Yes, I realise that on a surface level the optics of “Pandas running around on an Asian-themed continent” seems pretty cringey.
But the more time I spent on Pandaria, the more bowled over I was by the scrupulous level of detail that went into its minutiae.
There’s an incredible blend of cultural influences from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Singaporean traditions that helped shape Pandaria.
Years later, I was told that the team actually sent folks over to China for cultural research and also hired an anthropologist.
Many of the names used for bosses, mobs, items, locations etc, weren’t just random mish-mashes of “Chinese sounding” words as some have alleged, but actually drew upon the inspirations that helped shape the way Pandaria was conceptualised. — Magdalena, Death Knight Community