Mists of Pandaria
- Release Date: Unknown
- Publisher: Blizzard
- Developer: Blizzard
- Genre: MMORPG
Mists of Pandaria is a fourth expansion for world of warcraft (WOW). It was officially unveiled and confirmed at BlizzCon 2011. However, MMO-Champion reported the rumor in August 2, 2011, and MMO-Champion listed some evidence. For example, Blizzard registered Mists of Pandaria as trademark and domain And this leads to boundless imagination among media journalists, players, share holders and industry experts.
After this new expansion was announced at Blizzcon this year, a series of questions pop out. Is this expansion merely a perfunctory attempt to gain more attention? Does blizzard have some kind of cooperation DreamWorks? You know, it is apparently inspired by Kung Fu Panda, the hit movie by DreamWorks.
According to a person familiar with this expansion, some ex-Dreamworks employees were actively involved in the development of Mists of Pandaria. But we still have doubts about Mists of Pandaria’s prospects among Western players because of the game’s strong Chinese elements in terms of character images, background settings and PinYin AbilityPronunciation.
We took a wonderful opportunity given by Blizzard to attend BlizzCon 2011, and entered into the starting zone and tested the new playable race Monk for the first ten levels.
During the period, we are required to accomplish about sixty quests, which is aiming at let us know the new race. In the beginning, it is not possible to customize your Pandaren by choosing its gender or decorating it with dashing robes. You only have access to a male character, but if you look around, you will notice some subtle changes and minor differences among NPCs. As you level up, you will gradually differentiate others in terms of beard and physique. Probably these two aspects are the only customizable options offered to you in the character creation phase. It is certainly lamentable that we are only given such limited choices. We can do nothing but expect that the developer will surprise us with a wide range of options when the game is finally released.
The following part is very much like what you probably have already seen in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. You leave a starting zone for a new unexplored area where you are given three to five quests to accomplish before you set foot on another piece of land. Along your exploration, you will be constantly driven to fulfill a variety of missions and quests so as to unlock new locations. To sum up, such system works very well, and obviously, inexperienced players and newcomers will benefit greatly from this user-friendly beginning. Although our opinion can be a little bit premature, we must say that compared with what we saw with Goblins and Worgens, we are now facing a much easier starting area in terms of quests as well as gameplay.
Apart from some rare flashes of genius, we are at the same time allowed to make some progress in the storyline by completing missions that are, for the most part, related to the collection of materials and the killing of enemies. Though you may have grown tired of such quests, it seems that no games are ready to break that deep-rooted format for the time being.
Along the adventure, you will encounter a boat that carries a batch of ferocious prisoners called Horde and many weird yet horrifying magic fruits. A massacre is inevitable, and you have to try all means to destroy the ship and bring harmony back to the huge tortoise shell. The confrontation with Horde also serves the purpose to make you become familiar with the two factions that rule the world of Azeroth, namely, the Alliance and the Horde. The race of Pandaren is the only neutral race in the turbulent world. But starting from the tenth level, you are asked to choose a side before leaving The Wandering Isle. You can swear your allegiance to either side of the belligerent factions. And remember that this choice is irreversible! Once you make the decision, you must stick to your side for the rest of the game.
I don’t know what your opinion about Mists of Pandaria, but I am very upset about the lack of variety and freedom. Hopefully, Blizzard will find some ways to compensate for this kind of monotony and the absence of twists.
The Pandaren, like any other races in World of Warcraft, has a series of individual characteristics that can be briefly summarized below:
The long-lasting pursuit of Pandaren is to seek for inner peace that may make a great difference during a critical battle. In addition, similar to Kung Fu Panda, Mists of Pandaria also features an epicurean Pandaren that boasts the skill of gourmet cooking. By churning out mellow drinks and delicious food, your character is able to double its bonuses and statistics. Of course, the Pandaren is also a master of martial arts who possesses a powerful active skill, namely, Quaking Palm. It is a special shot that can numb its target for three seconds.
Obviously, the new class Monk constitutes an integral part of our first experience with Mists of Pandaria. To be honest, I was instantly elated at the sight of this race because it more or less diversifies the gameplay.
And the first thing that immediately catches the eye and disrupts the way you play will be the absence of auto-attacking. Having been addicted to World of Warcraft for 6 long years, we surely have some difficulty in accepting this abrupt change. The new class asks you to constantly press the button that is corresponding to a certain ability in order to launch a shot at your enemies. But Monk also cherishes a pretty unique feature, that is, your “Chi Energy” will be gradually consumed as you deliver a Roll or a Jab (See Below).
In the first ten levels, we are in the position of being a Monk to use “Jab” and “Roll” to attack foes and monsters. As we attack enemies, the Sha energy used can be replenished. It should be noted that we need to launch two kicks before having to return to our chi powered jabs in order to replenish expended sha energy. By dealing a Jab or Roll, our Monk obtains power, namely, “Light” and “Dark”, which are used to power abilities or skills. Some abilities require more than two Sha energy. Of course, it is worthwhile because it enables you to hit all the surrounding enemies in high frequency, ranging from each second to every six seconds. I was assuming we could see more advanced abilities as we explore further, and the more advanced abilities we can use, the more Chi energy we will run up.
