Sunday, February 15, 2009

WoW: Opening Impressions

For the first post of my forced WoW week, I decided that I would discuss the opening cinematic.

I decided that because I still haven't been able to start playing yet.

Apparently, in order to go from the trial disc I purchased to an actual playable game, they have to patch every file on my computer.

I'm not even kidding. It tells me it needs a patch and then conveniently downloads the patch for me.

And then, when it's done downloading the patch, it tells me it needs another patch.

Repeat ad infinitum.

They should have called this World of WarPatch.

Thus, with no other option, I am stuck discussing the opening cinematic.

Tomorrow... Tomorrow, I'll probably be discussing my opinion of the update patch system.

Spoiler: Not a fan.

Honestly, I like the opening. It's pretty good.

Oh, don't go getting your hopes up WoW fans. This part is called the set up.

It is pretty good... In the same way a Jeep commercial is pretty good.

A Jeep commercial is designed to be shiny and pretty. The whole point of the commercial is to get you to want to buy a Jeep.

Yay, Jeeps!

... Jeep.

I'm not sure what the plural form of Jeep is.

But, for all of its shiny appeal, the Jeep commercial doesn't present any new or interesting material. It just shows you Jeep(s) driving around.

Everyone knows that's what they do. They're not exactly blowing people's minds here.

No one watches a Jeep commercial and feels moved or inspired.

That's how I felt about WoW's opening.

The movie does what it sets out to do. It introduces the basic material and showcases a variety of characters.

Very shiny.

There's a bear.

Bears are the number one threat to America.

Very exciting.

What the movie doesn't do is give you any real reason to play.

FFXI's opening movie breaks your heart.

I mean... Look at that.

Isn't that the most heartbreaking thing you've ever seen?

Shut up. I'm not crying.


That movie makes you want to play. It gives you a reason to fight the beastmen horde and make them pay for their crimes.

And it inspires you. It shows people coming together to fight a common evil.

Admittedly, it doesn't show the asshat that is going to kill the NM you've been camping for seventeen hours.

Still, the movie grips you. It makes you feel for the people of Vana'diel and hate the beastmen.

That's a good opening.

Now, let's take a look at the opening for WoW.

... Yeah.

It's... It's good. It definitely introduces the main concepts of the game.

There was a World.

There was some Warcraft.

The World was generally composed of Warcraft.

Unfortunately, I could have ascertained that information from the title.

I'm smart like that.

I'm also not going to point out the strong similarity to the Lord of the Rings.

That would be rude.

Don't get me wrong. The movie is good. It is an incredibly well-made, high quality cinematic.

Then again... So's a Jeep commercial.

And I don't see myself going out to buy a Jeep.

I'm hoping the first few levels of the game will provide me with more motivation to play.

Just as soon as all the patching is done...


At 10:13 PM, Blogger Justin said...

First? Really?

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Justin said...

And second? Anyway, I agree with you dave, wow is pretty looking with how they sell it, but as you keep playing you'll see what a truly inferior product it is to FFXI

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

The only issue I have is that the FFXI opening felt a lot more like LOTR then WoW, I've played both and prefer FFXI but watching the opening again definatly made me think it was a remake of Two Towers if Gandolf wouldn't of come to save them in the end.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Chris said...

See if you can get a copy of the Wrath of the Lich King(or "wotlk"; the short hand might help find it) installer Dave - it contains a "snap shot" of the game up until the end of it's second expansion(3.0.2 patch), that will leave you with around 50meg if that to download from there(3 patches I can think of).

If you know someone else that plays, you can just get a copy of theirs, delete the WTF, Logs, Interface and Screenshots folders and be good to start. This removes all their junk and gives you a "clean" install.

While you're playing, keep in mind that wow is two games: Leveling, end game. You'll barely start to get into leveling by the end of the trial. End game splits even further into things, but you can worry about that if you get there.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger T.Z said...

.................4 years I've been playing FFXI and I've never seen that opening. I think I must be killed.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Michael said...

WoW's patcher is absolutely the most crappy invention.
It sucks more than Heather Brooke does.

Back when I played, I always downloaded the patch via external sites and left that damn patcher alone.

At 1:25 AM, Blogger Justin (Wade) said...

Damn, If i would've thought about the patching, I would've set up a torrent for ya' so you could download it all -fully-patched-

(In case you don't know. Yes.. You can do that.)

At 1:33 AM, Blogger Robin said...

do NOT play a PVP/PvE server.
I strongly recommend RP or RP-PvP.

At 1:55 AM, Blogger Paul said...

As a neutral party (I don't like WoW or FFXI much), I must say I like WoW's cinematic more. FF's cinematic is full of every cliche in the book, I mean, who didn't see the death of the older sister coming from a mile away?

