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Blizzard Announces New WoW Expansion: Mists of Pandaria 276

Posted by Soulskill
from the april-fools-becomes-a-reality dept.
Blizzcon 2011 kicked off today, and the biggest announcement from the opening ceremonies was the development of a new expansion for World of Warcraft. Titled Mists of Pandaria, the expansion will focus on the battle between the Horde and the Alliance instead of a traditional Big Bad Enemy. There will be both a new race — Pandaren — and a new class — Monk. The level cap will be raised to 90, there will be "challenge mode" dungeons, and they're introducing a pet battle system. Blizzard also mentioned that people who buy a 12-month subscription to WoW will get a copy of Diablo 3 for free.
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Blizzard Announces New WoW Expansion: Mists of Pandaria

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  • Still a grind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhoegl (638955) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:53PM (#37797652)
    Zzzz..... WoW bores me to no end these days. A new expansion will not help.
    PvP is gear based, which requires grinding, Dungeons are gear based which requires grinding, crafting requires grinding....

    Same crap, different day.
    • by rossz (67331)

      And grinding is damn annoying to casual players such as myself. I would like to go after the lich king, but my gear sucks. Even at the max level of 85, I get my ass handed to me. In the group I'm usually the first to die because of my gear (being a mage doesn't help, either). I do not want to run through the same dungeons a hundred times hoping for an epic drop that might give me a slight improvement in stats because that is boring. I will say, however, that WoW's reliance on gear is a whole lot better

      • by jhoegl (638955)
        Yeah, added on top of that casual that they tried to limit the runs to 24 hours+, it made it terrible.
        Hell, MC was fun even though I was geared out because of the 40 people I hung out with. Now its 5, 10, 15... little groups of friends. What is the point of big guilds now?

        They screwed up big IMO...
        • by scubamage (727538)
          Agreed. There was nothing quite as fun as a 40 person raid. Such utter chaos. "YOU'RE THE BOMB!!!!"
          • by Stradenko (160417)

            The beauty of 40-man raids was that you could have a half-dozen casuals and as long as they understood the mechanics of what was going on (i.e.: they didn't do stupid stuff) there's still a sizable group of folks to pick up the slack.

        • by dbet (1607261)
          What is the point of small guilds if you need 40 to do something? I'm in a big guild, it's fun, and not because of raids.
        • by billcopc (196330)

          In my case, I'm in a small "casual" guild. Casual in the sense that we have about 40 regular members, but we can only reliably pull together 10 people for a raid. We're an older crowd with jobs and families, and we have no patience for trolls or troublemakers, so our roster consists of a core group of people who've known each other IRL, and friends-of-friends. The few 25-man raids I've done were PUGs, or collaborations with another friendly guild. I just play a few hours a week, and some weeks I'm too b

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        As a casual gamer, I can confidently state that MMORPG's are not for casual players but only for hardcore gamers willing to spend large quantities of time and money. I have yet to encounter and MMORPG that doesn't feel like endless grinding within the first hour of play.

        As for the extensiion in the topic; Kung Fu Panda.

        • by Clsid (564627)

          My brother is a casual gamer and he enjoys Warcraft a lot. It all depends on what your goals are. If you are the kind of casual gamer who just wants to finish the game, have the top score and best gear of course you'll need to grind. But in the case of my brother he just enjoys doing quests, leveling whenever it may come and even just enjoying flying and trying crazy stuff to test out the virtual world.

          • by mwvdlee (775178)

            Thing is, all those quests usually are the same deal; slay a dozen of those creaters over there or collect a dozen of these objects.
            Another thing that annoys the hell out of me in most (though not all) MMORPG's is the sheer amount of time it takes to move around. I enjoy the visual aspects of games; I enjoy wandering around, exploring sites and discovering things in them; I don't enjoy walking for 15 minutes in a monotonous forest just to kill some wolves. Seems like all quests involve killing something. Pe

            • by Splab (574204)

              Blizzard actually aproach this with the newest expansion. A lot of the world changes as you do quests, storylines will cause entire areas to turn from devastated to green and flourishing. It's actually quite nice.

