Now, normally, you guys know I don’t do this sort of thing. I tend to leave all MMO-related news for the various MMO news sites. After all, I’ve always felt that they could do better than I could when it came to reporting said news to the world at large. However, today, Blizzard has released some interesting new information about Mists of Pandaria. The news that interested me the most, at least at first, was how the female pandaren were going to look. After the mess that turned into the female worgen model, I really was worried about how our lady pandas were going to look. And then today, when I went to check out Blizzard’s blog, I was rewarded with this:
Image © Blizzard Entertainment
LOOK AT HER. No, really, just look at her. She looks so happy and properly curvy and not a stick! I was hopeful that the model would be a bit rounder, myself, but considering the lack of bulkier women in this game, I’m happy with it as it stands. Currently, there are only three races that boast a thicker-looking female model: dwarves, orcs, and tauren. Everyone else seems to be more along the lines of a stick-figure model that you’d tend to see in everyday fashion magazines. To add another race to that tiny, tiny list makes me so ridiculously happy. You guys honestly have no idea. I hear that you can choose to be a red panda, as well, and, if you do, you get a tail. While there are screenshots of a female red panda floating around the internet, there are no shots of this mysterious tail, so I don’t know how accurate that is in the long run.
But there’s more! Today was not just about showing us all female pandas! Oh, no, there was much more to today than that. Not only is the Mists of Pandaria website updated with a whole bunch of new information and new screenshots, but today, the NDA on the press tour was finally lifted! You can read the longer version of what everybody discovered at the press tour over at MMO-Champion or check out WoW Insider’s Mists of Pandaria tag, but for those of you who only have a short amount of time, I can tell you that it looks like we have fun things coming, including an additional character slot and… Farmville, if that’s your thing. Don’t believe me? Check it out!
- The final patch of Mists of Pandaria will be the Siege of Orgrimmar! Both factions lay siege to the city to bring Garrosh down and end his reign of Warchief.
- The new LFR loot system will allow everyone to roll individually. The highest few rolls will win an item from the boss. Upon winning a roll, if the boss has an item that you can use, you will win it. If not, you will get some amount of gold. It will only be in LFR to begin with, but can be added to other parts of the game later.
- An 11th character slot has been added.
- AoE Looting has been added.
- There will not be an item squish in Mist of Pandaria.
- No new race models are ready to be added yet.
- There will be nine level 90 heroics for players as well as three raids with 14 raid bosses and three difficulties. There will be an additional two world bosses.
- Scenarios will take place at level 90, in an instance, and reward reputation and Valor points. They don’t need a healer, tank, and DPS, just DPS is fine. Each will take 10 to 30 minutes to complete and five or more will be available for launch.
- In Challenge Modes, the vast majority of players will most likely earn a bronze medal even if they are a relatively unskilled player. After a player earns all the medals at the Bronze level, they will be rewarded with an achievement and title. Completing all of the Silver medals will earn a set of spectacular gear for transmogrification, and completing all of the gold will earn a unique epic flying mount. Challenge modes will be available for the six new dungeons at launch.
- Cloud Serpents are the Pandaren’s mount of choice. You can raise your own by doing 20 days of daily quests.
- The Tillers faction will let you run your own farm! The farmer’s market will provide daily quest to improve your farm every day, you will be able to clear plots of land and plant things like cooking ingredients, herbalism nodes, gifts for NPCs to build your reputation… etc.
- Warlocks got the most class changes in MoP, along with new pets.
- There will be more mounts and less color swaps for different rewards.
- They are adding armor to creatures to give them varied appearances, something other than just simple color changes.
- There are now seven zones, up from five. This was done to add more content to the game and give players a less linear progression path so that leveling for a second or third time isn’t the exact same.
- There will be one new arena and two new battlegrounds at launch.
- PvP pet battles are going to be fun and causal, only tracking the number of wins and not the number of losses. When fighting another player, you cannot see the other players name or communicate with them.
- Currently, every race except Goblin and Worgen can learn the ways of the monk.
- The pre-Mists of Pandaria Patch will be roughly two weeks before launch and bring simple rewards. It might involve a scenario with Theramore and the Alliance vs Horde theme. Chen Stormstout might also come to the local cities and get players excited about what is coming.
From the look of things, it seems like Blizzard’s trying to bring us back to the days of Vanilla WoW. There’s no Big Bad to fight, which pleases me. The idea of fighting Deathwing seemed much more impressive than the overall story really was. With MoP, there’s just pure conflict between the Alliance and the Horde, and I love the idea of it.
So am I looking forward to the new expansion? Well, if everything I’m reading about it holds true, then yes. Yes, I am. At the very least, I’ll be rolling a wonderful lady pandaren and she will be bouncy and adorable.