Today, on Blizzcon, the developers finally revealed the next expansion. It is called Mists of Pandaria. They gave quite a lot of information about it, and this post will highlight the most exciting features. Also, I will go into a little theorycrafting on moneymaking in MoP (yes, that really is the correct abbreviation, WoW: MoP).
- Level cap increased to 90
- New race: Pandaren: They look like pandas, and they will be available to both factions. Pandarens will start as neutral and they have to select a faction at level 10.
- New class: Monk: Focused on martial arts, themed around chinese-japanese martial arts culture. Yes, they are a bit like Kung-fu Panda. They will have a tank, melee healer(evidently), and melee DPS spec. They will have a specific resource: chi. They will be able to wear only cloth and leather armor.
- New continent: Pandaria: 5 zones, flying will only be available on level 90. There will be an AH and a bank on the new continent.
- Pet battle system: You will be able to fight battles with your vanity pets. They will now gain xp, level up, and get abilities. The battle system will go somewhat like an arena for you pets. There might be item slots for you pets in the future, but it is uncertain.
- Revised talent system: Talent trees are changed drastically. Instead of having to spend talent points every second level, every 15 level you will be able to choose from 3 different abilities. The specialization system will stay in place.
- Stat changes: Resilience will be a primary stat.
- Spells will be automatically learned, not from the trainer.
- The spell book will be cleaned up, they're getting rid of the abilities that are rarely used, and giving the players new ones.
- Account achievements.
- Raid finder for all raids.
- Three raid difficulties.
The expansion will start with 9 5-man dungeons and 3 raids. HC Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery is coming.
There will be two new types of PVE activity called scenarios and challanges. Scenarios are like short instances where you will be given tasks such as slay 25 goblin, and then the boss, or get x amount of loot, etc. It is a bit like group questing. There will be new UI elements to facilitate this feature, and from what we've seen from the presentation, it will be quite amusing. The other new PVE activity is called challange. It is about completing a dungeon in x minutes. You will earn a bronze/silver/gold medal depending on how fast you did the instance. For every medal there will be different loot. Gear levels will be normalized to even out the challange. There will be a whole new UI for this feature too.
There will be one or more new battleground(s). They have three concepts layed out, none of which is final. The first one is a payload style map called the Stranglethorn Diamond Mines. The name says it all about the theme. The second one is the Valley of Power which will be located in one of the new zones. It is a murderball style battleground. The third one is called Azshara Crater. They didn't give much information about this one.
There will be a new arena located in Uldum, called the Tol'Vir Proving Grounds. The layout will be pretty simple, much like in Nagrand Arena. There will be 4 LoS blockers.
As someone who plays the game for making gold, a few things caught my attention.
- First of all the possibility of having item slots for vanity pets. If this comes out, there is a good chances that items for pets will be acquired (among many other way) via crafting. In that case, it will be a great opportunity to make money, especially at the beginning of the expansion when all of this is new, and everyone will need these items.
- The fact that they are making such changes in the talent system might suggest a change in the glyph system too. They did not say anything about this, but at least in my mind talents and glyphs go hand in hand. In that case we might be looking at anohter glyph rush.
- Expanding the raid finder, and setting three difficulty levels for the raids means that a lot more people will get into raids. Many people who are now not raiding at all, might start either with PuGs, or with a guild at an easier level. This could mean a huge rise in demand for enchants, gems, armor kits, etc.