Latest Battle for Azeroth cinematic offers an emotional look at Horde champion Varok Saurfang

Blizzard is ramping up the hype for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, by delivering high-quality cinematics featuring some of the best storytelling we've seen.

Following in the footsteps of their introspective "Warbringers" series, focused on heroines Jaina, Sylvanas and (soon) Azshara, this latest cinematic focuses on a legendary hero from Warcraft history, Varok Saurfang.

"Old Soldier" focuses on Varok Saurfang (aka High Overlord Saurfang), famed warrior of the Blackrock clan and father to the late Dranosh Saurfang (aka Saurfang the Younger). As if Varok hadn't dealt with enough in his years though participation in basically every major Horde war, losing both his wife and his child (who was then raised by the Lich King, to be killed again), now he's butting heads with the reckless Warchief Sylvanas, opposed to her blatant disregard for honor and cruel actions leading up to this new war, the Battle for Lordaeron. Grab a tissue, this one's heavy.

For those who haven't been following World of Warcraft's in-game Battle for Azeroth pre-launch campaign, the War of Thorns, things have gotten more than a little heated between the Horde and Alliance (finally). Discovery of a powerful new resource called Azerite has both sides mounting their offensive. Warchief of the Horde Lady Sylvanas Windrunner and her troops have sieged Night Elf settlements all across the Eastern Kingdoms (think Ashenvale, Darkshore, etc.) slaughtering countless Night Elves on their way. Oh, and she literally set the World Tree Teldrassil on fire. Hey, we said "heated."

Needless to say, players on both sides have very strong feelings about these events, especially Horde players who had just got over dealing with how awful Garrosh Hellscream ended up being, only to have to now deal with this actual banshee. We'll have to see how this one plays out when Battle for Azeroth is released on Aug. 12.