World Of Warcraft’s nine million players are furiously preparing for the September 25, 2012 launch of Mists Of Pandaria. They are running every dungeon they can to get that last important weapon or piece of armor. They are doing their 25 daily quests in order to save as much gold as possible to buy new items when they become available. They are farming mats, crafting gear, food and potions, and building up their Conquest points from PVP. The game is buzzing with excitement, and everyone is more than ready to take on all that Pandaria has to offer.
To assist players in their endeavors, Blizzard followed a long standing tradition and released patch 5.0.4, to get the game ready for the big event.The new patch will give players three more weeks to acclimate themselves to all the major changes coming to WOW. No previous expansion has ever brought such a massive overhaul to the game. There is so much more to Mists Of Pandaria than just new geography and pudgy pandas.
The talent system, that is the heart of every class in World Of Warcraft, has been completely redesigned. No longer will players have to fret over long lists of skills and spells to decide on their talent build. Players will now be assigned a pre-determined list of core skills and spells for their chosen build. To complete their build, they will then select one skill or spell out of three choices from each of six tiers. Six choices out of eighteen possibilities instead of the complicated point system from Cataclysm.
Lets take a hunter as an example. If he, or she, decides to play as a Marksmanship hunter, they will automatically receive a selection of all the important basic skills and spells needed for that build. The hunter will then decide on their six major spells and skills. One major skill is available every 15 levels, concluding at the new level cap of 90. (Choices come at level 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90.)
The new major skills and spells cover a wide variety of different purposes. Again using a hunter as our example, the first tier, at level 15, offers a choice of one of three different improvements to Disengage, an all important hunter skill for PVP. The next tier at 30 offers an upgrade to crowd control skills: At 45 hunters may choose a self-heal, at 60 a spell for focus regeneration is available, at 75 comes a buff to pets, and, finally, at 90 a selection from three spells that do massive damage.
Overall, players are in for some real improvements to their character in Mists Of Pandaria. While the choices for your specific build have been slimmed down, the new system works well, and it is highly efficient. You wont have to spend hours and visit dozens of websites for guidance to create your build. The new talent system should make all but the most hardcore, mathematically minded gamer happy, and the six new skills or spells you do choose offer some very substantial benefits.
The pre-expansion patch is the perfect time for former WOW players to jump back into the game, especially if you took a break during Cataclysm. You will need the next three weeks to familiarize yourself with all the changes that occurred with patch 5.0.4, and you will gain a head-start on other gamers who wait until the last minute to rejoin WOW.
Even though you will be replacing your old gear quickly once the expansion begins, it will be helpful to have the best gear possible for Mists Of Pandaria. Blizzard has even reduced the difficulty of the Cataclysm dungeons just to allow former players and casual players an opportunity to improve their gear. There is no better time than today to get back in there, and get ready for September 25.
Mists Of Pandaria is more than just another WOW expansion that adds new content to the game and new areas to the map. The development team at Blizzard has completely reworked the very core of the game by revamping, and revitalizing, how we build our in-game alter egos. The concept is really quite simple; players should spend less time planning their character and more time playing their character.
And of course, there will be Kung Fu Fighting Pandas, lots of them, accompanied by their jolly Brewmasters, who will happy to offer you a mug or three of the very best lager Pandaria has to offer. So lets lift a mug and drink to a successful beginning for the next chapter of World Of Warcraft. Will I see you there on September 25 as we take our first exciting voyage to the mysterious land of Pandaria?