Follow-up questions could include: What is the character ready to do for the faction? Kill in its name? ...even other pandaren? What are the limits of the character's loyalty to the faction? Does he have inspirational characters within the faction - or orders, brotherhoods, fellowships, groups or guilds that draw the character's interests towards the "main continents" of Azeroth?
New pandaren roleplayers - word is open. Why did you choose the faction you did?
I can honestly say, in my experience I really can't percieve that many differences between Horde and Alliance when it comes to roleplay. The Alliance side is of course higher quantity but with more varied results as a result, and the Horde side tends to be a bit more concentrated, most of the roleplay happening in guilds and/or little conclaves about Azeroth such as the Valley of Honour and parts of Silvermoon City.
It's like choosing between an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet or an Italian restaurant.
I think I like both personally.
IC...Alliance. The past relations with the night elves is a big incentive to go Alliance as the Pandas seem to favour friendships and bonds, they also value wisdom which both the Draenei and the Night Elves have in vast quantities (at least in theory). The Orcs...their past doesn't speak to them being very wise but I could see a Panda wanting to bring them to a path of peace, to let go of the demonic taint, help their culture find itself again...again. However, Horde would get a big, big, big minus because of the Forsaken.
The Pandas live in a place where negative emotions are made manifest in a really bad way, or something, and the Forsaken often put forward nothing but negative emotions. I don't think my theoretical Panda would want to be around that potential bomb.
Gao on the other hand sees the Alliance-Horde conflict as a one-way street; It's a war, and there has to be a victor. Helping one of the two factions persevere sooner rather than later may spare Pandaria from just that little bit more of undue destruction and death.
And perhaps she (foolishly) believes the orcs can somehow be shown a path of less blind rage.. ahem, enthusiasm for anatomy classes in the field if under the right guidance. ;)
However, his loyalties to the Alliance are only to his fellow pandaren - while a curious spirit, he has no true bonds that tie him with the Alliance. He will not go out of his way to fight for the Alliance, but he will honor the agreement between the Tushui pandaren and the Alliance.
Reason 1; Most of my characters are already Horde.
Reason 2; I want to travel the world, yet again as Horde, but with new eyes. However my panda is more of a merchant, who decided to join the Horde side, because he thinks they need ale.
Reason 3; When I actually did the Pandarean starting zone, I suddenly felt that the Alliance counter-part was quite a, well, b*tch toward the the Horde one. *SPOILER!!!* Because he hurt the turtle, but also saved it with the healers. (And he loved her!) She was just kind of rude toward the poor sod, who just wanted what was best. And he is the one ending up with Garrosh, heh...
This fella will probably go Alliance, the Tushui philosophy is right up his street, whereas Lin Wenzu, my obligatory Monk went Horde for a couple of simple reasons, I had no preconceived faction for him, and the Horde NPCs actually were more polite in their quest dialogue than the Alliance ones, Ji always acted, whereas Aysa seemed to constantly be reacting, not even having a viable plan or beginnings of one to counter Ji's idea about "the Thorn" and lastly, and perhaps most tragically given that we're talking Pixels here, Ji was just, nicer, than Aysa, and he sounded so crestfallen when Aysa went Alliance that I thought "Oh bless, I'll come with you Ji, don't you worry" So I guess he chose his faction based on the fact that a 'friend' did, and lets face it, people have joined the army in wartime for worse reasons..
Just to clarify on that though, this was purely acting on the quest dialogue, my character is not actually claiming to be Ji Firepaws best mate in game :P
All in all though, the Huo'jin philosophy I found a bit more interesting than the Tushui one, which seemed very..I don't know, stereotypical, the idea of fleshing out what the Huo'jin school means to my character seemed more appealing.
Secondly, the Alliance seem to (unintentionally) have a flair for the Tushui philosophy - which Yunru believes to be the most honourable path in life. The choice was eventually an easy one.
Meaning that although the Pandaren were likely to still keep up their culture of focusing on the positive things in life and not bothering too much on the downsides, there wouldn't be black/white tendrils sprouting from someone's face if they suddenly decided to hate someone else, or fear something intensely, or have massive doubts about something etc.
Anyway, my Pandaren decided to go Alliance. The reason was that he prefers to atleast think things through -somewhat- before doing possibly bad things, thus pushing him towards the Tushui way. Plus, the Horde who came to the Wandering Isle, with their savage ways of fighting and nonchalant attitude to rigging a large ship with massive amounts of explosives, did -not- instill within him a great confidence for their faction.
It reminded him far too much of Hozen, and add to that that the Horde was apparently a massive faction with tens of thousands of members... yeah, he didn't like what he heard. Especially when he heard there were -walking corpses- in the Horde. *Shudder* And trolls to boot? Yikes!
To those of you who have played Dynasty Warriors... Essentially, Zhang Fei.