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.

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  1. Milocinia says:

    I’ve noticed this on the rare spawns as well. I was questing and found a rare spawn and went up to attack it. After a few seconds there was a ground animation and, assuming it wouldn’t be very devastating, I just stood there. Then, the first tick hit me and I lost almost half my life so, of course, I ran out. When this happened I thought that it was similar to raids as well. I’ve also noticed that there are a lot of new low level bosses with ?? level and raid-like behaviors. I think it’s not just MoP areas that has had a revamp to train people for raids.

  2. chereesa says:

    they do seem to have more of that element, which i approve of wholeheartedly, but even back in bc when i leveled my first character, i stood too close to the cooking fire in dolanar while talking to the cooking trainer. needless to say, a couple of ticks of fire damage to a lvl 3 character and it was all over (this was before the astronomically high health regeneration of pre lvl10 characters). it was my first standing in fire lesson and one i will not likely forget. by the way, soon after that i fell off darnassus in wisp form and ended up scrapping the character and starting a new once because i couldnt figure out how to get back up. i like to think i’ve come a long way.

  3. Flint says:

    I hate leveling with a passion. I find it boring and so much not a fun part of the game. To me it’s work. I was killing a rare spawn the other day and was pleasantly surprised when I had to interrupt the self heals. I was like “hey an actual miniboss”.

    The very pet I trained died so I ran off and found another one to train. This happened about 5 times before I realized you could revive them.

  4. Ghedrhalla says:

    I enjoy the new levelling system so long as my guildies aren’t hassling me ot catch up to 90 and get our raids going again.

    The initial levelling process was needlessly grindy and unorganized (my friends and I spend weeks organizing quest routes from Thottbot) to prevent the excessive number of cross-continental trips needing to be made.

    The Cataclysm reboot of the old world was magnificient, if under appreciated by the masses and this looks to be another step in the right direction.

    NPC has multiple heals it can do? Learn what order to use your interrupts and burn in between casts. Conal ground effects? Don’t stand in them and get back behind mob while pet tanks for you. Definitely nice to see the mobs once again requiring some thought yet still being recoverable, unlike the old Vanilla/BC days where 1 mistake on a troop of Elites basically meant death/Feign.

    Keep up the good work Blizz! Hopefully I can start logging more game time as work eases up because the new land is quite rich in detail and story.

  5. wrangle says:

    I guess I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum from a lot of you—I like the mythological aspect of WoW a lot, and I am generally favoring quests as I level my first real character (although I’d agree that they can get a little tedious at times).

    I did notice that a questline I did recently ended with a boss that had a significant self-healing ability, which caught me by surprise. I ended up having to use some of my newer, more unfamiliar abilities that I’d been neglecting. This was a really good thing for me, as I get easily overwhelmed with options & tend to stick with the basic shots as long as they’re adequate.

    Bearing this in mind, I think it would be a great idea if those (currently under-employed) class trainers could provide players with actual “training” in-game. In other words, if you’re confused about what that new shot is useful for, visit a class trainer and pick up a quest that focuses on using that specific ability in conjunction with a basic rotation. These would have to be challenging, unlike the starting area “introductory” quests, and ideally they’d incorporate some of the boss/environment mechanics you’d experience in a raid.

  6. bahzob says:

    Maybe. But whatever benefit may come from this was lost in the fact that the MoP quests were for the vast majority of time mind numbingly boring, more suited for a complete beginner than players who had already leveled to 85.

    They especially suffered in comparison with Cataclysm where the new zones were probably the best thing about the whole expansion.

    Why can’t Blizzard show some invention? simple e.g. make the new world spawns even more like raid bosses, in a closed off area and your quest is to join in fight and work with other players who happen to be around to kill it. (i.e. like GW2). The new rares are sort of like this but optional and all too often tagged by someone who then wont allow anyone to group. Wasted opportunity imo.

    • bahzob says:

      Another thought. What exactly is the logic/thinking for making players already at max level grind through 100s of quests, 98% of which involve mindless killing/clicking?

      Wouldn’t it be more cohorent/logical to instead just give them a few big story-line quests to complete, incorporating linked quests, dungeons and scenarios? No need for lots of new zones, just work way through one. Far more engaging for those who like the lore and far quicker for those who just want to get to 90 asap.

  7. Nagrenol says:

    The biggest thing I notice while I leveled and doing dailies is the interrupting. There seems to be a big emphasis on it with alot of mobs. I’ve done more interrupting this exp than I’ve done since I started playing at the start of tbc :O

  8. Baan says:

    I agree with Nagrenol. There is a lot to interrupt, and even quite a bit to tranq shot if you pay close enough attention.
    As far as the questing to train and prepare a person for raiding. If you are lvl 85 + and have yet to learn not to stand in bad stuff I doubt that the next 5 lvl’s are really going to change that.
    I did like the fact that after questing all the way through the zones and running the instances when you could get the quests in them, and a little luck on loot drops, when I hit 90 I was ready for the heroic 5 mans.
    The lvl 91 rares (or any of the other rares at a competitive lvl) are amusing, I’ve watched countless people wipe to them while easily soloing them myself. They are all about not standing in bad and interrupting their spells. They would seem to be a better training for a person pre-raid then any other mob I’ve come across, especially if you are soloing one, because they can easily kill you. Where as a quest mob you can pop CD’s and muscle your way through them.

  9. Marisha says:

    @Bazob:

    I think that Blizz is carefully watching GW2, and hopefully they will incorporate some of its better features.

    If only my Hunter could heal as well as my Ranger! ( The ‘hunter’ class in GW2 can be talented to have some of the best heals in the game-or switch- in combat- to melee )

  10. Ryshat says:

    With Thrill of the Hunt proccing so often, does that bring mastery as a secondary talent up in priority as so many more of your shots have the potential to be magical shots?

  11. Beergasm says:

    They started doing this in Cataclysm but yes, it’s refreshing to sometimes actually have to move when fighting stuff to level.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Find it funny though, as a hunter I rarely have to watch out for quest mob mechanics… I just kill things :D

  13. NoMatter says:

    Find it funny though, as a hunter I rarely have to watch out for quest mob mechanics… I just kill things :D

  14. Derp says:

    I personally find this to be the worst thing about MoP. Forcing you to grind daily quests for valor and the rep needed to buy gear is cruel, and stupid.