What In The World (Of Warcraft: Cataclysm)?

By Al Bickham on December 4th, 2010 at 12:00 pm.

Things are a-changin'.

Greetings, gunners. As an old comrade-in-alms of the RPS Hive-Mind and a long-term dabbler in World of Warcraft, I’ve been drafted in to give a brief account of all the pre-expansion shenanigans that have been going on in the run up to the launch of Cataclysm.

It’s the biggest expansion to hit the game since its 2004 launch, and in the run-up patches a quite enormous amount of content has been incrementally downloading through game clients worldwide. The purpose of this patching has been two-fold: to offer players some kind of context for the expansion before it hits, and to put them through some memorably mad shit that they’ll remember for a long time to come.

Halfway through October, the first pre-Cataclysm patch dropped, and you could tell something was up.

In the old-world pre-expansion landmasses of Azeroth, there were occasional earth-tremors. Nothing more than a couple of points on the Richter scale; nothing more than a raised eyebrow to hint of impending troubles. Then one day while in Stormwind, one of the two Alliance capital cities, I noticed a curious little widget, like a little glowing canister, floating in the street. Suddenly they were everywhere, down back-streets, nestling in the corners of packed market-squares; odd, inscrutable, a little bit ominous. Outside the Stormwind auction house a city guard popped up with a quest-symbol hovering over his head. He wanted me to pay a visit to the town guard Commander at Stormwind Keep, and find out what was up,

It turned out that cultists, preaching the end of the world, were appearing around the city at the same time as these odd devices. What followed was an extensive flavour-quest chain, which required me to investigate and discredit the cultists. Clues to their origins pointed to a camp in the forest outside the city.

A quick scamper through the forest uncovered a camp where ex-Stormwind residents were building and priming the devices. The quest turned into a form of infiltration, and soon I was masquerading as one of the cultists – complete with doom-saying sandwich-board slung about my neck. I was asked to return to the city by the cult leader, and place more devices which, it turned out, were designed to unleash elementals all over the city.

At this point, my curiosity lay in a kind of tension with the fact that I was actually doing the cultists’ work for them. Was I contributing to, or even hastening, whatever big-bad was about to befall the world? I kind of wanted to head back to the camp and slaughter them all.

More devices appeared. Small elementals popped up in the city from time to time; weak, low-level, and easily dispatched. Unease spread throughout the city. Martial law descended, and at one stage, I found myself at the city gates, assisting the guards by slapping manacles on citizens whose papers weren’t in order, thinking ‘What am I now, NKVD for the Alliance?’. It was all a bit uncomfortable.

October passed the baton to November. Time passed. The tremors got worse.

And then, about 11PM one Monday evening after some low-level guild raiding (our guild is small, fun, and made up of pals whose lives don’t permit the heavy, several-times-a-week raiding of the really serious types), we were all cackling on Skype about our latest comical dungeon-wipe, and one of our members started yelling about chaos in Stormwind. Those that could made the trip over from whatever points of the globe they were at. And what a sight awaited us.

Portals peppered the city, and water Elementals were literally pouring out. Serious elementals, the three-times-your-size, level 85 Elite kind. It was utter chaos. The word soon spread, and in short order the place was packed with players, all pitching in against these behemoths. Some bright fellow set up a raid group, which he then yelled across the city. We all joined. It was pretty amazing to see that his first thought was to organise people properly against the threat.

Despite the fact that there was no quest-giver tied to this sudden event, a series of quest-like tasks appeared on-screen. We had to close these portals by killing the things coming out of them, and collect sandbags to bolster key parts of the city, as there was fear of flooding.

It took about 45 minutes to secure the city. A rather stunned bunch of players reconvened in the market district – the natural gathering place for players in Stormwind – only to find two new portals shimmering there. Nothing came out. They looked rather inviting.

Attempting to enter these portals automatically queued you in the dungeon finder, WoW’s co-op dungeon instancing matchmaker, for a couple of unique boss battles. It turned out these bosses were encounters lifted from old-world, pre-expansion content, ripped and remade for a well-geared level 80 crowd. And when you popped in with a group of four other players to dispatch them, they also dropped some pretty tasty loot.

The same was happening in Ironforge, the other alliance city, and Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff on the Horde side. The invasions came thick and fast every few hours, and there were four post-invasion bosses in total to tackle, who dropped a variety of loot useful for those in Tier 10 gear; not top-of-the-range, but the kind of stuff that gives you a leg-up into the Ice Crown Citadel endgame instances.

Then, last week, the final, pre-Cataclysm patch dropped, and everything changed forever.

The first thing you saw after the patch was Cataclysm’s opening cinematic. It depicted Deathwing, big flamey elemental dragon and Azeroth’s new uber-villain, rising from the cavernous deeps and wreaking havoc across Azeroth. Jumping into the game, it was quite clearly a massive amount of havoc.

Whole zones have been reconfigured. The dry, dusty canyons of Thousand Needles, for example, have been flooded, and are now bristling with new quests. I hated Thousand Needles when I spent my early levels questing there. It was dull as dishwater, and is actually quite interesting now.

Darkshore, notorious for its long, tedious runs between quests and their givers, has been reshaped, and the quests have been wiped and replaced. Whole areas of The Barrens are scarred and gouged from Deathwing’s attacks, and the battlements of capital cities have taken a pummelling. There’s so much fresh content now for lower-level players, there’s actually a really compelling incentive to start characters from scratch; something which, after five years of playing the game, I simply couldn’t countenance before the changes.

As a result, I’m quite looking forward to rolling a new Worgen or Goblin – the two new races that the full expansion will bring – and trying out those old instances that have been readdressed in the patches. We’ll have more on the expansion itself next week, after it launches.

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121 Comments »

  1. deejayem says:

    Al! DId you ever manage to unscrew your head?

  2. westyfield says:

    I don’t play WoW, and I doubt that I ever will, but I find this very exciting. I love that Blizzard are putting so much effort into Cataclysm.

  3. Arglebargle says:

    That actually sounds kinda cool. Nice ramp up for the big change, done in game. I must approve. Not a huge fan of WoW (tried it when it first came out, didn’t care for the world or the approach), but I’m considering getting my trial week or two in during the tumult. This might be a good time, yes?

    • Tzarkahn says:

      Wait for the stuff to die down after the actual expansion release (Tuesday) then get going, its very new player friendly now!

