The cinematic trailer for Mists of Pandaria is out, and it was a nice way to start a morning.
I love the philosophical shift in this trailer. I wonder how this is going to work out in the long term.
In the previous expansion cinematics for World of Warcraft, it started with the journey, but finished up focused on what would turn out to be our raiding end goal.
I felt that this cinematic was a breath of fresh air, going back to the very first vanilla WoW cinematic. It established where we were in the game, fighting and butting heads faction to faction, and then in a shift of perspective opened up a whole new world of possibility for us to explore.
We’ve always been focused on a final big bad, and I’ve posted before that Alex likes that. It sets a simple, easily defined goal when you log into the game; work a little closer to killing the big bad wolf. Maybe get a little better gear, develop closer ties to allied reputations, defeat lesser bosses, develop information on who the big bad is or what his plot is to foil, even just figure out how to forge a key to open the big bad’s front door.
This time, in a very appropriate change, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey along the way.
I know my son will enjoy the game, but without that clear goal staring him in the face at the login screen, he’s going to be a bit adrift. He is very young, after all, and isn’t used to setting his own goals or following his own path. He is more used to an obvious structure to follow.
That being said, he also loves redoing levels in games like Super Mario Galaxy I and II, so he can adapt to enjoying journeys just fine.
I’m pretty excited. I know that there will be some faffing around as I settle into Pandaria, and I’m sure that there will be so many directions to expore that I could get lost along the way in side paths and digressions, but I’m okay with that.
I can’t help but wonder, once the rush of the video has passed, just how many folks will start thinking about that lack of a big bad to focus on, and start whining about being confused as to what they are supposed to do.
For myself… I love it. it’s the journey I love, and if I never see the destination, I’m fine. We’ll have many wonderful adventures along the way.
Alex may find his attention wandering, but, hey… pet battles!
Oh, and talk about short attention span theater. Serious conflict, heavy drama, a struggle for sruvival shipwrecked on a dense jungle isle… then, comedy! I have been trained well. The training begun with Mtv has finally come full circle. I can now enjoy in full a 3 minute movie. I’m surprised we didn’t have a satisfying love affair worked in there.