Warlords of Draenor Could Save Warcraft

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The cinematic for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor was revealed yesterday proving once again that Blizzard is the king of both cinematics and hype.

hellscreamWow! [pun intended] My mind was racing with possibilities after watching. Grommash (Grom) Hellscream was supposed to drink Mannoroth’s blood and bind the Orcish Horde to the Burning Legion. However, it appears to that Garrosh (son of Grom) was able to escape prison and travel back in time to alter events. With Mannoroth dead and the orcs bound to no one, Grom can become warchief of a united orcish horde under the Iron Horde banner.

In a perfect world, this concept could completely wipe out everything we learned from Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft.  The thought sends nerd chills down my spine! This could be an opportunity to undo many bizarre choices and almost deus ex machina the entire series back to a point where we can have an amazing RTS series again with a story much truer to the heart of Warcraft.

Unfortunately, I think the plan is for Grom and Garrosh to go through the Dark Portal (seen at the end of the cinematic) and invade the MODERN day Azeroth rather than the Azeroth of their time. So technically, this wasn’t a time travel event as much as an alternate dimension or parallel universe. What a horribly wasted opportunity! I want to see an Azeroth where the Iron Horde’s technology (The Kor’kron Iron Star (spinny ball of death thingy)) allows them to conquer most of the Azeroth prior to the events of WC3 and how the world there adapts. Sounds like a great RTS to me.

I consider myself a fan of Warcraft. I don’t like where WoW took (and is taking) the lore, and I’m not a fan of the MMO side anymore, but I’m still an avid fan of the franchise. Hopefully the coming events allow Blizzard to make a darker, grittier, Warcraft focusing less on the touchy-feely-cutesie stuff and more of orcs pillaging and conquering once again!  Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Azeroth! I want to see Warcraft return to its roots.

  • AAA MMO dev logic:

    good cinematic trailer + heavily incentivize pre-launch marketing = successful game design

    …I’ll wait for the reviews before purchasing. 😉

  • I would have preferred if the player horde was allied with the iron horde. Every expansion has made the alliance vs (player) horde more ridiculous, at this point it’s almost completely pointless on pve servers. They have the same goals every expansion, but for the most part, passive aggressively hinder one another along the way. One guy finally wanted to take it to the other side, but then they turned him into a raging supervillain. Stupidest ‘conflict’ ever. Just let players on pve servers talk and group with whoever and be done with it.

  • I really hate time travel stories. What is the purpose of lore if it can all be changed by time travel? What is to stop an infinite loop of someone going back in time to stop the other side from doing something they don’t want to happen?

  • @Pendan
    There will probably be some stupid macguffin device that the good guys will capture that will stop them from doing this again.

    Also as Keen mentions, this conveniently isn’t time travel. It’s more like… Sliders if you’ve ever seen that show. They’re going to another ‘dimension’ that is 30 years behind, riling up the orcs, and then having them invade this Azeroth. So this Azeroth will have suffered two Orc invasions 30 years apart (one tainted, one not). Meanwhile, alternate 30 year behind dimension Azeroth will have never been invaded.

    (Note that I’m not defending any of this as good plot progression, just explaining it)

  • I still like WoW but have always hated the premise for this expansion. Time travel, alternate dimensions… call it what you want. It’s lame. It feels lazy and cheap. The whole story screams “filler” to me. Not to mention how boring it is to have TWO expansions in a row where an Orcish Horde led by a Hellscream is the main villain.

    I’m excited for new character models and garrisons, but the lore sucks. In fact I think the lore has kind of sucked since WotLK ended.

  • Anyone else just super dissapointed by the mid November release date? Its been 14 months of the same content….

  • Actually, Gank, I think it would look more like this:

    12+ months with no new content + still having 6.8 million subs = successful game design.

    Halcyon, I was pretty sure we’d see it in October and I am very disappointed that Blizzard was not able to follow through on their goal of getting the expansion out quickly. I am really looking forward to the new expansion. WoW is always really fun around expansion time. New dungeons to learn, lots of world PvP going on, busy servers, etc.

  • Like I said in response to your “MMOs are Dying” post: Blizzard really are going for it with this one as it’s probably their “Sink or Swim” expansion for WoW.
    Mists was an April Fool’s Joke made real and put many players off.

