I don’t mean this as a WoW-bashing post, and don’t encourage you guys to take it that direction in the comments, but have you seen the female Pandaren?
Apparently the female model was just revealed, much like we got the female Monk and male Demon Hunter months after the classes were first revealed. (A friend tells me that Blizzard just used the basic male Panda and put a pink bow on the head at Blizzcon last year, as placeholder for the female artwork.)
That’s her to the right, there. The pic comes straight from Blizzard’s site , which I only saw since Bashiok pointed there in a tweet. Had I seen the image(s) elsewhere, I would not have believed they were official Blizzard artwork, because… that’s a furry. Seriously! Right?
The face especially, and the bright cartoon style eyes. (I mean cosplay type costumes; not the perverted anthropomorphic fanart that is all too common online. Seriously, I would pay good money to unsee some of the images I saw while searching for these costumes. This was one of the most offensive, and about the only one that’s actually SFW… though not safe for your brain.)
Below you see some of the furry cosplay efforts, for the sake of comparison. I couldn’t find any of anthropomorphic female pandas, but just you wait for next year’s 2013’s Blizzcon.
Is this a bad thing? That the female Panda looks like the virtual version of a good fursuit? I guess that depends on your point of view, but I must admit to being a bit startled by it. Which is why I went to the trouble of writing this post, since I’m curious what you guys think. The feedback on the Blizzard post is quite mixed, which is very unusual for the heavily-fanboy skewing conversation on Battle.net. The main complaint seems to be that it’s just too cutesy and cartoony.
In retrospect, several of the WoW races are right on the edge of being furries. Taurens are bull-humans, but seem to be alien enough in their facial features and proportions to seem inhuman. Worgen are wolf-humans, and they’re a trickier, since dog-humans are by far the most common type of furry, in my (mercifully) limited experience with the genre. The male versions in WoW are werewolf freaky enough that no one seems to have complained, but apparently the female Worgen were widely-criticized when first revealed, as they dance right up to the edge of being cute dog-girl furries. An edge that these female Pandaren skip right across.
So what do you guys think? Do female Pandaren look too much like furries? Is this a good or bad thing? And are you glad the Diablo world sticks to humans heroes and that all of the human-esque enemies are demonic or undead or otherwise grotesque, or at least non-furry?
Also, check out the 3 three new zone trailer for MoP.