World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on October 22nd, 2011 at 10:02 am.

Pandamen having a chat.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that WoW’s pandas look quite good in motion, but, well, they do. You can see them frolicking in their Asia-themed themepark world below in the Mists of Pandaria trailer. Cute hot air balloons, too.

These Panda types will apparently be a neutral race, with players deciding between alliance and horde once they get past the starting stuff. The pandaren starting area is, also, on the back of a giant turtle. Hmm.

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158 Comments »

  1. Fuzzard says:

    And now, a new job has been assigned to WoW players. The bamboo farmer.

  2. end0rphine says:

    damn i actually like this setting..

    Why WoW, WHY??

    • Ergonomic Cat says:

      Exactly. I’ve been out for so long, but a Panda Monk, combined with pet battles, might be enough to pull me back in. Hell, I still don’t have Cata, which will likely go on huge sale now. *sigh*

  3. Monkeh says:

    If only WoW was a singleplayer RPG. :P

    • John Brindle says:

      Hopefully they will include support for haptic interfaces to provide panda hugging experiences.

    • John Brindle says:

      I don’t know why I posted that in response to you. Although I suppose hugging a computerised panda in single player and hugging a panda that actually embodies another human being are two rather different things.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Yeah, there are many MMOs that I wish were singleplayer games so I could play them. Is it weird to actually hope they shut down and people make offline versions? Sort of like what happened with Earth & Beyond.

  4. danimalkingdom says:

    Frickin’ pandas.

  5. MythArcana says:

    Did Lionhead take over this project or what?

  6. Serge says:

    Blizzard clearly shows their new market. China getting stronger in WoW subs. No joke, look it up.
    Also Pokemon minigame…

    Good thing, Guild Wars 2 will be here soon. Can’t stand SciFi, so SWTOR is out of question, but I do love slaying dragons.

    PRO TIP:
    Read WoW official forums for extra lulz and s***tstorms about new addon. Comedy gold!

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      “… I do love slaying dragons.”

      Only boring people like to slay dragons.

      I want a game where you can be the dragon, stamping and toasting puny humans.

      In fact, how about an MMO where paid subscription gets you to be a dragon, and F2P players get to be humans. F2P’ers would start paying up out of frustration and anger at an alarming rate.

    • mjig says:

      I no longer play wow, but I did look at some comments on the site, and it was hilarious.

      My favorite bit was when people playing blood elves were complaining that pandas were kiddie crap.

    • Wulf says:

      @Raiyan

      Dragon Commander, et al.

      And really, I won’t be playing Guild Wars 2 to do raidy stuff like slaying dragons. Far more interested in the personal storyline.

    • Faceless says:

      @Wulf

      The personal storyline of the charr, you mean.

    • Phydaux says:

      Blizzard clearly shows their new market. China getting stronger in WoW subs. No joke, look it up.

      Yes, they’re clearly pandering their growing market.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I don’t think I can bear bad puns today.

    • Stupoider says:

      Bamboo, Brute?

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Complaining about this expansion has gone pandademic.

    • Fiery Stix says:

      @Raiyan I think it’s safe to say Horizons (Istaria, as it’s known now) ruined the possibility of playing as a dragon for a long while.

    • InternetBatman says:

      In Lotr you get to unlock monster characters for PVP. It’s kinda fun being a spawn of Shelob and pouncing on elves.

  7. Miodrag Kovachevic says:

    Well, if Nintendo won’t make a Pokemon MMO, I guess SOMEONE has to…

  8. Tunips says:

    I cannot help but think that this expansion is another example of Blizzard’s (usually masterful, and brief) trolling.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      I always thought that WoW made a complete mockery of otherwise enigmatic WC3 Night Elves, but pandas… At this rate WC4 will be a full feature Disney adventure.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I thought panda monks were in fact the theme of one of the recent identikit talking-animals cartoony CGI films.

    • ynamite says:

      I hate WoW too ya know, but you peepz need to get your facts straight:

      http://www.wowwiki.com/Chen_Stormstout
      http://www.wowwiki.com/Pandaren

      Pandas have been in Warcraft Lore since at least Warcraft 3. BOOM.

    • Jahkaivah says:

      @ynamite

      Pretty sure most of us are already aware of that. They’ve always been something of a joke race however.

    • Fiery Stix says:

      @ynamite Yeah, and Blizzard had previously gone on record to describe pandaren as simply a whimsical aside to the major content of the game.

      And even though they are established (if simply as a joke), that doesn’t make the content less any less hard to swallow for people who care more for the more serious themes.

    • briktal says:

      It seems like they handle Goblins being in the game and a playable race pretty well. Pandas shouldn’t be too hard for them.

  9. Njordsk says:

    their artist are still the best when it comes to making nice worlds.

    • Wulf says:

      Can’t agree. I suppose it’s just a matter of style, but the thing is is that I’ve seen stuff that looks like this a million times before. In fact, I even thought they were showing us sections of Azeroth until I realised it was ‘Pandera’ due to the architecture and a couple of oddly shaped trees. It’s just more of the same-old to me. It’s not nearly as distinctive as the different areas in Guild Wars 2.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      Meh… Shin Jea was prettier.

