Mists of Pandaria preview

Blizzard confirmed their next World of Warcraft expansion is Mists of Pandaria, check out this small preview I put together of all the known information for Mists of Pandaria so far.

Blizzcon is in full swing and loads of new information is coming out. Blizzard just confirmed what has been talked about over the past 6 months that Mists of Pandaria is the next World of Warcraft expansion.

Apparently the Pandaren were going to be the Alliance race for The Burning Crusade but at some point Blizzard changed their minds. The race will be playable between both the Horde and Alliance as a Monk. What’s a Monk, in World of Warcraft do exactly? A snippet taken from Blizzards new website explains what their version of a Monk is.

Pandaren masters have chosen to share their ancient martial arts with young fighters in both the Alliance and Horde. Harnessing their inner strength and potent “chi” energy, Monks are extremely capable in every role: damage, defense, and healing.

A couple surprising things about this are; Pandaren are the first Race which is shared between Horde and Alliance. The departure from the norm is their ability to use 2 types of armor, which hasn’t been seen in World of Warcraft before on any other class, Cloth and Leather.

Since they will be healing, Melee DPSing and Tanking their weapon use will consist of pretty much everything except lots of the 2 hand items which leads me to believe that there style of melee will resemble that of Rogues and Shaman dual wielding 1 handers.

The racials are interesting but not all that surprising. Bouncy: reduces fall damage by half. Inner peace: double rested XP. Gourmand: +15 to cooking. Epicurean: double stats to food buffs.

New features

With the new expansion Blizzard is introducing new ideas, which as you know can and probably will change before the actual release. One of the ideas is, Challenge Modes, which is a new type of achievement system that works in conjunction with the current system. A typical challenge will be beating a dungeon in record time. The better you do the better rewarded you are. A quote taken from their website:

After your group completes a Challenge Mode dungeon, your time will be graded. Finishing a run within the optimal time limit will earn you a gold medal; the further you go over this time limit, the lesser your medal. Your gold medals and other Challenge Mode achievements will be tracked, so you can show off your accomplishments and see how well other players are doing. You will be able to compare yourself with other members of your guild and even your whole realm to see who got the most gold, silver, and bronze medals.

The other idea is Pokemon, er I meant to say Pet Battle System. I’ll spare you my analysis and quote them directly.

You and your friends can pit your pets against each other in fun, friendly duels. You can teach your pets unique abilities and attacks, and they will use these abilities when battling other pets. As they fight and win battles, your pets will gain experience and level up, which makes them tougher and may even unlock new abilities. Assemble your roster and duke it out with your friends to see whose pets are the strongest!

What’s more, you will also have a brand-new way to add more pets to your collection. In addition to purchasing pets or getting them as item drops, you can now also encounter and capture vanity pets in the wild. If you run into one of these rare pets, you can have your own pet challenge it; if you manage to defeat the wild pet, you will capture it and add it to your collection! Wild pets have stats that vary slightly, so you may end up catching an exceptionally powerful pet. Keep your eyes open!

Preview Trailer

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Preview Trailer Shrouded in fog since the world was sundered more than ten thousand years ago, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Its lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains are home to a complex ecosystem of indigenous races and exotic creatures — including the noble and enigmatic pandaren. Will the mists of Pandaria part to reveal the world’s salvation… or will the battle to control this new land push the Horde and the Alliance over the brink of war and into total annihilation?

World of Warcraft – Mists of Pandaria B-roll

A 5 minute video of the new zones for the Pandaren

Blizzard Blue Post

What is Mists of Pandaria?

  • The goal is to combine new gameplay with most fun parts of the past.
  • The plan is to get people back into the world, instead of having players roam around Stormwind and Orgrimmar all the time once they reach max level.
  • Developers want you to do what you want to do to progress your character. They really want you to feel like you have a menu of content where you can pick whatever you want to do, and you shouldn’t feel forced to do something to progress your character. For example, daily quests will reward you with valor points but it will still be faster if you raid of course.
  • Character builds are going to be entirely revamped. Talents were still too cookie cutter, so the developers want to give players more choices in their talents.

