Why Mists of Pandaria?

Posted Mon, Feb 13, 2012 by Messiah

Usually the announcement of an expansion for World of Warcraft is a huge event, and the announcement for Mists of Pandaria was no different. It was huge. However, it was maybe not big in the way that Blizzard initially planned it.

Mists of Pandaria, panadaren, monks, tanks
With an overall look like this, why not Pandaria, it looks awesome!

You see, ever since the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft was announced there has been quite a lot of backlash around the net about it. Many players are saying things like they feel cheated, or feel that the game has sold out, and it is no longer their game as it is becoming too much of a joke.

I am pretty sure you have all seen many comments like this around the net since the announcement, just as I have. One such comment came this last week that caught my eye, it was posted on the Official WoW forums and asked the simple question: "Why MoP? "

The basic argument is that World of Warcraft spawned from Warcraft which was a game with a mature topic. It was all about blood and gore and conquest, or at least in Zubupally’s opinion.

You can find the original post here: Why MoP?

I have played all the Warcraft games as they were released and remember them as much more of a RTS game with a sense of humour about itself. I mean honestly Warcraft pretty much defined the RTS genre for most players and while it was about collecting resources and eventually killing your opponent there was a lot of humour in it.

Some of the humour I remember the peons yelling “quit poking me” after you clicked on one too many times in a row. There was also the sound the baby seals made as you bashed them on the head (ooourk!) which being from Canada and having to listen to the animal rights activists complaining on the news all the time about the seal hunts was just hilarious. The friends that I played it with went out of our way to club the little buggers and being young teens had to imitate the sound as we did it. There were just so many things in the game that made players laugh that for me at least to say its roots are in blood and gore is a huge injustice to the game. In fact to this day years later a friend or I can still make that (ooourk!) sound and we all think back to Warcraft and seals and laugh historically. Maybe you just had to be there…

Zarhym from Blizzard offered up a response that can be found here: Why MoP? - Blizzard's Response

To summarize the important parts of what Zarhym says in his response to the question is that Mists of Pandaria is that “It’s not all Unicorns and Butterflies”. He also stats that a lot of what we have seen is the early phases of Pandaria because that is what was ready. However he makes it every clear that there are “dark secrets lurking” and that the pristine nature of Pandaria will not survive long once the Alliance and Horde roll in.

He also makes it clear that they need to explore new areas and introduce new characters and villains so that they can continue generating new content. After all most of what we have seen in WoW has been based on old Warcraft content and they are quickly running out of that.

Lastly he stated that the very specifically focused on a lighter side since everything had been doom and gloom with Cataclysm, but reminds us that it was made very clear that this expansion will be about Horde vs. Alliance more than ever.

Messiah’s thoughts about the whole “Why Mists of Pandaria?” argument

I have several thoughts about the whole “Why MoP?” question. Starting with a really quirky one, why not?

For some reason players have gotten it into their heads that walking, talking, fighting, Pandas are just silly and cartoony. Ok, sure there is the whole Kung Fu Panda vibe going on, but that is just one take on a humanoid panda. For an extreme example look how cool some vampires in movies are for instance the classic Bela Lugosi Dracula for a classic vampire, or the Blade or Underworld series for dark style vampires, and then the ridiculous glitter in the sun vampires from the so ludicrous that I can not even name it series of books and movies. All of them are based on the same basic idea, yet some are cool, and some are horrific.

Mists of Pandaria
While things look idealic we are told to not expect unicorns and butterflies

I also don’t really have a problem with Pandas, as really what is all that different than a Tauren? I have said it before on the site, and it still applies, for some reason players had no issue with cows (Tauren) riding dinosaurs in WoW. That never upset their sensibilities but for some reason pandas do? Huh? Am I the only one that doesn’t get why they are different? Players know this is a game right? As long as the Pandaren come in wearing armour, wielding weapons, and kicking ass, what’s so wrong with them. Know if they brought them into the game and they were all about rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns, then I might have an issue with that. But a beer swilling, staff wielding, kung fu fighting, drunken master Pandaren? Sign me up!

