Mists of Pandaria Press Event: Fem Pandas, Plot Spoilers, and Much More

The NDA has lifted on Blizzard’s press event for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and we’ve been deluged with new info. There’s way too much to fit into one blog post, but I’ll cover the things that stand out to me.

She’s here:

In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The Female Pandaren model from World of Warcraft: Mists of PandariaMixed feelings for me. I like how the body turned out, but some of the faces are more in the “kill it with fire” category. I could maybe live with it if they trimmed down the chipmunk cheeks.

Monk abilities unveiled:

A nearly complete list of monk abilities, passives, and talents has been released. Their resource mechanics have been simplified, now relying on energy and chi.The latter is essentially combo points, further strengthening the sense that the monk is a rogue that can’t stealth. Auto-attack has also been added back to the monks, which is disappointing but not really surprising.

A Pandaren monk in Mists of PandariaWindwalker (DPS) abilities look promising, though the way you use different abilities depending on your weapons sounds like a bit of a headache.

Brewmaster (tank) abilities seem like a lot of fun. Almost makes me want to play a tank.

Mistweaver (healer) seems the oddest spec. They’ve scrapped the idea of them healing entirely through Atonement-like “damage enemies to heal allies” mechanics, though they still have some abilities along that line. Their heals are strange and unique, and mostly seem to revolve around heal-over-time effects. This is disappointing to me, as I simply can’t stand HoTs. My excitement over the monk has taken a significant blow.

I literally loled at the “Touch of Death” spell.

New zones:

The new Krasarang Wilds zone in Mists of PandariaOne of the biggest revelations is the announcement of two new zones: the Krasarang Wilds and the Dread Wastes.

The Krasarang Wilds were originally intended to be a section of the Valley of the Four Winds, but they had so much potential that Blizzard upgraded them to their own zone. A murky jungle, the Wilds are home to ruins of the ancient Mogu race and will feature prominently in patch 5.1.

Little has been announced in regards to the Dread Wastes, but they are located adjacent to the Townlong Steppes and, like the Steppes, will feature the new Mantid villain race prominently.

This pleases me greatly. The leveling path through Pandaria was seeming entirely too linear with the previous zones they’d announced.

Enemies:

Not a specific announcement per se, but one thing that is worrying me as I see more from MoP. The enemy mobs they keep showing off are, well, lame. Really lame. I sincerely hope we get more to fight than demon bunnies and knife-wielding monkeys. Is this really the best you can do, Blizzard?

The worst is reading about the Stormstout Brewery dungeon. A rabbit boss with a carrot breath attack, alementals… It’s almost enough to make me join all those Kung Fu Panda QQers.

Verming enemies in the Stormstout Brewery dungeon in Mists of PandariaOn the plus side, the raid enemies all seem pretty solid. Mists of Pandaria will launch with one raid for each of the continent’s main villain races: the Sha, the Mantid, and the Mogu, all of which sound epic and engaging.

Blizzard says that Mists of Pandaria is really two stories. The content that ships with the game largely revolves around the local troubles faced by Pandaria (such as the three races mentioned above), but the content patches will focus on ramping up the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance, leading up to the final raid of the expansion.

Mists of Pandaria’s end raid revealed:

If you don’t want spoilers, skip to the next section of this post.

Blizzard has abandoned the veil of secrecy around Mists of Pandaria’s final raid and end boss. The expansion’s climactic raid will be the Siege of Orgrimmar, and the final boss is Garrosh Hellscream.

Blizzard, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I’d been toying with the idea of doing a blog post on my feelings for Garrosh, but it would just be rampant whining and QQ, and I don’t like to do that, but now I might as well tell you what I think.

Garrosh is the worst thing to happen to the game in recent memory. It’s not just that he’s a horrible, unlikable, bloodthirsty, glorified school bully. If he were simply a villain (and he always has been — don’t try to convince me otherwise), I might be able to live with that.

But he’s also a very poorly written character. Both he and Varian despise the opposing faction, but Varian has good reasons for feeling as he does. The Horde has done horrible, horrible things to him and his loved ones. Garrosh just hates the Alliance because… because.

Couple that with Garrosh’s utter stupidity and buffoonery as a commander, and you have a faction leader I just despise.

If it were up to me, I’d just have him assassinated or make him choke to death on a pretzel, but as long as he’s going down, I’m happy.

I’ve heard Thrall will return as warchief once he’s gone, but I haven’t seen an official source on this, so take it with a grain of salt. I’m still holding out hope for Saurfang or Vol’jin, myself.

Read more on this in a rather interesting interview with Chris Metzen here.

