The Cataclysm cinematic in a nutshell

Deathwing destroys stuff. The end. You can watch if here if you haven't yet.


- It's very well rendered.

- Seeing zones you know and love getting torn apart at the flap of a wing tugs at the heart strings. Personally I felt the biggest pangs when Auberdine got swept away (a major site of wonder for newbish me back in the day) and when that zeppelin crashed in Orgrimmar.

- Deathwing looks fucking scary.


- Lore confusion. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered about those metal plates and battering rams. I vaguely recall from Day of the Dragon that Deathwing chose to have his skin "reinforced" ages ago, but what's this all about now? And he doesn't seem at all happy about it either... I don't know, I can probably read up on this on WoWWiki, but for a character-centric trailer it really leaves us kind of in the dark about Deathwing. He's a huge scary dragon and...? Whatever you thought of the WOTLK trailer, if nothing else it gave you a solid introduction to Arthas, even if you knew little about him before.

- Where are all the people? Seeing all those iconic locations, but completely empty, felt weird. I didn't expect Blizzard to animate huge crowds (as someone pointed out elsewhere, that might have ended up being too costly), but... anything at all? There's usually a guard at that guard tower in the Barrens. And nobody is even near the zeppelin? When does that ever happen? Where are the muted screams of terror as Deathwing descends upon Stormwind? The emptiness of the world kind of takes away from the emotional impact listed under "pros".

- The voice acting and lines are so-so. This expansion has completely spoiled me for baddies grumbling in a deep voice, as we've heard way too many of those in the last two years.

- Deathwing looks fucking scary. Wait, didn't I mention that under pros already? The thing is... he's almost too scary. Looking at that cinematic, I don't want to go out and challenge him, I want to find somewhere to hide. How can we ever hope to defeat an aspect of nature, a monster that can tear entire continents asunder, with a raid of ten? At a guess, Deathwing will end up like Arthas, where in the end we're all just pawns and some important NPC will do all the real work, making us feel useless. Boy, am I already looking forward to that...

My conclusion:

I think it's a solid trailer all in all, but if I compare it to all the previous cinematics it's actually my least favourite. The original WoW cinematic was all about pulling you into the world, showing you all the awesome roles you could take on and places you could go. The BC trailer followed a similar pattern by showing you the new races in action, but also bringing in a bit of lore by adding some information about the major villain of the expansion, if not much. WOTLK decided to ditch the player involvement entirely and focus purely on telling the story of this expansion pack, but at least it did this very well.

The Cataclysm trailer... feels to me like they were trying to backpedal a little bit compared to the Arthas trailer but missed the mark somewhat, which means that we didn't get a comprehensive intro for Deathwing or enough character action to make us feel more involved as players.

That said, it's still fun to watch and I'm still excited about the expansion.


  1. I wrote a similar post about the trailer today that touches on many of the same points as you did. REALLY similar themes, actually. Great minds think alike!

    I agree that while certainly not a terrible trailer, it does fall short when compared to its predecessors.

  2. Tam was also wondering about people. I think they didn't include any person taking damage to avoid the game being rated 18+ or worse. Also I think the cinematic is a bit short for being the introduction of a new expansion and I hope Cataclysm will show an expanded version.
    About the plates... I'm no loremaster but I suppose after he was defeated in the Second War he was damaged and needed a way to fix his body, and he used the elementium plates forged by the Twilight Hammer cult.

  3. @Rades: Yeah, I saw your post, and many others, and I admit that there was some inspiration there... in fact, I knew my post was going to be a bit redundant, but I wanted to put it out there anyway. ;)

    @Kurnak: But isn't there a minion falling into the lava at the start? And they wouldn't have had to show people taking damage, even some guys looking at the zeppelin from below and going WAAAH (for example) would have been better than nothing.

    As for length, it was shorter than previous trailers, but not by enough for them to make an extended version - in my opinion anyway.

  4. I still think that Deathwing's initial pleas of "Pain!! A-go-ny!!" sound like ol' Bugs Bunny with something caught in his throat.

  5. Yes, I love Blizzard cinematics the first time I see them - the combination of loud noises and big explosions makes the hairs on my arms stand up. And I think "zomg!" And then as soon as I think about them for half a second I start to ask myself "now...wait a minute..." I was very moved by seeing all the places I'd been get torn but you're right, there should have been a terrified cow on top of that look out tower!!

    I dislike the move of trailers away from the players and onto the lore - the very first trailer makes you want to play the game, to be that dorf with that bear, the later ones ... are cool ... but the movie feel to them takes away the excitement in interactivity.

    Also Deathwing is quite emo... "Pain" is nowhere near as cool as "Betrayal."

    I guess eventually Blizzard will run out of emotions and by the time the trailer for 96th expansion comes out it will be all "CHEESE!!!!"

  6. Lol, Tam... but I agree completely about the player focus of the trailers. Heck, rewatching the original trailer when I wrote this still excited me, and more importantly it made me want to play. I want to be a cool night elf with awesome shapeshifting powers who gracefully runs through enchanted forests... the Deathwing trailer on the other hand only invites you to sit back and wait to watch whatever happens next.

  7. Last year after reading Richard Knaak's Night of the Dragon, I was wondering when we would see the return of Deathwing.. When it was announced that he would be part of the new expansion, I couldn't wait!!!

    So in my case, I don't feel a disconnect that some of your other readers feel toward Deathwing in comparison to other expansions.

    In the book, I believe it explains the armor plating being welded to his body, because the forces of the demon coin he pocessed is literally pulling his body apart.

    Deathwing is in agony not only cause they are ponding molton spikes and armor into him, but also because of the demonic forces combined with is own power ripping him apart.

    He was driven mad by one of the "Old Gods" that spoke through him thru a coin he has.

    Its good to see him return...even though he is evil. A shame too...he used to be a good aspect.