The Mists of Pandaria Press event happened today with plenty of stupid reveals and great things to come. I scoured the interviews, blogs and press releases to put together the things I thought were the best, the worst, or just rather noteworthy about the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion.
The obvious things we know about MoP are, of course, discussed in the press release. The Jade Temple, the Stormstout Brewery, new Scholomance, new Scarlet Monestary, Pet Battle system, Pandarians, monk class, etc. I’m not going to touch on those at all if they don’t discuss something new – and for the most part, they don’t. Luckily there is plenty of new information being given out that I’ve combed through to find the most interesting, infuriating, and just noteworthy news that’s been given out today.
We’ll start with the shit that just plain pissed me off:
Fuck you Blizzard
To start things off, I’d like to point out that there is still no release date for MoP. It also sounded to me like they have a lot of work to do before we can even get a Beta opening date. Right now, only time will tell how soon this expansion will be coming out.
Once again, there will be no additional bank slots and no new character models. Void storage is getting more space though and Blizzard/Activision made the mountains prettier! Really?! They’ve also chosen to keep the demon models the same, no male succubus, no new voidwalker models, but fuck, we get some damn purdy mountains. Where are my freaking hair cuts you promised me a year ago!?
In another stroke of genius, Blizzard/Activision has chosen to remove the Have Group, Will Travel guild perk even though it was popular “because it is one more thing that shrinks the world and allows players to avoid being out in the world.” No, it was because we like to be able to summon our raids/groups without a warlock you dipshits. In another effort to get us out in the world and out of Orgrimmar and Stormwind, the major city for the Alliance and Horde on the new continent will not have Ethereal vendors or Class Trainers. Feel the sarcasm.
They will be changing the LFR loot system. Personally, I think they’re going to seriously fuck it up:
…one of the big changes we’re going to make with Mists is the introduction of a per-player loot system. So that will be just for LFR, but essentially every person will get to roll individually on the items that are on that boss. So if you win that roll, then it will look at the loot table on that boss, and if there’s an item for you, then you’ll get that item instead of just having it be everyone can roll, and if you win you guarantee get it. Instead you’ll roll individually and if your roll actually comes up as a win, if there’s an item that works for you, like say if you’re a druid, and there’s a druid item, you would get that item. That doesn’t mean you’re always going to get a guaranteed thing when you win your roll, because there might not be an item on that boss for you to begin with. What it does mean is when you do win, you’re always going to get something that is right for you and it fits your class and feels specific. I think that’s really going to help with people feeling like they are running it constantly and “I never get my weapon” or “I never get my item”. That’s something that if it works there, we could definitely open it up to more parts of the game but that’s where we feel is a good place to start.
So essentially, if it’s a druid healing item, your tank could get it. Or if it’s better for cat dps, your healer could get it. If it’s a plate dps piece, your healing paladin could get it. This sounds like a terrible idea Blizzard! Sure, it fixes some problems, but it seems to create a whole mess more. I do like the idea that if two rogues win a roll, they’d both get the mace that dropped, so if they can take class specs into account, I’ll change my mind.
I think the biggest let down of all the press release information was when Chris Metzen decided to tell us how Mists of Pandaria is going to end:
The final patch of Mists of Pandaria will be the Siege of Orgrimmar! Both factions, for various reasons, lay siege to the city to bring Garrosh down and end his reign of Warchief.
So they want to give us a whole new continent, then tell us to go play someplace we’ve been for a previous expansion? Not to mention spoiling the ending for us. Oh, and that’s not the end of the spoilers for the entire MoP expansion:
In one of the patches, the Alliance and Horde will roll up onto the beach along with their fleet, armor, tanks, and this is where the Horde will build a fortress on the island. The world will change over the course of the patches, especially this area. In Patch 5.1 the beach on Krasarang Wilds will erupt into a battlezone. You will see Pandaria evolve a little bit as the story evolves. The Horde and Alliance will assault different parts of the beach and there will be awesome fighting.
On the one hand this is great, we’re getting an evolving storyline that will be continually changing throughout the expansion. On the other hand, now I know what’s going to happen. They could have drawn this out, hyped the faction battles, really pumped the WoW players. Instead, we now know that Garrosh is going to die to Varien and that’s the end of the story. Anyone else hate reading the last page of a book first?
