World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
|Release date(s)||September 25, 2012|
|Platforms||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X|
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, colloquially referred to as MoP or Mists, is the fourth expansion pack for World of Warcraft. It was officially announced on October 21, 2011 at BlizzCon 2011, and was released on September 25, 2012. The pre-expansion patch, Patch 5.0.4, was released on August 28, 2012. 
Following the successful campaigns in Northrend and in the lands opened by the Shattering, and the deaths of the Lich King at Icecrown Citadel and Deathwing the Destroyer at the Maelstrom, the expansion refocuses primarily on the war between the Alliance and Horde, in the wake of the accidental rediscovery of the mythical and long-forgotten lands of Pandaria, a continent far to the south that has until now been shrouded in magical mists and touched by the ancient malevolence known only as the Sha. With both factions landing on Pandaria, adventurers rediscover the ancient Pandaren people, whose wisdom will help guide them to new destinies; the Pandaren Empire's ancient enemy, the Mantid; and their legendary oppressors, the enigmatic Mogu. As conflicts heat up between the Alliance and Horde, the land changes over time, with subsequent patches having escalated the conflict between Alliance leader Varian Wrynn and the increasingly unbalanced Horde warchief Garrosh Hellscream... eventually leading to a schism within the Horde itself. As civil war wracks the Horde, the Alliance and forces in the Horde opposed to Hellscream's violent uprising join forces to take the battle directly to the enemy, leading to direct confrontation with Hellscream and his Sha-touched allies in the expansion's concluding showdown deep within the bowels of Orgrimmar itself.
From the official site:
- Shrouded in fog since the world was sundered more than ten thousand years ago, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Its lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains are home to a complex ecosystem of indigenous races and exotic creatures. It is the homeland of the enigmatic Pandaren, a race that celebrates life to the fullest even while under siege by an ancient menace.
- The new continent reveals itself to a broken world just as the Alliance and Horde are spiraling ever closer to a war that will consume all of Azeroth. Will the mists of Pandaria part to reveal the world's salvation? Or will the battle to control this rich and breathtaking new land push the two mighty factions over the brink of war and into total annihilation? The answers await within Pandaria's mysterious shores!
As a first for Blizzard, the storyline for Mists of Pandaria will split into multiple chapters. The story arc that introduces Pandaria - where players will discover the continent and level up, helping to solve problems and figure out what happened for the past 10,000 years and why - will be included entirely within the initial expansion release. Later chapters in the storyline bring the war between the Horde and the Alliance back into focus, including changing parts of Pandaria (ostensibly via phasing) to show additional settlements, and eventually return the players back to the rest of the world for a final showdown with Garrosh Hellscream.
The Mists of Pandaria pre-release patch (5.0.4), released on August 28, 2012, included the talent system revamp, amalgamation of mounts & pets across characters on the same account, and a level 85 version of the Theramore's Fall scenario leading into the Mists storyline.
- Level cap raised to 90
- New continent: Pandaria, a land in the far south of Azeroth, with seven playable leveling zones (85-90), six dungeons, three raids, and faction-specific capitol areas
- New class: Monk, a leather-wearing hybrid class with three specializations: the Brewmaster (a tanking class), the Mistweaver (hybrid healing), and the Windwalker (melee DPS). Monks use Energy as their main resource and Chi as their secondary resource.
- New race: Pandaren, playable by both Alliance and Horde; players will decide which faction to join when ending the questchain on Wandering Isle, and will then be able to communicate with that faction. Pandaren will be available to all players on September 25 even if they haven't purchased Mists of Pandaria.
- Talent system revamp: removal of point-based talent trees in favor of player class specialization being separated from talent choices, with a six-tier, three-choice per tier talent system determining play style (introduced in 5.0.4 pre-release patch)
- Scenarios, a queueable "micro-dungeon" play system for end-game content without needing traditional tank/healer/DPS roles, for three-person groups
- Dungeon Challenge Modes, specialized versions of dungeons featuring timed content (similar to Baron runs in Stratholme)
- Pet Battle System, a leveling system for companion pets, described by Blizzard as a new mini-game system
- Account wide achievements, pets and mounts (introduced in 5.0.4 pre-release patch)
- Character slots per server increased to 11 (for those who have purchased the expansion, introduced in 5.0.4 pre-release patch)
- Area of Effect looting, a looting system that allows gathering items from multiple corpses with one click, a feature in several other MMO games. (introduced in 5.0.4 pre-release patch)
- Player Farms, a phased area in Valley of the Four Winds allowing players to make progress on arable farmland, gaining reputation and material rewards
- Cross-Realm Zones, enable players to meet up and group with other players in under populated zones flagged for this
- Black Market, bid on special items that are not normally sold by NPCs
- 5.0.4: Released August 28, 2012; pre-expansion release patch, which introduced the level 85 version of the Theramore's Fall scenario and brought major changes to the talent system and game mechanics.
