Firstly I will say I am very pleased of late for the new announcements about customisation updates for races, in particular the very vocal communication and acknowledgement of the forum requests in this process. This is a great move and I’m very happy for fans of these races. This post is hoping to ride this wave of engagement for our beloved anthropomorphic panda bears.
Pandaren are a very cool (IMO) Warcraft race. Bear-people are relatively obscure in many fictional universes let alone the ability to play as them, and pairing them with a rich Asian-inspired culture makes for a very unique and interesting concept,. Even if people have trouble seeing past “kungfu panda” memes. Even though I was on wow break during mop, once I returned legion I’ve mained many a Pandaren since as they just offer something really special and their model behaves nicely. By this I mean it animates well and feels very lively! But it is starting to show age…I would earnestly love that my favourite Warcraft race gets some proper love and consideration as Pandaren are very rarely focused on in WoW as it is (on pretty much every front!).
This thread is to discuss and bring forth ideas, requests and hopes for Pandaren customisations and (potential) model update. We did receive very few new changes in the “first round” totalling 3 new skin colours, 3 hair styles per gender and 3 new distinct eye colours. The other options were largely a “freeing up” of mixing and matching options we already have, which whilst appreciated, is not the same as new assets. This thread is a place to say what you’d like, be it detailed, or more general. It’s also a place to share artwork and visuals for ideas (if you have the permission of the artist of course).
Before I volunteer my own ideas as a first shot, I’ll say what this thread is not:
- it is not a place to bring up whether such options would be “wasted on a race nobody plays” etc. That’s irrelevant.
- it is not a place for players of other races to try and co-opt their own wish list. Please be respectful and keep it on Pandaren.
- it is not a place to troll or generally try to demean the topics aim.
Whilst I cannot force you to acknowledge the above, I can only ask, with respect, that you do so to keep this thread nice and tidy and on point.
Here we go:
Potential Model Update
This section won’t be as specific in detail as the others as it’s not known whether we will get such an update or not based upon the comparative “modernity” of the Pandaren model compared to the original races. I do however point to worgen and goblin getting one, and their models were vastly superior to the OG races as well. We look dated. Males can pull it off. Female Pandaren however woefully need an update. Aside from their generic “same face” syndrome, they have issues with their neck that remain to be fixed.
Regarding thoughts on this, it’s tricky to say what I’d like except for “more polish” along the lines of how the worgen update went. The male model kept all the character and stepped up in detail. The female model went from a horrific facial situation to looking really awesome, without transplanting the whole model. Something similarly executed would be amazing. Inspiration could also be drawn from the Warcraft reforged Pandaren models, which retain the bouncey and broad nature of the race whilst looking very clean, formidable and such.
Here I will discuss options I’d like to see to broaden us out. I’ll stick with options for both genders first
Fur colours - Both
Pandaren are largely defined by their fur colour, it’s their most distinctive feature and I feel like way more options could be explored here. Clearly blizzard have deviated from the “it has to be semi realistic” the moment they allowed us to be blue, so it’s time to broaden our options even if they’re a bit more Garrish. For ease of understanding in the list that follows, the first colour will refer to the base fur, the second the spots. So atm we have:
White, Pale grey (male only)
Dark grey, black (male only)
Cream, dark brown
A good first step would be to give female Pandaren the two fur options males have but they don’t (I’m not even sure why they can’t).
Second, here are some additional colour combos I think would be great to add without being too wacky:
White, ash brown
White, chocolate brown
Cream, chocolate brown
Cream, ash brown
Light grey, black
Light grey, grey
Light grey, dark brown
Ash brown, chocolate brown
Ash brown, black
Ash brown, orange
This could be best accomplished by simply separating Pandaren fur and spit colour. So Pandaren have the following fur colours:
And then the following spot colours:
Okay so at the moment we have a few fur patterning options largely focused on whether our paws are the colour of our spots or our base fur, and a couple of male options have spotty bits.
I would people to look at the Warcraft reforged Pandaren models for a better idea here. These models have some lovely patterning variation on their chests and arms. For example the fire spirit of Storm Earth and Fire has chest and arm stripes that have fiery licks and curves to them, almost like tattoos, and it looks pretty awesome.
