It’s been a week since Mists of Pandaria has been released and a good number of people have leveled through the content and hit level 90. As with every expansion, there is a new hub of activity to set your hearthstone to. For MoP, this is the Shrine of Seven Stars for the Alliance or Shrine of Two Moons for the Horde. But…it doesn’t feel like the other hub cities in the past. It’s not a sanctuary city like Dalaran and Shattrah, and there is good reason for that. War is coming so that wouldn’t make sense. But this isn’t new, we hung out in separate cities in Vanilla WoW and during Cataclysm, so why does it feel bad this time round?
As a hub city the VoEB Shrines have the essentials; portals to other capitals, banks, crafting stations and training dummies along with the essential inn. What it doesn’t have is a reason for players to hang out there. There isn’t an auction house (unless you are an engineer) and there are few daily quests. The daily quest hubs are far busier with tons of people in the Cloud Serpent training area and a crowd at Halfhill. Right now, if you want to show off that expensive Grand Expedition Yak or stride around in your Jeweled Panther, there is no where to do it at the Shrine. You would have better luck hanging out in Halfhill.
It’s still early in the expansion, so I can be hopeful that things will change but right now, the Shrines are just a place to hearth and log. There isn’t even a Justice point and Valor vendor in the city. Blizzard wanted people to be out in the world and if this was their intention, they have succeeded. But it comes at the cost of the community feel of the cities.