did you ever see that remake of "The Three Musketeers" that featured the classic story set in eighteenth century France where the director decided to hire a martial arts specialist and insert a rather large load of Kung Fu Tom Foolery into the story?

This one:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246544/

The tag line was even: "As You've Never Seen It Before."

And the movie was a failure because it was a bad combination of some Eastern spirituality martial arts thing and a story set in France that just didn't mesh well with the idea.

People engaging in martial arts and gravity-defying flips off a wall were ridiculous when paired with people wearing eighteenth century hats with long white feathers in them.

That is what this expansion feels like. I feel like someone has hired Jackie Chan to teach a bunch of dragons how to do a roundhouse kick.

And it's not boating my float right now.



When Blizzard first trademarked "Mists of Pandaria", and it was only rumored to be the next expansion, I went through a similar reaction.

Aside from being Asian myself, I perceived an Asian-themed WoW as highly out of place within the context of Azeroth. I spoke about it with my girlfriend and have subsequently changed my mind. The main concerns I had with it were it seemed like a cheap way to exploit Asian/Chinese culture and how out of place it really was.

First, it's no secret that Blizzard routinely draws upon real-life references. The Vrykul and Val'kyr are obvious references to Vikings and Valkyries, and they even shaped the role of the Val'kyr to be functionally similar to valkyries, just with their own Lich King-esque spin on it. I think that, traditionally, has been where Blizzard excelled. They take a piece of known mythology or lore, then reinterpret it in a way that you haven't thought about before. Far from other commercial ventures, where corporations take a product, add some fangs, and label it XTREME LOL, Blizzard puts actual thought into their reinterpretations.

For example, prior to Diablo 2, I thought of druids as passive wielders of nature magic, more likely to try to raise a garden than to shapeshift into different forms and fight in melee combat.

Night Elves were typically portrayed as the "bad" version of regular elves. In WarCraft, the Night Elves are the good guys from their magic-addicted counterparts.

Tauren, obviously drawn from minotaurs, I thought of as a solitary, brutish race. They were so inconsequential that I didn't really give them any sort of mythos. However, Blizzard gave them a whole backstory of honor and tradition, to make them more than what they referenced.

Some people call it copying; that's not entirely fair. Its reinterpretation.

The second point was the cheap exploitation of Chinese culture. It seems like when fantasy or other game developers run out of ideas, the game always then includes an Asian-theme expansion. It sort of makes sense, if you think about it. On our planet, before cultures collided, there was diversity among the development of cultures. European architecture was pretty distinctive from Chinese architecture, for example. So why is it so farfetched that the same thing happened in Azeroth?

In Star Trek, I actually found it inconsistent that every alien world they visited had one, unified culture. That's not how Earth developed, so why does an Alien culture have no sense of racial diversity (Vulcans being the only Alien race with distinct skin tones)? Yet I found myself expecting Azeroth to conform to the "one world, one culture" rule.

Given the development of distinct cultures on Earth, its not outside the suspension of disbelief to assume it happened on Azeroth as well.

I, for one, welcome our new panda overlords.
90 Dwarf Paladin
7700
10/26/2011 02:55 AMPosted by Laider
The new talent system, less points, less total choices, less individuality, which i thought was the point of changing talent trees(less cookie cutter)


I will have to disagree there. Cookie cutter is a term that means "All the cookie's are shaped the same."

You could have a talent tree with 200 points and if there was a 'best' allocation of points, you would still not have individuality. There would be a guide, people would read it, and it would only make sense to be the 'best' combination of talent options.

The new system is not offering less. The intent is to give you, each teir, three ways to accomplish a goal in different ways so you can do the one that fits you.

To be clear: Destro warlocks in PvE, who spec now, always have the same build. Every time. Theres no difference. That is cookie cutter.

However, in 5.0 (unless it changes) you can have a Destro lock who takes the AoE Stun, another who takes the AoE fear. One has Nether Ward, one has Hour of Twilight. One can heal over thirty second, the other heals in trash packs.

That may not be -perfect- customization but it is way more than what we have, and I believe thats the spirit of the thing they want to accomplish.

You wanna be destro? Heres the destro kit and all the spells you need to be functional. Now, pick of all these to determine how you want it to -feel-.


LOL, i know what cookie cutter means. But giving people less choices simply means that when they go to shape their cookie they'll only have to remember 6 decisions from the thread or blog they read.

