WoW: The Intro to Mists of Pandaria Panel

As is to be expecting when a new World of Warcraft expansion is announced, the first panel of BlizzCon focused on Mists of Pandaria.

Devs, including Ghostcrawler and Tom Chilton, took the stage to discuss everything from the Pandaren race, their homeland Pandaria and the new dungeons, talent system and raids to a new combat pet system, Achievements and PvP.

The Pandaren are a neutral faction, you can roll one and choose either Alliance or Horde at level 10. Their starting area is one of the most surprising locales - a huge turtle called Shen-zin Su that drifts off the coast and Pandaria itself is a unified island, much like Northrend with the Alliance washing up at one end and Horde on the other. Heavily inspired by ancient China, Pandaria will include five new zones and the floating starting area. The downside is that you will not be able to use your flying mounts there until you hit 90

The Pandaren can become Monks, Mages, Rogues, Priests, Shaman, Warriors and Hunters while every other race - barring the Worgen and the Goblins - can learn to become Monks.

WoW Pandaren

The land of the Pandaren calls to Azeroth's heroes.

The Monk class comes with three specs: the Brewmaster (Tank), Mistweaver (Healer) and Windwalker (Melee DPS) but the talent system for all classes will also be getting a revamp, becoming a simple choice of three options every fifteen or so levels. The mocked-up interface for this shows a much more logical and cleaner way of navigating specs and their specific talents

Non-combat pets are also getting an overhaul, becoming an active part of the game. Blizzard are also planning to introduce “wild” pets which you can only find in certain places or during certain times of the year when the stars or weather is just right. The idea of Pokémon WoW-style goes even further as you will be able to level your pets and set them battling against each other. Also, it’s turned-based.

On the topic of dungeons and raids, Blizzard will be instituting nine new dungeons, six on Pandaria itself. Others include new heroic versions of Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery, now revamped to just have two wings. They’re also planning to make the Raid Finder available for all raids from day one.

Some of the most interesting features were the smallest ones: account-wide Achievements and pets, changes to the classes, being able to use wands as a main weapon and automatically learning new spells without having to visit a trainer. More information will come out of the specific panels but this is more than enough information to keep us going.

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