Next up the World of Warcraft has to expand to survive, we have gone to another dimension already, we have visited elemental plains, and explored pretty much all of the known landmass in the game. Opening up new continent for us to explore is the obvious choice. Personally I thought the star fairing Draenei were a stretch since a space fairing race in a fantasy game is not the normal.

Putting in a whole continent full of races that are based on an Asian background just seems smart to me. After all a ton of Blizzards fan base is Asian, and even those that are not tend to familiar with more Asian culture than most North Americans. I say this because I find that more of us that that play video games also tend to be interested and watch anime and Asian subtitled movies, maybe just my experience, but that is what I have seen.

A whole new area to explore based on brand new races and all having their own history and beliefs makes for interesting story telling opportunities. If it wasn’t Pandaria then where would it be? I know many players wanted to see the Emerald Dream next but that seems a bit much for me this soon right after dealing with so much elemental based storylines in Cataclysm. I mean we spent a lot of time either helping the Druids in Hyjal or helping Thrall and the dragon aspects that dealing with the Emerald Dream at this time might just make it blend together to much with the expansion we just completed.

Lastly, I know that I and everyone else out there loves to complain about Blizzards missteps all the time. While they do make mistakes, almost none of them have been surrounding storyline. There is a reason we all keep playing Blizzard games, they get us involved and tell a compelling story. They make us care about what is going on in the game and the world it represents more than almost any other gaming company, I can think of only a very few companies that tell stories as well. This means that even if some of you have reservations about the content, or about the changes that may be coming to the game, one thing I don’t believe you should worry about is that the story line with rock. I am almost convinced they could make the expansion about unicorns and butterflies and it would still be interesting. Ok, not totally convinced on that one, but you get the point.

Why don't you chime in with your take on why or why not Mists of Pandaria should be the next expansion and post your comment below. Not that you really have a choice on it, since it will be the next expansion, but hey you can still have a say.

I like your thinking, but I will also add that I think that this new Panda expansion is like a "Part 1" of a big new background storyline... Although I'd love to see new huge pieces of Orc and Draenei land come to outlands because I think those 2 races are pretty important in wow.... I think that Panda's are just the first step of a new story

Maybe we need the panda to explain the movie ;) lol

I don't really have a reason for why pandas however I was a little surprised at first to hear they would be introduced next. My first thoughts were about 'fluffy and cute' and I bet that is because of the (was it Disney?) movie that I never saw.

I have loved the lore and thought that it gives those who only play games a chance to increase their reading abilities hahahha. I even read all the achievement books a few years back!

I look forward to new story lines and I'm open to a new look at what is possible with pandas. I wonder...will there be a new class?

It's not Disney it's Dream Works

It is Blizzard! Hehe, because Blizzard made the lore before the movie, it is practically they who stole the lore from the WC unicerse :P

getdiscounthotel You done certain good points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog.

I know what I like and I know what I don't like. I am sick and tired of people pushing things on me. I don't enjoy the thought of the pandaren race in WoW. There are several others I would be interested in. I did not like the condensation of the talents in Cata. I really did not even like the storyline. I do not like the idea of there being no real talent tree. End of story. And blizzard can tap dance all they want and the diehard fans can keep on as such. But I will not support them with my money. I won't support anyone who will not give me what I want.

I dont care how many excuses and justifications can be made for why cata is the way it is and MoP is to be. I started playing in Wrath. I liked wrath. I will always have a special place for wrath in my memory and for my lock. I will not be playing WoW(or any other blizzard MMO) until they give me wrath back. And if they dont then so be it.

Tl:Dr I dont like it because I dont fucking like it.

Why are you commenting such a silly comment. You won't get Wrath back (face it), and now you weep becaus of this. You never experienced BC or Vanila, so whatever you say won't carry much of that "vet."-touch, so all i can say to you is: stop being a troll and quit the game, for god's sake. Play RIFT or something.

Protip: 1) Dont use the word troll unless you know what it means.
2) L2English.

