Being inducted into the Monk training school seems to mean much less if you’re not from around these parts. Despite the Pandaren’s relations with those who they share their land – like the Hozen – they don’t at all mind training one not of their own kind. So long as the one in training complies by their teachings and lives through the Pandaren code during their stay, they’re a very welcoming bunch to practice fighting with, and a great group to spar with too.
After arriving to the training school, it wasn’t long until they honoured me as a hero. Their treatment toward me was very much like that of the Dwarfs of the Eastern Kingdoms. Lavish banquets and fine ale was as much a part of their culture as the twin colours on their fur, the Pandaren quickly rushed me to the feasting halls – which were surprisingly outdoors – right after my quite brief training. I was introduced to the finer, more accomplished, students of the school; those who had aged along with the teachings to become the elders of the establishment themselves. Soon after getting acquainted, the tables – already full of hungry monk – began to shovel the tastes of the country into their mouths seemingly forgetting about their own diets as separate species. I guess chicken is a pretty universal food.
Who knows how long had passed by now; not remembering a thing about the party my eyes pulled themselves open. I can only assume one of the mischievous party pandas forced one too many down my throat and I passed out from the sheer volume of alien alcohol running through my system. I’m not really sure if it’s considered disrespectful to black out during a party thrown to celebrate your induction into monkhood, but either way, I blame the out of control elder for the act.
Once the many thoughts had crossed my mind I thought it was best to finally get up. Getting back onto my own two feet seemed which seemed… quicker than usual… I had, by now, realised that I even failed to make it to one of the many tables set out during the feast, rather choosing to slam my head into the bricks right below my teacher’s dining space. Turing around I noticed a few of the party guests still lingering around the area, despite there being no reason for the larger members to be the last ones still eating. If it wasn’t rude to sleep through a party thrown in your honor, it certainly was to show up to your first ‘class’ late. Apparently not! My instructor seemed to praise me for my tardiness by claiming it was ‘Pandarian culture’ to not show up on time. I’m not all too sure what training would benefit me, but the routine 10,000 strikes per day wasn’t part of it, at least not for a honorary member – not that I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway.
Following a few minutes of drill training – to what seemed more like a warm-up routine – and a few chores the dojo (to which involved a living boiling pot trailing behind me) I was recommended to check on the happenings around the Temple of the Jade Serpent. A place which would be forever embedded into my mind upon my arrival.
Something wasn’t quite right. While the monumental structure of ancient design built from what I could only imagine was at least half of the continents jade supply; I was sent there for a reason, but a reason I have yet to really be told. Walking up the grand staircase of the temple, I was infomred of how those of the Jade Serpent were an elusive group who only saw to those they really stood out. They had no business with the locals. And the locals have no business with them. My only option was to, again, run chores around the great temple in an attempt to have the watcher posted outside to really recognise me as someone able to help with whatever was going on inside. But that has yet to happen.
The past week has been mostly a blur for me. My brief stay at the dojo taught me only discipline yet did little to stengthen me physically. Whereas 7 days in the front lines would make my body ache, 7 days in Pandaria only seems to make them depress. Hopefully the temple will offer experiences more accustomed to my time back home.
I still haven’t had time to test out the pet combat system just yet. October proves to be a very busy time over here and I personal matters have certainly affected my game time this week. It all goes hand-in-hand to show exactly how much you can get done in Mists of Pandaria on a tight schedule, and sadly, that isn’t a lot. The 5 levels added on top of the former level cap drag to an extent not felt since I played one of those countless grind-heavy F2P MMOs offered by the seemingly limiteless gaming portals out there today. It’s a severely old system now, and rather than feeling ‘retro’ or ‘fluid’, it just feels dull and pointless. I’m essentially repeating myself from last week. Everything feels so much the same from last expansion, only wrapped in a less than compelling storyline.
Next week is another busy spell for me, and I have no idea how much attention I’ll be able to give to these panda – or how much I’m willing to give – but I’m honestly not seeing much of a chance to experience the end-game content from a casual player’s perspective anytime soon.