World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Hands-On Preview - Panda Monks

The upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft will let you be a Pandaren monk. We took the new race and new class for a spin at BlizzCon.

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If you missed it, Blizzard used its 2011 BlizzCon fan event to announce Mists of Pandaria, the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Among many other things, the expansion will offer the new Asian-themed continent of Pandaria to explore, a new playable race in the Pandarens (who originated as an April Fools' Day joke for 2003's Warcraft III), and a new playable class, the monk. We took the opportunity to try out a Pandaren monk at the event and have new details to report.

The Pandaren race is currently still being worked on--female character models aren't actually in the game yet, for instance--but our male Pandaren monk seemed to walk, jump, roll, and fight just fine. Pandaren monks begin their lives on their continent's Wandering Isle, reporting to a kung fu master who accompanies them throughout their early travels. Monks' early quests require them to equip themselves with fistwraps and consult lore scrolls to learn about their heritage, but soon, they're encouraged to travel outside of the monastery to fight off pockets of marauding hozu (the monkey-like race indigenous to the continent) and begin rescuing and escorting elemental spirits to sacred temples. Along the way, we found ourselves dueling with spectral martial arts masters and perching ourselves precariously on poles poking out of a cursed lake. You can expect to see plenty of World of Warcraft's trademark quirky quest objectives early in your life as a pudgy panda monk here.

The monk's early skills pertain almost entirely to combat. Very early on, monks get the stance of the fierce tiger, a modal combat stance that increases their damage by 20 percent, though they can later learn an alternate stance, drunken ox. While they don't use mana to cast their spells like mages and warlocks, they do have "chi" points, which are expended to perform certain attacks and skills, but fortunately seem to recover very quickly over time. The monk's basic attack is the jab, which currently costs 40 chi points (our monk had a maximum of 100) and builds up one light force point and one dark force point.

Monks use force points as their combat "resource" (similar to combo points for rogues) and can store a maximum of four light force points and four dark force points. They can also learn the tiger palm attack, a melee attack that costs one light force point and deals bonus damage to enemies with more than 50 percent health; the blackout kick, a roundhouse kick that deals decent damage and costs a dark force point; and flying serpent kick, a melee attack that lets monks close distance (not unlike the warrior's charge attack) and briefly stuns its target. Monks can also learn the roll ability, which costs 50 chi points and deals no damage but causes them to tumble forward along the ground--a much faster alternative to walking.

Pandaren characters have several innate racial powers that pertain to food and cooking (they gain 100 percent bonus from eaten food, and have a +15 to their cooking skill), along with a safe fall skill that reduces their falling damage by half, and they gain double the experience bonus for being rested and also have a "quaking palm" ability that can stun an enemy target for four seconds or until the target is damaged. Quaking palm may sound powerful, and will likely be useful in certain situations, but from our experience so far, it isn't an overwhelmingly unfair ability at all. Monks, in the meantime, seem like an interesting alternative to warriors with an unusual combat resource system. We'll bring you more updates on the expansion as they become available.

Discussion

175 comments
garcia_jx
garcia_jx

Is this the most played MMO?

vadagar1
vadagar1

after the D3 fiasco and now wow... R.I.P blizzard

 

now you only have SC2, time to make an expansion, space of pandaria : /

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

Every empire has to fall.... It's just a matter of how long it takes. R.I.P WoW.

hombreg1
hombreg1

sheesh! people, relax... they're just pandas... fluffy... adorable pandas but still... don't like em? don't buy the friggin' thing. love pandas? buy the thing. i wouldn't buy it though, too late to get into WoW.

vadagar1
vadagar1

time for wow to die it was inevitable really :P Blizz start working on Diablo 3 and SC2 MORE unless you like to fade away.

BlazeEagle
BlazeEagle

It’s hilarious how many of you are ignorantly whining just ASSUMING it’ll “suck” without more in-depth details. The attitude of some of you is more childish than children themselves, Sheesh!

BlazeEagle
BlazeEagle

Those who are moaning about the “immaturity” of the new panda race are the truly immature ones. I’m a secure, adult male who will have ZERO problems playing as a panda. WOW is a GAME intended for fun AND enjoyment & NOT as a test of ones tolerance for brutality. The pandas are an OPTIONAL choice, Don’t like ‘em, Keep withering in darkness as a DK & let others enjoy the lighter side of WOW. I play electronic GAMES to have FUN not to simulate brutal struggles of endurance & pain tolerance. Sheesh!

garysuperman
garysuperman

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MegamanX2011
MegamanX2011

They could have started the Naga playable race but Blizzard realized its indeed a game that appeals to kids and immature adults.

