pandren Blizzcon: Mists of Pandaria Expansion Announced for World of Warcraft. Monk Class! Pandaren Race!

It’s that time of the year, folks!  Blizzcon is live and underway, and already the news is starting to pour in. If you’re not one of the lucky people on site and getting the first-hand experience, fret not – we’ve got the latest news to share with you. But let’s get right to the big news: the next World of Warcraft expansion is announced, and we’re finally getting two things that have been rumored since the first expansion. That’s right, in one swoop we’re getting pandaren as a playable race, and the monk class! I know what you’re wondering – alright, so the pandaren are in. But which side gets them? Horde or Alliance? And the answer is…

Both sides! That’s right – the pandaren are going to serve as the first neutral race for World of Warcraft, so whether you’re on the Horde or Alliance side you’ll be able to get black and white and red all over! Red with the blood of your enemies anyway. And as long as you’re getting nice and bloody, you may as well do as the brand new monk class. These guys are going to be edging in on druid and paladin turf, since Blizzard is saying they’ll be able to serve tank, healer or damage dealing roles. Which means you’ll be able to punch your enemies to death, punch your allies to healthiness or punch enemies in some weird, annoying way that keeps your target focused on you while your allies punch him to death. A diversity of playstyles!

There’s more than this, of course. Here’s the full and conveniently bullet-pointed rundown straight from the PR itself:

  • New Playable Race — Pandaren: Adventure through Azeroth as World of Warcraft‘s first neutral race and decide whether to side with the Alliance or the Horde.
  • New Playable Class — Monk: Unlock the secrets of pandaren martial arts and do battle as a damage dealer, healer, or tank.
  • Level Cap Increased to 90:Learn potent new spells and abilities while exploring uncharted zones and taking on challenging new content.
  • New Zones:Explore the lush Jade Forest, treacherous Kun-Lai Summit, and other exotic areas of Pandaria designed for high-level characters, and uncover the mystery of the Wandering Isle.
  • Scenarios: Join up with some friends to achieve a common goal, such as mounting a defense against invading monsters, in a flexible new type of PvE challenge.
  • Dungeon “Challenge” Modes: Master the ultimate five-player time trial to earn prestige rewards in a new dungeon mode that will put your resolve and coordination to the test.
  • Pet Battles: Challenge other players’ companion pets with your own collection in a new tactical mini-game, and find out who’s king or queen of the pint-sized battlefield.
  • New Talent System: Customize your character to suit your play style with the newly overhauled and improved talent system.
Look at all that! Boosted level cap, new class, new race, new zones, new content styles, new ways to run through dungeons, a new talent system (Again? Do they do this every expansion?), and… pet battles! Frankly, that’s the most interesting thing on the list to me. Has Blizzard decided that an MMO with a Trading Card Game attached to it is not addictive enough, and now they have to add a Pokemon aspect to it? Possibly. It’s a good day to be a World of Wacraft player! We’ll be keeping you posted on more news as it flows in. For now, I leave you with the Mists of Pandaria trailer below. Enjoy!