A Blizzard representative acknowledged the filing of Mists of Pandaria to GameSpot, replying the following statement: “We appreciate your interest in our trademark filings, but we’re not ready to reveal any details at this time.”
The breaking news has gone all around the world with a lot of buzz and speculation, but Blizzard Entertainment won’t reveal any details until either BlizzCon 2011 (to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center through October 20-21) or at a later time when they are ready.
For those who can’t attend the BlizzCon event in person, Blizzard recently announced BlizzCon Virtual Tickets are on sale now. You have two options to watch the developer panels: watch the video livestream online, or you can watch it on TV via DirecTV.
Baseless Speculation: Gotta Love Fans’ Imagination
Some people speculate that Mists of Pandaria might be the next World of Warcraft expansion after Cataclysm. The Pandaren nation is been known as Pandaria since Warcraft III: Frozen Throne (Orc campaign) after Chen Stormtout and Rexxar met in Durotar.
Curll (a forum member of Scrolls of Lore) started to play connect the dots speculating that the upcoming Christie Golden novel featuring Jaina Proudmoore might have something to do with her Kul’Tiras / Theramore naval fleet exploring the seas of Pandaria. This has not been confirmed.
I also heard a fan suggest that Queen Azshara and the naga, working for the Old gods, might be in search of an item of power in Pandaria. That would make sense twofold. Pandaria is surrounded by sea, and we do know the Veiled Sea — located west of Kalimdor — has presence of Naga throughout the coasts of Darkshore, Azuremyst, Bloodmyst, Ashenvale, Desolace and Feralas.
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the naga needed an artifact to summon Ozumat and the faceless ones. You might recall the Battlemaiden quests in the Shimmering Expanse.
We barely know anything about Pandaria except the Pandaren are from there. The Cataclysm caused Uldum’s cloaking system to malfunction. Pandaria might have one of those Titan bases like Uldaman, Ulduar and Uldum. Or one of those research structures like Un’Goro Crater and Sholazar Basin. Maybe the Cataclysm caused problems there too, powering down or weakening its defenses like Deathwing did with Uldum.
What if Queen Azshara needs an artifact from there for the final steps to bring about the release of the Old gods?
Ain’t a collection of artifacts a bit silly? Not really. In Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal expansion (RTS, 1996), Ner’zhul sent the death knight Teron Gorefiend to Azeroth to retrieve four items of power in order to open portals to other worlds in Draenor: The Book of Medivh, the Scepter of Sargeras, the Skull of Gul’dan and the Eye of Dalaran.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Queen Azshara needed similar items of power from Titan bases to free the Old gods.
Pandaria: An Isle or a Small Continent?
There may be many arguments and speculation about this, but the truth is there is no canon lore on Pandaria. The only source of info about Pandaria was published in the Warcraft RPG books which Chris Metzen deemed non-canon during a Blizzard panel.
With Pandaria having an asian vibe to its theme, it’s possible that Pandaria is a cluster of islands rather than a single island. In real life, some of the biggest archipelagos are: Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
However, Pandaria could be as big as Northrend (which is smaller than Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms). In real life, we could coin Australia as an example. It’s a massive isle, but it is deemed a continent.
World of Warcraft Expansion … or Something Else?
It might be a new World of Warcraft Expansion, but not necessarily. Let’s focus on little breadcrumbs which might be interpreted as a possibility that Mists of Pandaria might be an expansion.
Magistrix Verdande (another Scrolls of Lore forum member) brought up a screenshot from his Tarecgosa questline. The quest for the epic caster weapon in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
The world of Azeroth is seen from a asterioid cluster. For the first time, the planet is seen with a strange mists over the Veiled Sea — the other side of the planet opposite to where the Maelstrom is located.
This could be interpreted as a hint or breadcrumb left by a developer. Remember in Wrath of the Lich King when the Planet Azeroth hologram seen in the Ulduar observatory room showed a Kalimdor split in half? It was very likely a breadcrumb of things to come.
In Cataclysm, Kalimdor was hit hard by the earthquakes, and Thousand Needles is now underwater. This effectively sundered the area in the half portion of Kalimdor. Now the map looks exactly like the Azeroth hologram in Ulduar.
