The Legends are True: Pandaria is Real
Holy orc on a stick, the pandas are coming to World of Warcraft!
Officially announced at Friday’s BlizzCon, the next WoW expansion will feature the Pandaren race and their home world of Pandaria. These are panda warriors who study martial arts and live in a thoroughly Asian paradise. And apparently live on the back of a giant turtle. I have no words for how awesome this is…but I do have pictures.
Let me say that again. These are kung-fu panda warriors who love getting drunk and kicking ass! In World of Warcraft! It’s the very thing I’ve wanted for the game since I first started playing. It’s the very thing that will get me back into my WoW addiction if it means I can play as a Pandaren brewmaster…and I can! It’s totally happening! Blizzard made the announcement in front of thousands of screaming fans (I imagine, I wasn’t really there). They revealed a ton of details about the new expansion, including a new class: the monk.
It doesn’t matter that I haven’t played World of Warcraft in more than 2 years. It doesn’t matter that I couldn’t afford a monthly subscription. It doesn’t matter that I’m two expansions behind. I want to be a panda!
I wrote about this when the name ‘Mists of Pandaria’ was first trademarked back at the beginning of August. Back then, Blizzard was staying tight-lipped, obviously saving the real announcement for BlizzCon. Click the link to get some background on what I’m talking about, but I’ll sum it up for you now.
World of Warcraft is a computer game that allows players to create their own mythical warriors and then do battle against each other in a computer simulated world. There are also hundreds of quests and missions and just really neat things to do in this World besides warfare. There are two armies: the Alliance and the Horde, each one composed of several different mythical races. The Alliance have humans, elves, night elves dwarves, gnomes, draenaii, and werewolves, and the Horde have orcs, taurens, trolls, goblins, blood elves, and the undead. Everybody’s got their favorite race to play, and with each new expansion, more races get unlocked.
The people at Blizzard have created a very extensive lore and history for the World of Warcraft. Each race has its own origins, with continents, fables, allies, heroes, animal friends, and more. It’s a very rich mythology. And ever since Warcraft 3 several years ago, they have teased a race of panda people. But no matter how big the World of Warcraft game got, there were never any signs of these panda people in the game.
I can’t put into words how giddy and excited this makes me feel. I absolutely love the lore and mythology of World of Warcraft. Even more than the games themselves, I love the stories, the history, the characters, all of it. I’ve read some of the novels. I’ve read their Warcraft Wiki just to learn some of the background of the characters. I’ve written my own fan fiction about it. Suffice to say, I love the ‘world’ part of World of Warcraft.
And Pandarens have always just tickled that dorky, silly love that I have for WoW. To see them in the game as playable is spectacular.
Here are some of the details: Pandarens will be the first neutral characters in the game. They will be devoted to just Pandaria until level 10, when the player can pick either the Alliance or the Horde. neat. Pandaria has been shrouded from the outside world for thousands of years, and the starting zone will be on the back of a giant turtle. Pandarens will have all classes available to them except Death Knights and Druids. I don’t even know which I’d want to pick…probably the new one, Monk.
Because Monks can follow the Brewmaster path!
Also, Pandaria is very Asian-influenced in design. For obvious panda reasons.
So basically, yeah, this is happening. Looks like I’m going to have to get myself addicted to World of Warcraft again.