Metzen Reveals Pandaria’s Patch Conclusion: The Siege of Orgrimmar
But Pandaria does have a lighter tone, perhaps, than the world-destroying events of Cataclysm or the ever-present threat of Wrath of the Lich King. That’s intentional, Metzen said, because Blizzard is trying to move in a different direction as it goes forward.
Already, there are plans reaching far beyond even the patches to come after the boxed product of Pandaria.
“Mists of Pandaria is definitely a different tone from any expansion we’ve tried so far,” Metzen explains during a presentation showing many of the changes to Pandaria since BlizzCon. “In some ways, it’s really a spiritual successor to classic WoW…. Really the predicating fiction was just the call to adventure, it wasn’t really about some giant world boss. It wasn’t really about a grinding overarcing problem; it was just ‘explore.’ Experience these factions. Get out there and see the world and engage with its cultures, that was really the spirit of that first game.”
That said, Metzen gave the truth: Pandaria will have a big boss. Eventually.
“We’re trying to do something differnet with the patches this time,” Metzen says, detailing the way that in previous expansions, patch content was used to flesh out the story and eventually add the expansion’s big-boss end-game. Pandaria starts with small groups of warriors from each faction basically being shipwrecked and the Pandaren’s island, but it isn’t long before the war between the Horde and the Alliance hits Pandaria’s shores full-force.
“We conceptualized the patches for this game almost as a sequel to the boxed product. As the boxed product wraps up and you’ve helped the pandarens save their land and discover the nature of this mystery that’s been playing out, you kind of get on the phone (to your faction commanders): ‘Command, this is, uh, Sgt. Klink. Yeah, we’re find here – this place is great! No need to show up, we’re fine.’ ‘I’m sorry, Sergeant: we’re already here.’” And then the tanks roll up on the beach. The end of the boxed product is it kicking into second gear. All the fury and wrath of these two great factions kind of begin to collid and the story really starts going from there.
“I’ll just cut to the chase: The final patch of this expansion set does not occur in Pandaria,” says Metzen. “The war between the Alliance and the Horde heats up as they roll onto Pandaria and it’s certainly a huge battleground, but things get so gnarly and so out of control –- warcrimes kind of committed by one side — it starts to spiral into crazyville. The final patch of Mists of Pandaria will actually be the Siege of Orgrimmar, where both factions for their own reasons lay siege to this city to bring Garrosh down, to put an end to this reign as warchief.”