Wrath Of The Lich King: He’s Angry Alright

By Jim Rossignol on August 21st, 2008 at 7:45 pm.

Blimey.

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71 Comments »

  1. Someone says:

    Ooooh pretty!

  2. The Hammer says:

    Love the music, and the irony of his ol’ dad’s words.

    Probably my favourite of the three trailers.

  3. Weylund says:

    I would be inclined to consider playing this if:

    a) I didn’t need to spend eleventy kabillion hours levelling to get to the content.
    b) The game involved something more than clicking icons in mechanical rhythm.
    c) WoW didn’t make Age of bleeding Conan seem fun.

    Neat idea. I liked the video. Give me an open-ended, level-free, action-oriented game where I fight my way to the Lich King and slaughter his hordes in pitched battles along with an army of fellow players fighting an actual war in real time. I’d pay $14.99 a month for THAT.

  4. Flint says:

    Blizzard still makes the best CGI trailers. Awesome stuff.

  5. Meat Circus says:

    So would I be if I knew I was going to spend all winter having my Lich ass handed to me by a group of beshitsocked grindmonkeys.

  6. Nero says:

    I never get tired of watching Blizzard’s CGI work, absolutely stunning work as always.

  7. cyrenic says:

    I thought the new Warhammer Online trailer was better, honestly.

    I really enjoyed Arthas’ character in warcraft 3 and its expansion, but now I really don’t care because Blizzard has made their lore a slave of the MMO format. They’re just turning all the characters from warcraft 3 into raid bosses so they can be killed off for phat lewts. I would have enjoyed the trailer more if Arthas’ character had any meaning, but alas.

  8. Leeks! says:

    Dag, yo. Dag.

  9. Nuyan says:

    http://mythicmktg.fileburst.com/war/us/home/flash/WAR_cinematic_08.html

    ^- Is a lot more awesome.

    Not that I’m interested in either WAR or WotL though.

  10. charles says:

    @Weylund
    “b) The game involved something more than clicking icons in mechanical rhythm.”

    So… you’ve never actually played WOW then, or is it that you suck at it? Seriously. The game has depth if you know how to play past even the basics.

  11. Mark Stephenson says:

    @charles

    True enough. People forget how much Blizzard change stuff.

    Warcraft 3 introduced quests with the little add on packs they provide after release. Was it RTS or RPG?

    I had a friend come back to WoW this week who hasn’t played since 60 and we played for at least a year at lvl 60.

    He’s all over the place at the moment. Lvl 70 already and he hardly recognises the game. Too much choice of things to do at 70 is his problem.

    Steven Fry put it best. To paraphrase him. “People who say that Americans don’t understand irony are lazy”

    People who say that WoW these days is nothing but a grindfest are lazy and quite frankly don’t know what they are talking about.

    Sure there’s grind in there to level. And sure leveling these days is a mostly solo event but this whole tedious bleating about “Go to A and kill 25 B” thing is lazy and repetitive.

  12. Seniath says:

    While I can’t deny that it is very pretty, it lacks neither the action and urgency of the vanilla and TBC intros nor the spine-tingliness of the War3 ones. ‘Pretty but shallow’ covers it I think.

  13. Michael says:

    Admitting that you like WoW (here on RPS) is like admitting that you are a gay communist cannibal. Yet, I consider it to the the best MMO made to this day. Also it is quite possibly one of the few genuinely well made games in general.

    Hatred towards WoW is much akin to hatred towards the rich or good-looking people.

    As far as the video, it is spectacular and I can’t wait for the expansion to come out!

  14. Sartoris says:

    OK, I guess, but I still hate the generic high pitched fantasy lady voice, everyone seems to be using that, and it just reminds me of the abominable LOTR movies.

  15. Leeks! says:

    @Mark Stephenson

    In that same quote, at one point, he calls those people “fifty types of watery twat,” which is one of the best phrases ever spoken.

  16. Rob says:

    I don’t hate World of Warcraft – as my hours on it attest – but suggesting that grinding in general, and “kill n of x” quests specifically, aren’t a mainstay of the whole experience is disingenuous.

    The game inevitably consists of grinds, a series of at times artfully constructed grinds, but nonetheless that’s how it is. I think at some point I just accepted that I didn’t mind that about it, watery twats and gay communist cannibals notwithstanding.

  17. SanguineLobster says:

    That horde of undead seemed pretty easily distracted for, y’know, animated corpses.

    But I’m just being picky. The trailer itself was pretty and pretty stupid, or perhaps I’m simply weary of fantasy extravagance. Too many trailers seem to be about bloodthirsty warriors killing each other while being assaulted by particle effects until suddenly, OH NO A DRAGON!

  18. Weylund says:

    @charles: the latter, more than likely? Unless my memories of playing WoW for endless months are just a fevered dream.

