Blizzard has unleashed an avalanche of new details and media regarding its upcoming World of Warcraft expansion: The Mists of Pandaria.
Unlike previous expansions, The Mists of Pandaria (MOP) does not introduce a new world threatening enemy or force – instead, the enemy is “war itself”.
MOP will focus on the land of Pandaria, and the devastating effects that the war between the Horde and Alliance has on it.
Apparently both sides will get to a point where they take stock of what they have done and do some soul searching, or something to that effect.
The World of Pandaria will introduce seven new zones, each of which will be separately themed: The Jade Forrest, Valley of the Four Winds, Kun-Lai Summit, Townlong Steppes, Krasarang Wilds, Dread Wastes and Vales of Eternal Blossoms.
There will also be new mounts, and players will be able to purchase the egg of a Cloud Serpent in the Jade Forrest. They will then have to nurture the pet until it grows into a flying mount.
MOP will also introduce a variety of class changes:
Warlock: It will be possible for your Felguard to equip a random two-hand axe or polearm from your inventory.
Druid: When Druids shift into feral form their hairstyle and colour will change randomly.
Warlock: Demonic Fury no longer reduces damage dealt but instead reduces damage taken. Furthermore, the main demon form attack now taunts enemies.
Druid: Players will be able to shift to tree form at any time.
Warrior: Whenever players do critical damage a small flock of white doves flies out of your hero.
Then of course there is the brand new Monk class. Monks accumulate Chi by spending energy on combo-builders to execute finishers. The combat mechanic has been described as more focused version of the Rogue’s combo-point mechanic, but with more options for how to spend Chi points.
Monks can also summon giant statues that do different things. Windwalker Monks create a tiger statue that sends a spirit tiger to charge their targets and deal damage. Mistweavers can summon the jade serpent statue which heals the Monk, and Brewmasters have a Black Ox statue that has an area-of-affect slowing effect.
MOP also introduces 9 dungeons, 6 of which are new dungeons with heroic and normal modes, and 3 of which are remakes of Scarley Monastery and Scholomance.
The game also introduces drunken brew masters and scenarios. Brewmasters are scattered around Pandaria, and only show up from time to time. Whenever you find one, you can complete a scenario which is a new game type that is essentially a mini-instance.
Then there are pet battles, which have been compared to the battles found in the Final Fantasy series. Players stand with their three pets on each side of the screen, and choose when to attack with which pet. Pets also have abilities and stats.
Blizzard has not indicated when it plans to release Mists of Pandaria.