- 5.1: Landfall: Released November 27, 2012; began the Pandaren Campaign portions of the storyline, transforming the Krasarang Wilds into beachheads for both factions; introduced the Operation: Shieldwall and Dominance Offensive reputations; several new scenarios and Brawler's Guild introduced.
- 5.2: Rise of The Thunder King: Released March 5, 2013; Assist the Sunreaver Onslaught or Kirin Tor Offensive on the Isle of Thunder as they assault Throne of Thunder to take down Lei Shen. Also, be on the lookout for new world bosses Nalak, the Storm Lord and Oondasta.
- 5.3: Escalation: Released May 21, 2013; Help the Darkspear Trolls in their open rebellion against Warchief Garrosh Hellscream on Battlefield: Barrens. Four new Scenarios have been added, as well as Heroic Scenarios. PvPers can also battle it out on a new battleground: Deepwind Gorge and new arena: Tiger's Peak
- 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar: Released September 10, 2013; kicked off the final assault on Orgrimmar itself to depose Garrosh Hellscream. Introduced the Timeless Isle (with new world bosses Ordos and the August Celestials), Flexible Raid difficulty, Proving Grounds, and Connected Realms.
- Main article: Pandaria
Pandaria is a single, unified continent, located south of Zandalari isles, influenced by Asian landscapes. There are eight new zones (along with a small mini-zone), most of which are on Pandaria itself, save for the starting area for the Pandaren. Flying mounts on Pandaria are unavailable on the continent until reaching the level cap (90), as the designers wish players to be immersed in the world and enjoy the effort put into the continent while leveling, rather than just fly over it.
- The Wandering Isle (1-10): An "island" separated from Pandaria for millennia, a living creature which wanders the oceans of Azeroth. This is an introductory zone for new Pandaren characters.
- The Jade Forest (85-86): A lush rainforest filled with tall stone spires, this is the initial landing zone for both factions and the introduction to the new continent. Contains one dungeon, the Temple of the Jade Serpent.
- Valley of the Four Winds (86-87): The lush farmland of Pandaria, that is considered the 'breadbasket' of the land. Contains the dungeon Stormstout Brewery. One of two concurrent leveling zones for 86-87 characters. Also contains the first player-specific private phase location: the Player Farm.
- Krasarang Wilds (86-87): The coastal rainforest endangered by Mogu, located on the southernmost part of the continent. The second of two concurrent leveling zones for 86-87 characters.
- Kun-Lai Summit (87-88): The frozen northern mountainous reaches of Pandaria, under attack from Zandalari trolls and marauders from the west. Contains the dungeon Shado-pan Monastery and the Mogu'shan Vaults raid.
- Townlong Steppes (88-89): The current homeland of the vicious Mantid people, separated from the rest of Pandaria by a "great wall". Location of the dungeon Siege of Niuzao Temple.
- Dread Wastes (89-90): The mantid homeland, now overrun by the Sha of Fear, has been corrupted into a horrifying wasteland of swamps and scorched earth. Players will have to fight their way into the lair of the mantid queen herself to rout out the source of the corruption. The raid Heart of Fear is located here.
- Vale of Eternal Blossoms (90): The central homeland of the Pandaren people, high atop the central mountains of Pandaria. Contains the Horde/Alliance cities of the expansion at its center, with secrets "buried below this mystical font of power". It also contains the Gate of the Setting Sun and Mogu'shan Palace dungeons.
- The Veiled Stair (87-90): A small mini-zone situated in the mountains between The Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, and Vale of Eternal Blossoms, with a portal to the Terrace of the Endless Spring raid. It is used by characters for transportation to the Kun-Lai Summit.
- Isle of Thunder (90): Introduced in Patch 5.2, the island home of the risen Lei-Shen, the Thunder King, former ruler of the Mogu Empire. It contains the first major raid introduced after the expansion's launch, the Throne of Thunder, along with daily quest chains and open-world rare creatures, including the world boss Nalak.
- Isle of Giants (90): Also debuting with 5.2, an island off the northern coast of Pandaria featuring the world boss Oondasta and a trove of dinosaurs (and troll dinomancers) to tame or kill.