Pandaria

  • 5 New leveling zones to explore
  • Single, unified continent
  • Influenced by Asian landscapes
  • AH, Bank, and Central Questing Hub
  • No flying until max level
  • There’s 5 leveling zones but they are very large zones, and you won’t have your flying mount.

Lore of Pandaria

  • A long, storied history.
  • Magically hidden since The Sundering
  • A new land to explore….
  • Pandaria was discovered during the cataclysm, a naval battle between horde and alliance was taking place close to it.

Pandaren starting zone

  • It’s a turtle! It left Pandaria 10 000 years ago and never came back. Pandarens who wanted to discover the world left on that turtle.
  • Story focused with simple mechanics
  • Cross faction, choose Horde/Alliance at level 10.

Creatures of Pandaria

  • The Jinyu are fish-like creatures and will be in a wide number of zones.
  • The Hozu are a monkey-like race, they stand up on their legs and can walk around. They play tons of pranks on the local pandarens and are also in a lot of zones.
  • Verming are … new kobolds, they kinda look like evil bunnies.
  • Mantid: Whole raids and dungeons around this race. Insect race that has been there since the beginning of ages. They have been seperated by a giant wall. They are starting to go crazy and are going through the wall
  • Mogu: Ancient race, original race on pandaria. The mogu want the island back from the pandaren, they are really mad. You will see them in dungeons.
  • Sha: Manifestation of the evil energies that flow through the earth. If there is any sort of battle these guys pop up.

The Jade Forest

  • This is where Alliance and Horde will be landing. The horde is washing up on the north side, the alliance on the south side. There will be one unified start zone and Alliance/Horde will end up meeting up in the middle.
  • Lush rainforests and stone spires
  • The Alliance will try to become friend with the Hozu, and the Horde with the Jinyu and will try to turn them against each other.
  • Temple of the Jade Serpent will be the dungeon of this zone. It will be your 85-86 Dungeon, it has been taken over by Sha

Valley of the Four Winds

  • Two zones for the price of one! This zone is huge, the whole north side of the zone is pandaren farmlands, the south is a coastal jungle.
  • You will get to choose between the north side and the south side when you arrive. You can go back and switch side if you want the other quests.
  • The dungeon of this zone is Stormstout Brewery.
  • This is where you will have your first interaction with the Mantids, they broke through the wall and are now attacking pandarens villages.
  • This is a level 86-87 zone

New Features

  • The pandarens are the new race.
  • The female model isn’t done yet.
  • At level 10, you will get to choose between horde and alliance.
  • Pandaren Classes: Hunter, Mage, Monk, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior
  • Racial – Epicurean – Increase the stat benefits from food by 100%
  • Racial – Gourmand – Cooking skill increased by 15.
  • Racial – Inner Peace – Your rested experience bonus lasts twice as long.
  • Racial – Bouncy – You take 50% less falling damage.
  • Racial – Quaking Palm – You touch a secret pressure point on an enemy target, putting it to sleep for 3 sec.

Monk New Class

  • Brewmaster – Tank spec
  • Mistweaver – Healer, a healer who can stand up in melee and will let players experience a “new healing style”
  • Windwalker – Melee DPS
  • This is not a hero class, and it will start at level 1
  • The class is very martial-arts based
  • Lots of monk-only animations, the healer and tanks will have different stances they can stand in, etc …
  • Monk Races – All of them except Goblin and Worgens

Monk Equipment

  • Leather Armor (Agility or Intellect)
  • They hit a lot with hands and feet
  • They will need weapons for some finishers: Staves, Fist Weapons
  • They will also be able to use 1H Axe and maces, swords
  • Healers will get off-hands, they don’t want healers to use shields.

Monk Resources

  • Chi (energy) slowly regenerates and is only used for your Jab and Roll abilities.
  • Jab generates Light and Dark force, which are used for everything else. Some finishing move uses dark force, some use the light force.
  • No auto attack! Devs want you to have this street fighter feel where you punch a lot

Cataclysm Talents

  • Pro – The level 10 specs were really nice and gave you a role early in the game, definitely a keeper.
  • Pro – Removing junk from the talent trees was also a very good move.
  • Pro – Having some kind of choices for optional skills/subspecs worked out pretty well.
  • Con – You had a risk of “skipping” important talents
  • Con – There wasn’t enough junk removed
  • Con – There wasn’t enough choices, you might have a different final talent point than another combat rogue but it just wasn’t enough. The cookie cutter build still persists.
  • Con – No enough customization, no true hybridization (Using a little bit of 2 different trees)
  • Con – Players got grumpy

Talent System 2.0

  • The talent system is gone! Ok, not really, but it’s greatly changed.
  • You now have your class abilities, your spec abilities, and your talents.
  • You still choose your spec at level 10, and you get a spec ability at level 10. You will get additional spec abilities later. There are anything that you really need to function, they will just be given to you to make sure you have all the tools you need to have.

