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. It is the homeland of the enigmatic Pandaren, a race that celebrates life to the fullest even while under siege by an ancient menace.
The new continent reveals itself to a broken world just as the Alliance and Horde are spiraling ever closer to a war that will consume all of Azeroth. Will the mists of Pandaria part to reveal the world's salvation? Or will the battle to control this rich and breathtaking new land push the two mighty factions over the brink of war and into total annihilation? The answers await within Pandaria's mysterious shores!
Pet Battle System
Table of Contents
Mists of Pandaria Trailer
Raid / Dungeon Changes
Player vs Player Changes
New Dungeons and Zones
New Race - Monk
Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator Now Available
Mists of Pandaria Class & Talent Changes
MoP Preview Trailer
Resilience. It will be a base stat, so as you level you get some. PvE gear will not be the best, but you will be able to use it for entry-level PvP.
Ranged Weapons. Hunter minimum range is gone. Hunter melee weapon is gone. Ranged slot for all classes gone. Relics are gone. Wands will become actual weapons, like mainhands.
Warlocks will now have a unique resource for each spec. Affliction - Soul Shards. Demonology - Demonic Fury. Destruction - Infernal Embers.
Shaman will no longer have buff totems. All totems will be redone. Earthgrab totem - roots> Repulsion totem - repels. Bulwark totem - absorbs.
Druids now have four specs. feral - cat DPS. Guardian - bear tank.
Spell books for all classes are changed; rotations improved; and more.
The specialization abilities you learn will be largely comprised of old talents players should have, as well as core class abilities that not every spec needs.
The goal is to have everyone have different talents and character customization.
Death knights will get different themed talents with each talent tier; for example, level 90 is all about slowing down your enemies.
There are a lot of new druid abilities and significant changes. Treants will be able to be used in every spec; incarnation is a talent that changes per spec; even bear themed talents are cool. For example, Ursol's Vortex will pull enemies into you with wind; can be used in any form.
Hunters will get new types of arrows--e.g. arcane or frost, depending on what they want. Enhanced spirit bond if you choose it or a different aspect. Pets will no longer be tied to types, rather, the hunter decides what he wants them to do (i.e. spiders for PvP will now be used in PvE).
Every talent is themed toward a spec of fire, arcane, or frost. Polymorph even has its own tier. For example, "Sickly Polymoph" will make their health not regen; "Heavy Polymorphed" stuns; "Double Polymorph" lets you have two sheep at once.
Paladins finally get a hamstring through SoC. Blessed Life became a talent that shares with Sacred Shield and Ardent Defender. Flash of Light is now the only paladin heal that's non-talented, so rets and prots will not have things like Divine Light.
Priests were changed the most drastically to make the two different healing specs unique. Power Infusion will be available to any spec. New healing spell that will swap your health with the target's called Void Shift, totally wild.
Rogues benefit a lot, as many of their cool spells were in the oft useless subtly tree. Huge changes to spells like Killing Spree, as you now manually teleport versus automatically.
Shaman get a lot more utility. They will be able to pull out a defensive totem then put it back and have it only eat into its uptime; for example, if they pulled out a totem and then a priest barriered, a good shaman could pull it back and save the CD.
Warlocks get new pets through the new talents, such as Grimoire of Service which lets you have two pets out at the same time or Grimoire of Supremacy which gives warlocks entirely new demons!
Main inspiration is to choose what style of warrior you want to be; to be three classes in one.
Players will be able to choose a specialization at level 10.
This gives them a new spec ability and opening up new options within that spec.
There will be a single talent tree per class in which players will earn talents every 15 levels.
Each talent opens up one of three different available options within the tree for further specialization within the chosen spec.
No mandatory talents or cookie cutter specs.
Starting with Mists of Pandaria, players will no longer spend talent points.
For each set of three talents players unlock, they will get to choose one talent to activate, for a total of six active talents at level 90.
A big benefit of removing talent points is that it allows us to let players "re-talent" with more flexibility.
Talent ranks have been completely removed.
Additional spec abilities will become available as characters levels. Some of these may be existing talents, while others may be older core abilities that are more situational.
After players have activated their talents, they won't be completely locked into their choices as they are now.
Talents can be changed out when switching specs, as well as when running dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds.
The idea is to make players choose from three talents. For example, Throwdown would be a crowd control ability any spec warrior could get; however, it would have two other choices to get that also CC.
You will access stuff you never could before and create new combinations. It's a mix-and-match system at the crux of it.
Raid / Dungeon Changes
The new expansion will introduce three new Raid dungeons and nine new dungeons with six of these being located within Pandaria.
The intention is to open up multiple opportunities for max-level players to take part in a variety of progression options.
Dungeon Challenge Modes will let those looking for a deeper challenge take on dungeon runs with specific goals (complete dungeon in X minutes) and reward players who accomplish these goals with Bronze, Silver, or Gold medals.
Challengers will also find their gear scaled to equalize the difficulty of the encounter for all players, creating a level playing field.
Rewards: Uniquely designed statless gear that can be utilized with Transmogrification to further define the look of a character.
Heroic Dungeons will become easier for pick-up-groups (PuGs) to take on.
Random queues will not apply to TBC and Wrath raids--the queue would be too long.
The disparity between 10s and 25s will perhaps be addressed for server firsts--some fights are easier on one raid size and that's unfair when guilds of different sizes must compete against each other.
No level 90 normal-mode dungeons--people will just go straight to heroics and challenge modes.
Difficult to toggle hardmodes like Freya +3 Ulduar model--it's much clearer to just submit it to heroic or normal versus wait to a health percentage.
Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery will be new heroic dungeons in MoP, similar to Deadmines and SFK in Cataclysm.
Player vs Player Changes
Three new battlegrounds have been added:
Stranglethorn Diamond Mines: “Payload” gameplay
STV Diamond would be a mine with multiple tracks; the first team to get the cart to the end would win. Players would have to move carts, split the tracks, and escort the carts.
Valley of Power: “Murderball” gameplay
Valley of Power would be located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Murderball where you hold the object for as long as possible, taking more damage the longer you hold it.
Azshara Crater: DOTA-style gameplay
New Arena: The Tol’vir Proving Grounds will utilize the sweeping vistas of Uldum and the Tol’vir art style with a simple layout based on Nagrand Arena.
May be able to quest in raid group.
The focus will be shifting to creating more repeatable max-level content while providing incentives for all players.
Quests on Pandaria will provide a less linear experience, with multiple quest hubs to choose from.
Scenarios will allow small groups of players to adventure together in short instances, with progressive objectives and a story arc.
Scenarios are completely role-less, meaning tanks or healers aren’t necessary to succeed -- any class combinations can work.
Smaller scenarios will play similar to group quests and will help players earn faction reputation.
Larger scenarios will play out like epic PvE battlegrounds with major objectives and plenty of scripted event.
Leveling in Pandaria
Pandaria has been shrouded in a mist. The alliance and horde wash up on the shores of Pandaria during a naval battle. They immediately want it for their own for the war--so they are going to destroy the pandaren to get its resources!
Pandaria starts off in a similar manner to the Deathknight starting zone--defeating initiates, learning more about the philosophy, completing quests for a master trainer.
Players read four scrolls explaining the philosophy of the four elementals.
You're tasked to fetch a wilting lotus--the first sign of death in Pandaria.
This leads to an epic series to seek out the four elemental spirits, who are faded and must be reunited to be saved.
Huo, the fire spirit.
Master Li Fei teaches you to meditate and strengthen your character--instead of just focusing on physical training to succeed.
Once your character has sufficiently meditated and adjusted, you are able to summon and defeat Huo, who then escorts you to the Temple of the Five Dawns in the center of the zone. It's a gorgeous temple reached by winding staircases.
She, the water spirit.
You'll need to purify her cursed pools, meditate, and find companions for her to play with.
There's some creative questing in there. One quest makes the player hop between poles over water, taking care to watch out for balancing Pandaren hopping around on other poles. Another quest makes you wait patiently for a darting spirit to come over in the water--if you follow it, you will be unable to catch it, but if you learn the spirit's spiriting patterns, you can grab it easily.
Wuguo, the earth spirit
After you fight verming, the Pandaria equivalent of kobolds, you're tasked to wake Wuguo up--but nothing works, including ringing gongs and slapping oxen, until the water spirit helps.
At this point, there were some placeholder quest summaries that hint at fun cutscenes to come.
Dafeng, the spirit of air.
As you reach his secret hiding place, you learn that the Hozu, a type of hostile monkey, have defiled many of the scrolls of wisdom at Morning Breeze Village.
You destroy the bad scrolls the Hozu have instead written with funny sayings like "Peel Banana, Eat Second" and "Wet Fur Not to Sleep On."
This really shows off the use of the Spinning Crane Kick--as mobs are grouped together that have low HP.
After destroying the Hozu in Fe-Fang village, you are ready to reach Dafeng who is scared of the Onyx Serpent.
In reaching his inner sanctum, you learn to be patient and wait for harsh winds to part, which would damage and eventually kill you otherwise. This seems to be a decent way of introducing new players to raid mechanics.
(At this point, I got the special Blizzcon 2011 achievement, Panda Express, for having my Pandaren roll 100 times!)
You defeat the Onyx Serpent, perhaps a bit anticlimactically, by shooting fireworks into the air.
At this point, your trainer returns and you escort him to the Western Grove.
You cleanse the area of bad spirits and hear him talk how his time has come to pass his knowledge down and step down in an extended dialogue.
You learn that Shen'zin Su, the great turtle, is in extreme danger--but nobody has spoken to him for years.
You accompany Aysa and Ji, past questgivers, in a hot air balloon over the water, listening as they ask Shen'zin what ails him. He's in pain, but glad generations have not forgotten him. He talks how a pain is in his side--and the thorn is in the forest.
The Alliance and the Horde enter. The Skyfire has crashed and you're tasked to accompany the curious Pandaren to see what these new invaders want.
I was asked to stop playing at this point to let others in the queue have a chance, but we know that at Level 10, you eventually choose which faction to join--which cannot be reversed.
Emphasized philosophy and lifestyle of the Pandaren, with many quests that emphasize the importance of balance, patience, and strength of character.
Sample quotes include: "Train as if the air, always present, ever flowing," "life is about creating yourself, not finding yourself," "forget injuries never forget kindness."
Appearance: lush groves interspersed with shimmering waterfalls and rustic towns. The zone is rich in primary hues--the temples are bright blue and red, while the plant life is emerald green, uncorrupted by many of the evils of Azeroth.
New Dungeons and Zones
There will be five new zones that feature the Pandaren's Asian-inspired landscapes, as well as the starting zone covered above and a central quest hub.
The Jade Forest: Level 85-86
Players will first enter Pandaria through the Jade Forest. This zone features lush rainforests and statuesque stone spires. The Alliance and Horde will ally themselves with the indigenous creatures to fight a war with lasting consequences to the Jade Forest, and possibly the rest of Pandaria as well.
Valley of the Four Winds: Level 86-87
Featuring lush farmland in the north and dense jungles along the coast to the south, the fertile Valley of the Four Winds is the breadbasket of Pandaria. Players will join Chen Stormstout to discover his family’s roots at the legendary Stormstout Brewery. Meanwhile, trouble is also brewing along the great wall that protects the Pandaren Empire from the mantid swarms to the west….
Located atop Kun-Lai Summit
Six boss raid
Explore the hidden secrets of the Mogu empire
Located in Kun-Lai Summit Mountain
Help the Shado-pan fight the evil Sha, that have escaped
New Race - Monk
They use chi as a resource (similar to energy/rage/etc).
They have stances, like Drunken Tiger/Ox
Two types of forces: Light and Dark.
You start off with Jab and Tiger Palm as a Monk, getting new abilities every few levels.
Jab: You jab the target dealing 11 damage and generating 1 light force and 1 dark force. Cost: 40 chi.
Tiger Palm: Attack with the palm of your hand, dealing 23 physical damage. Deals 12 additional damage if the target is above 50% health. Cost: 1 light force.
Roll: This is pretty fun--lets you move faster and is cosmetically awesome. Cost: 50 chi.
Blackout Kick: Kick with a blast of sha energy. causing 39 physical damage to an enemy target. If the target is killed by blackout kick, you are refunded 1 dark force.
Clobber: Melee stave ability--generates both light and dark forces.
Spinning Crane Kick: Spin while kicking in air--movement speed reduced by 30%. Bonus--no cooldown.
Flying Serpent Kick: Soar towards enemy stun for 2 sec.
Monks can be one of the following three roles:
Windwalker: Melee DPS
Monks benefit from leather armor with either agility or intellect.
Races that can be monks: draenei, dwarf, gnome, human, night elf, blood elf, orc, tauren, troll, and undead.
New Race - Pandaren
While you might laugh at first that the new class is a race of pandas--think again. They're a peaceful race who have lived undisturbed for thousands of years, now rudely interrupted by the presence of the Alliance and the Horde.
Pandaren characters can be hunters, mages, monks, priests, rogues, shaman, and warriors.
After completing the starting zone, Pandaren can choose to permanently join either the Alliance or the Horde.
Bouncy: reduces fall damage by half.
Inner peace: double lasting rested XP.
Gourmond: +15 to cooking.
Epicurean: double stats to food buffs.
Quaking Palm: some crowd control, puts enemies to sleep for four seconds then does damage.
The Mogu were the original race twelve thousand years ago and they want their island back from the pandaren.
The Sha will be negative energy and it will be a shadow form that players fight; the alliance & horde will actually increase this.
Dungeons & Raids Preview
While much of the World of Warcraft buzz around BlizzCon has thus far been focused on the pandaren race, monk class, and talent system overhaul, there remains the question: what are you going to do with all of it?
The World of Warcraft Dungeons and Raids panel recently kicked off to answer that very question. Who are the big bad guys you need to kill, and where can you kill them?
Three new dungeons were shown out of the nine total planned in the initial release of the expansion, starting with Temple of the Jade Serpent, the first dungeon you’ll encounter while leveling from 85 to 90. In this dungeon you’ll be tasked with defeating the Sha of Doubt, one of the elemental enemies threatening the shrouded continent and sacred pandaren ways.
The second dungeon previewed was the Stormstout Brewery. Chen Stormstout of WarCraft III fame is a revered figure within pandaren culture, and his brewery has been overrun by the Verming and Hozu, a couple of the less-than-savory races that also inhabit Pandaria. You’re tasked with reclaiming his family heritage… and his beer.
The third dungeon previewed at BlizzCon was the Shado-pan Monastery. Located in Kun-Lai Summit, this mountain retreat serves as the home and training grounds of the mysterious Shado-pan Clan, a ninja-like pandaren faction dedicated to protecting Pandaria. Again, the Sha have been set free and threaten the Shado-pan’s base of operations, and you’re tasked with dispatching them.
In addition to the three new dungeons that were shown, two classic dungeon crawls are getting the Deadmines treatment and will return in level-90 Heroic fashion. While they'll still be accessible in their lower-level form for those leveling their new pandaren, both Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance will be buffed up, spit-shined, and made relevant to max-level characters with new, challenging encounters and equally high-level drops. Scholomance is returning with a more streamlined layout and the Scarlet Monastery, too big to return as one dungeon, is being split up into two wings. The Graveyard and Cathedral are being combined into one level-90 Heroic dungeon, and the Library and Armory into another. Whitemane's Chapeau for everyone!
