Shrouded in fog by Shaohao using Sheilun, Staff of the Mists since the world was sundered more than ten thousand years ago, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Its lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains are home to a complex ecosystem of indigenous races and exotic creatures. It is the homeland of the enigmatic pandaren, a race that celebrates life to the fullest even while under siege by an ancient menace.
The new continent reveals itself to a broken world just as the Alliance and Horde are spiraling ever closer to a war that will consume all of Azeroth. Will the mists of Pandaria part to reveal the world's salvation? Or will the battle to control this rich and breathtaking new land push the two mighty factions over the brink of war and into total annihilation?
Pandaren hail from the distant island nation of Pandaria, which non-pandarens have never seen or ever visited to this day. The Pandaren Empire was founded before the Great Sundering of the world, and is believed to be just as old as the Kaldorei civilization. It shared and traded resources, goods, ideas, and mystic knowledge with the haughty night elves of central Kalimdor in the years before the War of the Ancients. As the night elves' obsession with the forces of magic drove them to the brink of madness, the gentle pandaren severed ties, withdrew, and closed their borders, and left the night elves behind forever. The pandaren clans, or "shao'dins", traveled far across the seas and established crude but beautiful cities of stone and sturdy bambus reed on an island they named Pandaria. In time, they built a new empire on the island. For ten millennia, the world had forgotten the pandaren. Shortly after the Third War, though, a few reappeared — perhaps roused from their isolation by the Burning Legion, whose catastrophic coming shook the world.
The pandaren have chosen to keep the location of their island a secret and most are content to remain there, with only the rare few individuals choosing to leave and see the outside world.
A splinter group of pandaren arrived on Kalimdor in the aftermath of the Third War and have established a settlement in the Stonetalon Mountains of Kalimdor, but the location remains as secret as that of their island homeland.
Pandaren society has changed from its origins. Where once the pandaren were a mighty empire, standing proud beside their night elf allies, now they are a simple people who want only peace and a safe home. Yet the world is a dangerous place, and only through an acceptance of the violence that comes with life can the pandaren continue to prosper.
Pandaren society is, in many ways, compartmentalized. At their core, the pandaren treasure peace and creativity. Most pandaren are poets and singers, and the craftsmen of their culture are truly revered. The danger of their lives, however, has necessitated the evolution of a class of warriors to defend those ideals — it is these warriors, from the simplest pikeman to the great shodopans, who ensure that Pandaren culture survives.
Even the lowliest pandaren is capable of defending himself, using the fangs and stubby but needle-like claws that are a natural part of his body. All pandaren can use these natural weapons to fight and hunt, as pandaren grow up playing rough and tumble games meant to hone their abilities while learning the admonishments of their elders that such things are a last resort. In general, pandaren prefer to use the weapons they craft, feeling that their natural weapons hearken back to a primal time.
Gems of Pandaria
Pandaria is apparently known for its gems (which are apparently magical). The red dragons believed that three crushed gems from Pandaria are one of the components needed to rejuvenate the Sunwell.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
- Main article: Mists of Pandaria
On July 28, 2011, Blizzard Entertainment registered the trademark "Mists of Pandaria", with international codes 009 and 041 which appear on online games. The name was confirmed to be the next expansion after Cataclysm. According to the intro panel, the continent of Pandaria has been magically shrouded in mist since the Sundering. The expansion also introduced a new playable Pandaren race.
Pandaria in Azeroth
- The Wandering Isle ( ) - New Pandaren starting zone. Level 1 - 10.
- The Jade Forest ( ) - Eastern and beginning zone. Level 85 - 87.
- Valley of the Four Winds ( ) - Central southern zone. Level 86 - 87.
- Krasarang Wilds ( ) - Southern shore. Level 86 - 90.
- Veiled Stair ( ) - Bridge zone linking the Valley of the Four Winds and Kun-Lai Summit. Level 87.
- Kun-Lai Summit ( ) - Northern zone. Level 86 - 88.
- Townlong Steppes ( ) - Western zone. Level 88 - 89.
- Dread Wastes ( ) - Southwestern zone. Level 89 - 90.
- Vale of Eternal Blossoms ( ) - Central zone. Level 90, but can get to zone via quest at level 87.
In Patch 5.2
The following islands were added to the Pandaria map in Patch 5.2:
- Isle of the Thunder King ( ) - north of western archipelago of Townlong Steppes (took place of island on release map and changed shape)
- Isle of Giants ( ) - north of the central coast of Kun-Lai Summit
In Patch 5.4
The following island was added to the Pandaria map in Patch 5.4:
- Timeless Isle ( ) - off the southeast coast of The Jade Forest (possibly southeast, but you apparently can't fly to it, only via ).
