Apparently, the video and images leak pretty much covered everything that was going to be released today so there's nothing new to see there.
I had a hard time deciding what to say about the Mists of Pandaria press event. It's been pretty disappointing for me personally because there's so much they haven't said yet. So, I may have to reserve judgement for later (e.g. after the game is released.)
Here were the big ones I had questioned:
- The 10 player realm limitation. It was removed, but instead of 40-50 per realm, it appears to be just 11 per realm instead. This was a big selling point for me, and I was seriously considering a new subscription until I saw this. With the MoP release so far away, this can still change however. The problem is that the press question wasn't a very good one; they asked if an eleventh character slot would be opened, but they never asked if "more than 11" would be available so there was no definitive answer to this.
- The "Item Squish" question hasn't been answered yet. They haven't made a final decision about it yet, so for now it's going to be "Mega Damage". They want to wait until the talent system controversy wears off first so that they don't freak out players too much. Just as a reminder, Ghostcrawler said that "there are some very real computational limitations... PCs just can’t quickly perform math on very large numbers" in regards to Mega Damage. Apparently, PCs can handle math on large numbers now..
I understand that making this change in the game is a huge undertaking, but it will have long term benefits. I think that they probably don't have enough time to do this before launch. It's going to be a "better situation" for them "in like 6.0 or 7.0 if players are demanding the item squish." Player demand, huh? That sounds familar. :)
- There's also no firm answer on "cross-faction" PVE Scenarios and Pet Battles like what I was expecting. They've only created 5 scenarios so far, and they're still being deliberately ambiguous about any future events. So, this could still go either way. What they have said, though, is that "players can group together" (they never differentiate with Horde/Alliance, always "players"), and that the Scenarios are given to them by Factions (like the Brewmaster Faction) and you help them out doing something. However, both Horde and Alliance can belong to this same faction. It has been confirmed, though, that a PVE Scenario is in fact an instance. So, it's basically a instance teleport and the dungeon is crafted using a "slice of the world". Pet Battles are unclear too. I was expecting "friendly battles" between Horde and Alliance as well. All I know about this is that you can "challenge another player in the world" (once again "players" but not Horde or Alliance.) However, it is cross-server.. so it might be cross-faction like what I was expecting.
- And finally, we have the story arc. I was expecting "the addition of more cross-faction cooperative stuff, stories/lore/events that are all about fighting for inner-peace, learning about ourselves, and a whole silly enlightenment thing." And, I was expecting the Pandaren to choose sides to teach them (Horde/Alliance) something about themselves and try to bring enlightenment to them and get them to relax. The consensus of the readers here, though, was that it would lead to a great (PVP) war between Horde and Alliance and there wouldn't be any cooperation at all.
Blizzard has been a little ambiguous and contradictory on this subject, though. For example, here's that they have to say about Mists of Pandaria:
"Escalating tensions between the Alliance and Horde have broken out into open warfare. The roar of cannons blacken the sky while naval engagements around the globe fill the seas with blood. As the clash of mortal armies spins the world into chaos, a continent -- once shielded by impenetrable mists -- suddenly manifests itself in the southern oceans. There’s no question that this resource-rich new land will be at the center of a global conflict. Will the Mists of Pandaria part to reveal Azeroth’s salvation? Or will this new battlefield become the flashpoint that pushes the Alliance and Horde over the brink into total annihilation?"The "escalating tensions" sounds like it's past tense.. so this could be the pre-events to MoP or just the start of the MoP story arc. And then there are two questions; will this bring Azeroth's salvation or annihilation? Will they work together or destroy each other? :)
If this was all about a new super war, why would they even ask these two opposing questions?
Chris Metzen said that the final patch of Mists of Pandaria will be the two factions working together and laying siege to Orgrimmar. Around the 8 minute mark, he said that MoP is basically "throttle off" and more about exploration, exploring ourselves, and no super villain. It's a "vacation.. before things ramp up." And he also said that the Pandaren will play a distinct role in regards to the "factional hate" going on. So, it's a little contradictory. Most of you were expecting that all hell breaks lose and the greatest war ever starts once the Horde/Alliance visit the Island of Pandaria. However, the environments still look very tranquil (not destroyed), and Metzen said that all of the hate between Horde/Alliance is instead manifested in a physical form as Sha. Basically, the whole "your enemy is war itself" and you destroy these physical manifestations of your hate towards the opposing faction.
The one item I didn't discuss, though, was AOE Looting. From what I've seen on the forums, users have previously stated that Blizzard would never do this and they have constantly said "No, it will never happen." Many users claimed that it was an engine limitation or some such nonsense. Anyways, I can't find any official quotes from Blizzard stating that they would never do this (except for Diablo 3.) So, if you find any older official quotes (especially when most users were asking around the time Rift came out), let me know.