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BlizzCon 2011: Mists of Pandaria Preview Panel liveblog

The preview panel for the next expansion will show you an absolute ton about the game. Expect to see a lot specifics from Ghostcrawler and Tom Chilton.

Pacific Time zone: 12:30 a.m.
Mountain Time zone: 1:30 p.m.
Central Time zone: 2:30 p.m.
Eastern Time zone: 3:30 p.m.

The live blog is over! Check after the break for all the major announcements.

1:57 p.m. That's it for this panel! Very informative. Thanks for reading. We'll be back soon with the class talent system panel soon.

1:57 p.m. GC says the whole team has been kicking ass on this to get it together.

1:56 p.m. Talent trees should be fun.

1:56 p.m. Some new core spells. Maybe a new level 87 spell. Still thinking about that one.

1:56 p.m. Trainers will still be there for things like respeccing.

1:56 p.m. Automatically learn spells.

1:55 p.m. Rotations are improved.

1:55 p.m. All classes -- massive spell book cleanup.
1:55 p.m. Still some overlap between feral and guardian spec. All druids can go cat or bear form. Just specs.

1:55 p.m. (and then resto and boomkin)

1:55 p.m. Guardian - bear tanking spec

1:54 p.m. Feral - cat melee DPS

1:54 p.m. Druids have four specs.

1:54 p.m. Druids now.

1:54 p.m. Bulwark Totem -- Absorbs damage.

1:54 p.m. Repulsion Totem -- Keeps mobs from getting close.

1:54 p.m. Earthgrab Totem -- Big root
1:54 p.m. "Not fun to be the buff bitch for everyone else in the group." -- GC

1:53 p.m. Buff totems are gone.

1:53 p.m. Shaman now.

1:53 p.m. Destro -- Infernal Embers. Don't want the spec to be like a mage. Build up fire energy, and then blow them away with a big nuke.

1:52 p.m. When you hit max "demonic fury," you will morph into a demon (for demonology).

1:52 p.m. Unique resources for each spec. Aff -- soul shards. Destro or demo will get something else.
1:51 p.m. He's kidding.

1:51 p.m. Warlocks -- "Gone!"

1:51 p.m. "We know some of you casters want to be Harry Potter. So instead of cutting your wand, we're putting it in the main hand." -- GC

1:50 p.m. Wands become main-hand weapons.

1:50 p.m. Rogues and warriors can just throw their melee weapons when they need to do ranged attacks.

1:50 p.m. Relic slot is gone.

1:50 p.m. Ranged slot for all other characters gone.

1:49 p.m. "Nothing is a hunter weapon." -- GC

1:49 p.m. Hunter melee weapons gone.
1:49 p.m. GONE!

1:49 p.m. Hunter minimum range -- (he's milking this) ...

1:49 p.m. Resilience -- big barrier of entry to Arena. Resilience is now a base stat. PVP gear adds to it.

1:48 p.m. Account achievement -- Get every profession to max level. Cruel for one character; "fun" for all your characters.

1:47 p.m. Account-level achievements!

1:47 p.m. Greg wants us to go to the bathroom soon. OK.

1:46 p.m. Achievements is up now. Ghostcrawler is back.
1:46 p.m. Tol'vir Proving Grounds -- New arena. Located in Uldum. Simple layout based on Nagrans arena. Sense of place in the world. You'll know it fits in Uldum.

1:45 p.m. Valley of Power -- Located in Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Holding the object earns points. Multiple point zones. Object does damage to holder. Damage increase over time. Murderball style of play.

1:43 p.m. Diamond Mine -- Escort mine cars to depot, multiple tracks, first to X resources win. Goblin mine below Northern STV.

1:43 p.m. Tol'vir Proving Grounds -- new arena.

1:42 p.m. Choices for new ones, not sure which to do: Stranglethorn Diamond Mines (payload), Valley of Power (murderball), Azshara Crater (DOTA).

1:42 p.m. New Battlegrounds!

1:42 p.m. PVP is now up.
1:42 p.m. Faction improvements -- offer players more ways to earn the items you want. Work in groups of factions; you won't have to grind so much.

1:40 p.m. Lots more incentives for dungeons and raiders to do more dailies and outdoor stuff, i.e., do five dailies, do a dungeon, you can roll on a piece of loot that only shows up for people who have completed five dailies.

1:40 p.m. Lots more incentives for dungeons and raiders.

1:39 p.m. Molten Front-type thing will be available right from the beginning.

1:39 p.m. Focus on more max-level content. They agree Cataclysm content was burned through way too quickly.

1:39 p.m. Questing now.

1:38 p.m. World raid bosses will return.

1:38 p.m. Raid Finder will continue right off the bat.

1:37 p.m. Three new raids to launch with, featuring Mogu and Mantid races as enemies.

1:37 p.m. Raid next up.

