World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria preview

Eating at Panda Express can hardly be considered an achievement in real life, but if you get your tubby Pandaren rolling, you can earn the "Panda Express" achievement in the new expansion for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. At Blizzcon 2011, we entered the beautiful and lush world of Pandaria to get some hands-on time with our male Pandaren monk named George.

It's hard enough to keep away from the allure of World of Warcraft, but once you throw some pandas into the mix, everyone's giong to want to frolick in the bamboo with these cuddly bears. Mists of Pandaria is Blizzard's next expansion for its insanely popular MMO, World of Warcraft. The new expansion is set on a continent that is 10,000 years old and has been shrouded in mystery until now.

The Pandaren have inhabited the land for ages now, but they weren't the first race to populate this enchanting and magical place. As you take on quests, more will be revealed in terms of the story but for now, we were occupying ourselves with some kung fu. The new monk class is obviously very fist-heavy and our first order of business was to get some gear and start punching things. Without the auto-attack feature for monk, we really had to pay attention when attacking targets that fight back.

Like other starting zones, you'll level quickly by taking on a variety of quests to gain experience. It's a good mix of fighting and collecting, but you won't be sent too far away in the beginning. Your chi recharges fast enough to string a series of attacks and roll around in the process. These Pandaren are surprisingly nimble, considering the amount of weight they are lugging around.

As we go through the motions of getting through the early stages, it's the Asian-influenced environments and melodies that stand out. But Pandaria has a magical quality to it, similar to the Night Elf realm of Teldrassil, but instead of obscenely large trees, we were surrounded by brightly colored but quaint stone structures and temples. Female Pandaren are hard to tell apart, but they are denoted by a cute bow on their head. In case it wasn't totally obvious, <I am a girl> is displayed below their name.

In typical Blizzard fashion, there is no word of when the expansion will be out, but we'll keep you updated as time goes on. For a full list of the new features being added to Mists of Pandaria, be sure to read our comprehensive List of new features in Mists of Pandaria.

Oct 22, 2011


  • WooddieBone - October 24, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    Lego Online WAAAAAAAY better than WoW. I'm serious. The game is awesome I just couldn't stop playing. But than it just said "You can't go rest of the way cuz you don't pay to play. FUCQ YOU and Goodbeye" So I hate MMOs from that point of my life.
  • razorwiretensho - October 23, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    Pandrians have been in the game since 1997, WAY before dreamworks did anything. And if you don't like wow, why waste your time commenting on it? Go back to call of duty.
  • HeavyTank - October 24, 2011 5:56 a.m.

    I know, but they were a joke, and the whole world and the Chinese culture-based stuff is all copied, and don't tell me otherwise. And I don't even play Call of Duty, but even if I did, how would that be related to anything? Is WoW any more original than CoD by now?I don't think so, if they're releasing a new expansion based on something they created years ago, and using a world which is exactly like the one seen in two movies. And how I waste my time is my own business, if I want to bash WoW, you're certainly not going to be the one who stops me.
  • mattrickhoffman - October 24, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    You're right, there's no way to look at pandas and think the area they live in should be inspired by Chinese culture. The only possible explanation is that they stole it. How else could anyone ever make a connection between pandas and China? If it weren't for Kung Fu Panda, people probably wouldn't even know pandas exist.
  • nicholas-aube - November 9, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    The first thing I thought of was Kung Fu Panda too however Pandarens have been around for along time. Also the Panda is the national animal and natural habitat of the Panda along with the Chinese Dragon,Golden Pheasant, and Red-Crowned Crane soo eh... no actually its probably the most obvious non-mythical animal to be associated with China..
  • nicholas-aube - November 9, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    excuse me *Panda is the national animal of China which is its natural habitat.. along with the golden pheasant, red-crowned crane, and chinese dragon
  • sharkweek - October 24, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    Perhaps you should learn to think before you post something HeavyTank. It may serve you well in the future.
  • Budisawesome - October 25, 2011 4:19 a.m.

    The way I see it is let people play what they wanna play :)
  • HeavyTank - October 23, 2011 9:42 a.m.

    Whoa, I hope that they have the rights to use this material legally or Dreamworks is going to come a-knocking on their door, lol. This looks EXACTLY like the world of the Kung Fu Panda movies (yes, I know that that's kind of the point, but come on, they could've tried to be a LITTLE more original..then again, this is WoW..)
  • pinoklin - October 23, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    lmao.....pandarens appeared in wc3 waaaaay before kung fu panda, if anything that fail movie is a total ripoff of an obscure warcraft race.....chen stormstout...check it out!
  • sharkweek - October 24, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    Pandaren have been an official part of the Warcraft lore since The Frozen Throne which came out in 2003 and Kung Fu Panda came out in 2008. You should do some research before spouting off inane nonsense.
  • Ausoi - October 22, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    people still play this game? or even a better question, people still pay to play this game?
  • Budisawesome - October 22, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    Hopefully in the next expansion we'll be able to play unicorns
  • coleo78 - November 17, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    Hope so....XD
  • Budisawesome - October 22, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    So you're basically paying to play the same game again?
  • larkan - October 22, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    Correct, that's Blizzard's new model...release an expansion, charge $40, get people to play for a month until they get tired of it, wash, rinse, repeat.....
  • DeEss - October 22, 2011 4:18 p.m.

    Just like every MMO in existence...
  • gamer123gamer - October 23, 2011 6:46 a.m.

    thats kind of how MMO's work, from a cynical point of view.

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