Mists of Pandaria, the latest World of Warcraft expansion, came out on September 25th, 2012, nearly a year after it’s announcement at Blizzcon 2011. Playable Pandaren, Monks, Pandaria and the Wandering Isle, along with pet battles and increased level cap, were introduced with this expansion, bringing more excitement to game. All of these features and more will be discussed in later sections of my review of the expansion, while this part will discuss the lovely thing known as the Collector’s Edition ^^
As always, the box has an outer shell of a sturdy material, with a pull-out drawer made of the same. I’m not really sure what it’s made out of exactly. My first guess would be a form of cardboard, but it’s much more sturdy than any cardboard I’ve seen. The box design is one of my favorites, second only to the Wrath of the Lich King Collector’s Edition. It’s a dark red color, with swirling designs in a much fainter red over the front and back. There is a design on the corners and most of the edges, giving the illusion of a rough, old cloth. Overall, it’s a wonderful box, matching the expansion very well, and standing up to the previous Collector’s Edition boxes.
First of all is the art book. This is perhaps my favorite part about getting Collector’s Editions from Blizzard. This 208 page book comes in hardcover, with a textured back and a cover illustration of a Pandaren Monk. It covers all concept art, from locations, to races, to equipment, with notes of lore at the beginning of each section. It was amazing to see the similarities and differences between the concept art and the final product, and I thoroughly enjoy looking through this book time and time again ^^
The soundtrack was beautiful and fitting for the expansion. The composers did an absolutely fantastic job :]
The behind-the-scenes video was very interesting to watch, with features about challenge mode dungeons, the new talent system, and a brief history of Pandaria, which was very entertaining. I loved watching the storyboards for the primary cinematic, and listening to them talk about the sound development for the expansion. It came with both a Blu-ray and a DVD, and I’m not sure if the blu-ray has anything different from the DVD.
In-game content with this covered all of Blizzard’s most recent releases. The two exclusive Starcraft 2 portraits included were the Infested Orc and Night Elf Templar, both of which are very cool looking ^^ Diablo III banner upgrades featuring the Pandaren were also included. The best in-game content, however, were the World of Warcraft mount and minipet. The mount, called the Imperial Quilen, is a wonderful model, with smooth animations and amazing armor. However, as much as I like this mount, I still can’t get over the squashed face the Quilen run around with =\ Despite this, I still use this wonderful mount, since the rest of it is awesome enough that the face doesn’t distract from it too badly =P
The minipet is the little Lucky Quilen Cub, a baby version of the smooshy faces beasts. On one hand, I love the fat little thing, but again, that face! It’s not quite as bad as the adult versions, though ^^ His animations are adorable, and the on-click noises he makes are very fitting.
The Collector’s Edition also came with in-game trial passes for World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2. Personally, I find the WoW ones a bit pointless now, but, hey, the Starcraft ones are nice little additions.
Overall, the Collector’s Edition was well worth the extra. I’m not going to rate the expansion quite yet, since I still have quite a bit of in-game stuff to look over, but I will give the Collector’s Edition a 9/10 for good content and a wonderfully designed package. Good job, Blizzard ^^ I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t contain a pack of trading cards like the past ones have, but that’s just a small complaint
Keep your eyes open for the rest of my Mists of Pandaria review so hear my opinions on all the in-game changes, both good and bad!
Talk to you soon,
All images and videos (c) their respective owners ^^