MMO-Champion - Mists of Pandaria Internal Alpha, NAO Invitational, Method vs Dragon Soul
Update: Our friends over at GuildWars2Guru were able to take part in the press event for Guild Wars 2 and get PvE, PvP, cities, character creation, and other videos. If you are interested in the game be sure to have a look!

Mists of Pandaria Internal Alpha Started
A lot of people have been asking me when we should expect a MoP beta or more updates on the game, and the answer to that question is simple: soon. All the recent events indicate that the internal alpha testing already started:


  • The old WoW2 Battle.net accounts used for the Cataclysm Beta have finally been removed from some players Battle.net pages.
  • The recent update of the official talent calculator had multiple spells tagged as "NYI" (Not Yet Implemented). This is what we see in Alpha/Beta stages of the game to indicate that a spell doesn't work in-game yet.
  • Community Managers have posted actual screenshots of new spells tooltips in-game. It means they have a server they can easily connect to for that, and it's most likely the biggest proof.


Now what does it mean for players? First, let's be clear, this is the internal alpha and it is different from the Friend & Family Alpha where non-Blizzard employees can play as long as they know someone in the company. This one would be restricted to employees only and Blizzard executives are probably watching anything happening there very closely.

However, it definitely means that if everything goes well we should see a Friend & Family Alpha or a Beta within one or two month, and the Mists of Pandaria press tour on March 19 is most likely a way to prepare fansites to that. For Cataclysm, the press tour happened about 2 weeks before the start of the closed beta.


NAO Invitational Tournament
Curse, Skill-Capped, and Logitech are sponsoring a player run Arena tournament with over $4000 in prizes. You can find the list of prizes on ArenaJunkies. See the structure and rules for more information about how the teams are selected.

This tournament did not allow 4.3 PvE gear and had the final matches this afternoon.



Method vs Dragon Soul
Method made a nice video overview of their journey through Dragon Soul that is different from the normal boss kill videos.



Trading Card Game Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card game art gallery has been updated with ten new pieces.



This article was originally published in forum thread: Mists of Pandaria Internal Alpha, NAO Invitational, Method vs Dragon Soul started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 148 Comments
  1. Sanctioned's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Antherios View Post
    So that means that a rough estimate for Mists release should be early late April/early May? What are we going to do untill then :O!
    Alpha, beta, then release. Hell there's a chance Alpha won't even be done by that time.
  1. Stevoman's Avatar
    F&F alpha in April.
    Beta in June.
    Release in October.

    Sorry spring/summer hopefuls...
  1. Galdur's Avatar
    Knowing how bad is blizz to sticking to deadlines , my guess is MoP will be out around December
  1. Kanariya's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alcatraz_ View Post
    Endless Dragon soul until your eyes bleed of course.
    They already are...
  1. artem123's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tric619 View Post
    Knowing how bad is blizz to sticking to deadlines , my guess is MoP will be out around December
    they wouldnt shoot themselves in the foot like that at all, or so id hope not
  1. Mojo Risin's Avatar
    Either Blizz carry out speedy testing this time round, or they'll fail to deliver the 'yearly expansions' that were promised.
  1. Runeweaver's Avatar
    Ooooh, Mists of Pandaria feels so close...
  1. iceberg265's Avatar
    I am sticking to my prediction of a fall release. There will also be some new deal for another year long contract at that time as well.
  1. Llunai's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Antherios View Post
    So that means that a rough estimate for Mists release should be early late April/early May? What are we going to do untill then :O!
    April or May??? Are you NUTS? If the INTERNAL alpha is underway mid-February, that probably means we (won't) see the F&F alpha around the timeframe you mentioned, perhaps a tad sooner. That means Beta testing underway mid-late summer, if we're lucky. Which probably means a 2013 release.

