Quantcast
BlizzCon 2011: Hands-on with the Pandaren Monk - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



World of Warcraft  



BlizzCon 2011: Hands-on with the Pandaren Monk


7:00 PM on 10.21.2011
BlizzCon 2011: Hands-on with the Pandaren Monk photo



After the announcement of the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft, I was able to jump right into the game and get hands-on with the class and race. Upon being dropped into the new starting area, I was instantly awed by the overwhelmingly cool visual aesthetic of an East Asian-themed kung fu panda village. Small changes made to the graphics engine have allowed Blizzard to make the game look and run even better than what we initially saw in Cataclysm. The highly-detailed landscape, sharper textures, and better lighting really help to immerse the player in the new setting.

While I don't want to spoil any of the starting-area content, I will say that the quest lines and story progression was rather fun and interesting. I found myself reading through much of the quest text, invested in what was happening beyond just the amount of XP I would receive at the end.

It starts off as a simple journey, with the player being tasked with helping various masters, picking up new techniques along the way. It soon turns into an important arc for the player, revealing more about the Pandaren and their role in the world of Azeroth.

I moved through the village, picking up my first few quests. There were numerous Pandaren focused on their training, sparring, meditating, or even just rolling around everywhere. Your master directs you to first spar with the punching bags, an important step in understanding the new combat mechanics that Blizzard has created for the class. The Monk has no auto-attack; instead there is a completely manual combat system that utilizes Chi and Light or Dark energy to execute moves.

The standard attack button uses Chi, simultaneously generating Light or Dark energy in the process. This energy can be expended during battle to unleash more devastating attacks and even combinations. Button mashing is a perfectly acceptable method of playing the class, simply hitting buttons as they light up, but I suspect that true mastery will require keen focus and timing.

The new class encourages players to be constantly active, mobile, and observant of their surroundings. A new roll maneuver, while fun to simply spam while running around, is also an important tool in combat. While it is impossible to tell what all of the uses might be for the ability, I was able to use it both offensively and defensively. I could use the roll to quickly move out of harm's way, or to instantly get range on an opponent to execute a brutal flying kick.

With the Monk, Blizzard is trying to cater to as many players as possible who might enjoy the new combat system, allowing the class to fulfill the role of a tank, DPS, or healer depending on their specialization choices. This certainly won't be for everyone, especially if you enjoy playing as passively as possible, but it should hopefully introduce a bit more thrill to the game for players who have gotten tired of the same old combat mechanics.

For anyone who is excited about playing a Pandaren or Monk, but worried about potential racial or faction restrictions, fear not! The Pandaren are WoW's first truly neutral playable race, with players able to choose between either Horde or Alliance upon completion of the starting zone story arc.

Pandaren are not restricted to playing only as a Monk: they can choose any class with the exception of Death Knights, Druids, Paladins, or Warlocks. Conversely, all other races with the exception of the Goblin and Worgen can start as a Monk.

Let us know what you think about the announcement in the comments below.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
World of Warcraft



2:15 PM on 02.18.2014
World of Warcraft: Level 90 jump could cost $60

Showing up in the middle of a patch update for Blizzard, some World of Warcraft users are finding that a boost to level 90 is available in the game's store for $60. Not $20. Not $39.99. But $60.  Maybe this isn't su...more



7:00 AM on 01.29.2014
Time, well, spent: World of Warcraft crosses 100M users

Blizzard's World of Warcraft just crossed 100 million lifetime players. Wow. Let that sink in for a moment. We've had less than 100 million people turn out to vote for the United States presidency. Maybe political candidates ...more



3:00 AM on 01.15.2014
World of Warcraft designer Greg Street now at Riot Games

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has joined Riot Games as lead game designer. Previously Greg was lead systems designer on World of Warcraft where and his involvements with the game were huge. He led half of the design team, and ov...more



8:00 AM on 01.04.2014
Beware a trojan targeting World of Warcraft accounts

Blizzard has identified malware that's been targeting World of Warcraft users recently which was able to steal account info and the authenticator password. The trojan is a fake version the Curse Client, the add-on management ...more



12:30 PM on 12.05.2013
Police detain World of Warcraft player during livestream

Someone decided to play an awful prank on Swifty, a World of Warcraft broadcaster with a half-million subscribers on YouTube. Some asshat watching his livestream decided it would be hilarious to call the cops and claim that ...more



6:00 PM on 11.15.2013
We could see procedurally generated content in WoW

It appears as if the World of Warcraft team may be mixing things up beyond an expansion in the future. Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Blizzard's lead content designer Cory Stockton noted that since people "burn thr...more



11:00 AM on 11.05.2013
'Warlords of Draenor' might be the next WoW expansion

Over on the MMO Champion forums, the Administrator Boubouille made a post showing that Blizzard have trademarked "Warlords of Draenor" in New Zealand, and it seems possible that this could be the name of the next expansion fo...more



1:00 AM on 10.22.2013
Blizzard wins $7M in bot suit settlement

Blizzard Entertainment has been awarded $7 million in the settlement of a December 2011 lawsuit against Ceiling Fan Software, GamesIndustry International reports. Ceiling Fan is responsible for a number of World of Warcraft b...more



6:30 PM on 08.23.2013
Blizzard isn't opposed to an eventual free-to-play WoW

Although World of Warcraft's subscriber base is on the decline, the monolithic MMORPG isn't going anywhere. And if it eventually gets to that point, there's always the free-to-play option. "For Blizzard it makes sense [to go ...more



10:00 PM on 07.27.2013
Cue mass hysteria: WoW loses 600,000 subscribers

I can't help but chuckle when Activision Blizzard releases subscription figures for World of Warcraft, because even when there are significant losses, the number of continuing subscribers remains astronomical. By the end of J...more




MMO

10:15 AM on 04.14.2014
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is now out on PS4

I'm mostly here for the launch trailer for the PS4 version of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, sharing it because I think it's pretty great. I love the action and the music. But I'm also here to share my excitement for thi...more



8:00 AM on 04.14.2014
ZeniMax confusingly endorses an online forum to support trading in Elder Scrolls Online

As I've mentioned in my review in progress for The Elder Scrolls Online, the game did not ship with an Auction House -- a system in place in nearly every MMO that allows players to conveniently buy and sell goods within the g...more



11:01 PM on 04.11.2014
Vita remote play for Final Fantasy XIV is viable for leveling

While I've already spoken about the general quality of the PS4 port for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, I really got a chance to dig into the remote play feature for the first time today and get some extensive testing in. ...more



View all MMO






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more