- Timeless Isle (90): Introduced in Patch 5.4, a magical island off Pandaria's southeastern coast ruled by the Four Celestials and the Yaungol god of fire, Ordos. The isle is almost fully independent of questing, instead preferring open-world PvE/PvP, and also providing catch-up epic gear for new or lower-geared Level 90s.
Dungeon, raid and scenario content
The expansion currently features nine high-level dungeons (six of which are new to the world and are found in the continent of Pandaria alone), three raids, and nearly a dozen scenarios (a game system new as of the Mists of Pandaria expansion). The new Challenge Mode option will require to complete dungeons as fast as possible to earn medals. The world bosses have also made their reappearance.
New and original dungeons
- Temple of the Jade Serpent: Leveling dungeon located in the Jade Forest, this temple is the very first dungeon encountered in Pandaria and is occupied by the Sha of Doubt, the creature which is manifestations of evil energy. Also available in heroic mode (level 90).
- Stormstout Brewery: Leveling dungeon found in the Valley of the Four Winds, the Brewery is where the brewmaster Chen Stormstout, along with his niece Li Li seek to discover the whereabouts of his ancestors; players must deal with the Hozen, the Virmen and the evil Alementals. Also available in heroic mode (level 90).
- Shado-Pan Monastery: Leveling dungeon set atop the Kun-Lai Summit, this monastery is a retreat of the mysterious Shado-pan Clan. The Sha have escaped from their cages and the adventurers must stop them. Also available in heroic mode (level 90).
- Mogu'shan Palace: Leveling dungeon found in the eastern Vale of Eternal Blossoms, part of the Mogu complex filled with the legacy of the former rulers of ancient Pandaria. Also available in heroic mode (level 90).
- Gate of the Setting Sun: Leveling dungeon that takes place at the Great Pandaren Wall (on the border between the Dread Wastes and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms), with the Mantid attempting to break down the wall and the Shado-pan defending. This dungeon was originally released as heroic-only (level 90); a leveling version was released with patch 5.2.
- Siege of Niuzao Temple: A dungeon on an island in the western Townlong Steppes featuring the Mantid army in confrontation with Pandaren saboteurs. Heroic mode only (level 90).
- Scholomance: The twisted school of sorcery in Azeroth's Western Plaguelands, this leveling dungeon is being updated to heroic level for endgame content. The dungeon has been reconfigured and there are five bosses; Rattlegore and Ras Froswhisper have been moved to new rooms, while Jandice Barov, Darkmaster Gandling and Kirtonos the Herald remain.
- Scarlet Halls: Also known as the Scarlet Monastery Armory & Library wings, these two wings have been combined into a three-boss dungeon, with Houndmaster Loksey, Herod and Arcanist Doan replaced by Houndmaster Braun,Armmaster Harlan and Flameweaver Koegle respectively.
- Scarlet Monastery: Also known as the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard & Chapel wings, these two wings have been combined into a five-boss dungeon, with Bloodmage Thalnos (now Thalnos the Soulrender) updated, High Inquisitor Fairbanks and Scarlet Commander Mograine have been replaced by Brother Korlof and Commander Durand to match current lore and High Inquisitor Whitemane, who remains.
- Ragefire Chasm: This classic dungeon has been updated with new mobs, bosses, and quests to match the current storyline.
- Mogu'shan Vaults: This initial raid dungeon is found in the Kun-Lai Summit, accessible only by air from the terrace on the northern coast (just west of the troll region). It harbors the hidden secrets of the ancient Mogu empire.
- Terrace of Endless Spring: A Sha-themed raid available after completing Mogu'shan Vaults, featuring one of the dreaded Sha and its allies in a garden setting. It also was referred to as "Terrace of Eternity" in the beta files. The raid door is located in The Veiled Stair, a small mini-zone east of the Vale.
- Heart of Fear: A Mantid-themed raid, available after Terrace of Endless Spring, where players battle alongside their Klaxxi allies to face the Mantid empress, Shek'zeer. Located within a huge rotting tree in the southwestern part of the Dread Wastes.
- Throne of Thunder: Released in Patch 5.2, a giant island stronghold on the Isle of Thunder where players face the reborn Lei-Shen, the Thunder King, former ruler of the Mogu Empire, and his Zandalari allies.