    • yns88 says:

      Actually, almost everything the expansion has to offer for a trial player is already in-game now. Tuesday simply unlocks azeroth flying (at level 60), new profession levels (for level 80 characters), archaeology (for all characters) and the level 80-85 zones.

    • yns88 says:

      Oh, oops, forgot to mention the new races, which will only be available for people who own the Cataclysm expansion.

      Anyway, i’ve been leveling a new Druid in the past week and a half and I must say questing in the old world is very enjoyable now. There have been times where I was forced to leave a zone since I was too high level for its quests, even though I wanted to stay and see what would happen in the main questline.

      My particular favorites so far are Stonetalon Mountains and Thousand Needles (two zones that used to be quite dull).

      In addition to the Shattering, they’ve also revamped the talent system so that every spec gains a special ability and powerful specific bonuses right at level 10. It was a problem before when you wanted to be an enhance shaman or feral druid but didn’t get the necessary abilities until level 20 or 40 or something.

  4. Hal Kilmer says:

    Great write up. I haven’t played WoW since 2006, but after reading a ton about Cataclysm, it does sound like they’ve revamped everything that was exhausting about Vanilla. I’ve managed to persuade a few friends – who also quit years ago – to play again. I hope it’ll be like an AA group going on a three month bender in Vegas. You can murder prostitutes now right?

  5. Tzarkahn says:

    I may be slightly Bias but this is the best thing that has happened to WoW since, ever.

  6. LOLZIUS says:

    My EYES!!!! Epileptic cluster-fuck graphics! Too… much… the… pain…

  7. Doctor_Hellsturm says:

    I think this might be the Christmas i go in for my first time WOW-experience! Does anyone have a good suggestion for a newbie who would like to solo say, his first 20 levels? Class/Race? I would just like a pointer as to what is the the most delightful starting area.

    • yns88 says:

      They changed all the starting areas, though some more than others.

      Gnome and Troll starting areas are entirely new, though, and they’re pretty great. The human starting area is better than it used to be, but I still find Elwynn boring. I haven’t done any of the others since the patch, though.

      It shouldn’t really matter what class you want to play. Leveling a healer solo can be irritating, but every healer class also has at least one damage dealing spec.

    • Telke says:

      You can solo all the way to max level, but the dungeon finder (basically a matchmaking system that dumps you in a group/dungeon for your level range), which gives you access to the best and worst of WoW’s playerbase, kicks in at lvl 15 or so. You can avoid dungeons, you’ll just miss out on some nice leveling gear.

      buying WoW vanilla gives you access to six races and the 1-60 content, Burning Crusade gives you Blood Elves and Draenei + the 60-70 content, Wrath gives you access to the 70-80 content, and Cataclysm gives you the Goblin and Worgen races, and the 80-85 content.

      as for starting zones: avoid Blood Elf. pretty much everything else is pretty good, although the goblin and worgen zones are particularly special, being the most recently-developed ones.

    • HeroJez says:

      Well, first you need to pick which side you’re on… the quests are different.. but -obviously- in reality you’ll be playing with real people… you get crooks and bounders in all walks of life – Alliance or Horde – so you’ll simply have to go through which you think looks the best.

      Most of the races start in a completely separate zone although Orc and Troll, and Dwarf and Gnome join up relatively quickly, even with the changes. Even so, you shouldn’t have any kind of Good-side, Bad-side.. view of the Alliance and Horde… if you want a Troll, pick it because you like the race and not because you think you’re being all cool by playing Horde. Your character is one of millions… the only person who will ‘bother’ about it is you. So it’s important you enjoy how you character looks, sounds and feels…. kinda.

      Regarding class, it gets a bit more difficult. You need to enjoy the playstyle. Ultimately, you just press buttons and so some way to manipulating the damage done to enemies or players. There’s so much to go into – half of which I’ll probably forget – that it’s best that you just get a trial, go through the races and classes and pick up some YouTube videos to see if you think you’ll like it. All classes have three specs, so you can refine your skills to a certain style, etc. Some are pure DPS (they can’t heal or protect) and other are hybrids who – through their specs – can choose to do two or all of the three roles in the game: Deal Damage, ‘Tank’ the Boss or Heal.

      Ultimately you will be either a Tank, Melee Damage-Dealer, Ranged Damage-Dealer or a Healer. But I would do a bit of research before choosing.. there’s a lot of options and characters can play a lot differently at level 80 at a certain spec compared to how you first start off!

      If you’re really unsure, I would probably pick a Paladin. You can Heal, DPS (damage) or Tank (depending on spec) and they’re generally fairly straight forward in terms of how do do stuff. But if I were you, I’d research – I know it wounds nerdy, but if you can make a definite decision and have ONE MAIN AWESOME character, instead of a trickle of multiple character, it’ll be a much better experience.

      The best way to start it to download the Trial. Read up on the classes and specs…. and make sure your chosen race can be the class you want – there are a handful of restrictions!

      Jump in… see how you get on. :) But remember the trial is limited. So if you want a better idea of how tings work at L80 check YouTube! :) have fun!

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Every class and race combo is completely viable for soloing now. Leveling is easy mode compared to what it used to be. Just go for the DPS spec of whatever class you decide to play and you’ll be fine. When you can pick up your secondary talent profession, then go for the best group/raid spec. Like a Protection warrior if you want to tank (or just stick with your DPS spec if you only want to do that). Resto/Holy spec for healers, etc. It should be noted however that if you don’t feel comfortable healing or tanking, DPS is totally viable for every class now. But you’ll find it far easier to find groups if you use a class that can tank or heal. DPS are a dime a dozen, but don’t worry too much about that. Play whatever role you enjoy and feel comfortable with.

    • malkav11 says:

      Wrath also includes the Death Knight hero class, which you unlock by getting another character of any class to level 60.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @malkav11: Actually it’s 55, but not a huge difference.

    • Darren says:

      I will tell you what I did.
      I picked the faction that appealed to me. Alliance or Horde. Head over to the WOW site to read up on them. It is not really a case of Good guys or Bad guys. It is all a matter or perspective.

      I then pick a class. Class first. For a first time player I would go a Hunter, Shaman or Druid. All 3 class are very forgiving and are a blast to level up. Druid lets you change form to a healing, damage per second (dps) or meat shield (tank) class. Hunter lets you use pets and you do long range dps and shamans are healer/wizard(sort of)/hand to hand fighters.

