Blizzard have opened the new level 85-90 zone which is in the Mist Island of Pandaria. Currently the beta players limited to maximum level of 86, players can continue questing but they won’t receive any experience.
To get to Pandaria you can speak to a “Portal Panda” in the city Orgrimmar for Horde or Stormwind for Alliance..
Please note that all the information I’m sharing is subject to change because it is a beta.
Currently discovering Pandaria is not very exciting because the portal pandas doesn’t offer any explanation of what is going on.. they just tell you where you can go and there you are. I’m guessing blizzard will include some sort of cut scene or quests leading up to discovering Pandaria.
The first zone for level 85-90 is The Jade Forest which contains level 84-85 NPC and I’m pleased to discover that Horde and Alliance begins at completely different location with different quest line. One of my pet peeved with Cataclysm was that the questing is almost the same for both factions in the level 80-85 zones.
Horde will begin on the Northern side of the map and Alliance will begin on the Southern side. Questing will move your character towards the middle of the Map where you will share the neutral city (Dawn’s Blossom). Even though this is a shared neutral town (like Shattrath and Dalaran) there are no guards that will protect you from PVP so players in PVP servers beware
I remembered Blizzard said that they wanted to put the War back in Warcraft and encourage more world PVP so perhaps it will stay like that permanently. Also you won’t be able to fly in Pandaria until you reach level 90.
There are 7 new level 85-90 zones in total which contain plenty quest for you to complete to reach level 90. For example I manage to get up to level 86 in the The Jade Forest zone and I have only completed about 50% of the total quest in that zone (without heirlooms or dungeons)
A good guess is that we should gain 1 level per zone (and you only need to complete about 50% of it) and with 7 zones total you will still have 2 full zone of questing to complete once you reach level 90! That is a lot of new content in comparison to the Cataclysm expansion which only offered 5 new zones which you almost complete 100% by the time you reach level 85.
Blizzard definitely delivered their promise, as I mentioned before, I expected questing to be less linear with multiple questing hub that you can choose to take or skip.
It won’t be long before you are offered the choice of different questing hub (see screenshot below)
…and after completing a few quest chains new questing hubs will also unlock and displayed on the World map with a yellow exclamation mark.
You can pick and choose which quest that you would like to do however the Pandaria Jade Forest zone is massive with lots of cliffs and terrain obstacles, without the mobility of a flying mount it will involve a lot of travelling time. If you want to focus on fast leveling then it is better to stick to the main quest line and ignore the optional side quests that will send you off to far away places.
Once you have reach level 90 and able to fly in Pandaria you can go back and complete the rest of the quests with ease.
The next zone after “The Jade Forest” is “Valley of the Four Winds”…
… and currently it is forbidden for player to enter (you will get teleported back to the starting area when you enter)
But so far I’m very impressed with the new zone, while there are still a lot of kill x or collect x type quests.. there are also a lot of new mini games type quests which I found mildly challenging and fun. I will make sure to take some screenshot of the mini games next time around and explain how it works on the next blog.