Other stuff:

-AoE looting. Thank you, Grilled Cheesus!

-Lillian Voss is a boss in the new Scholomance. Woot!

Lilian Voss in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm-No new player models. I’m not one to say ahtoadaso, but you know what? Ahtoadaso!

-The Azshara Crater battleground has been scrapped again. This thing has been planned since before Burning Crusade.

-World PvP will increase your conquest cap.

-Valor points will be used to upgrade your current gear and increase its ilevel, instead of buying new gear.

-Pandaria has ten thousand waterfalls. Seriously.

-The Pandaren mount is a cloud serpent.

-Solo instances to test your skills. Yay!

-Individual loot in Looking For Raid to end loot disputes. I’m not entirely clear how this works.

-They are giving the monkeys machine guns and rocket launchers. “This is a good plan; nothing could go wrong with this plan.”

-They are experimenting with new and creative ways to rep grind for the various factions. For example, the Tillers faction will allow you to own and operate your own farm, where you can grow trade ingredients and other items, both cosmetic and practical. World of Farmville? Oddly, this kinda sounds like fun, especially for someone with multiple herbalist toons, like me.

-Get more info here and here.

My thoughts:

I suppose my feelings on Mists of Pandaria are much the same as they ever were. The new continent looks amazingly beautiful, and I love the diverse and open-ended gameplay concept, but the storyline worries me. The Siege of Orgrimmar sounds very cool, but everything up until then just sounds like it’s going to be killing monkeys, rabbits, and booze elementals.

I’m less enthused about the monk than I was, but I still think there’s a lot of potential there, and I still look forward to trying it.

So what do you think? How do you feel about MoP, and has the press event info changed your feelings in any way?

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8 thoughts on “Mists of Pandaria Press Event: Fem Pandas, Plot Spoilers, and Much More

  1. I haven’t read all the details yet but I’m still excited about some parts and others…not so much.
    I’m probably more irritated about some of the “quality of life” stuff getting removed.
    As long as I’m not “forced” by design or quests to participate in any PvP I’ll be happy.
    I sort-of-kinda-like the female model so far and hopefully there will be a few less “chipmunk” face options.
    Ah, already the class abilities are changing – who knows what will happen? I hope that the new classes will have compelling reasons to play them and not just feel as if you rolled another “druid”, “warrior”, etc.
    I’m still looking forward to MoP – I guess anytime World PvP is mentioned I always get grumpy 😀

    • The removal of HGWT is silly, but it’s the only removal of convenience I’ve seen so far, and the reaction to the news seems uniformly negative, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was reversed.

  2. I’m still very much looking forward to this expansion.

    As a casual, non-raiding (outside of LFR anyways) altoholic, there are many things that I”m interested to try and see. I really hope the questing is a little more like LK or BC where I don’t have to do every quest in order to advance through the zone. I liked that in Borean Tundra, for example, I could skip certain quest hubs if I wanted to and still have enough to level me up to move to the next zone. Cataclysm didn’t seem to allow for you to skip many, if any quests to continue through the zone. This bugged me a lot.

    Two new zones is great, the female pandas look awesome, and I’m excited to see that factions will be worthwhile again.

    Have Group is being removed?!? WHAT?!

    • I’m told they’re going back to a less linear quest model. I’m not happy about it. They were talking about keeping linear chains but offering choices of them, which I would be okay with, but I don’t know if that turned out to be the case.

      As for Have Group, it’s to get people using the world again, but it’s entirely the wrong way to do it. People should be out in the world because they want to be, not because they have to be.

      • Well part of the reason I loathed certain zones in Cata was because they were so linear…Deepholm comes to mind.

        Do they think Have Group was somehow being abused? It’s long cooldown made me always consider when or if I really wanted to use it.

      • The problem with Deepholm is the way it was tied to rewards you need to have at 85. There’s nothing wrong with linear chains as long as you’re not obligated to do them. Hyjal and Vashj’ir were both extremely linear but extremely fun, because you could choose which you wanted to do, and you didn’t have to complete either one if you didn’t want to.

        Whereas Deepholm you had to complete on every toon. It’s the obligation that ruined it. Same problem with Hellfire Peninsula in Outland. Everyone hates it because everyone had to do it.

        I guess my ideal is linear quests in a non-linear continent.

        I haven’t heard Blizzard explain the removal of Have Group in detail, but I assume they’re listening to all the complaints of it making the world irrelevant. I don’t agree in the slightest, but at least they didn’t remove LFG or LFR, which was generally requested at the same time as the removal of Have Group.

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