The only good thing about this is I actually think they might put out timely content during Mists instead of shitty, half-assed, non-content that they did for 4.1 or the Ruby Sanctum. Then again, maybe I’m just being naive, so let’s move on to what I think they’re doing well.
Some simple things: There will be 11 character slots instead of the current 10, so you won’t have to delete a character if you want to roll a Monk. The Alliance and Horde will be getting a major city in the new continent that will have an Auction House and Bank. And finally, we’re returning to having World Bosses! There will be two, though I couldn’t find any information beyond that.
It is official that your entire pet collection will be made account wide “that way you don’t actually have to go and change out characters every time you want to level up a specific pet, or have to level a pet for each one of your characters, or anything really annoying and grindy like that.” Thank you Blizzard! Now I can get my Legendary Staff dragon pet on my shaman and get credit for it on my paladin. This pleases me immensely.
There are 9 new dungeons, not five (thank God). The new ones are Gate of the Setting Sun, Mogu’Shan Palace, an unnamed Mantid dungeon, and two others yet to be revealed. Scholomance has been almost completely redone, looking like it received more effort than the Dead Mines and SFK remakes (and unfortunately the Scarlet Monastery remake). Mists will be released with two new battlegrounds, The Silver Shard mines and The Temple of ???. New rules and new maps without siege engines!
Blizzard/Activision is still refining the Monk energy system, going with mana for healers and energy for tanks/dps along with a Light Energy system they’re calling Chi. Monk Chi resource sounds like it’s going to be really fun:
So you have these four orbs that you’re building up towards, and you choose how to spend them. Some abilities cost 3, some cost 2, some cost 1, and then hopefully the depth of the rotation comes from mixing those up. So you might do a 3 force ability, then 1 force ability, then a 2 force, then a 1 force, then a 2 force, and we hope that chaining is going to help deliver that kind of street fighter, button mashing, feel that players are expecting in a martial arts based character.
The Monks have brand new animations for each and every move, nothing recycled from previous classes and abilities. They’re also doing a large revamping of Warlock resources.Warlocks are going to be bad-ass with their new specs and resource systems.
Destruction is trying to build up this fiery force. They basically start catching on fire, their hands catch on fire, and then their whole body catches on fire. Then they can unleash Conflagrate, their really powerful damaging spell. Demonology similarly has a bar they fill up, but this bar drives how long they can stay in demon form. So rather than their Metamorphosis just being a cooldown that lasts for a few seconds, they can try to game it to stay in demon form for a fairly long amount of time. They decide when that happens and how that happens.
I am finding it harder and harder to decide which toon I want to play first. The three new warlock pets are also unlockable in the talent tree. I want the Sheeba one pretty bad.
There will be new mounts as well. The one I’m interested in is the Cloud Serpent mount which is attainable to anyone willing to do a 20 day quest chain. This is similar to how you get the achievement pets right now. This is great! Grindy, but not 120 day grind. I’m only disappointed you don’t get to keep the Cloud Serpent pet as well.
One thing they did promise us was an easier way to level up Archeology and on this, at least, they deliver. After finishing a Dig Site for Archeology, you get to teleport to a new dig site. No more flying all over the God damned place. They will also be adding Archeology dailies that are similar to the Fishing/Cooking ones.
Another Daily quest their adding is the Tillers Daily Quest and rep grind which is going to be different. They will be giving you a farm and new quests daily to improve it. You will be able to grow Herbalism nodes, cooking ingredients, a pet, and gifts for NPCs that up your rep. Unfortunately this will probably be phased so you can’t take people in to see how you’ve decorated your own farm, but I still think this is wicked awesome.
Last, but certainly not least, “by accomplishing some of the outdoor PvP quests and objectives you can actually raise your weekly Conquest cap.” FUCK YES! No longer will we be stuck with just ratings to get our Conquest cap up. This pleases me immensely and now that you’ve stuck with me this far, we’re almost done:
All this is neither good, nor bad, it just kind of is so I’ll toss it out as bullet points:
- No guarantee that Achievements will become account wide and no mention of mounts being the same.
- AoE looting will be implemented
- No “item squish” so we will continue to see giant numbers in the charts.
- Hunters get an ability to release their entire stable of pets at once on a target. Ouch.
- Minor glyphs will be changed to do fun and interesting things, like a Mage glyph that teleports you to Old Dalaran – then lets you fall out of the sky far above it.
- There is a Great Pandarian Wall.
- There is now a lizard man race.