HiSaZuL
HiSaZuL

heh someone mentioned going back to vanilla wow... amen to that even i would go back to that. hard work meant rewards... plus world pvp was great... none of this arena crap and a zillion poorly thought through bgs... meh

HiSaZuL
HiSaZuL

game nerds? really? do people even bother googling a term before they throw it out in the wind like they developed the concept? most old school/hardcore gamers are geeks yeah that i'll agree with... but nerd? really? do world a favor and google what the flying @#$% it means first. and agree blizzard doesnt need a good mmo to slowly kill off wow they are doing it themselfs just fine. first they gave people with mental capacity of a rock access to everything that was previously privilege of people who were willing to waste 4-5 hours a day to raiding... forget prep time -_- then they just kept on rolling with terrible xpacks good grief. i dont even feel like trashing wow or blizzard at this point. where did old school blizzard with first class gaming dissapeared to?

armedvigilante
armedvigilante

this has gotta be joke. theres no way they would make this after the release of kung fu panda no one would take it seriously

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

@midnight_trashh Well, I figured since you had no problem trashing mentally handicapped people you could take a little nerd jab. I figured wrong. So I guess it is your opinion, then, that "retards" are an "embarrassment" since you chose to relate the two. And you lecture me? Carry on.

paulsifer42
paulsifer42

@valas_azuviir I thought the first time they were introduced was the Express thing. That makes sense. I'm mostly just mad at Bethesda, and was venting that... and that this new piece makes me want to get into WOW even less.

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

@paulsifer42 Well, originally they were an April 1st joke for WC3, but it was a sort of self referential joke, considering one of the nicknames of Sam (Samwise) Didier is Panda. Anyway, he drew some art, folks loved it, wanted more and the rest became history. And while their appearance may have been short in the computer games, they've been extensively detailed in the Warcraft PnP material as well. The Pandaren Express thing wasn't till 2005. Plus it was more mocking the EQ2 + Pizzahut connection. Where if in the latter game you wrote /pizza you could order one online from your local store.

LeftyxLaura
LeftyxLaura

Wow...I'm surprised Blizzard is making a new race from WoW based on one character from Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. I'm surprised they aren't doing the Naga race since you could actually play the race for a stage or two. I think Blizzard is running out of ideas.

gutworm
gutworm

cant wait for the next, hello kitty expansion :D

TrixxyGotSkillz
TrixxyGotSkillz

@Valas_Azuviir way back. Thank you for sharing. @sblazed "They are aiming young gamers and the asian market..." Well there's a problem with that. I remember GW1 had to remove/limit the depiction of pandas in the game to comply with an endangered species policy. Proof = http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Panda . Not sure if the same would apply here with Panderen but hey, you never know. Plus its just a lame idea. I dunno, I think the majority of the mmo community was hoping that WoW would be killed off fairly by the new and potentially awesome MMOs that will be releasing over the next year or so. But it seems Blizzard's WoW team are perfectly caperble of killing the game themselves.

midnight_trashh
midnight_trashh

@DaSlyOne Since when does someone not liking a game you like make you think that they are better then you and somehow makes them a "nerd" not all of us who play video games are nerds you know, and even if I was a nerd what does being a nerd have anything too do with someone not wanting to buy this? It's just someones opinion.

Demonblight
Demonblight

This may be the lamest thing I've ever seen. It looks like one giant interactive commercial for Panda Express. Do you get coupons for greasy fried rice when you level up?

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

Meh, I'll buy it. Not worried about losing cool points...aint got none...just like the rest of the people who avidly play video games and MMORPG's. Video game nerds that think they are too cool to play a certain game are just supreme nerds. When did cliques develop inside nerdom? Now we got lower, middle and upper class nerds...each thinking they are better nerds than the nerds below them. And this based on game choices? Man it's complicated being a nerd these days!

midnight_trashh
midnight_trashh

I personally would feel like a Retard buying this expansion in a computer game store. it is an embarrassment.. I mean seriously.. Pandas.. are you effing kidding me if i still played the game I would be cutting the bacon off all these fat little bastards, and use their hides for my bedding at night. Thanks Blizzard. I used to think Pandas were cute and now I just want to murder them because of this retarded expansion for hello kitty online...