- Siege of Orgrimmar: Released in Patch 5.4. After the Alliance and Horde declare a makeshift truce negotiated with the Darkspear Troll warlord Vol'jin, both settle with the aftermath of the Sha in Pandaria before journeying to Orgrimmar to unseat its ruler gone mad - the Sha-empowered Garrosh Hellscream, and his "True Horde" gone awry.
For the first time, Mists of Pandaria features Scenarios, small three-player queueable micro-dungeons, each with content and a final boss, to be completed at level 90. They are designed to progress faster than dungeon content.
- Greenstone Village, set in the Jade Forest, featuring an assault on a Pandaren village by Sha forces (previously known as Burgled Brew).
- Unga Ingoo, set in the southern Krasarang Wilds, a beachfront battle between the Alliance and Horde (previously known as Big Beach Brew Bash).
- Brewmoon Festival, a battle against the Yaungol taking place in Kun-Lai Summit's Binan Village.
- A Brewing Storm, set in the Valley of Four Winds, where the Brewmasters are attemping to create a magical brew that can only be created during a storm.
- Arena of Annihilation, set in an arena-like setting in the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai Summit.
- Crypt of Forgotten Kings, located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, a battle inside an ancient Mogu crypt.
- Theramore's Fall, featuring a Horde assault on the Alliance's eastern Kalimdor fortress. This scenario was also included at level 85 in the 5.0.4 patch release for a short time, as a story catalyst for the expansion.
- Assault on Zan'vess, released with Patch 5.1, an aerial attack on Zan'vess Isle in the Dread Wastes.
- A Little Patience, released with Patch 5.1, where Alliance players seek to remove a Horde incursion at the Temple of the Red Crane.
- Dagger in the Dark, released with Patch 5.1, where players assist Vol'jin in battle against an Orc warrior gone mad.
- Lion's Landing and Domination Point, both released with Patch 5.1, faction-specific scenarios where players must prevent the opposing faction from gaining foothold in the Krasarang Wilds.
- Battle on the High Seas, released with Patch 5.3, a battle for naval supremacy on the high seas.
- Blood in the Snow, released with Patch 5.3, set in Dun Morogh as Zandalari trolls have gone in search of allies in the Frostmane.
- Dark Heart of Pandaria, released with Patch 5.3, where explorers have accidentally stumbled upon an ancient secret buried beneath the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- The Secrets of Ragefire, released with Patch 5.3, where players infiltrate the Emberdeep Caverns and assist the Gob Squad in investigating a recent disappearance in Durotar.
There were two additional scenarios in the game files but not made available in the expansion: Peak of Serenity, set high atop the mountains of Kun-Lai Summit; and a scenario version of the Temple of Kotmogu battleground. Neither have been released.
Player versus Player content
- Silvershard Mines: A resource race battleground involving control and capture of multiple mine carts, set beneath Stranglethorn Vale.
- Temple of Kotmogu: A resource race battleground involving possession of multiple Orbs, set in Pandaria.
- Deepwind Gorge: Another resource race battleground, involving capture of bases, set in Valley of the Four Winds. Added in patch 5.3.0.
- Tol'vir Proving Grounds - Arena situated in Uldum, very similiar to Nagrand Arena.
- Tiger's Peak - Arena set high in the mountains of Kun-Lai Summit. Added in patch 5.3.0.
Factions and organizations
The continent of Pandaria features a number of new factions with gear, schematics and vanity rewards. Blizzard's stated intent for these reputations is to be a more rewarding and less grindy process, in which reaching Exalted is something to be proud of.
- The Anglers, a faction of simple fishermen joined by the enigmatic angler Nat Pagle.
- The August Celestials, four powerful ancestral spirits that watch over Pandaria. Players will be called to action at their ancient temples.
- The Golden Lotus, a secret society of guardians selected by the August Celestials to watch over the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, which is under assault from the mogu and mantid. Initially you will be required to scout and explore for them, and different threats will appear in the zone each day for you to help stop. As the faction grows to trust you, they will eventually send you onto the front lines of their conflict. You will also gain access to their historical vaults.
- The Klaxxi: Keepers of the mantid culture, these stoic mantid lords have determined that their own queen has been corrupted and must be destroyed. Although wary of outsiders, it may be possible to earn the trust of the Klaxxi, gaining access to their unique arms and armor.
- Order of the Cloud Serpent: This order of flying warriors was founded long ago, during the Zandalari wars. Gain their favor, and they’ll reveal the secrets of training a cloud serpent to become a loyal mount.
- The Lorewalkers, a faction responsible for archiving the lore of Pandaria which is connected to the Golden Lotus. You can bring them objects and artifacts from all over the world, and they will give presentations and information on the history of Pandaria.
