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Blizzard Unveils Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the looks-pretty-cool dept.
Today at the Leipzig Games Convention, Blizzard released the opening cinematic for the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion to World of Warcraft. The cinematic is available on the official site via streaming video or the Blizzard downloader. There's a mirror over at 1Up. As with all Blizzard cinematics, it looks fantastic.
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Blizzard Unveils Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic

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  • Sounds like Blizz is trying to silence some of the WAR talk that's been going on in the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see how they react in the few weeks after WAR launches if it does well. "free month for old subscribers" sounds about right...
    • by Tridus (79566) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:01PM (#24691579) Homepage

      Sounds like they've got an expansion coming out this year and want to market it, the same as... oh... I don't know... every other game company on the planet that has a game coming out in a couple months?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bieeanda (961632)
      Perhaps, but Blizzard has also released teaser cinematics for all of their games since Diablo II. MMO subscribership is not a locked-in, partisan thing either-- if WAR attracts 500,000 WOW subscribers (and that is an 'if' on the scale of Kipling's), that's no indication that any of them will stop subscribing to WOW. Likewise, while the games are similar in theme, you're more likely to see cross-pollination in new subscribers than outright competition, as newbies hear 'This sucks, I'm going back to WOW' an
    • WAAAAAR (Score:4, Funny)

      by atari2600 (545988) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:06PM (#24691665)

      Blizzard could just pick up Edwin Starr's song: WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing...

    • Why? Because Blizzard is doing the same thing they did when BC came out?
    • by ockegheim (808089)

      As someone who mainly does BGs these days, WAR does look interesting, though I guess there's no real reason why the proportion of idiots should differ.

      Oh, I have a Mac. Ah well..

  • I got burned out about January. I just can't commit the kind of time it takes to play. Odly enough though I do have fun uncovering the fog of war, and the seige tanks look cool. We shall see...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I felt left out when blizzard switched to a mmorpg model for the warcraft story - I enjoyed war3, and I don't feel like losing my soul and social life to WoW just to find out how the story ends...
      • by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@gmai l . c om> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:01PM (#24691577)
        The story doesn't end, ever.

        Although..
        10 million paying customers and then suddenly a last final patch... "The destruction of Azeroth"
        "Sorry guys, the story ends here, game over, you won!"

        That would be awesome *eg*
        • Re:I can wait. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @02:31PM (#24693011) Journal

          That'd be awesome if they did that. One thing that has always pissed me off is how nothing ever changes in the game. Those poxy gnomes have been running out of Gnomeregan for 3 goddamn years now! The big thing they did, with the pyramid things outside the cities (I completely forget what they were now) would have been awesome, except they HYPED IT UP before it happened. (And completely bollocksed it when it came out.) I think it's far better to spring huge stuff like that as a surprise. Stuff to make people say "Holy shit!" and think anything could happen. Even hardcore addicts I know begrudgingly agree with me that, despite Blizz claiming it's an "ever changing world", nothing ever changes, and it's by and large the same crap for years.

          I don't know what other MMORPG's are like in regards to changing the game world. I remember Matrix Online offed Morpheus in the game. Anyone care to make a comparison? Because I like WOW (most of the time) but nothing in the world ever changes. There is no random element to it to imply a living, breathing world.

          Awesome cinematic... Cool to see Sauron... I mean Arthas... (Peter Jackson has a lot to answer for.)

          • by Tridus (79566)

            Sometimes stuff changes. Shattrah City changed over the course of Burning Crusade, with NPCs moving, others changing factions as new ones formed, etc. Some stuff is also changing for the new expansion, like Dalaran and Naxxramus both leaving old world and going to Northrend.

            In general you're right, stuff doesn't change a lot. They do that because they still have new people coming to the game, and how would a new person run Gnomeregan for the first time if it was taken back over by the Gnomes?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by snuf23 (182335)

              Come on really now. It's time Gnomeregan was taken back by the gnomes. I can't stand that place.

            • how would a new person run Gnomeregan for the first time if it was taken back over by the Gnomes?

              Caves of time my friend.

              • by Phyvo (876321)

                So you expect level 30ishes to make a run through Tanaris to complete their quests?

                You are a cruel, cruel person.

