Surviving Mists of Pandaria

Pandarian MonkSo, did the launch of Mists of Pandaria go well for you? I had played through most of the beta so was kind of prepared. But I always love the launch of a new expansion and I was still excited by this one. In this short article I thought I would  recall my first few hours in Pandaria and some of my surprises when compared to the beta.

Getting to Pandaria

In the beta, a placeholder portal was placed in the major cities of Stormwind and Orgrimmar. This was replaced in the live version with a quest ‘The King’s Command’ that took the Alliance to the gunship Skyfire, above Stormwind harbor and the Horde players to the Zeppelin Hellscream’s Fist after picking up the quest ‘The Art of War’. Players are then transported to the new land of Pandaria where the fun starts.

War is Hell!

As readers of this blog will know, I normally lean to the Alliance in most of my characters in wow and so it’s no surprise that my favorite Mage of Stormwind was the first to  set foot on the misty isle.

For the first few quests, both Horde and Alliance are at each others throats in a pitched battle that eventually leads the Alliance to Paw’don Village and the Horde to Honeydew Village. The point I’d like to make here is that both sides have ample opportunity to grind countless opponents. Speaking for the Alliance, I certainly dispatched a large number of Horde NPCs and a goodly number of Sha before completing all the quests in an around Paw’don Village. Now, the war may have been hell, but worse of all was that I received no drops of Mote of Harmony!

Grinding for Motes of Harmony

Now, as we know, Motes of Harmony are the new elemental material that should drop from grinding mobs in Pandaria. Combining 10 motes gives you a Spirit of Harmony. Both Motes and Spirits are required in a good amount for all the new plans and recipes in Pandaria. So, I was disappointed that none dropped.

I thought I knew the answer.

Perhaps Motes of Harmony only drop from mobs native to Pandaria? I tweeted this and most folks in the twitterverse seemed to agree. So, I ventured out from the safety of Paw’don Village and headed into the Jade Forest, a land of mist and bamboo.

Grinding for Windwool

The one consolation for the poor drops of elemental material was that the new cloth type – Windwool – dropped quicker than you can shake Hozen out of a bamboo patch. By the time I had left the village I had accumulated about three stacks. Windwool seemed to drop in abundance from both the natives of Azeroth and those native to Pandaria.

Become a Zen Master

As I mentioned in my post – Waiting for Mists of Pandaria – I made sure that I attained the level of Zen Master for all my primary and secondary professions. In the case of my Mage this was Mining, Engineering, Cooking and First Aid. I made good use of the cloth by creating Windwool bandages and leveling my First Aid.

Mining Ghost Iron Ore

The one material that hadn’t changed much in terms of its distribution in the beta is Ghost Iron. The nodes in this area of Pandaria are very abundant and I soon mined about three stacks of ore, simply from casual gathering. No other players seemed to be mining? I smelted the ore bars and used my Engineering to craft the first few recipes, which in my case was Ghost Iron Bolts and High Explosive Gunpowder.

For those camping out in the Auction House, Ghost Iron Bar were in good supply in the Auction House, but unless players leave and grind for Motes of Harmony (remember they are soulbound), there is very little a player can do to level a profession at the level of Zen Master.

Summary

So there you have it. I made it through the first few hours in Pandaria and was able to level a few professions. Windwool dropped richly, which is good news for Tailors, and was in abundance on the Auction House. Prices should remain competitive if drop-rates stay the same.

The same is true for Ghost Iron Ore. I was able to find nodes sprouting from every rock which meant that ore was cheap and in good supply.

But the the big disappointment was the rarity in drops for Mote of Harmony. Despite grinding hordes of Hozen, I came away with just a few Motes. Leveling the professions in MoP just got a lot harder.

Cheers
Marcus Ty

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