I haven’t done much in the Mists of Pandaria Beta until now, mostly because of the frustratingly frequent crashes. However, I have been keeping track of news on MMO-Champion and yesterday I decided to give the Beta another try. I quested through about half of a level so far and just wanted to share some of the cool new features.
So far I have seen a few cool UI changes in the Beta. There is a new book you can open to view your mounts and pets, rather than seeing them in your regular Spell Book. This display seems a little bit nicer and shows your mounts in a larger window than in the current version. The Companions tab is also set up to allow for the Pet Battles, but I haven’t explored this feature at all yet.
The other really nice UI change that I’ve noticed is a symbol that will show up on your mini map when you have a quest objective to talk to a specific person or investigate specific clues. On top of the symbol appearing on your mini map, it also appears above the person you’re supposed to talk to or the item you’re supposed to investigate. I really like this feature as opposed to walking around to every NPC in an area until I find the right one. Blizzard is really trying to eliminate the stress of figuring out what your supposed to do and get you back on the path of just having fun doing the quests.
I know AOE Looting was already formally announced and covered by several official WoW sites, but I just want to say that this feature is AWESOME! It is so nice to gather up a bunch of mobs and kill them in one spot, then only have to loot once to get everything. This should make quests with drop objectives go much quicker. Also, this may not make looting a waste of time for those who will be trying for a Realm First Level 90 achievement when the expansion is released.
Another nice change that is visible in the Beta is the flash of achieving one objective to a larger achievement. Many achievements require multiple objectives in order to be completed, Loremaster is one of the most well-known examples of this. With the changes to Loremaster in Mists being based on completing specific story lines rather than just a certain number of quests, you will now see an achievement-like flash whenever you complete one of those story lines. This is not technically an achievement and so is not worth any points but I like the flash to signify completing a milestone in a larger achievement.
Halfway through level 85 I have already started interacting with and gaining reputation with one of the new Pandaria factions. Alliance players will gain reputation with the Pearlfin (fish people) and Horde players will gain reputation with the Hozen (monkey people). If the reputation gain rates stay the same as they currently are in the Beta, you should be able to get Exalted with your faction simply by following the quest chains in The Jade Forest.
For Alliance players, you will also have a pretty entertaining quest chain, SI:7 Report, to look forward to in the Pearlfin Village. I wanted to upload a video of the full quest chain but it was too long. Other people have the full quest chain up though, so check it out. Particularly pay attention to what Sully (the Dwarf) says. I hope you find it as entertaining as I did.
I will be casually leveling to 90 in the Beta over the next few weeks and reporting any interesting new finds.