Example – Prot Paladin

  • LVL 10 – Avenger’s Shield
  • LVL 20 – Hammer of the Righteous (Prot and Ret)
  • LVL 30 – Judgement of the Just (Passive)

Talents

  • There is not talent points or ranks.
  • There is one talent tree per class.
  • You earn talents every 15 levels.
  • You get to choose 1 out of 3 every time you get a new point, you can only pick one of them and can’t go back to get the other ones.
  • There will be no mandatory talent. There won’t be any cookie cutter build or anything, it will depend on what kind of optional ability you want.
  • You can now change talents as easily as you change glyphs.
  • More info in the Talent Tree Panel at 2:15

PvE Scenarios

  • PvE Scenarios are a way to give new interesting content that doesn’t make sense in a dungeon content.
  • Scenarios are more about reusing parts of the world in interesting new ways, and introducing new types of PvE gameplay that we’ve never seen before like PvE battlegrounds.
  • They are short instances for a few players, the amount of players can vary depending on the scenario, some of them can be for 3 players.
  • You don’t need the typical tank/heal/dps setup, you will just be able to enter and play your role no matter what it is.
  • It will be a staged experience where you will try to accomplish some greater goal
  • For example, a scenario might require you to kill 25 kobolds in stage 1, then find and return 4 goldshire children, and then kill the boss.
  • Developers would like to do PvE battlegrounds, where you will have to slay 50 alliance/horde soldiers, destroy 6 towers and the barracks, and then defeat the enemy General.
  • They could replace group quests.
  • It uses the same queue system as the dungeon finder
  • Since there is no role requirements, queues should be instant.

Challenge Mode Dungeons

  • Complete a dungeon in x minutes
  • To earn Bronze, Silver, Gold medals.
  • Gear levels are normalized, all your gear will be brought to the same level to make the competition even.
  • You can’t just get better gear to overpower it.
  • It will reward sweet looking gear with no stats, and valor points!
  • Challenge Mode will reward you with very unique looking gear to show off how awesome you are to your friends
  • A new challenge dungeons UI will be added, you will be able to check your medals, your ranking, show what rewards you can unlock, etc ….

Pet Battle System

  • You will be able to collect, level, and battle with companion pets.
  • It will be accessible to all players.
  • Works with almost every pet
  • Pet Customization, you will be able to name your pet, give them visual abilities, etc …
  • There will be “Wild pets”, you can find them in the world and engage in battle with them. You will then be able to get that pet and add it to your Pet Journal.
  • Pets have random stats, some of them will be very good at tanking, some will have a CC ability, etc …
  • Some pets will only be found during a specific season, while it’s raining, or during the day or the night. Some of them will only spawn in the spring, when it’s raining, in elwynn forest at night!
  • Most pets will become tradable, even after it’s leveled, etc …
  • Pets will be account wide
  • Your pet journal will display info on all your pets, including stats, skills, and also drop locations and lore info for the pets you don’t have yet!
  • Winning battles earns you experience, and levels your pets.
  • You will learn new abilities. Every pet can use 3 abilities in a battle at one time.
  • Every time you level you will also increase the stats of your pet.
  • You will level multiple pets to build your team.
  • You have 3 battle slots, one for each pet in your team.

Pet Battle System – Battle

  • PvE and PvP Battles
  • It will be turn based.
  • A simple combat system.
  • Fight with a team of 3 pets
  • Queuing system, you will be able to find a fight pretty fast depending on the level of your pets.

