Sunday, October 23, 2011

27. 2012 is the new 1985

2012 is so 1985

Giant pandas? Really Blizz?!

I actually laughed out loud when I read this. My interwebz reading is often focussed on gold making and sometimes I miss this kind of information. I am mildly surprised that the prospect of giant panda bears doing Kung Fu (no doubt sporting a Jack Black-ish persona in an astonishingly similar manner to recent celluloid) evaded my notice but there you are.

Soo… nerd rage abounds over the announcement. Stalwarts believe that this is a bridge too far in terms of game lore. I’m assuming that these same folks were not keen on giant blue space goats falling from the skies during BC. : )

For myself I’ve never played a goat, they’re hokey and odd, but I love that they’re around and I love that the pandas are coming to join us (welcome panda bothers and sisters, the bamboo’s over there…) – you’re telling me that large hard-drinking and eating rolly polly teddy bears are joining the game? Great! I may even play one. Vive la diffĂ©rence!

And the other thing that I like from my Blizzcon reading… ? War with the horde! Whacking the horde is going to again come back into vogue (although for some of us it never really went out of vogue) and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t think it’ll take any concrete form – evidence suggests that there’ll be no new world PVP zone ala Halaa, Wintergrasp or Tol Barad but as a meme I’m all for the spice it’ll inject into Alliance/Horde relations.

Now, onto this post’s title and the graphic above. Back in 1985 TSM brought out Oriental Adventures. I was a keen AD&Der at that stage (yes kids, gather round and hear a tale from the days of yore… ) and we were all interested in something very new: the prospect of taking the gaming system we knew and loved and converting it to something that was unfamiliar and fascinating. There were new weapons, new classes, new locations and a new concept called honour. The very differentness of Oriental Adventures was what drew us to it. Campaigns were written by friends where ‘oriental’ met the standard western milieu and were great fun. The out of place hero in the new locale is very contemporary, just think Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon. ; )

Mist of Pandaria and Oriental Adventures for me juxtapose quite neatly. MoP is very ‘different’ to the WoW we are familiar with: it introduces, amongst other things, unarmed combat (although I think Brewmasters use polearms, details are a bit sketchy as yet), healing through combat and of course large panda bears. In the long term though as future xpacs roll out it will become simply part of the levelling experience and an added layer of complexity to the game. It won’t break anything as WoW is an evolving beast, much as early dice rolling games such as AD&D were plus we’re talking unfamiliar and fascinating folks which is always a drawcard for peeps who like MMOs. Reactionaries may game quit over this but if they do it’s a mark of a woodenness that WoW, as a game, can probably afford to loose.

Stay liquid guys,



  1. I agree. I think that this expansion will be a lot more fun and interesting than Cata has been. I also have that AD&D Oriental Adventures.....I still have a crap ton of old D&D books. I would find a pen and paper RPG group if I were not married.

  2. @Darraxus

    /Agreed There's still a few of those around - like you though, married + 2 kids leaves little time for the pen and paper RPGs.