I don't know if you've heard, but there's something like 300,000 people in the Mists of Pandaria beta at the moment. While this means yay, more people get to experience the beta (and it probably also gives Blizzard a really good idea of how much stress the servers can handle), it also means there are around 30 people trying to kill the same quest mob at any given time. So while I certainly have every intention of being a good beta tester and reporting all sorts of dastardly bugs, if I can't finish a single quest, there's not much I can do on that front.

What I can do is ride around in the sidecar of my wife's chopper and check out the simply astonishing scenery Pandaria has to offer. Last night, we basically explored the entire zone, checked out the new flora and fauna, stopped by monastery and temple, and in general, got our full on sense of wonder rolling. The zone is gorgeous. While it's clearly not entirely there yet, what is there is magnificent. I'm really looking forward to playing through this content. I'm also desperately trying to figure out a time to log on so that I can actually kill some hozen and finish the quests so that I can report on them.

So now I ask you: Do you ever just stop and look around the world when you're in game? In the beta? For a game heading toward eight years, this expansion really holds up visually, do you ever stop and enjoy it?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.