Mists of Pandaria Beta: UI Changes Preview

Mists of Pandaria will bring many new changes to World of Warcraft, including some exciting modifications to the user interface.

While exploring the many new things that the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta has to offer, I’ve had my fair share of time to experience the new U.I. changes that this expansion will bring to the game. While not as plentiful or as earth shaking, (no pun intended) as those U.I. modifications seen in the last expansion, Cataclysm, the changes found in Mists of Pandaria were exciting nonetheless. Continue reading on for a brief look at all the U.I. changes that may be coming soon to a WoW game near you.

Mists of Pandaria Beta: U.I. Changes Preview

Spellbook Listings Update

The WoW Spellbook has been given a totally new layout in Mists of Pandaria. In the beta the Spellbook lumps your character’s spells into one of two categories; Passive or Active. Active skills are considered skills that can be triggered by the player. Passive skills on the other hand come from talents or the players specialization and do not have to be player activated. While I am personally not one for oversimplifying the game, I think the Spellbook is one area that was desperately in need of an overhaul. With this new look players will be able to more easily see which spells need to make it to the toolbar and which are safe to leave in the book.

Vendor Filters

Throwing players for a loop since the most recent beta patch, a new filtering system has been implemented for all vendors throughout the game. This system allows WoW players to sort through all items a particular vendor has to offer based on several criteria options. Players can now search for items based on their spec, class, or even for bind-on-equip only items. While players have been able to do this via various addons for some time, it is excellent to that see, once again, Blizzard has taken the initiative and brought a modification into the game that will be sure to make the life of players a bit easier on a day to day basis.

Dungeon and Raid Finder Combined

The two window interface for the Dungeon and Raid Finder is no more. In its place players will find themselves faced with a sleek new interface that combines both the Dungeon and Raid Finder as well as the new Scenario Finder and Challenge Modes. This new window features tabbed browsing which is a step up from the drop down menus of the past. In this new layout players will easily be able to view the options available to them and choose the one they want with ease. The days of bulky drop down menus and tons of windows and extra frames is heading the way of the Keyring; into sweet oblivion, and I for one am pleased with the change.

Check out page two for more exciting changes coming to the user interface in Mists of Pandaria!

New Buffs Interface

In another measure of combining and downsizing in WoW, Blizzard has shorn down the number of buffs players will be able to bring to a raid to just eight in Mists of Pandaria. These eight buffs include:

  • Mastery
  • Stamina
  • Stats
  • Critical Strike
  • Spell Haste
  • Attack Power
  • Spell Power
  • Haste

While players may bulk at this change, it is really aimed at making things a little less complicated in a group or raid. Tracking buffs will become easier and groups will be able to provide more buff action despite their composition. The new WoW interface comes packaged in the form of a tiny little button at the top of the screen. This button will only appear when the player enters a group or raid. Below the button players will find a counter that lets them know how many of the buffs they currently have active. For more information players need only to hover over this icon where they will find the list of buffs, as well as which are active and which are not, displayed before them. For more infomration on this topic check out Ghostcrawler's insightful blog post on the matter.

Talents Overhaul

Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you have heard at least something about the talent changes that are to be unleashed upon WoW with Mists of Pandaria. Along with the talent changes comes a new talent interface look that is utterly simplistic in form. Talent trees have been cut down and players will find themselves faced with six talent tiers, each containing three talent choices from which players may choose one as they reach the corresponding level.

Also found in this menu is the specialization screen which has also been cleaned up and simplified. The layout of the character specialization screen closely resembles the Dungeon and Raid Finder screen perhaps indicating that many more menus will be seeing this sleek new look implemented in the future. The Glyph screen, the final menu here, has seen little change in the beta, however, you will notice that several glyph slots are missing and Prime Glyphs have been removed from the game as well.

Remember, the changes to the WoW U.I. outlined above are found on the beta realm and as such may not be what players see when Mists of Pandaria is launched. However, now is the time to get your opinion heard so that Blizzard can fine-tune and polish this model into something amazing, so be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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