Mighty is the wind, but you can still break it. Meditate on this. — Mists of Pandaria Beta Playthrough

Sep 8, 2012

Of course we have thumbs! Look!

In 2004, the battle between the Alliance and Horde continued to rage on after the Third War. 2007, uneasy truces were made and allegiances were set aside to defeat a common foe. 2008: The Scourge made its comeback, with its leader preparing for an all-out assault from Northrend. Then, two years ago, the world of Azeroth was torn asunder by the corrupted Black Dragon Aspect, radically changing the landscape.

And now, as the war rages on, hotter than ever, it is time for the Alliance and the Horde to discover the isle of mists.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the fourth expansion of Blizzard’s MMORPG. Originally appearing in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos as a neutral hero that can be hired, the Pandaren race was also hinted, albeit in an April Fool’s joke, during the announcement of the Burning Crusade expansion set.

So let’s get brewing, shall we?

To start off, Blizzard has given free passes for the beta play for Mists of Pandaria. I was lucky enough to get a code and was able to download the game a few days back, and I was excited to test out some things, particularly on the new race.

First off, with the introduction of a new race, comes a new character class as well: the monk. By default newly-created Pandaren characters can become monks, while for the other base characters, the only races that are not allowed are the Worgen and Goblins. Huh, so even the dead can drink beer, heheheh.

But let’s go back to the Pandaren: in addition to becoming monks, these humanoid pandas can also take on other classes: be it a warrior, hunter, rogue, priest, shaman, and mage. They can’t be druids because of the shapeshifting redundancy (what, expecting a Pandaren druid that can transform into a bear?), as well as warlocks because lore-wise, they have not been in contact with any demonic creature whatsoever. And a Death Knight Pandaren is utterly ridiculous, so stop dreaming about it.

So, let’s start off our adventure.

Hey! You look like you’ve lost some weight! … That’s terrible. Have a dumpling.

Level 1 Pandarens start out at the Wandering Isle,  which is basically a giant turtle which these pandas turned into a sort of floating island resort for their own. As with traditional MMORPGs, starting quests can either be gathering some stuff, challenging some NPCs, or just running around from one place to another in one piece. Or maybe not.

Spare some change, mister? Or do I have to get rough on you for that torch?

“Hey gorgeous. Wanna try crane position? Oh no… For you, monkey style.”

Basically the objective of newly-created Pandaren characters are to explore the whole area of Wandering Isle. Storyline goes that the giant turtle has changed its course drastically, and your NPC guides feel that it will lead to a great disaster if not averted and such. And so by leveling up, you unravel the mystery of the turtle’s sudden change of behavior.

By the time you reach level 10 on this island, that is where you will have to make a choice: join the Alliance scum, or Horde stinkbags. After that, you’ll transported to either capital city of whatever faction you chose, and off you go for other quests.

But heck, since this is beta, we can make a high-level character during creation. Blizzard is generous enough to let high-level people in during beta, so it never hurts that we too join the party in style.

“Hey, hot stuff. Want to try breeding in captivity?”

For the beta, ‘starting’ high level players are called back to their respective capital cities for additional quests. And what quests, you ask? Join me for part 2 as we fly through the sky and visit the land of mists.

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