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Post by Eorl @ 12:04pm 22/03/12 | 27 Comments
A new blog post has appeared on the official World of Warcraft website, stating that the next expansion, Mists of Pandaria, is "very close" to beta testing stages, giving players of the huge MMO that little bit of anticipation.
We’re very close to beginning beta testing for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria! Over the course of the beta test, we’ll be inviting Annual Pass holders, press, fansites, friends and family, and opt-in beta testers to participate.

As there’s no NDA for this test, you’re likely to start seeing lots of screenshots and new video around the web. Please keep in mind that the game is still in development, and what you’ll see during the beta test is not necessarily representative of the final game.
Rumours are flying around that invites have already been sent out, and that the beta might even start as early as tonight. Excitement is definitely on the high, as this latest expansion is bringing about a new continent, the Monk class, and the Pandaren race as well a huge list of features.

There is a FAQ along with the official post that gives insight into the invite process of the beta, letting players that haven't signed up to the Annual Pass promotion that they can opt-in to the beta in hope of a invitation. With there being no NDA, you can expect a whole lot of information flowing through, so if your wanting to keep everything secret, it's probably best to unplug your internet for a few weeks.

You can check out AusGamers recent interview with Tom Chilton as well as a hands-on preview with the level 1-10 area of the Pandaren that we were lucky enough to try. As always you can check out our game page which has all the latest news, trailers and screenshots.

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Latest Comments
Posted 12:15pm 22/3/12
haha didn't realise annual pass granted beta access ... win!
Reverend Evil
Posted 12:23pm 22/3/12

I don't normally worry about beta stuff but I think I'll check this out seeing as I'll be guaranteed an invite.
Posted 12:31pm 22/3/12
Interestingly enough they changed the wording to their Beta access description for the Annual Pass - from acceptance to beta when it is available to "waves" of invites (in essence). Sure it was probably how it was going to go anyway but peeps are unhappy about it!

I feel like i'm on a soap box today :P But I wish Beta testing was about testing the content and actively reporting issues and not about people just wanting to play the new game first!111!!!! or get a head start on the new class/content etc.. in races to world firsts or whatever.
Posted 05:54pm 22/3/12
But I wish Beta testing was about testing the content and actively reporting issues and not about people just wanting to play the new game first!111!!!! or get a head start on the new class/content etc.. in races to world firsts or whatever.

+1 to that!

Its annoying when you're playing in one of these betas too, and people b**** and whinge about how something is broken, "F*****g blizzard, this quest doesn't even work, I can't hand it in, this game is s***". I mean, hello, its a beta, you found something thats broken, thats the reason you're here. Report a bug and move on and find the next broken thing!
Posted 05:59pm 22/3/12
Beta is now live according to the website
Posted 06:06pm 22/3/12
Damn, was hoping I'd get a beta invite at the start. They said for the Annual Pass it'd be based on when you signed up and how long your account has been active, and since I signed up for the annual pass within a few hours of it becoming available and my account has been around since launch day of Vanilla I thought I'd be at the front of the line :(
Posted 07:22pm 22/3/12
I got annual pass and no invite yet...
Posted 07:25pm 22/3/12
Oh god im gunna get sucked back in. How am I going to keep up with WOW, Swtor and D3....I cant get enough time to play 1 at the moment.
Posted 09:41pm 22/3/12
I love Blizzard games, the only game I don't have registered to my Battle.net account is the first Warcraft, I always just jump back into WoW here and there to kill some time.
I can't wait to battle my Mini Diablo against all the Pokemon
Posted 10:31pm 22/3/12
After playing over 450 days played time pre "Burning crusade" i lost interest in World of Warcraft all togeather. LOLZ

Now all i can say is WTF panda?
Posted 11:10pm 22/3/12
I want to resist, but I know I might give it a try, and it will end up just like that resurrection scroll. Played for 5 minutes and then closed the game and uninstalled. Lost all interest in WoW, and with GW2 and The Secret World, I think I'm gonna do fine.
Posted 11:45pm 22/3/12
I'll play it, probably buy the collector's edition and I'm sure it'll be fun, but I can't see myself getting back into WoW the way I have in the past anymore. The motivation to raid full-time just isn't there anymore, I'm just interested in checking out the new content. I can even check out the raids now casually by using the LFR tool so that works for me, still get to see and do everything without the insane time committment
Reverend Evil
Posted 11:49pm 22/3/12
That's the beauty of the LFR tool. Now guilds can't be a******* and only take their favorite people. Everyone gets a chance.
Posted 11:58pm 22/3/12
I've come back for every expansion pack but I know if I don't resist this one like crazy i'll get sucked back in. I can't let this happen i've been clean so long man...
Posted 12:01am 23/3/12
Yeah, you even get gear that looks like the tier set out of LFR, so you can check out the raids and look pimp without the big time committment, I like that idea. Just suits me better these days.

The thing that always annoyed me about raiding was you couldn't really schedule it around stuff, like it was these set times so you just had to give up your wednesday/thursday/monday/sunday/whatever nights. Was really annoying for me towards the end of Cataclysm cos I was sposed to be Shadow on my priest, but usually ended up having to heal cos we'd be short of healers. And I'd end up turning up on nights I didn't really want to just out of guilt, cos I knew if I didn't turn up, they wouldn't have enough healers to raid and everyone else would miss out.

LFR is just easier cos you can do it whenever you want, and its a bunch of random people so you don't really feel guilty if you bail on them, and its easier so it doesn't require the same time committment, but you get to see the same content. I can definitely see the benefit in it now.
Posted 12:06am 23/3/12
Ah dammit this LFR sounds good and the type of raiding I would need. Go whenever the hell I wanted but what would happen if you get a group that sucks butt and get locked after 1st boss then it disbands? That's your whole week lockout gone. or is there like a 1 - 2 day timer on it if you use LFR?
Posted 12:12am 23/3/12
Its a different lockout to the normal raiding, its more of a loot lockout. So like you can do the raid with as many different groups as you want each week, but once you've killed a boss that week and had a chance to get loot from it, you can't get loot again that boss until the reset. So say you use the raid finder and get an LFR group that downs the first three bosses, and then falls apart, you can use the raid finder again and find another group, and kill those bosses again but you just wont get loot from them, but then when they kill the 4th boss and above you'll get loot from those.

You can also join raids halfway through, like you can join an instance halfway through with the dungeon finder. So yeah, its all kinda done on a per boss basis, and you can kill each boss as many times as you want each week but only get loot from each boss once a week.
Posted 12:26am 23/3/12
When you say get loot from a boss do you mean you can join an infinite amount of raids but only get 1 shot at loot from a boss? So even if nothing drops you are then locked out from that boss from then on? Seems like a decent system even if that is the case
Posted 12:38am 23/3/12
When you say get loot from a boss do you mean you can join an infinite amount of raids but only get 1 shot at loot from a boss? So even if nothing drops you are then locked out from that boss from then on? Seems like a decent system even if that is the case

Yeah, but only for that week, it still resets each week like normal raids do
Posted 03:10am 23/3/12
it's such an incredibly watered down and lame version of the raid content though, there is literally no feeling of accomplishment or teamwork from it. most of the key mechanics from heroic or even normal are removed, and the mechanics that remain can just be herpyderped through with absolutely no effort at all.

then you get a whole host of players who've been taught bad habits by it (ignore all mechanics and tunnel vision your dps meter) and worm their way into pug raids and just cause wipe after wipe cos they were taught to not bother learning to play

at best, it provides a very casual long-distance glance at regular raiding - sort of like racing through a raid at high-speed with godmode turned on

it can be handy when you level up an alt though, for a chance at slightly better pre-raid gear than 5mans offer (people are complete and utter f***wits with looting though) - and it was handy at the start of the tier to help make 4-piece set bonuses which in many cases overshadowed t12 heroic gear
Posted 03:35am 23/3/12
Heh like the Corruptions on Spine of Deathwing.
They do absolutely NOTHING on LFR mode. You kill one to spawn bloods but the ones remaining do nothing and there's no point killing them. No need to ever barrel roll either. They just sort of sit there being dumb.

Needless to say they definitely do stuff on normal and heroic. heh
Posted 05:08am 23/3/12
Im feeling the crave for some WoW after reading this. I really just feel like throwing in my degree and going home to live with mum playing WoW for the rest of my days
Posted 08:31am 23/3/12
the LFR tool might be watered down, but I'd rather experience the content I've paid for in my own time, not because someone who has more free time then me dictating that i must be online to heal at 8pm (ST) Wednesday.

The tools WoW has now is awesome for players like myself, I can PVP when I want, I can raid when I want, it might be easier but I don't have 4 hours free to kill Deathwing I have 1 hour.

WoW is definitely fun in small doses.
Posted 09:33am 23/3/12
yeh nothing wrong with that, all I'm saying is that they didn't need to make it so stupidly easy - they already split it into 2 halves (2 x 4 bosses), and you can join/leave any time, so they could've kept it much closer to at least normal difficulty while still catering to casual play - then you get the best of both worlds: casual non-timesink but still at least *some* challenge and learning to play a bit
Posted 11:01am 23/3/12
Yeah, its easy, but if they made it much harder it'd just end up frustrating, considering the low requirements for entry. I wasn't getting much satisfaction out of doing normal or heroic versions of the raids towards the end of Cata anyway, so the only real interest I have in the raids in MoP is just to see the stories play out, checkout any new cutscenes or models or environments or whatever, and get the current tier set if it looks cool, and LFR can do all that for me. If theres some cool must-see mechanic in harder versions of the fight, I'll just go watch a video of it on Youtube.

I'm sure if I let myself I would end up raiding full time again, or get pulled back into it by my old guild or something, but I just don't have time for it anymore, my game pile of shame has grown too big so I gotta start playing my way back through the backlog of stuff I bought and never got around to playing :P Plus I've just started work on a project of my own in my spare time, and I'm not willing to sacrifice that for more raiding time. Just comes down to the time committment really, its not feasible for me anymore.
Posted 11:03am 23/3/12
Mosfx, if you join a good guild, it doesn't take 4 hours to kill a raid, it takes 1.

If you're taking 4 hours to do a raid then your raid team = s***.

I remember hearing an interview from a guy in a top 3 raid guild who only played like 6 hours a week.
Posted 11:26am 23/3/12
It's not just the Guild it's more my time that I'm actually online.
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