So making you choose between two highly used skills such as my cc and my interupt as a ret pally? Or making me choose one of my 3 tanking abilities that i currently have, and use very often?

People will still rate which of the three, are best for being a destruction or ret or prot in my case...thats never going to change. At least now i can make my own choices in greater ways. For example, there are more than one build recomended online for disc priests. Did i use any of them? no, i created a hybrid and for me it works pretty well with my healing style. People that cant make choices on their own will still no matter what go to other people to base their decisions off of. No sense limiting true choice
92 Blood Elf Death Knight
6335
I find it funny that I expected the OP to be highly rated before I came on here and I was right :P (came from MMO-Champion).

nonetheless I welcome our pandaren brethren and I cannot wait to have a new main ;)
90 Dwarf Paladin
7700
So, what you SHOULD be left with is interesting talents that aren't part of the cookie cutter spec.

Look, it can't be worse than it already is. There is nothing of significance that you can vary in the current talent system.


In the new system;
i have to choose from 3 huge tanking abilities, and a choice between my stun or cc for ret (good bye pvp utility)

As i mentioned before, i wanted to use hots in my disc spec, so i did what every website said not to do, and speced for renew and i use it often. Its not that you have to go with the cookie cutter, its just that alot of people do, because they're lazy and do not want to try things out. Online they say use heal, and never renew, when both heal for roughly the same amount, renew is more expensive, but more useful, and through my talents i can make using renew sustainable. I did all this without using a pre made build.
90 Undead Warlock
11940
So, what you SHOULD be left with is interesting talents that aren't part of the cookie cutter spec.

Look, it can't be worse than it already is. There is nothing of significance that you can vary in the current talent system.


In the new system;
i have to choose from 3 huge tanking abilities, and a choice between my stun or cc for ret (good bye pvp utility)

As i mentioned before, i wanted to use hots in my disc spec, so i did what every website said not to do, and speced for renew and i use it often. Its not that you have to go with the cookie cutter, its just that alot of people do, because they're lazy and do not want to try things out. Online they say use heal, and never renew, when both heal for roughly the same amount, renew is more expensive, but more useful, and through my talents i can make using renew sustainable. I did all this without using a pre made build.


It isnt about laziness, its about efficiency. There are a lot of very smart people who play this game, who look at logs and parses and do a lot of math. The reason these guides are out there is because these people came to the conclusion, with numbers, that the most efficient way to spec and play was <insert here>.

So, while you -can- spec for improved renew as a disc priest, it is not efficient to do so in comparison to the 'cookie cutter' way of playing. It can be more enjoyable on a personal basis (youre proof) but still mathematically inferior.

That is what the new system can eliminate. It can make you make hard choices that effect gameplay but not penalize your efficiency at your role for which one you choose.

(Also bear in mind that those talent trees arent finalized yet and could change)
Edited by Laider on 10/26/2011 3:45 AM PDT
85 Blood Elf Priest
4975
10/26/2011 12:32 AMPosted by Vollmond
After getting owned many times by a Pandaren Brewmaster in WC3, I doubt noble and peaceful translate into "care bear", more of the lines, "I'm good as long as you don't mess me up, but when you do..." seriously, those damn things used freaking booze to breathe fire at you.
85 Blood Elf Priest
4975
10/26/2011 03:08 AMPosted by Takamura
European architecture was pretty distinctive from Chinese architecture, for example. So why is it so farfetched that the same thing happened in Azeroth?
Yeah.

People also seem to take Western stuff as the default and feel weird about the inclusion of Chinese architecture and themes. But Western culture is as appropriate to an alien culture as Chinese culture is. There's no difference in terms of originality or creativity, neither of them would realistically be the basis for a culture on another world.

So criticising the use of asian stuff as this or that is strange. 'Oh, they've run out of ideas.' Yes, because reusing the western cliches of fantasy in a game is so original. :/ Give things a chance. Blindly hating on anything because it draws from a different culture than yours is silly.
100 Orc Death Knight
18420
Eee! A blue quoted me! A Blue quoted me! Oh gosh, is my hair fine? Is my Worgen Grin showin' off enough? Oh man, this is going to be all over mmo champion, too! OHMYGOSH I CAN'T TAKE THIS.

You're welcome.


Down, boy! Down! Stay!


Good dog.


Kinky.
100 Blood Elf Warlock
10195
Dear OP: This was the best thread I've read on the forums in days.

I also would like to specifically talk to some of the people who have been posting childish, closed-minded messages on gnome, blood elf, draenei, and worgen characters.

