Mists of Pandaria Beta is Live!

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Mists of Pandaria Beta is Live!

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Blizzard has the lowdown on how to get into the newly-live World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta.

UPDATE: That didn't take long. As you probably know, in the space of a few hours the Mists of Pandaria beta test went from "very close" to "here and now." The full announcement is up at Battle.net.

Original post: I don't really get how anthropomorphic pandas are going to fit into the whole World of Warcraft canon, but the great thing about fantasy worlds is that you can do whatever you want with them because you're just making it up as you go anyway. And while I can't help but think that this is some kind of test to see far WoW players can be pushed, the truth is that hordes of them will be beating down the doors to get into this beta. So here's how!

There's actually no great secret or complex process to be followed here, as "Annual Pass" holders, members of the press, fansites, friends, family and opt-in testers will all be eligible for an invite. All you need to do, then, is opt in: Go to the "Beta Profile" page on your Battle.net account, download and run the System Check tool and be sure that World of Warcraft is among the frachises you're interested in helping test. That's pretty much it, aside from waiting for Blizzard to give you the secret handshake that says you're in the club.

As usual with Blizzard betas, it will run for as long as it needs to, it will include as many players as required and there will be no NDA, so you can talk about it as much as you like, but do bear in mind that it's a beta, so bugs, errors and other issues are to be expected. Get it? "Bear" in mind? Eh, there's no appreciation for sophisticated humor anymore.

Full details on the upcoming Mists of Pandaria beta are up at Battle.net.

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who's placing bets the first panda warrior is named Po?

Lunar Templar:
who's placing bets the first panda warrior is named Po?

You think someone hasn't taken that name already?

""I don't really get how anthropomorphic pandas are going to fit into the whole World of Warcraft canon,""

two things.

A. they already are canon :/ they were in the wc3 expansion.
b. hey, we have anthropomorphic wolves and cows, I don't see an issue really.

Your puns are unBEARable.

It's funny how people who lazily say "lolpandas" seem to always forget that there are retconed goats in crystal space ships who worship wind chimes already in the game.

Fr]anc[is:
It's funny how people who lazily say "lolpandas" seem to always forget that there are retconed goats in crystal space ships who worship wind chimes already in the game.

Not to mention: Cow people, werewolves, fish people, walrus people, wolf people, bird people, and Sphinx people. Hell, Ox people if you count the Taunka as a separate example from the Tauren.

Yeah, I haven't played WoW in over a year, but I'm tired of people acting like a race from Warcraft III is new. Not to mention Pandaren have been hugely requested by fans for a looong time. I remember before Burning Crusade a lot of people thought they were bringing Pandaren back.

I'm pretty sure even vanilla WoW had a few quests that referenced them.

Brace yourselfs,
'Pandas are a copy from Kung-fu Panda and are childish' post are coming.

Andy Chalk:
As usual with Blizzard betas, it will run for as long as it needs to, it will include as many players as required and there will be no NDA, so you can talk about it as much as you like, but do bear in mind that it's a beta, so bugs, errors and other issues are to be expected. Get it? "Bear" in mind? Eh, there's no appreciation for sophisticated humor anymore.

Sure there is.

This does not qualify however. :P

I actually hope this goes well for Blizzard. I'm willing to bet that the expansion will be excellent, and will add a lot more the WoW. But the marketing in the light of Kung Fu Panda must be a nightmare... Nobody can take WoW seriously anymore...

Incoming free to play... I know Blizzard said they won't. But they will... Eventually.

Fr]anc[is:
It's funny how people who lazily say "lolpandas" seem to always forget that there are retconed goats in crystal space ships who worship wind chimes already in the game.

Magic spaceships. And they're sexy goats. With face tentacles. It's the details that count.

So glad I got a annual pass. Will be first WoW beta I will actually get into. Though I wonder how few people will get in traditional way of ticking on the beta things on account due to annual pass.

It's Started! http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/

(Apparently soon meant: 'Just give us a few hours')

Charli:
(Apparently soon meant: 'Just give us a few hours')

Bah, I remember back in the day when "soon" meant 5 years and that's how we liked it! Clearly it's a plot devised by the casuals to ruin Blizz for the rest of us! *rabble rabble rabble*

Anyways, looking forward to getting my hands on monk more then anything else. Hopefully it's not too long before my turn in the waves gets here.

jurnag12:

Fr]anc[is:
It's funny how people who lazily say "lolpandas" seem to always forget that there are retconed goats in crystal space ships who worship wind chimes already in the game.

Not to mention: Cow people, werewolves, fish people, walrus people, wolf people, bird people, and Sphinx people. Hell, Ox people if you count the Taunka as a separate example from the Tauren.

Well to be fair a decent amount of the retcons you mentioned were jokes that were stuck into canon because they could so that's not really a fair comparison.

