I stepped into the first two Pandaria dungeons for the first time over the weekend. Yes, it’s taken that long for me to run a dungeon post expansion. Leveling up my main character we sort of missed all the dungeons, the leveling whisks you away from them quick-smartish if you don’t deliberately stop.
The instance design in both cases is excellent, lots of tie-ins to the lore of the zone in question and characters from the quest plotlines. We were in a guild group so we had the luxury of stopping to listen to NPCs running through their dialogues – so much better than pugging dungeons at a constant run.
I got to practice paladin healer again for the first time since the mid Cataclysm era. Thoroughly enjoyable, it feels quite different from the other healers playstyles. There’s a ‘rising crescendo’ feeling as various triggered bonuses build-up and suddenly you can sling big heals left and right.
I was healing a monk tank. I have the feeling that monk at level 86 is still slightly over-powered – no idea what they’re like at the cap. But my healing wasn’t that frantic except where the tank was stunned or otherwise unable to mitigate damage. Probably a good thing as I felt rather clueless trying to remember how to play the class after a year’s gap!
As well as healing dungeons we also quickly jumped on two open world boss fights. First the Sha of Anger and then Galleon. I love these fights! They remind me of rifts in Rift to a certain extent at least from the grouping point of view.
There are of course a lot fewer world bosses than such content in Rift, and you need a decent raid to take one down so it’s not a constant occurrence. But it is nice to group up for an epic-feeling fight with other guilds on the server; to see familiar names and salute before the battle, or to sit under a picnic umbrella and share a quick buff snack!