- Shado-Pan, an elite faction of pandaren in Kun-Lai Summit who are experts on the Sha, tasked with protecting the continent from their influence. You will have to earn their trust, gradually working your way up through the ranks.
- The Tillers, a faction which represents the farmers who make the Valley of the Four Winds their home. Different farmers will appear in the farmer's market each day to offer a variety of daily quests. Players will also be given a plot of land on Farmer Yoon's Sunsong Ranch, where they can plant and harvest cooking ingredients, herbs, gifts for NPCs to help build reputation, and a companion pet which you can grow. You'll also be able to ecorate the farm as you progress, adding animals, orchards, etc.
- Shado-Pan Assault, introduced with Patch 5.2. This faction reputation is associated with the attack on the Throne of Thunder to depose the revived Lei-Shen, the Thunder King.
- Emperor Shaohao, introduced with Patch 5.4. The recently returned Pandaren Emperor accompanies the traveler to the Timeless Isle and this reputation is gained through combat there.
In addition, there are several racial factions:
- The Tushui Pandaren are the player faction for Alliance-aligned Pandaren. Established characters can raise reputation with them through a tabard available in Stormwind.
- The Huojin Pandaren are the player faction for Horde-aligned Pandaren. The tabard for this faction is available in Orgrimmar.
- The Pearlfin Jinyu, a race of fish-men who once ruled Pandaria. They have joined the Alliance against their mortal enemies, the Hozen. Players move to Exalted with this faction through questing in the Jade Forest.
- The Forest Hozen, a violent monkey-like race, have sided with the Horde in exchange for aid in their war with the Pearlfin tribe. The mechanic operates the same way as the Pearlfin Jinyu.
Four creatures known as the August Celestials watch over Pandaria.
- Yu'lon / Fei the Jade Serpent - Watches over the Jade Forest.
- Chi-Ji the Red Crane - Watches over the Valley of the Four Winds.
- Xuen the White Tiger - Watches over Kun-Lai Summit.
- Niuzao the Black Ox - Watches over Townlong Steppes.
- Grummle - A race created by the Mogu to act as slaves
- Hozen - Similar to a monkey
- Jinyu - A fish-like creature, evolved from murlocs in ancient times.
- Mantid - An insect race, which will be featured in dungeons and raids. Unlike the silithid, they are intelligent and are able to use weapons
- Mogu - The original inhabitants of Pandaria 12,000 years ago, warring with the Pandaren over their land
- Saurok - A reptilian race created by the Mogu
- Virmen - Similar to kobolds, but they obsess over vegetables instead of candles
- Yaungol - Another cousin race of the tauren, seperated by the Sundering. They live in the lowland planes of Kun-Lai Summit, having been driven from their homes by the Mantid.
- Water strider
- Dragon turtle
- Cloud serpent
- Quilen - A lion-like creature.
- Mushan - A Kodo-like creature; its name means "mountain beast" in Chinese.
- Kunchong - An insectoid behemoth and living battle tank used by the Mantid; its name means "insect" in Chinese.
- Sha - Manifestations of negative energy
- Elemental Spirit
- Sprite - Small nature spirits
- Alemental - Living booze
- Mistlurker - a one eyed swamp creature with long hair. Often seen in misty areas as it's name suggests.
- Jiang-shi - Zombies found in Chinese folktales.
A brewery with a virmen in front
Jade Forest concept art
Valley of the Four Winds farmland concept art
Stranglethorn Diamond Mine concept art
Temple of Kotmogu concept art
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Cinematic
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria trailer
- Pandaria preview
- Shado-pan Monastery preview
- Stormstout Brewery preview
- Temple of the Jade Serpent preview
- Finding the PvP vendors
- Finding the PvE vendors
- All of the Zones preview
- Scenarios preview
- First MoP quests and cinematics
- All Dungeons, Raids and Battlegrounds preview
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria TV Spot #1
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria TV Spot #2
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria TV Spot #3
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria TV Spot #4
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria "Best Expansion" TV Commercial
- 8 years of WoW
- ^ a b http://eu.battle.net/en/int
- ^ a b http://us.battle.net/en/int
- ^ a b c Blizzcon 2011: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Revealed
- ^ a b c d Mists of Pandaria Press Tour. MMO-Champion (2012-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
- ^ http://www.wowheadnews.com/blog=196426/blizzcon-2011-mists-of-pandaria-and-what-we-know