Patch 5.4 Trailer – Burn in the Fires of My Hate

Garrosh stares hatefully.


Blizzard dropped the Patch 5.4 trailer for Siege of Orgrimmar on our heads early this morning and what a trailer it was. The overall quality and storytelling of each successive patch trailer has gone up significantly since their inception way back sometime in Vanilla but all of them have never failed to make me utterly hyped to play some more Warcraft. Blizzard’s got a real strength in their animatics/cinematics division and this was no exception – I am itching to log in and do anything in preparation for Patch 5.4.

Let’s review some of the things that were going on in this particular trailer, though, shall we?

Garrosh has gone completely corrupted/power-hungry at this point.

I can’t say for sure which one it is because it seems equally likely – he’s both influenced by the Sha but he’s also incredibly puffed up on his own ego, importance and hatred right now. He’s just as much a warmongering tyrant with something to prove who’s gotten way into his own ideology than just a pawn of the Sha-corruption. And honestly, a powerful male figurehead being lost in his own childish autonomy is far more fascinating than just him being taken over by the Old Gods. His dialogue in the video is similarly fiery, obstinate and hateful.

No one is going to get in his way and he’ll kill and hurt anyone who tries to. Which leads me to…

Taran Zhu got some snaps in before his supposed end, at least. (Edit: Dave Kosak cleared up that Taran Zhu’s is alive.)

I’ve not liked Taran Zhu in a lot of ways; he’s more of the same patronizing nonsense from other male leaders. But given his position as the only line of defense against whatever might ravage Pandaria (mogu, Sha), it’s probably justified in a lot of ways. While I feel that his initial presumption that the Alliance and Horde conflict was entirely to blame for the havoc within Pandaria’s own land, I feel like his assertion has finally come to bear. The fight between Taran Zhu and Garrosh was full of egos, certainly though. While Taran’s line about Grom was not only timely, correct and a sick fucking burn, both of them were taunting each other and it got the better of Taran.

Taran didn’t bring this on himself though, and for that I feel bad.

Vale is irreparably damaged now.

This is one of the biggest changes that really bothers me, even when Garrosh’s mining operation set up. Pandaria is such a beautiful, serene continent and we already saw parts of it that were completely given to destruction and corruption like the Dread Wastes. The idea of the Vale, the zone that the Celestials gave to us in order to help everyone is now being used by Garrosh’s plan to re-ignite an Old God makes a dramatically sad change to both the game and the story. I felt the same way when the Goblins were allowed to terraform and essentially destroy Azshara. There’s something about purposeful destruction of the most beautiful landscapes in WoW that really make me feel awful. Vale is where I spent a lot of time just hovering in the air, watching the sun go down.

There was a relative lack of anyone else that might have any involvement in bringing the fight to Garrosh.

I feel that the cinematic had a missed opportunity to do some strategic cutaways or montages over the dialogue (instead of the badass fight scene we got) to allude to anyone else that might be mad at Garrosh now. Taran Zhu mentioned the other members of the Horde, but absolutely nowhere were the Alliance mentioned or involved. A montage of people fighting while being referenced might have helped assuage my feelings that once again the Alliance get left out of a fight that’s rightfully ours to have. As I told Tzufit on Twitter: “(We’re) late to our own revenge, absent from our own war.”

While I can grasp that Taran Zhu is the ultimate symbol of the Pandarian people at this point, and so the fight was the struggle between the Azeroth factions and Pandaren-kind, the fact that the raid will involve all of  our fates, intertwined, left a bad taste in my mouth. Alliance are probably not going to get any payback for their grief at Theramore, nor any pro-active stance other than allegiances with the trolls. It still feels like we’re on the backburner for a fight that is igniting both factions right now and throwing power relations into the air. If not showing Varian, then at least Jaina?

Also why didn’t Taran Zhu have any sort of backup going on here? Where was Yalia? Where was Taoshi?

Overall, I’m excited. 

