Blizzard is allowing a ton of new information on World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria to be released today. Thankfully, PC Gamer organized everything you need to know, but we can provide you a summary of the basics here. At least, we'll do our best... We admit to being a bit disjointed from sudden exposure to panda cleavage.
Here are the highlights:
- Story refocused on the war between the Horde and Alliance. No big central villain in this expansion. Both sides will push each other "to the brink" and then be forced to reflect on the destruction.
- 7 new zones, and a level 1-10 starter area that takes place on the back of a giant floating turtle.
- Female Pandarians are now in the game. Enjoy:
- Extensive changes to every class; talents can now be swapped with a consumable and glyphs have been revamped.
- Monks! New details on their Chi energy system and skill combinations.
- 6 new dungeons with heroic and normal modes, 3 new heroics including Scarlet Monestary and Scholomance.
- 5 scenarios, or open-world scripted events. More to be added before launch.
- Pet battles meant to be casual, relatively intelligent AI rather than PvP.
- New Challenges and UI additions to help record them.
- 2 new 10v10 Battlegrounds: Temple of Kotmogu and Silvershard Mines.
- Lots of new factions, each with unique rewards.
- While not content-complete, Mists of Pandaria is farther along than most might assume. Estimated release date? Later summer, early fall.
The late summer release estimation could potentially line Mists of Pandaria up to compete directly with Guild Wars 2, The Secret World and TERA. It's not like Blizzard to put out games close to each other though, so we wouldn't be surprised to see Pandaria pushed back to December. This way it gets quite a few months of that polish Blizzard loves so much, and allows Diablo 3 a large window without in-house competition.
For World of Warcraft vanilla players, there might always be some temptation to return, but completionists like myself probably can't justify the time required to "catch up". Still, Mists of Pandaria, despite the pandas, looks like a lot of great new content. There's a reason World of Warcraft is still at the top: Blizzard know show to deliver new content.