      Then pick your race. You said first 20 levels so you will get a great feel for each character. You will also get to experience all the starting areas have to offer.

      I would not bother with picking a job (profession) with these characters since you are really only just getting a feel for the game. When you have settled on a character to play, then go and learn the different professions out there like: mining, skinning, black smithing etc.

      Have fun. If I were you, I would try and team up with someone from these boards. Seems like there are some very nice people here and they would be a better match for you than some of the clowns you get in game.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      To add to what Darren said, I will say that having a profession like mining is a royal pain to level from scratch if you get mid to high level, so if you are going to pick a profession get it fairly early on. Also, make sure you know what profession goes with what, and what’s a good combination. Mining plus Alchemy is just bad. I also highly recommend having a gathering profession that compliments a crafting profession. Or just gathering professions period like mining and skinning or something. If you have zero interest in crafting stuff, gathering professions allow you to make a ton of money on the AH.

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      skalpadda says:

      You don’t have to read up or spend time researching what you want beforehand, just grab the game, have a look at the class/race combinations in the character creation screen and pick one that appeals to you. The first 10 levels go by very quickly (and reaching 20 can be done in an evening or two) and the game gives you a good primer on how everything works, introducing new things very gradually. This also means that you can easily make a few different characters and try them out to see what you like and don’t like without a huge time investment, so don’t worry too much about the first choice you make.

      If you roll on the Horde side I’d recommend going to Azshara once you leave your starting area, you can get quests to start that zone by going to Orgrimmar (the orc capital city). It’s a great zone now with very nice pacing and fun quests that set the tone nicely for what you’ll see in much of the new content.

    • Doctor_Hellsturm says:

      wow (no pun intended). thanks a lot for all the great advice :)

  8. Carra says:

    I reactivated my account this week. And spent some time leveling a new gnome priest to level 12. It’s completely different! And it feels like they’ve now given me the proper talents to level a priest. Even getting new, unique spells at level 10.

    After leveling 5 alliance characters to level >70 the idea of going through the same zones *again* wasn’t appealing. But now? I’ll definitely level a worgen druid and maybe a goblin something.

    The only bad thing now is that you’ll still have to do outland all over again.

  9. Wulf says:

    It’s just a shame they haven’t changed the part that needs changing the most: the core gameplay. When a game is centred so much around combat, you rather need to make that combat interesting, and somewhat dynamic. You can’t make God of War without the God of War, so to speak. This is actually something that excites me about the current strain of MMORPGs, which seem to actually realise this, with Guild Wars 2 merrily riding that wave as well.

    It’s Guild Wars 2 I’m looking forward to, really. Vindictus I’d play but it’s the same old pastiche of shiny perfection versus monstrous horde; an interesting game and gameplay, but the setting and story detracts away from the game too much for me. TERA I’d play but I’m distinctly put off by how stunningly pervy it is, which I find just a touch unsettling. Guild Wars 2 I’d play but nothing, it pretty much checks all my needs when it comes to an MMORPG.

    Sigh. And it looks like it might have been delayed again. It would be nice if there was something to fill the gap with MMORPG-wise, but I’d rather rub my face vigorously against a cheese-grater than play World of Warcraft for just an hour.

    • Magius Paulus says:

      When i saw that Wulf had a comment, i thought by myself: “How many words before he starts about Guild Wars 2?” You didn’t disappoint me sir :)

    • Robert says:

      I sincerely hope for him they don’t pull a Molyneux. GW1 tended that way.

    • M.P. says:

      Yeah I know what you mean, the same old click-the-skill gameplay is a bit dull. Guild Wars was interesting simply because it was so much faster than most other similar games (helped not a little by your only having 8 buttons to worry about rather than 30 or whatever), but it’s still fundamentally the same gameplay.

      I was pinning my hopes on Conan to break the mould, but, unfortunately, they only did something different with the melee classes, and kept the casters as good old click-the-spell. Even the melee mechanics were a pale shadow of what they promised us they would be (they revamped them 2 months before launch cause they were worried people wouldn’t be able to remember all the combos, it was originally intended to be more like a proper hack’n'slash game, like God of War etc), although I have to admit they’re still more actiony than most MMOs out there.

      I tried Mortal Online cause I was hoping that would be the direct-control actiony MMO that I wanted, but unfortunately you start out so bloody weak in that that a determined swarm of rabbits could take you down, and I just had no patience for that kind of a grind.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      While I agree that WoW combat is relatively dull, it’s till leaps and bounds better than most MMO combat. For a lot of MMO’s it feels like you could almost change the combat into turn-based strategy and it would lose almost nothing in the translation. WoW’s combat is relatively fast paced for a MMO game, at least comparatively to most others.

      My main complaint is that the game is so gear based, skill pretty much means nothing. If you don’t have the gear, you can’t hope to compete. Even a bad player will be 1000% more viable than a good player who doesn’t have the appropriate gear. That and end game is mind numbling boring unless you enjoy raiding, but I don’t want to schedule my life around a game. And it’s just flat out boring to sit there going through a raid instance that can last hours. Sure you don’t have to do every area and boss in a raid instance, but if you wanted to do a full clear it can take forever.

    • Razz says:

      I started reading the comments with the specific intent of finding a comment by Wulf where he praised Guild Wars 2 in favour of WoW.

      Sometimes I like life being predictable.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I must say I much preferred the first Guild Wars combat to WoWs. Its not drastically different, but it made you think about what spells and skills you needed to take on a mission, and you had to change up your order when fighting different characters. In Wow (I admittedly only made it to about level 25) I could just repeat the same set of moves over and over again.

    • Eversor says:

      I would like to mirror Robert’s statement of GW2. They promise the world, which makes me rather cautious. That’s the usual schtick for a new MMO, I rather wait until it’s out and going for a month or so before I begin to get incredibly excited.

    • malkav11 says:

      The core gameplay is exactly what -doesn’t- need changing. You’re coming at this from the perspective of someone who (I presume) does not enjoy WoW and isn’t playing it actively. Blizzard has no reason to attempt to cater to you – they’ve already got 12+ million people who do like WoW and are actually paying them money. Anything that messes with the formula that is already working is risky, and far better to take that risk in the hopes of better serving their existing customers than to court those that have already rejected them in the hopes that they might come around. C.F. the Star Wars Galaxies NGE for example of why that sort of thing is a terrible idea.

