The Vacation Panda Island, I mean, Mists of Pandaria Beta is live, and without an NDA! This means all sorts of juicy data-mining and screenshots are popping up all over the internet. My favorite new information is the release of the female Pandaren model. I am crossing all my fingers and toes they don’t pull a fast one on us and switch it out, like they did the Worgen models before release. These little panda ladies are so cute!
I must admit, I was completely skeptical about Mist of Pandaria. I was sure the pre-Blizzcon hype and “leaks” were just to throw everyone off the trail. Thanks to an amazing friend, I got a last-minute ticket to the first day of Blizzcon. Luckily, I only live about 10 minutes from the Anaheim Convention Center, so even though I found out I was going about an hour before it started, I was able to make it out for the opening ceremony. I sat there, completely dumbfounded, as they announced the next expansion, and previewed Pandaria and all things Pandaria-ey. Blizzard had spent the past however-many years telling us that Pandaren wouldn’t be in game, and that they were some sort of un-funny joke, that it was surreal to me that it was actually happening. Well, also being at Blizzcon was sort of surreal. I tried to keep an open mind the rest of the day, through even more ridiculous announcements like the talent-tree overhaul, Pet Battles, and removing hunter minimum range. It wasn’t until later that day, during a dev Q&A, when I got to see Chris Metzen get really fired up that I started to accept the panda-ness. Some goob in the audience questioned the motives behind Pandaria and mentioned to Metzen about the Pandaren being a joke. Metzen was P-I-S-S-E-D. The guy’s got a lot of passion for the game, and seeing as he could have wrote it off as a cash cow long ago, I guess you can’t fault him for it. So, cool, Pandaren, that rocks Mr. Metzen, and so do you!
‘Female’ Pandaren at Blizzcon
I was lucky enough to play the Pandaren starting zone they had a Blizzcon twice, and it was really cool. I liked the “female” model they had in that alpha, though I am glad they developed a real one. Monks seem like they are going to be a really fun class to play. I am glad they added auto-attack to the class, since it was not there at Blizzcon. It felt so weird, to walk up to a mob, right click on it, and not do anything. SW:TOR doesn’t have auto-attack, and it’s strange there too. I fully plan on rolling a Draenei monk with my new, 11th character slot.
So, why is such a Draenei enthusiast so excited about female Pandaren? Well, three reasons: 1. new things are shiny and fun; 2. Draenei can’t be rogues, but panda can; 3. Pandaren females are so darn cute! I know, I may have said that already. I just think Blizzard really hit a home run here. There’s probably a lot of people out there that aren’t fans, but they always seem like the type that aren’t happy about anything. WoW players have been asking for area looting since Rift came out last year, but a friend informed me that there is actually a thread on mmo-champion.com full of people complaining about Blizzard adding area looting. I can’t be bothered to read why these negative Nancies think it’s wrong, but it just goes to show, some people will complain about anything. Please don’t take me as a fan-girl either, I try and temper my excitement with the knowledge that not everything Blizzard does is A+. See my earlier comment about female Worgen. That said, why play a game like WoW if I’m not going to get excited, or get grumpy at changes, or lack of changes. I just try and enjoy the World of Warcraft for what it is, and secretly hope they fix the things it isn’t without changing it too much.
P.S. The red female Pandaren get to have tails, even cuter!!