|I cannot express how important this image is to me.|
The Pandaren are the reason I started playing World of Warcraft all those years ago.
Specifically Chen Stormstout from Warcraft 3. After playing the Orc Campaign in Frozen Throne, I heard about World of Warcraft. That you could place the races from World of Warcraft. I was pumped! I wanted to be a Pandaren.
I looked though my brother's game manual and found out two things. Undead were part of the horde (weird) and the Pandaren were no-where to be found. He pointed out that with MMOs they add things all the time, so they would probably be added later.
So I went and purchased my own copy of the game. Couldn't make a Half Ogre/Orc like Rexxar, so I made Atain, the Orc Warrior.
Then I got to the barrens some weeks later, I found a [Chen's Empty Keg]. On one end the keg was a small placard that said 'Chen Stormstout'!?!
The quest said to find someone who wanted the keg! Would I finally meet Chen? I rush to Crossroads and ask where to take the Empty Keg, and eventually I was told to take it to the Brew Master in Ratchet. Then I asked where Ratchet was. I am eventually given the correct directions and I journey down the road. Full of anticipation!
The Brewmaster turned out to be an Orc called Drohn! I was so disappointed!
Drohn then mentioned that Chen hadn't been seen or heard from in 'a kodo's age'. Chen was long gone.
Year later BC was announced and it was revealed the Blood Elves would join the Horde. Uh, fine. But who was the Alliance Race? It was being kept a secret. It had to be the Pandaren! Nope! It turned out to be the Draenei.
I purchased the Pandaren Monk (a pet) during Wrath of the Lich King. A worgen pet glitch was 'removed' because Blizzard didn't want Hunters being able to control a unit that looked like a Playable Character. My heart sunk. That meant no Pandaren ever since it was already a pet.
Yeah in retrospect it was more a combat pet thing to remove confusion in PvP, not being a pet in general.
When Mists of Pandaria was announced, I was pumped. Now there are Pandarien IN THE GAME FOR REAL. WOOTS.
*McTacky recomposes himself
It is all very splendid.