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. Tooran's Avatar
    Awesome movie by Method!
  1. Nillah's Avatar
    They tried way too hard to make it like Ulduar: The Movie. They used some of the same music and everything.. it wasn't anywhere close to how amazing Defiance's movie was.
  1. gmike's Avatar
    One or two months for MoP Beta!!!!!! Blahahahaha, don't count on it. Internal alpha simply means Blizz has enough code written for the game to start, it doesn't mean there's anything there. MoP will count out in winter 2012. No time soon.
  1. miracles's Avatar
    Loved the movie made by Method, was made really really good. Hope to see more of that kind of movies )
  1. Sayomara's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gmike View Post
    One or two months for MoP Beta!!!!!! Blahahahaha, don't count on it. Internal alpha simply means Blizz has enough code written for the game to start, it doesn't mean there's anything there. MoP will count out in winter 2012. No time soon.
    I think the same thing. Seems like every time a new Warcraft expansion is announced people think blizzard is going to turn it around it six months which they have never proven able to do.
  1. Solitare-sp's Avatar
    If we're guessing release dates then surely Sept/Oct has to be the most logical time.

    Firstly, Beta will take 4 months or so, as it has for all the expansions. Even if they annouced beta tomorrow, that would push them to July. Likely it'll be mid to late March for the F+F beta (plus release of info), with that for a month or so at least. So I reckon May/June for the full beta to start.

    Secondly. There is the issue of D3, scheduled for 'late Q2', ie May/June. Theres no way they'll release both products within say 6 weeks of each other, especially if they have known crossover between customers.

    I think Blizz are relying on people picking up D3 to cover the summer for subs, and then when that gets stale after 6 weeks or so, to hit them with the expansion in Sept time.
  1. Porimlys's Avatar
    What a great video by Method, I only wish they had used in game music instead.
  1. Kathranis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gmike View Post
    One or two months for MoP Beta!!!!!! Blahahahaha, don't count on it. Internal alpha simply means Blizz has enough code written for the game to start, it doesn't mean there's anything there. MoP will count out in winter 2012. No time soon.
    Well, they had a playable Mists of Pandaria demo at Blizzcon 2011 with the pandaren starting zone and the monk class playable, so they've had "enough code written for the game to start" for quite a while now. Not to mention videos of most of the new zones.

    I'm curious as to what you think the developers have all been working on for the last four months if you think there isn't "anything there" yet.

    ---------- Post added 2012-02-20 at 08:04 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleredar View Post
    Do you wish for me to explicate my comment?

    While the setting in Dragonblight is tied closely to dragon lore, it's position in Northrend, coupled with the fact that its covered in ice and snow, and not excluding that it was already quite a dull zone, makes it starkly different from where I think the final battle between the heroes and the crazed, molten, lava-spewing final boss raid should occur. Combine this with bosses that have no previous stake in lore, nor any real established relevance. In contrast, examine ICC- professor putricide may have had no previous mention in WotLK, but he is easily identifiable as the scourge mastermind behind developing the plague and creating the Lich King's more horrific abominations (which also helps establish festergut and rotface.)
    We don't know he was the scourge mastermind behind that stuff. If he is, it's never been said in the lore and he didn't appear in WC3, where the Scourge plague was created by the Burning Legion and abominations were built in generic Slaughterhouse buildings.

    Lady Deathwhisper is established as the leader of the cult of the damned. Now, back to dragon soul... look at Stormbinder Hagara. What, exactly, does she do? What positions her as a more "powerful" shaman above the others? Why is she qualified to be a boss?
    Hagara was one of the first orc mages, training under the Forsaken. While learning how to summon and bind elementals, she came into contact with Al'Akir the Windlord and became one of his minions, joining the Twilight Cult as a Stormbinder.

    Warmaster Blackhorn could have been nicely tied in if the forces he leads, the elite dragonriders, had been seen once prior to DS. Even without specific mention of his name, he would have had some "authority" as a raid boss, so to speak.
    Warmaster Blackhorn is the leader of Deathwing's personal escort and master of the few dozen twilight drakes that have survived this war.


    The rest of the bosses all have lore, too.

    Morchok was the most powerful elemental still under Deathwing's control at the time of the assault.

    Zon'ozz and Yor'sahj are minions of the Old God N'zoth who have been sent to help support Deathwing's efforts. Zon'ozz also once led an army for N'zoth when the Old God warred with C'thun and Yog-Sarron.

