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News Round Up: Jade Forest Disabled, Head Enchant Removal Explained Further, and More
2012/06/08 at 9:05 PM
We have some news to share right before the weekend begins. In particular, a couple of minutes ago the Jade Forest was disabled suddenly. Apparently, Blizzard wants to make improvements to the zone--we'll have to wait to see what they are!
Other news posts include:
Ghostcrawler explains a little more about why head enchants are gone
Orgrimmar's Organization in MoP
Feature post on AQ40, covering vanity items and achievements
Before the news round up, we also have a bit of beta news: dragon turtle mounts are now available. Pandaren can now purchase them for . Currently, they are only sold Alliance-side by
, but they are Bind-on-Account.
Here's a list of all the mounts:
Reins of the Green Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Great Black Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Black Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Great Purple Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Blue Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Great Green Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Brown Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Great Blue Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Purple Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Great Brown Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Red Dragon Turtle
Reins of the Great Red Dragon Turtle
In addition, monk trainers have been added to capital cities--they are the Pandaren leaders
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Mists of Pandaria: Jade Forest Quest Preview
2012/03/31 at 9:46 PM
The Jade Forest
has undergone an extensive revision since we first previewed it, to better demonstrate the Alliance and Horde conflict. This zone is the first zone players will reach upon questing in Pandaria. Unlike past expansions, there are not two options for starting zones.
Players will acquaint themselves with Pandaren culture, as well as the Jinyu and Hozen. The Alliance will trace Anduin Wrynn's disappearance, and both sides will have a tragic clash by the
Temple of the Jade Serpent
, a new 5-player dungeon. Players will also have to return to The Jade Forest at 90 to train with
Order of the Cloud Serpent
in order to ride Cloud Serpent mounts.
Of note: some of the early quests reward items that resemble Tier 9 raid gear, like
Jade Forest Quest Chains
Since we first previewed the zone, some changes have been made. Here's some screenshots from the new areas.
The White Pawn
After arriving at
, a makeshift outpost on the southern beach, the Alliance are both looking for their wounded, as well as seeing what happened to the mysterious "White Pawn," aboard a missing ship. When several members are taken hostage by the
, a fierce tribe of monkeys, the Alliance meet the peaceful
and strike up a parternship. The Jinyu want their help against the Hozen, and the Alliance want their help against the Horde. You help the Jinyu train for battle, and learn about a failed rescue mission that the Alliance and Jinyu collaborated on. Finally, the mystery of the "White Pawn" in the missing ship is revealed--it's
, who has befriended the pandaren, wants to learn more about the Sha and Sacred Waters, and resists the Alliance's attempts to convince him to return with them--going so far as to mindcontrol a member of SI:7.
If you want to see the initial Alliance cutscene, we posted it a few days ago
The Jade Serpent
Blizzard wanted dungeons to feel like important parts of an outdoor questing experience, and the Temple of the Jade Serpent is strongly integrated into solo questing. Players begin by tracking down jade shipments for a sassy pandaren, Foreman Mann. (Sample quote: Jade veins run through this land like... <Mann scratches her head for a moment in thought.> Well, like something that runs through something else in veins. Look, I ain't a poet.)
Once enough Jade is collected, you're tasked to send word of the progress to Yu'Lon, the Jade Serpent. Yu'Lon will put you through a series of tests to prove your honesty before talking directly--you'll do quests in the Heart of Jade, Scrollkeeper's Sanctum, and Fountain of the Overseeing subsections of the Temple. Finally, Yu'Lon will fly you around the jade statue under construction, talking about her hopes to fuse her spirit with the finished product. However, there's still a few unsolved mysteries to solve--most importantly, the increased presence of the Sha, the physical manifestation of negative energy.
This quest series ended abruptly when I was flown to the Valley of the Four Winds and then immediately ported to the starting hub in the Jade Forest. However--the March 2012 press event revealed that the storyline behind this key statue would end in a massive battle.
This is a major hub for both the Alliance and Horde, with portals back to Azeroth, an Inn, profession vendors, and currently on beta, a vendor who sells ilvl 372 greens.
This was also the questhub for a lighthearted chain involving two pandaren from rival brewmaster families, the Goldendrafts and the Wanderbrews, falling in love and winning the blessings of the pandriarchs, ancestral spirits.
The Arboretum: Cloud Serpents
Cloud serpents were previewed at the March 2012 Press Event as a new mount players could acquire after several weeks of daily quests. You'll come across this area as you track down the wayward lovers from Dawn's Blossom--the mounts look really stunning.
Chun Tian Monastery
The Chun Tian Monastery is an optional questing series in northern Jade Forest. It's set high in the hills, with narrow bridges, tiered buildings, and stunning scenery. You'll meet a wide cast of characters as your character trains under the monastery Masters--both via traditional combat means and also by purchasing beer and breaking up banquet fights.
As one of the NPC initiates describes it: "The monks here at Chun Tian Monastery specialize in teaching young pandaren - like me - how to fight. All the great fighters started here: Yu Ming the Blade. Liang the Unbreakable... even the great emperor Shao Hao studied at this very Temple. Or so the legends say."
In addition, there were several empty nearby areas with a similar look--high bridges and mountains--perhaps they are tied to later phased quests, or Horde-only areas.
Ruins of Gan Shi
In this side-quest in northern Jade Forest, players assist an ancient Monk, Pei-Zei, in fighting the Mogu and their questionable magic practices, such as spirit-binding. You help purify the corrupted spirits the Mogu have formed and return them to their resting place. However, these rituals enrage the evil spirit Shan Jitong and the quest series culminates in freeing Pei-Zei from darkness.
The Mogu have attacked a tranquil cherry blossom orchid. Players help Shao the Defiant round up traumatized farmers, put out fires, and destroy a Mogu camp and their leader. The Mogu have been absent for years and the pandaren are terrified.
Blizzard Q&A with Helen Cheng
Q. Could you name three places you feel players shouldn’t miss on their first trip through the zone?
A. There’s a lot to see in Pandaria but one of the most significant locations is the Serpent’s Heart. This is an enormous statue in the middle of the zone in which pandaren stonemasons have toiled at building for nearly a hundred years. However, they are running out of jade, and the mines to the north are overwhelmed by monsters. Trouble is definitely afoot.
On the coast to the east lies the Temple of the Jade Serpent. This is the home to Yu’lon, the Jade Serpent, who is one of the celestial guardians of Pandaria. She’s the spirit of wisdom, but also represents spring, youth, growth, and nurturing. Players will get a chance to meet her in person.
Jade Forest is also the zone where the Alliance and Horde first make landfall on Pandaria. The Alliance will land in the southwest and will begin a search for Prince Anduin Wrynn, who has gone missing in a recent naval battle. Meanwhile, the Horde arrives on the northern shores. In both cases, the conflict in the rest of the world spills into Pandaria, and they’ll be fighting from the moment boots touch the ground. The tension between trying to explore a new land while simultaneously fighting a war drives a lot of the action in Jade Forest.
Q. So, from a story perspective, Jade Forest is a pretty important zone?
A. Absolutely! All this deep-seated tension and animosity is unleashed on the shores of what has been a relatively peaceful land for a long time. The consequences of the battle in Jade Forest reverberate across the entire continent.
Pandaria’s first dungeon is here: the Temple of the Jade Serpent that I mentioned earlier. If you play through the whole zone, you’ll get to visit the dungeon and interact with the inhabitants when things are peaceful. Once everything goes bad, you’ll have to go back in and try to undo a lot of the damage the fighting between the Alliance and Horde has caused. You’ll learn a lot about the Pandaren people and hopefully gain wisdom from the Jade Serpent herself.
Q. What factions or races will we be able to interact with?
A. Pandaria is host to several races that the Horde and Alliance have never encountered before. There are the forest hozen: semi-intelligent monkeys with a penchant for violence. They aren’t a very mature group and are in fact quite rowdy and crude. They eventually ally with the Horde. (Other tribes of hozen exist in other zones, but they aren’t the friendly sort and won’t ally with anyone.)
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the jinyu who are a wise and proud race of amphibious creatures. They have refinement and culture. Their “waterspeakers” can listen to the waters to foretell events of the future, although this is a rare occurrence. A subset of this race will end up allying with the Alliance.
Players will also encounter the mogu for the first time. This fearsome, brutish race is pillaging and destroying a few areas of the forest, giving us a hint as to their nature. But they’re really just a foreshadowing of what’s to come – the mogu play a huge part in pandaren history, and they’ll play a big role in this expansion as well.
Of course, the pandaren will be there as well for people to get to know. Imagine their surprise when the Horde and Alliance show up and turn things upside down.
As far as factions go, the Order of the Cloud Serpent is a faction and a daily hub that players can access at level 90. Members of The Order are sent out into the wild to find a cloud serpent egg, and then raise their serpent hatchling to adulthood. Serpent riders train and nurture their cloud serpents, then ride them into war. Players will also be able to choose their own egg and raise their own serpent, watch it grow to adulthood, and eventually keep their cloud serpent as their own flying mount. Exalted status with this faction also awards Cloud Serpent Riding, which is a tier of flying skill required to ride any cloud serpent mount from Pandaria.
There’s a lot more to be seen in this zone, but hopefully this will give you a taste of what’s to come in your adventures ahead.
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