By Jonathan Charles | Jul 28, 2012 09:19 AM EDT
Blizzard's Mists of Pandaria expansion for its popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft, has been announced for release on September 25. The expansion brings a panda race, called the Pandaren, and increases the level cap to 90.
A Collector's Edition has also been announced and includes a behind-the-scenes DVD, the soundtrack, art book, mouse pad, and an in-game pet and mount. It also features Starcraft 2 Battle.net portraits.
The release date has been suggested to rival Guild Wars 2: the latter releases August 28 and has grown in popularity as beta weekends happened. Blizzard's 6/7-year-old MMOG still has around 10 million subscribers, and it's probably keen to maintain the number.
ArenaNet is providing a massive amount of content in a sans subscription MMOG, while not offering the negatives of free-to-play games - excessive grinding, limited play time, or buying items to expedite gaining experience - and moving up levels takes the same time. It is also removing dedicated classes, as every class is able to play any role, and introducing Dynamic Events (spontaneous events with permanent consequences, whether succeeded or failed) and of course, there is the Personal Story. The Personal Story aims to provide a narrative through the game; choices made during character creation change the storyline.
The digital version of the expansion is available for pre-purchase now. A Digital Deluxe Edition is also available for $59.99 and includes the same content as the Collector's Edition. It is also possible to buy the Digital Deluxe's content after buying the Standard Edition, for $20.
Mists of Pandaria has been in beta since March, and seems to have been making less noise compared to the Guild Wars 2 betas. It has received a mixed reception, with the Pandaren race being seen as underwhelming. Even so, the fact is that MMORPG has built a loyal following over its 7-year life and the community is entrenched in the game. Players won't leave if friends are hanging around.
Pandaria will be localized into Latin America, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, European Spanish, Russian, Korean, traditional Chinese, and Italian languages. A China release date for the expansion will be announced at a later date.
Blizzard will probably offer the smaller expansions as World of Warcraft grows older. The company is working on a new, non-World of Warcraft, title but the company is remaining coy on details.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.