I haven't actually done the faction quests in 5.1, but we're coming up on Patch 5.2 and so far, from what I can see, the theme is still the same: Both factions have by and large rejected the Pandaren's philosophy and brought their war to Pandaria, and they still have not realized that they're fighting a war that's corrupting all of Pandaria.
Blizzard has said that "war itself" would be the main enemy of Mists of Pandaria and that later on the theme would change to trying to find a way to end it and rebuild. These next couple of patches are their chance to prove they were serious. But does anyone else think they're not, and the "war that will consume all of Azeroth" will in fact come to pass in 6.0?
We don't know for sure what the confirmed next expansion will be or how the rest of the Mists storyline will play out at this time, however:
1. I am 99.99% confident that the Horde and Alliance will not come to peace even after Garrosh is overthrown. The faction war has become such an integral part of the game and has been going on for so long, I truly believe there will be no end to it (at least not until WoW 2/Warcraft 4).
2. It's been confirmed that the Alliance and the Horde both will try to overthrow Garrosh - It hasn't been confirmed that he will be killable or that this will lead to good things however. I'm betting that something goes horribly wrong, and things are much more complicated than they first seem.
3. It would be really interesting to see what roles Ji Firepaw & Aysa Cloudsinger will play, if any. They used to be friends before they joined opposite factions, perhaps they will play a role in trying to change the system?
4a. I posted about this in another thread, but the one thing I view with utter disgust and resentment right now is Jaina's character development, seeing as how I for one really liked the old Jaina very much for her compassion and intelligence. I understand what everyone's saying, that her shift in personality is a natural response to grief and that she's tired of being betrayed - but I don't care, in my mind Jaina should NOT have to become like Garrosh in order to fight Garrosh. To me, this is further confirmation from Blizzard that lorewise the deck is stacked against anyone who does not have an authoritarian personality.
4b. It's been speculated that the High Elves (as well as the more sympathetic Alliance members like Aunduin) will grow to distrust and even hate Jaina, for the same reasons they opposed the Blood Elves. Sha infestation occurs, and despite any sympathy we may have for what Jaina has been through, we have no choice but to stop her, possibly even kill her, sometime between now and the final battle against Garrosh.
I could see Blizzard going this way with the story as well, since it opens up possibilities for a new Warcraft game (Alliance and Horde have gone through their own Mutual Assured Destruction & Arab Spring, individual races have broken up and/or withdrew from their factions, Azeroth lies in ruin, and the Burning Legion is laughing their asses off and taking a great deal of satisfaction that they were RIGHT).
Anyone else who's seen the faction storylines for 5.1 & 5.2 have thoughts?