    Best case scenario would involve everything happening a month or so earlier than I predicted above, which would have to include Blizzard somehow finishing a game promptly for a change. If this were the case, that would put us at a late late 2012 release (ie: holiday release).
  1. Eon Drache's Avatar
    Blizzard waiting till December this time would make it a hell of a lot worse for them as a company then releasing it now would. Also, finally a video that makes dragon soul look somewhat epic in the first 3 minutes. Blizzard failed at making it feel like a real raid to go for this time.
  1. Lord Swizzlington's Avatar
    I just want to point out that just because this is the first time MMO is reporting on closed alpha being underway, doesn't mean the alpha started NOW.

    That's like assuming the world didn't exist till you were born, or that the past didn't happen unless it's reported in a book.
  1. Insomnie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Llunai View Post
    April or May??? Are you NUTS? If the INTERNAL alpha is underway mid-February, that probably means we (won't) see the F&F alpha around the timeframe you mentioned, perhaps a tad sooner. That means Beta testing underway mid-late summer, if we're lucky. Which probably means a 2013 release.

    Best case scenario would involve everything happening a month or so earlier than I predicted above, which would have to include Blizzard somehow finishing a game promptly for a change. If this were the case, that would put us at a late late 2012 release (ie: holiday release).
    And then subscriptions will go down to what,five million?
  1. thebdc's Avatar
    BC beta: 3 months
    WOTLK beta: 4 months
    Cataclysm beta: 5 months
  1. Drudatz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by greyghost View Post
    If the beta starts in late March, I would be absolutely amazed. That literally sets up a mid Q3 launch for Mists of Pandaria. That is ambitious as hell.
    Quote Originally Posted by Antherios View Post
    So that means that a rough estimate for Mists release should be early late April/early May? What are we going to do untill then :O!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheebie View Post
    Definitely looking like a July/August release then, excellent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevoman View Post
    F&F alpha in April. Beta in June. Release in October. Sorry spring/summer hopefuls...
    ROFL-Myself-under-the-table....

    Quote Originally Posted by Tric619 View Post
    Knowing how bad is blizz to sticking to deadlines , my guess is MoP will be out around December
    Yes, this points out - just as I said times before - MoP will be release at the start of december :-P
    Now Internal Alpha, March F&F Alpha, Summer Beta till at least November and release in December cause you cant forget Blizzard
    has to release D3 & SC2 Addon 1 before MoP....

    Quote Originally Posted by Insomnie View Post
    And then subscriptions will go down to what,five million?
    5 is overrated but WoW can live with 2 less and would be still the biggest MMO...
  1. Kaleredar's Avatar
    I applaud Method for making such a fine video. They did what Blizzard by and far failed at doing.... making Dragon Soul look fun.
  1. Lamidlo's Avatar
    The video is really awesome. Thanks Method.
  1. Yuuki Asuna's Avatar
    I'm reading all this and it appears to me a lot of people haven't read what Blizz has stated in the past about releasing expansions sooner. If you watched Blizzcon you will know they were a lot further into development than any other expansion. I going to say June to August will be the release =]
  1. Bombkirby's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleredar View Post
    I applaud Method for making such a fine video. They did what Blizzard by and far failed at doing.... making Dragon Soul look fun.
    Le sigh....

    The typical mmochamp comment...that saps all joy from the game....
  1. Felade's Avatar
    I'd love to see a MoP release in the summer - but that doesn't make much sense. A lot of people don't play in the summer, so Blizz could risk making a real flop with a summer release. Fall is good, December (=Christmas) is probably best, and they do like to drag out release times. Unfortunately, another year of Dragon Soul just isn't going to cut it and it will hurt the game. They really need to work on their timing with these expansions to reduce the amount of wait time between the last tier of the old content and the first tier of the new. We're already sitting at round 2-3 months of Dragon Soul.
  1. Insomnie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Drudatz View Post
    5 is overrated but WoW can live with 2 less and would be still the biggest MMO...
    Because what really matters to them is being the biggest MMO...their heads would *literally* roll.

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