I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
I did want to make one comment on:
10/26/2011 12:16 AMBlizzard has given the Panderan a rich culture and a specific way of thinking. A history that goes back beyond the sundering with their own struggles and accomplishments. They have an identity beyond "Look, its Pandas."
Posted by Laider
This is something I want to touch on a bit more. People seem to think that Pandaren were a joke, a throw away easter egg that we never fully intended as a playable race.
I will direct you to recall the Warcraft RPG (pen and paper) manuals released in 2003. While much of it hasn't been canon for quite some time, the Pandaren occupy a greater amount of pages and space within the manuals to establish their lore and story than pretty much every other creature on Azeroth. To give it some context, they occupy the same number of pages as Trolls in the Monster Manual, and share the same amount space in the Alliance and Horde Compendium with Orcs or Humans, and just like them ... you guessed it... Pandaren were a playable race.
(there's also an awesome sketch Metzen did of a Pandaren, Dwarf, Furbolg, and Gnome hanging out all friendly-like)
As I said a lot of this was pre-World of Warcraft, and by whatever stroke of fate, Trolls and Forsaken became playable races and Pandaren, Naga, and Furbolgs did not. Some other mix could have just as easily been true, and no one would have questioned it. Worgen didn't even exist back then, of course, they were a new creation for World of Warcraft.
It would simply be inaccurate to state that Pandaren were a throw away. Our intent, going back to Warcraft III, when the vast majority of the world lore and story was established for the franchise, was always to have a deep and rich history for a race known as the Pandaren.