I honestly have no issues with a panda race. It has been in the background (though not canon) for a long time and they're no sillier than space-goats and werewolves (which were never
canon before introduction).
My disappointment with MoP is the lack of anything resembling something new. The monk class is just the reinvention of the Rogue which was already copied by the Druid (agility leather, energy, and combo points) except that combo points stick to the player and not the target. Granted you can heal and tank with that system so at least that's something kinda different. (And if you thought the rogue population was low now...)
Pokemon certainly isn't new and frankly I'm surprised that Blizzard isn't trying to shoe-horn the trading card game into WoW proper like so many other MMOs.
The talent trees are being re-done (again) and while that's slightly interesting:
We want players to be able to change their talent build independently of their specialization, and without visiting a class trainer. This new system is designed to provide players with hundreds of distinct and meaningful options for tailoring their character’s gameplay to their specific desires and situation.
That seems to indicate that after you make the choice of say the Assassination spec, the actual choices you make can be changed at any time at will. So if I was a Paladin, I could dual spec Protection and Holy and change my talent choices anytime out of combat. That's 2/3 of all current specs completely covered there.
Unfortunately, just like talents now, the new talent system presents a false choice. Even non-DPS talents have different values even if they are technically the same. Let's say one tier of choices offer a damage reduction talent, let's say 10% physical, 10% magic or a 5%/5% split. If you're a melee DPS who raids you always
pick 10% magic reduction; hell, minus casters in PvP and some raid tanks, everyone would pick that. Now go look at the talent trees they've presented; they aren't nearly as equal as the example I gave. Yes, there are some tough choices, but "tough" doesn't mean that one isn't better than the other.
Then there's the Annual Pass which is a different issue. If you've been paying attention to the subscription numbers you're familiar with their rise and fall after expansions (and to a lesser extent patches). History tells us that as a game gets older its gains at each surge are smaller and the subsequent drop-offs accelerate; you can see this with WoW over the last two expansions. What the Annual pass indicates is that they expect a very rapid drop-off. The Annual Pass charges at the monthly rate; those who pay in longer periods (like me) will actually pay more over that years time without counting the cost of D3. Also note that other game companies do the same thing by bundling games they feel they can't sell any longer with a new title they know will sell; this is just a subscription bundle with the new title.
No, while the Panderan are new and there will be new zones, I just don't see anything that says I'll be doing anything I've not done before on a dozen characters.