Factions in Mists of Pandaria – the Tillers, the Lorewalkers, the Brewmasters, Golden Lotus, the Shado-Pan, the Anglers and more.

Yes, with Mists of Pandaria come a whole host of new factions for us to grind up reputation with. But with this expansion, Blizzard have really let their imaginations go, and there’s some very cool stuff headed to your Reputation window. The Tillers let us farm in a more literal sense, the Anglers will delight fisherpeople everywhere, the Lorewalkers promise to make Archaeology interesting, the Brewmasters let us finally return their damn keg, the Shado-Pan let you get your Shaolin on, the order of the Cloud Serpent let you grow your own mount from an egg, the Klaxxi let you ally with cannibalistic insects, and the August Celestials and the Golden Lotus – well, just feel really damn Oriental. Plus, of course, there’s Wrathion, the Black Prince and Hander-Out Of Legendaries.

Here’s everything we know so far about the people you’re going to be kung fu questing for.

Updated September 17th 2012

Tillers

Never let it be said that Blizzard don’t learn from other games. In this case, Farmville.

Yes, by going down to Halfhill in the Valley of the Four Winds, you’ll be able to start up the idyllic agrarian lifestyle for yourself. Starting with the quest chain Lore and Grow, you’ll acquire an instanced farm of your very own. You can do the first chain at level 85, which will teach you the basics of WoW farming – the earth-based version, that is – but after that you’ll need to be level 90 to get your farmin’ on.

Every day, two farmers will come into the Market with a variety of problems. You’ll fix their problems for them – which will apparently involve less monsters and more ploughing than we’re used to – and plant crops, which you can harvest the next day. You’ll also care for your farm, deal with pests on the vegetables, and presumably shout at young Pandaren to “GET ORF MOI LAAAAND!”

Apparently there will be quite a bit of customisation available for your farm too. The details are still a bit thin, but Blizzard mentioned being able to grow an apple orchard, breed pigs and maybe even plant herbalism ingredients. You can even grow a pet there.

Is it me, or does this sound like Blizzard sidling into player housing through the back door, as it were?

Lorewalkers

The Lorewalkers ask you to collect books from around Pandaria, as well as Archaeology items, to build reputation with them. They’re meant to be an optional faction, although currently a couple of profession items require Lorewalker rep.

The books that you collect can be found all over Pandaria. Some of them appear to be quest items, wheras others can be found out in the world.

The Lorewalkers will be great fun for anyone who enjoys WoW’s stories. You can build a historical library with them, and bring back items from all across Pandaria to their base in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Apparently they’ll sometimes give you a spontaneous historical presentation on items you bring back. I can see that being a bit of a love it / hate it feature – I know the serious lore people will love it, but I’m rather seeing Open University Azeroth here…

Brewmasters

No longer in the current build of MoP – they appear to have been scrapped in development.

Shado-Pan

And now we’ve got the straight-up kung-fu warriors. Created by the Pandaren Emperor to protect aganst the Sha (the forces of “bad” emotion in Pandaria), they’re found in Shado-Pan Monastery in the Kun-Lai Summit area.

You’ll need to have some reputation with the Golden Lotus to start doing Shado-Pan quests. They have several huge questlines, plus daily quests to protect Pandaria.

Once you’re training with them, each set of dailies will take you to a different corner of Pandaria, where you’ll fight various enemies of the Pandaren. You’ll also get the opportunity to defeat other members of the Shado-Pan in an arena – after which time you can recruit them to join you on your Shado-Pan dailies!

The Shado-Pan are one of the four factions in MoP which offer epic armour as rep rewards, so you’ll probably end up grinding reputation with them at some point.

Finally, and interestingly, the Shado-Pan appear to include a number of references to another force of guardian warriors in fantasy fiction – the Night’s Watch from George R R Martin’s “Game Of Thrones”. Notably, several of their common emotes seem to reference Game of Thrones!

The Anglers

Yes, in Mop, Fishing has a posse.

The Anglers are a fishing-centric faction, with whom you gain rep from fishing-based dailies, and from whom you can buy, well, fishing-based items. But some of those items are very cool – new fishing poles, yes, but also a new mount and even a fishing-specific mount, the Water Walker, which we believe we’ll be able to fish from!

And in a touch WoW lore lovers will appreciate, you’ll recognise their quartermaster – one Nat Pagle, who was apparently ahead of the curve when it came to getting shipwrecked on mysterious islands…

The Klaaxi

Rebel mantids working to free their queen from the influence of the Sha, you’ll encounter them whilst fighting the Mantids. Subsequently, they have several long questlines and a lot of quests, involving freeing their leaders amongst other things.

The Klaxxi are one of the four factions in MoP which will give rep-based epic armour and weapons (along with a neat scorpion mount), so you’ll probably be getting quite familiar with them throughout Mists…

The August Celestials

Followers of the four guardian creatures of Pandaria, Yu’lon the Jade Serpent, Xuen the White Tiger, Chi Ji the Red Crane, and Niuzao the Black Ox, the August Celestials are a dailies-only faction. You’ll need to be Revered with the Golden Lotus before you can even start questing with them.

