- This article is about the playable race. For the pandaren lore, see Pandaren.
The pandaren (pronounced /pænˈdɑɹən/) of Shen-zin Su are one of the playable races in World of Warcraft, introduced in Mists of Pandaria. They are available to both the Alliance and the Horde, the first (and at present, only) race in World of Warcraft to have this option. Pandaren are ancient and secretive, having long remained hidden. Now that they have rejoined the world, the order of Tushui has pledged allegiance to the Alliance, and the order of Huojin has found companionship in the Horde.
Their starting zone is the Wandering Isle, a giant turtle that wanders Azeroth's oceans. At the end of the island's questline (around level 10), players will be able to choose which faction (Alliance or Horde) to join, and will not be able to change afterward using in-game means. Those who have joined either faction don't have any capital cities to share with their allies. As a result, most non-neutral pandaren consider Stormwind or Orgrimmar their base of operations respectively. Their racial mount is the dragon turtle, and they speak Pandaren as a main language. When one of them joins the Alliance or Horde, they learn Common or Orcish to communicate with their new allies.
- Shrouded in fog for ages, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Now that it has been rediscovered, Pandaren heroes are stepping forward to declare their allegiance toward either the Alliance or the Horde. The most adventurous of the Pandaren come from the Wandering Island, a mysterious land cut off from the rest of Azeroth and Pandaria itself.
- You are a pandaren born and raised on the mysterious Wandering Isle. While many of your fellow pandaren prefer a tranquil life, the lure of adventure burns in your blood. Recently, the Wandering Isle has begun erratically weaving about the world's oceans. The air grows cold and your island home is spiraling toward disaster. As one of the most promising of students at Master Shang's monastery, you may just be the salvation for your people, but first you must complete your training.
Couched in myth and legend, rarely seen and even more rarely understood, the enigmatic pandaren have long been a mystery to the other races of Azeroth. The noble history of the pandaren people stretches back thousands of years, well before the empires of man and before even the sundering of the world.
Denizens of a wondrous and fertile land, the pandaren once labored under the oppressive thumb of a monstrous race of ancient warlords known as the mogu. Through tenacity, diplomacy, and a unique form of unarmed combat, the pandaren staged a successful revolution that deposed the mogu and established a pandaren empire that would prosper for thousands of years. 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...
It is the rare pandaren indeed who sought a way beyond the mist. Generations ago, pandaren explorers began to gather on the back of a giant turtle: Shen-zin Su. The great sea turtle roamed Azeroth's oceans, perhaps the only contact pandaren had with the outside world. Eventually, they too lost contact with their mist-shrouded homeland. Players who choose to create a pandaren character will start their journey on the back of Shen-zin Su. When the great turtle is threatened, and their whole wandering homeland is in jeopardy of being swallowed by the sea, players will have to accelerate their training and spring into action.
During their time on the turtle, players will first encounter the Alliance and Horde. Before they are finished, they'll have to make the most important decision of their lives: Which of the two factions will they support as they venture out to heal a world broken by the Cataclysm and threatened by a global war?
Joining the Alliance
The pandaren who join the Grand Alliance are practitioners of the path of Tushui, living a venerable life through meditation, rigorous training, and moral conviction, and doing what is right above all else. Aysa Cloudsinger is their representative. This faction is called Tushui Pandaren.
Joining the Horde
The pandaren of the Horde are followers of the philosophy of Huojin. More direct than the contemplative philosophy of Tushui, adherents of Huojin believe that inaction is the greatest injustice and that it is honorable to defend one's homes and families regardless of cost. Their emissary is Ji Firepaw. This faction is called Huojin Pandaren.
The Pandaren's mount of choice are Dragon Turtles as their primary ground mount.
- Main article: Wandering Isle storyline
When starting a pandaren character, everyone starts out in the same outfit and will have no weapons, however, depending on the class will start with a different type of food that for the first time has stats. Players start at the Shang Xi Training Grounds on the Wandering Isle where a quest will automatically appear for you to speak with Master Shang Xi. Players gain their first weapon from the nearby weapon racks after Shang Xi tells them to.
The first twelve to thirteen levels are played on the Wandering Isle, where you experience the aftermath of the Shattering and deal with the native creatures that have become agitated by changes on the land. Players are requested to speak with Shen-zin Su, but to do so they must gather the elemental spirits that have recently gone missing. After proving yourself several times, not only to your master but also the spirits, players finally speak to Shen-zin Su and discover what pains him. This pain ends up a crashed gunship in an area pandaren do not venture. After aiding the Horde survivors and then the Alliance crew, soon after they are asked to choose a path. Once the choice is made they are sent via hot air balloon to the capital city of the faction they chose.
