Hi guys! Mists of Pandaria will always hold a special place in my heart because it's when I finally got to begin my journey in the World of Warcraft. It brought my very first taste of endgame MMORPG content and I was hooked. Even though I was casual, I still did the two hours of dailies, got my rep, and did my LFR and legendary quests every week. This was all during 5.1, "Landfall."
Then 5.2 landed, and BOY was I hooked even harder. Still considered to be one of the single best (and largest) patches in WoW's history, 5.2 brought the Isle of Thunder, new reps, new World Bosses, and, of course, Throne of Thunder. Everything about it had nooby me coming back for more; exploring the Isle, getting my Kirin Tor rep, killing Nalak and Oondasta, and finally getting a taste of raiding beyond LFR!
A lot of people praise 5.2 (and 5.1!) because Blizzard listened to what the players wanted: creating more engaging content that wasn't at the expense of existing content and systems. ToT, for example, is an extremely high quality raid (and was very difficult in Heroic at the time) that blew people away after a few months of MSV, HoF, and ToeS. While they aren't bad raids by any means, ToT just existed on a different level, incorporating new mechanics and designs that hadn't really been around before. On top of all this, Blizzard still focused heavily on improving class balance and design, and lessening the struggle of Dailies that plagued MoP's launch.
I could go on and on about 5.2 and MoP as a whole, but that's not the point.
My point is that Mists of Pandaria struggled early to maintain interest because of the time sink required to be relevant from daily quests and dungeons, weekly activities like world bosses and LFR, and so on. But Blizzard listened, and improved the systems of the game. Mists of Pandaria had a negative reputation for the first few months, for sure, but they turned it around with effective patches and game design, and a lot of it started with 5.2. MoP is fondly remembered from 5.2 on because it was a great time to play the game.
We are pretty close to the release of 8.1.5, and while Crucible of Storms looks alright, and the new mega-dungeon will hopefully be pretty cool, it's not going to be enough to pull me back in without changing a lot of the truthfully broken systems BfA launched with. But Blizzard has already stated that 8.2 will bring with it a lot of changes to these systems to be more player friendly, and I believe they can improve the game similarly. Nazjatar can be the next Isle of Thunder, and I believe even Eternal Palace could be the next ToT. But in order for 8.2 to succeed like 5.2 did, Blizzard needs to listen to and really improve the game where players want it most.
Just like 5.2 marked a turning point for Mists of Pandaria, I believe 8.2 can save Battle for Azeroth, if Blizzard is willing to let it.
Thanks for reading, guys. Sorry I rambled a lot 🙂
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© Post "Six years ago today, Patch 5.2.0 “The Thunder King” went live, to much praise. With 8.2, Blizzard has an opportunity to do what 5.2.0 did for MoP again!" for game World of Warcraft.
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