Where the view is always better.

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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