My honest reaction to the Pandas

General Discussion
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10/26/2011 04:21 AMPosted by Laider
They are fat; they walk funny; etc

Wait, are we talking about Pandas or Blizzcon attendees?

10/26/2011 04:09 AMPosted by Lakhesís
I think there are some rather unfair stereotypes being thrown out that simply because some of us intensely dislike a panda race and are vocal in our dissatisfaction that we must have some sort of emotional issues and/or not be looking at the whole picture.

I think you need to look at the general quality of negative reaction threads before you take personal offense to the kind of stereotypes being generated by them.

You are clearly an exception to the rule; the vast majority of people ragging on the expansion seem to have juvenile mindsets, poor reading comprehension and even poorer writing skill, and some strange desire to see WoW fail in spite of the time and money they've put into playing it.

If I were you, I would not throw my lot in with them by using terms like "us," "we," or "our." Speaking on behalf of people you don't actually know is an invitation to being stereotyped along with them. Stick to "I," "me," and "my."
10/26/2011 12:21 AMPosted by Tralana
its all going to be wonder, sunshine, and unicorns pooping rainbows?

no... it's gonna be glitter, sunshine, and bunny rabbits eating rainbows and pooping hearts and butterflies.

Humans are going to be there son, and where ever humans go death and destruction follows.
I had the same reaction, and although I still am sort of off put by the idea that it went from all these big bads to pandas (as the focus point) I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. It's still the very beginning and some ideas from the new expac besides the new race/class look interesting.
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.
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.

Bashiok, the Draenei are in a precarious situation much like the Pandaren. The only trouble is that the Draenei (being double exiles of worlds) did not host alot of rich history.

What worries me is that the Pandaren will further push the noble Draenei from the spotlight, being that we too are spiritual, peaceful, and generous.

I hope we are not viewed as the Pandaren stand-ins from early BC. *Sadness*

An understandable concern. I do believe that Draenei have a place in the game, and I, for one, already have a name picked out for my Draenei Brewmaster. I'm doing my part!
10/26/2011 04:09 AMPosted by Lakhesís
It doesn't matter if the WoW design team is exceptional enough that they could write a compelling backstory for a levitating, telepathic race of green penguins - it doesn't mean they should.

There's a couple of things here though in your long story that I'd like you to think about though.

First is the creative process. The art people and designers have a far more intimate relation to everything in game, in the sense that they need a motivation to do something in this way and not another. If MoP would have been yet another serious xpack with demon hunters and many demons and undead to slay, I do think you agree that after 3 expansions of such baddies it does kind of get stale in a creative juices kind of way. You only have to look at BWD and BoT to see what too much of the same can do to you. BoT could literally have been a part of ICC, save the giant two headed ogre at the end. In that sense it's healthy for the creative process to do something completely different with a strong thematic impact. Every brilliant thing they've ever done has come from a very strong and thematic idea. See Ulduar, Black Temple, Outland, the WotLK general story arc, etc.

Second, I'm quoting myself here from what I said on my realm's forum. A lot of fantasy franchises have mysterious advanced middle eastern or Asiatic like civilisations at their (far) edges. This is logical, the fantasy setting gets inspiration from European medieval times, and a major factor in actual history was the presence of close and far away advanced empires such as the Chinese empire and the Ottoman empire. I do not find the choice for Pandaria odd at all in that broader context.

Third, and this has to do with the cultures they are trying to draw inspiration from here. The Asiatic cultures are really different from the modern western cultures when it comes to downplaying individuality and valuing humility. It's really best expressed by the title of that well known movie, "Crouching tiger, hidden dragon". Looking at it like that, the Pandaren seeming silly makes perfect sense. It is the perfect downplay of what in essence is one of the strongest forces in Azeroth, both philosophically and physically. If you contrast the traditional Kalimdor and EK religions with the nature of the Pandaren and the descriptions of the way they think given at Blizzcon by the lore panel, it seems they are inspired by Taoists or Buddhists. Now Taoism is very very very interesting from the viewpoint of a major Azerothian religion, Shamanism, as Taoism has very direct links to Shamanism but is extremely more philosophically advanced. It is also a very interesting counterpoint to the Church of the Holy Light as seen in EK, like eastern religions have been to our western monotheistic religions.