    • BurningPet says:

      Well, the most talented artists still prefer to go working for blizzard. infact, it is a dream of many game artists who already has a good paying job in the industry.

      and guild war’s tinfoil couldnt art direct good stuff outside his comfort zone, hence why the character design in guild wars 1 and 2 are just plain simple big meh regarding it’s aesthetics.

    • OtioseNexus says:

      @Wulf
      Having seen it already isn’t an excuse to ignore/dismiss good artwork, whether or not you like it’s application (in this case in WoW) or style (WoW’s fantasy, cartoon.. thingy style). Not liking it, though, is, so carry on good sir.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      @BurningPet

      Considering that their world contains everything from stormy oceans made of jade to gigantic dwarven ships gliding through the mountains on ice to towns built atop icebergs, I’d say that a pretty darn large comfort zone. It’s easily one of the most beautiful games of its time, but, then again, how could one appreciate it without playing it.

    • BurningPet says:

      Environment Design is his comfort zone.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      And we’re specifically speaking of… WORLD DESIGN!

      How appropriate, isn’t it?

    • BurningPet says:

      Silly me for thinking a world is just an environment. characters has nothing to do with said world. right.

  10. kubikalbo1 says:

    This seems like a rather desperate attempt by ActiBlizzard to shore up their slowly dwindling WoW player base.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      I’d disagree. I would characterise it as a reasonable response to ensure continued interest in their product that still dominates the competition despite said competition having slightly dented that lead in recent years.

    • Fiery Stix says:

      @Thermal Ions

      They might gain a lot of East Asian players, but do you really think they will actually gain Western subscribers? A large subset of Western gamers despise the light-hearted East Asian aesthetic. It’s why JRPGs other than Final Fantasy have really been falling off the map in North America and Europe.

      If Blizzard had announced their new features as part of a more serious expansion, I’d actually be inclined to return. Challenge modes (time trials for dungeons that are recorded on a realm-wide ladder) actually seem fantastic. But because it’s pandaren and Pandaria, I don’t think I will. And I know at least two of my friends who’ve said the same thing. To quote one of them, “That announcement pretty much guarantees I am done with WoW.”

      I might be, too.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Their are many reasons jRPGs have had their problems. I doubt the Eastern aesthetic is the main one. The problem with Western versions of Asian settings is that it feels like it lacks depth, even when well done like Jade Empire.

      This expansion does look tepid, like it was created by Madlibs: a new land [___] based off [____], ancient [____], a new reason to fight [____], a new race [____], a new class [____], levels expanded up to [____], new worldshattering enemies [_____].

      Outland was pretty damn cool in environment design (besides the Draeni which was a huge mistake). Northrend had its moments but was generally pretty tepid. Cataclysm reintroduced old bosses, improved upon the game in some aspects but was generally unsatisfying. This looks like the point where a gradual decline that has happened for years becomes readily apparent.

  11. mda says:

    “The pandaren starting area is, also, on the back of a giant turtle.”

    I saw no giant turtle… are you saying something about discworld? *confused*

  12. Tei says:

    Adding a pet battle system seems a great idea. Simple and good.

    But this new expansion looks somewhat bland. I think I have seen only one new animation, … the “karate kid on the top a pole” one.

    Also *something somebody about china*.

    • tyren says:

      There was a video shown at Blizzcon of some of the Monk class animations (apparently the class itself gets a lot of unique animations for each race) but I haven’t seen it posted online anywhere.

    • Nevard says:

      Are people still going on about that “Warcraft was a Warhammer MMO” myth?
      I thought that was disproved ages ago…

    • InternetBatman says:

      It seems really cool except for one problem, now you know how they’ll convince players to spend real money for pets. The system will probably be unbalanced by spending more quickly than the game itself.

    • MCM says:

      @Nevard – I don’t know what you mean by “Warcraft was a Warhammer MMO” but it’s obvious that all of the Starcraft and Warcraft lore is deeply influenced by Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy. You can draw 1-to-1 connections between any number of Warcraft/Warhammer concepts and entities, whether it’s the Warp/Twisting Nether and psykers/mages (in terms of the relationship between them) or the way that Chaos gods / Burning Legion are always trying to corrupt and influence things (the narrative) or Tyranids/Zerg or Night Elves/Eldar (and how they’re destroyed by demonic/Chaos god temptation and corruption).

      Whether or not Warcraft was intended to be a Warhammer game is irrelevant – the “lore” in both Starcraft and Warcraft owes a deep debt to Warhammer. Not that this is a bad thing, just that it’s there and pretty easy to see.

    • Xerian says:

      @Nevard well, Warcraft was originally a rip-off of warhammer. They tried buying the rights to making a Warhammer IP, and failed. Therefore they were like… “Hey, lets make Orcs… With a C!, changing the setting slightly… And… Hmm… Pandas!”
      Fact is; They originally got their entire IP from warhammer, therefore, this game (which is just killing off every damned decent story-line & character from the original game) is … Dun dun dun duuuun! Essentially a rip-off. Just with Metzen doing voice-acting for faaaar too much stuff.

  13. Drazilek says:

    If it’s true that Pandaren is on the back of a gitant turtle, it’s just another example of Blizzard taking someone IP legally and then using it for themselves. Originality is king, eh.

    That said, I haven’t played WoW properly for nearly two years, and this news just makes my return even less likely to be honest.