    • Kevin says:

      Given your requirements, have you looked into DCU Online? I’f you’re needing the action MMO, it really delivers.

    • Kevin says:

      Given your requirements, have you looked into DCU Online? If you’re needing the action MMO, it really delivers.

    • Kevin says:

      Sorry for the double post.

    • Deccan says:

      The thing that struck me about combat in GW was that something cool happened just about every second fight, as opposed to every thirtieth or fortieth in WoW. I’d nail a fleeing Charr with a flaming arrow to the spine, before spinning around to drop his buddy with a shot in the earhole. I raved about how this was so much cooler than Warcraft.
      Now, though, with my friend and I levelling Tauren paladins together, WoW has caught up, and even a fight against the most mundane of opponents can be given spice – not by the mechanics, but just by the coincidences that the character animations throw up. The swing of axes and the flash of spells combine remarkably often to produce moments of extreme cool.
      Even if you’re soloing (melee classes especially), you can make each fight better, more dynamic, just by moving around, jumping and so on. Sure, it’s just the *illusion* of awesomeness, but that’s what we’re after, isn’t it?
      All that said, I am unreasonably excited about GW2.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      @Deccan: Are you confusing the rendered intro video of Guild Wars with the actual game?

    • Deccan says:

      No. I think those things would be very difficult to mistake for one another.

    • VampireCactus says:

      After playing the (sadly hearbreakingly) short-lived “The Chronicles of Spellborn,” I can’t bring myself to go back to standard MMO gameplay. It spoiled me. I’ve been dabbling in Vindictus and DOO…but it’s just not the same.

      I keep being tempted to go back to WoW (had a level 80 shaman at one point. only reason I really played was because my friends were playing it), but then I remember what I hate about it. The combat, though probably the best of its kind, is still bland and boring at its core. Though there are many classes and builds, everything comes down to three basic archetypes (healer, tank, dps). One of the things I love about Spellborn was its lack of clear roles for any class.

      I’m hoping Guild Wars 2 will be great, but I just find it hard to believe that any MMO that still has a targetting system will ever really be that good.

  10. Benny says:

    The reason WoW was so compelling was the illusion blizzard paint. Small rewards, drip fed to keep you feeling improved. New zones, drip fed to keep it feeling fresh. The leveling up process is quite truly immersive, yet at the end of it all is a simple accessible core game.

    My personal problem was when i realised this i shattered the illusion they’d created. And suddenly the game was no longer a rich interesting world, but a grind. And that was what ended it for me. There are other flaws but they only show themselves after the illusion is gone. For WoW it’ll always be a been there, done that, kind of game. But boy did they do it well.

  11. Kurah says:

    Ugly graphics, boring fetch-quests, monthly fee, waiting in line to play, boring combat, bugs, massive waste of time, nice looking world (despite the graphics) but you dont have any effect on it… (On no! The elementals are attacking! Yey! We killed them! … few hours later … On no! The elementals are attacking! Yey! We killed them! … few hours later … On no! The elementals are attacking! Yey! We killed them! … few hours later …)

    Why is this game so popular?

    • afarrell says:

      Because very few of these things are true any more?

    • Caer says:

      And because some people (ZOMG!) actually like the gameplay, graphics and questing?

    • Robert says:

      It’s not a single player RPG.

    • Eversor says:

      Sounds like someone has forgotten to update his argument and is lagging a few years back.

      What a shame.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Really? I bought and tried it recently and his description seems very appropriate. The combat was pretty terrible, it was full of fetch quests and kill ten boars, now kill ten wolves. Then I finally got the the raid bits and found the combat was no better, there was no real story or scripting as such, just walk into the next room and kill more mindless enemies. Occasionally you get a rather poor cut scene I suppose. Oh but they do mean you have to play with 12 year old arse holes who shout at you for not obeying their every command. – Oh I don’t know if this has changed in the past few weeks, but the world was dead. Completely empty except for the cities where hundreds of players stand around dancing as they wait for their raid queue.

      I’m not a big MMO fan, but every other MMO I’ve tried has been far more satisfying than WoW, rarely as pretty though. That’s the one thing I found it did very well, there was always a lot of fun when you first entered an area. But that quickly passes after you have killed a bazillion of the mobs there for various quests.

    • Gabbae says:

      How about these for a more updated argument.
      Complete lack of any challenge in solo/levelling content and not a great deal in end game either. Terrible pvp balance. Seriously one sided faction/realm imbalances (and their ‘solution’ to this – pay them extra money for a transfer). Horrible community that’s getting worse and worse with every new casual friendly feature that gets implemented (once they’ve attracted all the facebook crowd, I wonder who’ll be their next demographic to target). Poor customer support. Releasing bug ridden game breaking content. The increasing amount of microtransactions and paid for services.

      Probably a few more I’ve left out but there’s the main ones I cancelled my subscription for.

    • DoucheMullet says:

      I really could never get into WoW. It’s graphics are so ass ugly and the combat and quests are so boring.

      I can’t see why it is popular either.

    • Zamn says:

      I pretty much turn off as soon as anyone accuses WoW of having bad graphics. Apart from telling you a bit about where the person is coming from, it’s like saying Braid has bad graphics. It’s low-detail but that’s not the point. It’s still an attractive game, it’s got its own style, it’s well designed, it doesn’t need shitloads of polygons.

      And most of the other complaints are factually in accurate. There’s plenty to complain about in WoW, but when people start claiming the game is fundamentally broken it’s usually pretty obvious they’re talking out their arses.

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      skalpadda says:

      Dr Gonzo:

      There are still plenty of fetch or kill x of y quests around, but they are not nearly as prevalent as before and there’ usually an overarching story or reasoning behind quests that was often lacking before. Most of the zones now have a “campaign” story running through them where you work your way towards an end goal. You’ll rarely just come into town and have 5 NPCs give you a fetch quest each and then going, “Gee, thanks, here’s your XP reward and a green, now go over there and get some more fetch quests”.On the topic of story, well there’s the aforementioned campaign stories that run through the starting areas and into the following zones, so for the horde in Kalimdor, there’s a story chain that starts in Azshara and keeps you going through Ashenvale and has it’s culmination in Stonetalon Mountains. I think you’d be surprised at how much the world and the questing has changed with the last patch.