Every day, you’ll be directed to one of the four temples of the Celestials, where you’ll get 5 quests to help Pandaria.

The Celestials are the second faction in MoP which will offer rep-based armour, so you’ll probably be doing those 5 daily quests a lot to get your gear up to LFD/LFR standards. They also offer a couple of unique Cloud Serpents and some enchanting recipes.

The Golden Lotus

And here’s the last rep-based armour faction! They open up both the August Celestials and the Shado-Pan factions, so they’re pretty much going to be a must-grind for most players.

Lore-wise, they’re a mysterious society focussed on defeating the Mogu, the brutish creatures found in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. You’ll start their questline around level 87.

Other Factions

  • The Order of the Cloud Serpent are really cool – they’re the faction that let you breed and train your own mount. We’ve got an entire article about Cloud Serpents and the Order – go read!
  • The Forest Hozen and the Pearlfin Jinyu are the two factions at war in the Jade Forest, the opening area for MoP. The Hozen are a crude race of monkey-people, whereas the Jinyu are reserved fish-creatures. No word yet on their rep rewards.
  • Wrathion, the Black Prince, has come to Pandaria too. Information on his questline and rep is very vague, but it’ll be raid-level and connected with the many Legendaries that MoP offers us.
  • Shang Xi’s Academy is the starting faction for Pandaren, training Pandaren heroes. It doesn’t have much impact outside the Pandaren starter zones.

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Cloud Serpents, the Mists of Pandaria / Pandaren pet and mount – quests, the Order, and how to get a Cloud Serpent Mount

Oh, now this is cool. Announced in the Mists of Pandaria press event of March 2012, the Pandaren mount is the Cloud Serpent – and for the first time ever, you won’t just be given one full-grown. Oh, no. Instead, you’ll have to raise one from the egg, through to it being a mini-pet, and then finally from a pet to a mount, before training it with the Order of The Cloud Serpent in a race arena!. So, want to know how to get a Cloud Serpent of your very own? Read on!

Updated 20th September 2012

How do we get our Cloud Serpent mounts?

You’ll learn how to ride a Cloud Serpent from the Order of the Cloud Serpent in the Arboretum in Jade Forest.

Here’s the bad news, first of all: you’ll need to be level 90 before you can even start on the Cloud Serpent questline.

In order to get a Cloud Serpent of your very own to ride, you’ll first need to join the Order of the Cloud Serpent – which you can do by finding Instructor Tong in the Jade Forest. He’ll give you the quest Wild Things, which will start you on the path to joining the Order.

You’ll then need to complete three quests – Beating the Odds, Empty Nests and Egg Collection – before you get Choosing The One, at which point you’ll pick a colour and you’ll be given an egg. Yes, an egg. The egg will promptly hatch into a tiny little mini-Serpent. Note that the colour you choose is the colour of the Serpent you’ll eventually get.

Over the next days, you’ll have to do daily quests with your mini-Serpent in order to grow him to full, rideable size. You’ll need to get your reputation with the Order to Exalted before they’ll teach you to ride him – you’ll start out by doing 3 dailies defending the Order and its serpents, then add in more quests related to playing with your Serpent, using secondary professions, and more.

We’ll have more details on exactly what you need to do to get your Serpent as soon as they’re confirmed on Live.

Once he’s full-grown, can you just leap on and ride away into the sunset? Hell no. You’ll then need to undergo a further series of quests to train your Dragon – uh – Serpent, this time definitely in the Order’s racetrack – with spectators cheering you on.

You can find other Cloud Serpents elsewhere in Pandaria – but you’ll still need Exalted with the Order of the Cloud Serpent to ride them.

I won’t lie, I’m kinda excited by all this.

Haven’t we seen a “Cloud Serpent” somewhere before?

Indeed we have. In fact, Cloud Serpents are a type of Wind Serpent already in the game, mostly found in Thousand Needles pre-Cataclysm.

However, the new Cloud Serpents bear no resemblance to Wind Serpents – instead, they’re inspired by art of Chinese Dragons:

Eastern Dragon

What will the Cloud Serpents look like?

Cloud Serpents are fantastic-looking mounts. As expected, they look rather like the classical Chinese dragon, in a variety of colours.

Here’s a good video of all the available Cloud Serpent colours, from the guys at MMO Champion:

So who are these Order of the Cloud Serpent guys, then?

According to the Blizz press blitz, they’re an ancient order of flying warriors – presumably flying with the aid of the aforementioned Cloud Serpents, although in Chinese Mythology Land, it’s hard to be sure.

They’re also a faction in Mists of Pandaria, and you’ll need to grind reputation with them in order to get your Cloud Serpent in the first place.

What else do we or don’t we know?

  • We know that the designers are using the Winterspring Cub questline and rep grind as the inspiration for the Cloud Serpent chain, along with the Ungoro Crater Baby Raptor quest chain.
  • We know they sound really cool. Did I mention that?

Do you know anything else about the Cloud Serpents? Do you think they sound cool too? Let us know below!

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