On the other hand, WoW has trolls, but the cinematic lacks them, so WoW loses some points too. Trolls are the best race for sure. Granted, the WC3/WoW aren't nearly as cool as the WC2 trolls, but they'll do in a pinch.

Honestly, as far as cinematics go, I'm partial to WAR's. It's just a really great battle scene, I think. Of course, WAR's cinematic came years later, and it's all a matter of prefrence.

At 4:06 AM, Blogger Martin said...

If it's any consolation, the cinematic for Wrath has a rather large dragon... and you can get dragons to fly on too :)

At 5:47 AM, Blogger Akamar said...

To be fair and honest, you're right.. FFXi's cinematic does a fair introduction to the basic story of the game. WoW seems to expect a certain loose familiarity with their previous games...

Cinematics are pretty, but I find them rather few and far between...

At 5:49 AM, Blogger J. Scarper said...

Let's look at what we know.

Japan has always been good with pulling at your heartstrings. I'm quite a big anime fan, and I know for fact that whoever writes these things practically write emotional stuff for fun. It's like they make people cry for a hobby. On top of that, hey, the entire FF series has always been incredibly touching.

America, on the other hand, is $$-Central. They make money. They love money. So they don't do touching things, they do cashy things. To borrow from Dave's idea, the WHOLE America system is a Jeep commercial. They don't want to make people play by giving them a sense of purpose, they want to make people play by hanging something cool in front of them.

Cliches aside, the FFXI opening works. Every time the story writers come up with something that they want to be touching, they succeed. Nobody cares that it's cliched. It makes people cry. Similarly, the Jeep commercial works. It makes people spend. Bingo, I say.

...but I still go with FFXI. Me be needing them tissues now.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger TJ said...

I have some advice Dave:

Whenever you get done patching and actually start playing, do NOT roll a paladin.

Warlocks and Rogues are pretty fun and easy; they also murder anything their level. Hunters too.

But please, do not roll a Paladin if you want to enjoy the game right away.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Been reading your blog for a very long time and I've awaited this day.

Played WoW for a couple years. Had it's good and bad times but the pve content is exceptionally well done and the pvp is 2nd only to Warhammer and DAOC. I do agree with some things you've hinted at. However, there are retards in every single game. In fact all over the world as you're very familiar.

Not gonna give you any hints/help. Play the game. You are missing out on alot though being confined to the trial.

Not that you'd ever take the time to get up in level to experience outland or northrend where the fun actually is. Flying mounts add a whole new aspect to the game.

Do play until you get to level 30 though. Mounts make it much more fun.


At 8:29 AM, Blogger Kouji said...

I believe a trial account limits you to only lvl 20.

But yes, to agree with previous comments do NOT roll a paladin to start out with. You will gouge your eyes out with a rusty spork before hitting lvl 10. They're not even remotely interesting until they hit the 20-range.

I'd recommend a warlock, hunter, or a druid. Everyone has a rogue, and I've met more idiot rogues than any other class.

Sad that you'll be missing out on Burning Crusade content, draenei and blood elves have nice starting areas, and Outland is interesting to quest in.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Bufuman said...

I believe a trial account limits you to only lvl 20.

Great, that'll leave Dave looking for something to do for the other 5 days.

I too have never actually sat down and watched the FFXI. Now I want to play again (plus I finally get all those references you made about Aldo's sister in some of your older posts). Damn my lack of a job!

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Meilin said...

Going to Tenshodo my first time, and realizing the two were the same person... it was mind blowing. Then finding his sister was almost tear jerking.

.....WoW looks purdy.

....The elf lady was pretty.


At 9:12 AM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

Being a WoW'er...yeah, our cinematics are great on looks & SFX, short on storyline. Too bad the Blizz team can't pick up on selling the story - but then again, they've changed & retro'd their lore so many times, they've probably forgotten what the central story IS.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Dan said...

"I mean, who didn't see the death of the older sister coming from a mile away?"

The sister diddn't die, she still lives, which you find out in game later on.

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Durrel said...

The original cinematic I think relied on the fact that they were selling to the people who had been playing the RTS games so it wasn't trying to set a tone or give a reason, It just assumed you already knew. Whereas for the FFXI since there was no preexisting lore you needed ot have all that information.. The TBC and WoTLK intros do a better job of giving a little more story but again not as much because they assume some familiarity with the game from the previous content.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Surazal said...

Yep, I call fail on the WoW opening. Its all like "look, we have characters and stuff, and they fight" whereas FFXI's opening was all like "look, we have story and stuff that's actually interesting".

