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 Mists of Pandaria: Changes and improvements to look forward to

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August 21, 2012, 05:34:01 pm
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Offline Gaeios(Graxlos)

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The fourth expansion of World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria will be released on September 25th and the prepatch is arriving next week.
So I think it is about time to have an overlook of what I think are the most important changes to the game. Many of the changes will be coming next week like the achievement system and talents.

The new class - Monk:
The new class in Mists of Pandaria is the Monk. The monk has the same three roles as the Paladin: Melee DPS, Tanking and Healing. Monks wear leather and seems to be fighting with druids and rogues for their gear.
Monks have a new resource system which seems like a combination of the existing resource systems.  You have Chi points which are earned similarly to combo points for rogues and cats, but you can spend them differently since different skills require different amounts of Chi points.
Healing seems somewhat different from existing classes but can be compared to Paladins who use holy power points, but monks seem to be relying more on channeling heals (at least at lower levels).
All races except Worgen and Goblin can play monks.

The new race - Pandaren:
The Pandaren race has existed since warcraft 3 where it had a minor role(easter egg) in the singleplayer campaign. The model was also used for the  pandaren brewmaster in the very popular Custom map Dota.
They come from the mysterious Pandaria which have not had contact with the other parts of Azeroth before.
Pandarens can play Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Mage and Monk.

Pandaren racials are:
Gourmand: 15 bonus skill levels to Cooking,
Epicurean:Double stat gains from well fed buffs.
Bouncy: Half falling damage.
Inner Peace: Your rested bonus lasts twice as long.
Quaking Palm: Melee strike that incapacitates the target for four seconds (2 minute cd)

Crossrealm Zones
In MOP leveling zones will be like crossrealm instances which means that they will bundle up players so you will no longer be alone in those deserted leveling zones, a really nice fix in general, but it will probably make getting those bloody rare mobs killed, so get that done now if you haven't already :-)
You can party and quest with people from other realms just like in crossrealm dungeons.

Big Stat changes - No more resistance and resilience changes
Blizzard is simplifying the stat systems removing stuff like resistance and spell penetration and they are changing resilience in to something called pvp power. The pvp stats will reduce damage from players and increase damage to players, the items will be lower itemlevel than same-tier pvp gear, but will be far superior in pvp.

Changing the resource Rage:
Rage has always been a strange resource since it was very random and usually had a point where it was  unreliable and a point where it was just infinite. Rage has now been normalized so you have skills that generate a specific amount of rage and skills that use a specific amount of rage, making it a reliable resource. Much like in Diablo 3.

New Talent system and training spells:
The talent system has been changed massively, now you have 5 tiers of talents(6 at lvl 90). Each talent is either a passive buff or and active skill. Each tier gives you a choice between similar talents. Like a tier with movement/cc skills, a tier with dps buffs, a tier with damage reduction etc. Most of the passive cookiecutter talents from each spec has been baked in to the specs themselves so when you choose your spec you automatically get those talents you would have chosen anyway. To me it seems like an improvement but we will see, it looks a lot like a goldsink since lots of the talents have specific advantages, like being aoe oriented or singletarget, which means that hardcore raiders will be respeccing a lot.
And as always it seems blizzard loves druids. As the only class druids get 4 specs instead of three. Restoration, Feral, Balance and Guardian!
Check out your new talents here:

Simplification of Glyphs:
There is now only two categories of Glyphs, Major and Minor. In Cataclysm every spec had its cookie-cutter glyphs. in MOP, blizzard is trying to make it up to the individual player which glyphs he prefers. The minor glyphs still have pretty much no impact on game play they are almost purely cosmetic.

Challenge mode:
The challenge mode is a new way of running dungeons, where your group is timed and you get rewards  based on how fast you can complete the chosen dungeon. You will be able to see the ranking on your realm and your own ranking. It seems there will be some kind of ladder on the website to see how you are doing internationally.
The rewards currently appear to be mostly cosmetic as well giving you cool transmogriphication items to show off your skills.

Scenarios is a new group activity alternative to running dungeons. You run a scripted scenario including  both helpful and enemy npcs in a group og three players of any class setup. This means that the difficulty is not based on having a tank and a healer but is mostly based on reactions and movement. Scenarios will contain bosses as usual that will reward loot. How well balanced they will be for different setups is yet to be seen.

Accountwide Achievements, Titles, Pets and Mounts:
This is one of the cooler changes for an altoholic like myself. In MOP achievements, Titles, Pets and Mounts will be accountwide(except for certain mounts so far). This means that you can still brag about killing deathwing heroic even though you are currently playing your green geared alt. It also means that you dont have to farm for that rare mount you really wanted on more than one character. The shared pets also mean that when you level your battle pets they are the same levels across the account, but more on that later when I describe pet battles.

Looting rules, AOE looting and LFR:
In cataclysm there has been much frustration over the ways that Looking For Raid looting could be exploited, the looting system was improved during the expansion but is fully reformed in MOP.
There is a new loot interface and now the rolls decide who is to receive an item and then the game randomly decides which class and spec relevant item the player is to receive. This item is not tradable. This means that there will be no items dropping that no player can use and it will be impossible to abuse the system by joining as a group and trading items to eachother. A very nice solution in my opinion.
Furthermore aoe looting will be possible, which will be quite handy.