      I don’t know what you mean with cutscenes, until the last patch there’s been a total of two in the game, the Wrathgate cutscene and the one after killing the Lich King. There are more in-engine cinematics in the revamped zones now though. And “12-year old arse holes”? If you choose to play with morons, well, suit yourself, I guess.

      Gabbae:
      “Complete lack of any challenge in solo/levelling content and not a great deal in end game either.”

      It’s true that pretty much all of the leveling content is rather easy, but the end game content? Go do some hard modes and get back to me on that.

      “Terrible pvp balance. Seriously one sided faction/realm imbalances”

      The PvP balance isn’t great, but with Wrath of the Lich King it’s been better than ever before and more class/spec combinations have been viable than ever before, I’m really not a fan of how gear dependant the PvP is though, but at least they’re moving away from Arenas being the only focus for end game PvP. Faction balance hasn’t really been an issue for years.

      “Horrible community that’s getting worse and worse with every new casual friendly feature that gets implemented”

      Find a good guild, it’s perfectly possible to choose who to play with.

      “Poor customer support.”

      In what way?

      “Releasing bug ridden game breaking content.”

      Like what? There’s usually some bugs in big content patches and expansions but rarely anything game-breaking.

      “The increasing amount of microtransactions and paid for services.”

      Four cosmetic pets and a mount, I don’t like them either, but they have no impact on the game.

      Also, on the general bitching about combat, there are no classes that still have the “spam frostbolt” style of combat, pretty much all of them have some interesting mechanics involving timing, combos and resources. For end game raiding you’d be surprised at the demands for getting the most out of your character and remember that the focus is not just on executing your skills in the right way but also coordinating tactics across a whole raid of 10-25 players, and unlike any other MMO I’ve played WoW actually has very diverse dungeon and raid encounters.

    • Gabbae says:

      Ah yes the hard modes.
      The hardest thing about them? Running the same instances over and over and over to get the gear needed for them and finding a raid full of other players who know that standing in fire is bad.
      And why do we have hardmodes in the first place? Oh yes, that’s right, because having difficult dungeons that require you to progress through easier ones first, mean that too many of the little kiddywinks who don’t know that they’re not supposed to stand in the nasty green stuff, won’t ever get to get to see them. Best to just have everyone run the same endgame instance over and over and when you get bored of that, not to worry, you can do it again as a hard mode.

      “Faction balance hasn’t really been an issue for years.”
      I was referring to the ratios of factions on realms. Paid character/faction transfers pretty much destroyed this on a lot of realms and the way its going its going to end up with every server being either horde or alliance only.
      Blizzard allowing you to pay money to transfer to a realm that’s 95% your own faction kinda shows where their priorities lie.

      “Find a good guild
      Yeah fair enough, a good guild does make a massive difference. Cannot argue with that.

      “Poor customer support. In what way?”
      Waiting hours on the phone. Waiting days for a ticket. One GM saying your problem is impossible to fix, the next one fixing it in minutes. That kind of thing.

      “Releasing bug ridden game breaking content. Like what?”
      Like 4.0.1. That should never have gone onto live servers the state it was in. If it wasn’t for the release date of the expansion, I doubt it would have.

      “Four cosmetic pets and a mount, I don’t like them either, but they have no impact on the game.”
      Yeah they don’t affect gameplay. Thing is though, the more things I don’t like in a game, the more it spoils any good bits. Not to mention any sense of immersion (not that WoW bothers with that much anyway). Big bad, mean and nasty, heroes of the horde frolicking about on sparkly ponies getting followed by little cute and cuddly mini pets. Yeah, great stuff.

      I used to enjoy WoW and there still are good things about it, but its been heading in too much of a casual friendly direction for too long now. It’s just a bunch of mini games connected to a virtual world that, once the newness of the expansion wears off, nobody will ever visit except to level to 85 as quick as they can. They’ll be standing around in their faction capitals waiting for the dungeon finder or whatever to pop and off they’ll go to do their little mini game. Then off they’ll log and maybe go check their little farm on Farmville. That’s fine if its what you want, but its not something for me.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      To claim that gear and not standing in fire is all that’s required for the harder fights in WoW is a bit silly. You need both of those, sure, but if you stop at that you’re not going to get very far, not even on the harder normal modes. I agree that hard modes, as they are now, aren’t very well implemented. The gating and UI toggle switch in Icecrown isn’t very fun and I much preferred the way they handled them in Ulduar where hard mod “switches” were part of the fight mechanics.

      I was talking about horde/alliance ratios as well. At least I haven’t seen any EU servers where it has been a problem and at least on my server the ratio is more even now than it was a couple of years ago.

      I can’t think of any game breaking bugs in 4.0.1. If you mean that new talents made players too powerful or PvP getting turned into a(n even bigger) mess, well that’s not so much because of bugs. Sure it’s an issue if you want to do proper raiding or competitive PvP, but a month before a new expansion I couldn’t care less and I’d rather see new stuff stress tested on live so things have a chance to be ironed out for when the new content hits.

      I agree to some extent that the game moving towards being more casual-friendly takes away some of the experience of accomplishment and progression, but I’m also quite happy that most of the ridiculous grind is being thrown in the bin. I’m not looking for a game that requires a gigantic time investment any more and I like being able to play through a batch of content and then be done with it until the next comes out and not feel forced to do things I don’t want to to be able to enjoy the things I do.

      To add a whine of my own, I’d happily see the achievement system burn to a painful death in a ditch somewhere, or at least be changed into an actual achievement system rather than a gigantic check list.

    • malkav11 says:

      For starters, there was the bug that crashed the game if you moused over certain things, like the object that summoned the Headless Horseman for the holiday that started immediately thereafter. I’d call that pretty gamebreaking.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      Fair enough, but not having to kill that boring bastard should considered be a blessing, I think? :)

  12. Serenegoose says:

    I think anybody who is interested in this game owes it to themselves to play through Silverpine Forest as a Forsaken – the entire quest chain for me has been the absolute highlight of the cataclysm so far – as far as having ‘impact’ on the world, the sheer amount of phasing, especially there, really lets you feel like you’ve done something. Needless to say, the entire experience was sufficiently awesome that it cemented in my mind why the Forsaken are the best race in Warcraft. Only problem with the Cataclysm? Now Outland feels a bit dull.

