Last night at midnight Blizzard launched its 4th expansion for the World of Warcraft. I was in line at an EBGames at midnight for the launch of Burning Crusade back in the day. For Wrath of the Lich King I waited about a week. Waited a week again for Cataclysm. But for Mists of Pandaria, I dusted off my WoW subscription then downloaded the expansion so I wouldn’t have to even go outside, because screw outside. Anyway, this is what happened.
Naming Your New Panda
The most important part of starting a new character in Warcraft is naming it. You’re saddled with that name forever but moreover, it shows everyone what kind of person you are. Name your character Lord Bronze Cleaver the Repentant and everyone will know you’re a dick of a nerd. Name it Hammykins and everyone will know you’re a small, Japanese girl. You must choose wisely.
With Mists of Pandaria, you need to hop on that witty Panda name quickly, because hundreds of other people are vying for a limited number of bear puns. You want to call your character Pandamonium? Panda Express? Peter Panda? Kung Pow? Be fleet of finger when it comes to naming!
I currently have a priest named Teebag, a Worgen (that’s a werewolf) named InHeat and an undead character named Skumquat. I need a Panda bear that’s going to be memorable and I need to do it before some jackholes steal all the good names.
My name of choice is David LoPanda because I feel it is obscure enough that no one will have taken it but it is awesome enough to use for the long haul because Big Trouble in Little China was an awesome movie. But can I get it? Let’s find out!
Fearing name thieves I “reserved” the name ahead of time with a human character. Yes, I’m that much of a nerd. This here is lame-o human DavidLoPanda. What a loser!
Since I was here, I figured I’d try to reserve some other names, just in case they might one day be useful.
Yes, these will serve me well. But on to the Panda!
In previous expansions I had some issues logging in due to massive nerd overload. You can only cram so many nerds in a virtual room before the club owners have to put up a velvet rope and the rest of us get to wait in queue to get in. Can you even fathom the shame of waiting in line to play Warcraft? It’s ridiculous.
The lead up to Pandaria’s release is preposterous. There are a ton of people logged in just sitting around, which means there are a ton of people, at home, on their computers, just sitting around. Look at them!
There is much fear and trepidation that servers will overload and come crashing down like so many plans to lose one’s virginity. Apparently it happened in Europe. Dirty Europeans. For me to figure out if I’d even get to play, I’d have to stay up until 3 am local time. This is what I do to make article magic happen, kids.
The Race to New Gear
The entire driving force behind playing an expansion is to level. You discover new areas, you get new quests, you make more money, you get new mounts and you get new gear. Gear is the most infuriating part of any expansion because the gear you have as a level 85 was awesome. You quested and raided and fought tirelessly to get it over weeks and months. And then an expansion comes out and you get a new weapon that drops off of a bush pig that’s twice as bad ass as your previous weapon.
Man, look at all those pandas just trying to get some panda gear.
What the Hell is That?
There’s nothing like sight seeing in a new game to get a nerd boner to break the sound barrier. It doesn’t need to be Warcraft, any time a snazzy new game is launched that features new, insane graphics or crazy new characters everyone acts like the very act of video gaming has been redefined. And then in a week no one gives a shit anymore, but that seven day period is pretty intense. How will Warcraft pull that off? By doing a hackjob of Chinese architecture, scenery and history to make up new places and people for us to enjoy. Hurray for fake China!
You may not be able to tell right here, but that’s a little money, in a loincloth, on my back. He beat the shit out of me for a while then I killed him. Does that happen in China very often? I don’t know.
This is me fighting a fat, mentally unstable bunny creature. It also seems to be in a loincloth. We’re in a pumpkin patch. I’m really selling this game, aren’t I?
I appear to have some kind of butt ring in this pic, I have no idea why. That little guy on the left? No idea what he was either, but when you fight them it seems like they curse you out, which is fun.
Does this make you sad? It makes me kind of sad. It’s DavidLoPanda in the back of a wagon looking completely pissed that he’s a virtual panda bear going for a wagon ride. Such is life.