Well it is finally here! After months of playing through the Mists of Pandaria Beta, testers will finally get the chance to test a raid encounter. Daelo, one of World of Warcraft’s game designers, broke the news to the game’s fans this week on the forums. As of now, only one encounter is available for testing, the Stone Guard fight in Mogu’shan Palace on 10 man Normal difficulty. Daleo mentioned that Blizzard hopes 25 man Normal difficulty will be available next week and Heroic and LFR difficulties as well as additional bosses will be available in the following weeks.
This testing, obviously, is only available to players who have reached level 90 on testing and Blizzard has not implemented a level character creation template yet. This means that the only players who are able to test the raids are the ones who have taken the time to level all the way to level 90. This may affect the testing feedback in both a positive and a negative way. Forcing players to level to 90 means that Blizzard will get more feedback from players about the leveling experience, however, some players may not want to put in that much time, causing less people to test the raid which may be detrimental to the feedback Blizzard receives. Hopefully, Blizzard allows players to eventually create level 90 characters, so that they will get the most possible feedback for this important end-game content.
Another interesting thing to note for the raid testing is that add-ons will not be available. This may sound like a silly thing to take not of, yet it is actually probably very important. It is safe to say that anyone who raids at least semi-seriously uses add-ons. Not allowing them to be used while testing means that testers will actually have a much different feel for the encounter then what they will experience on live servers. This will make the encounter’s difficult to balance, since some fights that are do-able in the Beta testing, may be brain-dead easy with the help of add ons, and fights that are extremely difficult may or may not actually be possible with the help of add ons.
After the sub-par raiding tiers that filled the Cataclysm expansion, players will certainly be eager to test the first tier of raids for Mists of Pandaria. Blizzard is relying on this to get quality feedback from their player base in order to make this tier of raiding as good as possible. Hopefully, the feedback given will help Blizzard create a great raiding tier because after such lack-luster raids, World of Warcraft is in dire need of an epic tier of raids.