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Mists of Pandaria: Meet the new faces of SI:7

One of the high points of Cataclysm questing as an Alliance player were the interactions with SI:7, Stormwind's masters of stealth and sneakery. Those interactions were infrequent but memorable -- who doesn't want to assassinate cultists alongside Mathias Shaw? As the war between the Alliance and the Horde ratchets up, SI:7 is absolutely one of the groups that needs to be in on the action, so I was pleased as punch to see them on the shores of Pandaria.

While Mathias Shaw himself isn't on Pandaria, players are introduced to a new cast of SI:7 agents representing nearly the entire spread of Alliance races. Even the draenei have signed on this time around. Hit the cut below to meet the cast.

Rell Nightwind is the night elf at the top of this post and the man in charge of the SI:7 team. Around this guy, you learn pretty quickly that even though you're some kind of badass who has saved the world and stuff, you're still a rookie when it comes to Stormwind Intelligence. You can't just go sundering worlds to solve intelligence issues. If you're going to find the White Pawn, you'll need to follow orders.

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Nodd Codejack is -- well, he's a gnome. He makes things explode. Pretty standard gnomish fare all around. Oh, and he's wearing Master Yi's goggles.

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Sully "The Pickle" McLeary is the team's resident engineer. While Mr. Codejack is really good at making things explode, McLeary is good at putting other things back together. You'll help him repair siege engines and that sort of thing. Curiously, in your interactions with him, he's also the most traditionally roguey next to Rell Nightwind.

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Amber Kearnen looks like your traditional sneak-and-stab sort of rogue, but you quickly learn otherwise. She doesn't seem to be much of a fan of knives at all. Ms. Kearnen is a sharpshooter, preferring to take out her targets from afar from a sniper's nest on high ground. I'm not sure that sort of thing is possible with Azeroth's level of technology, but she makes it work. That's what matters.

Technically, Amber isn't a new addition to World of Warcraft in Mists of Pandaria. Some players may have already met her in Westfall. Now if only a few other low-level NPCs could make a comeback this expansion ...

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Mishka is my personal favorite, because we've never seen a draenei in SI:7 before. So far in World of Warcraft, the draenei have been largely uninvolved with the war between the Horde and the Alliance, so it's nice to see one of them taking an active role in the well-being of the faction. Mishka is the team's combat medic -- and not of the priestly variety. Check out those bloody gloves. And those glasses she's wearing! This gal is a surgeon, not a magician.

There was another agent mentioned somewhere in the Jade Forest quests -- probably our missing worgen agent -- but they don't seem to have survived the unfortunate sequence of events that leads to the loss of the missing White Pawn.

As an Alliance player, I would love to see the return of the 7th Legion to the front lines as well, even if Halford Wyrmbane has lost his head in the Isle of Conquest Battleground. However, the war is in the process of heating up again, it isn't at its full boil yet. The true war for Pandaria will begin in the expansion's first content patch.

Right now, while the Alliance is still poking around Pandaria and still trying to gain its footing, SI:7 is the perfect group to be spearheading those efforts. However, when the war truly breaks out and the Alliance and the Horde roll up on Pandaria's shores in force, that's when it's time for the 7th Legion to march -- and I hope dearly that they do.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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