The NDA was lifted on Mists of Pandaria today and as you would expect that has resulted in a plethora of information yet again. Some of it’s new, some of it isn’t. There’s clarification and still details we don’t know about. So, let’s look at things closely shall we?
- Bye Bye Garrosh? It sure sounds that way based on what Chris Metzen told WoWInsider. There will be a seizing of Orgrimmar. Both Alliance and Horde will have their own scenario where it happens and that’s exciting. If you ask most players, the only thing that makes that news even better is if we got to do the same thing to Varian. My tin foil hat thinks this is going to be in response to what happens to Theramore. The Alliance will be irate and even the Horde is going to tell fathead he went too far.
- Heroic Scarlet Monastery & Scholomance. I’m sure there’s going to be whining right off the bat about reusing content again, but these are great instances and I applaud the decision for both. The devil’s advocate in me wonders, though, why Blizzard can’t design as equally compelling dungeons in the modern game. Just thinking out loud really.
- 11th character slot. I don’t know if you’re going to have to buy Mists to receive this or not. Either way it’s long overdue. For those who have one of every class on a server, you still have that luxury.
- Monks and Pandas. We’ve discussed this before, back when the expansion was announced. Personal preference is that Pandaren could’ve remained non-playable for me, but the general populous is happy. Monks are fine too, but I don’t think it should be an option for EVERY non-Cataclysm class.
- Talents. It has been well documented that the trees are being overhauled and while I’ve grown comfortable with the current trees I do understand the idea behind it. However, the constant explanation that Blizzard is doing it to remove “cookie-cutter” builds is hypocrisy when the trees get narrower. Sooner or later it looks less like a tree and more like a pole.
- Out of the box lore. The entire zone of Pandaria comes with the expansion and its subsequent installation. We will be introduced to everything we need to know via installation. Then subsequent patches will be more of a “sequel” to the expansion and the advancement of war in the zone and the fallout from that.
- Endgame Isn’t Just Raiding. This is excellent news. Getting to the level cap and then just raiding and farming and raiding and farming is good for some players. For many of us, it actually isn’t. So Blizzard has recognized that and is presenting a number of viable endgame options, to say nothing of the much discussed pet battle system.
From a lore/story perspective, I am really liking what I hear about Mists so far. Some unique ideas and gameplay execution. Stepping out of the MMORPG archaic thinking by offering more than just raiding at endgame is to be applauded as well. Of course, all those players who signed up for a full year are now waiting with baited breath for the B-wod and it’s start.