Are you yawning at the idea of more five-player dungeons? You may be interested in Challenges. This is a new time trial system coming in Mists of Pandaria for level-90 dungeons. The challenge itself may not always be difficult, but ranking will be. Do well and you'll earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal. Completing the Challenge on gold will incur a stacking debuff on future attempts: it’ll start with a 5% debuff, but if you manage to finish with a gold medal time on that run you’ll receive a 10% debuff on your next run, and so on.
In addition to realm-wide bragging rights, completing Challenges will award you with unique Transmogrification items and other vanity rewards. Oh, did we forget to mention that your gear will be normalized? Sorry, no gearing up or stacking items to get the best times -- your item level will be normalized so that even when the next raid encounter comes out and new gear drops, your world-record will stand until some other group of chumps actually has the skill to beat it.
Challenges will be enabled during any dungeon run that supports them, including those joined through the Dungeon Finder. To help get people together that are looking to achieve the same goals, a special flag will be available to only match you with others looking to do Challenges if you do use the Dungeon Finder.
One of the three new raids launching with Mists of Pandaria was also unveiled: Mogu’Shan Palace. This six-boss raid is located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and invites you to explore the hidden secrets of the elusive Mogu empire, one of the new indigenous Pandarian races.
In Cataclysm, Heroic dungeons were intentionally designed as gear and difficulty checks on the progression to raiding. In Mists of Pandaria, the Raid Finder will be the appropriate transition from running dungeons to Normal raids. Heroic dungeons will largely be tuned to be about as difficult as they were in Wrath of the Lich King, allowing players to fairly quickly down bosses in PUGs and hit their Valor Point caps. Valor Points will follow a new philosophy with 4.3, as a parallel way to gear up alongside the Raid Finder, but not as a fill-in for boss drops.
The overall goal for this expansion is that any time you log in, you should be able to make some kind of progress on your character. Whether that's through Normal or Heroic raiding, queuing for a Raid Finder run, hitting dailies for rewards and VP, busting out a scenario with some strangers, or joining some buddies for a dungeon Challenge, we want you to be making meaningful progression on your character. Some ways will be faster than others, but no matter what you choose to do, you'll be making progress.
The goals for dungeons and raids in Mists of Pandaria are to create epic and challenging experiences, but Cataclysm also helped us learn where we can improve with the new expansion. The Raid Finder will help with taking that first step into endgame content, and it will be available for all Mists of Pandaria raids. Beyond that, we want to create more easily understandable encounters and move away from mechanics that simply set up groups to fail, while still keeping them challenging.
We’re also looking to address some of the issues that came with how the zones and locations were spread out in Cataclysm. While that’s largely addressed with Pandaria simply being one continent, it also includes giving dungeons and raids more of a presence in the world. All of the dungeons and raids in Pandaria exist as actual locations you can walk up to and fly over, and aren’t just encapsulated experiences hidden behind a portal.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Class Talent System
World of Warcraft Game Director Tom Chilton, and Lead Systems Designer Greg Street took to the stage this morning to discuss the direction of class balance for World of Warcraft, as well as the new talent system coming in Mists of Pandaria. Their panel focused on the philosophies and goals of this new system, what’s changing, and what expectations players should have as they level up in Pandaria and beyond.
Philosophies and Goals
In Cataclysm, we made some pretty radical adjustments to the talent trees. Some of those changes worked out really well, while others didn't really help us achieve the goals we set out to reach. We really liked offering players a choice of class specialization at level 10, for example, and how streamlining each of the talent trees made room for meaningful choices and greater character customization. We didn't like that there was still a lot of "bulk" left in the talent trees despite our clean-up efforts, though, and that it remained possible for players to "miss" really important performance talents. Looking back, we feel that the Cataclysm talent trees are roughly 80% composed of class role-defining talents that are crucial to rotations and performance, while the other 20% are interesting utility talents, and that's where the real choices were happening.
