Favorite CG MMO Trailers

The trailer for Guild Wars 2 has all been but confirmed for release tomorrow (August 20) in Cologne at noon (6 AM EST).  In lieu of this momentous occasion, I wanted to share my five favorite CG MMO trailers.  Feel free to share your favorites and most disliked below.  In no particular order:

Tabula Rasa – Even though the game is no longer living, I really enjoyed the Tabula Rasa trailer.  It was well produced, and the tidbits of story was just enough to understand the background conflict.  The scenes showing the conquering of the world and the human refugees were great in giving a feeling of loss.  The point that Earth was gone was well made.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade – The original World of Warcraft trailer was great, and Blizzard took it one step further with the Burning Crusade trailer.  It set up the main conflict for entering the Outlands, it presented the two new races, it had a bit of nostalgia, a bit of humor, and a big badass at the end.  I had long stopped playing World of Warcraft, but the trailer got me excited.  The following Frozen Throne trailer failed to do this for me.  It felt like the “one” scene was stretched thin.

Star Wars The Old Republic – This one was an easy choice.  Even parsing out the superb use of Star Wars lore, the set up and cinematography are top notch.  The combat choreography is well done with the focus where it should be in the huge lightsaber battle.  I do have one complaint.  Both major combatants should have died with the way that final blow was struck.  It gave the Sith a feeling of plot immunity, which further lead to a feeling of the bad guys are cooler.  I think that the good guys deserved a few more “cool” scenes.

Guild Wars Factions – The first Guild Wars trailer was about average, but when the second Guild Wars campaign was coming, ArenaNet outdid themselves with this trailer.  It had a very evocative Asian feel without falling into the horrible Asian tropes (see the Lineage 2 trailer for those), and I loved the use of beads to signify blood.  The Jade Wind was also great, but I wished it also showed the “freezing” of the Jade Sea.  It sucked that Guild Wars Nightfall did not have its own trailer after the outstanding Factions one.

Warhammer Online – This is likely my favorite MMO CG trailer, and possibly my favorite CG trailer.  It showcases a lot of the classes and their conflict with each other.  It gives the good guys some “cool” facetime, and the whole trailer keeps a steady pace.  There are also a lot of small details like the dwarf deciding he needs a drink during the battle or the demon’s necklace warping reality.  My one criticism is that the pacing is almost too steady.  It does not give the frenetic feeling of a battle.  It’s a minor nitpick, though, in a great trailer.

ze Zacred Siegfried Oas

14 thoughts on “Favorite CG MMO Trailers”

  1. One of my favourites is the Revelations trailer for Eve, which captures the “shit is about to hit the fan” feel perfectly. As for the game itself, Eve Never Fades made me want to explore that vast world.

    For WoW, the TBC trailer is a no-brainer, but I also like the Black Temple trailer for it’s heavy emphasis on lore. And if fanmade works are allowed, then there’s Naxxramas the Movie (gotta love those French voice actors), The Eternal Legend and Conquest’s 2006 retrospective.

  2. I’ll second the WAR trailing being a favorite, as even today I’ll still watch it sometimes when WAR loads.

    And I still like the original UO opening, if only because it explains WHY there are multiple copies of the same world (plus it’s the reason people called them ‘shards’ rather than servers).

  3. When reading about and watching the video interview about the SWTOR trailer and the making thereof, I got the distinct impression that the SWTOR trailer was one of, well, more than one. That more trailers would be revealed later. Would make sense if this was an Empire/Sith intro trailer, and another as-yet-unseen trailer for the Republic/Jedi.

  4. >I do have one complaint. Both major combatants should have died with the way that final blow was struck.

    From my (admittedly limited) fencing knowledge, the Sith turned inside the Jedi’s reach to avoid the blow. Regardless of whether it works or not, next Star Wars RPG I run, that trailer will be required watching.

  5. @Bri – if that were so it might kick the WAR trailer off my fav list.

    @Changling bob – noted for fencing. I guess it was a little too theatrical for me. Couldn’t he just flick his wrist inward? Regardless, it was more of a culmination of the bad guys being cooler… even if the end result was pre-determined.

  6. The thing that puzzled me about Warhammer’s trailer was that it made the Destruction side look like cannon fodder in the LOTR movies. The Dark Elf Chick just wants to tease some girl-on-girl with the Shadow Warrior, and the rest of the playable Destruction classes get cut down by the swashbuckling Order heroes.

    As to TBC, it is tremendously well-executed, but also slightly bittersweet. From the moment you put the disc in the drive, it’s all Illidan (or his minions), all the time, in most of the expansion zones and content. Only problem is, if you weren’t in an elite 25-man guild, Illidan was right when he says that you are not prepared – all of that story and build up is not for you. As a non-raider, it feels like the bad guy ended up winning.

    1. Well, it was tit-for-tat: The Engineer shoots some Choppas, the Squig Herder defeats the Engineer, the Bright Wizard defeats the Herder, the Marauder defeats the Wizard, the Shadow Warrior defeats the Marauder and the Witch Elf defeats the Shadow Warrior.. and then they’re all okay in the final scene. While the Engineer was probably only knocked down, the Bright Wizard took a sword through his heart. I guess he respawned. :-)

      And yes, TBC was quite a bait-and-switch. Fighting Illidan himself was quite epic, but too few saw him until the 30% nerf.

      1. Even if the engineer had died, he took out a bunch of choppas before he went. Then the Herder didn’t get the kill because the Wizard got him. Then the Marauder apparently missed the heart (it looks like the wizard is trying to cauterize the wound in the final panel, dunno if that’s an ability they actually get) and got distracted and destroyed by the Warrior. Then the Sorceress snares the Shadow Warrior but does not actually do any damage before the boss calls off the flunkies.

        To sum up, Destruction lost an undetermined number of Choppas/Black Orcs, a Herder and a Marauder, while all of the Order players survived. How is that tit for tat? :P

  7. While I have to agree with your choices, especially with WAR being a great trailer, I think I ought to mention how it has caused me to avoid trailers entirely now since they get me pumped to buy a game which isn’t as great or fun as the trailer is.

  8. The WAR trailer is pretty sweet. What chance do a Shadow Warrior, Dwarf Engineer, and a Bright Wizard have against Tchar’zanek and an obviously potent Changer of Ways? Everyone knows they need at least 2 tanks to help hold aggro!

    I love the Star Wars trailer but the sad thing is the game’s actual graphics will be nothing like this. They will be cool, but stylized. I’m a realism fanatic, usually prefer real-life-looking graphics over cartoony. Unless the game is meant to be cartoony (a la Ratchet & Clank). Why I think WoW looks so ridiculous.

  9. Not an MMO and not really a trailer, but the CG intro to the first Dawn of War always tickled my bone. Better than the original WoW cinematic to me (keep in mind this was back in 2004/5)

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