Pandaring To The Crowds: Mists Of Pandaria’s Intro

By John Walker on August 16th, 2012 at 2:30 pm.

Yup, a panda.

Blizzard have spent thirteenty-billion dollars on an opening cinematic for their forthcoming Mists Of Pandaria expansion, so I suppose it’s only fair that we all watch it. Then go, “Huh.” And then think, “Wouldn’t it be great if the game looked like that?” And then go back to picking our nails.

It’s very pretty.

I think in future it should the law that all developers are forced to develop their April Fool’s nonsense into multi-million dollar projects. The expansion is out on the 25th September, and will cost a whopping £30.

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115 Comments »

  1. Uglycat says:

    Looks like some shark-jumping fridge-work right there.

    • Wreckdum says:

      I’d like to give a shout out to Blizzard for making me realize what a truly superior game Guild Wars 2 is in every single aspect.

      This trailer actually made me laugh at how ridiculous it is.

      P.S. Hasn’t every WoW xpac since TBC featured the new mega villain in the cinematic trailer? Did they not make one up yet? Seems to me that’s been the trend on WoW lore over the past few years. Let’s just think of some ludicrous crap and make some content on it.

      • Obc says:

        “I’d like to give a shout out to Blizzard for making me realize what a truly superior game Guild Wars 2 is in every single aspect.”

        How can you say that but ask why there is no big bady at the same time? o.O

        MoP has no real big huge villain. MoP is about adventures and mysteries of Pandria, some of which are new threats (Mogu, Klaxxi and the worst being the Sha’s) but the main focus is on Faction War. Alliance and Horde go on a full scale war with each other and it culminates on Pandaria. The first patch is about discovery of Pandaria, the second new settlements by both faction and the escalating of the war, the 3rd goes full on bonkers and devestates Pandaria and by desposing Garrosh for something horrible he is about to do, the war will come to an end.

        That is the reason why the cinematic is awesome: it shows orcs and human fighting each other relentless but its the pandaren who open their eyes and clear the haze. (though ingame this will happen once both faction wreck pandaria to pieces).

        I played both GW2 and MoP Beta and both are great but so very different. (though i am gonna play GW2 fully before i start with MoP)

        • Zepp says:

          How is it fair that Garrosh is the evil one while Alliance are free of responsibilty as always? Ridiculous plot.

          • MrKay says:

            Firsly, could we get over this whole Alliance vs Horde thing. It doesn’t make sense. A story won’t be any good if everything is exactly equal.

            On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Blizzard say that they’re rethinking the last patch, so lets just wait and see.

          • Obc says:

            alliance isn’t free of war-mongering. both faction will commit atrocities in MoP right from the beginning . (e.g.: alliance make pandaren kids into slaves!). the further the game moves on the more absurd and ugly both factions get. wrathion, jaina, thrall and anduin will try to calm the war and bring peace. Varian will at some point get a bit sane and go on quest of herculas like tasks to gain favor with his faction and prove that he has come to his senses while Garrosh (for some reason not known yet) will commit somthing truley horrible that even a lot of his own people will desert him.

            though what the exact reasons for garrosh’s insanity and varians change of mind are remains to be seen and only then shall i judge wether or not it was “fair”. i think it has something to do with the sha or the teasing of the burning legion that will make garrosh goes full retard.

      • ahac says:

        How is Guild Wars any less ridiculous? Look at their races. They have anime gnomes and some plant people. The furries even used to be the evil bad beasts in GW1 but totally got nice and developed a culture since then. Oh, and GW1 already had an asian themed expansion.

        You almost sound like a scientologist calling other religions ridiculous…

        • Nevard says:

          I wonder what this post would have been like if Blizzard had gone down the route they intended and added pandas in TBC

        • tetracycloide says:

          It’s less ridiculous because it didn’t take an Easter Egg/April Fool’s joke and turn it into a playable race? Is this some kind of trick question?

