1. Beta mobs do drop loot unless they are not itemized. I know, that's a cop-out answer, but it's true. Some mobs have generic loot tables -- like humanoids will always have gold, cloth, and some other items on their tables, and then rares and quest items are added into the mix. As for the stat jump, it's significant but, again, relative. For gear progression, in the limited time I've spent in beta, it feels as if you were entering Cataclysm zones with some pretty decent Wrath gear.
2. Yes, you will have to be 85 to enter Pandaria content, excluding the Wandering Isle, of course.
3. Pandaren warriors have some of the best warrior animations in the game, hands down. Ask Rossi. It's not an opinion -- it's fact. There will be many pandaren warriors. Also, pandaren rogues. Everyone wanted a tauren rogue for the fun factor, and here it is, ready for your consumption. Go forth and race-change, friends.
Does Ka Pao the Portal Panda mean Captain Placeholder is probably never going to come back? :(
Oh, I hope Captain Placeholder returns soon. However, Ka Pao the Portal Panda is growing on me pretty quickly. Who will write the first song about Ka Pao, hm?
Do you think we'll see any updates to the riding profession in MoP? Or arewe riding and flying as fast as we're going to be?
I do not believe we will be flying or riding any faster in the near future.
How big is the Pandaren model compared to existing characters?
Pandaren are taller than orcs and shorter than tauren.
As I understand it, a good portion of the quests for Pandaria are already completed. Does this include the Panda starting zone? I was thinking that when I get into the beta I could play through the starting zone and take my time and read quests. Then when it comes live, I could just blow right through it. Do you think the starting expereince will go through any drastic changes at this point?
The Wandering Isle starting area feels complete. There are tweaks and stuff, maybe texture things and quest flow or whatever, but it's ship-worthy. It's a whole lot more ship-worthy than some MMOs I've played in my lifetime, that's for sure. When I put my player hat on, that's what I like to do -- soak up the story when time isn't of the essence and plow through the stuff when launch hits. Less so these days, since I play much more casually, but that was our MO back in the day. You can certainly do that.
When you put on your tester hat, though, don't forget to stop, smell the roses, check them for bugs, and report your flower findings.
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