    WoD is taking the bits people have liked most from previous years and adding in Garrisons as well as a long-overdue stat and ability squish.

    I’m buying this one on release (not the overpriced CE of course) and hope to get a few months out of it.

  • @Balthazar:

    I am not one to predict WoW’s demise in the face of 6.8 million subs, which is in fact proof of their marketing prowess; moreover their cinematic trailers and pre-purchase incentives will no doubt also be highly profitable strategies.

    My comment is specifically directed at the full hype, pre-launch incentivization marketing approach by AAA’s (not just Blizzard), often in the face of disappointing launch products.

    SWTOR and WAR were the last big cinematics that motivated me to buy their products, and having learned that there is little connection between these theatrical events and actual gameplay, I now eschew the whole concept of pre-purchase teasers.

    Of course Blizzard are marketing geniuses, so for good or bad the same old approach = $$$.

    • What’s truly amazing is that they are able to market so well with just cinematics. This is cliche storyline with characters from 15+ years ago. We’re bit hyped about a game here… This is all story!

  • In fact I think the lore has kind of sucked since WotLK ended.

    I’d totally agree with this, although I preferred Mists to Cataclysm. Once WotLK was done, they were out of material from the RTS games to use and you can really tell, unfortunately.

  • “In fact I think the lore has kind of sucked since WotLK ended.”

    I honestly think the lore has sucked since they decided to have alien space goats crash land on the planet. But you could really tell they gave up when they made panda-people because there was ONE time a panda was seen as a joke in the RTS.

  • A good 90% of the people I’ve known from various WoW guilds don’t care one bit about lore. They couldn’t tell you anything about any of the characters in that cinematic other than they may have fought a few of them in a raid.
    I recently re-subscribed to WoW and there are a significant number of people on my friends list that are still playing. Many of them have barely heard of any of the other AAA MMO titles that came out in the past year. Look at the subscription numbers in the next quarterly report and that will probably be close to the lowest number of subscribers that WoW will ever have for the next few years.
    The loyal WoW fan base is here to stay. The game is their hobby, just like knitting is for some people.

    And the hate for WoW in the comments of this blog is getting silly. Just move on already. It’s just a game.

  • I still don’t know how I feel about Warlords of Draenor. While I like the idea of checking out Draenor pre-Outland I just don’t know if I have it in me to return to WoW. Of course that said, I am sure I will but after reaching my six or seventh character to 80 I just got burnt out. For as much as I wanted to enjoy MoP it felt like such a chore going through the motions.

    The trailer was awesome sauce though. I still don’t get why they are even messing around with a live action film, Blizzard has the talents to make a very awesome CGI feature film. Don’t get me wrong I will be there opening day to watch Warcraft when it hits the big screen, but I feel that they should have went full CGI instead of making it Live Action. Sorry did’t meant to derail the topic just had that running in my head. 😉

  • They sure do know how to make good cinematic trailers ! Not a fan of time travel or alternate realities, but I always give writers a chance to sell me their story. Read than judge 😉

    As for playing WoD, I’m not sure what if I will. I have sometimes urges to subscribe again and put some time in the game, but then again I’m not sure it will be worth as it will end up short-lived like all my other MMO attemps in the last few years. There’s a strong nostalgia factor with WoW too, it’s probably influencing me too much.

  • From the couple reviews I’ve read on Massively, Warlords sounds like a huge bust. Worst than Cata, with horribly done linear questing and the new housing, aka garrisons, having little to no customization.

    After waiting for so long to drop a new exp, fans may finally have enough if it’s as bad as reported so far.

  • Well, as someone who’s played continuously since Vanilla and currently in beta — WoD will not save WoW. In fact, I think there’s a very real danger of pushing away more players, myself included.

    I’ve written some long rants about it on my own blog but to sum up in tl;dr format:

    – Garrisons are mandatory for questing and crafting professions. This might be ok if they were compelling or fun. (They’re not, at least to me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.)
    – Further on that point, garrisons effectively replace faction capitals as your hangout/idle/wait in queue spot, making the world seem less populated.
    – Some of the class changes are really baffling, having to re-learn your class all over again.
    – Focus on orcs for yet another expansion. You’d think Draenei might get some screentime with it being Warlords of Draenor and all, but they’re just minor players compared to the RAWR SAVAGE orcs. How many videos about them have been released? How much of a role did they play in the trailer?