So yeah, patterning some options like:
Base: this is where our chest is plain base fur, arms and legs and under body are spot colour
Light: only the tips of our hands and feet are the spot colour. Rest is base colour
Spotty: Chest and arms are adorned with irregular spots in the spot colour.
Striped: arms and chest have bands in the spot colour.
Waves: arms and chest have curved fiery bands in the spot colour.
Pale: only the face has spot colour, rest is base fur.
Muddy: most of the body is spot colour with irregular smudges in base fur colour (like inversion on spotty)
To be honest, for above options an inversion of the style (so swapping the spot and base fur colours) would be neat. Perhaps this could even be applied for faces? Female Pandaren have options where their face is dark and their eye spots are lighter after all!
Eyes - both
Pandaren have many decent colours, however we can always benefit from more. Ones I would like to see added:
A toggle for “right or left blind” which blinds the respective eye on any eye colour you select. Only have the option to be “full blind” is restrictive.
Yellow (like Chen, closest we have is hazel)
Jewellery - Both
Female Pandaren already possess piercings. I suggest allowing males to have ear piercings as well, at the very least hoops.
Additional piercings that are jade would be best additions such as jade coins for example, or carved serpent danglers.
Facial piercings would also be welcomed. Such as eyebrow rings or septum piercings or other variants of facial jewellery.
Necklaces could be a welcome addition to both. It is very strange that Kul Tiran women can wear jade beads but Pandaren cannot. Styles such as chunky bead necklaces and more simple charm like necklaces would be great.
Hair Styles - Males
Not a huge amount to say here. Male Pandaren actually have decent selection, but a few longer styles would be great that don’t involve a ponytail or topknot. Also possibly simply bun styles where the bun is worn on the back of the head.
Add two toning for male hair as well as female, even if the male options are restricted to natural colours like browns, black, grey and white.
Hair Styles - Females
Similar to above, female Pandaren really need some longer hair styles where their hair also flows from the front, not just pushed to the back, as well as simpler buns. I think hairstyles involving stuff like lotus flowers or orchids would be nice as well, larger more elaborate flowers. A large long plait is also missing despite males having such a style!
Facial Hair - Males
Make facial hair is fairly decent on the moustache front, we could maybe benefit from a shorter moustache that doesn’t travel too far from the lips though and is full (our closest at the moment is not full at all)
The main thing here is beards. We have some great bears options, but some longer ones would be great along the lines of similar to what Orcs and Dwarves get, involving braids and plaits for example. It would be amazing to have for example a singular large plait with some nice red and gold ornament hanging at the end. Also fuller beards? Many of our larger ones tend to be spikey and don’t fill our face too much.
I think two tone on beards would be great too. The reforged Pandaren have white dashes in their beards and it looks great!
Faces - Both
The first thing here is to separate spots from facial expression and structure. At current you are forced (as male, females have no facial diversity) have certain spots if you want for example a frowning face, an elderly face, a young face, a happier face. Separate these facial expressions (and age details) from the spots. So we can pick and choose which spots we have with which face. Same goes for scars. I can only have the nose scar if I have certain spots and a certain face. This is very restrictive! If these are separated I think male Pandaren have enough facial types to be okay as they have a mixture of ages and moods to pick, they’re just currently locked to certain spot choices.
Regarding female Pandaren firstly they need faces. They have one face and their spots “give” their mood atm largely. This won’t be easy to fix outside of a model rehaul as personally I think their face needs rebuilding so it can capture personality a bit better. Outside of that even a variation in age in female Pandaren faces would be something, or more obvious signs of anger or happiness in the default face. If male Pandaren appear to carry expressions of being cross, old, happy, derpy despite having a bear face, I don’t understand why female Pandaren seem to have lost this? This is a hard area to specify on beyond “please do something”. The principal reason I don’t play female Pandaren alongside my males is their facial situation atm.
Tattoos - Both
Body art on the arms and back would be a pretty nice addition to Pandaren, particularly with colours like black, white, red and jade. Stylistic depictions of Celestials or even some Pandaren Calligraphy could work here as a simple yet effective way to introduce a little bit of diversity into the race.
This is all I have for now, but other contributions are welcome, or even just simple shows of support of any ideas in the thread. Just remember, keep it on topic, keep it positive and thanks for reading!