WoW: Mists of Pandaria goes live

If you’ve been counting the days until you could pick up the latest panda-infused expansion pack for World of Warcraft, well, your wait is finally over!

Yes, today’s the official launch date for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. But hey, just a word of warning for players – if you’re a casual Warcrafter and make your way into a forum to talk about the new expansion pack, hard-core WoW players really don’t appreciate references to Kung Fu Panda.

Blizzard’s official statement following the launch of the expansion pack reads as follows:

For millennia, the continent of Pandaria has remained hidden, veiled from the rest of Azeroth behind a wall of impenetrable mists. Now the fog is lifting just as warships of the Horde and the Alliance clash off the coast of the lost continent. As heroes from both factions venture onto Pandaria’s shores to explore its ancient forests and cloud-ringed mountaintops, they soon make contact with the mysterious denizens that dwell there… heralding the start of a new era of discovery and conflict for all of Azeroth.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is now live and available in a store near you! You can also upgrade to the digital version directly through Blizzard. Featuring a new playable race (the pandaren), a new character class (the monk), and an exotic new continent to explore, the new expansion offers a huge variety of content for new and returning players.

Mists of Pandaria is available in a standard edition, Digital Deluxe edition, and retail-exclusive Collector’s Edition.Once you’ve upgraded, level-85 characters will automatically receive a quest pointing the way to Pandaria upon logging into the game. Safe voyage, travelers — a new world awaits!

Interestingly, the last part of the official release makes it sound like you can’t access Pandaria until level 85. Gamers with the character under level 85 that have expansion pack can let us know if you’re able to venture to Pandaria or not. Frankly, I would be surprised if the expansion pack is actually blocked at any player level.

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is probably one of the most popular MMORPG video game in history. The online version of the popular franchise was first announced in September of 2001 and went live on November 23, 2004, marking the the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft property. As you may recall, the very first video game set in the Warcraft realm launched in 1994 and was titled Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

Since the launch of World of Warcraft online, the game has been updated with three expansion packs, including The Burning Crusade (January 16, 2007), Wrath of the Lich King (November 2008) and Cataclysm (December 7, 2010).

The fourth expansion pack – Mists of Pandaria – is now available for Windows and Mac gamers on DVD for $39.99, or as a digital download at the same price.