It’s been a few week since Azeroth was split into pieces by a rather grumpy dragon, and 4 days since World of Warcraft: Cataclysm fully lanched, so i though i’d write up a bit about my first week (well, 4 days) in the newly reformed world.
Firstly, the graphically update is stunning. Still has that stylised WoW look, but everything has a nice new shine to it. I’m currently playing Horde, so I’ve yet to really have a good look around the Alliance side (that will come in future). For those of you that know World of Warcraft, but haven’t been keeping up, here’s a quick rundown of whats been going on.
The Story So Far (Horde)…
Thrall (Warchief of the Horde), has left Orgrimmar to join the Earthen Ring in trying to defeat grumpy ol’ Deathwing, leaving the young upstart Garrosh in charge. Garrosh is a great warrior, but (to use a colloquialism) kinda a dick – so he kicks out all non-orcs from Org. This really annoys Vol’jin – chieftain of the troll Darkspear tribe, and Cairne Bloodhoof – High Chieftan of the Tauren. So much so that Cairne offers out Garrosh in a fight. Garrosh slays Cairne in the duel… Although unknown to either combatant, that’s more to do with the posion Magatha Grimtotem (Cairne’s rival for High Chieftan) has secretly put on Garrosh’s blade, than Garrosh’s skill. Discovering what Magatha has done, Garrosh condems her actions, and refuses to support her. This allows Cairne’s son Baine to claim back the Taurean’s home of Thunder Bluff from Magatha’s attempted coup. Should also note that Dark Lady of the Forsaken, Sylvanas Windrunner, really isn’t a fan of Garrosh either referring to him as an ‘ogre-headed buffoon’ (as I said… Garrosh is kinda a dick).
Little Green Men
With all this going on, there’s a new race that get’s folded into the Horde’s mix – Goblins. Knowing what Garrosh had been up to the past few months, and given his dislike of all things non-orcish, I was quite interested to see how they were going to achieve this, so I started up a Goblin hunter.
The goblin starting area (well… areas actually) are, by far, the most insanely brilliant and ridiculous bits of content i’ve ever seen them put in an update on WoW! From cruising around Kezan (the previously unseen Goblin homeland) in my hot-rod with my ‘crew’; to killing goblin zombies with rocket powered boots; to the new goblin rocket based transport network in Azshara (transformed into the lvl 10-20 goblin zone).
Never has a starting a new toon been so entertaining. Gone are most of the ‘kill 10 rat’s’ quests, and when they are there, it’s usually because you’d have to kill at least 10 of them anyway to reach the goals for a couple of other quests. Every quest is integrated into the narrative, and flows much better than anything i’ve seen in WoW before. One of the key changes I think is the use of the invisible instancing technology Blizzard introduced for the Death Knight starting area. This allows them to have time change around the player, altering the environment depending what stage of the plotline they’re at.
Goblins aren’t the only ones get new quest-lines. Pretty much all the starting areas have been altered in someway due to Garrosh’s command and the Cataclysm itself. Trolls now start out on Darkspear Isle, the largest of the Echo Isles, off the southeastern coast of Durotar. Orc, Taurean and Forsaken quest-lines have also all been changed to one degree or another.
As I mentioned at the top of this post, i’m not currently playing any Alliance characters, although given how superbly crafted the Goblin areas are, I do intend to give the Worgen a go. I would also be really interested to hear anyone experiences from that side of the fence – If you’d like to let us know, or have any thoughts on the update, feel free to leave them in the comments or over on the forum. :)