reptar707
reptar707

This just solidifies my decision to play SWTOR. Congrats blizz. *golf clap*

Michael1571
Michael1571

I thought WoW would be the #1 MMO for at least 4-5 more years. Not anymore. This expansion is Blizzard's "harakiri". They made it so easy for EA and Bioware. Cataclysm was a little immature with the big dragon wants to burn everything story but it was OK. I can't go to the videogame store and buy this thing. They will think I am retarded! That's exactly what I think for Blizzard right now.

paulsifer42
paulsifer42

@valas_azuviir weren't they making fun of Panda Express when they 'introduced' them. They started out as a gimmick, not the Kung Fu Panda look alike they are now.

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

@paulsifer42 Probably, because Blizzard introduced these chaps back in 2003, whereas Dreamworks didn't introduce their guy until 2008. And when it comes to copyrights, the chaps who came first have the most claim.

paulsifer42
paulsifer42

If Bethesda can sue for someone using "scrolls," I don't see why Dreamworks can't sure these guys for using Kung Fu Panda.

Bentley137
Bentley137

after seeing this im deffinately getting The Old Republic.....

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

If blizzard was smart they delete all the crap off the servers and roll everything back to vanilla wow. I would come back in a second. If this is the next expansion they might want to think about just starting over.

VVaVer
VVaVer

wtf, this game is getting milked out even more than the sims...

shnull
shnull

it will probably be very funny to and aimed at a younger public, they have long lost the more experienced gamer since the game itself holds little challenge but a timesink, it will be a success as all their products have been, save the Q, it won't change anything, i quit wow right before the first expansion came out so i guess i got to get the best from it :-)

sblazed
sblazed

Theres a difference betwen crying and discussing , oh and have fun (lol).

KelpsterD
KelpsterD

Stop crying about the asian market. I live in Vancouver BC and it is filled with asians. White people are the minority. Soooo many asians play WoW. And why would they be offended? OH NO THEY PUT NOODLES IN A GAME! THAT MUST MEAN BLIZZARD IS A BUNCH OF RACISTS! This looks fun to me and I'll be picking it up. AND SO WILL ALL OF YOU. Nuff said.

alex1g
alex1g

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

sblazed
sblazed

They are aiming young gamers and the asian market with this exp , asians arent as much into star wars as us. Quick and easy cash in , obviously most of their teams already moved to their new projects.

cryingdevil63
cryingdevil63

Stop your QQ,nobody cares when you quit wow,In Blizzard I trust and I reckon this will be a good expansion,let's not jump to conclusions about this sucking just yet

DarklyDivine
DarklyDivine

Playable kung-fu pandas? Seems blizz really is trying to dig their claws in the asian market...why else would they risk such a disservice to a loyal fan base who would most certainly object? Thing is, what's stopping the Chinese from being offended more than intrigued? American game developpers enticing them with humanoid pandas who know martial arts? LOL

kathulos
kathulos

So now we have...Kung Fu Panda. They're really making it easy to stop playing World of Warcraft.

DFL274
DFL274

This is ridiculous. I thought they were doing another joke. I can't believe Blizzard is serious about this. Vanilla warcraft was about a word war, Burning Crusade was a about a demon invasion, Lich King was about an undead invasion, Cataclysm was about just that, a cataclysm. And now the next great expansion is about...Pandas... complete with a Bounce emote? Blizzard is either seriously paniced about Old Republic or they are totally drunk on their own kool-aid.

Baraq
Baraq

"New boredom awaits you!" - announcer voice

mortaleclipse
mortaleclipse

glad I quit this game after vanila, 4 years of my life gone durning vanila WoW. Those were the days

zaxafreon
zaxafreon

The community asked for pandarens years ago, but WoW is already over the hill and this expansion wont save the game. Im glad looking at the comments that people are actually switching to other mmo like TOR or Guild War 2 its time for WoW to step down as the #1 mmo and for some new blood to take its throne.

-Jonce-
-Jonce-

Being an ex-WoW player I was very interested in what Blizz had planned for the next expansion. Monk class is great, Pokemon-like pets will be fun, continent of Pandaria looks amazing... humanoid Panda's as a playable race, seriously?

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

 @garcia_jx

 Nope, I just know that nothing can stay popular forever. Just look at musicians over the last few decades, they rarely stay famous for more than a few years.