I got in the Mists of Pandaria Beta with the latest wave of invites. I only played for about half an hour or so late last night. I rolled a pandaren monk and poked around a bit. Here are some quick thoughts:
- On the character screen, classes are shown in high-end armor. Guess what paladins are wearing? That's right, Judgement! I love how Judgement armor has come to symbolize the WoW paladin.
- The monk Chi resource is interesting. It's quite close to rogue combo points, but surprisingly plays quite differently. Fixed, and different, Chi costs for abilities end up making the monk play in a completely different manner. I find it very interesting how one tiny change to the resource system results in a completely different class.
- The initial monk attacks are a chi builder, a punch that costs 1 chi and does more damage if the enemy is over 50%, and a kick which costs 2 chi, is only usable below 35%, and refunds one chi if it kills the enemy. This means that my standard gameplay so far is to float with 2 chi in my pool, alternate the builder and punch, and then finish off the mob with a kick. It's a completely different rhythm than the rogue.
- The monk's use of weapons is also interesting. They stay sheathed most of the item, and are only brought out for specific abilities.
- So far, pandaren are reasonably serious. They aren't a joke race like goblins.
- The other interesting mechanic is abilities with a cooldown but multiple "charges". So far, the only ability like this is Roll. It has a 15 second cooldown, but 2 charges. That means that you can Roll twice in a row, but it then takes 15s for 1 charge to be restored, and another 15s for the second charge to come back. (This description isn't the greatest, but it's very intuitive when you see it.) I think this is an interesting design space to open up, as it allows abilities to used multiple times quickly, but still enforces the cooldown and overall rate of ability use. I'm looking forward to seeing what Blizzard does with this mechanic.
Is there anything else people would like to see discussed or tried out?