The Darkmoon Faire begins!

The brand new Darkmoon Island opens for business today for the very first time. The WoW Insider staff is extremely eager to jump right into the celebrations, especially those of us who squeezed in a few hours of it on the PTR -- that brief taste made the anticipation all the sweeter. There are games to play, mounts and pets to purchase, and sweet, sweet transmogrification gear to get our hands on.

If you weren't able to check out the Faire on the PTR and you're utterly lost as to what to do there, no worries. Our test realm coverage may help you out a little.

The one question everybody seems to be asking but nobody thought to answer is: How the heck do you get to the Darkmoon Island? Do you fly there? Is there a boat? No, neither of those things. It's much easier than that. The former carnival grounds in Elwynn Forest (just south of Goldshire) or Mulgore (just west of Thunder Bluff) will get you there. Go to one of those two areas, find the great big portal to Darkmoon Island, and you're on your way. Going through the portal will even earn you what is possibly one of the easiest achievements in the entire game: Come One, Come All!

Players that enjoy collecting purely cosmetic items like mounts, pets and transmogrification outfits are going to be making some of the most difficult World of Warcraft decisions they've made in a very long time thanks to the Darkmoon Faire. The Faire offers many things, but they all cost precious Darkmoon Prize Tickets -- tickets which are in extremely limited supply. If you're chasing a pricey mount, you may not be able to get anything else this month!

What are all of you planning to pick up first with your tickets? Personally, I'm going for the pets. I've never been either a pet collector or a mount collector, so I have a very low number of both. Pet Battles in Mists of Pandaria caught my interest, however, so I need to start building up my stable of pocket monsters before the expansion rolls around. Mounts are still pretty low on my list of priorities, so I may even go after heirlooms and replica gearsets before I ever look at that Darkmoon Dancing Bear.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!