This blog will be on my toons in the MMO game World of Warcraft and Diablo 2

Sunday, January 2, 2011

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Review

An ancient evil lies dormant within Deepholm, the domain of earth in the Elemental Plane. Hidden away in a secluded sanctuary, the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing has waited, recovering from the wounds of his last battle against Azeroth and biding his time until he can reforge the world in molten fire. Soon, Deathwing the Destroyer will return to Azeroth, and his eruption from Deepholm will sunder the world, leaving a festering wound across the continents. As the Horde and Alliance race to the epicenter of the cataclysm, the kingdoms of Azeroth will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation.

In now it's third expansion, Blizzard has released World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and like much of the marketing says about this game it truly has changed the World of Warcraft for the better. For starters, the games travel options have gotten a much needed upgrade. So firing up WoW as if it's you first time, will allow you to open flight hubs in the old worlds. Long gone are the days of miles long treks to get from zone to zone. With this, it also gives veterans a reason to return to older areas being much more accessible than ever before. There are actually quite a few tweaks to the game that have made life easier in the World of Warcraft for this expansion. The starting zones for all classes have been redone to offer a more streamlined and story driven approach. This helps immensely in guiding the newcomer in the game. There has always been a clearly visible barrier to entry in WoW, and that barrier was a very steep learning curve. In Cataclysm, while the core principles of questing for loot and XP are still the central part of the game, they do have a much more linear feel. This leads you down a more defined path, opening new areas in a way that is a more traditional gaming experience than ever before.

Aside from the reworking of the starting zones for the classic alliance and horde character classes, two new races have been introduced in Cataclysm. The Goblins and Worgen are the newcomers to the Horde and Alliance respectively. Notably, these two new races look better than nearly all of the old races. Many of the details in the new character models can make the old ones feel a tad dated. But like all races, these two new ones have unique traits that make them good fits for certain classes. The major reason for playing with one of the new characters are the all new adventures that begin in the starting zones of the new characters. Much more so than before, the game gives your character a bigger role in a smaller story before disembarking onto the rest of the game.

Much of the good that was added to WoW looks to have had the beginner in mind, no? Well there's quite a bit of content for the WoW veterans out there as well. The new high level zones are for the most part, story focused. If you were looking for more on the whole Deathwing storyarc you are going to get that in the new zones. Five in all, and none of them disappoint. And although you may cap out before you finish all five of the new areas, there are certainly some unforgettable moments to be had by seeing them all the way through. New high level dungeons have been thrown in for good measure as well, and while not as large as some previous incarnations, the new dungeons require much more teamwork than before. Tackling them with friends that communicate with each other is the preferable way to go, because running in LeeRoy Jenkins style is gonna get you a case of the black and white real quick. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm offers great content for the experienced player as well as the rookie.

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