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MoP Floodgates pt. 1: “Pandaria Map” or “PvP = Panda vs. Panda”

March 19, 2012 5 comments

The NDA for the press tour was lifted today, so the information floodgates have overrun the tubes (of the internet). This series of posts is not an attempt to rehash the information, but simply to give you my take on it. If you want comprehensive, in-depth coverage, go to WoWHead, which has compiled a very nice comprehensive list on a single page here. Or you can the list of Wow Insider posts on the event put together by good old Syp (Justin Olivetti) here.

Pandaria Map

First up, here is a map of Pandaria:

Click to enlarge

There are a few things you should be excited about in this map. For one thing, there are two new entire zones, the Dread Wastes and the Krasarang Wilds. This change occurred because the team designing the content fell in love with these sub-areas of larger zones, and decided to flesh them out into their own complete locations. Second, as was the case with Outlands and Northrend, the entire story takes place on one collected content, and thus avoids the insanity of the chaos brought about by Cataclysm’s disconnected zones.

PvP = Panda vs. Panda

Pandas can be Horde or Alliance, depending on if they go with the Houjin or Tushui disciplines. This may sound confusing, but really, these cool lore elements are there to manage the faction titling of the Pandaren race. The Horde Panda will be called Houjin and Alliance Pandas will be called Tushui.

But that is not the point of this sub-title. There are three reasons I am excited for PvP in MoP:

  1. There are world objectives, like Tol Barad and Winterspring, but with a twist. Whichever faction holds the world objectives has their conquest point cap raised. If that is not incentive to constantly hold the world PvP conflict zones, I don’t know what is.
  2. There are two battlegrounds. The first is very similar to Murderball, where you hold an object of power found in the center of the map. the longer you hold it, the more points you get, but the object also damages you with increasing severity over time, andwill eventually kill you. The object will then drop for either side to pick up. It might sound like a good plan to drag the carrying player closer to your graveyard, but there is a twist. The close you are to the center, the faster the points will accrue. So you have to weigh the onslaught of the enemy against more frequent respite closer top your graveyard.
  3. The second battleground is my third reason. For anyone who has played the minecart escort maps from TF2, this should be very familiar. You have to escort your mine cart along a set path, and the cart only moves if players from your team are near it. However, again, there is a twist. Players escorting will have a good reason to not be next to the cart. Opposing team can flip switches throughout the map, adding length to the route you take, and thus slowing you down. It is in your best interest to stop them from doing so.

So far so good. I know a lot of people, especially ex-WoW players are pointing their fingers and laughing at the lolPandas, but so far I am quite impressed with everything seen during the press tour. More posts to follow, stay tuned!