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?
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!
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.
Reviews: Ori and the Blind Forest, The Swapper
8 hours ago