Titles Tell Stories: How "Mists of Pandaria" breaks the mold

Mists of Pandaria was filed as a trademark by Blizzard last week, sending the WoW community into pandemonium. Love them or hate them, pandaren may be making their way to Warcraft sooner than you think. As a title, though, does Mists of Pandaria work in the same way Blizzard’s past expansion titles have informed the public about their general storylines?

While I was drafting The Queue a few days ago, one particular vein of questioning stood out among the rest. Blizzard has recently filed for a peculiar trademark, Mists of Pandaria, under the classification of computer software (among other things). Many people believe that Mists of Pandaria will be the name of the next expansion, heralding in an age of World of Warcraft in which the fan-favorite pandaren finally make their emergence out of the shadows and into our hearts. Others hope that the pandas stay as the joke they originated from and WoW keeps only its other 50 bipedal, anthropomorphized races and rejects the pandaren concept. Either way, it is cause for discussion.

The title is an art form in the games industry. A title has to tell you everything you need to know right up front, on the box, to give players new and old alike an understanding of what the game is going to focus on, set the theme, set a tone, and even clue us in to the major plot points. The title Mists of Pandaria could or could not do those things. I’ve taken the liberty of writing up some words on the subject of this potential title. I could be right and could certainly be wrong, but here’s some food for thought.

The Queue question that got this all started for me:

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Titles Tell Stories: How “Mists of Pandaria” breaks the mold originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 09 Aug 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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