              That being said, WoW was still a major grind so I dropped it for something else :-)

          • by Artifex (18308)

            If he's casual and likes visually appealing stuff, have him try the free trial of Rift.
            From wallhacking (no flying in Rift, yet) I've discovered that so far they use very few invisible barriers, and in fact put cairns with loot at the tops of some mountains.
            So far haven't found any crazy not-supposed-to-be-seen unfinished areas like pre-Cata Old World had, but it's fun to try. :)

          • > If you are the kind of casual gamer who just wants to finish the game,

            Uhm, you DO realize there is NO way to "finish" WoW -- there is no "game over" that good, traditional games have.

            It has a "soft win", not a "hard win" -- it is shitty gameplay designed for one thing -- string out the customer to keep the paying as long as possible to play.

        • by elrous0 (869638) *

          I second that emotion. I've tried to get into MMO's, but every side mission is basically "go fetch me 10 wolf pelts" or some variation. I played MUD's back in the day, and they never seemed like this kind of grind. So I'm killing 10 wolves in WoW, mining some asteroid in EVE, or whatever, OVER AND OVER AGAIN. About the only MMO that I have liked so far was Guild Wars, not only because it was free and easy server-changing made it easy to play with friends, but because it was one of the few MMO's I've seen wi

          • by Bucky24 (1943328)
            The Guild Wars story was epic, one of the reasons I greatly enjoyed playing. That and it's a one time only cost. Can't wait for Guild Wars 2.
      • To deal with the huge range of ability (or patience for grinding) of different WoW players, one feature idea I had was what I would call Difficulty Scaling.

        Basically, you could scale your character to take a lesser percentage of damage, but in return you would get benefits like experience/honor points, and could affect drop rates, too.

        So you'd be slower to level, but wouldn't die all the time, allowing you to participate in activities you normally wouldn't be geared for.

        On the flip side, experience players

        • Basically, you could scale your character to take a lesser percentage of damage, but in return you would get benefits like experience/honor points, and could affect drop rates, too.

          Should say:

          Basically, you could scale your character to take a lesser percentage of damage, but in return you would get lower than usual benefits like experience/honor points, and could affect drop rates, too.

          • by Kjella (173770)

            Somehow I suspect this has a lot of unpredictable side effects, like one person supertanking by turning it way down so everyone else can score XP. Unless it affects party drop rates, but then everyone would hate you. Not saying it couldn't be done, but it would be a lot more complicated than adding a slider...

            • by Bucky24 (1943328)
              Yeah I agree. People would create characters for the sole purpose of being a damage sink... Though since they would probably do very little damage (even for a tank) you could likely ignore them and concentrate on the more important targets.
            • by tnk1 (899206)

              You could probably deal with the supertanking in a mixed raid by also linking "threat" level to the difficulty level as well. The tank would be able to absorb a million points of damage, but it wouldn't matter because they couldn't keep the boss or adds on them.

              You could turn down the difficulty of the dungeon itself and then scale the rewards based on difficulty level as well. That means that you would still all do the same roles, but the fight would be more forgiving. You would get to see the content,

      • by RingDev (879105)

        If you are the first to die, especially at level 85 doing Litch King content, the issue isn't your gear.

        The issue is almost NEVER gear, atleast for PvE.

        The issue is almost always player knowledge/skill with their class, situational awareness for avoiding extraneous damage, and lack of knowledge of raid mechanics.

        An excess of gear will allow players to overcome MOST mechanics. If your tank has 250k health and you're dealing with bosses that are only hitting for 20-30k, your healers can be half asleep and kee

        • by superwiz (655733)
          Isn't one the mechanics on HLK based on health %? That wouldn't change regardless of the level or gear. WoW has a few mechanics like that which don't change with the level (enfeeble is another one I can think of).
          • by RingDev (879105)

            Heroic Litch King has a number of issues that are completely non-gear determinent.

            If you can't move out of the blast wave, you'll get knocked off the platform and die. Doesn't matter how much health you have, if you can't move, you die.

            If your raid doesn't burn the angel chicks, the member they are carrying dies, again, doesn't matter what gear that person has, if folks don't switch targets, the person dies.

            If people are standing in the black puddle, it will grow and encompass the entire platform. With a hu

        • The issue is almost NEVER gear, atleast for PvE.

