The Escapist: Is there something about this expansion that you're excited about but that no one has discovered yet?
Greg Street: The features I'm most excited about are things like challenge mode that have been talked about a lot. I'd say one thing that's flown under the radar a little bit, it's not something I'm super, it's not a huge game changer, but it's a kind of cool thing is we've hidden a lot of, we call them lost treasures around the world, in the new continent and a few achievements to support it. You find these if you look behind a waterfall or fly up on the top of a mountain there might be something cool hidden up there. It could be an actual item you could use or it may just be something you can sell for gold or some kind of toy like that. We really wanted to emphasize exploration because Pandaren is such a beautiful environment.
The Escapist: Are these analogous the chests that used to dot the world?
Greg Street: Yeah, they're similar. Part of the problem with the chests was they would, players could exploit them by constantly camping it, coming back to the chests over and over again. You were constantly finding these chests that say like, two apples in them because another player had come and looted all the good stuff out of it. But the way most of these treasures work is they're per player so once you find it you'll never find that particular treasure again. Then another player can come along and find it.
The Escapist: What's something about this expansion that hasn't gotten the attention you thought it would?
Greg Street: Here, let me think for a minute. That's part of the problem is places are so sophisticated at data mining stuff. We have a lot of rare monsters and many of them have unique treasure that you can only get from killing these monsters so I think they've probably data mined but I haven't read a whole lot about it, there's quite a few of these things and some of them are pretty hard to kill, they might take a group to defeat but then they have a chance of having loot that you can't get anywhere else. Again, kind of playing into the "A new world to explore" and setting foot on this uncharted world that you don't know where all the points of interests are yet.
The Escapist: So there's a lot of that old silver dragon outline around the enemy? What are some of the benefits that you can get from killing these creatures?
Greg Street: Here are some examples:
Who: Korda Torros
Drops: Forager's Gloves
What it does: Reduces the time it takes to harvest any Pandarian tradeskill node.
Who: Krol the Blade
Drops: Elixir of Ancient Knowledge
What it does: Increases experience gained from monster kills and quests by 300% for a full hour.
Who: Nessos the Oracle
Drops: Hardened Shell
What it does: Knocks an enemy player off of their mount.
There's a lot of stuff to do in Mists of Pandaria. The zones that take your character to max-level tell the story of the negative energies the epic war between Horde and Alliance bring forth. The turn-based minipet battles are tons of fun in a Pokemon kind of way, not to mention the totally revamped talent system. One thing's clear, there's going to be a whole lot of kung-fu pandas running around Azeroth come September 25th and after my time playing in the beta test, I might just be one of them.