The new World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, was a thrill to play at Blizzcon 2011. I was able to get a great feel for the new atmosphere, the new Monk class, and the new Pandaren race since I played for about two hours and almost finished the demo.
The demo was filled with Chinese themes, from the scenery to the language. It started off in a Monk training temple where I met with Master Shang Xi who gave me my first set of hand wraps and assigned me quests to destroy a few training targets and to spar with a few fellow Pandaren Monks. As I explored the territory, there were lots of bamboo trees, cranes, and even some AI Pandarens practicing their balance and stance on bamboo poles in a lake. The last city I visited was called Morning Breeze Village, which had a foggy, mountainous landscape with ancient sayings on huge rocks. The new Monk abilities also fit with this theme as well. For example, everyone used the roll ability to travel faster, and you could see a wood block style cloud from from behind as people rolled across the landscape to complete their quests.
As for the language, many enemies, animals, and spirits are named after common Chinese words. After defeating a few fellow Monks, I had to help collect elemental spirits. The first elemental spirit I collected was a fire spirit named Huo, which means fire in Chinese. The next elemental spirit called Shu is a water spirit, which is also very similar to the Chinese character shui (water). In another city, I also had to help them clear the town of annoying Hozu, or monkeys in Chinese.
As the Pandaren Monk, I attacked with a varied combination of physical attacks, such as a jab and the flying serpent kick. One ability, called the quaking palm, was pretty useful when dealing with a difficult enemy or a crowd of enemies because it would temporarily put them to sleep. The flying serpent kick is the Monk's long-range, preemptive strike ability where you soar through the air to kick your enemy. You need to have some distance between you and your enemy or else you cannot pull off this move. These abilities were very fun and easy to use because of the combos that you could pull off. For instance, I would spot an enemy far away and close the gap with a flying serpent kick and them finish them off with a quaking palm, tiger palm, and jab.
After playing Mists of Pandaria at Blizzcon 2011, I wanted to immediately go home and reactivate my account to play more WoW as I wait for this expansion to come out. I loved playing the new Monk class and using martial arts to attack enemies, collect elemental spirits, and save cities from Hozu. This new expansion is very fun to play, and I recommend everyone give it a try when it comes out.