    (looks at hands)… my god… am I HUMAN?!?

    Seriously, though, depth? …Where? I mean it. Maybe I’ve just missed something.

    I don’t hate WoW, I just find it mindless and boring. I come away from playing it, almost always, feeling like I have wasted time. Perhaps I just have less time to waste than you, or appreciate it more fully.

  19. The Hammer says:

    Or, y’know, like different things.

  20. yutt says:

    “They’re just turning all the characters from warcraft 3 into raid bosses so they can be killed off for phat lewts. I would have enjoyed the trailer more if Arthas’ character had any meaning, but alas.”

    Sort of like how they made the characters from Warcraft 3 into bosses so they can be killed off… but WoW is an MMO, so this time it’s bad?

    What?

  21. Weylund says:

    @The Hammer: this is also a possibility.

  22. Con Carne says:

    Subtle, ironic, fantastic.

  23. Dexton says:

    Wow is still one of the best games I have ever played, and certainly the one I spent the most time playing, but you spend that much time on any computer game and you will probably have some resentment. It’s not like you get any tangible real life rewards from all those hours.

    I loved my multiple playthroughs of KOTOR and Baldur’s Gate 2, but I finished those games and got my final cutscene rewards. There is no such closure with wow, you just stop playing and start to resent just how much time you invested in that game. And really, how dare it continue without you?!

  24. Sal says:

    why couldnt this have been Warcraft 4?

  25. Acosta says:

    Awesome, loved the irony and the meaning of quotes, that and the fact they made a lore based video focusing on Arthas, not as the “final boss” who defy players to kill him, but as the character many of us appreciated from Warcraft 3. Make me hopeful this time Blizzard is going to trait with more respect their own lore and characters.

    The effect is causing on people is really interesting. I think people who started playing WoW without Warcraft 3 are not enjoying this trailers because is not focused on them as the others, while people who came from the RTS is loving him because is a good reminder of III and Frozen Throne.

  26. Andrew says:

    I like this trailer. Mainly for the juxtaposition of the narration and the visuals.

  27. cyrenic says:

    @yutt

    You left off the important part of my sentence, “for phat lewts”. Each time they release an expansion so far, they take one of the characters from warcraft III and plop them at the end of the content so they can be killed by “25 brave adventurers who got sweet loot”. When the story was tied to a single player experience they could at least give characters decent deaths (Uther, Sylvanas, etc.).

    Illidan, especially, was an interesting character in the RTS who tried to do beneficial things but always screwed up trying to do them, and Vashj and Kael’thas hung around with him because he offered hope for their people. In the burning crusade Blizzard needed raid bosses so they decided “oh those three went crazy so now they have to be killed”.

    I just imagine reading the Warcraft lore post WoW: “Illidan grew powerful, but he was killed by a band of 25 brave adventurers. Arthas then became powerful, but he was killed by a band of 25 brave adventurers.” Rinse and Repeat.

    I’m rambling a bit now but hopefully that explains my position a bit better.

  28. Weylund says:

    Hmm. I might have to dig out my copy of Warcraft III and actually finish it.

    Or I could just play X-COM again. Damn you Microprose!

    @cyrenic:
    Does Blizzard actually write “lore” based on what happens in the game? I’ve ignored the game’s backstory for the most part, largely, I think, out of self-defense.

  29. The Hammer says:

    @Cyrenic:

    I see the point, and it’s an interesting one, as, yes, a lot of drama fades away when you put those bosses on farm. But, I think, the build-up quests to the raid encounters (the attunements, I mean) feature these characters extensively, and Illidan, later on at level 70, presents himself to you a few times.

    For Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard has said that, yeah, they made mistakes with the lore on Burning Crusade, and want Arthas to be much more prominent. So he features in a lot of quests. From the beta stuff I have seen, he’s pretty much everywhere, and even when not physically there, you can see his influence.

    Adding to this, a character like Illidan faces off against 25 guys, yeah, but also Akama and Maiev, two major lore characters, so there is actually narrative inside the raid as well. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a perfect set up, but there definitely is a storyline there, and to their credit, Blizzard do their narrative in MMOs very well. The first time through the Dark Portal, for instance, or the quest to help the Blue Dragonflight at Blackrock Spire.

  30. Andrew says:

    The WoW backstory and stuff is actually pretty good. I mean, it’s intentionally cod-fantasy but it’s got some pretty good stuff in there.

  31. Acosta says:

    @cyrenic

    If you are going to trash the lore of WoW, do it with some knowledge. It is easy to trash actually, but you would need some documentation for that and not random thoughts that jump from your mind.

    Kael’thas doesn’t get crazy, he just betrays Illidian following his new master Kil’jaeden. In his mind he stills wants to save his people and thinks the demon lord can provide the endless supply of power the blood elves need.

