Bad company.

WoW…Pandas

So. Pandas.

Huh.

First of all, in no way, shape or form am I ungrateful about the chance to go to Blizzcon. But, BUT–just because one gets to meet the Emperor doesn’t mean one shouldn’t speak up if said emperor is wearing no clothes. Blizzcon had on a lot of great outfits, but there were some nip-slips here and there, too.

Here’s what works: 
The opening ceremony.
Chris Metzen’s caffeinated rants.  (Rock that soul-patch, bro.)
The forums where they carefully and succinctly describe upcoming class changes.
The introduction of new raid and dungeon content: and let it be known, Blizzard felt that WoW was too dark for too long, and wanted to lighten the mood.

And there is the inherent potential for disaster:

They made the huge mistake of listening to their fans.

And now we have pandas.

Let it also be known that Blizzard came up with Mists of Pandaria long before Kung Fu panda.

The story goes that George Lucas listened to his kids, and we got Jar Jar Binks.

The scenery is beautiful, the addition of a martial-arts monk makes sense, and there are new and fun things to do, such as save a brewery. Nope. Not dark at all.

But, damn.

Jar Jar.

I have been trying to wrap my brain about the potential for explosive cultural stereotypes and fungal-growing racism that may spring from this direction.

Cosplay

Now, I have to admit–though the Blood Elf girls get the attention, I found those who took a different perspective on cosplay far more fascinating.

Night Elf girls should not have visible panty-lines. Jin’do drops epic Spanx.

Worth the price of admission: Draenei in Brewfest costume, 6’6″ man, Scottish accent, working the floor. 

Diablo III

It will be released, or in the words of Blizzard, “It’s done when it’s done.” I got to try it out for a bit, and what I liked about Diablo III the best was the figurative artwork of the female barbarian characters. She’s not too fat, not too thin, not overly muscle-bound: think Raquel Welch in “One Million Years BC”:

You wonder where all those 30,000 critters go when they die?  Now you know.

All in all, I must admit the highlight was the cross-dressing Draenei chica you see above. I plan on forgiving and forgetting about the Pandas for awhile. No other company has done anything like Blizzard has with WoW for as long, and like any big experiment, successful or no, there are bound to be a few miscalculations. Just like fighting in front of a boss.

Theme song: The Animals/House of the Rising Sun

Update: So, today, while sitting in parking lot to pilfer Internet, I got the chance to read a few blogs. And upon reflection, I remembered something my very wonderful friend said about being a panda, and how we could level up some pandas together, and you know what? It’s not going to be that bad. Not bad at all.

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