I can't believe that World of Warcraft is already almost 8-years-old and still going strong. I guess it speaks to the loyalty the fan base has displayed over the years. While other MMOs like The Old Republic may be taking away some of its subscribers, its new expansion, Mists of Pandaria, should bring back players into the world of Azeroth for some panda fun.
Blizzard announced on the battle.net site that they are about to start beta testing for the new expansion. Those who are eligible for beta invites include annual pass holders, press, fansites, friends and family. There's also a way to get into the beta through an opt-in system, but more on that later.
Blizzard is quick to point out that there will be no NDA on the Mists of Pandaria beta so players can upload all the screenshots and videos they want. This will make the press' job so much easier and allow fans to get a good look at what's coming with the new expansion.
For those who are not in the above mentioned bracket of potential beta testers, Blizzard has created a way for you to opt-in for the beta. You are eligible if you have a Battle.net account and have attached at least one Blizzard game to said account. From there, head on over to your Beta Profile page and apply for the betas you want to participate in. If you're selected, you will receive a confirmation email from Blizzard.
If you have an annual pass to WoW and aren't invited in the first phase of testing, worry not. Blizzard says that they will be inviting annual pass holders in waves over the course of the beta. If you aren't selected for the first wave, just wait until the next one. They will, however, be giving priority to long standing WoW account holders. All annual pass players will be invited though.
If you haven't been keeping up with WoW lately, check out the trailer for Mists of Pandaria. The ancient China/Panda motif is pretty jarring when set up next to the Western fantasy that is usually associated with Warcraft.