WOW Mists of Pandaria opens the vaults with Thunder King
An ancient race of evil, ogre-like sorcerers who once dominated Pandaria that were called Mogu and we get to know them in the newest raid instance — Mogu’shan Vaults – and their ancient secrets in Mists of Pandaria, the World of Warcraft expansion due September 2012 . No one knows when, but the Thunder King was a single warlord tyrant that untied the warring mogu factions in ages past. Much like many ancient societies, the mogu only accepted a new leader if he passed certain tests and abilities. The Thunder King was one who rose to power by the sacred “mogu way” in that he eliminated his rivals, picking them off one by one. The legends goes…he used an ancient artifact that was very mysterious to accomplish this. The artfact had unknown origins but was rumored to have been from the heart of a mountain. When he came to power, The Thunder King built the Mogu’shan Vaults to hold and honor this precious secret, and converted the surrounding structure into a sacred shrine dedicated to the mogu empire. The empire’s lost artifacts are housed in this complex and is the resting place of the spirits of old mogu kings.
In the time Mists of Pandaria begins, the Thunder King is a distant memory and the mogu empire has crumbled into isolated factions. The great and powerful secret have the Vaults attracting a number of interested parties, including Zandalari trolls who are trying to enter the Vaults to get at the ancient source of mogu power, which is the key to their tribe’s survival. When the players arrive, they join forces with a pandaren Loremaster who knows of a way into the Vaults. The Loremasters are a new faction dedicated to learning and retelling the oral history of Pandaria, so the Vaults are naturally a place of tremendous interest to them.
Players are the first living things to step inside the Mogu’shan Vaults in quite a few millennia. The experience plays out as a classic “tomb raid” adventure, with mystical defenders and guardians emerging to protect the place’s secrets. The first boss encounter involves the player coming up against a pack of giant quilin – magical, lion-like stone constructs — that have stood motionless since the Vaults were sealed. The Quilin or Ch’i-lin (AKA the “Chinese unicorn”) was believed to be indigenous to the realms of heaven. The quilin awaken as ferocious defenders once the players intrude upon their lair and activate them from slumber. The four quilin statues have different abilities based on the type of stone from which they were carved, their weaknesses can only be revealed with some experimentation by a player. As the action takes the players venture deeper into the Vaults, they’ll encounter other protectors, including a celestial dragon and the spirits of the mogu kings from ages past.
While details are scarce, Blizzard does let us know that the final encounter with a boss is known as “Will of the Emperor” and as the last line of defense for the vault, is wrought with understanding how the mogu were able to craft guardians and the properties of the Thunder King and the vault. This also gives insight to their power on their total domination over enemies for centuries.
The raid rewards players with powerful epic items, depending on the difficulty setting: item level 476 for Raid Finder, 489 for normal mode, and 502 for Heroic. There’s also a new mount that can be obtained by defeating Elegon, a celestial dragon found deep within the Vaults. The mount looks a bit like the Celestial Steed, but in the form of a serpentine dragon.
There will be two outdoor world bosses, along with the Mogu’shan Vaults raid instance, available when Mists of Pandaria first launches. There may be a delay opening Mogu’shan Vaults until a week or so after the expansion’s release, just to give players a little time to reach level 90 along with their friends and get acclimated to Pandaria’s new 5-player dungeons, daily quests, and scenarios.