BlizzCon 2011: World of Warcraft gets…Pandas?

At Blizzard’s Blizzcon in Anaheim, big announcements were made not the least of which was the introduction of a new race to World of Warcraft – the Pandaren.

The race has been used before as an April Fools joke in the past with Warcraft 3 in 2002. In 2005, the Pandaren Xpress was jokingly referred to as an upcoming in-game service wherein players could order out for Chinese food without leaving their PCs. And now it looks like Blizzard has actually made it real.

The jokes were taken in stride by Blizzard’s fans who were fascinated by the idea and loved the humor that the developer wasn’t shy about sharing.

This time around, the announcement has met with some decidedly mixed opinions across several forums. Reading through the thread at PC Gamer, for example, doesn’t seem to have the kind of glowing response that one might expect with one poster believing that this is the point at which the MMORPG has “jumped the shark”.

A thread on the official forums is also filled with mixed opinions, though many are just thankful that Blizzard has continued with its stellar support with another juicy expansion that brings in more than just another race but a host of other additions including pet vs. pet battles, a new land to explore, and plenty of nice art to gawk at.

Whatever you decide for yourself how to take this news, WoW fan or not, it’s coming, so get prepared by watching the official preview below.