I also think it's due to the fact that the "cuteness" aesthetic of the Panderans really makes them hard to take seriously. Had the not done the "cuteness" aspect and made the Panderans look more battle hardened the hate wouldn't be this big. It's really easy to look at them and go "Kung Fu Panda". Too easy.

That and people are pissed about not getting another less crappy looking race to play as on the Horde side, which is fair. There are valid reasons for the hate, especially for this expansion to be following Cataclysm? Come on we know this would've been better accepted if it came out after Burning Crusade.

Soon = now.

I actually had no idea that the Pandaren appeared in the Warcraft 3 expansion, but the fact that the race originated as an April Fool's joke speaks volumes.

And hey, if the fans like it, that's great, but even so I don't think anyone can argue that it's not cartoonishly goofy. Maybe I'm too hung up on the early lore but I think I prefer my Warcraft set in a "serious" fantasy realm.

hhhm, very close, eh? couldn't possibly be coming out on April 1st again, could it?

Andy Chalk:
I actually had no idea that the Pandaren appeared in the Warcraft 3 expansion, but the fact that the race originated as an April Fool's joke speaks volumes.

And hey, if the fans like it, that's great, but even so I don't think anyone can argue that it's not cartoonishly goofy. Maybe I'm too hung up on the early lore but I think I prefer my Warcraft set in a "serious" fantasy realm.

Actually it never started as joke. It was an idea they were playing with for a WC3 expansion, but didn't have the time. That is when they put it up as a joke. Pandaren were scheduled for the Burning Crusade the Alliance race. Azuremyst island was Pandaria. Quarter-way through production they realized it did not fit with what Burning Crusade was. They changed to Draenei, ever wonder why they starting area was on Azeroth? They had to make up the Twisting-Nether spaceship thing to explain that.

The most important thing is the Myst of Pandaria brings in a lot of Eastern-based story telling and Lore which is a nice change of pace to WoW.

And Non-NDA Beta started around midnight. Watching the MMO-Champion stream now.

I LIKE THAT PANDA.

Honestly I just came here to only post this and it probably wasn't worth it.

Darkmantle:
""I don't really get how anthropomorphic pandas are going to fit into the whole World of Warcraft canon,""

two things.

A. they already are canon :/ they were in the wc3 expansion.
b. hey, we have anthropomorphic wolves and cows, I don't see an issue really.

Yes in a world of Undead, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Goblins, Werewolves, Demons, Space Goats, Orcs, Trolls, Cow People, and now Pandas. One might question how humans are suppose to fit into all this xD

Andy Chalk:
I actually had no idea that the Pandaren appeared in the Warcraft 3 expansion, but the fact that the race originated as an April Fool's joke speaks volumes.

And hey, if the fans like it, that's great, but even so I don't think anyone can argue that it's not cartoonishly goofy. Maybe I'm too hung up on the early lore but I think I prefer my Warcraft set in a "serious" fantasy realm.

It was never meant to be a joke.
One of the artists really liked pandas and snuk in pandas in a number of textures in Warcraft 3.
IIRC, there was a face of a panda in some scorch marks and on Illidan's glaives among other things.
Fans and the people at Blizz liked it so, so they made a Pandaren for Frozen Throne.

So not a joke per se, more a response to feedback.
Either way, Pandaren is and has been in the canon ever since.

Also, Warcaft has never been in a very serious fantasy realm.
Exploding sheep and grunts complaining that you poke them too much was there before Pandaren.

Darkmantle:
A. they already are canon :/ they were in the wc3 expansion.

They were in WC3 only as a joke, never as an actual part of the warcraft world. The only reason we're seeing them now is because a ridiculous amount of WoW players have been crying to Blizzard about how much they want to play a panda through the years.

Edit:
Let me correct that.

The Pandaren race was created as a joke, and was never intended to be part of the warcraft world. It was then later included in WC3 Frozen Throne, because people apparently thought it would be a good idea to include them in the warcraft lore.

I don't care about the pandas, its the lolpokemons and the continuation of worn out game systems (Dikumud) that bother me.

tehroc:
I don't care about the pandas, its the lolpokemons and the continuation of worn out game systems (Dikumud) that bother me.

More things to do outside of raiding can only be a good thing.

Anyways, where's my beta invite, Blizzard?I made my account pretty much as soon as WoW launched, I took the annual pass during Blizzcon... I want to mess about with pandas, damn it.

Loop Stricken:

tehroc:
I don't care about the pandas, its the lolpokemons and the continuation of worn out game systems (Dikumud) that bother me.

More things to do outside of raiding can only be a good thing.

Anyways, where's my beta invite, Blizzard?I made my account pretty much as soon as WoW launched, I took the annual pass during Blizzcon... I want to mess about with pandas, damn it.

Patience grasshopper. Pass subscribers are guaranteed access, but it's a HUGE amount of people and letting them all in at once is a BAD idea.

