Having worked through the Monk/Pandaran starting zone now I feel it’s time for a moment to consider what we’ve seen. So please, grab your favorite brew (or beverage) and come sit with me among the splendor that is a giant turtle.
This is still very much the beta, so I look forward to seeing what the game will be like once in its finished state.
To that end I was sure to try and not read the quest text overly much because I didn’t want to spoil the story experience. Just to warn wary readers though, I may still accidentally spoil things.
You have been warned.
There’s evidence that we’re in a beta pretty much wherever you go though. From missing texture objects (the blue and white cubes) to odd camera jumping and especially still some placeholders.
Another unique and very obvious “hey this is still a beta” statement would be the fact that when I first started playing my monk she had the roll command. The next time I fired up the beta, I had to wait until level 5.
The main experience is there though. Vermin who tell you that you no take candle… or veggies gives anyone who has leveled in that starting Stormwind area a fun flashback.
Quite a few of the animations are getting firmed up as well. Swordagent (oldest son) and I quite enjoyed testing a few of them out.
He was very disappointed that /dance wasn’t in yet, but was thankful that /roar was ready and… roaring to go.
Surprisingly as Monks we don’t see much in the way of new abilities in the early turtle levels either.
Two moves that use Chi and one that changes as your weapon does (which is very neat!)
Through most of your leveling experience you won’t have a spec either. That’s normal, of course, but the Monk feels an awful lot like a druid once you do finally hit that level 10.
Not because of the fact that this class can also be one of three roles (Paladins can too, after all) but because once you do choose that specialization you access your healing abilities via a stance.
No, there won’t be much stance dancing (I hope) like a warrior might perform (or a power-shifting Druid) but you do conveniently get a bar to put all your healing spells (all of one) and then can still decently melee deps your enemies.
I foresee most Mistweavers at least carrying a dps set on them for soloing or dual-speccing so that it won’t be an issue. Another odd clue that we’re currently a beta is that the Mistweaver has the taunt and the Brewmaster has a group heal spell waiting in the wings in their spellbooks. Go figure.
Something that greatly pleased me about this new class (and Swordagent) is the fact that we can dual-weild swords. He had a pair of one-handed swords that served him all the way through Wrath content, he’ll now be able to dust them off and send them to his new Monk once it lands in Stormwind.
The hot air balloons and the carts are our primary form of transportation (aside from Panda rolls) around the island. When I first saw it I had a good feeling about it, but you don’t actually get to ride in it for a little while after you first spot the balloon.
Oh well. I think the wait for the ride was worth it. Next up after the ride is a string of quests that help let you experience in RP terms the best of both factions.
There’s still a bit of questing, but you’ll soon be presented with first a choice…
And then a familiar sight depending on that choice.
That final “it’s a beta!” message comes right before the above picture because they tell us in no uncertain terms that there will be a grand balloon ride to Stormwind… but we don’t get to see it quiet yet.
This was an experience that I very much look forward to having again in the live realms once the game launches. The Monk experience of 1-12 brings back that new class awe and wonder that the Death Knight starting zone did for me too.
It makes me look forward to leveling, even through Outlands. Especially since I’ll have a stable of alts and mains ready and waiting to help my new future Monk out along the way. Frankly I don’t think she’ll need much help though.
Depending on how later game healing (and/or tanking) goes for Yenomi I may just find myself changing mains. We’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully those account wide achievements aren’t something that get put on hold for too much longer.