Blizzard finally confirms their fourth World of Warcraft expansion

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After months of speculation, denials and running out of the conference hall to make a quick getaway whenever the question was asked, Blizzard officially confirmed their fourth expansion for their long-running MMO World of Warcraft, the Mists of Pandaria.

Detailing a new land, race and adventures that take place there, players will also have access to the Pandarians, creatures modelled after my favourite mascot for wildlife preservation. But enough about my jam, lets talk about the game.

A new class will also be available for players, in the form of a Monk, a martial arts focused set of skills, with numerous sub-skills related to healing, tanking and general damage-dealing, while also allowing for players to reach a new level cap of 90.

Blizzards official blurb sets the scene for for the upcoming expansion;

While exploring the mysteries of an exotic new land and advancing to the new level cap of 90, players will experience a range of new content and game features, including new quests and dungeons, group scenarios and challenge modes, pet battles, and more.

In the upcoming expansion, players will be able to explore the long-lost continent of Pandaria, which has remained hidden from the world since the sundering of Azeroth over ten thousand years ago.

In the aftermath of the Cataclysm played out in World of Warcraft’s third expansion, Pandaria’s heroes are emerging from their land’s lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains to choose sides in the escalating war between the Alliance and the Horde and to share the extraordinary secrets of their ancient martial arts.

As tensions between the factions near a breaking point following the discovery of this new world, players will be called upon to explore Pandaria’s exotic expanses, make contact with its strange indigenous creatures, and unlock the world-changing secrets that have been hiding in the mists for millennia.

Other new expansion features include:

  • New Zones: Explore the lush Jade Forest, treacherous Kun-Lai Summit, and other exotic areas of Pandaria designed for high-level characters, and uncover the mystery of the Wandering Isle.
  • Scenarios: 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 five-player time trial to earn prestige rewards in a new dungeon mode that will put your resolve and coordination to the test.
  • Pet Battles: Challenge other players’ companion pets with your own collection in a new tactical mini-game, and find out who’s king or queen of the pint-sized battlefield.
  • New Talent System: Customize your character to suit your play style with the newly overhauled and improved talent system.
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CEO and Blizzard cofounder Mike Morhaime, speaking to CVG about the WOW add-on, saying that “Players have been asking to see the pandaren in World of Warcraft since the game’s launch, and we’re excited to finally be able to give them a proper re-introduction to Azeroth”.

“In addition to the new playable race and class, Mists of Pandaria contains a huge amount of new content, and we’re looking forward to sharing more information about all of it at BlizzCon and beyond.”

It may be an aging MMO, but it looks like the latest expansion will give the title a much-needed breath of fresh air when it launches in the near future. I’m not the biggest fan of this particular franchise, but I can bet that my WOW addict buddies are positively squeeing with excitement at this news, as Blizzard always manages to make the WOW experience more substantial with each expansion.

Last Updated: October 24, 2011

Darryn Bonthuys

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