          • A long time ago when I played Asherons Call I remember there being huge world events, like the pvp God entering the world turning all the water to blood until he was killed, and once he got killed he didn't respawn and only one player recivied his loot. Of other memorable stuff there was a meteor crash which destroyed one of the excisting cities, and an invasion of shadows.

            All those things had in commen was that I never personally saw any of it (except for the red water), and while I personally found it int

        • Re:I can wait. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by edremy (36408) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:35PM (#24694107) Journal
          Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they *do* do this someday.

          WoW is not going to last forever- looking at the player growth curves it's been leveling off for a while. Someday, eventually, it will begin to decline no matter how many expansion packs they manage to make. Lots of MMOs keep running at this point- you can survive with 10k subscibers if you don't bother with new content.

          But WoW could be different: Blizz is smart enough that they should have something ready to go when this happens- World of Starcraft, WoW2 in a new area, something. Once that game starts off the ground, announce end of life for vintage WoW in six months time. Script an invasion of horrible baddies and follow through, with various zones falling to them while the horde and alliance frantically try to hold on. Make it so defended areas fall more slowly and let players see how long they can hold out, then burn Ironforge and Org a few days before turning off all the servers.

          Follow that up with some free play time on The Next Great MMO for existing WoW players, maybe some sort of character transfer where you can move a "child" of your toon to the new world if it's WoW2.

          You would have *legions* of retired players come back for this- most of the folks who have left WoW were just bored with the same old content, and frankly watching the sand castle get kicked down would be great fun. Get them excited again, get a ton of quick cash, give the players a reason to move to TNGMMO and not your competitor's and get rid of all your legacy support issues in one huge ball of fun.

          • Even if they did something like this, they would open up "legacy" servers with unchanging (except for bug fixes) content so that new people could play. There's too much content there that could be potentially generating revenue without having much cost other than maitenance of the servers.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Mythranax (970659)
          Dramatic narrative needs to be finite, otherwise there is no catharsis. MMORPG's need to get rid of the die/respawn mechanics, which turn them from finely crafted story environments, into a point scoring system.

          Character, and drama are about the mortality, and finitude of plot, setting, and character.

          Until MMORPG's implement character mortality, they will be inflationary, grinding, point scoring systems.

          I know the common objection is, 'nobody will play a game where they put months into a character
          • Aristotle's Poetic's right ? Sympathetic characters have to be done away with in order to create interest from the audience ? The purging of human pathos via the externalization of the real forms of drama in human life. Yes the MMORPGs' are lacking this dimension, but I question whether or not the medium lends itself to any kind of meaningful dramatic narrative. The chorus of consumer idiots always present, tends to muck up any attempts to deliver dramatic content.
          • by Phyvo (876321)

            While your points about MMO mortality are interesting, I do have several objections.
            Firstly, pen and paper RPGs, while less niche now than they used to be, simply don't have the appeal that MMOs do. You seem to want what simply amounts to, ironically, a completely RP focused MMORPG, and you also want players to make up a lot of the story. I am not being cynical when I say that this forces the game to be niche.

            How many people read books as compared to writing them? Make movies as opposed to watching them? Ma

      • Grats to you for holding out. I lost a ton of time to that game. Granted much of it was fun, and I really enjoyed PvP, but the grind (read raiding)just got to be more hell than it was worth. I think I got turned off when I went through Kara for the first time, and the Raid leader wouldn't quit. I held off on Kara for as long as I could. I helped my guild by donating supplies and money, not raiding as I often didn't have consecutive hrs to dedicate to gaming.

        Anyhoo It was a full press w/ a 1/2 ubergeared

  • wrong king (Score:5, Funny)

    by philspear (1142299) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @12:40PM (#24691243)

    I want the "wrath of the lion king" That's what I originally read and was very excited. Now I'm back to dissapointment.

  • by Petersko (564140) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @12:44PM (#24691303)
    The cinematics for Diablo were amazing. The ones for Starcraft were wonderful - I still get a chill watching the "funeral" sequence. The first one for Warcraft III blew the curve again. They always had a lock on terrific art and technical achievement.

    The first two thirds of this new cinematic was just, "Pretty, but... common". The last third pulled it out, and it's once again great. They aren't leading the pack by a large margin anymore though. The available technology has leveled the playing field. They'll have to step up.
    • I get the feeling that they weren't trying really hard with this trailer.
      When they made trailers for Diablo and Starcraft, they were trying to sell games. For Wrath of the Lich King they don't really need to sell the game, because people are going to buy it anyways.
      For example this trailer doesn't even really show what the game is about. IMO this trailer was just to make the existing WoW players even more rabid (and it suceeded :D).
      • by Tridus (79566)

        Far as I know this is going to be the opening of the game, IE its the one you see on first run after you install it.

