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3 days ago
I thought that flight paths were supposed to be -faster- since we can't actually fly,
? Flying from Ashran to Frostfire is rly slow
3 days ago
There are some bugs we're working on. Also new flight path tech inc. to make any flight a direct A to B 'as the crow flies' path.
3 days ago
Protection Paladins are performing well overall. However, their attuned stat, Haste, is underperforming. Considering some solutions.
3 days ago
WoD seems to have old fashioned gear growth now, but with the next xpac, will it get squished?
3 days ago
There's a lot of appeal to upgrading gear and getting more powerful, and that means a natural inflation of item level over time.
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Mists of Pandaria 2012 Press Event Official FAQ
2012/03/19 at 2:00 AM
Our massive Mists of Pandaria blog post
our exclusive interviews with Blizzard
have a lot more information, but this is the official FAQ that Blizzard gave all the press. This way you can browse through and see what Mists of Pandaria is all about--in their own words.
World of Warcraft®: Mists of Pandaria™
March 2012 Media Event FAQ
Q: What is
World of Warcraft®: Mists of Pandaria™
Escalating tensions between the Alliance and Horde have broken out into open warfare. The roar of cannons blacken the sky while naval engagements around the globe fill the seas with blood. As the clash of mortal armies spins the world into chaos, a continent -- once shielded by impenetrable mists -- suddenly manifests itself in the southern oceans. There’s no question that this resource-rich new land will be at the center of a global conflict. Will the Mists of Pandaria part to reveal Azeroth’s salvation? Or will this new battlefield become the flashpoint that pushes the Alliance and Horde over the brink into total annihilation?
Mists of Pandaria
is the fourth expansion set to Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game
World of Warcraft
. The new expansion opens up an exotic new land for heroes to explore and provides a wide variety of exciting new features and content that will give players even more ways to enjoy the game.
For info on the story and lore of
Mists of Pandaria
, including background on the pandaren race, key characters and factions, and the history of Pandaria, see the Lore & Story section later in this FAQ.
MISTS OF PANDARIA
Q: What are the features of
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
The new expansion introduces a wide variety of new features and systems, including a new continent, new race, new class, and more:
New Playable Race -- Pandaren:
Decide whether to side with the Alliance or the Horde as
World of Warcraft
’s first neutral playable race, and explore their unique starting zone: the Wandering Isle.
New Playable Class -- Monk:
Unlock the secrets of pandaren martial arts and do battle as a damage dealer, healer, or tank.
Explore the lush Jade Forest, treacherous Kun-Lai Summit, and other exotic new zones of Pandaria designed for high-level characters.
: Join up with some friends to achieve a common goal, such as mounting a defense against invading monsters, in a flexible new type of PvE challenge.
Dungeon “Challenge” Modes:
Master the ultimate 5-player time trial and earn prestige rewards in a new dungeon mode that will put your resolve and coordination to the test.
Challenge other players’ companion pets with your own collection in a new tactical mini-game. Level up your companions and discover pets in the wild to round out your roster.
Level Cap Increased to 90:
Learn potent new spells and abilities while exploring uncharted zones and taking on challenging new content.
Q: What is the monk class? How does it differ from other classes in the game?
The monk is a martial arts expert who excels in close-quarters hand-to-hand combat, and can fill the role of a tank (Brewmaster), damage-dealer (Windwalker), or healer (Mistweaver), depending on a player’s chosen specialization. Monks build up energy through a combination of punches, kicks, and other basic martial arts moves, and then expend it to unleash powerful special moves, such as finishers or potent heals. As with most classes in the game with the exception of death knights, monks begin their journey at level 1.
Q: Which races can be a monk?
Since coming into contact with members of the Horde and the Alliance, several of Pandaria’s masters have begun to teach their new allies the secrets of their ancient martial arts. Currently, every race except goblin and worgen can learn the ways of the monk.
Q: At what point do pandaren characters choose which faction to side with?
Pandaren who strike out to explore the world outside their homeland begin their journey on the Wandering Isle (a new starting zone for pandaren characters level 1 to 10), where they face a number of trials -- and meet with a number of characters from both the Alliance and the Horde -- before arriving in Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms. Pandaren remain neutral through most of their Wandering Isle quests, but before they leave, players will need to make a crucial decision whether to permanently side with the Alliance or the Horde. After that decision is made, the character will be treated just like any other member of their chosen faction in cities, on quests, and in character interactions. Choose wisely, because once your decision is made, it’s irreversible (except through the Faction Change service).
Q: Which classes are available to pandaren players?
Currently, pandaren can choose to be hunters, mages, priests, rogues, shaman, warriors, and -- of course -- monks. Pandaren are not able to become death knights, druids, paladins, or warlocks.
Q: What end-game content will be available for players at level 90?
One of our primary design goals for
Mists of Pandaria
is to give players a wider variety of content and different types of gameplay to enjoy once they reach maximum level, in addition to the Heroic dungeons, raids, and daily quests that they’re used to. To that end, we are introducing three major new features in the new expansion -- scenarios, challenge modes for 5-player dungeons, and companion pet battles -- and focusing on improving the end-game experience you’re familiar with.
Here’s just some of the content we’re working on for players to enjoy once they reach level 90:
A huge variety of
to choose from, with dynamic stories that change and progress as you complete quest content over time
that players can run in addition to dungeons to earn Valor Points and gear
, including six brand-new Pandaria dungeons with normal and Heroic modes, and three new Heroics based on the classic Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance dungeons
for the six new dungeons designed for players looking for the ultimate test of their dungeon-delving skills, complete with suitably epic transmogrifiable rewards
A variety of
to join forces with, offering unique gameplay mechanics and rewards
2 new Battlegrounds
offering different styles of PvP gameplay and objectives, along with a
featuring epic encounters with sinister new villains, each with Raid Finder, normal, and Heroic modes
Our goal is to deliver a huge variety of content for level-90 players to enjoy, at launch and beyond
Q: What are Scenarios?
Scenarios are a new type of PvE challenge designed for groups of as few as 3 or as many as 25 players, depending on what is appropriate for the content. Scenarios require players to band together to complete a specific goal. For example, you might be asked to help a pandaren brewmaster complete her masterwork brew in the midst of a lightning storm, and then escort her to a nearby temple against a howling rain and persistent assault. Once there, you’ll use the powers of her new brew to help defeat a boss and his minions.
Although there are no specific class requirements, players will need to work together to accomplish each scenario’s unique objectives. Scenarios will be instanced, and we’re designing them to take about 10 to 30 minutes each to complete. We’re also planning a “Scenario Finder” similar to the Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder that will make it easy for players to quickly find a group.
Q: What are Challenge Modes for 5-player dungeons?
Challenge mode is a new, advanced mode for 5-player dungeons designed for players looking for the ultimate test of coordination and skill. In challenge modes, players are tasked with trying to complete an existing 5-player dungeon as quickly and skillfully as possible. Depending on how well the group does, players will receive recognizable prestige rewards such as mounts, pets, titles, achievements, or special armor artwork that can be used with transmogrification to customize a character’s appearance. The inspiration for challenge modes comes from events such as the 45-minute Baron Rivendare runs in the original Stratholme dungeon, or the timed Zul’Aman dungeon run for the Amani War Bear.
We want challenge modes to be a test of player skill and not of player gear, and so the stats on all players’ armor and equipment will be normalized to a set level upon beginning a challenge. As a result, players will have the same chance at victory whether they are wearing quest rewards or Heroic-raid-level epic items. Regardless of equipment, challenge modes will remain just as challenging at the end of the expansion as they were at the beginning.
Q: What are companion pet battles?
Mists of Pandaria
, we’re adding a new tactical mini-game that allow players to pit their roster of companion pets against other players’ pets (or against special creatures you come across in the wild) in strategic, turn-based combat. Pets will level up as they earn combat experience, and each companion will have its own set of stats, such as attack and defense rating. As pets level up, players will be able to choose which abilities their pets will learn, each with its own tactical merits. During a pet battle, players will be able to swap companions out strategically depending on which pet they’re facing or what abilities might come in handy against a given foe.
Players will be able to hunt for approximately 100 wild pets across all of Azeroth, each with randomized stats and levels. Players can further customize their pets by giving them names. We’re also planning a number of other features, including a Pet Journal showing where and how to capture wild pets, pet-battle-specific achievements and stats, and a way to queue for PvP battles.
Pet battles are meant to be completely independent from your character’s main progression, and the rewards won’t offer additional advantages in regular PvP or PvE situations such as Battlegrounds or raids -- though they should help pass the time while you’re waiting for your group to recoup from a particularly nasty wipe.
Q: What’s in store for dungeons and raids?
Every raid in
Mists of Pandaria
will include three difficulty levels: normal (10- and 25-player), Heroic (10- and 25-player), and a specially tuned third mode accessible via the Raid Finder (25-player only) designed with pick-up groups in mind. We’re very happy with how many players have been able to experience the Dragon Soul (patch 4.3) raid content -- especially the climactic boss encounter with Deathwing -- following the release of the Raid Finder, and we’ll continue to provide higher difficulty levels for players looking for the most epic challenges and rewards.
At launch, we’re planning to have six brand-new dungeons (with normal and Heroic modes) as well as three new Heroic modes for classic dungeons, including two based on Scarlet Monastery and one based on Scholomance. We’re also planning three raids at launch featuring a host of sinister new villains and epic encounters with ancient evils that have been hiding in the mists for millennia.
Q: What are the new zones?
The continent of Pandaria will consist of seven enormous zones for players level 85 and above, and new pandaren players will begin their adventures in a unique starting zone separate from the pandaren homeland. Since our original unveiling of
Mists of Pandaria
at BlizzCon, we’ve added two additional zones for players to explore -- Krasarang Wilds and the Dread Wastes -- substantially increasing the continent’s size (we didn’t simply split up existing zones) and expanding the diversity of Pandaria’s already wild and varied landscape. Here’s the breakdown of the zones, along with their current working names:
The Jade Forest:
High-level adventurers will make landfall in the lush Jade Forest, where they’ll meet some of Pandaria’s indigenous races, such as the fish-like jinyu and monkey-like hozen.
Valley of the Four Winds:
Featuring rolling green hills and lush pandaren farmland, the Valley of the Four Winds is where travelers will find the legendary Stormstout Brewery.
Amid this treacherous, icy mountain terrain, players will encounter the Shado-Pan, a clandestine sect charged with keeping one of Pandaria’s darkest secrets.
Here, a tremendous wall separates Pandaria’s verdant forests and plains from the desolate wasteland left in the wake of the ravenous, all-consuming mantid.
A dense strand of jungle occupying Pandaria’s southernmost shore, the Krasarang Wilds are home to lost ruins and a chain of dangerous islands.
The mantid homeland, now overrun by the Sha of Fear, has been corrupted into a horrifying wasteland of swamps and scorched earth. Players will have to fight their way into the lair of the mantid queen herself to rout out the source of the corruption.
Vale of Eternal Blossoms:
This lush valley in the center of Pandaria hosts a secret power dating back to the time of the Titans. The city complex at its heart will be players’ home away from home, but max-level players will need to defend it against constantly changing daily threats.
The Wandering Isle:
Pandaren adventurers looking to explore the world outside Pandaria begin their journey here, on a mysterious island that never seems to settle in the same place for too long.
Q: What changes are being made to the talent system?
We are making a couple of major changes to how class specializations and talents work in
Mists of Pandaria
. First, your specialization is now completely independent from your talent choices. When you reach level 10, you will still choose one of three specs (e.g. Discipline, Holy, or Shadow priest) to determine your role, play style, and which signature abilities your character has access to. In addition, you’ll receive more of your spec’s defining abilities as you level up.
Secondly, the talent system has been redesigned completely. At regular level intervals (at level 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90), players will now be able to choose between one of three very powerful talents. All three specializations will have access to the same three talent options, and our goal is to make sure that these talent choices are appealing to all three specializations with no obvious “must-have” options for any of them. For example, level-15 warriors will be able to choose one of three movement-related talents: Juggernaut, which permanently lowers the cooldown of Charge; Double Time, which lets the warrior Charge twice before incurring a cooldown; or Warbringer, which knocks the target to the ground and stuns it following a Charge. Once you choose a talent in a specific tier, the other two talents are locked out from your talent build, even when you reach the next talent tier. We want players to be able to change their talent build independently of their specialization, and without visiting a class trainer. This new system is designed to provide players with hundreds of distinct and meaningful options for tailoring their character’s gameplay to their specific desires and situation.
If you want to get a feel for how the system will work, check out the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator on the official World of Warcraft website. There you can create a talent spec using the latest in-development talent trees for your favorite class.
Q: Why is the talent system going through an overhaul?
As with the talent-system redesign in
, our goal is ultimately to give players more meaningful character-customization options and to eliminate “cookie-cutter” talent builds. We were only partially successful in realizing that goal in
, as many talents still felt mandatory to a given specialization, and some talent choices in the trees were still not particularly interesting or exciting. By giving the benefits of the previously “mandatory” talents to players automatically as part of their specialization choice, and allowing any specialization to choose any given talent, we hope to be able to give players much more significant and interesting decisions to make about their character.
Q: Will players be allowed to fly in Pandaria?
Upon arrival in Pandaria, players will be restricted from flying until they reach a certain point in their quest progression. While the ability to fly is a great convenience for players once they have completed content, we can provide a much more enjoyable, rewarding, and varied questing experience if players are (mostly) grounded while the story of Pandaria unfolds.
MISTS OF PANDARIA
LORE & STORY
Q: How will the story of Mists of Pandaria unfold?
Offering a unique change of pace from the globe-trotting chaos of
Cataclysm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
focuses on the exploration and potential colonization of a single, massive new continent. The adventure will unfold over a number of stages:
Mists of Pandaria:
The “out of the box” expansion experience focuses on the discovery and exploration of Pandaria. Both Horde and Alliance players will have to try to swing the locals to their side of the conflict… but their actions will bring unforeseen and disastrous consequences. Devastating “Sha” energy, a physical manifestation of negative emotions that has been locked away for thousands of years, is brought to the surface once war comes to Pandaria’s shores. The battle to win over the hearts and minds of the pandaren takes on a new urgency as the darkness of the Sha plunges the land into chaos. Among other things, Sha energy infects the ferocious mantid, triggering a horrific swarm. Meanwhile, Mogu warlords reconnect with their ancient Zandalari allies in an attempt to recapture their former imperial glory. Far from Alliance and Horde resupply, players must solve these local problems while learning about the enigmatic pandaren race… and a little about their own nature in the process.
The Pandaria Campaign:
Beginning shortly after the release of
Mists of Pandaria
, a series of content updates will advance the story of the Alliance and Horde campaign on the new continent. The campaign will kick off when the fleets arrive and claim Pandaria’s southern shores, permanently altering the area. As King Varian Wrynn struggles to unite the Alliance for a meaningful counter-attack, Garrosh Hellscream will battle to turn the disparate parts of the Horde into a frenzied killing machine. Telling a complete story arc, the Pandaren Campaign will climax in a raid that will reset the balance of power in the world of Azeroth.
Q: Who are the pandaren?
The pandaren are an ancient, intelligent race who have been cut off from the world at large since the time of the great sundering that split apart the continents of Azeroth.
If a single trait could sum up the pandaren culture, it’s that they live in the moment. They embrace life with gusto. A pandaren does everything with vigor, focus, and intensity. Every meal is an event. Every moment with the family is cherished. Every project or work of art demands their full attention. Every nap is treated as if it will be the last! The pandaren work hard, play hard, fight like animals, love with all their soul, tell impossibly tall tales, drink like they mean it, and sleep like the dead.
On the whole, pandaren are slow to anger and prefer measured solutions to problems. But underneath all of that practiced civility, there is a bear to contend with. When a pandaren focuses on combat, each blow rings with the weight of his or her entire body. Living “in the moment” also means getting lost in the fury of combat; a pandaren monk in the midst of battle has fists like wrecking balls and a roar that can be heard from horizon to horizon.
However, it takes a great deal to get a pandaren wound up. On mainland Pandaria, negative emotions such as fear, anger, or despair can literally take on a physical form and stir up trouble. For this reason, pandaren emphasize and cultivate a quiet life of inner harmony and focus. Conflicts, no matter how bitter, are quickly forgotten over cold drinks once the matter is resolved. The pandaren sense of inner peace and love of life is infectious. Spend any significant time with a pandaren and you, too, can’t help but get lost in the moment.
Q: Why has Pandaria been hidden this whole time?
A veil of impenetrable mists has cloaked Pandaria since the time of the Sundering and the reign of the last pandaren emperor. Previously, ships entering the mists have lost their bearings and spun about aimlessly before returning to the open ocean. As for the pandaren, they looked out toward the mist-veiled seas and many presumed that the rest of the world had perished in the Sundering.
Sometime in the wake of the Cataclysm, the mists abruptly vanished. Alliance and Horde naval fleets, engaged in skirmishes around the world thanks to the new Warchief’s aggression, suddenly found a new continent where once charts showed open seas. With both factions escalating their feud into a global conflict, the war for Azeroth shifts in a new direction.
Why did the mists collapse at this crucial moment in world history? The answers revolve around the will of the last emperor, and lie at the heart of this strange new continent….
Q: What is the pandaren starting zone, the Wandering Isle?
Many generations ago, a particularly bold pandaren named Liu Lang set out to see what was beyond the mists by setting sail upon the back of a giant sea turtle. As the turtle grew, so did Liu Lang’s desire to explore the world. Others joined him, until eventually a whole colony of pandaren explorers travelled the ocean, living atop the expansive “Wandering Isle.” Although the Wandering Isle hasn’t made landfall in many years, those who live there are still ignited by the spirit of adventure.
Chen Stormstout is a native of the Wandering Isle, as are any players who choose to create pandaren characters. They are a rare breed, on the whole far more adventurous than their land-locked and long-lost relatives on mainland Pandaria.
Q: Will all of the pandaren join the Horde or the Alliance?
Just as it’s comparatively rare for a pandaren to be struck with an urge to wander the world, it’s rarer still that one would feel compelled to align oneself with a faction such as the Horde or Alliance. Only those who are convinced these factions are the key to healing Azeroth would even consider pledging their allegiance to one faction or the other.
The decision to join a faction comes at great personal cost, as any fellow pandaren who join the opposite faction -- including friends or relatives -- will likely never be heard from again. Pandaren who choose to align themselves with the Alliance or Horde do so because of shared values and personal beliefs regarding their overall worldview and the best way to move forward after the Cataclysm.
Guiding the decision to join a faction are two competing pandaren disciplines that are prominent on the Wandering Isle. Those who follow the path of the Houjin are impulsive, quick to action, and practical. Houjin disciples feel that the ends can justify the means, and they may find like-minded compatriots in the Horde. In opposition, followers of the path of the Tushui are more contemplative, focused on abstract ideals of justice and morality. Students of Tushui believe that a principled life is the only one worth living, and may find that the stalwart Alliance aligns more closely with their beliefs.
Every pandaren player will need to make this difficult decision early on in their adventure. The vast majority of the pandaren population, however, will continue to follow the traditional path of isolationism and neutrality.
Q: Who are the pandaren leaders or figureheads for the Horde and Alliance?
After the climactic events on the Wandering Isle, two pandaren monks will travel with players to the rest of the world to spread the wisdom of the pandaren.
is a follower of the path of Tushui. She believes in living a venerable life through meditation, rigorous training, and moral conviction. Described as graceful and poised, Aysa has attained impeccable form and a refined intellect through diligent practice. To Aysa, to follow the way of Tushui is to defend what is right above all else. She believes that success in any endeavor never justifies dishonorable deeds. While the Alliance contains a diverse mix of cultures, Aysa is attracted to the high ideals and values that cement the Alliance together.
, a follower of the more direct Houjin philosophy, is adamant that inaction is the greatest injustice. Ji holds that it’s honorable to defend home and family no matter the cost. Outgoing, passionate, and not one for deep thought, he is always the first into the fray. Ji finds himself attracted to the scrappy practicality that defines the Horde. Although it will cost him dearly, he will decide to carry the Horde banner when he leaves the Wandering Isle.
Q: Do the pandaren have a history of interaction with the Horde and Alliance?
Pandaren wanderers are very rare, but the deeds of a few are recorded in recent times. One brave soul that spirited his way into the annals of Azerothian history was the brewmaster Chen Stormstout. Warcraft III players may recall his chance meeting with Rexxar in the game’s bonus missions, where he worked together with Thrall to found the new orcish homeland in Durotar. Later, he accompanied heroes such as Vol’jin and Jaina Proudmoore to liberate Theramore and protect the fledgling Horde from annihilation. Never one to stay put for long, Chen moved on, always seeking new ingredients for the perfect brew. Players will be able to catch up with him as he resumes his adventures on the pandaren mainland.
Q: What’s the story behind the pandaren monks?
Nearly 12,000 years ago, the empire now known as Pandaria was ruled by a monstrous race of warlords known as the Mogu (see below). Mogu taskmasters forbade their slaves to carry weapons. During these dark times, pandaren monks tried to lift the spirits of their beleaguered brothers and sisters. They were the storytellers, the brewmasters, and the healers who helped knit their oppressed society together in the midst of darkness.
As the Mogu empire began to fray, the pandaren saw an opportunity for a revolution. Because they had no weapons, they trained common people to fight with their unarmed fists and feet. They mastered the use of positive energy -- or chi -- to empower themselves. The revolution itself was a bloody affair that shattered an empire and left a terrible toll among combatant and civilian alike, but ultimately the Mogu were overthrown and a new empire was founded.
Although pandaren monks have since incorporated weapons into their attacks, they remain focused on chi as a source of power and are still devastating when fighting with open hands. In the wake of events on the Wandering Isle, pandaren monks will travel to key places throughout Azeroth to share their wisdom with young Alliance and Horde trainees.
Q: What sorts of local threats will adventurers face on Pandaria?
Just because Pandaria is isolated doesn’t mean the continent is at all peaceful. Looming dangers, new and old, threaten to overwhelm the empire as players arrive.
are an ancient race of monstrous warlords who founded the first empire through conquest and oppression. They enslaved nearby indigenous races and used their labor to build structures of awe-inspiring majesty, some of which still stand. Masters of flesh-shaping magic, they assured their dominance through cruel experimentation. Only by mastering unarmed combat were the ancient pandaren able to overthrow this terrible regime. After the mists collapse, the remaining Mogu get together with old allies and attempt to retake the empire that their ancestors founded.
are an intelligent and highly evolved race of insect-like creatures who have menaced the people of Pandaria since prehistoric times. While their society has a queen, they don’t operate as a hive mind. Mantid act with individual cunning, making them formidable in single combat and unstoppable when their numbers converge. Every mantid generation, the young hatch in incredible numbers and then swarm toward the rest of Pandaria, devouring anything in their path. Only the strongest return. Although the ancient mogu managed to protect their lands by building a gigantic wall between themselves and the mantid, the generational swarms require an all-hands defense of the wall or the very heart of Pandaria will be lost.
is a dark energy unique to Pandaria, a legacy left behind by the last pandaren emperor. Fear, doubt, despair, anger, violence, and hatred are all emotions associated with the Sha -- emotions that can manifest themselves physically if left unchecked. Unwary mortals can become possessed by negative Sha energy, becoming embodiments of pure anger or fear. When the Alliance and Horde bring their war to the shores of Pandaria, these negative emotions threaten to engulf the continent.
Q: What other new races will emerge from Pandaria?
After millennia of isolation from the rest of Azeroth, several unique indigenous races have developed alongside the pandaren on the ancient continent.
Ferocious and impetuous, the
are a short-lived race. They have their own uniquely filthy language and a determination to always improve their station, no matter how inept their efforts. While the pandaren respect their tenacious hunger for life they’re also wary of the chaos created by such recklessness. The ever-expanding hozen are often the bane of the nearby jinyu, and it’s up to the pandaren to play the role of reluctant peacekeeper.
The industrious and amphibious
dam the rivers in order to create lakes around which they make their home. The jinyu live under a rigid caste system, with warriors and priests chosen at a young age. Many of the jinyu elders are Waterspeakers. Placing a staff into the river, these sages listen to the knowledge of the island as it flows downstream. Any events that touch the rivers will make their way down to the jinyu, giving the Waterspeakers a connection to the future. While the pandaren balk at the overly rigid structure of jinyu life, they hold in great reverence this power to gain insight into what’s to come.
are an intelligent race of dragon-like beings inhabiting the island. They exist in a wide array of shimmering colors. Some may be the bright green of the treetops through which they fly, while others may be the sparkling blue of the stream or the shocking crimson of flame -- their beauty always complementing their beloved land. Pandaren will often raise the playful creatures from hatchling to adulthood, as their cleverness and speed make them excellent mounts. While a handful have become corrupt or dangerous, the vast majority coexist happily with the other inhabitants of the island.
Other unique races include the dangerous lizard-like
, the superstitious diminutive
, the obnoxious scavenging
, or the ferocious nomadic
Q: What new factions await adventurers in Pandaria?
The bravest and most disciplined of pandaren fighters, the Shado-Pan were established by the last Pandaren emperor to act as guardians against the negative Sha energy that permeates the continent. Part of their duties also involves manning the mighty wall that protects the pandaren homeland from the dangerous mantid race. They welcome the assistance of any who have the bravery and skill to aid them in their sacred charge.
The August Celestials:
Four powerful ancestor spirits have always watched over the lands of the pandaren: Yu’lon the Jade Serpent, Xuen the White Tiger, Chi Ji the Red Crane, and Niuzao the Black Ox. Each of their four temples will call on the service of bold adventurers.
The Golden Lotus:
Nestled in the center of Pandaria is the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, an ancient place of great power that’s been around since the time of the Titans. The Vale and its magical waters were once used as a weapon by the Mogu, and after their overthrow it was decided to seal off the vale from any intruders. The Golden Lotus is an order of pandaren priests and fighters who defend and maintain this sacred land. Members are specifically chosen at a young age by one of the four August Celestials.
Keepers of the mantid culture, these stoic mantid lords have determined that their own queen has been corrupted and must be destroyed. Although wary of outsiders, it may be possible to earn the trust of the Klaxxi, gaining access to their unique arms and armor.
Order of the Cloud Serpent:
This order of flying warriors was founded long ago, during the Zandalari wars. Gain their favor, and they’ll reveal the secrets of training a cloud serpent to become a loyal mount.
This peaceful faction has been charged with safeguarding pandaren history and culture. Intrepid explorers can win their favor by collecting historical artifacts from around the world.
Many Brewmasters have wandered the world in search of exotic ingredients to expand their craft, while the Tillers and Anglers are simple farmer and fisher folk, respectively. These three factions are the backbone of civilian life on Pandaria, and offering assistance to these artisans will reap great rewards.
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News Round Up: Diablo III Auction House News, BlizzCon Contests, and More
2011/08/01 at 2:33 PM
Finally, some news on Diablo III was posted overnight from Blizzard on
their official website
. The biggest news was that there will be an auction house that functions with real life money in addition to another auction house that is in-game currency only. They've posted FAQs about both features which tell you everything you need to know and we've included them below.
It's worth mentioning that this bombshell--real life money for items in Diablo III--has been received both extremely positively and extremely negatively. It's created a lot of debate and people are
divided about this. Personally, as a WoW fansite, we think this feature can potentially work for the Diablo series but should stay far away from World of Warcraft. However, that's just our personal opinion, and we welcome yours. We can see both sides of the debate clearly and understand people will have different view points.
Diablo III News
Diablo III Beta FAQ
What are your goals for this beta?
The primary reason for the Diablo III beta test is for us to test out our new hardware, see how the server–client infrastructure holds up, and look for bugs in the installer and patcher as well as the game. We’re also looking to get some quality feedback about the beginning game experience and how the different classes feel. The beta test will help us ensure that the release is stable and fun, and that we’re ultimately able to deliver the experience we intend with Diablo III.
How do I sign up for the Diablo III beta test?
To sign up for the Diablo III beta test or future Blizzard Entertainment beta tests, you first need to create a Battle.net account. You can then opt-in to the beta test for Diablo III, as well as beta tests for future Blizzard Entertainment games, through the beta opt-in process. To get started, simply click Beta Profile Settings in Battle.net Account Management. Please note that opting in to a beta test through this method does not guarantee that you will be selected.
If I opted in to the Diablo III beta, how will I know if I’ve been selected to participate?
If you are selected, you will receive an email from Blizzard instructing you to log in to your Battle.net account at
if you don’t already have one. You’ll then be able to download the beta client directly from within Battle.net Account Management. We plan on inviting players in waves, so if you do not receive an invitation in the beginning of the testing period, there’s a chance you might receive one in a later wave.
1,000 Diablo III beta keys were promised at BlizzCon; how do I know if I am a winner?
We will be sending out emails with beta keys to winners along with detailed instructions on how to access the beta test. Players who receive a beta key via email will need to create a Battle.net account, click “Add or Upgrade a Game” in Account Management, and enter the key there. The beta client will then be available for download from within Battle.net Account Management.
How long will the beta test last?
We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We will notify participants when the beta test is nearing completion.
How many players do you plan to invite to the beta test?
The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we’ll invite more.
How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?
Beta testers are chosen according to their system specs and other factors, including luck. Our goal is to have a good variety of system types to best test compatibility.
Which regions will be able to participate in the beta test?
All regions will be able to participate in the Diablo III beta test; however, to keep the process as efficient as possible, and ultimately to release the game as soon as possible, we plan to roll out the beta hardware in waves, starting with North America. This means that players outside of North America who are granted access to the beta test may experience some latency issues. Once the new hardware setup has been optimized, we plan to roll it out in additional regions. This should provide a solid connection experience for beta testers in those regions who are connecting to the new local hardware infrastructure.
What game content will be available in the beta?
You’ll be able to try out all 5 character classes and experience the early stages of Diablo III from the start of the game through the Skeleton King encounter. You’ll be able to interact with new and returning characters in New Tristram and fight the reawakened evils emanating from the cursed Tristram Cathedral. You’ll also experience the randomized elements of Diablo III as well many of the new system designs that take many of the core Diablo design elements to a whole new level.
Will the progress I make during the beta test carry over when the game launches?
No, the purpose of the beta test is to ensure that the game and hardware infrastructure are ready to go as soon as possible. The main benefit of participating is being able to be among the first to play the game extensively prior to release. However, everyone will start on equal footing once the game is launched.
Will the Diablo III Auction House be available in the beta?
Yes, we plan on testing the functionality of the Diablo III gold-based auction house during the beta phase.
Will Mac users be able to participate in the beta?
Yes, Mac users will be able to participate in the beta at the same time as Windows-based users.
Diablo III Auction House FAQ
What is the Diablo III auction house system?
Acquiring epic new gear for your characters has always been a big part of the Diablo experience. Because of this, players have found a number of different ways to trade and otherwise obtain items both within and outside of the game. Many of these methods were inconvenient and either tedious (for example, repeatedly advertising for a desired trade in Battle.net chat channels and waiting for responses) or unsafe (e.g., giving credit card information to third-party trading sites). With Diablo III, we’re introducing a powerful auction house system that will provide a safe, fun, and easy-to-use way for players to buy and sell the loot they find in the game, such as weapons, armor, and runes. Two different versions of the auction house will be available in Diablo III: one based on in-game gold, which players acquire through their adventures, and one based on real-world currency.
What’s the difference between the gold-based auction house and the currency-based auction house?
The gold-based auction house uses in-game gold for purchases and sales. With the currency-based auction house, players will be able to conduct these transactions using actual currency from an authorized payment method or from funds that have been added to their Battle.net account. Players can choose to participate in whichever version of the auction house they prefer, on a per-transaction basis.
How does the auction house system work?
Players can open the auction house interface from anywhere in the game to make purchases or list items for sale. Items can be sold from the shared stash (storage shared among all the characters on your Battle.net account) or from any individual character’s inventory. When posting the item, the seller picks whether it will be sold in the gold-based auction house or the currency-based auction house. The item is then held by the auction house system until the listing expires or a purchase is made. Items that are not sold are returned to the seller’s shared stash, and items that are sold are delivered to the winning bidder’s shared stash. In either case, the auction house system will deduct a nominal fixed transaction fee from the seller, the amount of which is determined by whether or not the item was sold (see below). For the currency-based auction house, players will have a few different options for how to pay for item purchases and receive funds for item sales, as discussed elsewhere in this FAQ. There may be differences in how this system will work in different regions of the world. We’ll provide further details at a later date.
How is the transaction fee determined?
A nominal fixed transaction fee will be deducted from the seller for each item listed in the auction house. This fee consists of a fixed charge to list the item, which is assessed whether or not the item is successfully sold, and an additional fixed charge that is assessed only if the item is sold. Because the listing portion of the fee is charged even if the item doesn’t sell, it will be in the seller’s interest to list items he or she believes other players will be interested in, and to do so at a competitive price. Specific details related to the transaction fee for the currency-based auction house will vary by region and will be announced at a later date.
Please note that we plan to waive the listing portion of the fee for a limited number of transactions per account. In other words, for these transactions, the seller will only pay a transaction fee if the item is successfully sold, and that fee will not include the listing charge. We’ll have further details on this as well at a later date.
Why are you creating a currency-based version of the auction house?
Our goal with all of our games is to ensure players have a highly enjoyable, rewarding, and secure experience. Acquiring items has always been an important part of the Diablo series, but the previous games have not had a robust, centralized system for facilitating trades, and as a result players have turned to inconvenient and potentially unsafe alternatives, such as third-party real-money-trading organizations. Many of the transactions between players and these organizations led to a poor player experience and countless customer-service issues involving scams and item/account theft, to name a few. To that end, we wanted to create a convenient, powerful, and fully integrated tool to meet the demand of players who wished to purchase or sell items for real-world currency, and who would likely have turned to a less-secure third-party service for this convenience.
How will the currency-based auction house work?
Players will be able to make purchases in the currency-based auction house using a registered form of payment attached to their Battle.net account. As with other popular online-purchase services, players will also have the option to charge up their Battle.net account with a balance of funds that can be drawn from for purchases of any digital product available through Battle.net -- this includes not only auction house items but also things like World of Warcraft subscription time and paid services, to name a few examples. On the flipside, when players sell an item in the currency-based auction house, the proceeds of the sale are deposited into their Battle.net account and can then be used as described above. Note that this process might be different for certain regions; we’ll provide further region-specific details as we get closer to launch.
Can players choose to get cash from currency-based auction house sales, instead of having the proceeds deposited into their Battle.net account?
Yes, as an advanced feature, players will have the option of attaching an account with an approved third-party payment service to their Battle.net account. Once this has been completed, proceeds from the sale of items in the currency-based auction house can be deposited into their third-party payment service account. “Cashing out” would then be handled through the third-party payment service. Note that this process will be subject to applicable fees charged by Blizzard and the third-party payment service. Also, any proceeds from the sale of items in the currency-based auction house that have been deposited into the Battle.net account will not be transferrable to the third-party payment service account. Not all regions will support this advanced feature at launch. Region-specific details, as well as details regarding which third-party payment services will be supported and the fee that Blizzard will charge for the cash-out process, will all be provided at a later date.
Is the currency-based version of the auction house optional?
Yes, the currency-based auction house is available as an option for players who wish to purchase or sell Diablo III items for real money. Players are also able to buy and sell items through the gold-based auction house, and they can trade items with each other as well through direct character-to-character in-game trading.
Why would I want to pay real money to buy or sell in-game items?
Acquiring items has always been a core part of the Diablo series' appeal. With the previous Diablo games, many players have shown a great interest in buying, selling, or exchanging items for their characters using real-world currency, turning to potentially unsafe avenues to accomplish this goal. The currency-based version of the auction house provides players with an easy-to-use, Blizzard-sanctioned way to collect money for items obtained while playing Diablo III. In addition, it helps protect players from scams and disreputable third-party sites by providing a secure, in-game method to search for and purchase items posted by other players that are a perfect fit for their character and play style.
The currency-based auction house is completely optional. Players who aren't interested in paying real money for items will still be able to rely on items they acquire through their own adventures, and they'll also be able to trade with friends and use the full-featured gold-based auction house.
Can I play on a server without a currency-based version of the auction house?
We want to provide a secure, fun environment for our players to purchase and sell in-game items using gold or real money and have no plans to divide the community. Players are free to participate in the gold-based auction house or the currency-based auction house, or to opt out of using any of the auction houses at all, progressing through Diablo III using only the items they obtain through their own adventures or direct trade with other players.
Does Blizzard plan to post weapons, armor, and other such items for sale in the currency-based version of the auction house?
The currency-based auction house is a place for players to purchase or sell items they’ve obtained within the game. Blizzard does not plan to post items that affect gameplay, such as gear or character-enhancing runes, for sale in the auction house.
Will Blizzard sell anything directly through the auction house?
We don't have any plans at this time to post items for sale in the auction house.
Does the currency-based auction house signify a shift in Blizzard’s business and revenue model?
We’ve always tailored our business models to match what we’ve felt would be most appropriate and effective for each game and in each region, and that’s the case with Diablo III as well. The item-based nature of Diablo gameplay has always lent itself to an active trade-based ecosystem, and a significant part of this trade has been conducted through unsecure third-party organizations. This has led to numerous customer-service and game-experience issues that we’ve needed to account for. Our primary goal with the Diablo III auction house system is for it to serve as the foundation for a player-driven economy that’s safe, fun, and accessible for everyone.
What’s Blizzard’s cut?
As with other online auction sites and real-world auction houses, our fee structure will vary by region. However, we plan to collect a nominal fixed transaction fee for each item listed in the auction house. This fee consists of a fixed charge to list the item, which is assessed whether or not the item is successfully sold, and an additional fixed charge that is assessed only if the item is sold. The listing portion of the fee, which helps encourage sensible listing prices and discourage the mass posting of items that are very low quality or would be of little interest to other players, will be waived for a limited number of transactions per account. For players who opt to have the proceeds of their auction house sales go to their third-party payment service account instead of to their Battle.net account, Blizzard will collect a separate “cash-out” fee. Specific details regarding these fees will be announced at a later date.
Why would I even want to use the gold-based auction house?
We recognize that not all players would prefer or have the means to participate in the currency-based auction house, and it was important to us to provide these players with a full-featured alternative.
Can we buy gold from the currency-based auction house?
Players will be able to buy and sell gold through the currency-based auction house at whatever the current market price is, as established by the player community.
If I no longer need an item I bought in the auction house, can I relist it in the auction house?
Yes. Once you've purchased an item you can do anything with it that you could if you had acquired it through your own adventures, whether that be using it yourself, or, after a cool-down period, trading it to another character or relisting it on either the gold-based or currency-based auction house. In fact, you can generally do any combination of these things -- for example, you can purchase an item in the auction house, use it for a while, and then relist it or trade it to another character. Aside from certain quest items, there will be very few (if any) items that will be “soulbound” to your character and therefore untradable. Please note that the duration of the cool-down period mentioned above will be discussed at a later date.
What Happens if You're Hacked in Diablo III?
We're not ready to discuss specific account support policies, but in short no small part of the auction house fees goes directly toward supporting the sales that happen. That means guaranteeing that items get from sellers to buyers, the funds transfer, but ultimately helping support and correct any issues that can crop up around it, including account compromise.
But to be clear there's no direct credit card purchases happening. You charge up your Battle.net balance to buy items from other players in the auction house (or build it up from selling items), but someone wouldn't be able to spend beyond what balance you have, and again we're fully supporting such situations.
We do hope people will take the appropriate precautions to protect their accounts, of course.
Molten Front Dailies Sword Speed
The reason for this confusion stemmed from a quirk in the way item hotfixes have to be applied, unfortunately. We hope to have the item's data completely corrected soon so others are not caught off guard by what the tooltip currently states.
Yes, obviously Blizzard needs to fix the tooltip on the pattern and the item if they're not going to just make it 3.80 like it ought to be. But, I think the real question ought to be:
Why isn't it 3.80 anyway?
At 3.80 speed, the weapon was over-performing relative to its cost and the ease with which it can be obtained.
We wanted this weapon to be roughly on par with weapons from the previous tier, since it can be purchased from the Auction House. It wasn't intended to compete as much with current raid drops, as it felt weird that a strength-based DPS crafted weapon was more attractive than some of its counterparts.
BlizzCon Contests Reminder
The wait is over for those eager to share their stunning sketches, masterful machinimas and amazing arias for a chance at glory in this year's BlizzCon contests. Head over to our Contest pages to submit your entry, and learn what kind of sweet loot you can win.  Any questions should be directed to
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Good luck to all of our contestants!
BlizzCon 2011 Fan Art Contest
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FAQs of the Week
2010/12/09 at 8:37 PM
We've been looking at our analytics, and noticed that people seem to arrive at our site due to a few search terms in particular. We figured it would be a good time to whip up a quick FAQ to get all those questions answered.
If you have a question that you don't see represented here, just leave it in the comments and we'll do our best to get it answered!
All the questions follow after the break!
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