By Tim Frederick | Jul 26, 2012 12:56 PM EDT
Blizzard announced in a press release on Wednesday that the fourth expansion to their MMORPG World of Warcraft (maybe you've heard of it?) will see release on September 25 of this year.
The expansion will unveil the mysterious (and, one would assume, misty) island of Pandaria to the virtual denizens of Azeroth. Along with the misty new landmass will come a new race to inhabit them, the Pandaren, as well as a new class, the monk.
A host of other gameplay features will also surface, such as challenge modes, a pet battle system, and scenarios, which are co-operative PvE-style instances. The level cap will also be raised to 90, to give players added incentive to explore the new land and conquer evil (which should be its own reward, no?), and new powers to help them do so.
"Mists of Pandaria contains the biggest variety of new content we've ever created for a World of Warcraft expansion, with features that will appeal to new players, veterans, and everyone in between," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We've received a lot of great feedback from players during our most extensive beta test yet, and we hope they enjoy exploring everything Pandaria has to offer when the expansion comes out in September."
There will be 3 versions of the expansion available for purchase, and players can place pre-orders for the two digital versions, the Standard ($39.99) and Deluxe ($59.99) now. The Deluxe version comes with some bonus items, namely a new pet and mount. Players who purchase the Standard edition will have the option to upgrade to the Deluxe edition for the extra $20 at any time.
If you're a true hero of Azeroth though, you'll surely hold out for the Collector's Edition, which will only be available in retail stores, and for the mere pittance of $79.99. That baby will come with a 208 page book, the game's soundtrack with 20 tracks, a mouse pad, and a behind-the-scenes DVD, as well as the in-game items from the Deluxe edition.
Which version of Mists of Pandaria will you purchase? Are you excited about the new content? Or is World of Warcraft, like, so 2009? Share your thoughts on WoW's biggest expansion yet in the comments.