Here, I would like to quote some terms used in Kung Fu-themed action movies or games. For example, “Sha” means a force in WOW, and in Chinese PinYin, Sha means Kill. So It is safe to conclude that “Sha” used in WOW can be understood as “Killing”. Some abilities are closely associated with Chinese cultures. For example, Spinning Crane Kick, and Tiger Palm. Both can be traced back to Chinese TaiJi postures.
Finally, it is easily noticeable that the Monk has a warrior’s stance, which is essential to the whole game. In the first ten levels, however, you are only given the stance of a fierce tiger that is only allowed to use your skills under the jurisdiction of a white tiger and increase your overall damage step by step. As mentioned above, the mechanics is, to some extent, novel and innovative in some parts, even though we still have many doubts about this endgame of WoW. According to Blizzard employees, they were fully devoted while creating the two brand-new classes and the Monks will be able to specialize in tank drivers, curators and melee DPS in the following quests. But based on our personal experience, it is quite frightening to enter into boss fights during which you have to repeatedly press on a simple button in order to fire your blows and recharge the energy balls.
Besides, we are also looking forward to seeing how Blizzard will handle the style of this game in this part. At the moment, however, the management of those two energies can give us a great sense of satisfaction and identification since we are encouraged to constantly keep an eye on the middle bar which helps us to evaluate our distance from the enemy as well as his energy statistics. In this way, we can optimize the use of light and dark spheres.
And it is interesting to note there is a natural inclination to dual wielding among the class, but still some tend to improve the strength of their fists which can also be treated as powerful weapons as well. As a result, it is possible to use mighty weapons or to use your bare hands when you are confronted with tough opponents. Thus, you have freedom to equip yourself with nothing, which is quite important if you want to pursue the path of the curator. During the test, many abilities were completely blocked, but we were able to experience this ability. We hear that the game is undergoing a total revamp of the system that will activate the automatic learning of new spells. Though the validity of this piece of information is not confirmed, we are struck by a wave of excitement.
It is amazing to note that six years has elapsed on the back of World of Warcraft. And there is no doubt that the game achieved great success each time. But will this expansion be another sensation? Hopefully, its potential shortcomings can be properly compensated by Blizzard’s splendid works. Mists of Pandaria, in fact, generates much attention from its fans thanks to its detailed graphics and a touch of “oriental” flavor that has left an indelible mark on the starting areas of the Pandaren.
The color tones are clearly dealt with great attention, contributing to the special effect of light and shade alteration, especially in the clouds. And the developer almost managed to add a manga twist to the project. Besides, the view is also great, thanks to the classic line of sight and wide architectures that emphasize its Asian-style settings. All elements are fully integrated into the whole territory with spikes of rock that form the basis of huge temples. You can even see footprints that are deeply carved in stones. If you give it a closer look, then you can see that the developer has also done a good job in depicting vegetation that is much richer than those in the past.
Still, the announcement of Mists of Pandaria has stirred up heated discussions in the circle. There is also a myriad of detractors who claimed that this expansion left much to be desired, but we guarantee that some of its highlights can never be overshadowed by this sterile controversy. Obviously, as an adaptation of Kung Fu Panda will undoubtedly have an impact on the artistic design of items and characters. From this point of view, we are very curious to see what Blizzard has in store in this endgame in the upcoming levels.
Mists of Pandaria will probably enter into its beta testing in the coming months, and we are looking forward to having access to more advanced content at that time.
• The initial quests are well calibrated to guide players through the starting areas.
• It boasts an extremely pleasant graphics with exotic oriental style.
• The newly added class Monk injects new lift to the whole game with unprecedented mechanics and engaging gameplay.
•.The limited class options could be a deadly blow to the game’s future.
• The developer could certainly do more in terms of variety of quests.
• We still have doubts about whether Western players can easily accept the game’s graphical style.
• Do not integrate Free to play model into MOP.
• Do Not use “pay to win” model.
The new expansion will feature a playable race of Pandaren, as the title suggests, adding some oriental elements, new zones and dungeons, new continent, and new class Monk. Such expansion is inspired by Kung Fu Panda, the most popular animated film. Of course, in Mists of Pandaria, there will be male and female models that can be optically modified during character creation. According to Chris Metzen, Blizzard’s artistic director, Pandaria should have originally been presented as a race of the first expansion “The Burning Crusade”, but then they had changed his mind.
Pandaren can be explained as Panda plus Ren. Ren means people in China and if both of words combine, It is understandable the humanoid panda is just what it means.
What has put Mists of Pandaria under spotlight should be a credit to its level cap raise. According to Blizzard, it will increase the maximum level for high-end characters. So players from “Mists of Pandaria” could possibly reach final level 90. And existing characters can therefore develop additional 5 levels, finding new equipment, and quest and areas to discover.
Although no details for Monk class are known as of today, we are assuming the monk should be a melee fighter, has some healing abilities. The preview video gives no further details about the properties of the new class – it is only shown meditating on tree trunks.
The so-called “Pet Battle System” could feature mini-pets and Pokémon pets. And this is still being discussed so far. Even the “Challenge Mode dungeons,” the new talent system or PvE scenarios (all of them are announced in the trailer).
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