        So yeah, its not trying to sell the game to new people. Its for the people who are buying it.

    • by Dr.Boje (1064726)

      The first two thirds of this new cinematic was just, "Pretty, but... common". The last third pulled it out, and it's once again great.

      For a three-minute-long cinematic, I find that statement to be misguided. You need to judge the cinematic as a whole. What that statement basically says to me is that every scene that is not packed with action is "common". Interesting. Let's just ignore the incredible graphics and eerie music for a second and focus on the story presented in this cinematic (which is quite short).

      Yes, the first half to two-thirds of the movie aren't packed with action, but that is often the case with storytelling. Usuall

      • by Petersko (564140)
        "For a three-minute-long cinematic, I find that statement to be misguided. You need to judge the cinematic as a whole."

        Actually, that's exactly what I did. See the text you quoted, where I said the trailer was great.

        My point was that what they are offering isn't eclipsing the competition like it used to.

        Remember this one from 1999? [youtube.com] The "wow" factor of that one is far greater than that of this new trailer.
        • by Dr.Boje (1064726)

          Actually, that's exactly what I did. See the text you quoted, where I said the trailer was great.

          I disagree. You broke the cinematic into two parts: the first two thirds and the last third. The distinction you make is that the prior is "common" and the latter is "once again great". The distinction in the cinematic itself between your two parts is when Arthas unleashes the undead dragon and the army below is shown. That leads me to believe that the difference to you is the boring 'Arthas walking around Northrend' half versus the exciting 'undead dragon breaks free and flies over the undead army belo

    • by Wyrd01 (761346)
      This Warcraft cinematic was okay, but another was released just ahead of this one and I think it is a much more compelling video.

      The Official opening cinematic for WarHammer Online:
      http://mythicmktg.fileburst.com/war/us/home/flash/WAR_cinematic_08.html [fileburst.com]
  • Warcraft Cinematic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GearheadX (414240) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @12:44PM (#24691307)

    Previous trailers for WoW have been longer than this and showcased a bunch of different classes looking awesome.. but I daresay neither of them have been as awesome as this. This is the first serious Warcraft trailer I've seen for this game.

    It focuses attention directly on the central figure of this expansion: Arthas the Lich King.

    Arthas is your problem. Arthas is the central figure of the conflict. No matter who you are, your entry into this expansion's content will immediately involve Arthas meeting you at the front door and welcoming you to your untimely demise.

    I love it.

    • What will be even more fun is beating the crap out of him and taking Frostmourne. Now there's an achievement.
      • Yeah, until everyone has a frostmourne (and turn into lich kings?).

        Of course, blizzard will have some plot device that shatters the sword or something..
        • Yeah, until everyone has a frostmourne

          I don't see that many people with Illidan's glaives. I suspect that this will also be an item that drops like 2.5% of the time or whatever on the final boss of one of the hardest raids in the game.

    • by Huntr (951770)

      No matter who you are, your entry into this expansion's content will immediately involve Arthas meeting you at the front door and welcoming you to your untimely demise.

      That's not true. If you roll a Deathknight, yes, but for people just hitting Northrend, you don't really interact with Arthas. You catch glimpses of him here and there, but not in any meaningful way.

      • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde&gmail,com> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:59PM (#24692519) Journal

        You haven't done the same quests I have. In Borean Tundra, specifically, the quest line leading to "Last Rites" is very, very good. In Howling Ford, you can also meet the Lich King and get killed by him in your 3rd quest or about. And he speaks to you in meaningful ways.

        • by Huntr (951770)
          Well, I'm 73, have done most of the quests in Howling Fjord and a lot in Borean Tundra (I'm on that line of quests with Last Rites), so I was thinking that I was kind of past "the front door." I didn't mean that you never see him or interact with him, only that he's not right in your face as soon as you step off the boat. In fact, I did a quest series in HF where he appeared at the end of the quest line. Its very different for a Deathknight, where Arthas is the quest giver for the opening quests. That's
  • by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@gmai l . c om> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @12:48PM (#24691387)
    I have to hand it to Blizzard, their trailers are always of such awesome quality.

