Level UpWarcraft And The Panda InvasionMichele Morrow

Millions of people became pandas this week, or more specifically, Pandarians, as the clock struck midnight on Tuesday, September 25th.

Blizzard Entertainment released it’s fourth expansion for it’s tremendously successful Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

To honor this momentous occasion, Blizzard held official Launch Parties in more than twelve countries to celebrate. From the Great Wall of China to Irvine, California, Pandamonium rushed through the hearts of fans.  I was lucky enough to attend the North American Launch and see a Giant Panda flash mob dance, Gangnam Style (and if you’re one of the five people left on earth that hasn’t seen the K-Pop video I’m referring to, follow the hyperlink, you won’t be disappointed)!

Mists of Pandaria is a new continent for players to explore after a naval battle between the Horde and the Alliance. Previously, Pandaria had been hidden by magic since “The Great Sundering”.  How did this happen…?

For those of you a little more curious about Warcraft lore, the planet “Azeroth” (like our Earth) had a giant supercontinent that got blasted apart when this chick named Queen Azshara and her Highborne caste (special elves) got far too reckless with their addictive use of magic… gaining attention from the otherworldly and chaotically evil, Sargeras.  Sargeras wanted to destroy Azeroth and absorb all it’s magic for himself (greedy b**tard).  But the delusional Queen agreed to create a portal for Sargeras to come hang out (bad idea) by using the powerful Well of Eternity, in exchange for promises he didn’t plan to keep.  Luckily Malfurion Stormrage (this hot druid guy) was totally onto Sargeras’ plans and assembled a super group (Warcraft Avengers) to fight off the impending invasion.  Sadly his twin brother, Illidan, betrayed him (cuz he was jealous over a girl) and tipped off Azshara who was waiting with her ilk.  The titanic energy of magical powers that raged during the battle surrounding the attempted summoning of Sargeras, buckled the Well of Eternity which collapsed onto itself, splitting the entire continent into pieces.  At the center of the new ocean, where the Well of Eternity once stood, now lies an angry never-ending storm in what is now known as The Maelstrom (red swirly thing in the middle of the map below).

So… Pandas!

Here’s the twist and why Pandarians were forgotten:  they were actually around prior to this whole Great Sundering thing.  They saw how crazy Queen Azshara and her elves were so they got on boats, found an island and created the peaceful Pandarian Empire.  Although highly creative, spiritual and fond of ale, these cutie pies are extremely skilled fighters.  Blizzard has had Panda people in Warcraft for quite some time now – dating back to Warcraft III, but have kept them a mystery until now.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is a great video game for all types of players.  Casual Gamers who want to try something a little more robust will find a very easy tutorial (and an addictive gameplay that they’re already used to).  Hardcore players should find that “Challenge Modes” and the difficulty of raids has increased — at least that’s what Blizzard is currently telling us.  Only time will tell.  As a Mid-Core Gamer myself, this is the perfect game for me.  Not to mention, I have my own NPC Panda in the game ;)

I can’t wait for this weekend to really delve into the game!  Are you enjoying it so far?  Do you plan to play in the future?

For now, here were some highlights from the North American Launch Party.  Thank you Spirithoods for gifting Panda ‘hoods at the event!  Every Panda ‘hood purchased goes toward PRO BLUE – where 10% of your purchase goes toward saving PANDAS!

In addition, HelloGiggles Readers, you get a 15% Spirithood discount at online checkout by using the promo code: 8BITY  (promo code is good for all purchases).

The Guild / Geek & Sundry Creator, Felicia Day with Michele Morrow (in Spirithoods & Black Milk Bone Machine 2.0 Leggings)

Felicia Day wearing a Panda Spirithood during her mainstage Machinima Q&A

Michele Morrow with The Warchief, Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment Senior Vice President, Story and Franchise Development)

Cosplayer ShadowGlaive and THE ASHBRINGER!

All weapons are hunter weapons! Mage Tier 6 and Aya Cosplay

Makeup Artist Cocoa Anderson and her incredible Pandarian female look!

Christina Sims aka Zerina Cosplay dressed as Vanessa VanCleef for Cryptozoic Entertainment and Miss Caitlin Lowry donning Panda SpiritHoods

Undead Panda and Blood Elf Death Knight --- I LOVE THIS SWORD Cosplayer Caitlyn Catpepper and Michele Morrow in Black Milk Leggings Bone Machine 2.0

And here’s the cinematic for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.  Enjoy!

Featured Image: TheBerry

Additional Images: World of Warcraft / Blizzard Entertainment, MicheleMorrow

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  1. I have a CORRECTION TO MAKE IN THIS LORE!!
    From the Blizzard website, there is more official information. The Pandaren’s did not leave on boats, they were protected by the last Emperor:
    “During the bleak days that preceded the sundering of the world, when demons flooded onto Azeroth and threw the entirety of the mortal realm into jeopardy, the last Emperor of the pandaren discovered a way to protect his land from the devastation. His deal with fate shrouded his land within an impenetrable mist for ten thousand years, but the nature of his transaction has left Pandaria haunted ever since…”
    So there you have it… the Pandaren were still on the continent when it shattered.

  2. And WHO says gamers don’t know how to party!!!!! Wish I could have been there!!!

  3. Ok sorry about that first accidental post but thanks for this post it definitely made my day! Although I no longer play wow but that video still cracked me up and thank goodness for Guild wars 2 or I a may have gone back to wow.

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  5. It is absolutely perfect for casual players now as you aren’t depended on raids anymore and will have a lot to do in this new big world to keep your character going :) And the scenery is just amazing!

  6. I haven’t play WoW since Lich King. To go back or to not to go back?

  7. Question for you: I stopped playing during Wrath (never even killed Arthas) … I just got bored (started playing day of release of Vanilla, played hardcore as a guild/raid leader for 3 years then started sliding to mid stopped altogether before I got to casual). Got tired of having to race to sit in front of my computer for raids at a certain time and locked to my computer for several hours.

    To my point: Would MoP be something for me? Would I be able to play it casually and still be able to experience most of the game? Thanks!

    • Yes. They’ve implemented several more casual aspects to the game while still satisfying a hardcore player. There’s a ton of lore and new zones for you to check out. I’m a raid leader, so I understand where you’re coming from in the past… you can absolutely play at your own rate. From achievements to factions to dailies to holidays to pet battles to questing to transmog to building your own farm… there is lot here for a more casual player to do without being locked into a serious raid schedule.