If you've been watching the run up to Mists of Pandaria becoming besotted with the pandas and then looking at your wallet only to realise you can't afford World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm, as well as the Mists of Pandaria, then worry no more. With the activation of patch 5.04 all players will be able to create characters of any race they want including the Panda(rian)s.
The news came via blog post that "With the release of patch 5.0.4, we’re making all the races of Azeroth playable by anyone, no matter which version or expansion of World of Warcraft they own. This includes the enigmatic pandaren, who will become available for play when Mists of Pandaria is released on Tuesday, September 25. We want the entire World of Warcraft community to be able to embrace their inner goblin, blood elf, worgen, draenei, or pandaren from the moment they step foot into the world of Azeroth. Now, the only hard part will be choosing a name. Who will you be next?"
This plays further into the news that with the patch going live on the 28th August, the release date of Guild Wars 2, Blizzard are going all out to both compete with the newest MMO on the market and work to recoup some of their lost subscribers.
Whilst all the races are going to be ubiquitously available, there's no word on how the content of the expansions will be divvied out. The pet battles are one of the biggest additions coming with the expansion pack. Will we all be able to have a pet Zergling?
We'll know on September 25th when the Mists of Pandaria is finally released.