Andy Chalk:

And hey, if the fans like it, that's great, but even so I don't think anyone can argue that it's not cartoonishly goofy. Maybe I'm too hung up on the early lore but I think I prefer my Warcraft set in a "serious" fantasy realm.

I have to agree with you here: first off, it's only a small segment of fans who have been clamoring for Pandaren from the beginning; secondly, adding an entirely comical race really does deeply detract from the monumentally epic feel that the game previously had (for me at least).

Mark my words, 'Now With Pandas!' (as I've taken to calling MoP) is when World of Warcraft jumps the shark...

Waiting on my invite, I'm an annual pass holder so it shouldn't be long now. I want to play a Kung Fu panda damn it!

Andy Chalk:
Original post: I don't really get how anthropomorphic pandas are going to fit into the whole World of Warcraft canon, but the great thing about fantasy worlds is that you can do whatever you want with them because you're just making it up as you go anyway.

Work on Gaming website
Doesn't understand how a pre-existing in-game race will fit into game's canon just because NOW they are playable.

And hey, if the fans like it, that's great, but even so I don't think anyone can argue that it's not cartoonishly goofy. Maybe I'm too hung up on the early lore but I think I prefer my Warcraft set in a "serious" fantasy realm.

"Serious" fantasy realm?

Andy Chalk:
I actually had no idea that the Pandaren appeared in the Warcraft 3 expansion, but the fact that the race originated as an April Fool's joke speaks volumes.

And hey, if the fans like it, that's great, but even so I don't think anyone can argue that it's not cartoonishly goofy. Maybe I'm too hung up on the early lore but I think I prefer my Warcraft set in a "serious" fantasy realm.

Blizzard:
We have a lot of people wondering about "Pandarens, really? They are so cuddly!", almost innately silly. Pandarens are an idea that we have been thinking about for many, many years, something like twelve years. Initially they were drawn by Sam Didier, who loves these characters. We hooked a few of these characters into the Frozen Throne in Warcraft III and have always been in love with the idea. We got to debut Pandaren as an April Fool's joke many years ago and people feel that it is innately comedic based on that. No, April Fools was just a fun opportunity to show the idea. Many of you may not know that Pandaren were in serious consideration for the Alliance race in Burning Crusade, that is how serious we are about the idea. We have always loved Pandaren, we have always wanted to put them in the game, and for a number of reasons now is the time. It is not a throwaway idea in any way. In many ways they are the perfect race to include right now, as things start to ramp up. As the factional hate and societal rage rises to sweep the world up into war once again, the Pandaren will distinguish themselves on both sides and hedge the bet that against total calamity. They have a very distinct role to play, both culturally and factionally, so it is perfect that they dropped at this time.

Straight from the press event.

meh the little spark of interest I had for getting back into WoW was kinda snuffed out with the monk changes, first I heard of the Monk I applauded Blizzards attempt of making a class with a more active combat style, forcing a player to actually be in the fight, rather then lean back, sip coffee and hit a few number keys like WoW combat is otherwise (at least in PvE)

And now there like "nope, just as basic as the rest", yeah i know Im getting haters on my rear saying this, but GW2 is looking mighty fine still.

Okay, so the anthropomorphic Chinese pandas introduced as a non-playable race on April Fool's Day is actually a totally serious and pre-existing. Right. This is not an argument I'm going to have.

DVS BSTrD:
Work on Gaming website
Doesn't understand how a pre-existing in-game race will fit into game's canon just because NOW they are playable.

Actually, champ, the issue is that I lost interest in the Warcraft mythos somewhere around the end of Warcraft 2.

Andy Chalk:
Okay, so the anthropomorphic Chinese pandas introduced as a non-playable race on April Fool's Day is actually a totally serious and pre-existing. Right. This is not an argument I'm going to have.

DVS BSTrD:
Work on Gaming website
Doesn't understand how a pre-existing in-game race will fit into game's canon just because NOW they are playable.

Actually, champ, the issue is that I lost interest in the Warcraft mythos somewhere around the end of Warcraft 2.

Sorry It's just that I found out about the Pandaren's role in the Warcraft universe while on this very site, and I wasn't even looking. Given how woefully uninformed I am about most things WoW, I was kinda surprised you didn't know.

Denamic:
IIRC, there was a face of a panda in some scorch marks and on Illidan's glaives among other things.

That is true, but it's because the original design on those blades looked a bit like swastikas, so they changed it.

Andy Chalk:
Maybe I'm too hung up on the early lore but I think I prefer my Warcraft set in a "serious" fantasy realm.

So you want humans/dwarves/elves vs orcs/goblins/ogres. I'm quivering with excitement over this unique and exciting concept. I understand if you dislike change, I really do, but you gotta give it credit for being unique. That's pretty much all Warcraft has left since it's been sifted through an MMO for the last decade

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