Mist of Pandaria. Some people seemed to dislike the theme, calling it too bright, too happy and also “Lol Kung Fu panda.”. Which to me does a disservice to what I feel as of right now was one of the best if not the best World of Warcraft expansion to date.
With so much to do dailies, scenarios, the invasion from the south by Horde, Alliance in 5.1, Isle of Thunder and progressing story in 5.2, Barrens war in 5.3 and Timeless isle in 5.4. That is not including raid content that went with all of this.
But more importantly for this article is the story. The bright, happiness is shown but once you scratch the surface what you get is a dark, foreboding and rather depressing (in a good way) expansion. Maybe almost as Dark as WotLK.
Lets start at the beginning. Both sides start with an air assault on the other. For horde Alliance is entrenched in a Temple. A symbol of hope for the denizens of Pandaria. While for the alliance it is attacking the horde fleet at the south. Which ends with your commander ordering the war crime of slaughtering horde that are surrendering.
Later on we find both sides are enticing “volunteers” to work for them. Turning out it is adult and child slavery. Jade forest building up to the recruiting of local races through propaganda building to the battle of Jade temple in which the life cycle of Yu’lon is destroyed almost permanently and the unleashing of the Sha.
Valley of Four winds seems all happy, but now you know the Sha is there and any bad emotions causes major problems. Krasarang has their own issues especially if you’re horde and Dezco’s wife death from childbirth.
Kun-Lai, you see the effects of Mantid’s out of the blue aggressive expansion. Yaungol who usually stay to themselves having to flood through the wall. Slaughtering and killing Pandaren villages, while looking for land of their own, also likely under the effect of the Sha of Anger who makes its place at random areas in the zone.
Towlong we see the effect of the Sha of Hatred who first possessed Taran Zhu. Haunting Suna Silentstrike and possessing her after her husband was killed by the rampaging Yaungol, leading to us to help put her out of her misery. Before turning the fight towards Mantid along the border with dread wastes. Finishing up defeating Sha of Hatred and breaking the siege at Niuzao temple. Then into dread wastes where we have to ally with Old God worshipping Klaxxi in a land that is full of Sha infestation lead by Sha of fear. Ending with taking out their Empress in the raid Heart of Fear.
5.1 leads us Landfall. Horde and Alliance make bases in Krasarang. The war heats up, divine bell incident and betrayals. Garrosh trying to assassinate Vol’jin. Jaina breaking neutrality by siding with the Alliance by blocking horde using Dalaran portals and making sure to use Kirin’tor resources to keep the bell in Darnassus. Then one Sunreaver able to sneak into Darnassus and portal the Bell to Silvermoon, to which Jaina goes and blames every Sunreaver. Killing and arresting any elf with Green eyes (Even though in Silvermoon, Lor’themar was baking arrangements to join the Alliance and Aethas who was neutral in his own heart said “The Sin’dorei must be free from the yolk of the horde.”). Unleashing the Silver covenant on it. This lead to the war in Thunder Isle (5.2) between the Forces of Dalaran and Sin’dorei until Taran Zhu told them both to stop being babies. In the end Lei-shen was killed and we find out the first hints of the fate of the Titans. Lei Shen wanting to finish their work and Wrathion’s eerie quote “We have fallen, we must rebuild the final titan.”
5.3 the horde rebellion starts. Vol’jin comes out of the shadows and the battle for the Barrens begins. Both the alliance representative and Vol’jin try to one up each other but come to an understanding. All out war happens in the Northern Barrens and Orgrimmar is under siege.
5.4 the siege enters full swing. After Garrosh corrupts the waters of the Vale, instigating an event that would lead to famine if not for the players cleansing Immerseus. Theramore mothers forced to fight to keep their children alive (Horde didn’t know about this), Nazgrim who the horde grew up with having to stick with his oath of honour and fight us. Even though he never wished for it, nor supports Garrosh. The Klaxxi keeping with their promise so serve Y’Shaarj and then Garrosh fight. We see his pride and wishes. World under his own rule with all others killed or enslaved.
With all that there is no doubt MoP is a dark expansion. Not the Darkest but not happy go lucky either. Agree/Disagree?