After premiering in spectacular cam-o-vision on YouTube, and then officially premiering on Spike's VGA Awards last night, Blizzard has released The Burning Crusade opening cinematic to the masses. Head on over to the World of Warcraft site to view the cinematic in either Flash or DivX.

The short preview starts with a voice over that lore-fiends will quickly come to understand as Illidan's. To say that he's a little upset to have been imprisoned for 10,000 years, then exiled, and then have us show up on his doorstep expecting cookies and eggnog is a gross understatement.

We're taken across the Blasted Lands to the Dark Portal before fading out and coming up on a Draenei Paladin, preparing for what lies ahead. That scene then cuts to a Blood Elf lovingly playing with a Mana Wyrm, before she consumes its arcane energies. What follows is a quick succession of battle scenes featuring the Draenei paladin, what appears to be the Orc from the original WoW cinematic, the Blood Elf, a human mage (who wonderfully sheeps his opponent), and an undead warlock who apparently has no love for the gurgly little Murlocs.

Finally, we come to Illidan, who leaps up from his Hamlet-like pondering of a skull and shows us his full glorious self before admonishing us with a loud and gravelly, "You are not prepared!"

This is a fantastic cinematic, and only makes me long for a full animated World of Warcraft movie, and makes the month-and-two-days we have left to wait for the expansion to hit stores seem like an eternity.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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