Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mists of Pandaria : New Continent Pandaria

With Mists of Pandaria, two new zones will be added to World of Warcraft. The first is only a single starting zone for Pandaren characters. Although it's more than just a starting zone as you will discover later. The other new zone is what you would expect. A continent with 5 separate and different zones where players will level from 85-90.

The Wandering Isle is the starting zone for Pandaren characters. These Pandaren are completely disconnected from the Pandaren who live in Pandaria. They settled on the back of a giant sea turtle, and left Pandaria behind to explore the world beyond the Mists. The Wandering Isle is actually on the shell of a sea turtle who swims throughout the South Seas.
Mists of Pandaria Pandaren Starting Zone
It is upon the back of this wandering sea turtle that players will level up their new Pandaren characters. The quests on the Wandering Isle will direct these Pandaren through a journey that will eventually lead to them making a decision of which faction (Alliance or Horde) they will choose to support at level 10.

Pandaria is the new high-level zone. It will be a single continent like Northrend. And like Northrend, it will have multiple large zones connected rather than spread out in the world as the new zones of Cataclysm were.
MoP developers demonstrated at BlizzCon that Pandaria would be huge; So big that each zone will almost seem to be a continent in itself. The 5 zones that WoW players will experience as they level up to 90 are The Valley of the Four Winds, The Jade Forest, Townlong Steppes, Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and Kun-Lai Summit. Each will be unique and the entire continent will follow an Asian theme.

Pandaria will have a plethora of new wildlife, humanoids as well as vegetation. The Pandaren race who occupy Pandaria share the appearance of the played race. However, they will have a completely different outlook with a focus on peace and tranquility. One interesting point about Pandaria is that players will not be able to fly there until they reach level 90. This is just like Burning Crusade. Even in Wrath of the Lich King, players could fly in Northrend a couple levels before 80. I preferred skipping trash as I grinded through quests to reach level 85 in Cataclysm. However, it seems the WoW devs prefer that players experience the story along with the new land.

It seems that Pandaria as a single continent was well received by the WoW community. The spread out zones of Cataclysm were a nice change up, but many players seem to prefer the new continent divided into unique-looking zones like TBC and WotLK brought. So Blizzard is offering the majority what they want in Mists of Pandaria; a huge new continent with rich culture, beautiful scenery, and new adventures that is completely disconnected from the know lands of Azeroth.

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