WoW: Mists of Pandaria cuts back on phasing, makes quests more fun

Wednesday, 19th September 2012 09:45 GMT By Dave Cook

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria developer Blizzard has spilled the beans on why its latest expansion will make questing more fun than ever before, and why a cut-back on phasing will help make the game world a better place.

In a GameSpy interview, lead quest designer David Kosak explained why phasing – a way of changing World of Warcraft’s environments based on your quest progression – had to be scaled back in the game’s latest expansion.

Phasing essentially meant that players who weren’t at the same phase as you, couldn’t see this changed landscape, and most importantly, couldn’t see each other. Kosak assures players that this isn’t the case any more.

Kosak stressed, “As I instruct my team, phasing is like a story sledgehammer. It’s the big gun. We want to avoid it as much as possible. There’s still phasing in Mists of Pandaria for major story moments, but it’ll be very obvious that you’ve been phased.”

“And even then,” he continued, “the big change for Mists of Pandaria over most of Cataclysm is that players will be able to see their friends even if they’re in different phases — the difference being that one player will see one version of the surroundings and others players will see another.”

“We did a little bit of that in patch 4.2 with the Firelands. We really want to keep that, moving forward. Being in an MMO, you want to be with other people,” Kosak added.

Group quests are also removed in the expansion, giving people a chance to tackle the expansion at a reasonable pace. Kosak said, “People have less patience these days. The biggest problem with group quests way back in the days of vanilla WoW was the process of actually getting people together. It took a long time. It was a shame, especially if it was part of your quest progression, to just hit this brick wall where you need to find some other people, and if fewer people are in the zone it’s even harder.”

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria launches September 25th.



  1. Hcw87

    I thought the LFG tool worked for Group Quests aswell? I cant imagine it being hard to find groups with that. Still, a nice change for me, gonna return to my 7 year old account after 1.5 years without playing, sometime in the coming months.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. OlderGamer

    The phasing stuff really pissed the Mrs. and I off in Cata. Just no need for it. If I want a hand crafted story experiences that centers itself of of what I do and when I do it, I wouldn’t be playing a MMO. If I have an hour or two to play each night, didn’t like not being able to group up with friends and family due to phase shifting.

    That being said, I hope to stay away from this expansion. I always get excited, jump in, play, reach level cap, and becomes bored. Plus I have Guild Wars 2(hopes that doesn’t magicly summon he whos name will not be spoken).

    #2 2 years ago
  3. viralshag

    @OG, Firstly: lolz.

    Secondly, why would you want to stay away from the expansion because of the reasons you mentioned. I admit, I get bored quickly if I jump in WoW these days but a little part of me always wants to do it anyway.

    I’m thinking I will go back to it for this just to see what I’ve missed since I’ve been away. But I’m under no illusion that when/if I hit the new level cap (I actually don’t know if there is one?) I will cancel my sub again.

    For me WoW is just another old classic that I like to occasionally revisit. A lot like KOTOR.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    WoW is chasing the casual dragon. I was pretty disappointed going back into Cataclysm.

    The world was great, but the endgame was meager, and the balance was off. With one fell swoop they put half the tanks in the game out of a job, and I really wanted to main my paladin for once :P

    That’s essentially why I won’t be going back this time. WoW did endgame well, but it doesn’t do casual well. Guild Wars 2 has the upper hand there.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    “WoW is chasing the casual dragon. I was pretty disappointed going back into Cataclysm.

    The world was great, but the endgame was meager, and the balance was off. ”

    What’s your progress? Can you link your character?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OlderGamer

    @Viral, I am not a raider. I just get bored of end game. To me it is too hard and not rewarding enough. I know that will prolly make DSBs ears tingle lol. But I am a journey and not destination kind of gamer. Wow end game bores me.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. viralshag

    @OG, Yeah but that’s sort of what I was getting at. If you still enjoy WoW why would you avoid the levelling up part? I haven’t been a “raider” for a long long time and I would say I’m more like you in that sense.

    I enjoy getting there more than I enjoy being there, if you know what I mean. I’m thinking I will drop in, play through the content if I enjoy it and then leave it be again.

    @Erth, Just out of sheer curiosity, could you link your progress? I am genuinely interested to see your progress.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DSB

    @5 It’s been inactive for too long according to

    Armagedda (Rogue) and Watain (Paladin) Defias Brotherhood EU.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. viralshag

    I’m getting the same thing… That makes me kinda sad haha.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    The problem I have Viral is, well in that it is wow. I have three accounts. Mine, my wife, and my youngest son. My oldest son is now in Air force and can pay his own way lol. So for us/me, that means I will need 3 copies of the expac.

