World of Warcraft‘s next expansion pack, Mists of Pandaria, has officially been given a release date of September 25th. In two months, you’ll be able to explore the mist-enshrouded realm of Pandaria, venture throughout Azeroth as WoW’s first shared-faction race, the Pandaren, and tank dungeons, heal your party or deal massive amounts of damage as the new Monk class. There’s also the redesigned talent system, new pet battle system, the introduction of scenarios and challenge modes and, of course, new dungeons to keep you occupied while you grind your way to the increased level cap of 90.

In addition to the release dates, Blizzard has also outlined the different editions of the game you can purchase. There’s the standard edition, available at retail or digitally through Blizzard’s online store, which will run you $39.99.

If you’re willing to shell out a little bit more, you can grab the Digital Deluxe edition from the Blizzard store for $59.99. That version includes, (and I’m copy-pasting this verbatim from the release because two of the bonus items I really don’t understand):

  • World of Warcraft In-Game Mount: Take to the skies of Azeroth astride the mystical Imperial Quilen flying mount.
  • World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: Journey across Pandaria with the Lucky Quilen Cub at your side.
  • StarCraft® II Battle.net® Portraits: Bring the Horde and Alliance rivalry to the far reaches of the Koprulu sector with exclusive Infested Orc and Night Elf Templar Battle.net portraits.
  • Diablo® III Banner Sigil and Accent: Display your status as a hero of Pandaria with the iconic markings of World of Warcraft‘s newest playable race, the pandaren.

I’ve not played Starcraft II or Diablo III, so if someone could explain to me what those two are, and why they are incentives for buying the Deluxe edition in the comments, I would really appreciate it.

If you’ve got even more money to spare, you can grab the Collector’s Edition from your local game retailer for $79.99. That version includes all the in-game items from the Digital Deluxe addition, and also features:

  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray: Learn about the creation of Pandaria with this two-disc set featuring over an hour of commentary, insider interviews, and developer roundtables.
  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: Experience 20 orchestral pieces from Mists of Pandaria.
  • The Art of Mists of Pandaria Book: Explore this 208-page hardcover tome featuring never-before-seen pieces from the expansion, from early concepts to final 3D renderings.
  • Chen Stormstout Mouse Pad: Equip your desk with this special-edition mouse pad featuring the legendary pandaren brewmaster.

There you have it. Yet another $40 (at least) we World of Warcraft players shall be gifting to Blizzard. Pre-sales of the standard and Digital Deluxe editions are already available from the World of Warcraft website, so if you want to start playing the moment the expansion goes live, (which many of you probably will, even though it will inevitably be a server nightmare), you can get your order in now.

Also, if you only have $39.99 to spare when Mists of Pandaria launches (on September 25th), you will have the option of upgrading to the Digital Deluxe addition at any time, or at least “for as long as the standalone Digital Deluxe version remains available” for an extra $20, so if you want that bonus mount and pet, or those other things, but have decided to buy food the week MoP comes out, you can fork over the extra money later.

I don’t know about a lot of you, but I have school to worry about in September. I was hoping that this would release in November, at least, so that I had time to sink back into an academic stupor, and then finish at least one run-through of Borderlands 2 with my friends. Now, though, it looks like I’ll have to figure out how to do all of that at the same time. Oh, well. Multi-tasking is a wonderful skill to have.