          Er? It's been a while since I played WoW but gear is important. To overcome the hard fights you need skill and gear but there were quite a few of the early raid fights that were essentially gear checks. For example, Patchwerk [wowwiki.com] was a tank and spank gear check.

          For the most part, if you are the first to die, you did something wrong and while more gear might have mitigated it, it was your mistake to be in the position to die.

          There is always a bit of chance in every fight and sometimes it isn't on your side. There were a few fights where the tank died because he got 3 critical strikes in a row followed by a special boss move on a boss we routinely beat. Now the rules of

      • by billcopc (196330)

        Gear is not (always) a substitute for skill and teamwork.

        I'm not a super-hardcore player, in that I only have one main character, and I raid one night a week. I have a normal life, as normal as I.T. consulting can be I suppose, and I have very little trouble keeping up with the no-lifers. When the last expansion came out, I beat the leveling content in 2 days, as I only had a few small contracts going at the time. Then I quit for about 6 months, came back after a new patch and content update, and caught

    • by Clsid (564627)

      PvP has always been gear based. It seems like you weren't there when twinks roamed battlegrounds. If anything it is better than before.

      Dungeons and the gear they might require is nothing to the crap you needed to do back in WoW classic where you needed to have a couple of resistance gear and the grinding was absolutely horrible. Again, in this regard they kind of dumbed down the game so I don't get you.

      And with crafting, recall when you had to do the different specializations for each profession, like armor

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Zzzz..... WoW bores me to no end these days. A new expansion will not help.

      PvP is gear based, which requires grinding, Dungeons are gear based which requires grinding, crafting requires grinding....

      Same crap, different day.

      I was saying the same thing about MUDs back in the 1990's. Life suck. Only MUDs were free.

    • by EXTomar (78739)

      A lot of the world must bore you since "Diablo 3" is going to have grinding. "Dark Souls" has grinding. "Battlefield 3" and "Modern Warfare 3" are going to have grinding. So on and so on.

      I am not defending "grinding" where I do find it an undesirable side effect of multiple game systems but I suspect "grinding" isn't the real reason The Parent Post don't like "World of Warcraft" any more. "WoW" has the most streamlined leveling system of any modern MMO and has the most dynamic raid content where no two

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Zzzz..... WoW bores me to no end these days. A new expansion will not help.

      WoW doesn't bore me at all these days. Because I stopped playing when Cataclysm dropped. Not because of any changes in Cataclysm or anything... just because I was very bored with all non-raiding parts of the game, and the part that was still fun, raiding, was too much like a job with bi-weekly appointments that interfered with the rest of my life. So the new expansion's arrival seemed like the right time. I made my last few attempts to get Kingslayer (nope, didn't do it) and then made a clean break.

      If

    • by dave562 (969951)

      I have not even made it through Cataclysm yet. I made it as far as collecting some stupid tree marks. Blizzard set it up so that you can only get about 14 marks per day, and you need 200 of the damn things. I understand that they wanted to slow down the people who rush through to the end of the game, but seriously? I have better things to do with my time. If I have time to play a game, I want to be able to play the game. Being told "Come back tomorrow, do the same thing again, but even then you still

      • I imagine you're talking about marks of the world tree. After you turn in the IIRC 150, you get to do it twice more, albeit with a few more marks per day in additional quests. At least, that's as far as I got before I quit that grind.

        There's a lot more to the game than those Firelands dailies, though.

        • by dave562 (969951)

          There's a lot more to the game than those Firelands dailies, though.

          The game lost all continuity for me when dungeon finder came out. Any relationship between the instance and the zone it is in vanished. I had no idea where to find quest chains, or what quest chains led to which dungeon. I could be wrong, but it seems like Blizzard might have phased out that dynamic by putting the quest givers right in the beginning of the dungeon. That just increases the disconnect and makes it matter even less what zo

    • "Dungeons are gear based which requires grinding"

      As opposed to cinematic story narrative driven crap? Games are about doing things. RPG's took the doing stuff out of the game and that's why it's boring. If WoW played like darksiders I'd be all over that. But WoW is a casual game so all they have for you is tedious autocombat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:53PM (#37797654)

    When did Michael Vick join Blizzard?

