Beta Beat: First Look At World Of Warcraft’s ‘Mists Of Pandaria’ Expansion

The best-selling MMORPG ever is at it again. With Deathwing defeated and all of Azeroth seemingly safe for a few months, the eyes of residents of the World of Warcraft shift towards their next big adventure — Mists of Pandaria. The Panda beta, as players are lovingly referring to it, went live this month. And since it is a public beta with no NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement) from Blizzard, a ton of information has already hit the Web. I am here to sift through some of the latest info.

First things first:

Area of Effect Looting

I know that initially this may not seem like a big deal, but Area of Effect Looting could translate into a huge earning potential for just about anyone who plays Warcraft. Gone will be the days of clicking through a huge pile of bodies one-by-one, over and over again, to ensure that you sifted through every last bit of rubbish and looted every last scrap of silver. One AoE click will now ensure that no treasure, however big or small, can escape your grasp. There are many things to fall in love with in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, but right out of the gate this seemingly small modification will ultimately make a huge difference in gameplay””especially for those who have been playing for a long time.

Class Overhaul

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, many classes will be getting new abilities, as well as a substantial reworking of established abilities. Couple that fun fact with a complete overhaul of the Talent system, and you can see Blizzard is working very hard to breath some fresh life into its existing class mechanics. I am not going to go over any one of them in detail at this time, but to give you a some quick examples: Mages will have an ability that allows them to rewind time a short amount in order to reset personal spell cool-downs, and Druids will have a spell called Symbiosis, which will potentially give them access to a class spell from say, a mage or a warlock, similar to a Death Knight’s Dark Simulacrum.

Dungeons Overhaul

As we saw during the release of Cataclysm, Blizzard updated and rebranded a number of preexisting dungeons, like Shadowfang Keep, Deadmines, the two Zuls. This trend continues in Mists of Pandaria. We’ll be seeing heroic versions of Scholomance and the four Scarlet Monastery instances. Also, dungeons such as Ragefire Chasm are being completely overhauled with new mobs, bosses, quests, and an updated look. This is very awesome! These dungeons have a huge history for long-time players, so it is nice to finally see them getting caught up with what’s been happening in the World (of Warcraft) just beyond the doors of these iconic places.

Scholomance Video

Scarlet Monastery Video

Ragefire Chasm Video

Pre-Pandaria Content Patch

A few things have been done in attempt to entice players into reactivating their lapsed Warcraft accounts before Mists of Pandaria is released ‘into the wild,’ such as an upcoming in-game patch which will set into motion a storming of the Horde capital city of Orgrimmar by both Horde and Alliance forces alike, to unseat Garrosh Hellscream from his seat of power as Horde Warchief. If you play a horde character I know what you are thinking right about now: ‘It’s about time!’ and ‘We have to go through new Warchief again?!’. Personally, I’m hoping Thrall is reinstalled as War Chief. His job as the ‘Aspect of Earth’ is done, the Cataclysm is over, and he has his lady, Aggra, by his side. Who better to lead us into Pandaria than Thrall? This will be a content patch leading up to Mists of Pandaria, and I will be sure to go over it in detail as it approaches.

New Ride, New Feel

In closing I thought I would share a tidbit I know I am going to enjoy, as will some of my fellow GoDs (Geeks of Doom guild members lovingly refer to each other as GoDs). NEW MOUNTS! Asian-style dragons! They’re called the Cloud Serpent, and they just look so awesome. As a matter a fact, all of the new areas of Pandaria look and feel awesome, enriched with a deeply Asian-influenced style. It’s like walking through an old Kung-Fu movie.

Cloud Serpent Video

Well, that’s my info dump for now. So keep your eyes on Geeks of Doom for my next article, and cross your fingers that you get into the Pandaria beta. If you do, stop by and say hi. May your next Dragon Soul raid drop that sweet piece of loot you’ve been looking for.

*There is indeed a Geeks of Doom Warcraft guild. We’re a level 25 Horde guild on Zul’Jin. Come join in on the fun!

[Videos courtesy of MMO Champion, WowInsider, and Wowhead]

1 Comment »

  1. Isnt The Seige of Org announced to be the final patch of Mists of Pandaria, not a precursor patch to set the stage for pandas? Ive done a lot of research

    Comment by Wowdude — April 18, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

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