- Supposedly the new raids will have a new and unique look, more than anything they’ve done before (I predict more red, black and purple)
- Companion Pets will also have mini talent trees.
- Event for MoP release: Chen shows up, Theramore burns, players get stuff.
- Horde allies are the Hozon, a race of monkey people who are given machine guns and rocket launchers by the Horde.
- Alliance allies are the fish-man race the Jinyu who can listen to the river speak.
- Beer elementals – yes, there are Beer elementals
- The Scenarios sound identical to the Skirmishes in LOTRO. This is not a bad thing because the Skirmishes in LOTRO are a blast.
- There will be NPC pet battles out in the zones.
- Proving Grounds: “They’re like lored-up solo instances that make trying out my rotations a lot more fun since I can chase achievements.” (Sounds awesome)
- Seven new zones instead of five
- New Factions:
- The Shado-Pan: The bravest and most disciplined of pandaren fighters, the Shado-Pan were established by the last Pandaren emperor to act as guardians against the negative Sha energy that permeates the continent. Part of their duties also involves manning the mighty wall that protects the pandaren homeland from the dangerous mantid race. They welcome the assistance of any who have the bravery and skill to aid them in their sacred charge.
- The August Celestials: Four powerful ancestor spirits have always watched over the lands of the pandaren: Yu’lon the Jade Serpent, Xuen the White Tiger, Chi Ji the Red Crane, and Niuzao the Black Ox. Each of their four temples will call on the service of bold adventurers.
- The Golden Lotus: Nestled in the center of Pandaria is the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, an ancient place of great power that’s been around since the time of the Titans. The Vale and its magical waters were once used as a weapon by the Mogu, and after their overthrow it was decided to seal off the vale from any intruders. The Golden Lotus is an order of pandaren priests and fighters who defend and maintain this sacred land. Members are specifically chosen at a young age by one of the four August Celestials.
- The Klaxxi: Keepers of the mantid culture, these stoic mantid lords have determined that their own queen has been corrupted and must be destroyed. Although wary of outsiders, it may be possible to earn the trust of the Klaxxi, gaining access to their unique arms and armor.
- Order of the Cloud Serpent: This order of flying warriors was founded long ago, during the Zandalari wars. Gain their favor, and they’ll reveal the secrets of training a cloud serpent to become a loyal mount.
- The Lorewalkers: This peaceful faction has been charged with safeguarding pandaren history and culture. Intrepid explorers can win their favor by collecting historical artifacts from around the world.
- Artisans: Many Brewmasters have wandered the world in search of exotic ingredients to expand their craft, while the Tillers and Anglers are simple farmer and fisher folk, respectively. These three factions are the backbone of civilian life on Pandaria, and offering assistance to these artisans will reap great rewards.
- New Zones:
- The Jade Forest: High-level adventurers will make landfall in the lush Jade Forest, where they’ll meet some of Pandaria’s indigenous races, such as the fish-like jinyu and monkey-like hozen.
- Valley of the Four Winds: Featuring rolling green hills and lush pandaren farmland, the Valley of the Four Winds is where travelers will find the legendary Stormstout Brewery.
- Kun-Lai Summit: Amid this treacherous, icy mountain terrain, players will encounter the Shado-Pan, a clandestine sect charged with keeping one of Pandaria’s darkest secrets.
- Townlong Steppes: Here, a tremendous wall separates Pandaria’s verdant forests and plains from the desolate wasteland left in the wake of the ravenous, all-consuming mantid.
- Krasarang Wilds: A dense strand of jungle occupying Pandaria’s southernmost shore, the Krasarang Wilds are home to lost ruins and a chain of dangerous islands.
- Dread Wastes: The mantid homeland, now overrun by the Sha of Fear, has been corrupted into a horrifying wasteland of swamps and scorched earth. Players will have to fight their way into the lair of the mantid queen herself to rout out the source of the corruption.
- Vale of Eternal Blossoms: This lush valley in the center of Pandaria hosts a secret power dating back to the time of the Titans. The city complex at its heart will be players’ home away from home, but max-level players will need to defend it against constantly changing daily threats.
- The Wandering Isle: Pandaren adventurers looking to explore the world outside Pandaria begin their journey here, on a mysterious island that never seems to settle in the same place for too long.
If you’re curious, there are also many new YouTube videos. I’ve linked them here for your viewing pleasure: