Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria will launch on September 25. The MMORPG's fourth expansion will be offered three different packages: a standard copy for $40 via retailers and Blizzard's digital store, a $60 Digital Deluxe version and an $80 Collector's Edition.
Although Blizzard usually sells a premium retail boxed set, the Digital Deluxe offering is a first for WoW expansions and will let customers splurge on special in-game content without paying for physical extras such as an art book. It includes WoW-specific perks such as an "Imperial Quilen" flying mount, a "Lucky Quilen Cub" pet, as well as Infested Orc and Night Elf Templar Battle.net portraits in StarCraft II and a Pandaria-themed Diablo III banner sigil and accent.
Players who initially purchase the $40 copy will be able to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe version after the fact for $20. Folks who buy the pricier Collector's Edition will get all of the aforementioned digital goods in addition to a behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-ray set with over an hour of commentary, interviews and developer roundtables, a 20-song soundtrack, a 208-page hardcover artbook and a mouse pad featuring the legendary Pandaren brewmaster "Chen Stormstout."
The add-on centers around the discovery of Pandaria as the Alliance and Horde rush to stake their claim and plumb the depths of the long-lost continent. It boosts the level cap from 85 to 90 and adds a new class (the Monk), playable race (the Pandaren), a pet battle system, fresh PvE scenarios, challenge modes, a revamped talent system, and tons of new quests. The expansion is also said to include three new raids, four new battlegrounds and nine new dungeons.
"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, Blizzard CEO and cofounder. "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."