I just watched all of the Diablo 3 cinematics and they were pretty amazing to say the least. They ring true to the Blizzard spirit of creating quality games with compelling storylines. The dark nature of the story, coupled with compelling twists and finally top notch animation makes for some great cinematics. Starcraft 2 has some respectable cinematics too, while Warcaft has typically always had the most impressive cinematics of all.
The storyline for Warcraft was just amazing and it was a fantasy saga all in itself, even removed from the games. Now it seems that World of Warcraft has left it's taint on the series. Blizzard is forced to churn out lore at will for deadlines for patches, and this rushed attitude has resulted in a serious dip in quality. It is hard to go through modern WoW lore and not cringe especially when you compare it to that of Warcraft past.
While I understand that World of Warcraft simply makes too much money to simply discard. I would wager that even the folks at Blizz HQ know that it is not a masterpiece in any sense of the word. But it does pay the bills. So this makes me wonder why they do not create Warcraft 4 and let it exist together with WoW. As we all know World of Warcraft is in decline. Not dying, just in decline. And as such, it would be smart for Blizzard to make plans as to what will happen in the event of WoW not being profitable anymore.
They could begin development on Warcraft 4 and place it many, many years in the future, or alternatively many, many years in the past. It would have no effect on the current WoW universe and they would still have room to create whatever lore they wanted for the current WoW without worry. If set in the past, it could be in the time before Sargeras turned evil, back in the days when the Titans fought the Old Gods or even prior to that. If set in the future, it could be comprised of completely new characters, characters that merely have mild connections to the Azeroth of the present.
*This would be highly beneficial in three ways:
1.) The complete and utter fan craze and hype around Warcraft 4 would renew interest in WoW and easily boost subscriptions by millions. Just take a look at the hype around Diablo and Starcraft. People would go ape-shit for Warcraft 4.
2.) It would give them a basis for WoW 2. If they decide to scrap the current WoW at any point in the future, they would have existing and compelling lore for a WoW 2 and would not have to wait additional years just to release a few Warcrafts.
3.) Warcraft fans are growing up. And as such, many of us are more attracted to darker storylines. Something gritty and compelling, not something PG. WoW is too mainstream for Blizzard to truly make it as dark as the Warcraft RTS games, but a new RTS could be as gritty as they please.
In summary, Warcraft lore and community has suffered greatly from the popularity of WoW. However, all is not lost and Warcraft can once again climb to the heights of Blizzard games such as Diablo. But for that to happen Warcraft fans need a real Warcraft game, something they can bite into. Blizzard should start development on Warcraft 4, either set in the past or far in the future so as not to interfere with the cash-cow, WoW.
What are your thoughts on a Warcraft 4?