    I respect Blizzard for the games they’ve produced as I’ve played them all, but sometimes… I just wonder.

    • Robert says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Turtle

      Are you implying with “someone IP” that Mr Pratchett thought of it himself? He is actually parodying multiple myths by stacking elephants on it. Originality is king, eh?

    • Kal says:

      Wiki page open and poised to comment, two noble RPS warriors already beat me to the punch. Sir Pterry didn’t invent that meme, he just discworlded it.

    • AMonkey says:

      Warcraft=Warhammer
      Starcraft=Warhammer 40k

      There are some really striking similarities if you look. And from what I recall WoW was originally going to be a Warhammer game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Next you guys will be telling him that RAGE isn’t a HALO rip-off. Bungie invented the FPS, you know.

    • Wulf says:

      Oh, stop being facetious. This is clearly a continuation of their “RIP OFF EVERYTHING EVER!” trend.

      No, no one’s saying that Pratchett thought of it first, but it’s impossible to say that the turtle in the illustration and the land above it look nothing at all like A’Tuin and the Discworld, as shown in multiple illustrations. Really, I can’t believe that anyone is blind/witless enough to not see the correlation, so I’m going call shenanigans.

      Blizzard do this. This is something that they do. We’ve always known this, and that suddenly hasn’t changed for any reason. It’s not something to be defended because everything (ever) they’ve done was ‘liberally borrowed’ from someone else.

      I still remember that Penny Arcade comic where Tycho flipped out at Gabe for accusing Warhammer of ripping off World of Warcraft. That’s the sort of thing that happens when people aren’t familiar with the source material. It’s because visually there are a hell of a lot of similarities. It’s not just a few words or an idea that’s taken, it’s the exact visual likeness.

      Me? I’d rather go to the source.

    • Antsy says:

      Perish the thought that someone should be facetious about computer games. Thats hilarious.

      Serious faces on, everybody!

    • LionsPhil says:

      it’s impossible to say that the turtle in the illustration and the land above it look nothing at all like A’Tuin and the Discworld

      “The turtle in the illustration and the land above it look nothing at all like A’Tuin and the Discworld”.

      A’Tuin has fewer legs, a shorter tail, is way less spiny, and has more elephants. The only way it is like A’Tuin is that it’s a turtle. We have already covered that “a turtle” is not unique enough to go “OMG RIPPING OFF PTERRY”.

    • canonfodder says:

      @Wulf
      If you really want to get into ripping off IP maybe you should go back to Tolkien and before for the Warhammer and any number of Golden Age Sci fi for most of the themes and races from Warhammer 40K. Nothing is new, everything is recycled.

    • JackShandy says:

      If you’re into Pratchett then you’re totally fine with a world that’s a mish-mash of appropriated material from other sources. The only difference is that Pratchett went for things closer to the source.

    • bill says:

      and Warhammer = Tolkien rip off
      and Warhammer 40k = aliens (and every other sci-fi) rip off +warhammer

      and Tolkien ripped off all old myths.
      and aliens ripped off starship troopers

      and…

      what was the point again?

    • DrGonzo says:

      Thing is, he has a slight point. Warhammer does take a lot of inspiration from other sources, but changes it enough to justify it imo. There is something about Blizzards work to me which seems like they only care about cash and jamming in any old shit if it will bring in revenue.

    • bill says:

      Personally I don’t see much difference between GW and Blizzard. Both are trying to make something that is popular, will appeal to a wide range of fans, and incorporates a number of generic elements in their own way.
      GW has been just as eager to cram new elements into 40k as blizzard have been, if not moreso – I do like their style, but they wear their influences on their sleeve (as did aliens and many other stories…)

      I don’t really buy the whole Blizzard ripped off Warhammer thing… they just both did their own OTT comic book versions of Fantasy and Sci-fi

    • RF says:

      That’s nice, bill, except for the fact Warcraft was originally meant to be a Warhammer Fantasy game that Games Workshop didn’t like and therefore got a few elements changed.

  14. citiral says:

    Pandaria? Really? It’s the most original name over!

    • Wulf says:

      You don’t go to Blizzard for originality. :P

    • iGark says:

      Don’t go to Wulf either, that’s the eleventeenth time he’s posted that comment!

  15. mod the world says:

    It looks surprisingly good. I never realized that WoW graphics changed so much from the outdated engine i remember. Also i like how RPS is doing more MMO coverage now and how you can feel the pain it does to the poor guy that had to write the article. ^^

  16. Narretz says:

    If it’s on the back of a turtle, the turtle still swims in an ocean of the planet, right? The discworld is a disc that rests on four elephants that stand on a giant turtle swimming through space. So it’s not too similar.

  17. RF says:

    There’s a liveblog on MMORPG.com: http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/staffblog/102011/22160_Blizzcon-Mists-of-Pandaria-Panel-Live-Blog-.html

    One of the more amusing things:-
    4:49 PM:Hunter melee weapon GONE!
    4:49 PM:Ranged weapons: Hunter minimum range is GONE!
    “huntar forget how 2 sord :(“

  18. bglamb says:

    I’m not sure why everyone is bashing this so much (apart from the name ‘Panderia’ maybe).

