So, yeah. Pandas.
I’m not a WoW player, so I don’t have a really strong opinion on the matter, but I do think everyone who’s up in arms about WoW jumping the shark (jumping the panda?) about the sheer goofiness of this race need to step back, drink a Breathing potion (not Water Breathing… just take a good, deep breath), and realize that this is a game with:
Giant bull-men and cow-women
- Goblins who invent rocket ships
- Magic rooster mounts
- And… whatever the heck draenei are supposed to be
So in the grand theme of things, what are a few panda-men tossed into the mix?
I feel a little sympathy for the people who have to make them serious in the lore. I mean, this was a really cool video:
Now imagine the same video but with pandaren in the place of orcs. Yeah, that just doesn’t work for me. I know, Blizzard’s saying they’re ass-kickers and not all cute and cuddly, but still… pandas!
(As an aside, one player in my LOTRO kinship is a panda-loving freak, and we tease her about it all the time. “Hey, what kind of hides do you think we could get from a panda?” “Hey, I’m a little low on food, got any of that panda stew?” I don’t know if she’s ever played WoW, but if she was ever going to jump into it, now’s the time.)
Here’s the thing about real pandas, though: they can really lay the hurt on you, so much so that there’s even a blog dedicated to panda attacks on humans. (In other news, the Internet has now fulfilled its purpose.) I have yet to really read anything about pandaren lore, but if I were Blizzard, I’d go the Guild Wars 2 quaggan route and make it that the pandaren are typically peaceful, fun-loving herbivores… but when you get them angry, they’ll snap your limbs like bamboo sticks. And then eat them.
In fact, now that I think about it, I love the notion of some pandaren being depraved monsters who eat other sentients as well as any committing any number of other heinous deeds. Sure, the “good” pandaren meditate in zen gardens and dedicate themselves to spiritual exploration, but the “evil” ones commit such unspeakable atrocities that… well, that I can’t even speak of them here. You get the picture. And they’d do it all while looking wholesome and roly-poly cute. Those black-and-white bastards.
In fact, on a final ominous note on pandaren malevolence, I’d like to point out the following facts, set out in chronological order:
- Deathwing appears in Azeroth
- Pandaren appear in Azeroth
Can’t be a coincidence.