Blizzard News: Pandaria Cinematic and HotS Beta

Pandaria cinematic:

At long last, the opening cinematic for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has been revealed.

I’m not going to lie: I’m disappointed. Most it was too dark to appreciate Blizzard’s excellent graphics work, and it lacked the excitement and epic scale I’ve come to expect from a Blizzard cinematic.

Now, the reveal of Pandaria was quite a powerful moment, and it was at least better than the rambling cinematics for classic WoW and Burning Crusade, but compared to the spectacular Cataclysm intro, this is definitely underwhelming.

I also can’t escape the feeling that I’ve seen this all before. The MoP cinematic is eerily reminiscent of the trailer for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos — albeit lacking all of the badassery and poignant imagery of that cinematic.

That’s how it’s supposed to be, Blizzard.

So I guess I’d describe the MoP cinematic as wasted potential. It’s not so much that it was bad, but for something we only get once every two years or so, they could have done so much better.

Heart of the Swarm beta + new Battle Report:

The logo for Starcraft II: Heart of the SwarmI had a sort of epiphany recently. While this can and probably will change at some point, Heart of the Swarm is currently the game I am most looking forward to playing. Even more so than Pandaria, the inevitable Diablo III expansion, or even Guild Wars 2.

The truth is I’ve always been a strategy fan at heart. I may have shifted to RPGs over time, but when you get right down to it, I like commanding armies, not a single character. And the Battlestar Galactica fan in me just won’t stop nerdgasming over the prospect of Six going on a psionic killing spree across the universe.

So I was excited to see the recent announcement that the Heart of the Swarm beta will be opening soon. After my experience with the panda beta, I don’t think I’ll sign up, but it’s exciting as a sign that Heart of the Swarm is not too far off.

To go along with this announcement, Blizzard has offered up a new Battle Report hosted by Day[9] and Rob Simpson. This one showcases the new multiplayer units in a Protoss versus Terran match.

Two main things I take away from this:

1: Don’t build tempests against Terran.

2: Day[9] says “gosh” too much.

To be honest, this whole video is pretty scary from a Protoss perspective, but it is worth noting that the Protoss player was playing so badly even I could see what he/she was doing wrong, and nothing’s been properly balanced yet anyway.

But still, is it just me, or are tempests just completely terrible? Something that expensive should not take that long to kill a single unit, nor be so susceptible to a mere handful of vikings.

But hey, I’m mostly there for the campaign anyway.

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7 thoughts on “Blizzard News: Pandaria Cinematic and HotS Beta

  1. I actually enjoyed the MoP cinematic – especially the pacing and little touches of humor. Reminded me of “the moment” in the Wrathgate cinematic – one of my favorites.

    • I enjoyed the cinematic too, but not everyone is going to be happy about it. I know some are still disappointed about pandas, but I like the zen take. looking forward to my panda monk and shaman.

      • Most people seemed to like it. As usual, I’m in the minority. Well, I always knew I had bad taste.

        I have nothing against pandas. I just don’t think that showing off the humor was the right way to introduce the expansion. This is only going to fan the “QQ kung fu pandas” flames.

      • yeah, you have a point as it was the first thing my daughter said :p.
        But as far as I can figure its always something… people will find something to QQ about regardless, this one is just more obvious that other expansions.

  2. I was also underwhelmed by the cinematic…kept thinking of Kung Fu Panda and couldn’t take it seriously. My favorite is the original WOW cinematic.

    • They’re really doing themselves a disservice by continually inviting that comparison. I know Pandaren aren’t Kung Fu Pandas, but the average gamer doesn’t, and Blizzard really ought to put more effort into making the distinction.

  3. Kung Fu Pandas never hit my radar because I’m not around kids so I miss the references. But I guess if that is the only “panda” reference one has, it’s not surprising that’s the first thing that would jump to mind.

    Maybe more effort should be on the average gamer’s end to look beyond children’s pop culture?
    Just a thought… ;)

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