Friday, 19 February 2010

Why you should watch the Fall of the Lich King cinematic

Well, first of all, you don't have to. It is, obviously, your choice. I'm just here to tell you that you have no reason not to. And no worries, it won't contain spoilers.

So, Rem, do you read the ends of books ahead of time, too? Well, no. But World of Warcraft is not a book. It's not even a film. It's a game. And the purpose of a game is not so much telling you a story, as letting you take part in a story. Yes, I hear you shouting that you care a lot about the game's story. Your claim may be more or less justified by how much or little you actually learned about the background and history of the game so far, but I hear you in either case. That's exactly the point. You should watch the cinematic because you care about the story, not despite. Confused? Let me explain.

Like I said, the purpose of a game is letting you take part in a story. Consequently, the point at which you will be automatically confronted with the cinematic is tied to your in-game actions. To be more precise, to your defeating the Lich King for the first time. This is an event that may never take place. Despite all the ramblings about how "easy" the game is, it's not all that easy in fact. There is no telling at this point in time if you (or me) will actually be good enough to defeat the Lich King. I'm not saying you (or me) won't, I'm only saying the information is not available yet. Unless you've already done it. In which case you've already seen the cinematic. In which case .. uh .. this whole argument is not aimed at you anyway. Right, talk about trolling oneself. Where was I.

Let's assume you are good enough (and me too, yay!), because that's the more interesting thing to assume anyway. Allow me to describe the probable course of events. Allow me to attempt to immerse you into the atmosphere of the moment. The tension of the final sequence of the hardest boss fight in the game. Someone will be shouting "10% ... 5 ... 3", someone else countering "30 seconds to enrage ... 20 ... 10 ... COME ON, GIVE HIM ALL YOU HAVE!", and then, with the last bit of mana, health, energy, rage and pure will, he will fall and Vent will erupt in cheers, cries and yells, while you'll be fist pumping and/or doing a little dance (as well as cheering, crying and yelling). There will also be some cinematic playing in the background. You think you'll care, at that moment?

Besides, it's not really like you're actually jumping in the story arc. The story is technically already told. It's a long story, which started all the way back in WC3 and is rooted in even older events. But now it is at its end. Did you do the Wrathgate questline, the Matthias Lehner questline and the ICC questline? Then you do not need to flip forward to the last page. You are on the last page. That the Lich King will be defeated is not a spoiler, it's a rule of the genre. The story is told. The rest are details. You may, of course, defer reading the last page until you personally reach a certain milestone. Keep in mind though that when you do, you'll go out to party and drink. And when you return and sit down to re-read what you half missed, you may feel it's not quite as spectacular as reaching the milestone itself was.

Of course, this is not quite true. There are still a couple of blank pages between where you are now and the last page (i.e. the cinematic). But those will remain mostly blank. This is the place where, once again "take part" comes into play. This space will be filled with your adventures, with your personal path to the goal. It is a story no one else will write. More importantly, it is a story that is going to be better than what anyone else will write. It will be more exciting and more epic, because it will be yours. If it wasn't, if, instead, a 4 minute cinematic, no matter how atmospheric and well done it is, was better than anything you experience on the way to it, then, frankly, we'd all have wasted our time.

Don't save the cinematic as "the best thing for last", because it is not the best thing. Don't see it as a climax, because it's not. The climax, the best thing will be how you and your peers will carve their way to that ultimate battle and how everyone will do their very best to prevail in it. You should watch the Fall of the Lich King cinematic, because it is merely an appetiser for the hopefully even better things that lie ahead on your path.


  1. I DID try to watch it. My files didn't want me to....

    *druid looks sad*

    Link please?

    And you missed a bit in that imagined moment. A very important one....The smug words of a warrior as he falls.

    "And THAT's for touching the druid....."

  2. should do.

    And yes, there may be some personal revenge involved *grins*

  3. Thank you! Duly watched...and.....*looks forward to the day*