What will be remembered about the Pandaren in the next expansion for WoW?

I expect that the Pandaren will become a side thought in the next expansion; as a race they do not have much to do with Draenor. Sure they will be present as adventurers at level 100, but I think they won’t dominate our screens at all. Orcs and Draenei will probably be the order of the day, with all sorts of new goodies for each race. I hope we see hooks for at least a few others races as well, as having a single race as the focus on each side of the faction war is thinner than I’d like. Lets see some lore based events.

Perhaps Sylvanas will emerge as an arm of the Horde with powerful and undesirable solutions to the fight against Garrosh’s “true horde”. She has provided a rather brutal solution to problems of her faction’s dwindling numbers and as a leader she has a lot of presence to draw from. The trolls must be pleased that they now have a strong presence in VolJin.

The humans get to watch our leading lady Mage rant and rave with the King, all the while the other Alliance races twiddle their thumbs and do very little in the main story. Where are the Gnomes, Dwarves, and Night Elves in all this? Did anyone even invite the Worgen to the party? The Tauren and Trolls had the guts to speak up and then usurp their leader after he made a screamingly evil set of choices, but the sub-races in the alliance just coast along.

Another thought I had was that the Pandaren might not keep to their faction choice. They’ve now seen far more about both the Alliance and the Horde than they did initially when their first choices were made, there could be stories about Pandaren soldiers switching between both sides based upon the outcome of the last expansion. The Vale was left in ruins and their culture has been shaken at it’s foundation, and a great leader lost. It has to leave some scars.

We (as the second class heroes in WoW) will need to deal with which ever agent allowed Garrosh to slip into time in the first place. And I’m not buying that the Black Prince is a good guy at all, and hopefully we get to see that little black whelp spread his wings. He’s made it really clear that he wanted one or other faction totally destroyed and we didn’t do his bidding well enough.

I also cannot imagine the Half Hill farm will be visited again by a level 100 player. The garrison is replacement and expansion on that concept. Good, there needs to be a more visceral hook from our characters into the game world. Traveling back in time is already enough of a step sideways in immersion, and anything which makes the character feel like it as a presence in the game world is a great addition.

a pandaren brewmaster holding the Keg

Fun and games to come.

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Burdens of Shaohao and Pandaren character models

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The video series “The Burdens of Shaohao” by Blizzard is darn excellent. I’ve not yet got back to watch it all but what I have seen so far is fantastic. Great tone in the story and beautiful animation.

It did highlight to me how much bolder and stronger looking the Emperor is in the animation vs how portly and cute the in-game character model is for the Pandaren male race. My Pandaren character makes me feel more like a silly bumbling sidekick character for comic relief instead of a powerful Monk. I think it all comes down to how portly and round they are, and it is a shame.

I think I’d prefer the Pandaren to be shaped with more upper body strength and a imposing presence then they have now. A more “Tauren” style model.

the_Burdens_of_Shaohao_titlescreen

Just a quick thought, TyphoonAndrew

Some tips for what and how to name your Pandaren

With all the new furry hand slappers (monks) adding to the regular characters in World of Warcraft many players are looking for that perfect Pandaren name (yup, this adds from the post where I had no idea for a name – I still don’t).

A pandaren monk by a few brasiers

Here are some tips:

  • Please pick a name that is not overtly stupid. If you previously created a character called “Iownyoutoo” then you should read this first tip a few times. Let it sink in.
  • If you pick the name of a real Panda living in a zoo, be prepared for it to potentially “retire” in your life time.
  • Pop culture or odd references will get a good thrashing, and on the non-RP realms that seems fair an reasonable. I know a Hunter named Schrödinger who always used a Cat. Perfect.
  • Anything involving beer, stout, ale, etc will be actually be suitable to the lore for a change. Alehound is still a crappy name, but given we have an official NPC called Stormstout there is an excuse to get a little left field.
  • Names which combine quasi-roleplay themes are really cool, especially the two word combos: Thunderpaw, Powderkeg, Ironfoot, Raindancer, Firehammer.
  • Don’t forget that the Pandaren lore is both heavily spiritual and also respectful of the elements, much in the same way that the Shaman and Earthen Ring is, so all the elemental based (earth, air, fire, water) names are up for grabs, with all the variations; Mountainsong, Firebrew, etc.
  • Not a fan of the “bare” instead of “bear”, although if you’re an Australian and you want to really mash the lore into a blender then some “Koala” references might be really dangerous and fun.
  • Silly is great when it’s openly so – Whoflungpoo – that means you!

a pandaren brewmaster holding the Keg

There are resources already sprung up to help folks find that perfect name, such as (from the other post about Pandaren Monk names) these with a few extra thrown in:

a sufficiently clever Panda Monk name

I’m terrible at creating clever character names, and the challenge of creating a spiffy Monk name for my Pandaren is doing my head in. I went looking at the big wiki list of fictional bears, but it didn’t help. Frankly I think I’ll give up and call it something odd and not used, and unrelated to a meme.

And so from around the internet I’ve seen some good ones: Brewslee, Tonypanda, Jackiepan, Bearhanded, Honeybadger, Fubear, Wotwentwong, Fumanpooh, Pandozer, Thelonious, Dancingbear (all via mmo-champion).

I’m especially looking forward to all the silly ones. I suspect some snarky sort will also create a Pandaren Monk called AarthasDKz too, just to be ironic.

Oh here is some: Furbyfestish, Bipolarbear. See I told you I suck at this.

Pandaren with Orb of Deception?

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What does a panda turn into when it uses an Orb of Deception? It’s not known, but it is a great question which already had a few posts in place (the orbs change your race into a member of the opposite faction, essentially making you appear as an enemy).

So far I’ve suggestions for gender change, murlocks, sagaeras, fur colour twists, no change at all, and even server crashes. My suggestion is to re-do the assignment of what race switches to what, so that every orb user now gets a different switch. I’d really like it to be a new race switch each time, but would think that a switch in this expac is not the end of the world.

If anyone whines, then they should be asked how reliable an Orb of Deception should really be. Turns out its a shamefully unoriginal thought too. Blarg.