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Posts with tag cinematics

How much should an expansion cost?

We've talked about this briefly in a recent Breakfast Topic, but that's not the same as actually standing up and taking a position on an issue, and I (specifically, I, Matthew Rossi, not all of WoW Insider) do have a position on this one - namely, that this expansion will likely contain as much if not more gameplay, art assets, and overall design work as any game coming out, and that frankly the last couple of expansions have been under what they should have cost.

I didn't come to this decision in a vacuum, either - I come to it as someone who does not want to pay the price as established. I'm extremely penurious. almost outright parsimonious when it comes to money. I don't like spending it. So when I heard how much the expansion was going to cost (the day the pre-orders became available) I immediately balked at it. It's only ten bucks more to buy Titanfall, I said to myself, and that's a completely new game. And then I read this post by Kim Acuff (who often comments here at WoW Insider as Ember Dione) a developer on Skylanders, and I started to rethink my position on the relative cost of the expansion, how much it should cost, and the validity of the whole "as expensive as a new game" discussion.

Because here's the fact - each WoW expansion has effectively been a new game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Diablo 3, Warlords of Draenor

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Vengeance trailer debuts

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm launches March 12, 2013 -- are you ready for it? If you weren't already hyped for the next installment of the game, Blizzard has just released the new trailer shown above. Heart of the Swarm continues the story where Wings of Liberty left off, and follows the continuing tale of Sarah Kerrigan. Although the Xel'Naga artifact appears to have restored Kerrigan's human form, is humanity where her heart really lies?

As usual, the cinematics team have outdone themselves. If there's one thing Blizzard has always excelled at, it's producing some seriously amazing trailers. Check out the trailer in full above, and don't forget to pick up your copy of Heart of the Swarm March 12.


Filed under: Blizzard, StarCraft 2

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2012, part 2

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

In part one of our look back at 2012's best lore developments, we looked at the various aspects introduced to better introduce lore to those that had only a passing interest in it. While the Lorewalkers, print media and instance developments were also tremendously appealing to those that already have a handle on Warcraft lore, they also served as a method of getting the lore out to those that weren't really interested in the minutiae of mogu and mantid.

And that's honestly pretty important. There are plenty of players that play the game simply to play it, not paying attention to why they are playing at all. By implementing subtle elements that introduce the lore in an unobtrusive fashion, the developers have quietly found a way to make sure that regardless of how or why you play the game, you still have some sort of basic understanding of what is going on. Cataclysm had a story, but it was so complex that it was difficult even for those with a strong grasp of lore to puzzle out exactly what was going on and why we were doing what we were doing.

But the fun doesn't stop there -- and today's picks are those that are slightly less unobtrusive in regards to lore and story.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

New patch 5.1 Horde and Alliance cinematics

Yes, Patch 5.1 is bringing a whole new hub of Alliance/Horde conflict, and in addition, it's bringing in the full might of the Alliance and Horde fleets to get the combat starters. MMO-Champion has both the Alliance and Horde cinematics up now, so take a gander at the Alliance one (above) and the Horde one after the cut.

Things are definitely heating up. I was going to say hotting up, but I have no idea who'd get the reference.

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Filed under: PvP, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Jade Forest cinematics and more

If you've been waiting, wait no longer: MMO-Champion now has the Alliance and Horde introductory cinematics. Additionally, MMO-Champion has one from the pandaren racial starting zone plus a pivotal cinematic from the Jade Forest quests. It goes without saying that there are spoilers for Mists of Pandaria in each and every one of these cinematics. But if you want to see them, here they are.

These are all reminiscent of the Wrathgate cinematic from Wrath of the Lich King in terms of their pacing and art direction, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I loved the Wrathgate cinematic, and I really think the Battle at the Serpent's Heart cinematic goes a very long way toward showing you exactly what's happening in Pandaria and how the Alliance and Horde are stirring up trouble. They're all very well done.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria cinematic review

Mists of Pandaria cinematic review
I love this cinematic. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost in my mind, anyway, is that for the first time since the trailer for The Burning Crusade, we've got ourselves a trailer with a little bit of humor in it. Don't get me wrong, I loved the cinematics for both Wrath and Cataclysm, but there is only so much dark doom and gloom I can take. We've dealt with the worst of what the world has had to offer in the past two expansions, and frankly, I could use a breather from it all.

