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.