World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria video preview
Pandas in the mist
Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion to World of Warcraft, will add a lot more to Azeroth than just the new Pandaren race. The Continent of Pandaria will include seven level 85+ zones, plus the Wandering Isle starting area where young Pandarens kick off their adventure. High level players can grow a garden in the Valley of the Four Winds, or explore the beautiful but perilous Jade Forest.
Those looking for more group content will love clearing out Pandaria’s six brand new dungeons. Kick those drunken Hozen out of the Stormstout Brewery and put to rest the angry Sha spirits in the Temple of the Jade Serpent. Even after all that, Blizzard found time to renovate the Scarlet Monastery and the Scholomance Dungeon. They’re decked out with Warcraft’s latest particle and lighting effects, streamlined layouts, and even more lore secrets to uncover. All these dungeons can be played on Heroic difficulty and with the time-trial Challenge mode.
Newbie Pandarens are in for a treat on the Wandering Isle. There’s no better way to experience the teachings of Master Shang Xi than as a Monk, the versatile new energy based class that attacks with deadly combos and barrels of Pandaren ale. Pandarens maybe WoW’s first neutral race, but now the war is on their doorstep. Before leaving their homeland for Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms, Pandaren players will have to choose between the Alliance or Horde.
Have a look at video highlights of the latest and greatest content coming to the growing world of World of Warcraft – and check out our World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria preview for more hands-on impressions of WoW’s fourth expansion.
Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance Dungeon
Blizzard has as much nostalgia for World of Warcraft’s classic dungeons as players. That’s why the WoW team took the time to renovate the Scarlet Monastery and the Scholomance Dungeon. These classic stomping grounds have been remodeled with layout tweaks, the latest WoW tech, and fun bits of lore. Players who really want a new experience should try their luck on Heroic difficulty, or go for speed runs on Challenge mode.
Amongst all the undead killing, the Scarlet Crusaders have found time to redecorate. Their monastery has been condensed into two wings, each with its own boss. Players storming the home of these anti-undead zealots will now find cultists torching undead remains in the graveyard. The surprises aren’t just for the players. The monastery’s houndmaster is in for a nasty one as well. His vicious beasts aren’t as well-trained as he thinks; they now turn on him when things get dire!
If you journey to the spruced up Scholomance dungeon, keep an eye out for a familiar undead face. Lilian Voss, zombie outcast of the Scarlet Crusade, is seeking revenge against the necromancers of the Scourge. She skulks amongst the skeletons in an otherworldly glow, thanks to WoW’s latest lighting effects. The eerie green and purple hues cast haunting shadows as the eyes of portraits follow your every move, Scooby Doo style. Scholomance has also had its layout updated, making it much easier to navigate during hurried Challenge runs.
The Jade Forest
This is the Jade Forest, a high-level zone of the new Pandarian continent. Beware. Its elegant bamboo forests hide many deadly secrets. Beneath the cherry blossoms, the baboon-like Hozen clash with Jinyu fish-men. Join their battle against a backdrop of serene waterfalls and breathtaking mountain views.
See those serpents slinking through the skies? Allow us to present Cloud Serpents, a new mount for max level players. Those who would have a flying dragon for a mount must raise it until it’s large enough to ride. A series of quests will take it from egg to baby, where it will follow the player as a pet, to full blown mount. Then get in on the favorite Pandaren pass-time: Cloud Serpent racing!
Cloud Serpents aren’t the only dragons around. That giant green statue is in honor of the Jade Serpent, one of four ancestor spirits who watch over Pandaria. Unfortunately, the conflict of Horde and Alliance has stirred the vengeful Sha spirits. They haunt the Temple of the Jade Serpent, and any adventurers who wish to learn this dungeon’s secrets must put them to rest. Here, as in all of Pandaria, beauty masks danger. The temple’s cerulean waters are cursed, damaging all who set foot in them.
The Wandering Isle
For the new Pandaren race, the adventure starts here. Not really a land mass at all, the Wandering Isle is aptly named. This Pandarian paradise is on the back of the giant sea turtle Shen-Zin Su. This legendary creature roams the seas of Azeroth, making for a secluded home where young Pandaren may train.
This place is not without its dangers, however. Vicious mountain Hozen patrol this land, as do troublesome Amberleaf Scamps. Whether or not they follow the path of the Monk, players must listen well to the teachings of Master Shang Xi if they hope to make it to the mainland.
On their quest to master their inner selves, Pandarens will have their first encounters with the outside world, and the war between Horde and Alliance. Players will meet characters from both sides of the conflict for their journey cannot truly begin until they have chosen an allegiance.
Leaving their secluded society to partake in a foreign war is not the typical Pandaren path, but these are not ordinary times. War is already brewing in the mainland, and though a Pandaren who leaves the Wandering Isle under either the Alliance or Horde banner loses contact with his neutral brethren, young Pandarens refuse to sit idly by. One cannot simply chew bamboo and sip ale while others fight and die.
Valley of the Four Winds
The Valley of the Four Winds is the heartland of Pandaria. There’s always a good harvest, thanks to overflow from the nearby Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The sacred waters from this blessed land make Pandaren crops grow to unbelievable sizes. Players who wish to earn the trust of the local Tiller faction must do so by working the land. Grow your own garden and harvest rare and unusual plants, including a pet who will uproot itself to follow on your adventures, or show its thorns in the new Pet Battle system.
This valley is also home to the famous Stormstout Brewery. Named after Chen Stormstout, it brews the finest ale in all of Azeroth, but things haven’t been very productive lately. Driven by angry Sha spirits, obnoxious Hozen have taken over the place. They’re on a real bender, drinking up the ale and smashing barrels as video game monkeys are want to do. Adventurers looking to try Stormstout Ale will have to put a stop to this, and crush a few Verming while they’re at it. Part rat, part rabbit, they may not look so tough, but watch out for that carrot breath. Yeesh!
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