Yours truly was lucky enough to get in for the first wave of MoP beta invites. I know you all don’t want me to beat around the bush here, so let’s get right into it. Be warned, this is going to be a long, image intensive post.
First and foremost, the character creation screen has been updated. I opted to immediately create a female pandaren monk. Unfortunately the customization options for the faces are all stuck firmly at “cutesy teddy-bear” but the hair options are amazing! Animation-wise the female pandaren look fantastic. Their movements are fluid and put the older models to shame. THey even pose when they land after jumping with two different landing styles!
I made a short video of the female pandaren running animations which you can view here:
The running gait is very well animated and I appreciate that they went with a realistic style rather than something gangly and ridiculous. *eyeballs female worgen* That said, my femme panda’s breasts could use some help. Real breasts do not swagger like drunken barflies. I don’t know if it was the shirt, but I’ve thought this for years about certain boob dynamics in the game, female dwarves included. It’s one thing for them to sway in the breeze, it’s another for them to somehow stretch to weird angles as they run.
Also, their rude, cower, and sleep animations are awesome!
Monks are pretty fun to play. They remind me of a cross between a rogue and a deathknight but with the ability to heal. Your main resources are either energy (if in a damage dealing stance) mana (if in a healing stance) and chi, which are those dots you can see on my character’s portrait. Certain attacks build chi, and certain other attacks use it up. So it’s like a constant energy/chi balance. The first healing spell I had access to bounced randomly between players (to heal) and enemies (to damage.) So I guess that’s what Blizzard meant by monks being melee combat healers.
I wasn’t able to level my monk up past level 12 because most of the questing areas in Azeroth are broken. Either the quests aren’t there, or they don’t work. So if you’re not in the beta yet, don’t wring your hands too much, you’re not missing out on very much. Pandaria itself isn’t even open yet.
Anywho, the starting area for the Pandaren is very fun. It’s much like the worgen and goblin zones in that it’s isolated and you need to complete the entire storyline before you can leave. The ultimate choice to switch to the alliance or horde is the very last quest, and the quests leading to it DO NOT highlight one side over the other. So don’t worry about that as both sides are portrayed as equally righteous. I won’t spoil the quests for you because come on, that’s why you want to play, right? But I have lots of screenshots! I tried to cap things I thought were neat but didn’t necessarily spoil the story. Enjoy!
Now THIS I want to be the next druid glyph available. :3
Now, Blizzard claimed that in MoP their phasing techniques would be much more subtle. From what I’ve seen so far they are living up to that promise.
And as we all know, part of the fun of beta is the goofy screenshots or random, hilarious, or not yet in things. Trust me, I got plenty of those too.
I LOVE YOUR HAT!
Currently male pandaren do not yet have an idle animation. So when they go idle they go into what I call the “hug stance.” You can view two NPCs doing the hug stance here:
HAAAY VARIAN HAAAY!
he’s da boss, see?
This one I just don’t even know.
As the beta updates I’ll try to keep updating here. I obviously have fraps and since there’s no NDAs, if you guys have any requests for things you want to see, just let me know!