    Ultraxion is the only twilight dragon to ever be praised by Deathwing, and has spent his life absorbing the essences of nether drakes. Ultraxion is probably the only truly "cheap" boss in the raid, as he's most likely a substitute for Chromatus which I suppose may have been too difficult for Blizzard to model and implement in time for the raid.
  1. Flimsy's Avatar
    Great video by method and nice to see the game in closed alpha, pretty sure the press even will announce some sort of beta next month.
  1. reve's Avatar
    I dunno if this post was made so it drags in a lot of ad revenue but I am fairly certain it was... Anyway for a lot of overly excited people in this topic, get a bit real please. Whatever is Blizzard doing right now isn't even a regular alpha testing, that will come some time in the future and take let's say up to 2 months, then we'll have beta test taking about 4-5 months and we are lookign at a fall release, there's no way Blizzard releases the game in summer. They need it to sell well, fast.

    They might release DIII in summer but definitaly not pandas.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathranis View Post
    I'm curious as to what you think the developers have all been working on for the last four months if you think there isn't "anything there" yet.
    Showing few cinematics is entirely different than having functioning, alive zone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Risin View Post
    Either Blizz carry out speedy testing this time round, or they'll fail to deliver the 'yearly expansions' that were promised.
    Yea, except if MoP came out in a year then it'd be out for 3 months already... There is no way they'd do yearly expansions, people would just give them the big ol' finger if they wanted them to pay 50 bucks for almost nothing (in addition to sub) every year.
  1. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by roahn the warlock View Post
    At least ICC was fun, and the achievements were fun, and raiding was fun, and you tried to get the achievement mount because it was cool, and wasn't out shined by some store mount, and it had 12 bosses, and heroic mode bosses actually features different mechanics, instead of a new healthpool, and there was enough bosses for there to be easy bosses and hard bosses, and the legendary took at least some time to get, and ulduar was still worth going back to. Hell, alts were still fun to make.
    It was fun, especially with how easy it was to play alts (in comparison, Cataclysm sucks) and had a bunch of bosses. That said, as fun as it was, nobody wants to do the same raid for a year.
  1. pikachu's Avatar
    I can't wait anymore. No betakey for D3. Give me at least this beta faster!!
  1. diegoa's Avatar
    With the way things are going I think MoP is slated for August/Sept release date if things go well. Not sure how they plan to keep people busy by then :S
  1. Vasilisa's Avatar
    It would be lovely to get Mop for summer thought I don't think it will happen. Most likely September.
  1. Fes's Avatar
    Nice Video for the whole lore but maybe a bit too long but however you did a great job
  1. Pascual's Avatar
    Looking so much forward to the release of pandarian. and what an awesome video from Method. nice
  1. Yoyodyne's Avatar
    MoP release will be late July or first half of August. Almost guaranteed.
  1. necemoci's Avatar
    Filler raid in 4.4 almost 100%,just hope that its not sneezing panda "cause of lore".
  1. Razorice's Avatar
    After reading some of the comments, It seems like people are forgetting that 1 MILLION people got Annual pass, which means +/- 1M people will be testing MoP + people that will get in by the Opt-in. More people = Faster gathering of data = Faster release (or so I hope...). Oh, and please don't compare Cata beta with MoP. Cata had the whole 1-60 redesign going on so it took more than usual. I'm guessing that the MoP Beta will last about 2-3 months.
  1. Lompjart's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by reve View Post
    I dunno if this post was made so it drags in a lot of ad revenue but I am fairly certain it was... Anyway for a lot of overly excited people in this topic, get a bit real please. Whatever is Blizzard doing right now isn't even a regular alpha testing, that will come some time in the future and take let's say up to 2 months, then we'll have beta test taking about 4-5 months and we are lookign at a fall release, there's no way Blizzard releases the game in summer. They need it to sell well, fast.

    They might release DIII in summer but definitaly not pandas.Showing few cinematics is entirely different than having functioning, alive zone.Yea, except if MoP came out in a year then it'd be out for 3 months already... There is no way they'd do yearly expansions, people would just give them the big ol' finger if they wanted them to pay 50 bucks for almost nothing (in addition to sub) every year.
    Get real? Beta testing for 4-5 months wont happen. will be 3 or 3 1/2 most likely and just because it might not be regular alpha testing does not mean it will be 2months before F&F alpha or any announcement of beta. Cataclysm had revamped content for whole kalimdor and eastern kingdoms which is quite alot of work in addition to the 5 new zones.

    A release during the summer is questionable yes but in that case then a possible release in August or early June seems most logical, with more favor towards August release. They have stated they want new content out faster than before so it wont be a "ICC-2" for DS-

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