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Mists of Pandaria Overview

William Murphy Posted:
General Articles 0

The amount of information shared at BlizzCon about the new World of Warcraft expansion was daunting. There are a ton of new elements coming into the game and loads of new features. Pandaria brings the Horde and Alliance to the hidden continent and brings the Panderans into play as the new playable race. It also introduces the Monk class to the game. The Kung Fu Panda jokes aside, Pandaria looks amazing and the Monk run through impressed us with its smooth approach and new punch and kick style combat. Players should get ready to play to level 90. Overall, the WoW team continues to work hard on filling out the full scope of Azeroth. The only question that remains is whether or not will it be too much?

For a new player they can play a Panderan from level one. The Blizzard team is putting lots of different ways to level your character in the game and while these elements were only touched on in the panel it seems like players will have a lot of options to advance that will be a lot easier. They are also going back to a more open system for zones so players can level up in a more open fashion. The zones have a very Chinese feel on the new continent and the Horde and Alliance will be washing up to explore the new resources. One major element about the Panderan is that once you reach level 10 you can choose a faction to join. It is the first neutral character in the game and you’ll see both Horde and Alliance Panderans running around.

The Monk really impressed on game play and style. It is available to every race in the game except Worgen and Goblin. Personally, I love the idea of an Orc Monk. The monk can use weapons but also uses a lot of kung fu style attacks. The team also explained that the Monk specs can go into a Brewmaster which will be the tank style, the Mistweaver which will be a Healer spec, and the Windwalker which will be melee DPS. The team also said that it gives them a chance to bring Fist Weapons into the game. There is also no auto attack on the Monk because they wanted a more Street Fighter feel to the class. The class plays using Chi (light) and Sha (dark) energy to combine different styles of attacks. You can look for our walkthrough article with the Monk and Panderan  this week.

Pandaria offers players five very large zones to explore: the Jade Forest, the Valley of the Four Winds, the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, the Towering Steppes, and the Kun-Lai Summit make up the zones on the new continent. They also announced   that several new dungeons will be coming to challenge players starting with the Temple of the Jade Serpent. There is a giant wall that separates parts of the Valley of the Four Winds and another dungeon has to do with Mantid race breaking through the wall to threaten the Panderan. The team said there should be six new dungeons across Pandaria and three new raids.  They are also upgrading Scholomance and Scarlet Monestary into Heroic dungeons runs, but more on that in the next article.

There are many new foes to face in Pandaria and the team went through the list. Their main two villain races are the Mantid and the Mogu races. The Mantid are a much more sophisticated insect race which are encroaching on Panderan space. The Mogu are an ogre style race which the Panderans defeated to take over the continent 12,000 years ago. Think Ogre Mage style of old D&D and you get an idea on what the Mogu will be like. They look very demonic and intimidating, the perfect bad guys. One creature which was very interesting for players to battle was the shadow/negative energy Sha. The Sha is all the evil energy that the Horde and Alliance bring with them in war. The concept art for the Sha we saw looked amazing and these creatures will be deadly opponents.

There is a lot more I can mention about Pandaria, the Stormstout Brewery comes to mind right away which looks amazing. The new zones hold new challenges and players have a ton to look forward too. In the next article on Pandaria we’ll cover the HUGE changes to the talent system and also the Pokemon style pet system that in coming into WoW which will give loads of players a whole new game to figure out. There are two major questions I have about Pandaria as we continue our BlizzCon coverage. The first is will there be too much added to the game what new players will just be completely overwhelmed? But more importantly, can Pandaria revive some of the pitfalls that came with Cataclysm? We just have to wait and see, for now though, the new zones, new race, and new class all look great. 


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.