When the Burning Crusade expanasion was released, we had the opening of the Dark Portal event and we fought back the demons for a week. When Wrath of the Lich King was release we had the Scourge Invasion for two weeks marked by the zombie plague and Scourge attacks on Stormwind and Ogrimmar. With the release of Cataclysm, we had three weeks of tremors, cultists and elementals invading.
For each expansion, the pre-release events have been lasting longer and are more elaborate. It is going to really interesting to see what they come up with time. Rumor has it that there will be an increase in tension between the Horde and Alliance forces. The results in the attack or possible destruction of Theramore. I can there might be possibilities for Open World PVP in contested zones such as Ashenvale, Arathi Highlands, Northern and Southern Barrrens to name a few.
With the previous expansions, there has always been an external force, demons, scourge or elementals attacking both sides. This time around I think we will be attacking each other in escalating battles all up and down Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. I can’t think of any other way for an event to be staged at this point.
With Mists of Pandaria on the list of soon to be released games, it is time to start planning ahead. There are a few things I usually do to get ready for a midnight release.
1) Book the next day or 3, off work.
2) Clear out bank space for new shinies.
3) Create a couple of new toons to reserve the name of my new character(s).
4) Stock up on bags for the new character.
5) Stock up on mats to level a new profession.
The best way to prepare for an expansion or major patch is to get together with a bunch of people, friends or guildies, and pool your resources. Each of you picks something such as bags, mats, gear, pots and potions. Everyone builds up a stockpile and shortly before release, you trade with each other. You may want to even for a small guild with alts and us the guild bank as temporary storage for all the goodies you are hoarding.
In regards to your current toons, now is the time to get in all though last minute achievements you have been meaning to do. A few people around the blogoshere have even created bucket lists they want to complete before the end of the expansion.
Aralosseien of Achievements Ahoy - http://achievementsahoy.blogspot.ca/p/bucket-list.html
Cynwise of Cynwise’s Field Note - http://cynwise.posterous.com/on-making-a-bucket-list-for-mists-of-pandaria
Angela of Revive & Rejuvenate - http://reviveandrejuvenate.blogspot.ca/2012/01/wows-bucket-list.html
Like many others, I am currently playing around in the Mists of Pandaria Beta and though I would share a few thoughts. This is not my first beta. I participated in the betas for Fallen Earth, SWTOR, Rift and Tera. I have also played a couple of recent demos from Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
I have leveled several toons through the Panda starting area and created a pre-made level 85 to test out the level 85+ content. Overall, I have had few issue other than the Burning the Scroll quest, that everyone was stuck at for several days, and a couple of bugged quests, including one that is sometimes bugged on the live servers as well. Of course there are the times that I could not log in and the usual server disconnects that as sort of expected. The spawn rates on many of the quests mobs are jacked up high enough that there is usually not much difficulty in finding enough mobs to kill. In some cases when there are not a lot players logged in, the spawn rate is a bit too high and you have a bit of difficulty in getting away from the mobs. I have noticed that the class balance is off, even in the starting area but haven’t really played around much at the higher levels.
The big thing that I have noticed between this beta and other or even demos is that things are actually buggy and you don’t really have to look hard to see things are off. Other betas I have been in, usually appear much more polished and have fewer bugs. It may bee that I did not get into those betas until later in the testing cycle. I am more inclined to think that those betas were being treated more like demos than betas. Several other people have mentioned this as well. One of the best write ups I have seen can be found here, although leaning more to getting beta access as a perk of pre-puchasing. http://www.manaobscura.com/2012/04/11/pre-purchase-for-beta/
Are developers using beta access and another demo or are they actually seeking help in developing a better game through thorough stress testing in a beta?