World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has an official release date and we've got all the info you need on the date, the different editions, and much more.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is slated to launch on September 25th, 2012 which is about two months from now. This release date will come roughly a month after the launch of Guild Wars 2 and follows a summer full of big name MMO releases. The price is $39.99 for the normal edition and $59.99 for the digital collectors edition. This will be the first content update that WoW has received in ten months, the last being patch 4.3 which came out November 29th, 2011.

Pricing and Editions

Blizzard is tackling this expansion a bit differently with pricing. Cataclysm was $39.99 and the collectors edition was $79.99. This time around, the pricing remains the same, but you can get the digital goods for an extra $20.00 if you don’t care for the artbook and other goodies. Here is a rundown of the different editions:

Standard Edition - $39.99

The standard edition comes in at about forty dollars and contains the base game and that’s it. Of course, that’s about what most players want when it comes to an expansion, since the collector edition goodies are more or less optional and most players already love their mounts.

Digital Collector’s Edition - $59.99

A new trend in MMO gaming, digital collector’s editions contain the neat digital items without the bulky collectors edition box. You’ll receive:

  • Imperial Quilen flying mount
  • Lucky Quilen Cub
  • Starcraft II Portrait
  • Diablo III Sigil / Accent

Which, interestingly enough, is pretty much the standard price for a mount from the blizzard store.

Collector’s Edition - $79.99

But wait, there’s more! The collector’s edition contains everything you see above plus:

  • Behind the Scenes DVD & Blu-Ray
  • Soundtrack CD
  • The Art of Mists of Pandaria
  • Chen Stormstout Mousepad

This is the first time the collector’s edition has included a mount. Previous versions have included pets.

Release Date Pre-Orders

A big question a lot of players have often is whether or not to pre-order. Things have changed a lot in the gaming world since the days of gaming retailers not having copies to supply demand. In general, if you want to play the very second the servers go live then you’ll want the digital edition pre-order.

If you don’t care about playing the very second the servers are flipped on (or want a boxed copy), then you’ll want to decide if you want to do the midnight event or not. It’s best to pre-order to avoid getting stuck at the back of the line and/or the chance that they may run out of copies.

If neither tickle your fancy, then pre-ordering is optional. Big box retailers will be loaded with copies the morning of the 25th. Although it’s not much of a problem anymore, I had to drive 50 miles in order to find a copy of Wrath of the Lich King many years ago, so pre-ordering generally isn’t a bad idea. On the flipside, Diablo III had a mountain of copies everywhere from day one, so availability probably won’t be an issue.

Server and Release Timing

This time around, it looks like servers will flip on at midnight EST time instead of PST. This means that west coast players will get on three hours earlier while east coast players will finally be able to log in at midnight instead of 3 AM. This also means that the midnight events out west will happen after the servers go live, meaning that if you want to play the very second the game comes up then you’ll definitely want to do the digital pre-order.

The game will be releasing a week after Borderlands 2 goes live and a month after the release of Guild Wars 2. It’s no secret that Blizzard games hit right after big name MMO launches, so for the most part the release date isn’t a huge shocker, although Borderlands fans may have to put the game down for a bit to hop into the Mists of Pandaria.

Of course, you'll probably want to take a look at our 5 Important MoP Changes between now and there to find out about stuff like fixed mana and stat changes.

Warcraft 4 and the Future

Of course, with this expansion pretty much ending anything at all that was left in Warcraft III, except for I guess the Emerald Dream, we all have to ask ourselves if we’ll see a Warcraft IV after this. The best guess I can have is that at this point, there is a pretty big chance that we will. We also have “project titan” coming up soon and, unless Blizzard magically transforms into doing the six month or one year expansions, the next expansion may be far far off in the horizon.

What do you think about the upcoming expansion? Ready to launch into Pandaria or does something else have your attention? Let us know in the comments section below.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.