    Then, while I agree that Illidan’s treatment is quite bad from an story viewpoint (not getting Whisperwind into the arc is a joke for example), he was not killed by 25 random characters, it was killed by Maiev, Ankama and 25 heroes among the finest warriors in Azeroth. In Warcraft III a bunch of orcs managed to kill Cenarius himself and Grom slayed Mannoroth. The point is, in Warcraft’s universe there are few “untouchable” things.

  32. yutt says:

    The entire saga of Warcraft, from Orcs & Humans on up, has been the continual retelling of the same primary theme. No matter how powerful a nation or their leaders or their gods; they will be eventually destroyed by a combination of their own hubris and a once insignificant enemy.

    World of Warcraft has been very true to that story. In fact, it is more true to it, and allows a player to experience it on a much more personal level, than any other Warcraft game.

    If you don’t like Warcraft lore, that’s fine, it’s pulp fiction quality. But don’t claim World of Warcraft’s lore is beneath the standards of the previous titles in the series.

  33. dust says:

    It’s really a shame that Blizzard took the Warcraft universe into the life-wasting-grind-realm of the MMO genre.
    It was more fun experiencing it as an RTS and you didn’t need to spend 5+ hours 4 days a week with 25 people you didn’t actually like to get something out of it.

  34. Acosta says:

    Spot on yutt. You can argue they could do some things in a much better way, but I find funny when people claim WoW ruined Warcraft’s story. Warcraft the RTS had the luxury of being able to pull a story using few elements and some awesome CGI, letting people fill the holes. That, and having as direct competitors games like C&C or Red Alert (any story can shine compared with them).

    But now they need to have tons of lore and story content to give WoW some coherence, so it’s easier to notice the cracks. If you want an example of a typical “woops” of Warcraft, try to find how old was Grom in Warcraft III.

    @dust
    Are you coming to a videogame page to call a videogame “life wasting”? Really? As a matter of fact, you can be more involved in the lore of Warcraft playing WoW solo than playing the three RTS and their expansions combined. But your own prejudgment won’t allow you to understand that. Now stop wasting your precious time in the internet and go save the world.

  35. Konky Dong VIII: Lon Chaney and the Argonauts says:

    Looks great, but where’s the beef?

    It’s kind of a dull intro to be honest.

  36. Anthony Damiani says:

    I’d be more psyched if they weren’t promising so little in the way of features. The biggest deal is basically “ten more levels of the same stuff!”

    It’s still a great MMO, but it hasn’t greatly improved with age.

  37. cyrenic says:

    @Acosta and Yutt

    I’m not saying WoW’s story is shit, but yes, I do think its not as good as Warcraft 3′s. Part of it is in the methodology (no cutscenes aside from the intro, no real world altering events), and part of it is Blizzard’s tendency to prop up characters as raid bosses.

    Yeah, they do ok for an MMO, but I think they are squandering characters by letting them be killed off in WoW instead of a single player Warcraft game.

  38. The Hammer says:

    but it hasn’t greatly improved with age.

    Yeah… I think you better track the patchnotes from release to where we are now.

    Battlegrounds were not in originally, and when they were eventually added, you had to be outside the battleground portal itself to join the queue.

    Meeting stones only used to get you to join the LFG chatroom for that instance. Now they can be used to teleport, and there is a LFG feature to make dungeon running much, much, much easier.

    Darkmoon Faire, Brewfest, Gurubashi Arena… all added after release, and all make the game immensely more satisfying.

    Countless instances and raids have been added, both in expansions and patches. World bosses, revamped zones (Silithus and Dustwallow Marsh), world events such as the Gates of Ahn’Qirah (<3), weather effects, cross-realm battlegrounds… and those are just vanilla WOW.

    In Burning Crusade, you have flying mounts. You have bombing missions. You have dailies. You have two new starting areas miles ahead of the ones that came before. You have quests which let you take the role of major lore characters, or silly things like mechanical scorpions. You have arenas, voice chat, guild banks…

    I was speaking to a friend earlier, and I asked him about the role of end-game in vanilla WOW for solo players. His response was that there was none to speak of. Which makes me appreciate Burning Crusade, despite its many holes, so, so much more.

    And soon, a whole new class. Whole new vehicle-based combat. Multi-person mounts. One of the most compelling narratives yet seen in an MMO, and of course, the design and implementation of an expansion pack coming from a proven developer who has now four years experience in the MMO industry.

    @Cyr: There’s nothing to say they won’t just retcon WOW if they ever bring out a Warcraft 4. Say, when WOW shuts down, for example. How ever many years that’ll take. I would actually prefer that.

  39. sigma83 says:

    I have to agree with The Hammer. The game as it was released and the game as it is now is a completely different animal. The spots look the same but the beast is not.

