Mists of Pandaria rare spawns offer unique challenges

Anne Stickney
A. Stickney|10.01.12

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Mists of Pandaria rare spawns offer unique challenges
Mists of Pandaria rares offer unique challenges
Mists of Pandaria asks the ambiguous question, "What are we fighting for?" In the case of most players, it's loot and gold. There's a lot of fighting to be found in Mists, but in the case of Pandaria's rares, they offer something along with the gold and loot, something far more valuable -- experience. Not experience points, although you'll get it if you're in the process of leveling. No, the rares of Pandaria offer experience playing your individual class, and playing it well.

There are several different types of rare champions scattered all over Pandaria -- hozen, jinyu, mantid, mogu, saurok, yaungol and pandaren. But these champions aren't like any rares you've seen on Azeroth. Rather than allowing players to simply stand there and beat the stuffing out of them, these rares have unique abilities that require tactics and skill to counter. Are they impossible to beat? Absolutely not, once you've figured out how to counter their bag of tricks.

But you cannot simply stand and beat them up anymore. Movement is absolutely key, and so are stuns, interrupts, and other abilities that define a class. Rather than allowing you to just spam your main attack, you're forced to practice moving out of the way of attacks, which are clearly defined on the ground. You can't let them cast every spell, or you'll certainly die. And kiting is definitely helpful in most cases as well.

What we end up with are rares that teach us how to play our class. They serve almost as mini raid bosses of their own, teaching us skills that we'll need in various dungeons and raids in the future. Unlike any rares we've seen to date, the rares of Pandaria offer a learning experience and practice to anyone up for the challenge. They're small lessons in gameplay, rather than random loot pinatas.

That's an excellent improvement in my eyes. Anything that teaches the basics of not standing in harm's way and using defensive class abilities as well as regular attacks is a good thing to see. Especially in the days of dungeon and raid finder, where random players might not necessarily have the experience you'd like them to have. And the loot that these rares drop is useful as well -- armor, weapons, even epics are all available for the taking.

If you're wondering how to find these rare mobs, your best bet is the addon NPCScan. NPCScan will give you a visual burst of color and an audible warning when you're near any of these mobs, as well as automatically targeting them and hitting them with a raid marker. Be warned, however -- while useful for finding a rare, it will then cache that rare and not bring it up again in the case of a respawn. You'll have to clear your cache in order to continue tracking repeat spawns of a mob.

Regardless, it's a handy tool for tracking what are some of the most interactive and creative rare spawns we've seen to date. You can find NPCScan on Curse, along with instructions on clearing your cache when you discover your first round of rares. Happy hunting!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

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