World of Warcraft (finally) gets Pandas in next expansion


If you are still disappointed that Goblins were the new race in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm instead of the far cuter, um, panda-like Pandaren, end your weeping! Blizzard announced today at BlizzCon that the pandas will be coming to Azeroth in the next expansion to WoW, Mists of Pandaria.

The new expansion re-introduces the elusive pandaren, originally seen in Blizzard’s real-time strategy game Warcraft III, as a playable race and adds a brand-new player class: the martial-arts-focused Monk.

“Players have been asking to see the pandaren in World of Warcraft since the game’s launch, and we’re excited to finally be able to give them a proper re-introduction to Azeroth,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “In addition to the new playable race and class, Mists of Pandaria contains a huge amount of new content.”

While specific details about the new content that Morhaime talks about are not yet available, the following bullet points were included in the press release:

  • New Playable Race — Pandaren: Adventure through Azeroth as World of Warcraft‘s first neutral race and decide whether to side with the Alliance or the Horde.
  • New Playable Class — Monk: Unlock the secrets of pandaren martial arts and do battle as a damage dealer, healer, or tank.
  • Level Cap Increased to 90: Learn potent new spells and abilities while exploring uncharted zones and taking on challenging new content.
  • New Zones: Explore the lush Jade Forest, treacherous Kun-Lai Summit, and other exotic areas of Pandaria designed for high-level characters, and uncover the mystery of the Wandering Isle.
  • Scenarios: Join up with some friends to achieve a common goal, such as mounting a defense against invading monsters, in a flexible new type of PvE challenge.
  • Dungeon “Challenge” Modes: Master the ultimate five-player time trial to earn prestige rewards in a new dungeon mode that will put your resolve and coordination to the test.
  • Pet Battles: Challenge other players’ companion pets with your own collection in a new tactical mini-game, and find out who’s king or queen of the pint-sized battlefield.
  • New Talent System: Customize your character to suit your play style with the newly overhauled and improved talent system.

I’m just curious as to why the lush, clearly Asian-inspired landscapes of Pandaria don’t seem to be affected by the ravages of the world-breaking Cataclysm brought about by penultimate boss Deathwing in the current expansion…

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