Could this new updated globe of Azeroth in Tarecgosa’s questline hint at … the Mists of Pandaria? I don’t know about you, but after looking at this image It’s hard to vote bogus.
Except watching the video, the mist in that screenshot doesn’t move at all while the globe rotates. The mist can later be seen over Eastern Kingdoms and the Maelstrom. So, I’m sorry. Video wins: Very Bogus.
On a final note, concerning World of Warcraft, isn’t it somewhat curious that the western sea of Kalimdor is known as The Veiled Sea, but the eastern side of Eastern Kingdoms is named The Forbidden Sea? If there was absolutely no land masses in between Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor (the other side of the planet) wouldn’t it make sense to name the entire sea the same way? Unless there is a mass or masses of land dividing both seas?
For the skeptical on this being an expansion to World of Warcraft, there is a very slight chance this could be Warcraft IV: Mists of Pandaria.
On the other hand, what if Mists of Pandaria is not a World of Warcraft expansion nor a Warcraft IV RTS game.
One should also consider a spin-off game. Has anyone considered the thought that Mists of Pandaria might be Titan? When I heard the name Mists of Pandaria, I gotta say, I did think of a World of Warcraft expansion and of Warcraft IV. However, another silly thought made me chuckle in my mind.
I thought of a spin-off game based on the Pandaren — think of a Facebook, iPad, iPhone, PC and Console type of game + Angry Birds or The Lost Vikings. Of course, not exactly like Angry Birds, but something that people could have fun with and play a few minutes or hours socially.
Wouldn’t that be something fun to play? Pandas are cute.
Hasn’t Blizz repeatedly said that Titan is its own franchise? I mean, I’m not entirely sure that “Mists of Pandaria” is WoW’s next expansion, mostly because I don’t think an expansion entirely about the Pandaren holds water… but it could be some manner of spinoff. I just doubt it’s titan.
Let’s pretend “Mists of Pandaria” is a spin-off game from World of Warcraft.
Let’s also use some imagination. It’s all about Pandaren adventures throughout the world. It has its own engine. Maybe a bit cartoonish — I remind you Angry Birds again. Monsters are a rehash of what we know from the Warcraft universe, and some new mobs.
You play as a pandaren monk, wardancer, pikeman, brewmaster, or a Geomancer.
Let’s pretend I am from Blizzard, and that this Mists of Pandaria is Titan. And you are from IGN or Gamespot and you ask me: “Is Titan like a World of Warcraft 2.0?
I would answer: “This is a new game, it’s not World of Warcraft nor a World of Warcraft expansion.”
Now let’s move forward to when the game is announced, and you ask me — but … but … you said it was not World of Warcraft related !!!
I’m gonna answer: “I answered correctly. This is not World of Warcraft. It got its own engine, it doesn’t have the same quest system, auction house system, nor gameplay mechanics as World of Warcraft. This is its own game, its own franchise and its own IP. It’s Mists of Pandaria. Next game will be Mists of Pandaria 2. It can be played on [these] mobile devices, and also on your PC and on your favorite game console. We will also provide a Facebook app so you can play it straight from your browser, and play with your facebook friends.”
I don’t see how that answer can go wrong, nor see there was any lie involved in the answer.
The Blizzard representative provided a true answer without revealing what the game is about. Now if the press or fans had their own interpretation and believed that to be truth — that’s not Blizzard to blame.
Out of character now — I am not saying Mists of Pandaria is [this] or [that]. I am simply capturing a few ideas floating around among fans, and at the same time been open-minded — there can be more than one possible outcome or thought other than mine … other than yours … and other than his/her.
Not only that, they’ve said its a entirely new IP. So unless there’s a whole new universe with a Pandaria as well, they would either have lied to us or something akin to that.
I think Pandaria could easily carry its own expansion. A Pandaria continent, Brewmaster hero class, and a new villain, preferably one completely unrelated to the Old Gods, and it’d be exactly what WoW need.
I really don’t think a spin-off can be called a new IP, so it can’t be Titan; however they also said they were working on a fifth game and implied it was NOT a new IP…
But to be honnest, I’m with our elfic protoss friend on this one: I hope they do a Colombus and discover a new continent west of Kalimdor. WoW has recycled too much old lore recently, and although I love seeing these plots move forward, I think it needs a bit of fresh air.