    It instantly made me want to renew my account again. Must.... resist.....

    Please Blizzard, stop doing this to me!
    • by alexgieg (948359)

      It instantly made me want to renew my account again. Must.... resist.....

      One good thing about living here in Brazil is that our summer happens around Christmas. If Blizzard releases the expansion before that I'm surely going to be a very happy re-subscriber for at least two and half months of college vacation, three weeks of which will also be job vacation. :-D

  • Well if MMO cinematics are making headlines... http://mythicmktg.fileburst.com/war/us/home/flash/WAR_cinematic_08.html [fileburst.com] Warhammer's got a new one out too.
  • Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by atari2600 (545988) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:00PM (#24691565)

    I quit playing WoW earlier this year (early March) and I must say that life's been great since. I wasn't a raider (but was doing arenas hardcore) but I fell victim to what's called "Altitis". I found that taking characters to 70 was fun and fast and pretty soon I ended up with four level 70s and two level 60s (61 and 62) when I quit.

    So when Blizzard brought out new daily quests or new festival events, I felt compelled (OC ftl) to do every quest on every alt - needless to say that stupidity (or OC again) burned me out. Now I am doing a lot more with my "free" time. I am hoping that the expansion won't make me renew my account or somehow magically I'd be busy playing Fable2, Alan Wake and Fallout3 that I won't notice WoW. I only need to hold myself together till SC2 or Diablo3 comes out at which point resistance will be futile :(

    Should've stuck to playing Riverraid or Pitfall :O

    • My WoW-playing was/is somewhat similar. I don't have any interest in PvP or raids. I did enjoy playing each class and learning the tactics, talents, techniques, etc of each one (within the parameters of their specializations). I have 4 70s and 5 in the 60-64 range, and these days I only occasionally log in and dust one off and do a quest or two. I'll probably play more once WotLK comes out - unless WHO takes me away completely...

    • by RichMan (8097)

      Pretty much the same here.

      Playing GuildWars now. It is old and cheap and no monthly expense so I feel very free to walk away for a bit and go back.

      Neat looking world and story. Sure not latest graphics but the art design of the world looks good.

    • by Mushukyou (739593)
      Just get ready for Darkfall Online. It's going to be the WoW killer. In fact, no other MMORPG will be able to touch it until Mortal Online comes out in some years. But Darkfall should be coming out by the end of this year after YEARS of making it. They were the fans of early UO. Anyhow, I'd bet $5 it's not gonna be a flop like that crap that just came out and flopped. It's going to be better than Warhammer as well I'm sure.
  • Unimpressed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zyl0x (987342) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:00PM (#24691567)
    It was really just a bunch of ice. Didn't really hold a flame to the videos embedded in Warcraft III. Maybe it has something to do with them just rehashing "the grind"? I mean, besides Arthas, what does the expansion really have going for it, story-wise? There's nothing else to really show off in a trailer. Yes, this comment is littered with personal opinion. I just never understood games that had no story to them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thyamine (531612)
      Actually the storyline is quite expansive in Warcraft. The problem is translating that into a MMORPG game without making it into more grinding just with different guys. I think it plays much better in the original gameplay, but maybe someday someone will come up with something better to replace grinding.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zyl0x (987342)
        Oh I know all about the potential for story in the Warcraft universe. You nailed the problem; it's an MMORPG. If you ask me, they already came up with something better than grinding. Warcraft I through III were brilliant, fun games. I suspect the problem now is simply a matter of greed. Quality, one-purchase games such as Warcraft III are - while highly successful - not the money-making machines that the ex-EQ developers and managers want, so they don't make them anymore. It's even more depressing that so m
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by FiveRings (818409)

          Oh I know all about the potential for story in the Warcraft universe. You nailed the problem; it's an MMORPG. If you ask me, they already came up with something better than grinding. Warcraft I through III were brilliant, fun games. I suspect the problem now is simply a matter of greed. Quality, one-purchase games such as Warcraft III are - while highly successful - not the money-making machines that the ex-EQ developers and managers want, so they don't make them anymore. It's even more depressing that so many people play these games. As consumers, it's really our fault.

          It seems that you're so anti-MMO that you're not seeing the whole picture. Blizzard, alone, has StarCraft2 and Diablo3 in the works, likely funded by WoW money. I would hope those fall under your "quality, one-purchase games" category?

