At the top of our interest list during the Mists of Pandaria press day was the reveal of the female Pandaren. While we got a chance to see multiple screenshots, Blizzard didn't give us access to them until this morning. I guess they couldn't let the press have the jump on them.
What I noticed in playing the female Pandaren is that her emotions are incredibly expressive, balancing well between sassy and sweet. Also of note was the fact that there are two color options for the Pandaren race -- Black and Red. At first it was a surprise to see ladies walking around with long swinging tails, until I realized something important -- the art department on the WoW team is basing this race design on two distinct types of Pandas. Let me explain.
Here is the first reveal image, filling in the silhouette we saw last week.
This lady is based on the iconic images of Pandas that we've seen around the world, images of the Giant Panda.
See? Very cute, little round ears and distinct black markings around the eyes. You can definitely get the flavor of what a human- Giant Panda cross breeding program might look like.
And evidently this strange human-bear hybrid likes to sit on fences.
Or perch precariously on stumps. I wonder if her butt is numb from sitting on that log. Hey, I'm not judging.
The interesting part comes, however, when you examine the red version of the female Pandaren model. Let's look at her again, shall we?
Cute round ears? Check. Distinctive red markings? Check. Long flowing tail (not pictured, I assume because she's being shy) -- wait whaaaaaa??
Turns out these version of Pandarens are modeled after the Red Panda, a distant cousin of the Giant Panda. These smaller pandas hang out in trees and sport long ringed tails not unlike a lemur.
I can definitely see the family resemblance. I was fascinated when I saw these long-tailed Pandarens running around the mist enshrouded continent, and although I wasn't able to to confirm this inspiration with a member of the art team, I will bet you 20 Tomes of Clear Mind that this is why some Pandarens have short stubby tails, and others have long, ringed tails. That's my tale, and I'm sticking to it.