World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is Coming
A few weeks ago, a good number of World of Warcraft players would never have heard of the words Pandaria or Pandaren. Now, though, you can't log on without hearing them. So what are they? Well, if you play World of Warcraft and have been living under a virtual rock for these past few days, you’ll want to head on over to the official World of Warcraft page where details of the next expansion have been released – Mists of Pandaria.
Pandaria is a continent shrouded – until now – by mists, belonging to the Pandaren race. Completely unspoiled by the ravages of warfare, the revealed land now stirs emotions from many years ago between the Horde and the Alliance. An entirely new plot of land is there, ripe for the taking. Thus, it seems, the focus of this expansion isn’t focused – for a change – entirely on PvE (player vs environment), but PvP (player vs player). Blizzard has announced that it has big changes in mind to rekindle the conflicts between the Alliance and the Horde while at the same time presenting new challenges for raiders and dungeon-goers alike.
Already details of the changes to come are surfacing. The Pandaren are, of course, the new playable race in both Alliance and Horde. And with this new race comes an entirely new class – the Monk. Monks can be healers, tanks or melee DPS. They can wear leather armor and feature a new resource system called “chi.” Blizzard is once again completely overhauling the way talents work, with players now gaining a talent point once every 15 levels instead of every 2 levels but being able to mix and match between trees. There’s a new mini-game as well in the form of a pet battle system in which players can use their formerly non-combat pets to fight against other pets. It’s not Pokémon, honest.
New dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, and arenas will of course follow with this new expansion, and the forums are already buzzing with speculation, debates springing up everywhere as to whether this “cute” expansion – as many players politely describe it – will be good or bad for the game as a whole. It’s rather interesting to hear word of the new expansion already when the Deathwing encounter hasn’t even been officially released yet, and we could very well be waiting a year before beta keys are even handed out. But it seems Blizzard already has this covered by offering players the chance not only to gain beta access to the game but also to get their hands on Diablo 3 for free. All players have to do to get this offer is take on a minimum 12-month contract for World of Warcraft which can be paid for all at once or in installments. Subscriptions cannot be canceled or refunded once a player agrees to this, but the trade-off means exclusive access to the expansion’s beta and Diablo 3 once the 12-month subscription comes to an end/passes. Bargain.
It seems like Blizzard wants to keep the hype about this expansion going as long as possible, and if the offer is anything to go by, then the release date for the expansion will probably be around November/December next year. Naturally, more details are to follow, with changes to specific classes already starting to emerge and shock players. Whether this will be good for the game remains to be seen, but the simple act of announcing the expansion has divided players as much as Deathwing did in Azeroth. The Cataclysm has come and gone, and Azeroth seems to have survived. Could the Mists of Pandaria bring about the true end of the world?