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Kinam said...

yea, with the way FFXI is compared to WoW ... Dave'll be capped on whatever he rolls up within a couple days ... capped to level 20, can't send tells to people without them either sending you a tell first, or them having you on their friend list ... can't trade ... can't shout ... um ... lots of other things capped.

oh, sure, the UI can be customized damn near any way you want ... as long as you go get an addon that some fan made up... the default UI sucks royally...

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Eric said...

wotlk cinematic

much better and at least shows a little lore/story

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Edit: Forgot to mention at least you won't get your ass kicked by bunnies in WoW.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Tristan Kain said...

I just wish there was a way to watch the FFXI opening without having to monkey with the installer every time. Dial-up + PS2 = Very very very bad time if I accidentally reinstall an expansion...

And as for crap patchers - it's Blizzard -after- Blizzard North split and took all their actual programmers with them. What do you expect?

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Chris Boyd said...

It's five years old...
The first one is very generic, the other 3 cinematics added since are much much better. Not to mention the content patch trailers.

Hint: Your gonna hate WoW, your 5 years too late.
All of the good stuff is Burning Crusade lv1-20 + lv60-70 and WotlK lv70-80.

If your seriously going to give this a go, get the first expansion and make a Blood Elf character. Otherwise you'll be bogged down in 5 year old gameplay for 60 levels.

Lv70-80 is total genius and the best MMO experience you can have at the moment.

Bosses don't take over 24 hours to kill either, it's 30 minutes for the hardest one.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...

Akamar, I think it's less that WoW expects familiarity with their old games, and more that the cinematic imitates their general design philosophy at the time: there is NO overarching story from levels 1 to 60.

This changes in the expansions. 60-70 and 70-80 have their own overall plotlines that they're building towards, and the cinematics have allusions to that. But 1-60 is just... not really that cohesive. Each individual zone has its own story to tell but they don't generally build up to a bigger story.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger tom said...

out of the wow, ffxi, and warhammer cinematics that were posted, i thought the warhammer one was the coolest

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Animayhem said...

I played both WoW and FFXI and I enjoyed both for different reasons. Though in the end I have to say this, FFXI has cat-girls and WoW lets me have giant spiders as hunter pets. (Lot of fun in cities, just watch the people scared of spiders freak.) I ended up play WoW more due to the fact that after 3 months my FFXI account is history, sadly RL issues gets in the way and I might have to stop playing for months at a time. If FFXI drops that, then I would stick with FFXI.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

THANK YOU Dan. He's right; she's not dead. And my heart broke the first time I watched that!

WoW's opening is only half as long and part of that was them slapping the credits on there.

The voiceover was dull and the music was dull...and the more cartoony look I just didn't like.

FFXI's opening wins. WoW's gets the finger from me.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...

Sorry but if you think the music was dull you have terrible taste in music...

At 5:22 PM, Blogger The Moogle said...

I have played both and this is all i have to say, the movies represent the games. FF11 is longer, more in depth and requires multiple people to accomplish anything (seen the final scene of its movie). WoW is faster, quicker and doesn't require big groups of people to do things. No one deserves hate, Dave. It is like comparing too cliche.

Anyways, just see it in your heart to give it a fair chance. And play something you can actually solo with, like Paladin.

BTW, WoW is better than FF11 in that any class can be unique but FF11 is better than WoW in that one character can do any job.
That is all, Dave, and try not to suck.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger jasonx254 said...

Being an avid enthusiat of researching the Lore of WoW (it tends to different in some bits) I can honestly say that those who believe wow doesnt do touching, are idiots. Have you not seen the cinematic where Grom hellscream finally frees the orcs? Its incredibly touching.

As for the two cinematics...the FFXI trailer was a bit of a let down in all honesty. Cliched and well...the defenders were a bit of a bunch of pansies werent they? I assume it was black mages dropping rocks from the sky etc. Or mages in general.

Giant conjured rocks from the sky...Wheres the huge fireballs? wheres the big ice spells? Wheres the impressive stuff?!?

And the archer trembling in front of the giant monster...well that just encouraged me so much to play =/ Yes one of our races trembles in terror in a one on one fight.

But when you look at the wow trailer. The mage on the mountain top, fighting the infernal. He's throwing his biggest spells at the guy, fireballs, frost novas. Most importantly he's got the lock of, 'Come on then, If you think you're hard enough!!'

Sorry but i find it difficult to find scenes touching where the victims are practically peeing their pants when the enemy finally reaches them.

If it was a warcraft battle horde defenders would cracked them on the noggin and kicked them in the face right off the walls. And the giant monsters? They'd probably leapt into its face and gouge its eyes out.

But that's just what i got from the trailers.