Pet Battle System – Customization

  • You will finally be able to name your pets, and see that name in battle.
  • Items for your pets, you will have an item slot for your pet and might be able to socket gems in those items, etc …
  • Individual builds of abilities and different teams.
  • Masters and Masters abilities, there will be different NPC pet masters in the world who will let you earn abilities when you beat them. For example, beating the master of mechanical pets will get you a new ability for your pet!

Dungeons

  • 9 new dungeons in the new expansion
  • 6 dungeons will be on Pandaria
  • Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery (Wings 1 and 2) will be back in Heroic Mode

Raids


3 new Epic raids!

  • They will feature two enemy races, the Mogu and the Mantid.
  • Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulties will be available for all raids from day 1.
  • World raid bosses will return!
  • More info will be available at the Raids & Dungeons Panel today.

Questing

  • Increased focus on max level content, it will reward you with Valor Points.
  • Incentives for dungeons/raiders to run quests and do outdoor/daily kind of stuff. For example finishing a quest might give you a buff for the day, and maybe that buff will let you roll on a loot that only appears to people with that buff.
  • More quest choices, and a lot less linear
  • No flying until max level, it’s much easier to keep people on the ground and create interesting quests when you know people won’t just fly away and drop on the boss.
  • Faction improvements, there will be group of factions and they will let you work for all factions from that group to get your rewards. This way you don’t have to grind a single faction anymore.

PvP


New Battlegrounds (Not final yet)

  • Stranglethorn Diamond Mines – Payload style gameplay.
  • Valley of Power – Murderball
  • Azshara Crater – DOTA
  • New Arena – Tol’vir Proving Grounds

STV Diamond Mine

  • Goblin Mine below northern STV
  • Payload style gameplay
  • Escort mine cars to depot
  • Multiple tracks, you will get a lot of options and you will be able to decide which way you want the cart to go.
  • First to x resources wins

Valley of Power

  • Located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms
  • Murderball style gameplay
  • Holding the object earns points
  • Multiple point zones, depending on where you’re hiding you will earn more/less points
  • Object deals damage to holder
  • Damage increases over time.

Tol’vir Proving Grounds – Arena

  • Located in Uldum
  • Simple layout based on Nagrand arena
  • Sense of place in the world
  • Just a simple square with 4 pillars/statues, etc …

Achievements

  • Allow achievements to be shared among all characters on the same Battle.net account, things such as the raid achievements and the ones which are difficult to get.
  • Allows to include new achievements such as “get all the professions to the maximum level”

Major Class Changes


Resilience

  • Devs like the way Resilience works in PvP, and how it gives a nice goal for players looking to progress/upgrade their gear in PvP
  • Resilience is a pretty huge barrier for people who want to start PvPing.
  • Resilience will become a base stat, and will increase a little every time you level.

Ranged Weapons

  • Hunter minimum range is gone!
  • Hunter melee weapon is gone!
  • Ranged slot for all other characters are gone.
  • Relics are gone.
  • Rogues and warriors can now throw their melee weapon
  • Wands become main hand weapons

Warlock

  • Unique resource for each spec.
  • Affliction will keep Soul Shards, they are currently not interesting enough but devs have cool ideas for them.
  • Demonology will get Demonic Fury, you build up Demonic Fury and you metamorphosize when you max your Demonic Fury. More skills will be added to Demon Form, etc …
  • Destruction will get Infernal Embers. The destruction warlock who keeps getting casting fire spells get hotter and hotter and will eventually deal insane amount of damage, you can build it up pretty quickly and unleash your big spell.

Shaman

  • Buff totems are gone. It just wasn’t very interesting to be the buff bitch of the group.
  • All totems are now utility
  • New totem examples:
  • Earthgrab totem – roots
  • Repulsion totem – repels
  • Bulwark Totem – absorbs

Druid

  • They always felt like they had 4 specs, so now they do.
  • Feral – Cat (melee dps)
  • Guardian – bear (tanking)
  • Some overlap between the two
  • All druids can still go cat or bear form.

All classes

  • Spell books cleaned up, got rid of more junk, the goal is to clean up action bars a little more without removing the fun things.
  • Rotations will be improved
  • Spells will be automatically learned, you won’t have to go to your trainer anymore.
  • You will get a new spell at level 87, level 90 new talent point.
  • Talent trees should be fun, and you should have more choice than just a cookie cutter build.

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