          • Dana says:

            There were pandas in Warcraft 3. Your argument is invalid.

          • togaman5000 says:

            What Dana said – the April Fool’s joke came later, but you’d never know it with how often that bit of ‘information’ is trotted out

          • Vorphalack says:

            The Pandas in W3 were also a joke, just like the hidden Hydralisk in the Night Elf campaign was also a joke. Really odd how that fact seems to have been mysteriously forgotten, but then again to be a Panda apologist you must be prepared to justify anything.

          • tetracycloide says:

            The first time you run into them was a secret ‘pandaran relaxation spot’ on one of the campaign maps… as an easter egg. Hence “Easter Egg/April Fool’s joke.” So that thing about the argument’s validity is invalid.

          • Obc says:

            chen stormstout was a real character in the story not just some guy with a few one-liners standing some place hidden. he is also mentioned in vanilla wow and even before wow samwise did a lot of pandaren drawing and they are mentioned in the rpg books.

            so yeah not completely april joke/easter egg.

            a lot of players have been clamoring for pandaren from the get go. i still know that some magazine here in germany had the pandaren as one of the possible new races for the alliance before the launch of TBC.

      • mbr says:

        wat. They’re the same bland, Everquest derivative, pardon my French, shit. You and countless others are getting yourselves WAAAAY over-hyped about this game.

    • DiTH says:

      I dont recall Pandaren Brewmaster being like that from WC universe.I guess they got a bit influenced by Kung Fu Panda with all the Kung Fu clumsiness.

      • Spengbab says:

        Let’s be fair, it looks great, especially the part where he puts back the thingy and corrects the angle slightly with his stick.

        Of course the game is nothing like this (Actually, I do wonder how the panda’s kung fu stuff works in the game, though I guess its just hand to hand combat and no Jade Empire style combos. IS there even kung fu in the game and not just the trailer? QUESTIONS!), but the trailer looks nice and is a great watch. Just wish they’d flash “WARNING – TRAILER DOES NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL GAMEPLAY” in 10-second intervals across the screen.

        • Obc says:

          monks have various kung fu moves like spinning crane kick, fists of fury, flying dash kick, the flying high-kick from ken (street fighter), rolls, punches. other spells have some kung-fu influenced moves.

          from the pandaren the monks have attacks liking dousing alcohol on the target which dazes them and the debuff is prerequisit to put them in flames.

          monks also have lots of avoidance.

          of course it isnt nowhere near as awesome as in the cinematic but i did get a “street fighting” vibe playing them (though i only played the melee dps spec).

    • chewbaccasdad says:

      Stupid Toy Story expansion.

  2. Ultra Superior says:

    Cookies for Kung Fu Panda !

  3. Astalnar says:

    I think it is great.
    It is interesting to see how much Horde and Alliance hate each other. But as soon as someone else comes into fight, the newcomer is the only enemy for those two mortal enemies. It shows some kind of mutual respect for an old grizzled enemy from each side.

  4. Fincher says:

    Strong Kung Fu Panda 3 vibes going on.

  5. Turin Turambar says:

    Damn, I came too late to make the Kung Fu Panda reference…

  6. Cameron says:

    It should indeed the law, it should indeed ;P (Engrish tribute there, RPS?)

    I presume laughter was the desired effect when the spinning panda came out? Shame.

  7. HisMastersVoice says:

    Damn, those Pandaren are going to be so OP until the nerf….

  8. BurningPet says:

    If this expansion succeeds, i will lose faith in humanity.

    But then again, most of humanity are chinese, so perhaps i could brush it off as a cultural thing.

    • Mayjori says:

      last time i checked, chinese were about 1/6th of humanity.

      • ninjapirate says:

        They actually make up nearly 1/5th of the world’s population by now.

      • BurningPet says:

        Not too sure about, but doesn’t majority also apply to the largest group even if it isn’t more than half the total of the rest of the groups?

