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WoW Mists of Pandaria: Dungeons and Raids Panel from Blizzcon 2011

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Posted by: Dustin Steiner

We’ve had information here on GameZone about the new talent revamp in Mists of Pandaria, the Monk class, as well as the Pandaren but we haven’t talked much about where you’ll be going in MoP, or who you’ll be killing.

There are three dungeons that were revealed at Blizzcon of the nine planned. Below, we’ll go over each of them along with some pictures and a short video clip.

Temple of the Jade Serpent

The first dungeon you’ll encounter while leveling from 85 to 90. This dungeon centers around defeating the Sha of Doubt, one of the elemental enemies threatening the mysterious land of Pandaria and the Pandaren’s sacred ways.

Stormstout Brewery

The second dungeon previewed was the Stormshout Brewery. The name Stormshout should sound familiar to fans of Warcraft 3 as Chen Stormshot the Pandaren Brewmaster is quite the revered figure within Pandaren society. His brewery has been overrun with Verming and Hozu, two of the indigenous races that inhabit Pandaria. You’re tasked with reclaiming the Stormshout heritage…and their beer.

Shado-Pan Monastrey

The last of the new dungeons to be revealed was the Shado-Pan Monastery.  Located in Kun-Lai Summit, this mountain dojo serves as the home and training grounds of the Shado-pan clan, a clan of ninja Pandaren dedicated to protecting their homeland of Pandaria. Again, the Sha have been set free and threaten the Shado-pan’s base, and you’re tasked with defeating them.

Classics made new again

Also revealed were two more dungeons to get the Deadmines treatment:  Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery! These instances have been completely remained from the ground up, everything from maps to plot have been changed – though, we’re sure you’ll be seeing some familiar faces as you can see from preliminary pictures below.

And, as you can see, Scarlet Monastery has been combined into two  dungeons rather than the original 4 – the graveyard and cathedral are being combined into one wing, while the Library and Armory are another. These are both counted as separate heroic instances.

Challenging the Veteran 5-Man player

Also new in Mists of Pandaria are Challenges. This is a new time trail system for level 90 dungeons. The challenge itself won’t always be hard, but showing up on the leaderboard for completing the challenge in a short time will be. Do well, and you’ll earn a bronze, silver or gold medal. When you complete a challenge, if you attempt it again you’ll receive a stacking debuff -5% to damage and stats, -10% to damage and stats and so on for each attempt.

Rewards for this mode include unique Transmorgification items (items with no stats that have a unique look that you can apply stats from your current gear to, thus making you look different) and other vanity rewards.

Think you’ll just be able to wait until the next patch drops to beat a certain time? Nope – gear levels normalize, meaning your shiny new drops from patch 5.1 aren’t going to help you beat a player’s score who did the time in 5.0. You need to have the skill to beat the time, not just outgear it.

Challenges will be available both through normal groups and the dungeon finder – you don’t have to worry about running into groups doing challenge runs though, as you can turn off the flag when you queue up.

New Raid: Mogu’Shan Palace

Only one raid of the three planned to ship with launch was revealed: the Mogu’Shan Palace. This is a six boss raid located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. It seems to be about investigating the secrets of the Mogu (one of the new indigenous Pandarian races) empire.

Goals for this expansion: Highlights

  • Heroic Dungeons will be tuned to be about as difficult as Wrath of the Lich King dungeons
  • Valor Points will offer a parallel way to gear up along with the Raid Finder(coming in 4.3), but not replacing boss drops.
  • Every time you log in, you will make some kind of progess on your character through: Normal or Heroic Raiding, queuing for a Raid Finder run, hitting Dailies for rewrads and VP, doing 5 man Scenarios or doing Dungeon Challenges. No matter how you choose to play, you can make progress.
  • Looking to make mechanics easier to understand but be challenging at the same time
  • Zones and Locations are closer together this time around – all dungeons are visable in world and are not just instanced off.

Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent!

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