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I like Panren and their implementation, others like Pandaren and how they are in the game.
We don't need some random persons on the internet making fun of us because we have a different opinion on something.
And that's my problem with these threads, they all follow the same steps:
Someone claims Pandaren don't fit > I disagree > He tells me I am wrong and uses examples from the game > I still disagree > They start attacking and ridiculing me.
Get it now?
The more I play, the more I realize this was the most complex and mature presentation of their brand of fantasy that they have done yet. Somehow it had more weight than a demonic invasion. It seems like they realized their audiences overall age has gotten older over the years, which is common sense, but the fact that they are developing for it is great.
I'm glad they have the good sense to be able to balance whimsical ideas that can be throwbacks to our younger years with pretty mature themes in a very emotive landscape for their developers. I hope they realize how great what they have designed is even against the sub loss and ever growing age of internet nerd ragery.
Personally I think MOP has struck a balance on Mature/family friendly theme. Sure there are plenty of parodies and such while at the same time there are lots of darker elements. I have personally enjoyed the lore behind this expansion and the presentation of it both in AND out of game (the emperor animation stuff was very well done).
As you say though, pandaria struck a balance between mature/family friendly, which Warcraft didn't use to try to be as far as I remember. You'd never hear dads tell their kids "come on now children, gather around to see Arthas murder his father in cold blood."
The only thing they're lacking in is the Huojin and Tushui factions, which were both poorly implemented and boast no relevance beyond a cute blurb and their leaders' Romeo and Juliet love story. Especially the Horde one. My little panda wanted to pay that psychotic megalomaniac warchief his lip service and run right back to the turtle after meeting him, not join Mordor's standing army and swear to kill everyone who had better sense than she did.
I don't understand why you feel the need to make excuses for MoP, or pretend people didn't love it.
It's been very widely well received, unsurprisingly, it is a very good expansion, with lots of lore, content and Pandaria is damned pretty.
Oh wait, I happen to have my own opinion and I expressed it. There's nothing to argue with. I've been wanting to send them a good message commending them on a job well done, maybe I'll do it today in your honor. Great expansion is great. Great story is great. Great design is great.
Not enough superlatives in the world to disagree with you on the appropriate level. Sincere thank you for reinforcing how pleasurable it is to simply enjoy something, especially when other people try to convince others they should hate it. I'll hug a Pandaren or two for you today.
The only reason I answered your post was because I felt this line "I hope they realize how great what they have designed is even against the sub loss and ever growing age of internet nerd ragery." implied that those of us critiquing it are nothing but nerd ragers, which I tried to demonstrate is not true through what I hope was reasonable language and temperament in my response..
Especially after you pretty much argued against everyone's opinion for the entire last few pages. Let's not be coy here. I like Pandaren and this entire expansion just fine and wasn't talking to you in any way. Arguing against my opinion wasn't necessary. We can agree to disagree and be on our way.
PS: Saying the 'age of nerd ragery' pretty much is a direct statement that I'm talking about a very general concept. So it seems like you just wanted to pick another fight in your battle for this thread.
I sit with the feeling that Pandaria would be an excellent spin-off to WoW tbh. I don't think it deserves a place within the WoW MMO though. But that is my personal opinion, I don't mind the teddybears and the expansion will end, bringing us a theme that hopefully will be more fitting in my eyes. Mind you, I am a lore fanatic and it is due to lore reasons and lore direction I feel they don't fit as a part of this current game. If WoW2 was released tomorrow, I would bring in both Pandaria as a Zone AND Pandaren as a neutral, playable race. But I wouldn't do it now, simply because I don't feel it's story relevant.
“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. Lewis