Nearing the end of the WoW beta
After returning from my recent vacation, I found numerous additions to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta and a special present from Blizzard — a release date for the expansion. With the announcement that MoP will go live Sept. 25, it means the beta work will be winding down over the next couple of months.
But the additions that showed up during my time away have given me plenty to try out in the last week. First of all, the Jade Forest was reopened with a seriously upgraded opening quest line. Now stemming from what will be part of the pre-expansion patch, the opening series has a major battle raging between the Alliance and Horde. The original version had the two sides working to establish themselves without much interaction with each other.
With the Jade Forest available again, I also have been able to test out the lengthy daily quest series that will unlock the cloud serpent mount. These gorgeous flying mounts bear strong resemblances to the Chinese dragons seen in parade costumes during the country’s new year celebration. Players will spend lots of time working with their young serpent on the way to it becoming a mount they can ride.
The developers also turned on The Tillers, a group of farmers based in Valley of the Four Winds near Halfhill. With this group, players can start their own farm, growing vegetables that can be used in cooking or turned in as part of a cooking quest for tokens. This faction also brings in a new reputation feature. Players now have the chance to build relationships with individual NPCs (non-playable characters), along with the faction as a whole.
Each of the NPCs has a gift that he or she likes, which can be picked up and when given to the NPC, that awards some friendship points. They also each have a favorite food and offer daily quests that also will award friendship.
Players earn reputation with The Tillers through these quests and by growing and harvesting crops. You start with four available plots, but as you progress, quests open up that expand the farm to a total of 16 plots.
All of this continues to expand the list of daily quests available to players throughout Pandaria, meaning it should be difficult to get bored with gameplay at level 90.
Andrew is a copy editor for the Wausau Daily Herald. He has owned every Nintendo system except the SNES and DS (in all its incarnations). His primary toon in WoW is Grantham, a dwarf paladin.