        • wcanyon says:

          I think you’re confusing majority with mode. Perhaps my statistics is terrible, but I think the most common value in the set (Chinese in this case) is called the mode.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            The largest group has the ‘ plurality’, it only has the ‘majority’ if it has over 50% of the total. I only found this out recently and it makes me feel cleverer to know so thought I would share the stats love!

          • Syra says:

            Welcome to primary school pandas everybody. Today we are learning vocabulary and maths: Majority – the largest segment. Mean – The mathematical average. Median – The statistical middle. Mode – The most common value.

            No but really. Primary school.

  9. RedViv says:

    Great, now we have to bear even more puns.

  10. Mayjori says:

    Best WoW cinematic thus far imo, very entertaining. As for those worried about “canon” the pandarians have been in Warcraft since BEFORE WoW (believe it or not, there were other Warcraft games).

  11. Enkinan says:

    Was totally picking my nails when I read that -_-

  12. deke913 says:

    One good full length movie with this caliber of CG entirely and ActiBlizz would gain another 2 million plus subs.

    Almost makes me want to resub…and that is just wrong.

    • ninjapirate says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I’d pay to see a full length movie of that quality. The trailer was lovely, but it will never lure me onto Blizzard’s sinking WoW-ship.

    • Moraven says:

      With the SC2 collector’s disc it has all the videos strung together in order. It almost feels like you are watching a short movie.

      But I guess they do not want to pull a Square and do something horrible like FF movie. (Spirit Within, FF7 fan service video was decent).

    • Arglebargle says:

      As always, I would rather watch the movie than play the game.

    • socrate says:

      doesn’t make me want to resub at all…what are you guys taking to make you so easy to fall for this when now there is actually other option.

      Oh and there as been CG movie but you actually have to have a good storyline with it….and WoW doesn’t have one…every damn epic build up as just been a huge failure and disappointment (lich king,deathwing)…and in a weird way yogg saron is worth 100x these fight and conclusion

      this CG did look nice…but paying for a sub now just feel like a relic of the past that should have never been there in the first place and what i saw in this CG is yet another return to not only a system that never worked but to go back to the same old same War between the alliance that just keep going back in forth with stupid idea just so they can keep calling it Warcraft,if war was so simple /rolleye but then again this game isn’t really aiming at smart people anymore.

  13. viverravid says:

    So when they got out of the financials meeting that concluded that the Chinese market was the key to the ongoing profitability of WoW, and after the problems with WotLK (which was never approved by Chinese censors) they needed to keep this in mind for future expansions…. did it occur to no-one that they could have made the China-pandering it a little less obvious?

    (hehe. Panda-ing. heh)

    EDIT: fail, article title beat me to it

  14. Chris D says:

    Honestly, what’s the point in bothering to carve a point on a bit of wood if you’re not even going to try to point it in the direction of an orc trying to jump on top of you?

    • tetracycloide says:

      I’ll answer your question with a question:

      What’s the point of waiting in ambush if you’re going to yell and then jump out to ambush?

      • Chris D says:

        Good point. I think perhaps everyone should have put a bit more thought into the “Why are we fighting?” question.

      • Azradesh says:

        Watch it again. The rocks he was standing on made a sound and then the human turned around. THEN he yelled and jumped the human. You know, after he’d been seen.

    • Salt says:

      I’ll answer your question with another, another question:
      Why use a rough pointed stick as your main weapon when you’re carrying a sword?

      To answer my own question: Maybe the human is playing as a class that can use staves but not swords.

  15. aliksy says:

    Is that what people see when they play WoW? That makes things make more sense.

    • Brigand says:

      Yeah you should see some of the fan art of places compared to what they look like in-game. It actually made me understand the appeal.

  16. neolith says:

    Blizzard still makes really nice trailers. I have zero interest in the game though.

