World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta now live

Blizzard inviting gamers to prerelease testing period for upcoming expansion to MMORPG; WOW Annual Pass holders given priority.

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The beta testing period of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is now live. Blizzard today announced that it has begun inviting members of the community to try out the latest expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

Gamers can trek through Pandaria today…if they are chosen for the beta.
Gamers can trek through Pandaria today…if they are chosen for the beta.

According to Blizzard, the beta's first wave will focus on the level 1-10 starting areas for the new Pandaren race. The company said upper-level content will go live with future beta updates, but players can bring over their high-level characters from the start to try out the new talent system.

As Blizzard noted in a recently published Mists of Pandaria FAQ, all WOW Annual Pass members are guaranteed access to the beta. These players will be admitted into the beta based on a number of factors, including how long their subscription has been active and when they signed up for the Pass.

Announced in October 2011, the WOW Annual Pass rewards gamers who make a 12-month commitment to WOW with a free copy of Diablo III, among other items.

All gamers can opt in to the Mists of Pandaria beta through their Battle.net accounts. Players chosen for the testing period will be alerted through email, and Blizzard warned gamers to be wary of phishing attempts.

Mists of Pandaria is WOW's fourth expansion. It follows The Burning Crusade (2007), Wrath of the Lich King (2008), and Cataclysm (2010). The add-on is set on the new continent of Pandaria and focuses on the Pandaren as well as the monk player class. The expansion pack, which does not have a release date, will also increase the player level cap to 90.

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