For Mists of Pandaria, we want to move toward something that feels more flexible, yet eliminates many of the flaws of the old system at the same time. More importantly, we want players to gain access to important class performance abilities easily while ensuring that the more engaging utility abilities, where all the choices a player makes are meaningful, are front and center. Getting there will take some major changes.
The New Class Talent System
Perhaps the most exciting of these changes is the removal of the old talent tree system. Rather than each class having three separate trees, one for each specialization, players will now choose talents from individual sets which are awarded every 15 levels. Each class will have its own selection of talents, and the entire list will be available to all characters of that class regardless of specialization.
Each talent set is comprised of three talents which fall into a clear "theme." Some sets will offer utility such as movement speed increases and boosts to survivability, while others will reduce the costs of certain situational abilities. Currently, the goal is to avoid making any particular talent mandatory or to have them play a role in ability rotations directly. Instead, they're intended to give players interesting ways to customize their characters according to their preferred playstyle.
In total, there will be six talent sets, with players unlocking a new set every 15 levels. This means that there will be fewer talents overall, but each talent you choose has the potential to have a much more dramatic effect on your gameplay.
Another big change being made is how talents are selected. Instead of "purchasing" talents with a predetermined number of points (earned as you level), talent selection will be toggle-based. For each set of three talents players unlock, they will get to choose one talent to activate, for a total of six active talents at level 90. (Talent ranks have been completely removed.)
Similar to current functionality, talents selections will be finalized by clicking "Learn" at the bottom of the talent pane; however, a big benefit of removing talent points is that it allows us to let players "re-talent" with more flexibility. Even after players have activated their talents, they won't be completely locked into their choices as they are now. If at any point a player feels that another talent may be more appropriate or fun, he or she can simply select that talent from their tree and click "Learn" again. This can be done on a talent-by-talent basis or, if the situation demands it, all talents can be changed out at once.
As a result, talents can be changed out when switching specs, as well as when running dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds. While re-talenting will most likely be disabled during combat and will incur a small fee (either in the form of gold or a reagent), it will still give players more opportunities to adapt their characters to better meet the challenges they expect to face while playing.
Class Talents vs. Specialization Abilities
So what does this mean for important spec-based spells and abilities like Hammer of the Righteous and Circle of Healing?
At level 10, players will still select a specialization and unlock an iconic class specialization ability. As players level up, they will then automatically learn both class-based and specialization-specific abilities at set intervals. The specialization abilities you learn will be largely comprised of old talents we feel players should have, as well as core class abilities that not every spec needs.
For example, for a level 25 Protection paladin, his or her training list may look a little something like this:
|Level 10:||Avenger's Shield||(Protection ability)|
|Judgments of the Wise||(Protection ability)|
|Level 12:||Rightous Fury||(Class ability)|
|Level 13:||Redemption||(Class ability)|
|Level 14:||Flash of Light||(Class ability)|
|Level 15:||Hand of Reckoning||(Class ability)|
|Level 16:||Lay on Hands||(Class ability)|
|Level 18:||Divine Shield||(Class ability)|
|Level 20:||Hammer of the Righteous||(Protection ability)|
|Level 22:||Supplication||(Class ability)|
|Level 24:||Consecration||(Class ability)|
These spells and abilities will be trained in the field, appearing immediately in players' spellbooks once they reach the appropriate level. As a result, there will no longer be a need to visit class trainers save to re-spec or purchase Dual Specialization, keeping players engaged and doing what they enjoy.
With this new method of distributing abilities, we can ensure that players are receiving role-defining talents at levels that make sense and will benefit them the most as well as deliver fun and meaningful choices along the way.