Oct 222011
 

As you probably know by now, Battle.net has their preview page up for Mists of Pandaria. Looks like some pretty cool stuff is coming up. One thing to keep in mind: Almost none of this should be considered final.

Pandas… Bliz did a good job, in the trailer, of making the Pandarians “not silly.”

My best guess for final stuff:

  • Level 90 cap and, I’m assuming, instanced zones to level in. The goal seems to be to immerse people into the story and instanced zones are a good way to do that.
  • The Pandarians and the introduction of new zones – well, Ok, that’s pretty obvious.
  • The new class: Monk. I think the abilities of this class will change a lot between now and release, though.
  • New battlegrounds, new arena, many new achievements, awards, etc. New gear.
  • Dungeon challenges and gear normalization. I think the introduction “item level” in 4.0 will make “gear nomalization” reasonably easy to code, so I’d expect this to be a go.

Stuff that I think will change to a lesser or greater degree:

  • The new talent system (and Specializations.). Not that Bliz doesn’t want to the talent system to be interesting and fun, as well as to get rid of cookie-cutter builds, but they already made major changes with Cataclysm. Do they want to do it again so soon? Plus, Mists is an ambitious project, like any expansion, so we’ll see.
  • Pandarian racials. Remember that Goblins and Worgen had some killer racials when Cataclysm was first announced. I expect the final Pandarian racials to be massively changed.
  • Anything having to do with class abilities, specs, etc.

Here’s the official Blizzard Mists preview page.

So what’s your two cents on this expansion?

Update: 

WoWhead liveblogs Bliz: BlizzCon 2011: Class Balance, Professions, and More in Mists of Pandaria – Some clips:

Q: Will epics from Firelands be replaced by greens in Mists of Pandaria?
A: Green is the new purple, every expansion. We want players to feel like they worked hard to have a leg up, but if it lasts too long, we cheat players out of the level experience. I hope that someday we can have a “hall of heroes” that records how hard you did work. For example, if you killed Ragnaros during patch 4.2, we’d like to let you be recognized so that we don’t lose your accomplishments.

Q: With some achievements and pets becoming BoA, will mounts maybe become that?
A: I can see it being a natural extension, but it will not be happening in 5.0. It’s likely to be happening somewhere down the line, though.

Q: Will arcane mages maybe get some more complex play, like a dot–or nerfing arcane blast?
A: Yes, in 5.0, living bomb will be a spell for all mages.

Q: On behalf of all ret paladins, sorry for crying every day. Anyway, in our level 90 tree, I saw that you were giving us a huge buff. Can you not buff us nor nerf us? Let us be at peace!
A: That was very moving, thank you. I mean, the level 90 tier will be relatively similar–so we’re trying to hit those spots, we haven’t tested yet, they will be tweaked.

Q: Could you move the 10-man model to a 15-model so we waste less loot and have more balance? If not, maybe a smart loot system? So no mail could drop if you had no mail user in your raid?
A: 15-man is something we’d like, but very difficult and changes a lot so it becomes really hard to recruit 5 more people and so on. We would be more inclined to implement smart loot.

Q: You’re removing relics for paladins. Could you make librams visible, for the lore of paladins?
A: Yes. For sure. Hunters will have ammo pouches, etc. Other things for other classes. Taking away relics as a mechanic doesn’t mean they’re going to be gone on a visual side.

Q: How will you show alliance and horde pandaren?
A: Your UI will mostly tell you. The players don’t depend on visual cues, they mostly depend on red names and red tooltips and so on. Primarily the UI distinguishes. We may try to help it. They won’t look different most likely.

There’s a lot more. Read it here.

 

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