Alliance players will start by meeting with in Stormwind Keep (  ω τ ϖ) and then fly to the gunship Skyfire to report to . The gunship will then fly the player to Pandaria where they will progress through a series of quests before ending up at Paw'don Village.
Horde players will start by meeting with in Grommash Hold (  ω τ ϖ) who tell them to meet him aboard the zeppelin Hellscream's Fist. The zeppelin will then fly the player to Pandaria, complete a few quests and then end up at Honeydew Village in the Jade Forest.
Getting there in Beta
Initially in the Beta, there were pandaren placeholder NPCs with the title <<Portal Panda>> near the bank in Orgrimmar and the Trade District bank in Stormwind City that offer to teleport players to either the faction Jade Forest coastal starting subzones ( Wayward Landing / Hellscream's Hope) or Dawn's Blossom in the center of the region.
While the Jade Forest was closed for a revamp between builds 15762 and 15913, <Most Interesting Questgiver in the World> offered to teleport players to Valley of the Four Winds.
Flying in Pandaria
Players will have to reach level 90 before they can learn to fly in Pandaria by purchasing from flying trainers in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Specifically, the new skill costs 2500 from either <Flying Trainer> in the Shrine of Seven Stars or <Flying Trainer> in the Shrine of Two Moons. You may be able to get a discount with Golden Lotus reputation.
- Friendly to some
- Cloud serpent - Playful race of dragon-like creatures; some corrupted. Preferred mount of the pandaren.
- Hozen (orig.
Hozu) - Monkey-like race; pranksters. Courted by the Horde.
- Jinyu - Fish-like humanoids; considered wise by the pandaren. Approached for help by the Alliance.
- Sprites - Pranksters and embodiments of nature; some corrupted by the Sha.
- Yaungol - A newly-discovered descendent of Tauren, similar to the Taunka in Northrend.
- Grummle - Small, squat bipeds with pandaren-like facial features created by the Mogu.
- Jiang-shi - Undead creatures.
- Kunchong - Insectoid creatures.
- Mantid - Mantis-like race; sentient individuals existing alongside Pandaren, but separated by a wall.
- Mistlurker - Animated mist cyclops.
- Mogu - Ancient nemesis of the Pandaren overthrown 12,000 years ago; ogre-like wraiths with the ability to create new races called flesh-shaping.
- Mushan - Large, kodo-like lizards.
- Quilen - Lion-like beasts with squashed faces.
- Saurok - A fighting, lizard-like race first created by Mogu flesh-shapers.
- Sha - Manifestations of negative emotions (like anger, hatred, or fear) and energy in Pandaria; large semi-gaseous mobs that can also possess other creatures.
- Virmen (orig.
Verming) - Rodent-like race; small, numerous and tunnelers.
- ^ a b c Zarhym 2011-10-28. Mists of Pandaria Developer Q&A Transcript. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US). Archived from the original on 2011-10-27. Pandaria is located on the south side of Azeroth. Think the exact opposite of Northrend. Come to think of it, we should have named it Southrend.
Zarhym 2011-10-27. Mists of Pandaria Live Developer Q&A Transcript. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
- ^ Online game guide
- ^ a b Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 21
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 74
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. ??
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 204
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 76
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 204
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 115
- ^ "World of Warcraft: Intro to Mists of Pandaria" panel (featuring Tom Chilton, Game Director; Cory Stockton , Lead Content Designer; and Greg Street, Lead Systems Desginer) at BlizzCon 2011
- ^ Boubouille 2012-03-22. Welcome to Pandaria. MMO Champion.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Zones (sorted from highest level down). Wowhead. Retrieved on 2012-03-23.
- ^ a b Mists of Pandaria 2012 Press Event (Zones tab). Wowhead News (2012-03-19).
- ^  or 
- ^ chaud 2012-08-02. Alliance Pandaria Introduction, Elite Items, Raid Release Schedule, Blue Posts, Comic. MMO Champion.
- ^ chaud 2012-07-31. Beta Launcher, Brewfest Delayed, Horde Pandaria Intro, Blue Posts, Weekly Roundup. MMO Champion.
- ^ a b c d e f Mists of Pandaria 2012 Press Event (Bestiary tab). Wowhead News (2012-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
- ^ a b c d e f g Boubouille 2012-03-19. Mists of Pandaria Press Tour. MMO Champion.
- ^ a b c d e f Blizzard Entertainment. Bestiary. Official World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria site (US). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
Blizzard Entertainment. Bestiary. Official World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria site (EU). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.