  • I wonder what priceless videos we can gain out of this expansion

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YersIyzsOpc [youtube.com]

    I'll keep looking for an mmorpg I can get into, till then SC2 and it's 100% free somewhat crappy servers ftw!

  • Funnily, this made front page within an hour of being announced.

    Like it or not, WoW is still popular.

  • Skadoosh!

  • I got my taking cap on, can't wait to brush off the keyboard cobwebs and get cracking on next n tier set.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      I got my taking cap on,

      "Taking" cap? TAKING?

      You're a ninja huntard, aren't you?

      (I keed, I keeed. A little.)

      I guess you meant "tanking", and for that I (the non-ninja huntard) thank you. A good tank makes being a hunter good. A bad tank makes a hunter bleed, and if the hunter is bleeding, something has gone horribly wrong.

  • by Clsid (564627)

    This is a welcome addition. I think a game based in monks and Asian culture is going to be far more interesting than the current Cataclysm expansion. Cata was good but not to the level of Wrath of the Lich King which truly felt epic. I also like that they are having Alliance and Horde finally clashing since to me it all seemed like a bunch of crap to have these two warring factions almost taking a stroll and having tea together. This is a game of WARcraft in the end.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      Agreed; I am actually interested in this, and may reactivate since I already plan on buying Diablo 3. I thought Cataclysm wasn't terribly exciting after hitting 85, whereas WotLK was great until the end. I always wanted a monk class in the game, too. But really, Blizzard, what we need is playable murlocs, not pandas.

    • by superwiz (655733)
      LK brought a new dps/tank class. This will bring a new dps/healer class.
      • by keytoe (91531)

        LK brought a new dps/tank class. This will bring a new dps/healer class.

        Correction: Monk has a tank spec in addition to the healing and dps specs.

    • ...a game based in monks

      It's a jungle out there / Disorder and confusion everywhere / No one seems to care / Well I do / Hey, who's in charge here? / It's a jungle out there / Poison in the very air we breathe / Do you know what's in the water that you drink? / Well I do, and it's amazing / People think I'm crazy, 'cause I worry all the time / If you paid attention, you'd be worried too / You better pay attention / Or this world we love so much might just kill you / I could be wrong now, but I don't think so / It's a jungle out th

  • by rs1n (1867908) on Friday October 21, 2011 @04:18PM (#37798074)
    I know that Blizzard is well known for little jokes and references to the real world... so I couldn't help but notice the connection between the new race and their semblances to a very well known kung-fu fighting panda of the big screen. Any idea if this was the "inspiration" for the expansion?
    • by gblackwo (1087063)
      Nah, the Pandarens were sort of a joke starting back in 2002 (Warcraft 3), and the joke actually kinda became part of the blizzard universe.
    • by compro01 (777531)

      Or it could have been the other way around. In Warcraft lore, the Pandaren predate that movie by at least 5 years. They showed up in warcraft 3.

      Also, a bare-fisted melee character was part WoW in the early alpha. It was the priest discipline spec, though that got removed very early, probably for balance reasons. Pre-cata, you could still see remnants of that in some of the discipline talents.

      • Actually, pandas as a playable race in RPGs predate the whole MMORPG experience by quite a few decades.

        Most instances were, in fact, monks.

        I'm surprised you don't remember your gaming history.

        And that's just the US/Euro gaming market - you can see them in Asian gaming even further back than that.

    • The art director at Blizzard, Samwise Didier, has been making panda related images for a long time now. They crept into Warcraft 3 as a panda hero, and since become a full-blown race in the lore.
  • A new expac announcement inside a year of the last being brought out.

    A race and class that's been begged for since the beginning. And was once a April-fools joke.

    An additional game, gratis, for long term subscribers.

    Is it just me or does this have the reek of desperation? They reported a drop in numbers earlier this year, and it makes me wonder if that drop has been steady all year long. Why else bait the hook with so much junk? It doesn't feel like Blizz has the same confidence in the game they had before.

    • by Clsid (564627)

      The game is pretty old at this point you know. I think part of the reason is because Cataclysm wasn't as good as the other expansions. They are just fixing that by releasing a new one.