Get the dick out of your eyes and read what I actually said. I did quit the game because I liked wrath. Furthermore what does playing in a certain expansion have to do with anything? Similarly to me, vanilla and BC players found something they liked and did not like that it was taken away. Investing your money for so long after they took away what makes the game fun makes you a nothing more than a common sheep, handing you money over to blizzard no matter what. Also I dont care about my opinions carrying any touch, but my money carries all of the "touch" it needs, so I am entitled to my opinion.

Wrath was the casual gamer's paradise. No kind of strategy or competence required, you could walk in, bs your way through, and voila, you get epics. Goody for the casual gamer. If Blizzard's demographic was 100% casual gamers, then I'm sure cata would be more wrath-esque. Blizz upped the difficulty with cata because the serious gamers got angry that wrath was so mindless. Give your keyboard to a baby, it pounds on random keys and what do you know, you've won! Three cheers for the faceroll! Serious gamers want a challenge. So cata introduced basic strategies. A lot of DON'T STAND IN THE FIRE mechanics and equivalents. Things that require that oh so hated thing called thinking. Casual gamers are not retards. They can learn things like 'attack the right mob' 'don't stand in the fire' and other basics. Heroics ramped it up, gosh, maybe cause they're OMG heroics?! Genius. Ezmode died with wrath, and if you're too slow to deal with basic mechanics, then it's only a bonus for us that you quit. Means I don't have to be in a group with you. Thanks for making it easier on me and other decent gamers

Yours truly,

What? are you kidding me by saying that CATA is more difficult for a casual than wrath? In cata any tard can go and queue for raid finder and just faceroll bosses for gear which is only a few ilvls lower. Then lets not even mention the simple fact that as long as you spend a few hours each week grinding areans and heroic dungeons that you can get best in slot gear...but no your right..cata is just so much more difficult.

The horrible fanbase is going to be the death of wow.

The horrible fanbase is going to be the death of wow.

Why are you commenting such a silly comment. You won't get Wrath back (face it), and now you weep becaus of this. You never experienced BC or Vanila, so whatever you say won't carry much of that "vet."-touch, so all i can say to you is: stop being a troll and quit the game, for god's sake. Play RIFT or something.

I am interested to see MoP.

but this comment is more to mention that you need a better proofreader for your articles.
I have noticed this trend more and more from "official" places.. like the news.

your words are spelled correctly.. but your using the wrong words.

In the spirit of keeping our language alive, and accurate i thought i would mention it.

How about stop making it CONSTANTLY about Horde v. Alliance....that conflict is almost 8 years old and it's really tiresome now. If you want to have new battlegrounds and such that is fine...but constantly having PvP forced down our throats in terms of Lore and losing cities is absurd.

Also, the language barrier doesn't make ANY sense especially now that Pandas are on both factions....

I agree, the concept of Alliance vs. Horde is getting old. Sure it's not that bad if it's not the main conflict, but back in Vanilla it was and it appears that it will be the same in MoP. I know it wouldn't agree with any lore or story but really a 3rd Faction ( for lack of a better word: I mean like another "team" besides Horde and Alliance) might actually convince me to come back to WoW.

Just want to say that thanks to anime (like it or not, I dont care), a lot of Americans are quite familiar with Japan's culture at the very least. "Oh, but anime doesnt really portray Japan's culture properly" you say. Somewhat true, but narrowly put. Those who are quite into anime will more than likely read up on Japanese culture and history and such. What good is watching a show based on the 3 Kingdoms or the pre-ww2 Japan if you dont know diddly about the real history..?

Sorry for the side-tracking. lol

I don't think I will be "returning" to WoW for this expansion. I'm a pretty casual gamer and I usually come back for the expansions and then leave when I'm bored or have little time to play. This expansion isn't as "grabbing" as Cataclysm was. For Cataclysm it was to me atleast "the whole WoW I knew would be changing and this is so exciting." But soon, that excitement faded and I canceled my subscription. MoP just looks to cartoony. It seems they are just appealing to different audiences.

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