  17. Rovac says:

    The only reason I like Warcraft is it’s lore. Blizzard have done a wonderful job creating all the stories, including the tiny bits. I even used to enjoy reading all the wiki’s pages.
    On related note, I never play WoW. only the RTS Warcraft

  18. Nevard says:

    I wish they’d put a Sha in this trailer, it was a mistake to pass up the opportunity to create a full cinematic quality 12 storey tall monochrome betentacled eldritch abomination

    Other than that is was pretty good, very impressed by the environmental work at the end

  19. Trithne says:

    It’s a very nice cinematic, but it doesn’t really reflect the game at all. I liked the suggestion of actually returning to inter-faction warfare, but we know that in-game warfare is restricted to the designated battlefield zones and pan-dimensional Battlegrounds.

    I always dreamt of a WoW where you fought over territory and sought to control the world, laying siege to cities and building fortifications. Basically, GW2 WvWvW, but in the world.

    • Moraven says:

      It is the same as DAoC RvR. A difference instanced world where you try to take over each other’s territory.

      Shadowbane did this where what you controlled existed in the actual world, not some separate instance special PvP zone. Unfortunately that game had a load of other problems.

      WoW tried some zone PvP Objectives, but only really half implemented it. It had potential but what they decided was to do the single zone World PvP event every 3 hours (WinterGrasp, Tol Barad) that gave your faction access to a raid (free loot) and special pvp vendors. Tol Barad had more in offering additional daily quests to the faction holder.

      I have not lay MoP much in the beta to see what they offer now for World PvP. Not until patch 5.1 is when the story and lore moves to chaos and fighting between the two factions.

      • Obc says:

        i only play on a pve realm in the beta, but i saw so much potential for world pvp. especially because you can’t fly till level 90.

        the thing is though, its the players fault for not doing world pvp. no one told us to do world pvp back in vanilla, there was no incentive given by blizzard, but even before the honor system (which in its first incarnation wasn’t anything special just a tally of how many enemy faction players you killed) we still went out of our way and laid siege on barrens or tarrens mill. so if someone says he wants a reason to world pvp, tell them to move their asses and just do it.

        but what was counter intuitive to world pvp was dungeon finder system in cata. up to wotlk, i still fought a lot of enemy faction players in front of dungeons/raids all day long, but with the LFG tool and the dungeons being in very remote places it gets hard to do this. (though still very much possible).

    • Obc says:

      this does happen in MoP. The War starts in Jade Forest at the beginng of the expansion. Taylor and Nazgrim fight brutally with each other and take pandaren slaves and the players help their faction to destroy the other (like destroying the alliance skyship), thanks to the phasing technique of WoW zones change with along with player questing. watch some new videos of the jade forest revamp, its bloody war in open areas.

      but not only this, with each new Patch Pandaria will look more and more devestated. the war sweeps from jade forest to the other zones (e.g. 5.1 new settelements in the zones left of jade forest) . as each new content patch is releasedm a lot of areas will have stuff broken and/or laid to waster (e.g.: in jade forest the players cause a holy serpent statue to be destroyed, a really huge pretty statue which is pretty much a damn sacrilege on pandaria).

      the last raid is Siege of Orgrimmar and Garrosh being the final boss. so yeah war is all up in this bitch while wrathion, jaina, thrall and anduin and some pandaran (taran zhu/chen stormstout) try to stop it.

  20. kael13 says:

    It’s true, that is a pretty cinematic, but I no longer have any interest in playing. Especially at that price, cor!

    I suppose at least WoW doesn’t really try to take itself too seriously, whereas Diablo 3 was all about being dark and serious and yet failed miserably in its utter cheese.

    Oh and the trailer reminded me of that of Warcraft 3, so I nostalgia’d rather hard.

