Here are five big important changes coming to World of Warcraft with the Mists of Pandaria that I am excited about and believe you should be as well. And just to keep it interesting these are not the ones you would probably expect.   Let’s start with some that you might not think of.

Mana Changes in Mists of Pandaria

This is an interesting change that has not gotten a whole lot of coverage.  It is a key change though that many people are just not completely sure on how to deal with just yet.

First off all classes get a set amount of mana.  Currently for healers this is 100,000 mana, but that can and will likely change.  Classes that have multiple specs get bonuses to their mana pool through their specializations, for example Paladins start with 20,000 mana and get a bonus 400% (bringing them to 100,000 mana) when they spec into Holy.

Mists of Pandaria Mana Change Example
Here is a great example of the current system in beta. This is the same paladin, in the same gear, just switching specs.

Next up, that mana is set, as in set in stone.  There is no more increase in your mana pool based on your intellect like their used to be.  Instead intellect only increases your spell power, or how much your spells damage or heal someone.

Next up Spirit is the stat that just like now, regenerates your mana faster.  However that regeneration is no longer affected by your intellect, so it is far simpler to figure out how it is affecting your mana regeneration.

Something else to consider is how all of this will affect spell costs.  Keep in mind that spell costs will not always look even or fair from class to class.  For example Priests being a full time casting class has 100,000 base mana for all specs, therefore many of a priests spells will have costs such as 6% of base mana for a greater heal.  However when you then look at a class like the Paladin and see that it costs 35% of base mana for divine light, you might get confused.  However keep in mind that they base mana for a Paladin is in fact only 20,000 since it gets modified to 100,000 through the 400% increase.  This means 35% of 20,000 which is 7,000 mana or 7% of their total mana pool, making the costs very close between classes.

How will all this affect casters for DPS and Healing?  Right now in the beta players are still struggling to get a handle on just that, with many players seeming to still focus too heavily on intellect and having serious mana regeneration issues.  However, once players understand how it all works in detail, and we get some time to experiment, I think the new system could work quite well, because it means having to worry about 2 stats for different reasons instead of intellect being king for a bigger mana pool and bigger heals / damage.

Tanking Changes in Mists of Pandaria

Tanking is my favourite role in WoW and therefore the tanking changes that are coming into the game are really important to me.  While not everything is settled just yet there are many things that have changed already in the MOP beta.

First up, tanks are putting out a lot more damage than they used to.  In fact it seems like in AOE situations they can put out almost as much as a DPS player, no not really, probably 70%ish, but still an awful lot more than before.

Next up, tanks use a new active defense model that blizzard implemented.  What this means is different for each class but essentially you need to watch your resources and cooldowns and be more active in mitigating damage than we used to be. This is a good change overall, even though it needs further balancing before it is working the way it is intended to.

The last big change to tanking that I want to discuss here is the change to the way block works.  Block has changed very significantly.  It now happens as a separate roll after determining if an attack misses or is dodged or parried.  Block also is subject to diminishing returns which is wasn’t before, meaning that it will not likely be able to be capped.  Previously block was part of the same roll which leant to the magic 102.4% rule, meaning if miss, parry, dodge, and block all added up to 102.4% you would never suffer a normal full strength hit.  Now that it is separate it is impossible to get to that situation.  This means tanks will suffer more damage, which ties into the active mitigation discussed above.

There are other changes coming is as well, but those three are pretty big and will make for some new learning for all tanks when MOP launches. 

Quests Hub Changes in Mists of Pandaria

We are all used to most quest hubs being faction specific, or at least many of them.  However, in Mists of Pandaria this is now the exception rather than the rule.  For most places that you go in Mists of Pandaria you should expect to see Alliance and Horde questing side by side, doing the same (or similar) quests, given to them by either the same (or factionally mirrored) quest providers.  In many zones the quest hubs and towns are for both factions and you should expect to be side by side with the enemy for most of the expansion.

This really plays into Blizzard’s desire to bring the War back to Warcraft, at least on the PVP servers.  On a PVP server this could be extremely interesting as leveling from day 1 will be extremely competitive and cut-throat to the extreme.  Launch weeks are generally insane to begin with, having everyone in a faction competing for the mobs and resources required to complete quests.  Combine that with a PVP server where both factions are looking for the same mobs and items, and there will be War. Speaking of PVP, that leads right into the next topic and change coming to WoW.

PVP Changes in Mists of Pandaria

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This item has both PVP Resilience and PVP Power, although many will not.

When Mists of Pandaria launches there will be sweeping changes to the PVP meta game in WoW.  There are at least 3 big changes that will affect everyone that PVP’s and there are numerous smaller changes coming as well.

First up all players will be granted a base resilience factor.  This number has seen some fluctuation, but seems to be around 30%.  This means that when fighting another player you will take 30% less damage from their attacks then they would inflict against a mob.  This could be a savior to many players that feel PVP just goes to fast and allows them to survive just a bit longer.  However the flip side is that classes were hard to kill, just got even harder to kill.

Next up is the addition of two new stats called PVP Power and PVP Resilience.  PVP power essentially ramps up the damage that you cause against other players in PVP, meaning that if you got enough to get to 30% you would be canceling out their 30% resilience factor. 

PVP resilience is essentially more resilience, and is the defensive portion of the old resilience stat.  If you got 30% PVP resilience, in theory you would ignore 60% of the damage that a player inflicted against you due to it stacking with the base resilience.

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This shows at level 85 the one item from above equipped would add 1% damage against PVP opponents.

Lastly PVP gear is changing quite a bit in general.  Previously PVP gear of the same tier as PVE gear tended to be a higher item level because it has resilience on it which counted towards the items stats, and it needed enough other stats to still be worth while.  Now however PVP Power and PVP Resilience will not count towards the item stats, and the items will not lose other stats, and therefore PVP gear will be slightly lower item level at the equivalent tier.  This is so that PVP gear is not as good in PVE as the current PVE tier level, and so that it can not be used to jump content and the queue system as it was in Cataclysm (where players equipped PVP ilevel 377 blue crafted gear to be able to queue for heroics and raids).  This is a great change for both PVP’ers and PVE’ers as it allows each to have the stats they need / want without forcing players to participate in the other meta game to get the best gear for them.

You can find more about the PVP changes discussed by Ghostcrawler here: Dev Watercooler – Mists of Pandaria Stat Changes.

The Big Obvious Changes in Mists of Pandaria

Now we get to the fifth and final change coming to World of Warcraft that I am looking forward to, and this is a big one, since it includes all of the obvious changes to the game all wrapped up into one thing.  This is also the one that includes everything that you expected at the start of the article.

That’s right the other big change coming in Mists of Pandaria that I am looking forward to is the expansion as a whole, meaning the addition of Monks, Pandaren, the new zones, new instances and raids, new levels, new quests, and even the new talent system.

In fact it would have been easy to just list those as the 5 big changes to be excited about Mists of Pandaria, however they really are to obvious aren’t they?  Sure we are all ramped up to either play as a Pandaren, or ready to slaughter them in PVP if you are one of the Panada haters, and yes everyone is excited about the new zones and instances, but that is pretty much what every expansion is about isn’t it?  A whole bunch of shiny new things to play with.

Mists of Pandaria Changes that You Are Excited About?

I have had my say on the upcoming changes.  Hopefully I have listed a few that you hadn’t even considered yet, and will start thinking about now.  What about the changes you are excited about though?  What isn’t on my list that has you waiting for MOP to release?  On the flip side, what on my list do you wish wouldn’t change with the MOP release?

Let us all know what you think and voice you opinion in the comment section below.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.