But as a bit of advice dave, I pity you because you are just starting and dont have access to Death Knights yet...there are few other things that bring as much joy as running up to any ally (even a paladin) and raping him in the face with a giant runeblade and cleaving huge chunks off his hp.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Fulluphigh said...

oh, sure, the UI can be customized damn near any way you want ... as long as you go get an addon that some fan made up... the default UI sucks royally...

At least you have that option. God forbid you want to pull up firefox playing FFXI

The voiceover was dull and the music was dull...and the more cartoony look I just didn't like.

I'm in ageement with the poster under you. If you thought FFXI's voice overs and music was better, you have a problem.

I'll grant that the ending to the FFXI trailer was pretty epic. The good music kicked in, a couple friends walk up, then it pans out to show everybody. That was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, that was all that moved me. The rest was utterly boring. Things that I'd seen time and time again. And the narrator sucked.

I also admit that the original WoW opening cinematic didn't have much to it. In fact, I suppose it hardly had anything at all. But it was epic, and it most certainly did throw you into the Fantasy setting they're shooting for.

No don't get me wrong. I'm not a WoW fanboy. I finally quit it, and am utterly sick of it. The lack of enjoyment I derived was tangible.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Adrian said...

Oh wow! I'm using a 2-3 year old trial installer and I'm complaining about the patches!

God forbid FFXI freshly installed from vanilla not have any patches!

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Chrysalis said...

Animayhem... FFXI has the return home to vanadiel campaign so that you can get back chars you had before. they run it often. also, now its more like 6 months or so before your char goes away. *shrugs* dont know if the info helps you any but since you mentioned it if you poke here again, maybe i've helped

At 5:22 AM, Blogger Devilfish said...

World of Patchcraft? Seriously Dave? This is how you'e going to prove FFXIs superiority?

Because I am in fact, at this very moment, installing FFXI for the first time on this computer. I've been staring at sloooowly moving bars and crawling, climbing percentages for 3 hours now. And I haven't even properly downloaded the damn patches yet.

Not a good time for me, Dave.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Adam said...

To be fair, I downloaded the FFXI 14-day trial and it was downloading updates for well over 8 hours when I first tried to play. Fun first day!

So yeah, I don't know if FFXI is really any better on that front.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Spam said...


This game is almost 7 years old.
So you've to deal with a BIG patch.
Ok 8 hours is kinda hard.
It took me "only" 3 hours to patch. :)

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Fulluphigh said...


That was his point.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Kenny said...

With my five year old discs and 8 year old PC, I've never spent more than 1:30 downloading patches. Same thing goes for when I installed FFXI on my Xbox 360. Either my internet connection is FTW, or you guys have some rather shitty connections.

And Dave, why did you buy the trial CD? You can download an installer from Blizzard for free.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Blake said...

Even though i've been playing FFXI for years, I always forget about the opening movie. It really is beautiful (and Meteor. wow.) - I even gave WoW a shot (got to level 70 hunter), but decided to quit once WotLK came out. I just couldn't stand doing any more f'ing quests. I mean, shit, I've gotten to 70. Isn't that good enough? 80 now!? Christ.

Either way, I still have yet to get a 75 after playing since 2006. That's the beauty of FFXI. Endless things to do, so much variety. So, after really playing both the games, I still stand by FFXI. (even the time sinks)

At 3:46 AM, Blogger Santa ain't real said...

You guys all make me want to choke. I hate you. You're arguments suck. Trailers equal shit. I hate Blake most of all. You're a dumbass. You wrote the worst comment ever (aside from me probably).

At 6:04 PM, Blogger semele said...

"A sentient jewel"...


Really? That moves you? Didn't you also like the Sex in the City movie? Hmm.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Cydian said...

As a WoW player, I feel compelled to point out that the cinematic you're watching for WoW is over five years old. Plus, that long of a cinematic at the beginning of the game would annoy me to no end. I want to play the game, not watch it...but I guess that's the problem Final Fantasy has ALWAYS had.

You want heartbreaking? Go watch the Wrathgate cinematic from mid-Wrath of the Lich King. Granted, you have to know who the characters are for it to be heartbreaking, but it really is.

And as the others said, the only way to really experience the game is to play it past lvl20. That's when the game REALLY starts as that's when classes are starting to get their class defining moves.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Brandon said...

Dude... it took me 6 hours to patch when I played FFXI. When I installed WoW It took an hour and a half at most. You have a flawed argument sir.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger skynes said...

I decided to pick up the free trial of FF11, having seen it advetised online.

I'm staring at a patch download counter of EIGHT hours.

What was that your blog says later? Involving pots, kettles and colour?

Gonna leave this running anyway and see how WoW compares to FF myself :)

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Psx said...

LOL, you make me more interested in "JEEP" Dave! XD


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