    Introducing elements like this, which have a lighter tone, are, I think, brave. And it will only add to the richness of the experience. WOW is god-know-how-many years old now. They might have a ‘dip’ in subscribers, but I suspect their subscriptions are still sky high and incredibly healthy. It’s important to keep innovating and expanding into new areas.

    Maybe you don’t like the style, or the setting, but critisising the game design by saying that they are ‘scraping the barrel’ or being pathetic in pandering (ahahaha) to the Chinese market, or trying to appeal to kids now, just smells way too much of random WOW-hate.

    Get over yourselves. If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it. It sucks that 80% of the comments on RPS are just people hating on it.

    I like Pandas. I don’t play WOW much (I’ve dabbled in the past), but I like WOW too. I like the new setting, and I think Blizzard did a good job here.

    • spedcore666 says:

      They’re bashing this because WoW is turning into a joke.

      When I used to play quite a while ago, whenever someone asked for certain features to be implemented on the forums, someone would always reply with ‘why don’t you just go play Hello Kitty Island Adventure instead’.

      Well, now they don’t have to leave WoW to play that. Good for 12 year old kids who think fluffy kung fu pandas are the best thing ever, not so good for others.

    • bill says:

      Or maybe parents can now play with their kids, and everyone else can play as before.

      And, if we (sensibly i think) assume that the people who said ‘why don’t you just go play Hello Kitty Adventure Island instead’ are dicks, then we want to (a) do as much as possible to annoy them, (b) not cater to them.

    • spedcore666 says:

      Fair enough, it’s good for 12 year old kids who think fluffy kung fu pandas are the best thing ever and it’s good for parents who want to spend some quality virtual time with them. Still, not so good for others.

    • ElvisNeedsBoats says:

      A lot of non-constructive negativity here for sure.

      I like WoW and I think it is a wonderful game, but I lost interest when I had to raid to progress.
      To entice someone like me to return, I would
      1. add an 11th or 12th slot,
      2. make the expansion free (maybe with a three month payment).

      Doing both would probably cause me to try it out. Plunking down another $40 and creating a new panda on a different server, doesn’t appeal to me.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Yes, they really need to expand the character slots on a server. I recently picked up cataclysm to try out the worgen with my son after a considerable break. Of course my 10 slots were full so I ended up having to move gear around and delete my lowest level character. If we decide to try out this expansion I’ll need to move some characters off to another realm to make room or start afresh on another realm – neither an attractive option for me.

    • Jenks says:

      “Well, now they don’t have to leave WoW to play that. Good for 12 year old kids who think fluffy kung fu pandas are the best thing ever, not so good for others.”

      Cow people: Mature, elegant, designed for the sophisticated palate of the MMO veteran.

      Panda people: Good for 12 year old kids

      I believe WoW isn’t what it used to be, but this argument is insulting.

    • Azradesh says:

      FFS people! It’s a GAME, you play it for FUN!

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      Azradesh, the developers and the players of World of Warcraft have long since lost sight of that maxim.

  19. codename_bloodfist says:

    This feels so out of place. Adding Asian settings isn’t a bad thing–it worked great for GW:Factions–but it’s not particularly warcrafty. Besides, weren’t the Night Elves already a combination of druids and ninjas? The moonwell is essentially a Shinto shrine with a jacuzzi attached to it.

  20. SCdF says:

    “…mystery, shrouded in superstition…”

    I can’t believe I’m saying this about a trailer for an expansion that lets you play as freakin’ panda monks, but holy hell does it sound generic. I feel like they selected “asian” as the theme from a dropdown box and hit “I feel lucky” on their new content generator.

  21. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Oh (panda) bear me…

  22. MadTinkerer says:

    I don’t get it. Why is everyone throwing a fit over this? THERE WAS A MAJOR SUBPLOT IN WARCRAFT 3 INVOLVING A PANDAREN HERO. IT’S PART OF THE LORE. You can’t play through the WC3 campaign and not notice that there’s a kung fu fighting panda in there. And this is World of Warcraft. Duh.

    This is like including Ewoks as a playable race in a Star Wars game. You may not like it, but it’s not like they didn’t play a major role in Episode Six.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      AND WHY DO THROW A FIT over US THROWING A FIT?

    • JackShandy says:

      LOUD NOISES

    • pipman3000 says:

      It’s like when the Heroes of Might and Magic III Devs wanted to add the Forge faction and everyone started whining about how NWC was ruining Hereos 3 forever by shoehorning in sci-fi stuff even though Erathia/Enroth is a giant spaceship and the Inferno faction are aleins.

      Instead we got the Conflux.

      Maybe if everyone keeps whining they’ll cave in and replace the pandas with something even worse :D (Like the Conflux)

    • Grygus says:

      To be fair, I think it is safe to say that at this point, most people playing WoW have not played Warcraft III.

      I think there is a bit of a furor because players clamored for this back around 2006-2007, and Blizzard basically laughed and said it would never happen. They’ve been an April Fool’s joke twice. So for some this is way too late, and for others it feels a little desperate on Blizzard’s part.

    • Arcanon says:

      In case you hadn’t noticed, Blizzard doesn’t care about it’s own lore anymore. The Pandaren in Warcraft III were just easter eggs!!! Or funny sidekicks like in the Rexxar campaign…does that make them part of the lore? So why didn’t they add the Hydralisk race? There was an Hydralisk easter egg in the Elven Campaign, so…..no, they didn’t cause it doesn’t fit the Warcraft universe, just like the Pandarens.

