One of the best thing of this expansion, so far, is the introduction quest chain in the Jade Forest on the Alliance side.
Back when I played the beta for the first time (what was it, spring of this year? Whoa….) the Alliance story was completely different.
In the original quest chain, the Alliance sea ship that holds your character gets shipwrecked and from there you go out to scout the terrain, befriending the Jinyu, train them in the art of war against the Hozen. It was only half way through the Jinyu quest chain you finally see any presence of the horde.
It was a very slow build up to the Horde and Alliance conflict, and it took even longer to introduce the Sha.
But now, oh boy! At the start of the Jade Forest, the Alliance enter the island on a Skyship and once they get seen by a Horde camp the Alliance launch a full-scale assault to destroy -not to pushback, not to defend against the attacking force- but actually go on the offensive and not leave until the base is in ruins.
Not only is the change in the introduction is great to the Alliance’s attitude of this expansion (transforming from a defensive/recovery force to showing some backbone and fighting back against the problem of the Horde)
But it also better sets up the tone of the expansion. As most of the reader will find out, the overall situation of Pandaria is that the Horde and Alliance escalated the troubles that starts in the Jade Forest.
What happens in the Jade Forest creates ripples throughout all of the continent and your job after the Jade Forest adventures is to address the problems that occurs from all around the island.
In the beta, the build up to the conflict did not feel big enough to justify the disasters that follows elsewhere let alone convinced me that this was the major theme of the expansion.
But after going through the quests on the live servers I can completely believe that the actions that I made in the first zone did affect the rest of the world, which is a tough feeling to convey in an MMO when literally everyone else is doing the exact same thing as you.
Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays