Home > Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft > MoP Floodgates pt. 1: “Pandaria Map” or “PvP = Panda vs. Panda”

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

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!

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  1. March 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Hmm, that first battleground sounds EXACTLY like the Black Garden in RIft.

    Not necessarily a bad thing, if Blizzard are going to steal (as they usually do) at least they’re stealing something that’s fun 🙂

    • March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Hey, the second one is stolen directly from TF2. As long as it is not blatant IP theft and they do a good job with it, i say copy it all you want!

      Although I was kind of looking forward to the DOTA -style BG.

  2. Milamber
    March 20, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I feel like WoW could be on its way (slow) way out. Don’t get me wrong I’ll probably still play Mists and people are still buying the expacs and reactivating, but they are not staying reactivated as long as they used to. I feel like I enjoyed Cata for all of 2-3 months before everything got old and stale as someone who doesn’t have time to put a few hours aside for dungeons or raiding.

    So there’s just one thing I still don’t get. Why Pandaren? It’s always been fun to joke about it being an expac and I think 1-2 expacs ago, it would have made more sense. But now? There are so many other stories out there (Sargeras, Medivh?, The Emerald Dream) that can’t possibly all be told with the little time WoW probably has left… especially if SWTOR keeps improving what they are doing (the new big content patch looks awesome).

    When Wrath and even Cata was on its way, I was really excited. This one? I don’t really care nearly as much as I used to. I can honestly say I am more excited for Diablo 3 (who isn’t?) and even Heart of the Swarm more so than Mists.

    • March 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      I don’t know man. The conflicts in WoW so far have been massive and global in scale. First there were threats from Nefarion and Ragnaros, then the Qiraji conflict, and finally the return of Kel’Thuzad. The first expansion pit us against the Burning Legion, Sargeras, and Illidan himself. The second expansion was cathartic, in that we were finally put an end to Arthas and his madness. The third expansion stirred up an ancient evil in the form of geography-altering Deathwing.

      My point is that I could actually use a threat that is a bit more practical than an ancient dragon aspect which has been corrupted and his chaotic form is held together by Elementium plates, which you have to tear off in an epic encounter to weaken him enough to beat him.

      Mists, for example, have beer elementals, called alementals. It’s stupid, but also light-hearted and in a different vein. I’ll take it!

  3. Milamber
    March 22, 2012 at 7:02 am

    It seems like blizzard is banking on everyone being ready for some comic relief in such a universe that always seems to be in dire peril. I get it, but I’m not sure that’s really for me. Also, with a big plot point being about the horde and alliance duking it out, I really don’t care. I know it’s important for an MMO to have factions that fight each other and there’s a lot of bad blood, but I’ve always been the hippie that wanted everyone to reconcile their differences after having to team up to take down some bad ass enemy (like in a recent third person space shooter)

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