1:36 p.m. Heroic Scarlet Monastery, wings 1 and 2!

1:36 p.m. Heroic Scholomance in MoP!

1:36 p.m. Nine new dungeons, six dungeons across Pandaria.

1:35 p.m. Dungeons now!
1:35 p.m. Master and master ability -- Travel around the world, and there are masters that you can find and fight, just like Pokemon dungeon leaders. You get a master's ability, though, when you win (again, just like a Pokemon TM or HM).

1:34 p.m. Items your pet can hold. Hey wait ... I think I did that in SoulSilver ...

1:33 p.m. This is WoW Pokemon ... my God.

1:33 p.m. Queue system for fighting against other pets.

1:33 p.m. Fight with a team of three pets.

1:32 p.m. "Simple combat system."

1:32 p.m. Pet Battles -- PVE and PVP battles. Turn-based combat.

1:31 p.m. You'll build a team of pets. Yup. WoW Pokemon.

1:31 p.m. Pet Journal lets you manage your pets.

1:28 p.m. This is WoW Pokemon ...
1:28 p.m. Wild Pet - found out in the world, engage with it, collect it.

1:27 p.m. Customize your pets -- name them, give them abilities, etc.

1:27 p.m. Works with almost every pet.

1:27 p.m. Available for everyone, not a max-level thing.

1:27 p.m. Collect, level, and battle with your companion pets.

1:26 p.m. Pet Battle system up now.

1:26 p.m. Challenge Modes -- Competitive rank and leader boards. Compare yourself with your guildmates and others on your realm.

1:24 p.m. Valor points delivered by the Challenge Mode Dungeons.

1:24 p.m. Valor points delivered.

1:24 p.m. Rewards sweet-looking gear with no stats.

1:24 p.m. Challenge mode dungeons -- Complete a dungeon in X minutes. Earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal. Gear levels are normalized.
1:21 p.m. Scenarios are like more epic quests that'll give you valor/justice.

1:18 p.m. Each scenario has different phases where you have to accomplish some greater goal. Like kill 25 Kobolds (stage 1), find and return four Goldshire children to town (stage 2), kill Goldtooth (final stage).

1:17 p.m. Number of players can vary depending on what the scenario is. All designed for players doing things as they would in questing. No tank, healers, etc., roles required (it sounds like).

1:16 p.m. Short instances for a few players.

1:16 p.m. PVE scenarios are an interesting new thing to do that don't make a whole lot of sense in the typical dungeon. They're about reusing parts of the world in new and interesting ways, i.e. Battle for Goldshire.

1:15 p.m. Scenarios up now.

1:15 p.m. Talent panel will give every talent of every class.

1:13 p.m. Amazing new UI. Pics soon.

1:13 p.m. Change talents as easily as glyphs. Not able to do in combat, but change talents for individual fights is something they'll want you to do.

1:12 p.m. Our goal: No mandatory talents.

1:12 p.m. Every talent: choose one of three

1:12 p.m. Earn talents every 15 levels.

1:12 p.m. One talent tree per class.

1:12 p.m. No talent points or rank anymore.
1:07 p.m. Video now of the monk fighting -- he's using martial arts like moves to build chi, and then doing some amazing things like spinning around and kicking everything in an AOE move.

1:06 p.m. NO AUTO-ATTACK!

1:05 p.m. Jab generates light and dark force, which are used for everything else!

1:05 p.m. Chi (energy) used for Jab (primary builder) and Roll attack.

1:05 p.m. Monk resources now.
1:05 p.m. Leather armor -- agi for tank/DPS, int for the healer.

1:04 p.m. Off-hands for healers.

1:04 p.m. One-handed axes, maces, and sword are also going to be able to be used.

1:04 p.m. Staves and fist weapons making a comeback. Especially fist weapons.

1:04 p.m. Monks hit a lot with their hands and feet. Finishers will use weapons.

1:03 p.m. "If we don't do Gnome monks, monks aren't worth doing."

1:03 p.m. Monk races: Draenei, Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Pandaren, Blood Elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll, Undead
1:02 p.m. Very martial-arts-based.

1:02 p.m. Monk is not a hero class. Starts a level 1!

1:02 p.m. Monk windwalker -- melee DPS.

1:01 p.m. Monk mistweaver -- healer. Melee healer -- won't do tons of damage but will be a different healing style.

1:01 p.m. Monk brewmaster -- tank.

1:00 p.m. Bouncy - Falling damage reduced by half.

1:00 p.m. Inner Peace -- Your reset XP bonuses lasts twice as long.

1:00 p.m. Gourmand - Cooking skill increased by 15.

12:59 p.m. Epicurean racial -- Increases the stats benefits from food by 100%.
12:59 p.m. Pandaren classes: hunter, mage, monk, priest, rogue, shaman, warrior.

12:58 p.m. Female model for the Pandarens are not done yet. They're coming.

