World of Warcraft Cinematic Reactions Over Time

Vanilla WoW

Cinematic message: This is Azeroth, a world full of varied locations and fantastic races who get into badass-looking fights with each other.

My Reaction: This looks amazing, can I be a shape-shifting elf lady too?

Burning Crusade

Cinematic message: Here are some new races you can play. Don't worry though, the old ones are still badass too. Watch a mage sheep a guy and a warlock incinerate murlocs. Hilarious! Also, something about entering the realm of a guy who says that we're not prepared for him.

My Reaction: I have no idea who that demon guy is, but still: looking great! Bring on those new races!

Wrath of the Lich King

Cinematic message: Watch this guy who looks like Sauron raise a skeletal dragon from the ice in a faraway frozen land. He also has a zombie army. The narration implies that he was once a good guy and that there's something like dramatic irony at work.

My Reaction: Well, I'm not sure what this has to do with me, but I guess someone's got to fight that zombie army.


Cinematic message: Watch a giant, angry dragon wreck the world.

My Reaction: Oi, I was still using that! Quick, let's get him while he's still in Stormwind!

(I wish.)

Mists of Pandaria

Cinematic message: An orc and a human fight each other in a foreign jungle, which seems quite foolish considering that they are shipwrecked with nothing but the clothes on their body. A panda appears and kicks their butts in a humorous fashion.

My Reaction: So, are pandas the bad guys? And will this usher in a new age of peace between the Horde and Alliance as they unite to fight a common foe?

Warlords of Draenor

Cinematic message: Some orc in the past is about to do something very unwise by drinking green goo. But then things don't go as expected and the orcs beat up the big demon and the clearly evil guys.

My Reaction: Go orcs, I guess? Whose side are we on anyway?

The bottom line is, for an MMO trailer to inspire me, it has to make me feel like I want to be part of the pictured world. I can kind of understand why Blizzard moved away from the "look at random characters engage in cool fight scenes" style of the first two trailers, as it probably would have been hard to keep making them that way without things getting repetitive and boring after a while. But especially the trailers for the last two expansions have felt increasingly directionless to me. Why should I be invested in this as a player? This isn't advertising for a movie, where I'll be happy to watch someone else's story play out for two hours. I need to know what this expansion means for me.

Sure, some lore fans will go nuts over seeing Grom again, and seeing him refuse the demon blood and survive. But I reckon that for a lot of people, this is just going to be a bunch of orcs doing stuff that doesn't really relate to anything.


  1. Yeah, I was kind of thinking the same thing. Unless you're invested in the books, lore, and everything else, this isn't going to resonate with you. Of course, you could be a Draenei nut and you just KNOW they've got to be there, the trailer has absolutely nothing to do with the Draenei and the Alliance.

  2. Yeah, this one requires pretty extensive knowledge of Warcraft lore, going back to the very first RTSes. The canonical invasions were pretty bad already. The Horde won the first round and sacked Stormwind. And the second got as far as Lordaeron and Quel'danas before they were finally beaten. The Iron Horde would succeed where they failed.

    If I had played Alliance back in the day, that would have been enough. But as a Horde player.. not so much. Thrall would probably still exist, but he probably would be inundiated with more Hordish thinking. Vol'jin's island trolls, the Tauren and the Night Elves would probably stay uninvolved for much longer. The big question mark would probably be whether Archimonde's invasion of Azeroth would still happen. If it did, the Iron Horde would not be weak enough to be forced to agree to join the winning coalition.

  3. I really fail to see how this will interest anyone other than someone who already plays Orcs. I know my lore, but I simply don't care about Horde side story. At all. I am not remotely interested in their arcs or character development or history. They are bad. They ruin planets. They need to die. That is the sum of my feeling about them.

    So, as some sort of selling point on the next expansion, this cinematic fails miserably on every possible front. I hope Blizzard enjoys the next 8 quarters of continually lower sub numbers.