    That is 120usd for 5 more levels. And I will blast thru those 5 levels and be very bored inside of a month(at most). It just isn’t worth it. Plus another 45usd to play for the said month. Well that isn’t true, my wife and I both purchased the yearly subscription when the Diablo III offer was out. So 15usd for my son.

    135usd. To play for a month, gain five levels, get frustrated and ultimatly be bored and stop playing. I would rather buy two more copies of GW2 and be able to play it off and on when the mood strikes.

    Don’t get me wrong, the idea of playing those 5 levels is nice. But I have been here before. I know full well where that path leads. And even at 40usd for just one copy, that isn’t a good price.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. viralshag

    That’s fair enough. My advice to you would be to make everyone buy their own damn copies! ;)

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    haha, that is good advice.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Talkar

    I think i’m going to check WoW out when the expansion launches, just to try the new starting area. If i’m not mistaken i can create a new character and play it to level 20 for free right?

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    Yes Talkar, but I am not sure if the new pandas or their zone will be included with the trial game.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Talkar



    #15 2 years ago
  16. OlderGamer

    Looks like you can roll the race, but not the new Monk class. And you can get into one part of the new panda area, but not another. Also while I would imagine that at some point that content will be in the trail. It alos makes sense that they would have to allow for it, and that might not be something that is a high priority form them right now. Could be wrong.

    That is prolly what I will do. Roll a Panda, experience the panda story line and then quit. I have a few more months of game time left to play.

    Not too sure why they did this to begin with, aren’t they worried people won’t buy and sub?

    I know we can’t roll monks, but that won’t realy bother some people.

    So the Monk class, and the end game grind for gear are about all that is missing without the expac. That and those five levels.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Talkar

    I’m fine with that. Never even considered the monk class, i just want to play as a panda ^^
    So i’ll most likely play those 20 levels and then quit again after i’ve had my fill x)

    #17 2 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    Me too, tbh.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. viralshag

    Pandas FTW bros!

    #19 2 years ago
  20. GwynbleiddiuM

    @DSB Hard to imagine you as a Role-player :D
    EDIT: I can give ya a SoR if you wanted to check back in. :P

    @OG, but the end game got a lot bigger for non raiders this time around OG. Give it a try it has a lot more cool features like scenarios and pet battles if any of those interests you. Specially scenarios, good for a small family/friends group who wanna have good times.

    @Talkar, yes, but if you wanna check the panaren starting zone, you have to make a panda. All the races are available to everyone with any type of account from sep 25th.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DSB

    @20 Hehe, actually I went to Defias because I was on a PvP server, and pretty much everyone there seemed to be mentally retarded. I figured a server full of RP nerds would make for some much more stimulating company.

    I totally did RP though. I founded my own unofficial biker club once I got my hog!

    #21 2 years ago
  22. OlderGamer

    @Gwyn Believe it or not the pet battles interest me: Gotta Catch Em All!!

    #22 2 years ago
  23. GwynbleiddiuM

    @DSB That video was epic man :D specially the Bud Spencer references.

    @OG Let them say that’s pokemon shit but I also really like it. :P

    #23 2 years ago
  24. TheWulf


    Now why would you want to do that? To be hip and win appeal? And here I was thinking you were an ‘older’ gamer. Sigh. See, I lose more of the respect I had for you all the time with snide stuff like this.

    It’s not like there’s a hardcore brown-nosing contest going on or anything, is there? Is that really what you sat down and decided to be today, OG? A brown-noser? Good job. You’re being a great role model.

    I’ll leave you to that.

    For whatever you can say about me, I stick to my convictions, and I’m not a suck up.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. GwynbleiddiuM

    @24 Why so serious? I don’t think he ever meant to offend you, it was an innocent humor. After all you did more offending recently than anyone else (and by anyone else, I mean actual human being not that locust that has my permission to die). Every time you had something to say about any of your favorite games including GW2, you throw a handful of insults down everyone else’s way who didn’t quite agree with you, especially WoW and Diablo fans.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. burkhardt5

    It sems that blizzard has taken much more care in mists of pandaria and they are trying to recover from the flop cataclysm update. I can’t wait to try the new monk class.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. OlderGamer

    @ Gwyn +1

    And Wulf, I am not here to be a role model. And brown nosing? To whom? No one is here just to read my comments … or yours. People come here to read about games. Some of us like to chat about them and that is cool. And encouraged. However, if you think any posters here matter beyond a 2 bit comment, I think your mistaking.

    Sorry if you were offended. It wasn’t my aim. Sometimes we(all) need to be able to laugh at ourself.

    #27 2 years ago

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