OK, time for a show of hands. How many of you initially thought Mists of Pandaria
was a joke? After all, there was the April Fools' Day Pandaren incident in Warcraft III
, and there's the fact that giant panda bears are inherently cute and somewhat difficult to take seriously.
World of Warcraft's
latest expansion is no laughing matter, though, according to Blizzard's Chris Metzen
"These guys are not a joke. This is an idea that we've been thinking about for years. It's one of our favorite flavors of Warcraft
. It's not ultimately really silly, it's just a little lighter," Metzen explained over the weekend. He went on to describe how WoW's
senior art director Sam Didier
has been doodling around with Pandaren subjects for years now and has produced some "crazy panda shamans" and other work that is off the proverbial hook. "This is not a throw-away silly silly haha funny expansion set," Metzen continued. "It is absolutely the next vital chapter and as things ratchet up, they're gonna get really gnarly."