I’m not a fan of questing in WoW. At all. I’m not into lore, or the storylines, and I despise leveling. However, I can’t help but be tangentially aware of how questing has vastly improved over the course of WoW. After leveling once again in Mists of Pandaria I noticed an incredibly awesome trend: Blizzard has started using questing as a way of preparing players for 5-mans and raids.
I noticed a lot of different quest mobs that have special abilities that put a circle on the ground that you have to get out of before the damage hits, or laser-like abilities that you have to run away from, or even one with a healing circle you wanted to stand in except when the bad circles appeared and you had to run out. Of course in questing the damage is sufficiently light that you could probably just sit through it.
Nevertheless, I think this is a phenomenal move on Blizzard’s part. When you get right down to it, a huge percentage of raiding skills comes down to moving out of bad things before bad things happen, or moving into good things. A very closely related raiding skill is clumping up and spreading out. If you can do that and manage your rotation at the same time, you’re going to be better than the majority of raiders out there.
Historically questing had nothing to do with any of these skills, but with Mists a very noticeable effort has been put into training leveling players in the essentials of raiding. With Raid Finder a massive success, training players not to stand in the fire is a great idea.
But between you and me… not standing in fire isn’t exactly rocket science, and I’m dubious about how successful this will be in changing behavior. But I do applaud the effort.