20051104

Racial Stuff

Nope, not Racism, World of WarCraft races.

Before I dive into this, I'll note that today is a another three set of posts. Don't miss them.

Blizzard announced their expansion to WoW at Blizzcon, and there have been mixed reactions. A lot of people decry the addition of Blood Elves to the Horde as silly, and simply a misguided attempt to filter over people wanting "pretty" races to the Horde to balance the sides a bit. Some people are concerned about the increase in levels. And still others are upset that no new classes will be added. Still, the biggest issue of all is that while the Blood Elves were announced for the Horde, less than peep was said about the Alliance.

All sorts of theories rage around, but all of them discount the possibility of what I would consider the best possible one. The Pandaarans.

Quite simply, I doesn't surprise me that people discount them as possible. When the possibility arose with the addition of the Pandaaran Brewmaster in the WarCraft 3 expansion could get the game banned in China (the Brewmaster was in Japanese Samurai armor, something that would undoubtedly offend the Red Nation), it became clear to Blizzard fans that Pandas are a serious matter to the Chinese. As such, the likelyhood that they would let an entire race of them abound in a video game is unlikely.

Blizzard has too much at stake in China to ditch the Chinese and appeal to only Western audiences. While there are three million players in the west, a record set by Blizzard for any MMORPG here in the States, there are one and a half million in China. Cutting off one third of your customer base is a silly idea. Additionally, the largest MMORPG in China reached fifteen million players. WoW is expected to reach at least ten million. China is, quite simply, crucial.

My personal theory as to why mum was the word about the Alliance race is not the typical cry of "Blizzard simply has no idea who it will be." with the implication being there aren't any feasible races left in Azeroth, but "Blizzard has no idea who it will be." in that they want to give us Pandaarans, but they want to make sure China won't ban them for it. They'll certainly have a backup race planned, but they're trying their best to get Pandaarans, and they simply don't want to disappoint people by announcing anything they can't produce.

So, I will still hope for Pandaarans, even if it seems unlikely.

1 comment:

Phil said...

The Dranai were also mentioned as a possibility, though frankly, whatever Blizzard pulls out of their hat at this moment is going to get some people going crazy-go-nuts over them.

You just can't please everybody.