  21. Red_Avatar says:

    Dear lord the whole vid made me shake my head. The start was actually pretty decent until the shark-jumping panda came in. It looked wrong, it felt wrong, and it reeks of desperation. Also, why make a CGI movie that makes the actual game sound incredibly dull and repetitive (which isn’t hard considering IT IS)? That’s like going to a job interview, showing a CGI vid of you being a brilliant mastermind and then failing to count to 10 in real life.

  22. Sarog says:

    I laughed so much at this. If I was still playing wow I’d be ragepalming, but it is just hilarious. That entire fight scene was awfully goofy, and I can just imagine Metzen with his earrings and his sunglasses saying “You know what would be totally GNARLY? If the panda chewed some grass like a chilled out cowboy like he ain’t even give a damn! Cowabunga dude!”

    No points for the narration either. “To ask why we fight is to ask why the leaves fall. It is in their nature.” Seriously? Come on.

    The animation is great and all, but the whole thing seems like pandafication of the Forbidden Kingdom and I just can’t take it seriously.

  23. ucfalumknight says:

    Where’s Master Shifu? Is this before or after Oogway passes to the next reality? I was hoping to see mantis too. Oh well.

  24. Koozer says:

    I really wish this wouldn’t cost me another £30 + subscription if I were to play it. This looks much more interesting to me than Wrath and Cataclysm were. Hell, even Burning Crusade was a bit dull with its pantomime demons. But now…it’s been too long.

  25. Hardmood says:

    thats what remains, when managers decide which way the lore of a huge universe goes.
    obviously the way to the asian market, cos its the only remianing growing market for wow…

    moneytrailer with no content in sight

  26. Zepp says:

    Still no vanillia player model updates = no sub.

    • AlphaCentauri says:

      Coming in patches. IIRC, dwarf and orc would be ready close to release.

      • Moraven says:

        Seeing how the main NPC get model updates, would be great to see that.

        Would be like how EQ did the character model update. Tho those were questionable. The NPC updates (Thrall, Jaina, Garrosh, Sylvanas) look great and would be nice to have those.

  27. SkittleDiddler says:

    Martial arts, low fantasy, anthropomorphic pandas, and World of Warcraft. Dear God, it’s an American furry’s wet dream.

  28. Vorphalack says:

    ”To ask why we fight…… is to ask why leaves fall…..”

    You fight because of gravity?

  29. TheMrSolaris says:

    If Blizzard had gone with Honey badgers instead of pandas, I’d be pre-ordering this right now!

  30. Dreforian says:

    I didn’t hate it.

  31. 1stGear says:

    You people who are tripping over yourselves to declare how ridiculous the cinematic is and how you only play mature MMOs for mature gamers like yourselves do realize that some of the best parts of the WoW universe are firmly tongue-in-cheek right? Two of the best zones in Cataclysm were full-on parodies of CSI: Miami and Rambo, forum memes and in-jokes regularly get referenced in game, and there are at least two dozen NPCs with pun names. Indeed, its when Blizzard starts to take itself too seriously that end up tripping over their own lackluster writing ability and fall flat on their face (see the end of Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm).

    The cinematic was amazing, significantly better than the Cataclysm one, and if I still had a max-level character I’d resub.

    • Fincher says:

      “Two of the best zones in Cataclysm were full-on parodies of CSI: Miami and Rambo, forum memes and in-jokes regularly get referenced in game, and there are at least two dozen NPCs with pun names”

      Aaah yes, thanks for reminding me why I don’t take WoW seriously!

      Are you surprised that people don’t like WoW’s setting when it’s a pop culture circus?

      • 1stGear says:

        Why would I be surprised that RPS comments don’t like fun?

        • Answermancer says:

          Don’t you know?

          If it’s not indie, if it costs any money, if it expects you to play with other people, or if it’s not GrimDark SeriousBusiness it’s utter shit and you’re an idiot if you don’t hate it and make snide comments about it.

          • jrodman says:

            For my part, I find pop culture references tired, although the clever silliness like “you are a questgiver!” worked really well for me. These things were true when I was loving the game, and are still true now that I’m tired of it.

