Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Resounding Response

Unless you've been living under a rock (and, face it - if you're reading this blow for WoW news, you probably are living under a rock), you've probably heard that Blizzard registered a trademark for the name "Mists of Pandaria". This has, in turn, lead to a whole lot of speculation about whether this is the name of the next major release for the game. If so, it seems to indicate that players will get a chance to learn more about the heretofore elusive panda-like race, the Pandaren.

The community reaction to this has been... mixed, and strongly so. Some people love the idea of the Pandaren. Others take exception to their presence in-game, claiming that they're really nothing more than an April Fool's day joke that's got more legs than most. Overall, it's been a resounding response, both for and against.

What do I think?

It's fine.

Keep in mind, I was not a Warcraft player - so my totality of involvement with the "lore" of WoW is from WoW. I have no experience with the Pandaren, other than the one or two in-game quests and items that seem to reference them. If Blizzard does introduce a Pandaren expansion, I'm going to experience it without a whole lot of preconceived notions.

Very much like the Gilneans, for example. Or the Tuskarr. Or Ramkahen, Or... well, frankly, everything in WoW up to this point. Before I started playing, I had no idea what Night Elves were, how they differed from other elves, or how they were related to Naga. I had no concept of loa-worshiping Trolls who once ruled a massive empire, or anthropomorphic cows who travelled the world, finding interesting examples of life and eating it. I had no idea what a furbolg or a murloc or an arrakoa was, or any of another million little things that make up the World of Warcraft.

What I have read of them makes them seem like an interesting addition to WoW lore. The idea of exploring a new civilization, a new culture, a new part of the world is exciting and intriguing. If it's fun, if it's interesting, if it's entertaining, then really - I don't care where the Pandaren came from. If they started out as a joke and have grown beyond that, great! If they were always intended to be part of the story of the game, fantastic!

Though you'd better not make Pandaren a playable race before the Tuskarr, Blizz. You do that and it's on.

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