It can’t be helped, I’m always overwhelmed with purpose and emotions when I watch any of these trailers. The swell of music, the clang of weapons – it gets me right in the heart (same for Taran, I presume. Too soon?) and I want to just run and conscript myself back in with the Alliance army even though we’ve been relatively shafted in this conflict. The Barrens battles were relatively lukewarm as far as hyping me up for the growing war and subsequent raid instance. This was yet another sustaining breath of fresh air and I know that my guild is going to be lining up that first week, pumped to take down Garrosh and make him pay for his crimes.




4 Responses

  1. Add me to the list of people really upset by the Vale of Eternal blossoms being devastated. I spend most of my idle time in game just hovering over the Shrine and looking to the west, and now that view will be permanently purple?

    I guess it’s a constant reminder to why we’re going after Garrosh but it’s a disappointing aesthetic nonetheless.

  2. It is too bad the other Shado-Pan didn’t show up, but maybe it would have lessened the 1-on-1 conflict? I still would have liked to see them.

    It’s possible they were just busy though. When the scene cuts to the pools, Garrosh’s troops are all busy battling pandaren. Can’t make out who they are, but Taran Zhu’s appearance right after implies they’re probably Shado-Pan. So I guess both leader’s reinforcements – Taoshi, Yalia, Malkorok, Nazgrim – could have been busy skirmishing in the background.

    I also would have liked to see the faction cooperation during the Orgrimmar montage, like where we see the boats sailing in together. Seeing Varian, Jaina, Vol’jin and Lor’themar standing together as the combined armies ran past would have been an effective – and pretty significant – sight. And it would have given the Alliance some much-needed spotlight, without taking away from the “Garrosh vs Pandaria” theme of the trailer.

    (Also, I don’t know that Taran Zhu is actually dead. He could be, of course, but Garrosh stabs him in the chest with the blunt end of Gorehowl, so logically it’d be more likely to have broken bones / ribs. But his fate could easily go either way depending on what the story demands.)

    • Kosak tweeted that he’s alive a couple hours after my post went up so I should post a retraction (ah! my puns!) and fix that.

      But yeah, ANYTHING showing the combined forces of the factions would have pushed this cinematic over the top and included everyone, imho.

      • It would have been completely fantastic, had they shown that–but unfortunately CDev seems hellbent on pettily wrecking up the characterization of female legacy characters to make the boys look good. :I Which means Jaina and Tyrande are going to get relegated to being “the shrill racist/Leeroying harpies” all over again I’d wager.

        Frankly…I know faction conflict is kind of A Thing in WoW but it’s repeatedly worked to the detriment of storytelling. In Vanilla we were having genitalia fights in EPL and Silithus, the two places where we NEEDED to have a united front. BC did nonsensical things to Kael and Illidan’s characterization, but the Scryers and Aldor managed to act like ADULTS and the endgame saw us band together against KJ in the long run…and then in Wrath we were back to having genitalia fights. Sigh, eyeroll, snort. Yes, let’s mangle one another on Arthas’s doorstep.

        Anyhow. Wrath was a nice juicy loresteak for the Blue Team, and my playing Red much of the time doesn’t mean I’m bitter about that. There was focus on Blue but not to the detriment of Red, and that works! That’s fine! What DOES make me bitter though is the fact that all this Red Team plot spam is for the most part horrifically shallow and childish and weak storytelling, and comes at the expense of Jaina, Sylvanas and Tyrande’s characterization. And most of the “Storytelling” (aha ha ha ha ha…eugh), too, is…really, really, really embarrassingly hyperfocused on the orcs (and when it’s not it’s playing up the Orientalist issues with the elves to a hugely nasty extent, and ignoring the fact that things are very unlikely to ever be fine ‘n dandy for the Quel’dorei in the future…trust a former ~model minority~ on this one, they will never be able to prove themselves or assimilate culturally or look properly white and blond enough for the nastier elements of humankind, and that upsets me–living that life is misery, and CDev is trying to glorify it as something morally right). And the whiplash from Cataclysm bigging up Garrosh to here and now is…ridiculous.

        Wow, wall of srs and heavy unhappy text. All of this malarkey adds up to “I agree with you”, though. :) WoW seems to be wasting a lot of its potential lately.

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