I’ve been trying to decide where I stand on panda hunters. On the one hand, they’re adorable, cuddly, have an eastern theme (of which I’m a big fan) and have a ridiculously sweet somersault move to help them zip around the landscape. On the other hand, they are demonstrably not dwarves, and that’s a tough handicap to overcome. But they do love them some brew, which makes them close to dwarves in spirit.
The panda racials are:
- Epicurean: Your love of food allows you to receive double the stats from Well Fed effects
- Gourmond: Cooking skill increased by 15.
- Inner Peace: Your rested experience bonus lasts twice as long.
- Bouncy: You take 50% less falling damage.
- Quaking Palm: Strikes the target with lightning speed, incapacitating them for 4 seconds.
These are the abilities listed on the Blizzard site — I haven’t actually played a panda since Blizzcon, choosing to spend my beta time as a dwarf (until the level 90 premades are available, then I’ll probably be an elf, because my dedication to leveling is non-existent in the beta). The above racial list notably doesn’t mention the sweet somersault, but I can’t imagine they’d put the work in on an animation that sweet and not use it. Wowhead has a more recent list, but they have various monk abilities mixed in with the racials.
The only real raiding racial the pandas have is doubling the effect of well-fed food. It’s not great (and doesn’t scale with gear), but if racials were all that mattered I’d be worgen anyway (not having the heart to turn to the dirty, disgusting, smelly, slave races of the horde). Though I suppose the sweet somersault move might qualify as it helps you zip around — and I really, really want to try to disengage midway through a somersault, or vice versa. That would be sweet: disengage, spin around 180 degrees, and somersault from the peak of the disengage (perhaps all the while with parachute cloak up?)
So the question is: are the pandaren worth embracing and championing, or should they be relegated with the dregs of hunter society along with elves? (Important note: the saddest, most pathetic and worthless elf hunter is still worth more than the best of any support class, of course).
Update: apparently the sweet-ass somersault is a monk thing, not a panda thing. This makes me indescribably sad. Also, I’m predicting that because I put this update notice on the bottom, several other people will not read all the way down and leave comments letting me know that somersault is for monks, making me feel worse and worse every time I see the comment again, mourning the loss of sweet somersault disengage action, and thus driving me to despise pandas.