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Blizzard embraces kung-fu pandas for next WoW expansion

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During the opening ceremonies of Blizzcon Friday, Blizzard revealed the fourth expansion pack for the popular World of Warcraft series. Titled World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the expansion pack allows players to create a new character called the pandaren, a panda bear creature that has training in martial arts. This is a neutral character, thus players can choose to join either the Alliance or the Horde with the pandaren. In addition, a new class called the Monk has been opened up in the game. Players will have the option of customizing the Monk to become a healer, a damage dealer or a defensive tank-like character to absorb the majority of damage from attacks.

Mists-of-PandariaBeyond the new zones like the Kun-Lai Summit, Jade Forest and the Wandering Isle to explore, the level cap has been raised by ten levels to 90 for the WoW veterans. Blizzard is also introducing a pet-battling system for players to pit pets against each other in PVP turn-based fights similar to Pokemon. In addition, Blizzard is adding a new time-trial mode for players to earn prestige points by completing dungeons in a specific amount of time. While Blizzard didn’t announce a release date for the new expansion pack, WoW players can get a sneak peak at the beta by signing up for the WoW Annual pass. By putting up an entire year’s worth of subscription fees for World of Warcraft, players get into the beta early as well as a free copy of Diablo III.

In addition to the expansion announcement, Blizzard also unveiled a Defense of the Ancients type of game where players control teams of heroes to annihilate structures on the opposite side of the map. Only titled Blizzard Dota at the moment, the game will utilize popular characters from many other Blizzard franchises. Similar to Mists of Pandaria, there is no release date for Blizzard Dota yet.

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