            I just find the pop culture references are just *there*, like placeholders for humor without any humor. It’s not enough to just refer, you have to do something clever with it. Meanwhile, doing it too often can devalue the sense of versimilitude, and really take you out of the experience. I mean a game you play that long it’s very hard to stay bought into the world, but the references were one of the many many elements which worked against immersion.

  32. Rhin says:

    I can’t stand the gameplay of WoW, but I fail to see how this is “Pandaring” to the Asian markets as a lot of comments are pointing out. An Asian theme appeals to the Western players just as much. It is actually a bit of a refreshing change from “Knights and Castles and Dragons” European fantasy, which no one claims is “pandering to Caucasians.” Pandering to the general player-base, yes. The Pandaren in the Warcraft universe were originally an April Fools joke that were added (in a similar vein to the Cow Level) after a lot of fan support.

  33. mrbeman says:

    Yeah I dunno. I’ve played on and off since mid-way through TBC, and I think I’m pretty much done. I was worried watching it that I would be all “oh man I want to resub now!” but… no. It was cute, sure, but I just can’t see myself leveling up my characters (again), maxing professions (again), farming raid consumables (again), organizing raids (again), etc etc etc.

    I always played WoW for the people I played with, but there still needs to be an underlying game that I’m interested in playing.

    Ironically, I think the game mechanics have seen a steady improvement every single patch. The way it plays has just gotten better and better. But at this point it’s an increasingly polished, well executed model of gameplay that I’m just not interested in any more.

  34. herschel says:

    I actually enjoyed it… made me giggle and marvell about the wonderous arts of Blizzards moving pictures…

    But then… pandas?

    Pandas!

    Naaah…

  35. Tei says:

    I say its a pretty video.

  36. archimandrite says:

    Yes, Blizzard has lots of money and lots of polish. They got the money from the polish. It’s not the only way to go, but it’s what worked for them. Other studios could do well to learn from that.

    As far as the GW2 versus WoW argument … like the game you like and move on, please!

  37. Leetables says:

    WoW was neat when it first came out, but this won’t convince me to resub. I’ve done that before. Cool new WoW thing comes out, resub and realize the game feels just the way it was when I left it – stale.

    Anywhere where’s Warcraft 4?

  38. Carra says:

    Sure it looks ridiculous but heck, never bet against Blizzard.

    I’m sure I’ll enjoy it for a month or two, they haven’t disappointed me in the past (well, not being able to play Diablo 3 at launch was a bit of a put down).

  39. lordfrikk says:

    Looks pretty but otherwise worst WoW cinematic to date, dull and the Kung Fu panda connection is not helping. It can’t even come close to WotLK’s intro.

  40. Subucula Tertia says:

    Watching the trailer, only one thought was going through my head: this is so effing dumb.

  41. Ashen says:

    If I went back in time to show my Warcraft 2-playing self that this is what they’ll turn the franchise into, one of us would never believe it.

    Then the world would end, because hey – time/space continuum.

  42. ShatteredAwe says:

    I like the video, but I can’t stand WoW’s stupid ass graphics anymore, so I wont be buying it.

  43. Solskin says:

    So the Alliance and Horde are now teaming up to fight pandas? That’s baddass.

  44. killuminati says:

    Well looks like that Blizzard is spending more time on the CGi intro than on the game itself… at least more than in the past.
    And I couldn’t care less if Pandaren were “canon” or not.. even if the very mother of Morhaine is a bloody Panda!
    They are still stupid and smell of kung-fu panda from 10 thousand miles.
    Lost faith and stopped playing WoW several months ago, this will be the first expac I will never buy.
    After 6 years of WoW and 2 Betas…
    GG Blizz (oh but I managed to waste 60 Euros on that crap that is D3 so I guess I’m settled for the next couple of WoW expac I will never buy.. shame on me!)

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