World of Warcraft is, first and foremost, a roleplaying game. It's not just a game; not just a story, but a blessed nexus of both that totally immerses you in another world. The quests you undergo set up and advance the story, and -- at least in Wrath -- major storylines are wrapped up with in-game cinematics. Arthas' death, the Wrathgate -- both are epic events in Wrath of the Lich King lore, and both are comprised entirely of in-game assets.
But are we being cheated? After all, the trailer to Cataclysm, in which Deathwing emerges to tear Azeroth asunder, is an epic piece of pre-rendered majesty. Shouldn't Blizzard offer us more pre-rendered video moments instead of what amounts to a well-produced piece of machinima?
On the official Blizzard forums today, in response to a complaint about the extended use of in-game cinematics (like the worgen in-game cinematic above), blue poster Zarhym talked about -- and defended -- Blizzard's approach to cinematics:
The full text of Zarhym's post is available just after the cut.