You obviously like your characters, but I think you should know that when each of those races was announced, there was similar backlash to what's going on right now with the pandaren, with a lot of hate speech and name-calling.

Do us all the courtesy of being a bit open-minded. It was just a few years ago that your characters would have been getting the same treatment you're now giving the pandaren.
85 Blood Elf Death Knight
7150
The game needs more people like you....people who see past the initial impression, and give it an honest thought.
85 Blood Elf Warlock
4885
So can we get Kim Jong Il as a raid boss? just sayin
100 Blood Elf Paladin
17895
I think there are some rather unfair stereotypes being thrown out that simply because some of us intensely dislike a panda race and are vocal in our dissatisfaction that we must have some sort of emotional issues and/or not be looking at the whole picture.

I've loved cata so far. I've continuously subbed since I started playing around when BC was released and have been actively raiding multiple nights a week for nearly all of that time. I think Blizzard normally has excellent design values and most of the complaints that float round are typically the result of the complainer's personal issues (generally related to familiarity vs novelty).

I've been reading over everything related to MoP and I think that virtually all of it sounds excellent. The diversification of end game activities and rewards is an exceptionally smart move on Bliz's behalf, and something that's been badly needed. The recognition that people crave personal customisation & differentiation is something that I think has been lacking until now, and I welcome it with open arms. I recognise the fact that pandaren have been around since WC3 and predate Kung Fu Panda by several years, and have had a minor role within one of the RTS expansions.

I feel comfortable in my own skin, have no significant issues with my sexuality or maturity, and like plenty of things that could be regarded as silly or cutesy (I have a stuffed toy Windrider Cub propped up next to my monitor as a mascot - bought by me, for me, cos I thought the pet was cute). I finished high school more than 15 years ago.

But I still think Pandaren are silly, and the way they're being introduced as one of the fundamental unavoidable pillars of the expansion offends and irritates me because it will hinder my immersion in the story of Azeroth.

One of the key features that fundamentally draws me to WoW is the ability to go out into Azeroth and fight ancient evils hell bent on conquest & destruction, to strive to overcome unquestionably evil stuff with my heroic pixelated avatars. To have a fun and fulfilling story where good guys are good, bad guys are bad, and myself & my friends can enjoy an immersive story where we play out the fantasy of being the heros who help make the world a better place.

I accept & often enjoy the cutesy and whimsical elements within wow. I accept the pop references and the moments where you have to deliberately choose to suspend disbelief (i.e. monsters just randomly appearing out of thin air X seconds/minutes after the previous ones died). Light hearted elements have their place even in serious stories - constant oppressive gritty angst & desperation is not an enjoyable experience. There's too much of that in real life already.

But the primary story for me, like many others, is the serious saga of a band of heroes united to drive off the evil forces plaguing the world. It is not a story that should have a laugh track or a funny fat bloke who breaks wind at inappropriate moments. I don't want primary protagonists whose initial reaction is to provoke laughter.

As such I do not like Pandaren, and especially I do not want them to be a playable race that are going to be an omnipresent & unavoidable semi-comedy element within the saga of WoW. These aren't going to be like the Tuskarr, who I regard as equally daft but could contentedly accept because I could simply avoid them when I wasn't in the mood for comedic absurdism - player character Pandaren are going to be sodding everywhere from the very moment 5.0 gets released.

No matter how gritty, deep and moving Bliz makes their back story, pandas are fundamentally a cute'n'fuzzy creature. Your first reaction to a panda is not "now there's a creature who could rally against evil to save the world!", it's "awwww.. see how it looks at me with the big eyes.. isn't that sweet". All of this is a large part of their appeal to many/most of those who like them, and fundamental part of why myself and others dislike them.

Thus, in my opinion, no matter how much depth and angst Bliz tries to add, Pandaren are fundamentally inappropriate as a key unavoidable element of an otherwise exceptional sounding expansion because they make an utter mockery of the ongoing heroic saga. It has nothing to do with personal issues or because I dislike other features with MoP - it is because the Pandaren are an unavoidable race of story-spoilers.

Plus I interpret Pandaren as a blatant attempt to expand the appeal of the game to a more diverse audience, while also attempting to create something different-for-the-sake-of-difference and non-genre-conformist so as to provide a shock of novelty for players. It's depressing to see a good story warped to pander (ho ho) to marketing concerns like this, even if they are undoubtedly going to do their best to fit the taint in aesthetically.

