I do love the pandas, particularly the gals, I'm thinking I'll want at least two (I suppose the red panda should be Horde, lol). And the screenshots do look beautiful. I was wondering, are the quest lines linear, you have to do them all to get through the area, like in Cataclysm? I like being able to choose what to do.
This is kind of off the topic of Mists, but I want to talk a little about how Blizzard is pricing.. They did some deals on the game and expansions last Christmas, and I figured the prices would stay pretty low since what you really want is to get a player paying the monthly fee, right? But now it costs $80 to buy the expansions you need to get to top level. That's just too much.
A friend played the free starter account for a while, and from her reaction, I'd say the free account is a bad idea. Because it's limited in ways that make the game seem really unfriendly, the fact that you can't get items from friends or even use the AH, you can't join a guild, so you're on your own - that isn't the way a multiplayer game works. And the 10 gold cap doesn't help, either. She's way out of my time zone, so we weren't on at the same time very much. I did give her some tips to start, and she seemed really interested for a couple days. I figured I'd show her more along the way, but then she stopped playing. She said she'd come back, but I could tell she was just being polite. I looked at her character on the armory after she'd lost interest, and her level 20 was still in some level 6 gray items. I felt so bad. She'd asked about buying armor from vendors, and I'd advised against it, because as soon as she started playing for real I'd send her greens to wear, and buffs and bags and everything she needed. I'd offered to give her a game code, but I bet she thought it would be a waste of my money, because she'd already stopped enjoying the game. Her experience from the free starter account, trying to play as a newbie in gray armor, turned her off. I wondered why she didn't have more quest rewards, but the fact that leveling goes fast now isn't always a good thing. I'd suggested gather professions which give you XP now, she probably didn't have to do a lot of quests to get to 20.
Of course if someone else started playing, now that I see the problems with the starter account, I'd give them different advice. I made the mistake of giving her advice that worked when I first started playing. Now with the free starter, everything I told her made things worse! I should have said to buy that white armor from vendors, I should have told her only to do the secondary professions. I should have told her to do every quest she could find, something I didn't realize was necessary to mention. But really I think the unlimited-time starter account is a bad idea, because of the restrictions they have on it. I bet a lot of people react like my friend did. The 2 week trial, like it was in the old days, was better. But I don't think Blizzard really made the change so much to have free play. I think it was more an excuse to make the AH and mailing unavailable to non-paid accounts, so people couldn't make a new account quick just to move something over the nuetral AH or whatever.
OK, now I'm writing a novel, sorry! Bottom line, I think they should go back to 2 week free trial accounts, without the current limitations of the starter account. And I think they need to bring down the price on those expansions, like the whole shebang for $40. Yes you can technically start playing with just the battle chest (original/bc). But when I start playing a new game, I don't want the opening screen to have races grayed out because I can't roll those without shelling out more money. It's a turn off.