Warcraft has always been a franchise that's had a quirky sense of humor at its heart, and we haven't seen that humor in recent trailers. Given the themes of the prior two expansions, that was understandable -- how can you make light of the Lich King? How can you make a joke about Deathwing literally ripping the world apart? These were dire times, and they required a suitably dire cinematic to get the urgency of that point across.

Mists of Pandaria is an entirely different sort of expansion, and the cinematic reflects that. But there's far more to this cinematic than meets the eye -- and it's the deeper meanings that continue to delight me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria cinematic now available

It's weird to think that a little under two years have gone by since we last saw the cinematic debut for an expansion. It certainly doesn't feel like it's been quite that long, but here we are. It's time to put Cataclysm to bed and take a look at the cinematic for Mists of Pandaria. And oh man, fully rendered pandaren are pretty sweet.

What do you think?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Pandaren introduction video

In what seems to be an update to the latest beta patch, the full video and audio files for pandaren just starting out on the Wandering Isle have been added. Like other starting zone videos, this one features a sweep over the Wandering Isle's gorgeous landscape, offering a small taste of what's to come. The voiceover feels like a marked departure from the other starting zones; there's a different flavor to the audio and music that feels entirely different from anything we've seen before.

Of course, there's still one question that everyone is waiting to find out: Now that the official introduction has been added, how long will it be before we see Mists hit live servers? It's going to take a release date before we know that one for certain. However, the fact that the 5.0.4 PTR is now live seems to suggest sooner, rather than later.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Reminder: Blizzard premieres Mists of Pandaria cinematic at gamescom

Reminder Blizzard premieres the Mists of Pandaria cinematic at GamesCom
Since Blizzard was kind enough to remind us, we'll do the same for you -- the company is attending gamescom, one of the world's largest interactive entertainment trade shows, and they'll be premiering the Mists of Pandaria cinematic there. More Blizzard stuff will be on hand too, like the latest multiplayer build of Heart of the Swarm -- but we imagine the cinematic is the stuff you guys really care about.

Speaking of, I wonder what'll be in the cinematic. There's no overarching villain for the launch game this time, so it's unlikely we'll get the Bad Guy Monologuing like the past few cinematics. Could this be the moment of triumph for the gnome race, its moment in the cinematic spotlight?

Unlikely.

Gamescom is August 15 through 19 in Cologne, Germany.

Blizzard Games at gamescom
You'll find our costume and dance contests, eSports action, live raids, and all-around excitement at the Blizzard Entertainment booth at gamescom 2012. But perhaps best of all, you'll be able to try out our newest games for yourselves!

Don't miss your chance to explore the ancient realm of Pandaria with the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta build, vanquish your enemies in the latest StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm multiplayer build, or battle the legions of the Burning Hells in Diablo III!

Experience the games first-hand at the Blizzard booth in Halle 6.1 (B21) at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, August 15 to 19. Be sure to check back here in the coming weeks for more information and a full schedule of activities!

You can find more information on the Blizzard website.


Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: 3 developmental changes needed for storytelling in Mists

Image
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

One of the major things that vanilla World of Warcraft struggled with was a compelling story. Yes, we had a particularly epic tale spun with the release of Ahn'Qiraj and an even greater tale with Naxxramas. But while Onyxia, Molten Core and Blackwing Lair had stories that were interesting enough, it was difficult for players to pick up on those stories and follow them in a coherent fashion. Ragnaros in particular had a story that was entrenched in several different leveling zones as well as a few instances.

Meanwhile, the zones that you encountered from level 1 to 60 by and large didn't have a coherent story to tell. Each zone had little tidbits of story here and there, but nothing seemed really dire or important beyond a few epic, sweeping quests. As for faction leaders -- well, they did very little beyond sit in their capital cities and occasionally send players on errands. This is something that has continually changed and improved with every expansion that has been released. The story in WoW has never been as accessible as it is now.

