Despite all of the griping criticism that Blizzard has faced over the upcoming Pandaren race, I think that they may have just made one of the most attractive playable characters yet. Although I wasn’t very excited about the expansion at first, I have to admit that it’s growing on me quickly.
For those of you not playing the beta, Blizzard has just updated the customization options of the female Pandaren to include five earing styles and eight different highlight customizations. Depending on the hair style, the highlights will have different positions. Unfortunately, there isn’t an actual button right now for the highlight streaks and it’s entirely random whenever you generate a character. Both the hair and earing options are live, though, so I imagine it was just an oversight and will get its own options panel soon enough. For now, restarting the character customization process will give you a different color to work with.
I imagine that the female Pandaren will appeal more to actual female players than other races that are often g.i.r.ls (guys in real life). No matter what option you pick, there is definitely a focus on being cute rather than sexy or edgy. Since Blizzard has been gradually moving the game towards a more casual player base, maybe they are trying to attract younger girls into the game?
The real problem with Pandaren customization right now is that the female faces all look the same. There’s a joke to be found here considering this is the “China” of Azeroth, but I’m not gonna be the one to make it.
The model itself feels like high-quality stuff, but the texturing needs much more variety than we’re seeing. As of now, there’s only two options for eye colors and a skin that gives the illusion of a slightly furrowed brow. Hopefully we will see this updated before the expansion release, but this has always been an area that Blizzard likes to slack on so I’m not holding my breath.
Customization has become such a very standard feature in RPGs, but it seems to be something that Blizzard is ignoring rather than addressing. The Worgen race infamously suffered from the similar treatment. I have to wonder if this is the future for all beast-type races or just a momentary snag in the development process?