    • Re:Unimpressed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Thursday August 21, 2008 @01:28PM (#24692005)
      Off the top of my head (I'm level 73 or 74 in the beta):
      • Arthas
      • The Cult of the Damned infiltrating an Alliance town
      • Malygos, and his assault on magic
      • The Ashbringer
      • The continuation of Tirion Fordring's story
      • The evolution of the Scarlet Crusade
      • The continuation of the Infinite Dragonflight story (including the revelation of who their leader is)

      ...and that's just off the top of my head. WoW is chock full of story, you just have to pay attention. If all you really bother knowing about the story is what boss you're killing (which is all most players do), you've missed 80% of the story.

      • I was going to go into a big shpiel about how if anyone bothered to stop and read quest dialogs from time to time they might experience a bit of the lore in WoW but /shrug what you said works better.
        • Re:Unimpressed (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dave562 (969951) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @02:10PM (#24692701) Journal
          The quest dialogues are well written. I think that the horde quest lines are better written and more well integrated with the world. My only big gripe is that since I haven't been playing the game since it first came out, a lot of the quest lines just kind of die. You level up to 58 and then head to Outland. Or you level up to around 60 and find that all of the quest lines disappear into prior "end-game" instances that nobody is running anymore. So if you really do read the quest lines like I do, you get to the point where you are ready to go fight some major badguys that have been built up in one way or another since level 1, and.... ooops, no nachos for you.
          • a lot of the quest lines just kind of die. You level up to 58 and then head to Outland. Or you level up to around 60 and find that all of the quest lines disappear into prior "end-game" instances that nobody is running anymore.

            Ironically, you're answering someone else's complaint about "unchanging world environment". The truth is blizzard does change it with the expacks, which demark "campaigns" as in a war.

            you had the battles at the dark portal before bc, which were won, and azeroth's forces pushed into outland.

            Those quest lines ended because that stage in the conflict was over. This is where blizzard screwed up though. They didn't go back and morph the previous world's quest lines to fit in with their recent storyline revisi

      • It always annoys me when I'm running an instance for the first time, and I go slowly and try to understand all of the quest dialogue and try to talk to all the NPCs so I can understand the reason for the instance, but my group is just rushing through because it's the millionth time they've run it.
      • by VickiM (920888)

        To be fair, the story is still rather pointless. Sure, it may be interesting, but this is an MMORPG. Nothing I do will ever change anything. How many times will you kill Arthas before you realize that the story, while interesting, is as important as the flavor text on a Magic card? The story is pretty much just padding for the grind.

        I do like a good story. But I don't keep re-reading the last 10 pages of a book over and over again hoping a purple will come flying out.

      • I'm most interested in seeing the next parts of the Uldum/Creation of the Dwarves/Creation of the World story.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Negatyfus (602326)
      You never understood games like Mario Bros., Tetris, Galaxy Wars, Arkanoid, etc.?
    • Re:Unimpressed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @02:13PM (#24692739) Homepage

      It was really just a bunch of ice. Didn't really hold a flame to the videos embedded in Warcraft III. Maybe it has something to do with them just rehashing "the grind"?

      The grind is quite simply for people that play too much. I figure most of these have content enough for a single-player game, but what addict plays any such game 8 hrs/day * 250 days/year = 2000 hours? He'd burn through every single player game I know like a crisp being done in a few weeks. Maybe if they paid 100$/mo (2x50$ single player games) they could hire enough people to keep up but the market would vanish. So they make the end game like a tar pit, the further into it you get the slower you move. There is no end, there is no ultimate victory. If you grind like craxy to reach it anyway, I'd say that's your mental problem and not WoWs.

  • Well, it's ok. It's good enough, but not as good as the original WOW trailer or the Burning Crusade one. I found it impressive, but lacking in the flavor/story of the others.
  • ...what's it got to do with the game? Is there really anything in there (beyond a "mood") that should make me want to play it? Show me game footage and I'll get interested.

  • It looks nice, but it didn't send a shiver down my spine like the first two did. Not to mention it is a painful reminder that all my gear could again be obsolete. I think I will say no more, least I portray myself as a bitter husk of a human that was beaten up by a bunch of insolent adolescents last time the level cap was raised...

    Ahem. As I was saying... Shiny is good, shivering is excellent.

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