Chen Stormstout has been described as the jovial and independent Brewmaster of Pandaria who travelled the lands in search of exotic ingredients for his ever-evolving concoctions.
During the introduction of the Pandaren in Warcraft III and then later during The Frozen Throne expansion, Chen’s journeys eventually led him to Durotar, where he met Rexxar the travelling Beastmaster. Chen asked Rexxar to retrieve the ingredients for his latest brew – a barrel of Thunderwater, the egg of a thunder phoenix, and a sprig of thunderbloom.
Chen was overjoyed when Rexxar returned with the ingredients, and then mixed his special brew and offered some to Rexxar who nearly choked on the volatile beverage!
Shortly after that, Chen decided to join Rexxar on a secret mission to Theramore Island to help the Horde find out why the humans were attacking them. Once there, Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore wanted to have them arrested due to his hatred of the Horde. Jaina, who didn’t agree with her father’s beliefs and in an attempt to avoid any pointless deaths, helped them escape. When the Grand Admiral instigated his attack on the Horde, it inadvertently resulted in his own death. When Jaina asked her father why he did not listen, Rexxar told her to remember her father as the great warrior he was.
After the battle, Chen spent some time in Durotar teaching the brewmaster ways to the mentor of Brewmaster Drohn before continuing his travels. Since then, several of his empty kegs could be found scattered throughout The Barrens; these have since been removed from the game. It was quite a chore gathering the items for this quest and after handing it in the first time, it turned out to be a repeatable one. Not surprisingly, I didn’t think it was worth doing a second time.
Chen remains neutral, siding with neither the Horde nor the Alliance.
If you purchase the Pandaren Monk pet (from the Blizzard Store), you’ll receive a letter from Chen, which says:
I would like to introduce you to a long-time friend of mine: you will find this kindly pandaren monk is a most wonderful travelling companion.
May he lead you to new adventures across the face of Azeroth and beyond!
— Chen Stormstout
You can also purchase the awesome looking action figure of Chen Stormstout in 3D. The Pandaren Brewmaster Deluxe Action Figure is a limited edition, one-of-a-kind Blizzard online store exclusive! The premium-sculpted piece stands at a colossal 8″, features Chen’s signature bamboo Bo staff and Brewmaster’s keg and comes packaged in a 4-colour, spot UV collectors window box.
Before the launch of The Burning Crusade, players were speculating what the new Alliance race would be. An artist by the name of Ian McConville, created the above 3D model of a Pandaren female as a prank. The screenshot was so convincing that it had a large number of the player population fooled. In World of Warcraft, the Pandarens did not have much of a presence in early expansions. Mainly due to how Pandas, who are a national treasure in China, were originally portrayed in traditional Japanese Samurai armour during Warcraft III. This has since been rectified as you can see in more recent media.
During the first Blizzcast episode in 2008, Samwise Didier, the Art Director and concept artist for Blizzard, tells how he came up with the Pandaren race.
Samwise: Well, it started off, you know, a bunch of years back when I had a daughter, right. And, when she was born, for Christmas I usually draw a picture for my family. Like a personal one. And so I did, for that picture, for some reason, I decided to do like a panda guy because, actually, also like “Samwise,” “Panda” is my nickname because I’m kind of a big hairy bear dude, but I’m not very fearsome. So I got the nickname “Panda.” So I drew a picture of a panda with a little panda cub on the shoulder and that was the picture for Christmas, that I gave to all my family. And “Oh, it’s because he had a little kid. He’s getting soft!” You know? Whatever. It’s for the family. I had to do something that Grandma would like.
But so we put that up in there and everyone was like “Oh my God! A PANDA RACE? That’s kind of cool!” And I’m like “Are you kidding me, really? You want to see pandas in Warcraft III or whatever?” So, we made like a whole fake April Fools page with different units and all that and people, you know – we thought people would be like “NO WAY!” – and everyone actually liked it and when they found out it was an April Fools joke they were like “Aw, that sucks.” So we’ve kind of just dropped little bits of panda stuff. Like I do that all the time in my pictures. I’ll hide a picture of a panda face. Like it was on Illidan’s blades, back in the day, just put it on there. See if anyone noticed. And they did. Good job, guys. Two points. And ever since then it’s just been kind of a thing. We’re like “Oh, you’re the panda guy.”
During April Fools Day in 2010, another Machinima video was going around that again revived the notion of the Pandaren as a playable race. With Kung Fu Panda being one of the highest grossing animated movies in China’s history, it’s not a surprise to see that the next expansion will be devoted entirely to them. However, there was also some new controversy stemming from the Mists of Pandaria trailer due to the mixture of Japanese influences seen in the video.
At BlizzCon 2011, it was revealed that players would be able to meet Chen in the upcoming expansion Mists of Pandaria. He will appear in the Stormstout Brewery dungeon, helping players by reclaiming his family heritage, and also his beer. I almost wish I still had one of his empty kegs…
Enjoy this fan made trailer while we wait for the Mists release.