|Average height||5½ feet|
Common Orcish (Horde)
|Place of origin||Azeroth|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Samwise Didier|
|Designed by||Samwise Didier|
The enigmatic pandaren are one of the most elusive races of Azeroth. Pandaren come from the Pandaren Empire of Pandaria. They are humanoid pandas with a great love of nature and strong Ales.
The pandaren are originally from central Kalimdor where they established the Pandaren Empire. They were allies of the night elves until they saw their obsession with magic getting out of control. The clans severed ties and left Kalimdor behind eventually establishing a new home on an island they named Pandaria. After the Sundering, some pandaren returned to the "new" Kalimdor to explore it. "Where once the pandaren were a mighty empire, standing proud beside their night elf allies, now they are a simple people who want only peace and a safe home." Since the Third War, more pandaren have come to visit Kalimdor.
Hailing from their own secret empire, the pandaren are a race of humanoids resembling pandas. This appearance leads some to underestimate these noble creatures, thinking them harmless and "cute". They may be cute, but they are not harmless. Pandaren have a long tradition of mystic warfare and are exceedingly strong and agile. The traditional pandaren fighting style focuses upon mobility, speed and precision, as well as stunning acrobatic tricks. Many pandaren are skilled at fighting bare-handed.
Pandaren resemble a cross between panda bears and humans; they are not dissimilar in appearance to furbolgs, though they are less feral. Pandaren average 5½ feet in height, and make assured and precise movements. Pandaren smile often.
The humanoid looks vaguely similar to a bear, with a stocky build and blunt ursine face. Its short-furred pelt is white with black markings around its eyes, although some have red and white markings whilst others have brown and white. As they age Pandaren usually lose their red/brown/black fur and it becomes grey.
They wear a loose, embroidered silk robe.
They can run on either two or four "legs".
Pandaren hail from distant island Empire of Pandaria, which no non-pandaren has ever seen. A splinter group of pandaren arrived on Kalimdor in the aftermath of the Third War and has established itself in the Stonetalon region of the Barrens. Pandaren have arrived only recently in the west. There was also an in-game secret in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos where Arthas discovers a Pandaren Relaxation Area in Andorhal before finding King Terenas' remains.
Each pandaren belongs to a shao’din, which is their word for “clan”. Pandaren society has changed from its origins. Where once the pandaren were a mighty empire, standing proud beside their night elf allies, now they are a simple people who want only peace and a safe home. Yet the world is a dangerous place, and only through an acceptance of the violence that comes with life can the pandaren continue to prosper.
Pandaren society is, in many ways, compartmentalized. At their core, the pandaren treasure peace and creativity. Most pandaren are poets and singers, and the craftsmen of their culture are truly revered. The danger of their lives, however, has necessitated the evolution of a class of warriors to defend those ideals — it is these warriors, from the simplest pikeman to the great shado-pans, who ensure that pandaren culture survives. Most Pandaren don't belong to one specific clan they are the pandaren that are either free spirits or just in a village like the one around where the monkeys are that is just a regular village and most of the Pandaren at the academy are regular panderan with special gifts for fighting
Pandaren rely on a well-regimented system of battle that uses infantry, archers, and cavalry, with elite units and spellcasters to bolster their forces. Pandaren are strict adherents to the practice of equipping each soldier with the best possible equipment and arms. Even the lowliest foot soldier has a jug of pandaren brew at his side to aid him in combat, and most units use the more powerful magic drinks before a battle. Pandaren are courageous and fearless, and thus their armies have amazing durability and cohesion. A unit of infantry serves under a wardancer, with a host of wardancers serving under a shado-pan. Each shado-pan from a shao'din has a host of warriors and wardancers at his command. Pandaren infantry are armed with pan-spears, round bamboo helms, thick lamellar-style armor made from woven bambus reed, and sometimes bear shields made of the same material. Using the spears to fight in regimented ranks, the pandaren infantry use a variety of tactics that involve engulfing, flanking, and leading enemies into a charge. Pandaren archers often rest just beyond the infantry, using long supple bambus bows capable of taking the eye out of an orc at hundreds of yards. Pandaren archers are equipped with their bows and a variety of arrows with varying heads (broad, leaf-shaped heads for unarmored infantry, sharp, piercing heads for heavily armored opponents, and unusual “U” or “V” shaped arrowheads for dealing maximum damage at close range); they often carry short curved swords similar to shaktani warblades. Pandaren archers are skilled at long-range marksmanship and sniping, although the size of their bows prohibits their use from concealment, for they are almost as tall as a standing pandaren. Pandaren cavalry is almost entirely composed of wardancers riding combat-trained horses. The wardancers wear bambus armor reinforced with metal chain and buckling. Wielding shaktani warblades, the wardancers cut down anyone in their path.Recently introduced to the pandaren are firearms, which are beginning to take a more important role in the way the pandaren wage war. While only a few of the shao’dins have rifle regiments, pandaren have taken to the rifle like a dwarf to ale. Some pandaren riflemen even go so far as to travel abroad to learn the shooting techniques of other races, and bring best techniques back to Pandaria. These riflemen mark a new evolution in the way the pandaren wage war, a change to traditions that most likely have not altered in millennia
- The name pandaren is derived from the word "panda" and "ren", the Pinyin Chinese word for "person". Literally translated, pandaren means "panda-people".
- Pandaren philosophy points indirectly at the Chinese martial Tai-Chi because of its soft gentle nature and powerful attacks. The style also shows the same philosophy as the pandaren religion. However, due to the drinking, it could lean towards the infamous style of Drunken Monkey Fist.
- Some of their culture is much like the Chinese religion of Daoism.
- The pandaren originally had a Japanese appearance, using samurai-style armor and weapons. After a negative reaction by many in China, who regard that animal as their national heirloom (indeed, wild pandas only exist in China), they were redesigned with Chinese-style clothing.
- A recent interview, with Samwise, on how the pandaren came to be can be found here. It may suggest a future appearance into the World of Warcraft.