I just hopped on WoW for a bit to check out what I could without having MoP (no plans to purchase it).
Pet battles are available without MoP. I did a few pet battles and it honestly just felt like I was playing Pokemon. It'd probably be pretty cool if I was into WoW still and it was something I did during downtime between dungeons or what-not. There are achievements to earn towards the pet battles, and like the video above there are random critters around the world to battle and capture.
Its only major downfall is other players, who can swoop in and battle the critter you're going for (i.e. "kill stealing" in another form.) Not a big deal but a minor annoyance. Luckily they're on the mini map with a little green paw print, so you can easily find another potential battle.
Your pets gain levels to earn new skills, as well as go towards achievements (i.e. level 10 pets above level 3, etc.) There are also "trainers" scattered around the world to go and battle. I can't really tell you how these work since the one I attempted to interact with was bugged. There's also the option to battle other players once you unlock all 3 of the pet slots (one unlocks with your first pet leveling up to 3, the other at pet level 5).
Other than pet battles, I was oddly enough able to play a Pandaren. The only thing that was locked was the Panda class, leveling past 85, and the new 85-90 zones.
The new character creation screen is pretty nice. Pets + Mounts and Achievements are shared across characters now. Which is pretty awesome I'll admit. No longer do I have to feel pinned to one character due to having that awesome mount I love.
I've done a couple pet battles with other players. They're incredibly lame. Really boils down to luck with what pets you have, as opposed to strategy in the Pokemon games. It might be different with everyones pets at level 20 (pet level cap) but for now it's just disappointing.
I say it's luck because people with Collectors Edition pets from previous expansions are incredibly overpowered. Cataclysms Deathy (or w/e his name is) has a move that can one shot your active pet. There are so many variations in pet types that it's luck of the draw on what you and your opponent have.
Pets all level differently as well, along with different rarities of pets you capture. (Poor, Common, Uncommon, Rare). Even the Rare pets that I have caught haven't been a match to any CE pets or Blizzcon pets. My Fetish Shaman from the Diablo 3 CE seems to be a carry, since his spells later on look pretty good.
Like I said this is just first impressions.. maybe the level 20 battles are more balanced.
Mixed feelings. This is the first expansion I'm missing (quit back in January) and I admit do feel left out and kinda weird. At the same time, I know I hadn't really had fun in the game since leveling in WotLK. Nothing in MoP particular interested me, but I'm getting curious about the consensus among different groups of friends that pet battles are the apparently the most fun thing in a while.
Anyone here playing? What do you think so far?
I'm not playing, but I've been reading a bit about it lately out of curiosity. After running into a Collector's Edition in Walmart, I couldn't help but wonder what was up. A trip through the official forums proved to be typical, some people complaining about minor things, and the hyena's jumping at the posters throat.
I was pretty interested in the pet battles out of everything, but I think I'd rather just play Pokemon (White 2 + Black 2 are right around the corner). Here's some of the pet battle game play, though.
I've been reading on MMO-Champion about the pre-expansion event, or should I say the lack of one. Apparently Blizzard is just introducing the new Scenarios which is one of the new features of MoP. There isn't an event to get special items only available from a pre-launch event. The scenarios that are being released before MoP will be available permanently.
Sounds really disappointing. The pre-expansion events were some of my favorites, partly due to getting unique loot.
I will say that this is pretty cool, though:
The World of Warcraft Battle Chest now includes Classic, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King, all for $20. Existing Classic and Burning Crusade accounts seem to have been upgraded to Wrath of the Lich King for free! You can purchase all of World of Warcraft up to Mists of Pandaria for $60 now as well.
"World of Warcraft - Mount and Pet
Take to the skies of Azeroth astride the magically-conjured wings of the Imperial Quilen mount, then fly to your next adventure with the Lucky Quilen Cub at your side."
But I'm going to have to say "Nay" to the game. I haven't played in almost a year now and haven't felt any desire to try it out again. I did play a bit of the MoP beta but only long enough to confirm I still wasn't interested.