Has WOW Jumped The Panda? Or… Pandaria Bread $$

(whoooosh noise)

World of Warcraft.  There may very well never be another MMO quite like it.  In its glory days the PC gaming behemoth steadily gathered subscribers like an ever expanding Katamari Damacy.  I too spent a good number valuable of years playing World of Warcraft with some of my closest friends.  During the height of our addiction we would talk about “builds” and guild drama for hours on end, it truly was another fantastic world filled with people from all walks of life (many of whom were out of their damn minds).  With Pandarens recently announced as the next playable race, I feel compelled to ask the question, has World of Warcraft effectively jumped the … panda?

PANDARIA BREAD: According to Blizzcon, the Pandarens will be the first “neutral” WOW race.  This means that both Alliance and Horde will have access to the fuzzy leaf eating panda-people.  Now I’m not opposed the addition of Pandaren as a playable WOW race, I simply don’t feel as though they really fit the world (…of Warcraft).  I’m also concerned at Blizzard’s decision to not include a second playable race in this upcoming expansion. Am I missing something?  Is Blizzard not exploding with both money and creative talent?  Surly the implementation of a second “new” playable race makes more sense than breaking your current PVP system with a “neutral” race .   Although WOW has been losing players in recent years for a variety of reasons, they still boast an incredible number of subscribers meaning that money (bread) can’t be the problem here.

PVP-ROBLEMS: The introduction of a neutral race offers up a whole lot of questions that have yet to be fully addressed.  As a former PVP-er I can say with total sincerity that your target’s silhouette is an incredibly important aspect of how the game was played.  Quick and easy identification of your target was the difference between life and death, red tag or no red tag.  Players who play on a PVP server are going to have a hell of time identifying a target when the fireballs start whizzing over head.

I have a ton of respect for the talented folks that work for Blizzard, but I have to say that I feel as though the Pandaren are a step in the wrong direction.  The racial rivalry and utter disdain one felt for the opposing faction was one of the things that made WOW so incredibly special.  I look forward to reading more about this upcoming expansion in the future.