They asked "Come with us, come see what were doing here." So, Ill give it a shot. I mean, my roommate said it: "What -if- it turns out to be a lot of fun?"
I think a lot of the negative comments are passing over the fact that that it's not really the idea of the "panda world" that's off-putting, but the pseudo-Asian Kung Fu type tying that they're pushing into a world that probably won't naturally accommodate it.
Case in point:
Did you ever see that remake of "The Three Musketeers" that featured the classic story set in eighteenth century France where the director decided to hire a martial arts specialist and insert a rather large load of Kung Fu Tom Foolery into the story?
The tag line was even: "As You've Never Seen It Before."
And the movie was a failure because it was a bad combination of some Eastern spirituality martial arts thing and a story set in France that just didn't mesh well with the idea.
People engaging in martial arts and gravity-defying flips off a wall were ridiculous when paired with people wearing eighteenth century hats with long white feathers in them.
That is what this expansion feels like. I feel like someone has hired Jackie Chan to teach a bunch of dragons how to do a roundhouse kick.
And it's not boating my float right now.
When Blizzard first trademarked "Mists of Pandaria", and it was only rumored to be the next expansion, I went through a similar reaction.
Aside from being Asian myself, I perceived an Asian-themed WoW as highly out of place within the context of Azeroth. I spoke about it with my girlfriend and have subsequently changed my mind. The main concerns I had with it were it seemed like a cheap way to exploit Asian/Chinese culture and how out of place it really was.
First, it's no secret that Blizzard routinely draws upon real-life references. The Vrykul and Val'kyr are obvious references to Vikings and Valkyries, and they even shaped the role of the Val'kyr to be functionally similar to valkyries, just with their own Lich King-esque spin on it. I think that, traditionally, has been where Blizzard excelled. They take a piece of known mythology or lore, then reinterpret it in a way that you haven't thought about before. Far from other commercial ventures, where corporations take a product, add some fangs, and label it XTREME LOL, Blizzard puts actual thought into their reinterpretations.
For example, prior to Diablo 2, I thought of druids as passive wielders of nature magic, more likely to try to raise a garden than to shapeshift into different forms and fight in melee combat.
Night Elves were typically portrayed as the "bad" version of regular elves. In WarCraft, the Night Elves are the good guys from their magic-addicted counterparts.
Tauren, obviously drawn from minotaurs, I thought of as a solitary, brutish race. They were so inconsequential that I didn't really give them any sort of mythos. However, Blizzard gave them a whole backstory of honor and tradition, to make them more than what they referenced.
Some people call it copying; that's not entirely fair. Its reinterpretation.
The second point was the cheap exploitation of Chinese culture. It seems like when fantasy or other game developers run out of ideas, the game always then includes an Asian-theme expansion. It sort of makes sense, if you think about it. On our planet, before cultures collided, there was diversity among the development of cultures. European architecture was pretty distinctive from Chinese architecture, for example. So why is it so farfetched that the same thing happened in Azeroth?
In Star Trek, I actually found it inconsistent that every alien world they visited had one, unified culture. That's not how Earth developed, so why does an Alien culture have no sense of racial diversity (Vulcans being the only Alien race with distinct skin tones)? Yet I found myself expecting Azeroth to conform to the "one world, one culture" rule.
Given the development of distinct cultures on Earth, its not outside the suspension of disbelief to assume it happened on Azeroth as well.
I, for one, welcome our new panda overlords.