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Mists of Pandaria

Hunter Midnight Launch Reminders

With less than 24 hours to go (and less than 12 hours in Europe) to a midnight launch, those who have pre-purchased Mists of Pandaria will want to go over their final preparations for exploring the continent of Pandaria. Tips are already abound from the blogosphere, such as this one from Tabana at the WoW Hunters Hall. Frostheim also recently wrote up an overview of hunter leveling to 90.

If you are still looking for more tips to make your hunter’s midnight launch go smoothly, use this brief checklist as well.

Bring one or two pets with you only. While it may be tempting to bring five pets in your immediate stable to be able to use stampede as soon as it becomes available, Pandaria has a whole slew of new pets and models to tame. This will enable you to immediately start tracking the new rare pets if you come across their tracks instead of figuring out later which pet you want to abandon. If you are only bringing one pet, take one that can be multipurpose for DPS in dungeons and tanking for solo questing. Otherwise you can bring a dedicated ferocity and a dedicated tenacity pet.

Check your talents. Many testers have already said that the three specializations don’t make a difference during leveling, so choose one that comes to you naturally. Pick up talents that you think will be useful for your own leveling method. I will be leveling as Marksmanship.

Toggle Trap Launcher on. You may have noticed this in the weeks since Patch 5.0.4  rolled out, but Trap Launcher can now be permanently toggled on such that you do not to click the ability every time you want to launch a new trap. If you haven’t already done so, now will be a good time to begin getting used to using it for easy access during leveling.

Are you doing anything special to prepare for your midnight launch?


Mists of Pandaria Cinematic Trailer in Chinese

I’m sure you have all seen the Mists of Pandaria cinematic trailer countless times by now. Do you want to watch it again with a new perspective? I recommend watching it in Mandarin Chinese, whether or not you actually understand the language.

While you’re at it, why not watch the rest of the cinematic trailers in Chinese as well?

These are all from the Taiwan version of World of Warcraft.

My ears are already trained to recognize the sounds of the Chinese language, so these trailers are as epic to me as their English counterparts. One of the reasons I enjoy watching these is because the Chinese language has a way with words that make some statements carry deeper meanings. Tonal accents allow certain parts of statements to have greater emphasis in their message. This is true even for the Mists of Pandaria trailer.

For an expansion that encompasses all cultural aspects of the Sinosphere, it’s only natural that this one must be translated carefully into the Chinese language. Because certain aspects of Pandaren culture (e.g. balance and harmony) may have parallels with Sinic cultures, translations must be accurate so that they convey the appropriate meaning.

Personally, I would love to be able to play this expansion using a Chinese-language client to fully immerse myself in the environment.


Glyph Conversion in Mists of Pandaria

50 days! Are you ready? One of the upcoming changes in the Mists of Pandaria pre-launch patch is the glyph system. These are the general changes from the Public Test Realms (PTR):

  • Prime glyphs no longer exist. All prime glyphs have been converted to major and minor glyphs.
  • Currently, all glyphs require only level 25 to learn. This might only be for testing purposes and can change at launch.

Hunters will have a total of 35 glyphs in Mists of Pandaria, an increase from 31 in Cataclysm.