Will I quit wow because of this? No. Bliz could do an awful lot to screw up the game from my personal perspective and I'd still keep playing, because at this point the primary reason I play is to socialise and play with my guildies. Plus, with the notable and unavoidable exception of the Pandas, I think Bliz has been consistently improving the game as a whole with every iteration so one major negative is not a game-breaker.

On the other hand, does it reduce the fundamental underlying appeal of the game itself? Yes. Absolutely.

It doesn't matter if the WoW design team is exceptional enough that they could write a compelling backstory for a levitating, telepathic race of green penguins - it doesn't mean they should.
Edited by Lakhesís on 10/26/2011 4:13 AM PDT
100 Blood Elf Warlock
10195
So, what you SHOULD be left with is interesting talents that aren't part of the cookie cutter spec.

Look, it can't be worse than it already is. There is nothing of significance that you can vary in the current talent system.


In the new system;
i have to choose from 3 huge tanking abilities, and a choice between my stun or cc for ret (good bye pvp utility)

As i mentioned before, i wanted to use hots in my disc spec, so i did what every website said not to do, and speced for renew and i use it often. Its not that you have to go with the cookie cutter, its just that alot of people do, because they're lazy and do not want to try things out. Online they say use heal, and never renew, when both heal for roughly the same amount, renew is more expensive, but more useful, and through my talents i can make using renew sustainable. I did all this without using a pre made build.

I think the general reaction to this statement would be that, if you put the same amount of effort into using the "correct" spec as you have to make your "unique" spec work, your performance would be better than it currently is.

My personal opinion is that the current talent trees offer very little choice, particularily at higher levels where you find yourself putting points into talents that you skipped over, just to unlock the next tier of talents you do want.

I often find myself getting excited when I get a new talent point, and then disappointed when I realize that it's going to be used to change "+2% crit chance" to "+4% crit chance", and that it's going to take another two levels before I can get past that talent, and another two more levels until I can spend a point on something I actually want (if I'm lucky).

At the end of the tree, if you look back at what you actually skipped (if you're anything like me) it was probably a few talents that were clearly intended for use in PVP situations.

Now, I'm not saying the new talents are all perfect. They're a work in progress and need more iteration, and more constructive feedback from the players. And keep in mind that we don't have all the details on how Specializations and Glyphs will be handled.


My personal opinion is that some of the talents, namely those in themed tiers, need to be treated more like the Priest ones, where different Specializations change the way the talent works. A single ability can come in multiple flavors to suit each of the specs.

For example, in a tank-themed warrior tier, give all three talents one function while in Defensive Stance, and another function while in Battle and Berserker Stances.

Even in an ice-themed Mage tier, the talents can have some fire flavor for Fire Mages. Ice is liquid. Liquids can boil, turn into steam, or even be corrosive. Hot and cold can make for an explosive reaction. Think about the possibilities, there!


I would also personally prefer gaining a talent point every ten levels, with 8 total. I also realize that such a simple improvement would actually boil down to Blizzard having to create and balance 66 more abilities. I am content with getting one every 15 levels.

Anyway, I generally view the new talent system as a huge improvement, and about 70% of the reactions I've seen have been in agreement. It may not be perfect, but I think they're at the very least moving in the right direction.
Edited by Malderas on 10/26/2011 4:32 AM PDT
90 Undead Warlock
11940
On the other hand, does it reduce the fundamental underlying appeal of the game itself? Yes. Absolutely. It doesn't matter if the WoW design team is exceptional enough that they could write a compelling backstory for a levitating, telepathic race of green penguins - it doesn't mean they should.


By the same token, theres also nothing that says they should not.

This is where we get into the realm of perception, which is wholly unrelated to kneejerk reactions and baseless opinions (which is what my OP was about.)

I would like to know more about why you find them inappropriate. You mentioned they are "cute and cuddly" as well as alluding to them as 'primary protagonists whose initial reaction is to provoke laughter.'

The cute and cuddly bit, honestly, is one I can't field. A bear is a bear. Yeah, they can do cute things but they are still bears. Claws, teeth, etc.

The one that gets me is the "Pandas are inherently comedic." it is a claim that has been made many times but so far it hasnt been qualified. I get that you feel that way and in no way im I telling you thats wrong. I just want to know what is it about them that you cant take seriously? (E.g.- They are fat; they walk funny; etc)
Edited by Laider on 10/26/2011 4:23 AM PDT
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