WoW: Mists of Pandaria to ship 25 September

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Blizzard has officially announced the release date for the next major expansion to the World of Warcraft (WoW) franchise, aiming to have Mists of Pandaria in stores on 25 September.

(Credit: GameSpot)

Australian game retailers are already taking pre-orders for the PC- and Mac-only title, with an RRP of AU$59.95. Blizzard will also sell a Collector's Edition of the game, in both physical and digital formats, but, as a first, the company will let players who choose the standard edition to upgrade to the Collector's Edition later. For US$20, players will be able to buy the bonus digital collectibles after activating a standard edition of the expansion.

Mists of Pandaria, which was first revealed by Blizzard at its annual BlizzCon event in Anaheim, California, last year, adds a new playable race to the existing stable of characters in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). The Pandaren are panda-like creatures with Asian-inspired design aesthetics across the home continent of the race. The expansion will also extend the level cap of existing players to 90.

A pet-battle system is also introduced in the expansion, which pundits have compared to a Pokémon-style gaming mechanic. Players will be able to collect a variety of pets, train them to higher levels and battle with them against the pets of other players.

Blizzard is hoping that this expansion inspires many retired players to return to the online world, having lost nearly one million subscribers within the last year. The MMORPG market has seen several new entrants this year, with BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic stealing most of the headlines.

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ScottM8 posted a comment   

I agree chandler, but may I also add that Warcraft has become a game that has become so complicated and involved ,you need to be full time unemployed to play it and reach ultimate levels on it. I have become one of those one million that has said goodbye since the cataclysm expansion


Chandler posted a comment   

I don't see it bolstering WoW's numbers in any significant way - sure it might get a few retired vet's back to look at the content, but I doubt it will fire their interest enough to make them stay: the MMO bubble has popped in my opinion. You'll now just see the same style of figures you see with any subscription game: numbers will peak on release and trickle down till you get down to the point where you subscribers are the ones that form your community, not every many and his dog as it seemed with WoW a few years back.

One thing that does excite me with MMO development is the way that CCP run EVE Online: the way they involve their community is awesome - something that I feel a lot of developers (Blizzard included) should take notice of.

One thing that does annoy me is that now that the MMO bubble has passed, I fear we're entering the DLC bubble. DLC is good - actually DLC is Great! It extends the life of a game by adding content, features, etc. etc, but using it to milk gamers by withholding content at release (or releasing early) is just blatant money-grabbing in my opinion. Make your game: if AFTER the fact you decide to make DLC, awesome. If before release you decide to make some content/features but don't have time to add it before release: fine, do some DLC. But do not actually PLAN to have DLC from the get go.



Chandler posted a reply   

should be a < /rant > at the end there :D

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