Blizzard 'remixed' one of the best WoW expansions with new items and boosted XP and it starts next month

A Pandaren from World of Warcraft wearing blue and purple armor
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard is leveraging pure nostalgia with WoW Remix: Mists of Pandaria, a limited-time opportunity to rewind time and play through a modernized version of the 2011 expansion. When it goes live on May 16, you'll be able to quickly level up a character who will transfer over to the regular servers when it's over, presumably as a fun way to prepare for The War Within expansion later this year.

WoW expansions are already playable as you level up in WoW, but WoW Remix: Mists of Pandaria will take place on separate servers and feature faster leveling, new items, and rewards to take back to the regular MMO. Think of it like an accelerated tour through one of WoW's best expansions, an alternative to the normal leveling experience.

Anyone can play up to level 20 without a WoW subscription, but if you want to climb all the way to 70, you'll need to pay. Blizzard has said recently that it's trying to add more value to the subscription price with modes like this and the surprise battle royale event Plunderstorm. If you hop in just to relive your favorite expansion, you'll have other things to check out too, like WoW Classic and its seasonal mode Season of Discovery.

Last week, Blizzard let players test out WoW Remix: Mists of Pandaria on its PTR, or public test realm, server. I jumped in and was immediately surprised that Blizzard had built an entire intro sequence tying Mists of Pandaria into the storyline of Warcraft's time-traveling dragons. You spend a few minutes getting briefed before donning a unique cloak—which grows in power with your character—and setting sail for the island of Pandaria.

Playing through the first few quests as a Horde character crash-landing on the shore was like watching a memory at 1.5x speed. Combat went faster than I remembered, likely because characters are ripped from normal WoW with all the skills and talent trees that came several years later. As someone who hasn't kept up on WoW much, modern features like a recommended build option for my talent tree made it easy to start playing. I didn't go long enough to start finding the new gems, but I imagine those will skyrocket your power as you start adding them to your gear. 

All the gear transmogs you collect stay with your account and you can use a new "Bronze" currency to buy up a bunch of cosmetic items to use in normal WoW, too. I'm almost convinced this could be the time I finally play through all of Mists of Pandaria to see why my friends love it so much. But if Blizzard were to do the WoW Remix treatment to 2007's The Burning Crusade, I'd be there day one.

WoW Remix: Mists of Pandaria will go live on May 16 for a limited amount of time that Blizzard hasn't clarified the length of yet. I'd guess it'll be around for at least a month or until The War Within launches—which also doesn't have a date yet.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.