      The only reason they were ever introduced in the RTS games is because Samwise Didier’s signature is a panda face (he’s the Art Director…..if you zoom in on Illidan’s Warglaives in W3…there’s a panda smiley xD)

  23. mondomau says:

    That voice over was bloody awful, I actually thought it was supposed to be a spoof at first.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I find it not too great either, but WoW players will recognise the voice actor as the one who voices Thrall, who’s a pretty major character in WoW.

  24. lowprices says:

    “PVE SCENARIOS”

    Least. Exciting. Announcement. Ever.

    It makes it sound like a cinematic trailer for an office job at a big company:

    “STOCK OPTIONS.” “PENSION PLAN” “IN-HOUSE MANAGEMENT TRAINING”

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      WITCHCRAFT…oh wait, that would BE interesting..

  25. Gap Gen says:

    FOLK ART AND POWER… AND ANCIENT MAGICKS.

  26. Lobotomist says:

    And thus the WOW has ended

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      I do not have anything against WoW in itself, all the players can knock themselves out wanking over it all day long for all I care..it is the “appealing to WoW” bit in other MMOs I hate… Gimme a fucking MMO that has not a bleeding WOW-like aesthetics, WOW-like gameplay, WOW-like control system, WOW-like everything.. and it is not an endless grind like those bloody Korean MMOs.. Is it too much to ask?

    • Matt says:

      Why yes, yes it is.

    • jrodman says:

      :-(

  27. mmorpg games says:

    this is PURE GOLD, i am laughing so hard now.

  28. johnpeat says:

    WoW players have wanted a Pandaren Brewmaster character for eons – the only surprise is it’s taken this long.

    Hell I might even take a peek myself – I still have 300 played-days of effort sitting doing nothing on EU-Draenor :)

  29. Ajh says:

    Looking past the pandas (I’m going to be really upset if the Pandaren female characters are skinny.) they have said the major conflict in this expansion is Alliance vs. Horde. How many WoW players, particularly those that played the prior Warcraft games have been asking for more conflict between the two major factions? The attitude I always hear is “This is World of WARcraft. Why are we working together?!” and now that they’re doing it, people are upset because they put in Pandas.

    Are you all the same people that complained about D3′s bright colors and pre-ordered the game anyway?

    Just the fact that they’re making it not possible to get raid gear with valor in the next content patch and we’ll be able to customize our characters further with transmogrification leaves me cautiously optimistic that they’re going to continue moving in a better direction than they had before.

  30. shitflap says:

    I’m disappointed at you guys. Truly.
    There’s a lot to be concerned about in this expansion, from the Pandas new racials, to the gutting of the talent trees, to some of the class changes ~guaranteed~ to cause rage.
    People were asking for a Monk class, physical, direct damage, with the ability to tank & heal for years.
    All I see here is people sneering, and a lot less measured discussion that I’ve come to expect from this site.

    • skalpadda says:

      Any discussion of Blizzard games seems to bring out the worst of people on this site for some reason.

    • johnpeat says:

      I suspect the problem is twofold

      1 – there are a lot of people here who are scarred from months/years of play and at least one massive ragequit moment :)

      2 – it’s an old game and most people have had their fill of it/think it’s gradually becoming a parody of itself

      Those still playing are clearly pretty hardcore but they won’t come here much because – well – because it’s not playing WoW is it? :)

    • JackShandy says:

      Come on, you can’t expect them to write an essay for each new trailer.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Give the announcement some time to sink in. Right now people are still all over the “lol panda” phase, which probably will pass when they realize that no, it ain’t an elaborate, 6-months-early April’s fools.

      I can’t exactly blame them either.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      which probably will pass when they realize that no, it ain’t an elaborate, 6-months-early April’s fools.

      Y’know, I don’t think it will pass. I can’t imagine looking back a year after the expansion is released and saying “oh yeah, there are giant cartoon pandas in WoW, participating in raids”, without adding “what the fuck were they thinking?”

      It’ll always be a joke. A turning point. It makes stuff like Rift and SWTOR look quite a lot better in comparison, which can’t be good for Blizzard.

    • shitflap says:

      “oh yeah, there are giant cartoon pandas in WoW, participating in raids”, without adding “what the fuck were they thinking?”
      The what were they thinking, is that they have created an expansion to exploit interest from the playerbase in China, who are going to be considerably more stoked about this than they were about the highly offensive WOTLK (in Chinese eyes, reanimated corpses were about as offensive as you can get). With this expansion they won’t have the reviewing of quests or art assets that they had in the past and can get down to expanding into a different marketplace.
      Also, when did Star Wars style space wizards become inherently less ridiculous than kung-fu bears?
      (Oh, and Jack, I meant solely the comments here, not the article, sorry if that wasn’t clearer.)

    • Llewyn says:

      @skalpadda: Increasingly it feels like you could remove the word ‘Blizzard’ from that sentence :-(

    • Shooop says:

      WoW-styled games look like just mouse durability tests, and really don’t appeal to me so I stay away from talking about the core game.