    • Telke says:

      Yeah, Outland really is the worst leveling experience at this point. It was fine in 2006, but now it’s just showing its age immensely.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      Both Silverpine and Azshara are amazing 10-20 zones now, Azshara being like a theme-park of quirky quest events and Silverpine a huge war campaign. Well worth doing just for the story and questing.

  13. xmido says:

    I quit WoW, nothing they will do will get me back. I am waiting for the next big thing like SWTOR. WoW is getting old, they should make a new IP.

  14. Frankle says:

    oh not wow!? RPS… anything but wow. it is the worse game i have ever played.
    It was one of those games that all my friends play. so I thought, right i’ll give it a go I hated it from the start. But kept at it to try to find the bit that everyone seems to love about it. I was bored to tears throughout. Not one bit of it is noteworthy and yet people waist there lives on it. I have lost every single online gaming buddy to it. I meet them on the weekends to play warmachine but the whole time it’s about wow and barely any games get finished.
    they all complain about having no money but still able to spend loads on wow. There are far better mumorpuguh’s out there and a lot of them either free, micro transaction etc. or one off purchases like Guildwars and all do better gameplay etc. than wow.
    I know people are going to go off on one as I insulted their baby, but everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

    • Caer says:

      What do you like? I’m not being facetious, I’m just curious, as obviously not everyone likes the same things and clearly some people don’t like WoW while others do.

    • Frankle says:

      I like a wide variety of games Rpg’s to fps and everything inbetween. Fallout 1-2 being the holy grails of games in my opinion. hoping that FOOL wont be tooo much like wow. (might give guildwars 2 a shot after realease, so it’s not MMo’s that I hate if thats what your wondering.)
      I might be more understanding of wow if it werent for the fact that every person i’ve met in real life becomes obbsessed to the point that nothing else matters in life except wow. and if it’s not wow it isn’t worth their time etc. missing time off work, loosing sleep. and gennerally being D***s when they used to be really good folk.
      Thank you Caer for suprising me. I was only expecting insults from people as i said something bad about the game.

    • spinks says:

      Maybe they should write more about games involving men with guns instead.

    • DrGonzo says:

      What a strange comment. I would say WoW is equally as clichéd as the latest COD and just as bland.

    • GHudston says:

      I’m not going to insult you either, but I do resent the wording of your comments slightly.

      I’m just irked when someone rants about how terrible something is solely because they don’t like it, especially under the guise of “everyone’s entitled to an opinion”. An opinion is “I don’t like WoW”. “WoW is a bad game” is not an opinion.

      I am especially irritated when you start saying things like “not one bit of it is noteworthy” which is just demonstrably false. People forget how groundbreaking WoW was; how many other games are still able to genuinely compete with all of their rivals 6 years on?

      I can understand your point of view if you know a number of people who act as you describe, but I promise you that those people are in the minority. I have never met a single person who’s “obsession” with WoW was any more than any other hobby. I know they exist, but they are the exception and not the norm.

      TL;DR version: I bought CoD:MW2 because my friends wouldn’t shut up about it for months. I played it a couple of times and didn’t really enjoy it. That doesn’t make it a bad game.

      Good on you for having your own opinion, though! If we all liked the same things, life would be unimaginably boring.

    • Frankle says:

      @GHudston
      I will admit I did come across as a bit of an arse. I can appreciate that some people out there like it and can maintain a normal life. But in my defence whenever I see my friends almost every five minutes (i’m not joking I actually sat there and secretly timed it once, I was that bored) they talk about WOW.
      I gues I just needed to vent.
      If Only I really drank. I could make a very fun game with it. but would soon be in hospital with alcohol poisoning. if they could be bothered to stop talking about wow to call an ambulance that is!

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @GHudston:

      An opinion is “I don’t like WoW”. “WoW is a bad game” is not an opinion.

      That’s not true at all. Saying WoW is a bad game is most certainly an opinion. I’m not sure why you say it isn’t. It might be an opinion that you disagree with and find somewhat irritating, but it’s an opinion nonetheless.

      I played WoW for years since launch, and most every other major mmo before that. Now though, I just really don’t want to play mmo’s. Only one I’m considering is Guild Wars 2. Most of them are just too time consuming if you want to actually accomplish something, not to mention money is kind of tight so I don’t really want to pay a monthly fee. I have a bunch of single player games I totally neglected due to WoW. That’s not WoW’s fault, but mine. I just get more out of these other games than I do out of WoW. I haven’t been subscribed since about April of this year. I recently tried out WoW with the free seven day offer for people with inactive accounts. Logged in, played around with the new talents, then quit. I just don’t have the patience anymore for monotonous gameplay, and the carrot on a stick tread mill that leads nowhere. That’s not just a WoW problem, but a problem with mmo’s in general.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      “WoW is a bad game” is not an opinion, it’s a statement of fact. “I think WoW is a bad game” is an opinion. Splitting hairs, perhaps, but hey.

      I fully understand why a lot of people dislike WoW, it’s certainly not something that will every appeal to everyone and there are still a fair amount of bullshit design choices still in the system. I don’t get why people so often feel the need to express vehement hatred of a game though, or why they make sweeping statements about it and it’s user base, most of which are dead wrong or haven’t been true for years.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    What the…. a WoW-related article on RPS that is sincere and positive?

    Where’s the snark?! My entire world view… shattered!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Imagine the whole story is in “” marks if it helps maintain your worldview.

      KG

    • Nova says:

      Well, PC-only site… one of the biggest (or the biggest) PC-only game… do the maths. Though it’s almost a bit frightening is RPS all serious in a few years? OK probably not.

  16. frenz0rz says:

    Ah WoW… so many memories. It is events such as this that have really stuck with me since I stopped playing a couple of years ago. The Ahn Quiraj invasion occured when I was still exploring Thousand Needles with my first character, and it was one of those gaming moments I’ll never forget – my brother and I with a bunch of random people who happened to be in the area, forming up into a raid group on the salt plains and marching forth to slay the evil creatures. Or the time in Ashenvale when we recruited an army in Orgrimmar, and marched on Astranaar, killing all the NPCs and holding the place down for hours, just because it was fun. I started playing WoW in 2004 when I was 14, and throughout my early teenage years it fueled my imagination more than anything ever has. Its a shame it all had to come to an end, but the years I spent playing still live on in the enourmous folder of screenshots, and numerous youtube videos from my clan, that I still enjoy browsing from time to time.