    I have faith in Blizzard to implement the same kind of sweeping game-altering mechanics in the 2nd expansion too.

    Also I’m probably not sick of it because I don’t actually play the game that much. I probably spend about as much time playing it as I do commuting.

  40. Weylund says:

    Oh, god, now I’m itching to play WoW again. I don’t think I can let myself get addicted to it again (especially considering I’m apparently crap at it?). Thanks guys.

    Gaw, I can see my install discs in my mind’s eye. I guess if there’s any game I can play in front of my kids, WoW is it, since it’s so incredibly cartoony. Unlike Mount and Blade… I didn’t realize my oldest was watching me until he said, “Daddy, what’s ‘burn and pillage’ mean?”

  41. The Hammer says:

    Hey, Weylend, fancy letting me cast scroll of resurrection? You get 10 free days play time, if you’re not sure!

    …okay. I’ll stop now!

    EDIT: fixed the horrible spelling!

  42. Konky Dong VIII: Lon Chaney and the Argonauts says:

    Don’t expect sweeping changes in WotLK, what is being implemented are more like variations on a theme. I’m in the beta and vehicular combat, for example, isn’t all that interesting because all of the vehicles abilities are similiar to mechanics we’ve already seen. Hopping in a vehicle (or dragon, or whatever) feels more like swapping stances than anything else and isn’t a breath of fresh air. Stuff like that sounds great on paper but upon actually experiencing it, you realize it isn’t all that exciting. It has potential though, there is a quest on the Alliance side in the Dragonblight where you ride around a town overrun with scourge and rescure villagers that was pretty rad. Unfortunately the half dozen or so other mounted quests I’ve done so far have been fairly dull.

    The biggest change in WotLK is actually the questing structure. Instead of having two or three big quest hubs in each zone, you now have eight or nine mini-hubs. This quest distribution technique guides you through the zone slightly better than in BC but makes the zones feel more fractured. Borean Tundra is especially bad about this because each different quest hub area has a unique visual style. The problem is that these areas are pretty small so that zone looks like a patchwork of different areas stitched together, it’s a very bizarre design choice and one that just doesn’t work. Every zone in Burning Crusade was A++ in terms of visual style and design (Netherstorm is still my favorite zone in any game I’ve ever played) and it’s disappointing to see Blizzard take a step backwards with WotLK. Now the final two zones haven’t been implemented in the beta yet so I’m hoping those turn out well but as for the rest of the continent, the only zones I really loved were Grizzly Hills and the northern part of Howling Fjord (and Dalaran, if that counts).

    Uhhhh, anyway, I’ll stop rambling. It’s just WotLK has shaken my faith in WoW and I don’t know how long our relationship can last. Hopefully the new flood of 10-mans will keep us together.

  43. master_huang says:

    Oh my god, its about time for WOW players to get a life.

  44. Weylund says:

    10 free days? I could play it on the train… must… play… cartoon… rogue! Ahhhhhh!

    If I remember correctly, I’ve got a bit of “wearing everything I’ve ever found” going on with my rogue. Would be quite fun to… you know… get some phat lewtz.

    The change is quick, isn’t it?

  45. The Hammer says:

    Hmm, it depends what level, really! But if you’re 70, playing Alterac Valley a few times will get you some nice epic armour in no time, or you could do a few level 70 instances.

    In fact, if you’re honoured with Outland factions, each one gives you a blue quality PVP piece at honoured these days, so you can have a matching set of competent armour and not look like some hideous clown!

    I can cast the scroll if you just gimme your character name and realm you play on. No need for an email address, as Blizzard plays the middle-man. :)

  46. Weylund says:

    Good god, I think I’ll need to look it up. I’ll pop it up later this evening (well, evening for me, anyway). If there’s a headline in the papers called “Man Brutally Murdered By Wife With Online Game Discs” you’ll know who it was, though.

    Are you an enabler in real life as well?

    @master_huang: I have one, and it involves long hours as dad and programmer (though thankfully, ne’er the twain do meet), and MMOs are a nice way to take a break.

  47. suchchoices says:

    15:22 You lose 348 hitpoints due to an attack by a frost dragon.
    15:22 You lose 385 hitpoints due to an attack by a frost dragon.
    15:22 You lose 403 hitpoints due to an attack by a frost dragon.
    15:22 You lose 495 hitpoints due to an attack by a frost dragon.

  48. The Hammer says:

    Oh gods, I feel like a walking advertisement for Blizzard! What have I done?!

    Hope you find that Azeroth welcomes you back with open arms!

  49. LQB says:

    Nice cinematic…too bad the game is nothing like it.

  50. sigma83 says:

    Man there’s a lot of haters for this game. I guess when you’re that popular you attract a lot of attention from both sides of the fence hey