Thunderpetal, my Pandaren Monk

Thunderpetal in his new Azeroth Buccaneers' guild tabard.Well, here he is, my Pandaren Monk. He’s in his late twenties now, and I am quite enjoying playing him. Due to my never having rolled up a new Cata character, this is the first time I’m playing through the “new” storylines. You may recognise the headband Thunderpetal is wearing as John J. Keeshan’s bandana. Mr. Keeshan, as anyone knows, died a heroic death over Lake Everstill. I’m now in Duskwood, happily running a few errands for a certain Hermit. From his experience with Bravo Company, Thunderpetal now knows all Humans to be honourable and trustworthy. It hasn’t even occurred to him to ask what the nice Mr. Hermit needs all these things for.

So… A monk, then. Monks have two sources of “bang”: Energy and Chi. Energy is a rogue-like yellow bar that grows constantly up to 100, and chi is a maximum of four points. Some moves use up energy and give our Monk Chi points. So you use the energy-sapping moves to build up Chi, then hit the more powerful chi-based moves while the energy comes back. I have chosen for Thunderpetal the Way of the Brewmaster, which means he’s going to be a tank. He has two fighting stances: The stance of the Fierce Tiger and the Stance of the Sturdy Ox, each with their own action bars.

Thunderpetal’s Ox Stance abilities are mostly brew-fueled, possibly as a reference to Zhui-quan, or “Drunken fist”, which is a real-world fighting style that I have referred to earlier in my stories. Jackie Chan is one of the people who made this style famous. Nice to see it pop up in the game. The one disadvantage to the Ox Stance is that chi buildup is pretty slow, but you have many more AoE abilities, such as breathing fire, and smashing a keg over someone’s head, spilling beer over all your enemies, whi then become completely ratarsed.

One-on-one, the Stance of the Tiger is better. Every jab now generates two chi, so that you can jab twice, get all your tiger power up (ignore 30% of opponent’s armour), then alternate jabs and blackout kicks until the enemy falls over. You also do more damage like this. Thunderpetal is sturdy enough that he lasts the longer. With more than two enemies, the splatter abilities become more important.

Story-wise, I think  I can work with Pandas. We already had Worgen, Draenei, Furbolg, Gnolls and other sentient to semi-sentient furry creatures. A panda will probably raise a few eyebrows, but I can go with it. In order to write a character, I have to play them, otherwise they simply don’t talk to me. I have to be able to feel their bouncyness, see them sit down in meditation, watch them fight their enemies. Thunderpetal will be a young Monk, pretending to be more wise than he probably is (“Meditate on this.”), but honourable and determined not to put himself and his Master to shame. Of course, chances are good that he’ll run into the rest of the Redridge Chronicles gang, and hilarity may well ensue.

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