    And yet, reading an article like this makes me sad, because I know I’ll probably never again experience anything quite like it.

  17. Zed says:

    I don’t know if it’s still being offered, but the game launcher has been advertising stupid-cheap prices for downloads vanilla, x1 and x2:

    * Vanilla WoW —————- $5 US
    * The Burning Crusade —- $5 US
    * Lich King ——————- $10 US

    Cata, of course, goes for 40 or something, but it’s the hot new model.

    • DrGonzo says:

      In the UK that’s a pretty bad deal still. It’s so incredibly cheap to pick up a bundle pack of them, I would recommend finding one of them.

    • Paul B says:

      Lich King is £8 for a digital download off Battle.net. If you haven’t got it that’s not a bad price. It’s £11.99 on Amazon and you need it to play Cataclysm, so I picked it up.

  18. Flint says:

    The reshaping of the world is really, really amazing. All the old tedious grindiness has been removed, replaced with a quest design that echoes Northrend stylistically. Each zone* has its ‘main plot’ that unfolds, sometimes dramatically and sometimes helped by the phasing system, and most of the time the player really feels they’re actually doing something. There’s genuine stories now. It’s almost like playing a singleplayer game, except one inhabited by countless others.

    Not to mention that it’s great to see what your actions in the previous version of the world did. So many quests refer to old actions. It makes any adventurer who spent time doing the quests in the old world feel nostalgic and a bit awestruck, feeling that you really did help the people (or in some cases accidentally screw them over). Even if some of the quests are the exact same (with minor rejigs to avoid tediousness), the flavour text has changed and some additional twists might be there – the new ending to the Wetlands quest where you redeem the spirits of the shipcrashed sailors is brilliant.

    If anyone wants an overview what’s happened and how the zones play out now, I recommend checking out the videos starting from this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkpzl010b8Q . It’s a little map that when you click, you get taken to introduction videos for each zone (well, most of them – it’s still unfinished so some of the higher level zones aren’t included yet). The major story revelations regarding each zone are often unspoiled as well. The early night elf and forsaken paths after the starting zones are pretty epic for low-level questing.

    It’s just fantastic. Getting into WoW was really, really unlikely for me as I didn’t like online gaming at the time but it wowed me with its scale and the grandness of the world. I really got the feeling I was exploring something fantastic. And the reshaping of the world has brought that same feeling back brand new.

    Thanks for destroying the world as we know it, Deathwing.

    Now all I need are my worgen (main character’s race change and at least two new wolves planned already) and I’m fully content.

    *except Arathi Highlands. They seem to have completely forgotten it even exists.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      That’s unfortunate about Arathi. That was one of the most boring areas to me, and I usually barely stuck around there. That could have benefited greatly from a revamp.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      Yeah, there’s been some of that magic it had when I first picked up the game coming back, and it’s been great fun questing through the revamped zones in the last week. There are a few others that are largely unchanged, Silithus isn’t much different, Dustwallow was the same, at least horde side (but it was revamped in Burning Crusade so it’s not as old as the rest of the world) and Winterspring didn’t have any new exciting things going on.

      The things they have changed are ace though, and I agree that it has some of the qualities of playing through a story in a single player RPG that weren’t really there before. I’m really looking forward to seeing if the level of quality of Azshara and Silverpine hold up in the goblin and worgen starting areas as well as the 80-85 zones.

  19. Brooks says:

    Please get some bar mods. You will be far better off if you do.

    Or just use tukui (www.tukui.org).

    • Flint says:

      I’ve seen countless user UIs, some lightly modded, some heavily modded. But the standard bars reign supreme. Uncluttered and unmessy.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Don’t really need new bars to play effectively, though I will say that you can greatly minimize the real estate the default UI takes up on your screen with addons. You WILL need an addon for decent raid frames. Also, unless they changed it, the default party/raid frames don’t indicate if someone is cursed/poisoned, etc unless you click on their portrait and search for the icon (assuming it isn’t buried under a ton of buffs and debuffs). That’s very frustrating as a healer. I used Shadowed Unit Frames for my raid frames when I still played the game. It would color code a person’s health bar so that I could tell if I needed to decurse or abolish poison.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      Both the raid an the party frames have been improved a lot, to the point where they’re actually usable now. You can also choose to use the raid frames in 5-man groups. I’d say you’re still probably better off with something like Grid or Vuhdo if you’re a raid healer, but you don’t have to get an addon to be functional anymore, which is nice (especially for newbies).

  20. Haplo says:

    Intriguing enough. I’m not a WoW player myself, but my dad is- I’ll hit him up on how good it is if indeed it is good.

    I am curious though: my imagination is so very uncaught by the idea of a flying evil dragon named Deathwing. Deathwing! It strikes me as a little uninspirational. Or perhaps moreso. Does anyone else feel the same way? Or am I just rightly deserving a kick in the teeth? I mean, at least it’s not peppered with apostrophes everywhere.

    • Flint says:

      His real name is Nefarian, he just began calling himself Deathwing after he went insane and started trying to kill everything.

      So basically yeah it is a bit corny and silly etc but at least the writers didn’t make him born with that name.

    • Razz says:

      *NERD ALERT*

      His real name isn’t Nefarian, Nefarian is actually his son. Neltharion is Deathwing’s real name. Yes.

      More infoes here: http://www.wowpedia.org/Deathwing

    • mike says:

      I’ve never understood the obsession with WoW “lore”. It’s basically pulpy fantasy lit, the only thing redeeming about it is the Blizzard humour. They’ve somehow managed to make it both corny and self-aware, and those occasional glimpses of self-awareness make the lore bearable, if not enjoyable.

      Not that this really matters. You can just skip the fluff and collect bear anuses, go PvP or try LFD for random dungeoning with strangers. It’s a lot of fun, but I couldn’t care less if I were fighting Nazi rats from space or corrupted dragons.

    • Nick says:

      I’m just sad that its all confined to WoW, I kinda enjoyed the story in Warcraft 2 and 3 now I don’t get to play with it ever again. At least not whilst its solely in MMO (or shitty card/board game) form.

    • DrGonzo says:

      If you were fighting Nazi rats you would care about it, because that sounds brilliant!