    • by Ruke (857276)
      I remember hearing, back when Cata came out, that Blizzard was disappointed internally with the rate that content was coming out; either they were creating patches and hotfixes and general maintenance, and not making any progress on The Next Big Thing, or they were working on their expansion, and patch updates were suffering. Right around when Cata came out, Blizzard actually split the responsibility into two separate teams; one who was tasked, full time, on the next expansion, and another who was responsib
  • Even with the smaller guilds syndrome, I still got tired of all the drama 30 and 40-man guilds could create. Seeing as I was the guild leader, that made it even worse. So many fucking massive egos to try and placate or squash that I finally said "Screw you guys, I'm going home." I changed the officers of the guild around to who I thought was best to run it, left myself as leader (intending to go back and turn it over), and then logged out. I haven't been back in almost two years now.

    And I really do not miss

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Now I play some DDO and an old-school MUD and am looking forward to Star Wars: The Old Republic. With a very small, friends and family only guild. Fuck being the largest or first to do X crap. I want to have fun with friends and socialize while killing those scum in the Republic.

      I too am looking forward to killing Republic scum. Who wants to be the boring good guys?

  • Whole lot of meh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tridus (79566) on Friday October 21, 2011 @05:04PM (#37798674) Homepage

    WoW already jumped the shark in Cataclysm. This is just confirmation really. Nothing they've announced is all that interesting as a player from vanilla to 4.1 when I finally got bored.

    They've been out of ideas for a while and focusing on how to better monetize their existing players. Now they're trying to get people to keep paying by throwing in Diablo 3 (and its auctions for cash shop). Pandarens as a race don't fit the world, they were originally put in as a joke...

    Then again, at this point the lore has been so completely butchered that it really doesn't matter if it fits or not.

    It was fun while it was in its prime, but that time has passed. Hopefully Activision hasn't screwed up Diablo 3 too much, because I still love Blizzard.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WoW lore never mattered. It was always a hack job that stole shamelessly from everywhere, was more parody than story, and never met a cliche it didn't like.

      But it was (and probably still is) a fun game if you didn't mind that and didn't take it too seriously.

    • there is no 'blizzard' since 2005 april or something. after vivendi bought them they werent blizzard anymore, and when the big developer exodus happened circa that april, there was little trace of blizzard left.
    • Hopefully Activision hasn't screwed up Diablo 3 too much, because I still love Blizzard.

      Real money auction house and required to be online to play. I can't speak for you, but those two things entirely killed my interest in DIII (the former maiming it, and the latter being the merciful bullet to the head).

      • Agreed. They've completely lost me. Prior to WoW, I bought every single game Blizzard released, and I loved it. Since then...I haven't bought (or even played on a friends computer) a thing, and I don't really forsee that changing any time soon. Blizzard hasn't been the same in years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Pandarens as a race don't fit the world

      But space goats in transdimensional ships fit in perfectly.

  • So, this is where wow really jumps the shark.
  • I played for nearly three years in WoW's earlier days. I started about the time of the Hakkar Blood Plague.

    I enjoyed the story and the leveling, but after BC was released, there was a rush to push up to the new level cap. The expansion didn't add to the story – it just added more grinds. I finally quit when I realized I was paying to go to another job every day.

    My kids play occasionally now on the free trial accounts, and they want me to pay for a sub so they can level a Worgen. I've told them

  • The story in northrend was so rich, the play was so grand, events and story was so worthy that, even i, as a casual gamer, actually played the game through its grind.

    wrath was norse lore, epic dragonS (not one), a mega global war, norse myths and folklore, titans, and many more.

    and cata was what ? a rehash of old world, which was sorely lacking in story and grand scale by itself in the first place.

    i dont want to even comment on this panda business.
    • It seemed to me that WoW was going more and more towards PvP and ignoring the PVE. The new expansion not having a main boss seems confirms my suspicions. Also to get more subscribers, the game has been changed to cater more towards casual players than hardcore ones and allowing more casual players to see end game content. But it sorta takes away from the achievement of it. When my guild took down Lady Vashj in BC, it was announced server wide. We weren't the first or second or third. (I think we were
  • OMG, the hours of life that I lost to this so-called game before I dumped it cold turkey. Crack is less addictive.
  • Anyone else see that as Mists of Panaderia?

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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