The Jade Forest

My first Pandaria screenshot; The Jade Forest

 

Initial thoughts

Mists went live at 8am yesterday morning. Since I (foolishly) didn’t book any time off work, I’ve not been able to play for more than a few hours last night but I feel I can sum up my initial feelings in one (very fitting) word… Wow. This is Blizzard at their absolute finest and I really am blown away by what they’ve done. Pandaria looks beautiful, full of life and exquisite little details wherever you look. The fantastic vista that Blizzard have created is perfectly complemented by a truly epic soundtrack worthy of a blockbuster movie.

Obviously I’ve known the inspiration for this expansion for a long time. I’ve seen the screenshots from Blizzcon and from the beta but none of them really do it justice. The visuals really bring to mind movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House of Flying Daggers. (The Jade Forest especially reminds me of the scenes in the bamboo forest from the latter.)

While my absolute number one WoW moment will probably remain the first time I arrived in Howling Fjord my first steps in Pandaria are a very close second. My hat is off to Blizzard for delivering on everything they promised and I’m really looking forward to being able to attack the content properly over the coming day, weeks and months.

 

First Steps

As per my plan, posted on Monday, I first took my Rogue out mining. I figured that most of the profession realm firsts are done and I’m not in any massive rush so I took my time and did a little exploring. Not being able to fly always makes the world seem bigger and The Jade Forest is certainly no exception. It took me a good 2 hours to explore the zone and there’s still a couple of areas I can’t figure out how to get to! During that time I picked up 20 stacks of Ghost Iron Ore with very little competition, maxing out mining along the way. Being 10 hours behind the first wave meant that there were less people around but it was far from deserted. I had one instance of someone “stealing” an ore node from, literally, under my feat while I was killing a mob and a couple of cases where someone beat me to a node fair and square but that was it.

I mailed all the ore I collected across to Jez and prospected it down. I didn’t get all that many blue gems, but I did get plenty of greens. Seemingly Blizzard tweaked the levelling for professions before release as I was able to get 3 points off most orange patterns and ground out 585 fairly quickly before running out of mats (for patterns that give skillups). I’m now left with the daily researches and blue quality gems to level on when I obtain more ore.

I was a little impatient with Inscription… I logged in briefly at lunch time and bought a couple of stacks of herbs off the Auction House for ~450g a stack just to get my research done. Neither scribe learned anything especially exciting (Glyph of the Cheetah and Glyph of Marking) so I didn’t bother crafting any. By the time I checked the Auction House before bed Green Tea Leaf had dropped all the way down to 23g per stack so I bought & milled 10 stacks.

 

That’s about it for now, more to follow in the coming days!