Friday, August 19, 2011

Mists of Pandaria???

Apparently Blizzard has trademarked the phrase "Mists of Pandaria" in relation to computer games. People all over are scrambling to put forth their ideas on Pandaren and new continents/islands/zones. Bandwagons are fun, so here goes:

I think it's entirely possible and even likely that this will be the next expansion. With Blizzcon coming up this is the right timing for the name of the next expansion. My gut instinct is that we'll get a new continent, south of the Maelstrom, with a climate reminiscent of Stranglethorn. I'm specifically thinking of the bamboo in Zul'Gurub when I say that, which always made me think of pandas in the wild in China. I'm also inclined to think that we'll get a new joint capital city run by the Pandaren.

Burning Crusade: new races for each faction.
Wrath of the Lich King: new class for both factions.
Cataclysm: new races for each faction.
Mists of Pandaria??: I'm guessing a new class for both factions.

I'd like to see demon hunters. It'd fit with the way that DKs were added. There could be some fun phasing with the naive blood or night elf in the Black Temple being trained by Illidan to hunt demons. Maybe some big reveal with Kil'jaeden smacking Illidan around or Illidan getting killed by *your faction* band of nameless heros, and Maiev being very angry/taking under her wing the demon hunter students. If the demon hunters were allowed to skip Outland the way that DKs were allowed to skip vanilla I could see that making a lot of sense.

I'd also really like it if Maiev had a better ending to her story. I ran Black Temple again the other night and her lines ("I feel nothing, I am nothing") when Illidan is dead are just kind of lame. Giving her a bunch of baby Demon Hunters to train would be a good continuation. She isn't some sort of has-been just because she made it her life's work to hunt Illidan and actually *succeeded* at it.

Also if the Demon Hunters were allowed to skip Outland that would let Blizzard put off redoing Outland the way they redid Azeroth. I don't think there is enough Dev time to make a new Southern continent (Pandaria) and also to redo all the quests in Outland to account for Illidan and his lieutenants being defeated for the past three or four years.

Having a new class as opposed to a new race for each faction also lets Blizz devote more time to making sure that the Pandaren get the attention to detail that they deserve. With a name like "Mists of Pandaria" there has to be Pandaren central to the story in there. There would be too much drama if the Pandaren joined either the Horde or the Alliance, whichever faction was left out would pout and whinge the entire expansion, so that leaves them as a big neutral faction. And to be perfectly honest, if Blizz leaves the Pandaren as a neutral faction, they can either portray them in a way that doesn't offend China or swap them for another race in the Chinese version.

I never played any of the original Warcraft games, so perhaps I'm missing out on the allure of the Pandaren. Were there many references to them in the RTS games? All I can remember from WoW is an empty keg that belonged to Chen. So my knowledge of the Pandaren is limited to their love of alcohol and their Asian/Chinese clothes. I'm getting some sort of "Drunken Master" grade B martial arts movie vibe here.

I'm far more excited about the new class that would be introduced in this new expansion. As noted, my preference would be the Demon Hunter. However I could also see a Monk class being introduced. I hope that either monk or demon hunter would have leather or mail armor. There are already three each of cloth and plate wearers, but only two each or mail and leather wearers. This *might* help with loot table distribution. (hahahahahah /wipestears)

In fact, thinking about the TWO pieces of leather gear that dropped in my 10man raid the other night, I'm hoping that whatever new class is added wears leather. (Both of them went to the same druid for offspec...)

Adding Monk in as a new class would fit with the Pandaren. Especially if the Pandaren are so desperate for help that they will share their martial arts knowledge with the Horde and Alliance in return for military aid fighting off whatever is encroaching with or through their Mists.

I could see both Demon Hunter and Monk as leather wearing classes. Though I think that Monk would work better as a cloth wearer. I think they would both be some sort of melee damage class. Monks would prefer maces and fist weapons, or maybe a nice staff, basically no bladed weapons for monks. Demon Hunters would have to use the stereotypical double swords (Warglaives of Azzinoth), but I could also picture them with double axes, and possibly also fist weapons and daggers.

Resource systems would be a little bit tricky. Can't reuse combo points for another leather wearer, and don't want to have focus for another class that has hunter in its name. For monks at least it would depend on the source of their power. If we've got some sort of holy monk, like we see in Scarlet Monastery, then some derivation of holy power might work. If we've got drunken master type monks then maybe a battle intoxication or rage derivation might work. Demon hunters might have some sort of sight they could employ. Insight into the enemy that lets you use more abilities, but done like DK runes and rune power instead of rogue/cat combo points?

Anyway I'm voting for Demon Hunter as the next new class. That would let the focus shift back to the Burning Legion as bad guys. It's time for Kil'jaeden to make a reappearance. The Burning Legion has had time to lick their collective wounds and should be ready to go on the offensive against Azeroth again.

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