But Mists of Pandaria has the potential to completely blow everything before it away.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Dangers of Datamining: A cautionary tale of a not-so-evil Magister

Some time last month, I was chatting with a friend about various story bits in WoW when we wandered onto the subject of the blood elves and what they're up to in the story. I pointed out the short story In the Shadow of the Sun for more recent sin'dorei lore, adding that of course the story took place prior to Wrath in the time line, so it really wasn't the most up-to-date bit of lore, although it was a wonderful read. My friend asked if I thought we'd see anything with the blood elves in Mists, and I replied that I didn't think so, but then we didn't really know that much about storylines in Pandaria yet.

"Well, yeah," they replied. "But what about Rommath? I mean, he's part of the Twilight Cult and all." I paused for a moment, confused, and then realized what they were referring to. "That was a set of datamined voice files that never made it to game," I clarified. "Well yeah, but he's evil," they insisted. "No, he's not -- as far as the game and the lore is concerned, that conversation never happened, and Rommath is still the same old Rommath. A little cranky and snooty, but definitely not evil. Until proven otherwise." They pondered this, and the conversation moved on from there.

I've had this conversation again and again -- in game, on Twitter. And this, my friends, is just one example of the many dangers of datamining.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 2

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

The development of lore in WoW has ramped up over the years. While vanilla saw a few lore developments, players could still wander the lands of Azeroth with nary a clue as to why they were there, skipping quest text altogether in favor of simply getting the job done. The Burning Crusade saw more of these lore-related quests introduced, and Wrath pushed the concept even further. But Cataclysm's taken lore and gameplay to a new level of interactivity.

Last week, in segments #10 through #8, we talked about a few of those innovations in lore development, include the emphasis on focused, directed storytelling over the aimless wandering days of vanilla WoW and the trend of releasing free-to-read short stories on the official website. Both of these have their ups and downs, but the short stories weren't the only focus of Blizzard's writing department.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 4.3: Watch Dragon Soul's cinematics

Spoiler alert: If you would rather check out these cinematics in game during the Dragon Soul raid, avoid clicking after the jump.

The Dragon Soul raid is finally here, and Deathwing's time is up. Now that brave heroes have thwarted Murazond's plans in the future, reclaimed the Dragon Soul artifact in the past, and escorted Thrall to Wyrmrest Temple in the present, it's time to put that bad boy to use. There are a total of four cinematics in the Dragon Soul raid, most of them 10- to 20-second transitional movies you get to watch as the action ramps up and Deathwing gets a face full of Dragon Soul.

Hit the jump for the three cinematics that are currently available to watch. We still have not seen the final cinematic, presumably Deathwing's ultimate demise, as of the writing of this article. Hopefully we will have it soon enough.

Spoiler alert: Do not hit the jump unless you want to be spoiled on these cinematics.

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Filed under: Machinima, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2010: Warcraft cinematics panel

CATACLYSM WARNING: There are spoilers here.

The BlizzCon 2010 Warcraft cinematic panel took place Sunday morning and featured the answers to some of the most common questions about Cataclysm cinematics.

Of course, you might have seen the big news about the amazing worgen cinematic. This video is intended to take place in the in-character timeline right as you learn your character's fate in Gilneas. It provides you vital information about how your character was captured after joining the furry crowd and how it came to be in stocks in the middle of the town square.

The cinematic is fantastic. It's leagues different from the goblin cinematic. The goblin story is fast-paced and action-packed. The worgen story, by comparison, is moody and dark. It highlights the humanity of the worgen and sets the genre away from simple, raw adventure into something deeper and meaningful.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2010: New Cataclysm worgen cinematic

As hinted during the Starcraft 2 cinematic panel yesterday, a new Cataclysm cinematic just debuted at the Cinematics: Cataclysm panel. As any beta worgen player could tell you, the "transition cinematic" that really kicks the story into high gear has been missing, and now we know where and what it is. As a quick gloss on what you'll see without spoiling anything too heavy, you'll see your character's transition from human to worgen, with some quiet speculation on whether your humanity's salvageable or not.

We'll post it as soon as we can find/get a copy on YouTube, but suffice it to say -- it rocks. I'm amazed at the quality the cinematics team can get out of the in-game models these days.

EDIT: A copy just went up and I've posted it past the cut. The quality's not that great, but I'll post a better copy as soon as one appears.

EDIT: High-quality copy now available past the cut.


BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

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