Cataclysm Type Mists of Pandaria
Glyph of Aimed Shot Prime → Minor Glyph of Aspects
Glyph of Arcane Shot Prime → Major Glyph of Camouflage
Glyph of Chimera Shot Prime → Major Glyph of Chimera Shot
Glyph of Explosive Shot Prime → Major Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot
Glyph of Kill Command Prime → Major Glyph of Mend Pet
Glyph of Kill Shot Prime → Minor Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah
Glyph of Rapid Fire Prime → Major Glyph of Pathfinding
Glyph of Serpent Sting Prime → Minor Glyph of Tame Beast
Glyph of Steady Shot Prime → Major Glyph of Scattering
Glyph of the Dazzled Prey Prime → Major Glyph of Animal Bond
Glyph of Bestial Wrath Major Glyph of Endless Wrath
Glyph of Concussive Shot Major Glyph of Distracting Shot
Glyph of Deterrence Major Glyph of Deterrence
Glyph of Disengage Major Glyph of Disengage
Glyph of Freezing Trap Major Glyph of Freezing Trap
Glyph of Ice Trap Major Glyph of Ice Trap
Glyph of Immolation Trap Major Glyph of Explosive Trap
Glyph of Master’s Call Major Glyph of Master’s Call
Glyph of Mending Major Glyph of Mending
Glyph of Misdirection Major Glyph of Misdirection
Glyph of Raptor Strike Major Glyph of Mirrored Blades
Glyph of Scatter Shot Major Glyph of Scatter Shot
Glyph of Silencing Shot Major Glyph of No Escape
Glyph of Snake Trap Major Glyph of Snake Trap
Glyph of Trap Launcher Major Glyph of Marked For Death
Glyph of Wyvern Sting Major Glyph of Icy Solace
Glyph of Aspect of the Pack Minor Glyph of Aspect of the Pack
Glyph of Feign Death Minor Glyph of Fireworks
Glyph of Lesser Proportion Minor Glyph of Lesser Proportion
Glyph of Revive Pet Minor Glyph of Revive Pet
Glyph of Scare Beast Minor Glyph of Stampede
None Minor Glyph of Aspect of the Beast
None Minor Glyph of Direction
None Minor Glyph of Fetch
None Minor Glyph of Marking

Four glyphs have new effects while keeping the same name.

  • Glyph of Chimera Shot
  • Glyph of Deterrence
  • Gylph of Disengage
  • Glyph of Snake Trap

Nine glyphs have not changed in their effects.

  • Glyph of Aspect of the Pack
  • Glyph of Freezing Trap
  • Glyph of Ice Trap
  • Glyph of Lesser Proportion
  • Glyph of Master’s Call
  • Glyph of Mending
  • Glyph of Misdirection
  • Glyph of Revive Pet
  • Glyph of Scatter Shot

The ten prime glyphs have been converted to seven major glyphs and three minor glyphs. With the addition of four new minor glyphs, Mists of Pandaria will have a total of 23 major glyphs and 12 minor glyphs.

Because the IDs of all old glyphs are being re-used, you will not have to re-learn the equivalent new glyph if you have learned the old version prior to the patch. You will, however, need to acquire the four new glyphs yourself.

For a similar chart of glyphs for other classes, check them out at The Stoppable Force.


Mists of Pandaria: 9/25/2012

Available in Digital Deluxe Edition and Collector’s Edition


We interrupt this broadcast…

Image

…to show you the coolest non-hunter thing to drop on the PTR! It looks more gorgeous in person than in videos and screenshots. Trust me. This makes me want to finish leveling my druid for Mists.


The Blue Child

There is a picture from an MMO Champion thread that making its rounds among lore enthusiasts.

As a Burning Crusade baby, I never realized that Azeroth once had two moons. The sky I have always seen in Azeroth is that with a single moon, the White Lady. However, the one pictured above, the Blue Child, will soon make its return in Mists of Pandaria. According to lore, the Blue Child was sent away by the Earthmother prior to the arrival of the Burning Legion. Its return now must mean that Azeroth is safe from the Burning Legion for now.

I’m still playing. Most of the time I will only log in for our weekly raids, in which we recently killed our fourth heroic boss, Warlord Zon’ozz. Aside from that, I’ve started doing a lot of PvP and gathering some gear for it. Continuous environment changes such as the one above is one of the reasons I will continue playing World of Warcraft as long as I can because even older continents get some love in the newest expansions.


Observations of Hunter Spells in Mists of Pandaria

There’s something about having an official talent calculator available for us to play with to prepare for a new expansion that makes people want to try out potential builds for Mists of Pandaria. While talents are the meat of this new content, looking at hunter spells is also important because this is a dramatic change of the old game philosophy where you learn your abilities from your talent tree when you are building it.