No more Reputation tabards:
A thing that many players have raged about on the forums is that blizzard has decided to remove the faction tabards as the way to earn reputation. This means that reputation is gained by doing quests and daily quests and dungeon farming is done to earn gear. Blue posts has described the TBC system of rep farming as too much and the implementation of the faction tabards of too much of a nerf, they hope this will be more balanced and give people something more to play for. (Luckily they have also removed the faction specific enchants like head and shoulder enchants now).

Currency conversions: Valor, Justice, Conquest and Honor.
Next week all Valor points will be converted to justice points and it will no longer be possible to earn valor points until the release of MOP. The same goes for Conquest points changing to Honor. It seems you will be able to keep your justice points for MOP, so having your characters on the JP cap might be useful.

Justice and Valor point rewards combined with Reputation rewards:
The current justice and valor point vendors are faction specific and all the current rewards requires certain levels of specific faction rep. Again it seems blizzard is moving away from the raidlogging expansion Cataclysm, now you will not be able to gain items by just running dungeons and raiding, you will have to go out in the world and complete questlines and dailyquests to get those items you want. Furthermore you can now earn Valor points from daily quests, although it seems that it will be slower than doing dungeons.
Another new concept is that you will be using your justice and valor points to upgrade your existing gear, so there will be more of a gear progression than there was in Cataclysm. So you can get an blue item that you can then upgrade again and again to higher and higher Ilvl.

Valor of the ancients:
New system that gives 50% bonus to valor points on alts if you have already capped valor points on one character. This will make it a lot easier for people wanting to cap points on alts, since it will be 50% faster on the second character. It is not very clear if the buff stacks which would mean that it would be even faster on the third or fourth alts.

Pet Battles:
Blizzard finally activated the pet battle system on the beta and it looks to be a good timewaster for those achievement hunting completionists out there.

The system is based on Pokemon where you start a battle with up to 3 pets with different skills and advantages and disadvantages against certain races.

Your pets gain xp by fighting wild pets that can be found around Azeroth, with more levels you gain access to more spells for your pets, although they can never join a battle with more than three available spells (Much like Diablo 3).

The levels of the pets scale with the level of the zones. Durotar has mainly lvl 1-2 pets, the barrens have lvl 3-6 pets, southern barrens have lvl 9+ pets and desolace has mostly lvl 10 pets.

The system is still not very well balanced and is still very buggy on beta, but my best advice to you if you want to try it is to just relog when something weird happens, it works for me.

In the early zones near orgrimmar you will meet  mainly critters and beast, so choosing a battle pet to start leveling with advantages against them makes it easier. If you decide to start leveling near undercity you will meet mostly undead in the beginning which means you might want a pet with advantage against those. Starting in Tirisfal glades turned out to be a big advantage in beta because Durotar was horrible crowded, which meant that you had to fight for the pet spawns. In tirisfal glades you just flew from pet to pet and could continue down through the forest, after gaining sufficient levels.

Since pets are accountwide in MOP luckily you level the same pets no matter what char you are playing on, so you dont have to start over from scratch when playing a different alt.

The battle pet questlines are also accountwide,(the first accountwide quests in the game I think) so you can only do them once between all your alts, this is good since they give your pets a big XP boost and this would be quite imbalanced for people with many alts.

Choosing your first pet:
The pet system in its current state favours selfhealing pets greatly, since there is a 15 minute cd on healing your pets, having a pet that can heal it self gives a massive advantage. I started with the mimiron pet, that has bonus damage to beasts and a big self heal and the obsidian hatchling from archaeology that has bonus damage to critters and a big heal when it gets killing blow.
The next two challenges are aquatic and flying pets. for those I leveled my tarecgosa pet that has bonus against flying and I captured a forest moth with bonus against aquatic.

Generally you can level pets by fighting mobs, but also the pets you capture, keep the level they are captured with, so if you have 3 lvl 10 pets and you catch a level 10 pet you have 4 lvl 10 pets instead of having to level up a fourth from scratch, this is very nice.

Trading pets:
A new feature in MOP is that you can put your pet in a cage and then trade it to other players, it was recently changed so this does not apply to wild pets. But it means that you might be able to sell off that rare ooze, you spent months farming, for a good stack of gold coins.

PVP  and New Battlegrounds
Honestly I dont care much for PVP in world of warcraft. But the changes to resilience seem good and there will be two new battlegrounds for lvl 90.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 12:32:58 pm by delling »

Bears like alts!

August 21, 2012, 06:11:07 pm
Reply #1

Offline Abyiss

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Re: Changes and improvements to look forward to in Mists of Pandaria.
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 06:11:07 pm »
looking forward to challenge modes :)
The only man foolish enough to roll a DK tank.

(Shannaro 2010)

August 21, 2012, 06:19:06 pm
Reply #2

Offline Hugman

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Re: Changes and improvements to look forward to in Mists of Pandaria.
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 06:19:06 pm »
looking forward to challenge modes :)

Just how many packs can Abyiss tank  on the move before it all goes tits up?

August 21, 2012, 08:22:10 pm
Reply #3

Offline Skinkelinke

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Re: Changes and improvements to look forward to in Mists of Pandaria.
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 08:22:10 pm »
Nice post Grax, someone make sure this is shown at:

August 22, 2012, 01:25:53 am
Reply #4

Offline kagir

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Re: Changes and improvements to look forward to in Mists of Pandaria.
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 01:25:53 am »

August 24, 2012, 03:18:36 pm
Reply #5

Offline Rash

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Re: Mists of Pandaria: Changes and improvements to look forward to
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 03:18:36 pm »
Can't wait!
Rash - Resto Shaman
Rashuwu - Mistweaver Monk
Porkkebab - Holy Paladin


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