Please add any available information to this section.
- Main articles: Jokes#Pandaren male, Jokes#Pandaren female
- Main articles: Flirt#Pandaren male, Flirt#Pandaren female
The pandaren do not have racial leaders, instead they have representatives from the Horde and Alliance.
Before choosing their faction (Alliance or Horde), pandaren player characters are subject to many restrictions that, in effect, make them their own third neutral faction:
- They cannot send or receive mail.
- They cannot communicate through any means with any players except other still-neutral pandaren. RealID and BattleTag communication is exempt from this restriction.
- They cannot join parties, except with other still-neutral pandaren.
- They cannot join guilds.
- They cannot be boosted to level 80 through the Scroll of Resurrection program.
- They cannot be summoned out of the Wandering Isle by a , Meeting Stone, or the ability. The same is true for all other races/classes with instanced starting areas, namely worgen, goblins, death knights and demon hunters.
- Pandaren are the only race to start with different types of food that changes between classes created and has increased stats (STR, AGI, and INT) with that food.
- Pandaren are the first true neutral playable race, in which players do not choose a faction while in the character screen. They'll choose when leaving the Wandering Isle, which is around level 10.
- From Wrath of the Lich King to Legion, pandaren were the only playable race in World of Warcraft not able to be death knights, because of their separation from the outside world. The allied races added from patch 7.3.5 onward also could not be death knights. However, pandaren and all allied races will have access to death knights in Shadowlands, with early access in patch 8.3.0 for those who pre-order the expansion.
- The emote
/peonis based on the Kowtow.
- The pandaren beds are circular in design "for comfort for when they hibernate", however, at the time it was done this way, Prop Art Lead Eric Browning didn't realize that pandas do not hibernate.
- The Pandaren
/sillyemote, "Yeah... Mhm. We're gonna need a bigger turtle", a reference to We're gonna need a bigger boat, is actually misquoted. In the movie, Jaws, Martin Brody, played by Roy Scheider actually says "You're gonna need a bigger boat".
- The artists created an actual working language that is actually used for the scrolls, books, and other pandaren material. These objects can be translated, although most translations will just be a jumble of words. See Pandaren (language) for the language script.
- The male are voiced by Matthew Yang King.
- The female are voiced by Hira Ambrosino.
- It is possible to remain on the Wandering Isle and grind to max level via Herbalism and Mining. This method was made famous by Doubleagent of Mannoroth, who has reached max level this way every expansion.
- There is also indication that internally, neutral Pandaren are treated similarly to the Horde. Battle for Azeroth dungeons are unlocked for neutral Pandaren on the same schedule as Horde characters, opening up Kul Tiras dungeons at level 120.
Pandaren seen during BlizzCon
Pandaren shaman totems
Faction choice in patch 9.0.1 with pandaren shown at both sides of the character creation screen.
Veterans can still start with a neutral Pandaren by choosing the Wandering Isle as their starting zone.
An early concept for a pandaren mount. "It's too awesome, [and would] probably blow up your computer".
- Old character creation screen
Pandaren on the character creation screen as seen before patch 9.0.1.
- Pandaren opening cinematic in 4K UHD
- Removal of Shen-zin Su's thorn
- A New Fate: leaving the Wandering Isle
- Patch 8.3.0 (2020-01-14): Pandaren now have access to the death knight class.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Added.
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertianment 2011-10-21. Meet the Pandaren!. Retrieved on 2011-10-27.
- ^ a b Mists of Pandaria Press Tour. MMO-Champion (2012-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
- ^ Nethaera 2012-05-23. Pandaren Mount Revealed: Dragon Turtle. Archived from the original on 2012-05-23.
- ^ BlizzCon 2011: World of Warcraft Lore and Story Panel
- ^ a b BlizzCon 2011: World of Warcraft Art Panel
- ^ About: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
- ^ PC Gamer: World of Warcraft's pacifist panda has reached level 120 by only picking flowers
- ^ Level 120 - Doubleagent @ Wandering Isle (Neutral Pandaren)
- ^ https://twitter.com/jeffliu/status/1315375692750577667
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM4ApyBFvZM&t=549