I can totally see the whole thematic being a massive creative boon to the whole MoP expansion and to the story arc therein. Clash of cultures amalgating into something new and exciting, especially Hordeside, since it will be very hard for a Shamanistic people to resist a Taoist like religion as their next step in religious and cultural evolution.
My reaction as well.
Went from being: 'Pandas? Reeeally?'

Not too interested in playing a Pandaren or a monk myself. But Pandaria looks so nice!!!!
Good post, pretty much sums up my initial reaction to the whole fiasco.

Except unfortunately you seem to be a lot further along than I am. I am still really on the fence about it, it just doesn't appeal to me, atleast not yet. I'm one who loved intricate storylines of characters with deep stories and perplexing personalities (eg when they "next is illidan/arthas/chinwing" etc, I was sold because of the story), however none of that is present yet. Yes the world they come from looks good and has a real place in lore, they can make it fit in, but will it work into the future, or will it just be another draenei scenario (bang here's a spaceship, um ye whoo alliance).
I hope they add a lot more depth, not only to why they are now here, but also into why they are to become apart of the game itself. I also hope they have characters with more than "lulz-kung-fu-panda", or even better, I hope they really delve deeply into them changing existing characters (which it sounds they might venture into) which aren't panda's. This leads to my other concern; the fact everything we've seen, outside the talent system and pokemon, is basically panda this or panda that. It feels like TBC with only Draenei, no arena, no outland etc.

IMO they did a really bad job at selling this. But truthfully it's a concept that was always going to be really hard to sell, and Chris did a good job in setting it up, but it just wasn't enough...
My first reaction was "man this is stupid, I'm out".

Then I remembered a few things.

1: I love ancient Chinese culture.

2: I love Pokemon.

3: Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 were both great movies.


Now I can't wait for MoP.
10/26/2011 12:50 AMPosted by Bocephuss
Pandaren idea is cool..I just wish that there were NPCs or some kind of mention in the game..I don't recall a single quest or NPC mentioning anything about them, now all of a sudden theres a whole expansion having to do with them. I think thats why everyone thinks its a joke. It just came outta nowhere and shocked us.

There is actually. Before the shattering in the barrens there was a quest-chain called "Chen's Empty Keg". Now if you know a bit about the panda lore that was available before this MoP madness started, Chen Stormstout asked Rexxar to get ingredients for his brew since he was all out. Now while the quest doesn't exactly SAY that we are getting the ingredients for Chen Stormstout, I don't need somebody to tell me that I'm looking at a fire truck when it's right in front of me :)

EDIT: Found the link...
I would like to know more about why you find them inappropriate. You mentioned they are "cute and cuddly" as well as alluding to them as 'primary protagonists whose initial reaction is to provoke laughter.'

The cute and cuddly bit, honestly, is one I can't field. A bear is a bear. Yeah, they can do cute things but they are still bears. Claws, teeth, etc.

I'm not entirely sure how to explain that one, because to me it's simply self-evident. Possibly there's a cultural element in there too - I'm Australian, not American, so I have no experience with other bears (unless you call a koala a bear...) and I don't immediately associate a bear with teeth & claws. I'm more likely to associate 'bear' with 'teddy bear', which is especially true in the case of a creature I've been taught is a non-threatening endangered herbivore which is exceptionally difficult to breed and requires constant protection from human predation + deforestation.

If I do a google search for "panda video", the first three videos I get are:

The first one is a sleeping baby panda suddenly sneezing and scaring the daylights out of mummy panda. The second one is two baby pandas clambering all over each other and playing. The third one is a primary school style national geographic video ("You may have seen Pandas in Zoos! They're one of the most popular animals in captivity! But have you ever seen Pandas living where they really live?!")

This is the sort of stuff that forms my impression of pandas. They're cute, they're adorable, we need to protect them from poachers because they're vulnerable and defenceless.

To then turn around and introduce a race based off this impression of an animal as a group of badass zen combat characters becomes whimsically farcical (in a literal rather than pejorative sense - "a broadly humorous play based on the exploitation of improbable situations")

It can be great when a story challenges your initial expectations, but to me Pandas as a primary protagonist in a combat scenario is so absurdist that it's extremely difficult to take seriously. To quote/paraphrase past blue posts on unrelated issues: "this is world of warcraft" - and the last place a Panda derived creature should ever be is in a war-zone.

