Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How I would have done it

Continuing on yesterday's train of thought about the Cataclysm intro...

I spent most of my drive home from work daydreaming about what I would have liked to see in the trailer. If I was writing and/or directing it, what would I have included?

I looked back, and the intro cinematics tend to clock in around 3 minutes, give or take. So we have to set up reasonable expectations there. You want the cinematic to be smooth and cohesive, but you don't have a lot of time to get across whatever information you might want to present.

So I would have started the trailer in an Archive room similar to the ones in Halls of Stone or Ulduar, except this one would be in Uldum (new zone tie-in!). The Archive system would be explaining (to an empty room, because it technically isn't discovered until after the Shattering) how when the Titans were ready to leave Azeroth they created the five Dragon Aspects to watch over their creations. During this we'd see glimpses of Alexstrasza, Ysera, Maylgos, and Nozdormu. It wouldn't have to list their names or go into the specifics of what they guard, but seeing them would be good. We saw all of them to varying degrees during Wrath, and Alexstrasza and Ysera will both have roles in Cata. (Ysera got a new model.)

The Archive system would then mention Neltharion by name, explaining that we was the Black Dragon Aspect, and the one in charge of warding the physical earth.

Then it would ominously mention that he wasn't the only one to be making a home in his domain.

At this point we'd see Neltharion deep underground, tossing restlessly, like he was having a bad dream. Quietly at first, but growing in volume, we'd hear the whisperings of the Old Gods. As they get louder, the visuals would momentarily flash images of them and then back to Neltharion, who would be growing more violently restless as time passed until he finally snaps awake, roaring.

From here there would be a brief synopsis on the creation of the Dragon (Demon) Soul, Neltharion's betrayal during the War of the Ancients, his adoption of the name Deathwing, and the corruption of his physical body that forces him to have adamantium plates bolted to his flesh to keep him from falling apart. It would also mention that the eventual destruction of the Demon Soul forced him to flee into hiding deep in the elemental plane of Deepholm before the other Aspects could kill him. All this could probably be done in about 45 seconds.

Starting with the latter part of this synopsis, we'd see much the same thing we do in the current cinematic...Deathwing rumbling underground as he's fitted with said plates. Parts of the world cracking and heaving.

The Archive system would then warn that should Deathwing ever return to Azeroth, he would bring earth-shattering changes in his wake and that all life on Azeroth would be in great peril.

Of course, at this point we'd be seeing his flyovers and all the destruction left in his wake. The areas would appear more populated than they do in the current trailer, though. We'd also see glimpses of Kezan and Gilneas (new races!) in among the images already included in the trailer.

The final shot would still be him climbing over the walls of Stormwind and onto the Bridge of Heroes.

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