One thing I like about Blizzard games is the peripheral artwork and assets which get developed. When Panda-rama was announced I was very negative about the idea as it felt cutesie and childish compared with the dramatic setting of Cataclysm, Wrath of the Lich King, and The Burning Crusade. Wrath was my favourite by far in terms of setting artwork, holistic style, and zone assets.
Now that I look at the artwork for Mists of Pandaria I really like it. It has an elegance and classic “asian style” which is stand out as beautiful to an anglo Australian mutt like me. I like it enough to create a top banner for the blog using one of the boilerplate artworks by Blizzard. Imagine how cooler that same image would look with non-panda races fighting in it! Perhaps a bloodelf vs human monk fight. I just have to love monks finally being playable in the game after so many years of killing them in the game already.
The art is perhaps not enough to put at ease all my reservations about fur-covered-love-bears being introduced into the game, but enough to place them next to the other races I dislike a little like Gnomes and Goblins. Yes, I don’t like stunties – both races look like snotlings in fancy dress.