Nothing about that scenario can be taken seriously in my mind and to attempt to build a compelling storyline on that foundation is deliberately opting to build on sand. Even assuming Bliz's dev team is good enough to pull it off, which wouldn't surprise me at all, is it really a sensible choice to try?
I was one that used to hate seeing all the joke-panda stuff, because I felt they could be an awesome addition to a fictional world that already had animated animal-people in it. It just was little change from a Tauren, and later the Worgen.

I'm completely excited, and the stuff I saw at Blizzcon has only fueled it.

Pet Battles? I see complaints about this all over the place, and I am very confused. Blizz is giving us something to do while we are waiting for the Raid leaders brother to get back to his keyboard from his 8th cig break of the evening. No longer are we going to be walking in circles leaving green foot prints, or trying to strategically misdirect to the AFK toons. We will get to whip out vanity pets, and force them to fight for our pleasure. How is this bad?

THis x-pac is brilliant. And I have a feeling that we have only seen the tiniest dusting of info.
It can be great when a story challenges your initial expectations, but to me Pandas as a primary protagonist in a combat scenario is so absurdist that it's extremely difficult to take seriously. To quote/paraphrase past blue posts on unrelated issues: "this is world of warcraft" - and the last place a Panda derived creature should ever be is in a war-zone.

I'd like to requote/paraphrase past blue posts for you: this is WORLD of Warcraft. Just because there is a huge war going on between two superpowers in a world, doesn't mean that entire world is caught up in it, armored to the teeth just waiting to slice somebody's neck open. It's a world, a diverse world, with many different cultures and places. Of course, by the time the alliance/horde get done with Pandaria it wouldn't surprise me if the place was completely on fire... >.>
Cool infos

Thanks Bashiok

Edit: I share this view:
I was one that used to hate seeing all the joke-panda stuff, because I felt they could be an awesome addition to a fictional world that already had animated animal-people in it. It just was little change from a Tauren, and later the Worgen.

I'm completely excited, and the stuff I saw at Blizzcon has only fueled it.
If I could "like" this 1000 times I would. :) You summed up my feelings exactly! I was on Facebook, chatting on a guild fanpage "live" as I was watching Blizzcon (some of the others were too, some weren't) and I was typing... as Chris Metzen was talking about peace and tranquility, and then finally as they unveiled the title and showed the trailer... NO NO NO NO NO omg you guys it really is PANDAS! DDDDD : forever!

But then... just like you did... I watched everything. The trailer was beautiful, the Pandaren looked not silly at all (at least, no more so than the Tuskarr and I don't care what anyone says, the Tuskarr are some cool SOB's) and all the features and lore that all the Blizzard reps were talking about completely changed my whole view on it. This is something I could really enjoy, I found myself thinking.

So I'll be there! And I'm really excited now!
Thank you for the post Laider.

I'm happy to see people who are willing to give the new expac a shot rather than shoot it down with OMG PANDAS R JOKES. Pandarens have quite a bit of lore and I'm ready to see more of it myself.

Kudos good sir, you get a +1 from me.
10/26/2011 06:14 AMPosted by Winback
This is called the death of a MMORPG. I know WoW is a first for 90% of you ... but this is what it looks like.

Ha. Cuz so many other MMOs dominated the market like this before.

Sorry, this is nothing like previous MMOs. I was there when EQ killed itself, and I played a Jedi when it was available in that crappy game. WoW is a different beast entirely.

10/26/2011 12:32 AMPosted by Vollmond
seriously, those damn things used freaking booze to breathe fire at you.

Not only that, but they actually puked out the booze, too, before igniting it on you.
Two thumbs up for the OP.. I admit, I had a similar reaction at first.

I didn't think it was just a prank or joke pulled by Blizzard, but I thought it was a total Joke.
When I heard about Pandaren are a playable race I couldn't help but to think about WoW becoming terribly disneyesque.

In a way, that somewhat still holds truth to me, BUT.... The summary of all the information introduced made me change my mind, and I actually look forward to the expansion.

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