      But I just put out there that if this whole kung-fu pandas race thing makes a few people raise eyebrows I can understand why.

      Carry on gentlemen.

    • Wulf says:

      I’ve always been honest and up front of my hatred of Nu Blizzard.

      I had and still have nothing against Old Blizzard, so please hear me out, okay? Old Blizzard was of the Diablo era, those people went on to form Runic Games and ArenaNet. I still love them, don’t I? Then there was the Blizzard who put three discs in the Warcraft III box so that you’d have backup copies already made for you.

      Then at some point after that, with the involvement of Vivendi, Blizzard turned into Nu Blizzard, and everything changed. World of Warcraft was the first strike. It was something that I could never personally get into. I tried it for a month but it just didn’t appeal to me, it just felt far too cynical for my tastes, because I was never a fan of grind. After coming down off of FF XI, the last thing I wanted was more grind, and whilst WoW had less grind than FF XI, it still had loads of grind, and those horrible raid mills. Horrible, terrible raid mills.

      FF XI completely killed off any desire I had to play a game that felt like a second job. To me, FF XI felt like I was doing the most work for the least amount of reward a person could offer, it felt like I was just doing meaningless tasks in a not all that interesting fantasy world. WoW invoked exactly the same feelings. It just didn’t hook me. “Okay, this is supposed to be a job. But I have a job, I have responsibilities to people. I don’t have the time to spend on this.” And so I went on my way.

      The thing is though is through the first years of WoW, I was looking in from the outside, and when the raid mills really got underway, I saw a couple of people really go downhill because of it. Hygiene, social life, actual jobs… the problem is is that when you’re spending most of a day trying to grind for potions, and then most of another day running a raid, it’s hard to convince someone who’s lost their job to get to the damn job centre to start looking again. That’s when it started looking like some sort of drug to me, because it wasn’t something I could convince an addict to just shut down and stop.

      It took me a while to wean certain people off their WoW addiction, and I read about many similar instances of addiction on the Internet too and I couldn’t do anything other than shake my head sadly. I’ve had run ins with drugs, too, and with drugs you just tend to deny you have a problem. I don’t know what Blizzrad did with WoW, but it comes so close to drug abuse that it’s scary. I’ve seen this first hand. When someone considers hygiene a secondary concern to a game, there’s something very wrong.

      Then you have all of those people who’ve played for almost a week, around the clock without sleep, just to reach the highest level first. And there are one of two people who died when playing WoW. (No, really, this is a thing. Read up on it. I wish I were bullshitting you.) And all of this sounded very similar to problems with drugs. I’ve been through a lot, and the last thing I want to see is friends addicted to shit.

      Perhaps because I didn’t see the ‘good side’ from the inside like some of you did is the reason that I have a very different opinion. I wasn’t meeting new friends in there (at the detriment of my existing ones), I wasn’t meeting partners in there (possibly at the detriment of existing ones), I was dealing with the real world at the time, and I was dealing with people who were doing that.

      And then Nu Blizz starts doing all sorts of other crazy things. Like mods that have to go through a gateway guarded by a corporate goon. That’d be your Starcraft II. And then there’s all the diddling and the horrible DRM of Diablo III. See, if you were to tell Runic that their beloved Diablo was now a game which split people of different nations up into ‘camps,’ where someone from Australia couldn’t play with someone from the UK because of Blizzard’s ‘filthy foreigners’ policy, they’d probably spit! And, you know, looking at Torchlight II’s advertising campaign, I get the feeling that they did. They’re advertising Torchlight II on a basis of it being the diametric opposite of Diablo III, on every count.

      And this is Nu Blizz for you. All I have of Nu Blizz, of post-Vivendi Blizz, are bad memories, and all I see is bad news. With Starcraft II I wondered if they’d change their ways at all. And they did not. With Diablo III I wondered if they’d change their ways at all. And they did not. Nu Blizz makes my skin crawl. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to like and love them, and I think it’s my prerogative to do the opposite if I actually happen to passionately dislike them, which I do. Nu Blizz aren’t the Blizzard I remember.

      See those guys over there, ArenaNet? And those Runic Games chaps? They are the Blizzard that I remember.

    • shitflap says:

      I’m glad you posted, it went a long way to dispel the contrary image I had of you, explaining as you did. It goes a way to explain why you so pointedly post about Blizzard, and I appreciate that.
      The issues you had with your friends who played WoW will do a lot to colour your view of it, certainly.
      A number of my guildies and a few more vague friends went that way, and it’s never pretty trying to explain why their life was more important than their epeen, especially when they feel they have nowhere else to be, or nowhere else they belong.
      I hope your friends are ok now, breaking an addiction is a horrible thing.
      It is that with any addiction, whether it’s drugs, gambling, fucking, cutting, eating, working, pornography or whatever, the issue lies with the person themselves, and is not a function of whatever their specific focus is. I would hesitate next time before you are too critical of WoW (or other addictive focus) as it is simply filling the void in the specific persons life, not a malevolent force to be battled.
      One of the couples I mentioned that got together was actually my partner who left me for one of their guildies, so I’d suppose I’d be a victim of WoW from a certain point of view, from another (more dispassionate) it fulfilled the needs that they felt that could not recieve otherwise and gave them an avenue to formulate a new relationship and then leave.
      Still, Guild Wars is an MMO as well. As little as it may share with WoW (and on this I am completely ignorant you are clearly the bigger fan there), it’ll still involve broadly the same things, quests, grouping, leveling, items, crafting, etc. It’ll have the same pitfalls for the unwary there, so do take care and keep your eyes open for anyone exhibiting the same behaviour patterns. But it doesn’t seem to have the same worry for you, so I hope you enjoy yourself :)
      As for the Nu Blizz/Vivendi stuff, I do agree, broadly. It’d be nicer if they weren’t a victim of their own successes, and weren’t subject to so much shareholder scrutiny, as they could be a bit looser with things. The free Diablo 3 to WoW subscribers is a good idea, but the hardcore won’t play, they’re too busy ;)
      Thing is, WC3, Starcraft, Diablo and even WoW are the most hacked, cracked, abused and ripped off games franchises, with people making fortunes off mods and workarounds I’d imagine, considering their successes. Problem was, to go from an MMO, with game assets tightly controlled by the company, server-side, to single player/multi player games, they do have to be seen like they are doing something, sad thing it seems to be fucking people over with DRM. I would thought of all people Blizz could have thought of something more elegant, but it does look like they can’t be fucked.

    • Shooop says:

      Wulf, give this a read:
      http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html

      The implications are quite terrifying.

    • shitflap says:

      Cheers Shooop, that exactly the kind of thing I wwas looking for but failed to find :) It’s simple behavioural psychology, and it not just evil MMO’s that do this, it’s all games. All successful games anyway. Microsoft even made all games add achievements for this reason..

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      @Wulf

      You need to let go. Your hatred of Blizzard is not healthy and it’s not rational.

      Firstly, it sounds like you encontered WoW after you’d burned out on FFXI – surely the blame for that lies just as much at FFXI’s door as WoW’s. I’ve played a few MMOs over the years, including WoW – never for more than a few months though as I get bored of them quickly. I can’t say I noticed WoW being noticably more grindy than any of the others.

      Secondly, sure some people play WoW excessively. However, this is not a problem that is in anyway unique to Wow, not even close. Hell – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been playing something in the evening, then suddenly realised it’s 02:00 and I’ve got to get up for work in a few hours, and I know I’m not the only one here who’s done that. When people get obsessed by a game to the point where it’s a problem, it tends to be an indicator of other issues in their life, not a root cause itself. Stick someone who is well adjusted, happy, and otherwise untroubled in front of WoW, and it won’t turn them into a drooling zombie who lives to raid – in the same way as most people can enjoy a couple of glasses of wine of an evening without feeling the need to drink themselves into a stupor.
      You’re on incredibly shakey ground if you want to lay the blame this at Blizzard’s feet. I suppose they could stop selling WoW and shut down the servers, but the general consensus in society is that if the majority of people can enjoy an activity without suffering problems, then they should be free to do so. Hence we can still legally buy alcohol and gamble and pay £10 a month to play the same game repeatedly for years on end.

      Finally, this “Filthy Foreigners” policy you think Blizzard have – well, frankly, it’s just fucking stupid. It’s offensively stupid and you really need to shut up about it. Stop and think about it for a minute. Do you honestly think that the regional segregation of players in D3 is due to some kind of xenophobia on Blizzards part? That doesn’t make sense – Blizzard will end up dealing with all the parties anyway. Do you think they’re trying to enforce some kind of racial purity? What possible objection could Blizzard have to you you playing with people from other countries? (note I said objection there). “We don’t want people from Europe playing with people from Australia because…..”, because what exactly?
      Don’t you think it’s just a tad more likely that this is based around them using the same network infastructure they already have in place for WoW and they just can’t be arsed to figure a way around it? Lazy? Sure. Bad design? maybe. Deliberate xenophobic policy? Pffft…

    • othello says:

      @Wulf, I pretty much agree with you. While I haven’t seen anyone go downhill because of WoW, I’ve heard stories. But I guess my main point is that I think Blizzard’s games have kind of gone to shit. I loved Warcraft 2 and loved Starcraft. Warcraft III was pretty good. Starcraft II is just not fun (it’s completely manufactured. It’s ironic how they didn’t try to make an esport game with Starcraft and it turned out to be one and a fun one too, but with Starcraft II they made an esport game that I just don’t find fun). I’ve stayed as far away from WoW as I can, and I don’t think I would find the mechanics appealing.

  31. cocoleche says:

    Coked up Metzen, panda bears, pokewow… really liking Blizzcon so far.

    Can’t wait for the cosplay and dance comps! Shit I missed the sociological experiment that is the Q&A.

  32. shitflap says:

    Edit: Double post, too eager to see my words in print :(

  33. shitflap says:

    It does make me sad that any mention of WoW does bring out the worst in people, it’s a large part of some peoples lives, and no more ridiculous than Space Marine 3 or WW3 simulator 12.
    I made some great friends and know more than a few people who met their partners through it.
    I suppose that’s why I’m still fond of it, I never had any rageout moments, I just never resubbed after being hacked.

    Edit2: Fuck you wordpress. I’m gonna go back to not posting. That was a reply to skalpadda & johnpeat. Why are you doing this to me?

