The Mists of Pandaria trailer (and reluctant truces)


As surely everyone is aware by now, the official Mists of Pandaria trailer was released yesterday. As far as trailers go, it's a far step away from Blizzard's normal fare, but the quality is as superb as ever.

See for yourself:



Apple Cider Mage has a hilarious play-by-play analysis (as well as examining the lack of female characters in this and past trailers), while Vidyala has written an excellent post comparing this trailer to those for the previous expansions, and their emotional impact. I highly recommend reading both.

Personally, what struck me most vividly about the Mists trailer was THAT BADASS ORC. Seriously, that orc was a thing of beauty. I'm only half-joking here - we've come a long way since the thick knots of walking muscle that appeared in the Vanilla and Burning Crusade trailers. Even the male orc models in-game are rather squat, stout and blocky.


But the orc in the trailer? That guy was awesome! He was massive and muscular, but in a lean, lanky, feral way. He looked strong AND fast, like a hunting cat or a honed predator. Still a little top-heavy and bulky, of course, but leagues better than the stubby brutes in the earlier trailers. Big fan of this style. :D

I was also really impressed with the level of fine detail - Blizzard's animators are amazing. From the human's jacket tassels, to the tiny patterns and carvings on the orc's brazier-turned-club, to the trinkets and bottles hanging from the Pandaren's belt...it's a shame we only get fully rendered cinematics like this once per expansion.

I particularly loved their eyes - they really seemed alive, and full of emotion.


Finally, there was That Scene, the one that everyone is saying was their favorite part, that we'll all remember fondly for years to come. We all know what I'm talking about.


It WAS a hilarious moment, no doubt about it. It really drove home the mystique and awe-inspiring feel of the Pandaren. Just look at their faces! Priceless.

However, I liked it even more because it illustrates something crucial about the entire Horde/Alliance war, especially the humans and orcs. How significant is it that these two hated enemies would put aside their enmity to work together? Especially without any prior agreement, or without even exchanging a single word of truce?!

I mean, we've seen what happens when neutral parties try to get the two sides to work together. It doesn't work. An Old God is awake and breaking free, putting the entire world at risk? Nope, we'd rather fight and butt heads. We're on the Lich King's doorstep, and need to assault his Citadel as a unified force? Psh, let's kill each other in Tirion's little tournament and destroy each other's airships instead.

But this funny little scene in the Mists trailer showed us what we've been doing wrong. The Horde and Alliance hate and distrust each other far too much to listen to logic or common sense, even with such major stakes. But now? Now we know exactly it takes to get these disparate sides to work together, to band together and unite against a common foe.

Fear.

It reminds me of a great piece of fanart that you've probably seen, of Garrosh and Varian battling Deathwing in his human form. Obviously, it's not canonical, since Deathwing never USED his human form (grumble, grumble), but I've always loved the image because it's the one time we've seen those two hotheads actually cooperate.


(Here's a link where you can download this image as a wallpaper from battle.net.)


Can't you picture the moments preceding this scene playing out just like the orc/human battle in the Mists trailer? Where neither Garrosh or Varian even thinks about teaming up with the other until after Deathwing has been kicking them around for a while, and it's abundantly clear that their only chance is to swallow their pride and team up?

(We actually saw this in Stormrage, too - where Varian only agreed to work with the Horde after things were basically already in the crapper, and there were no other options left.)

So there we have it. If Tirion or Alexstrasza or whoever truly want the Horde and Alliance to work together, they can't do it with stirring words or by trying to tell them about some horrible looming threat. Pride and hatred will simply get in the way. They have to see it with their own eyes, and realize that to fight alone is to perish.

Something to keep in mind for later when we finally take on Sargeras, perhaps?

6 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar
    Rowan Blaze

    One can only hope. The factional bickering is something I grew to dislike the more I played. It is/was senseless in Rift, as well. As other titles manage to weave truces into their storylines so players can play together and still be whatever race they want, yet still have successful PvP for those that want it, Wow will be forced to go along.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:06 AM

  2. gravatar
    Dhevon

    You took the words right out of my brain where you mentioned Sargeras at the end. Truth be told I have always hoped that when it comes down to WoW's final day's (in the far distant future I hope) I would love to see, lore-wise anyway, a peaceful accord reached between the two factions. I too find the whole us vs them mentality that seems to have no hope of ever ending, tired and unrealistic.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:03 AM

  3. gravatar
    Anonymous

    WoWcan't suppress the factional rift which has grown in gigantic size since the beginning of this MMO. There is to much hatred in and (sadly but logically, IMO) out of the game.

    If Titan's projetc is a WoW2 (another thing I don't believe, because there is to much long lifespan races in WoW, which mean that even 1000 years after the end of MoP, there would be some characters already existing), then aybe that they could avoid the factional strife.

    Ur-Than

    August 17, 2012 at 6:06 AM

  4. gravatar
    Anonymous

    @Dhevon

    "I too find the whole us vs them mentality that seems to have no hope of ever ending, tired and unrealistic"

    It's -maube- the only realistic thing which exist in WoW. There is to blood on the Horde's hands and to much hatred toward the Horde's races from the Alliance to be forgiven, in my opinion.

    That's why, as hilarious as The Scene could be in this cinmatic, I had to make a facepalm.

    Ur-Than

    August 17, 2012 at 6:09 AM

  5. gravatar
    Dhevon

    @ Ur-Than Take a look at history. There are countless examples of peoples who were once fierce enemies and are now allies or at the very least tolerate each other. At some point people forget why they are fighting and then question why they continue to do so. People grow, evolve, change. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does eventually happen. Thus it is unrealistic. When confronted by an unknown common obstacle (Chen) in a land that they didn't even know existed before, those two unknowns are very powerful in forming unlikely, albeit temporary, truces.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:23 AM

  6. gravatar
    Throm of Jaedenar

    As nice as teaming up is, its also boring as hell.

    I'll take faction conflict over demons, or old gods, or the next generic enemy any day.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:56 AM