World of Warcraft players will soon get to re-experience the MMORPG’s first in-game cinematic with the release of Wrath of the Lich King Classic, but knowing what all went into the creation of the iconic scene at the Wrathgate might make it even more epic in retrospect.
The Wrathgate was a huge moment in WoW’s story, as the combined forces of the Horde and the Alliance battled the Lich King’s armies in order to confront Arthas, only for all three factions to be decimated by a deadly chemical weapon unleashed by the Forsaken. It served as players’ first face-to-face confrontation with the Lich King, and the events of the Wrathgate led to the death of Varok Saurfang’s son and a disfigured Bolvar Fordragon eventually taking Arthas’ place at the end of the expansion.
As detailed by WoW’s lead cinematic narrative designer Terran Gregory in a new making-of video, despite the scene’s importance, the MMO’s first in-game cinematic might as well have been held together with duct tape and glue. Blizzard is well-known for its impressive pre-rendered cutscenes, but when it came to using WoW’s actual in-game engine to craft a cinematic moment, there was little in the way of actual tools to accomplish the feat back in 2011.
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Author: Cameron Koch