  34. jackson says:

    Shoot me, but I like WoW and think this looks pretty good.

    I’ve wanted to play as an alcoholic panda since Wc3 and my prayers have been answered!

  35. Legi0n says:

    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but please don’t pull the mature argument. Like it or not the majority of games are aimed at the 12-16 demographic so calling pandas childish is well… What I am trying to say is that so are super muscled caricature space marines with shoulders bigger than their egos, awesomesauce wizzards and bad ass US marines that kill the bad terrorists so that the good fellas can prevail.

    Battlefield or CoD or Crysis or insert generic FPS here are no more mature than the Pandas in WoW and to be honest at least the Pandas don’t “mask” their tongue in cheek attitude under overglorified violence for the teens to vent their aggression. Violence alone has nothing to do with how mature something is. AoC was supposed to be a mature mmo and there are more kids there than any other mmo I’ve played running around showing their boobs to people while calling WoW is 4 kidz yo!!!

    This medium has a long way to go until it has its own Seventh Seal

    Food for thought: Same thing happened when Blizzard announced the Blood Elfs. Fast forward some years later the the “gay” Belfs are the most popular race in WoW with a very clear lead. Contradict much?

    • jrodman says:

      I’d say that speaks more to first impressions from jaded forum warriors as compared to hindsight view by the larger body of (possibly new) players.

      Ie. These are vastly different popuations.

  36. Freud says:

    As my hero Gob would say: C’mon!

  37. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    So Pandaren can be either Alliance or Horde.

    That’s going to make things confusing in PvP.

  38. Palindrome says:

    It seems that WoW gets more ridiculous with every passing year. Its almost inevitable though given the sheer size of the player base and the age of the game coupled with Blizzard’s somewhat erratic design concepts.

    Pandarens were a really good April fools joke but the entire point about April fools jokes is that they aren’t supposed to be real.

    I wonder that the next expansion will bring?

  39. pupsikaso says:

    I don’t understand…
    Nobody that is still invested in WoW really cares about a new race, even a new class (and in fact, a new class might be very unwelcomed by some). So why are Blizz doing this? I know WoW doesn’t directly compete with Eve, but Blizz would be very foolish not to keep an eye at what’s happening with other MMO’s. So why can’t they see that this is folly just like with Eve? They are gonna spend lots of time and money making something that the existing player-base doesn’t want nor care about, then end up firing the people that did all the hard work.
    =/

    • InternetBatman says:

      Rerolling keeps people playing WoW. New characters burn through a lot of old content on the way to the top.

    • jrodman says:

      Have to agree. I think rerolling is probably the most popular activity, overall, in the game.

  40. Davie says:

    I love that the grim voiceover lists all of the various horrible monsters and demigods the players have defeated, all the epic battles they’ve fought, all the uncharted territory they’ve explored, and then…”Pandas. No, really, this is just as important as Deathwing destroying absolutely fucking everything.”

    If nothing else, Blizzard have lost any sense of proper storytelling, since they escalated things to the point where a visible apocalypse was occurring, and then they add a continent populated by near-joke characters with no obvious conflict occurring.

  41. f4Ri says:

    Blizzard pandaring to their largest three largest player groups: pre-teens, chinese and furries. Glad I got out during open betas…

  42. Berious says:

    I must be completely cured – have no desire to play this. Bought each previous expansion, played to the cap then quickly remembered why I quit last time but the cycle won’t repeat unless they NGE up WoW and add EVE style territory control or something radical like that.

    • Cryo says:

      But WoW already has giant robots and lots of whiny kids. Oh wait, wrong NGE.

  43. Thoric says:

    “We must now face the destroyer. And end his cycle… of destruction.”

    I smirked.

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      I had to read that a couple of times but it made me giggle. It’s a parody of itself!

  44. Cryo says:

    I’ve found that I like WoW best when it’s being entirely silly. So I might even resubscribe for a bit when this comes out.

  45. Deccan says:

    I was never opposed to WoW’s art style when I played it, but this setting doesn’t seem a good match. Having played Guild Wars: Factions, this just looks like parody, complete with over-wrought design and overweening music.

    Eh, I guess I don’t have to care, having ditched the game for good not long after Cataclysm, but I’m pretty sure I can hear the shark tank and motorcycle ramp being wheeled into place.

  46. pipman3000 says:

    Let’s shut up about pandas for a second and talk about this

    http://i.imgur.com/tDeWx.jpg

    Blizzard: Slap some titties on that mantis and call it a day.

  47. Ruffian says:

    is it just me, or does this seem waaaay too kiddie? seems a little too light for the WARcraft universe. Then again, I don’t play WOW so I could be entirely wrong. funny though. to me at least.

    • pipman3000 says:

      No, it fits the tone completely. (Remember, World of Warcraft is the game Diablo fans accuse of being “gay”)

  48. Azdeus says:

    I’ve played WoW for quite some time now, had a year and a halv when I did’nt feel any desire to play it, came back a couple of months ago and now they level this shit on me. Their disregard for their own internal consistency is really annoying to me. Fucking pandaren were an easter egg, constant april fools joke and now they really go ahead with it. What the fuck were they thinking?

    Guildwars 2 or Heroes and Generals…? Hmm.

  49. Osi says:

    This feels like WoW has finally jumped the shark.