Spared Expense

If you have not seen it yet, the 4.3 Patch trailer is one of the worst trailers Blizzard has ever made. Why? No voice over. I was originally sympathetic to the argument that “Hey, they’re just patch trailers.” But after watching this week’s episode of Legendary, I was inspired to see if Youtube had a collection of the old ones. As it turns out, they do.

To be clear, not all of them are good. Most of them seemed way cooler at the time. But out of all of them, the only other patch trailer with no voice over was 3.2, Call of the Crusade. As in the most phoned-in raiding content patch in the history of the game. Is that really the comparison Blizzard should be going for, nearly two million subscribers down, with the LAST patch of an expansion and ultimate show-down with Deathwing, aka “I am the Cataclysm?”

It becomes even worse when you consider this fan-made revision:

This is what the fan says in the Youtube description:

After seeing the slightly disappointing 4.3 trailer from Blizzard I had a thought that it was simply lacking voiceovers, so I downloaded their trailer and voiceovers from the Dragon Soul raid and played around with it in iMovie for about an hour and this is the result.

Do note I have almost no video editing experience.

You know that tingling sensation, accompanied by your nipples getting hard? That’s (probably) due to proper voice work. And the goddamn height of Blizzard’s absurdity in this is that these voice clips already exist in the game files. It is not as though they can even hide behind the “expense” of getting Metzen to read the inactive ingredients label on a bottle of shampoo over Skype, or whatever passes as content creation in Blizzard offices these days. They had all the pieces already, but chose NOT to spend the one extra hour making a presentably badass trailer for the ultimate, world-destroying boss. Instead, they chose to dust off the 3.2 trailer generator, and cut & paste new video while changing the text in the “delayed left-to-right lens flare” field.

If Titan does not end up being the best videogame in the history of the medium, I hope to god that we see a VH1 Behind the Scenes special, five years down the road, detailing the descent into drugs and madness that was the dev team during this time period. I would rather know that they were booting black tar heroin than to accept that a team of gamer designers sat around a table and approved garbage like the original trailer. I would rather them say “let the casuals eat cake” and return to TBC 2.0, than to know they said “good enough” while rubber-stamping an inferior product. Design directions, even if I disagree with them, at least indicate a modicum of seriousness. This shit… if they stop caring, why should I? Or anyone?

The little things matter.

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Posted on December 5, 2011, in Commentary, WoW and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Have you watched the one for Black Temple? It’s actually a pretty complex story. Certainly more complex than “Big Evil Enemy has to die”. First youtube comment for that trailer is: “See? Blizzard can do better than pandas”. It’s not from me ;)

  2. The 2.3 trailer is by far my favorite…something about Zul’jin’s voiceover.

    • It’s my favourite too, and still gives me chills years later. Love Zul’jin’s lines and voice acting.

      “And NOW they fight alongside da Horde? I SPIT on da Horde!”

      As for the 4.3 trailer, I was immediately reminded of the 3.2 trailer as well. Not because of the lack of voice-overs though, but because like the TotC one it pretty much consists of nothing but random shots of (players doing) the new content instead of telling its own story like all the more memorable trailers.

    • 2.3 is far and away the best, and some of the best voice acting in the game, period.

      Having just watched it again, I also have to say that Zul’jin is one of the precious few WoW villains that didn’t just “go insane.” He has legitimate grievances with both the Horde and Alliance; a fact that automatically makes him one of the deepest bosses in WoW lore.

      “We gonna bury you here,” is still my favorite line… but just listen to him at 1:25 when he says “I hate you… I hate you all.” This guy, whoever he is, needs to be in more stuff.

  3. It looks like something that an intern did over the summer to try and impress the powers-at-be, and they thought, hey, why don’t we just use this to release the patch?

  4. I’m suddenly very aware of my nipples…