Mists of Pandaria will raise the existing level cap from level 85 to 90. It will introduce a new character class, the Monk, along with a new playable race, the Pandaren. The vanity pet system will be overhauled and will include a pet battle system. New PVE scenarios will be introduced, and Challenge Modes will be added for dungeons. The existing 41-point talent trees will be replaced by a new system of tiered talents that are awarded every 15 levels. Blizzard has stated that there are plans for nine new dungeons, three new raids, and four new battlegrounds.
Plot and setting
The game is set after the events of Deathwing and the Cataclysm. The major setting is the titular land of Pandaria, one of the continents of the world of Azeroth. Discovery of Pandaria is made after a naval battle between the Horde and the Alliance. It had previously been hidden by magic since The Sundering, only to resurface.
Pandaria is a new continent located to the south of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Several zones have been announced, including the Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Townlong Steppes, Kun-Lai Summit, Krasarang Wilds, and the Dread Wastes. The Jade Forest will be the first zone, and the entry point for the Alliance and Horde. It will feature lush rainforest and stone spires, and introduce the player to the Hozu and Jinyu races. It will contain the Temple of the Jade Serpent, one of the new dungeons, and introduce the Sha enemy. The Valley of the Four Winds will include Pandaren farm lands, with a coastal jungle. The Stormstout Brewery, another new dungeon, is located in the valley. There will be auction houses scattered across the five zones of Pandaria. Along with these normal auction houses, a "black market" auction house will be located in an area north of the Valley of the Four Winds called the Veiled Stair. Unlike the player controlled auction house, this auction house will be controlled by NPCs who will post items, usually of rare status or those that have been removed from the game in previous expansions. Both Horde and Alliance can use the black market auction house.
The Wandering Isle
The Wandering Isle is a roaming giant turtle named Shen-zin Su, where Pandaren player characters begin their adventure, which they leave after choosing a faction. Historically, the Pandaren explorer Lui Lang was overcome with a rare trait in the Pandaren of that time, Wanderlust. It is because of this he departed Pandaria around 10,000 years ago on the back of the turtle, Shen-zin Su. Lui Lang had returned to his homeland a few times, and each time the turtle had become progressively bigger.
Creatures and enemies
Pandaria will play host to new races that the players will encounter. Besides the Pandaren there is the Jinyu, a race that is similar to the Murlocs and Naga, the Hozen, a monkey like race, and the Virmen, who are related to Kobolds. The Mantids are an insectoid race with some of Pandaria's raids planned on them. Players will encounter the Mogu, who were the first to inhabit Pandaria, and the Sha, who are "the manifestation of negative energy on Pandaria".