12:58 p.m. Hair and facial styles are not in for the Pandaren yet.

12:58 p.m. "I love you, Ghostcrawler!" someone yells. "I love you too, man," says Ghostcrawler.

12:57 p.m. He told me last night he wasn't going to say anything funny today ... We'll see... We'll see...

12:57 p.m. Mr. Ghostcrawler himself is now up. Hi, Ghostcrawler!

12:57 p.m. Lots of contrast between the north and south side. Lots of hills, trees, etc.
12:56 p.m. Video is now playing.

12:56 p.m. Farmland in Valley of the Four Winds will be completely unique, not like other farmland we've seen.

12:55 p.m. One of the first breaches of the Mantid happens here, and players will encounter them then.

12:55 p.m. Stormstout Brewery is in the Valley of the Four Winds. A new dungeon, it will have a big presence in the Valley of the Four Winds.

12:54 p.m. Choose north or south side to do as your questing, but you can always come back and do both.

12:54 p.m. Huge -- two zones for the price of one!
12:54 p.m. Valley of the Four Winds -- second zone. North side: Pandaren farmland. South side: coastal jungle.

12:53 p.m. Video now of The Jade Forest. Looks like what you'd expect, except very forest-y -- more so than Grizzly Hills, even.

12:52 p.m. They're now showing concept art. Absolutely amazing.

12:52 p.m. Temple of the Jade Serpent -- first 85-86 dungeon that's in the zone. Remove the Sha from the dungeon.

12:52 p.m. Lush rainforests and stone spires. Meet the Hozu and Jinyu. Alliance gets the Hozu, Horde gets the Jinyu. Conflict happens.

12:51 p.m. The Jade Forest -- First place we enter Pandaria at. Navel battle happens off the coast. Horde ends up on the north side of the zone, Alliance on the south side of the zone.
12:50 p.m. Sha -- Unique. Manifestation of negative energy on the Island of Pandaria. Shadow form energy creature. "You could fight this guy as a raid boss for sure."

12:49 p.m. Mogu -- An ancient race. The original race on the Island of Pandaria. They want the island back. Players will be fighting them.

12:49 p.m. Mantid -- Killer races. They play a big role and are part of the overarching story. Insect race. They've been separated from Pandaria by a giant wall, and they're breaking through that wall now.

12:48 p.m. Vermin -- Kobold-like race. They're not too strong. They're Kobolds 2.0. The picture is "awww. cute!" Looks like a demonic rabbit.
12:47 p.m. Hozu -- Monkey-like race; the stand up on their legs and walk around. They're mischievous.

12:47 p.m. Jinyu -- Race of fish-like creatures. Wise men on Pandaria. They can take their staff, stick in the land, and hear what it's saying.

12:45 p.m Lots of Asian themes, but it doesn't look out of place for WoW. This is very important and a great success for the Blizzard art department.

12:45 p.m. Video now of the opening Pandaren zone.

12:44 p.m. Pandarens love beer.
12:44 p.m. Entire starting zone is playable. Final map shown. We'll have you pictures soon!

12:43 p.m. Pandaren are a neutral race. One way choice at level 10 to choose Horde or Alliance.
12:43 p.m. Yes, you play on the back of a turtle.
12:43 p.m. Pandaren start zone -- The Wandering Isle. It's a turtle!

12:42 p.m. Lore of Pandaria -- A long, storied history. Magically hidden (in mist) since The Sundering. A new land to explore. Alliance and Horde.

12:41 p.m. "The five zones are really large zones."

12:40 p.m. Current flying doesn't give the best questing experience. Flying down, kill mob, flying up, find another mob, fly down... not fun (according to Blizzard and a lot of people in the crowd).
12:39 p.m. No flying until max level.

12:39 p.m. AH, Bank, and central questing hubs all on the new continent.

12:39 p.m. One unified continent influenced by Asian landscapes.

12:38 p.m. Five new level-up zones.
12:38 p.m. Cory Stockton up now to talk about Pandaria.

12:37 p.m. Talent system changes seem very, very large.

12:37 p.m. Talent system hasn't aged as well as it had. We've been plagued with cookie-cutter builds.

12:36 p.m. "Geek out with more interesting character builds than ever."

12:36 p.m. Valor points as quest rewards are coming; faster to raid, but still can progress via some dailies.

12:35 p.m. Blizzard doesn't want to pigeonhole you into content. Create a menu of content and find ways to progress your character that fits you; not Blizzard.
12:34 p.m. Outdoor world raid bosses coming back.

12:34 p.m. The want to get people back into the world. They are tired of seeing people standing around in the cities all the time.

12:32 p.m. "Combining new gameplay with the most fun parts of the past." -- Mists of Pandaria philosophy.

12:30 p.m. Here we go! Tom Chilton, Cory Stockton, Greg Street coming out.

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