When the e-mail arrived my curiosity got the better of me, and besides the world and his wife already appeared to running around as Pandas. The process is summarised below.
- Receive e-mail
- Logon into battle.net account
- Find software available
- Gaze at Diablo III release date
- Click on Mists of Pandaria beta download
The starting screen is slightly different than the old screen, I dabbled with Male and Female Panda Monks just like 99% of the rest of the testers and then paused over a name. Usually I have a name before I choose a character and this time I just sat there and pondered the options. Everybody else has a Panda beginning with the letters Pand, I decided this was lame and the chances of getting a unique name were going to be quite slim. In the end I generated a name using what Pandas like to do most and the famous book by Lynne Truss - Eat Shoots & Leaves. The resultant name is Eatshootslea, which I am more than happy with.
The starting zone is pure chaos and for the unsuspecting and the slightly stupid (me included), the game is hideously laggy. The install in its infinite wisdom and with Blizzard wanting to show off the textures and artwork of its new creation have defaulted the graphics settings to max. By moving the slider down to fair, the game leapt from 3-4 fps to my more standard 20 fps. I have heard commentators suggesting that if your current computer setup is ok, then there will be no need to upgrade for the new expansion. I personally feel that to enjoy the game to the max, an upgrade from a borderline nVidia card like mine is well worth considering.