  • The first thing you will and should notice are the passive weapon skills. The tooltip on this passive trait has been reworded from the current version in Cataclysm. Instead of saying that hunters can use certain melee weapons, the new version states that “hunters perform best” using ranged weapons. Additionally, they will be able to equip axes, daggers, fist weapons, polearms, staves, and swords. This clears up any and all misconception about the removal of the ranged weapon slot. What will actually happen is that all classes will see their third weapon slot (currently used for ranged weapons, relics, librams, idols, etc.) removed. Specifically for hunters, our ranged weapons will become two-handed weapons much like the way we use staves and polearms today.
  • Something we usually take for granted at level 85 is Mail Specialization. This is currently acquired at level 50, a ten-level gap between the time you are able to train wearing mail armor and the time you acquire this passive trait. That means if you are able to obtain a full mail armor set prior to level 50, you receive no benefit from it. In Mists of Pandaria, this armor specialization is automatically given to you at level one. Oddly enough, you still cannot wear mail armor until level 40.
  • Another curious implementation is the Focused Aim passive trait, which reduces pushback while casting Steady Shot or Cobra Shot by 70 percent, given at level one. Why reduce something if you don’t get a chance to experience the non-reduced deficit in the beginning?

Now let’s look at the class-specific spells.

  • Noticeably absent from the Beast Mastery spellbook is the Ferocious Inspiration raid buff. There has been no indication as to where this has gone, especially when Trueshot Aura and Hunting Party remain available to Marksmanship and Survival hunters.
  • It’s nice to see situational talents like Concussive Barrage from Marksmansip and Entrapment from Survival make it into their respective spellbooks.
  • Another noticeable change is that Careful Aim will be now an exclusively Marksmanship hunter trait and thus no longer provides any benefit for Cobra Shot.
  • For Marksmanship hunters specifically, it appears Improved Steady Shot will disappear for good, allowing for a less rigid shot rotation than the one we are currently forced to employ.

Do you have any favorite spells that missed the cut? Unfortunately, we still won’t be getting Eyes of the Beast back. Next week will be a special presentation as we explore the new talent tree tier-by-tier from every day from Monday to Saturday.


Pandaria is Outland 2.0

Blizzcon is probably as good of a time as any to get back into blogging, especially after a three-month prolonged summer break. I logged on again two weeks ago, and it didn’t take long before I picked up where I left off on PvE content. But that’s a story for tomorrow. Today, we’ll talk about the hubbub that surrounds the new World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

Pandaria is a new five-zone continent. There is also a sixth zone (not in the map above) for new Pandaren players who begin at level 1. Although we don’t know much about Pandaria other than getting clues from videos Blizzard has shown us, we do know one thing. Pandaria is so far removed from the other civilizations of Azeroth that it almost feels like a second Outland, just not as harsh. The designers have already mentioned several things that are reminiscent of player experience during the beginning of Burning Crusade:

  • Very large zones, without access to a flying mount until level 90;
  • City services (auction house, bank, etc.) will be at a a single questing hub;
  • Introduction of lore aside from the primary storyline;
  • Dungeon exteriors will be visible and not hidden behind a portal;
  • Return of world (raid?) bosses.

While it’s true that Northrend was, in some aspects, a revised version of Outland, it still followed the primary storyline of the Warcraft franchise: the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. Outland and Pandaria are different in that they introduced two unique races whose representation in the franchise prior to World of Warcraft was lacking: the Draenei (along with their Broken brethren) and the Pandaren.

I’ve seen many players reminisce about the good days of the first expansion. Perhaps Mists of Pandaria will appeal to all the Burning Crusade babies (or veterans now, perhaps). Who knows? Maybe there will be something like the merciless Fel Reavers of Hellfire Peninsula in the Jade Forest.


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