    • GHudston says:

      And what’s wrong with pulpy fantasy lit? :D

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Deathwing was introduced in Warcraft 2, so he’s been around in lore for a long time. He was actually a hero unit for Horde in the expansion, “Beyond the Dark Portal”.

  21. Premium User Badge

    mpk says:

    I started playing WoW again a couple of weeks ago after not touching it since, oooh, 2005? It’s been quite enjoyable really. I’m doing the same thing I did before, which is lone sharking it and playing for the joy of playing, but I’ve managed to get to level 31 in a little under two weeks, whereas I think it took me three months to get my old character to level 42 – at which point I quit.

    It’s far more enjoyable now than I remember, but obviously there’s been a plethora of tweaks to the game since I last played. I’m still not that interested in power levelling and living for the endgame, but the single player experience so far has been a lot of fun. The Krom’Gar quest sequence I just completed is a case in point – I don’t know how recent an addition that is, or even if it was there originally as I played Alliance last time – and it’s an excellent little quest tree that gets you in and out of an area in about two nights play, replete with some natty new armour and weapons and a bunch of levels you didn’t have before.

    EDIT: Also, after achieving certified bittervet status in EVE (ie I’m no longer subbed but I spend a lot of time moaning about how it just isn’t as good as when I were a lad) it’s something of a joy to be able to play a game with a defined structure. I’ve had enough of struggling to make my own entertainment.

    • Nick says:

      And play WoT like all the other Eve bitter Vets.

      I seen you, I did.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      The campaign in Stonetalon is all-new since the Shattering patch, and it’s a great example of how they’re making stories that span entire zones.

    • Premium User Badge

      mpk says:

      @Nick

      Yeah, I played World of Tanks but it’s such an intensely shallow experience that I got bored very quickly of it.

    • Nick says:

      Its more fun with people on voice chat in a platoon, but yes it is starting to wear a bit thin.

  22. bleeters says:

    Stop tempting me, damnit. I’ve been clean for months. Months!

  23. We Fly Spitfires says:

    I’m very excited about it :)

    And don’t forget, the digital launch is 11:01pm GMT on Monday 6th December :D

  24. Tom Camfield says:

    Nice one Al, I don’t play WoW, but more of this please.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Same here, in fact you may notice from my comments that I quite dislike it. But I really enjoyed this article, it makes the game sound really good fun.

  25. Alaric says:

    I haven’t played WoW since May 2009, but after this patch I immediately signed up to do a review for Avault. I won’t post it here, but I gotta say, I was vastly and profoundly impressed by the quality of Blizzard’s work.

  26. dadioflex says:

    Simutronics used to have regular “world” updates, introducing new quest-lines and content, and maybe still does. Dragonrealms and Gemstone are pay-MUDs, however, so it’s a lot easier for them to make wide-ranging changes to the game because the assets are all text.

    I do wonder what ever happened about their “Hero’s Journey” game that was supposed to do the same thing in a graphical MMORPG. According to the Wikipedia page it got stealth-cancelled, which is a shame.

    Elonka Dunin works for Simutronics and does a bit of top secret cryptography work for the CIA on the side. Okay, obviously not that top secret, but it’s still cool.

    I played WOW for maybe a year and a half after release (was in the Beta). Never really got much out of the thirties with any character, but I’d still be curious to see what Cataclysm does to the ole place.

  27. Nezz says:

    I only played a few trials a long while ago, but as an Explorer on the Bartle scale, I still find it slightly disturbing that the Azeroth I remember no longer exists.

  28. Wolfoz says:

    Been playing for a few years and the only character I managed to get up to to 80 from level 1 is my warrior (who was my original character). Every other time I started levelling a character, I just got reminded what the grind was like and abandoned them about level 30ish.
    Since patch 4.0.3 I’ve really enjoyed levelling a dwarf shaman up, (so far at level 43 after 27 hours played and only through questing). Managed to get all the way up to 41 without having one death and then got killed by Deathwing on one of his random zone immolations(which wasn’t discussed in the above article). It was pretty smart getting to see this huge dragon flaming the ground above my crispy corpse.

  29. Arca says:

    If anybody is on the fence about starting a wow account now would be the best time! With all of the new changes and such many people will be making new characters and probably even more after that due to levelling being so much easier/fun/interesting.

    After the next expansion after cataclysm this will probably die down and you won’t have as many people to quest with on your way up to the level cap.

  30. BrokenSymmetry says:

    The first 3 zones that you encounter as a Forsaken (Tirisfal Glades, Silverpine Forest, Hillsbrad Foothills) are now the best the game has to offer. Tirisfal Glades has the most intriguing new NPC in the game, Silverpine has you riding together wih Sylvanas, and Hillsbrad Foothills has the funniest quest in the game, the most gruesome quest, and a quest that will make you cry.

    • rei says:

      Is poisoning the puppy the one that makes you cry? :(

    • Loomchild says:

      It’s true Hillsbrad foothills now has great quests, and _a lot_ of game engine cinematics. Sadly, when I did them they were buggy. Almost to the point of non-playability (just almost). And I think the one that should make you cry is the end of the quest series with the orc death knight.

  31. Arnulf says:

    I’ve rolled a night elf mage and have done Teldrassil + Darkshore almost completely now. I’ve done things already and met NPCs that I wouldn’t have believed for an under level twenty character.

    What I remember from my earlier runs through these zones, Blizzard went out of their way to streamline and make the experience more interesting. They did do some nods at the earlier content which is rather nice and funny for an old-timer, but that doesn’t detract from the experience.

    I have to say I’m impressed.

    Also another nice touch: The gazillion different stats (hit, crit, resiliences, spell power, etc.) went the way of the late dodo!

    I’m psyched for Dec 7th!

    PS.
    Not to sound too much like a fanboy, I was a bit disappointed with the new gnome starter zone. I thought you’d do more stuff in Gnomeregan proper, but no, all you do is escape as quickly as possible.

    • Flint says:

      Hit rating, crit, resilience etc are still there. Most of them, bar crit rating and spell/attack power, just do not really matter until higher level content so it’s absent from leveling gear and by default the character pane doesn’t show the big list of stats automatically. That said, some of the stats indeed have been removed or merged.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Really? I heard resilience was going to be removed. But that was ages ago so maybe they changed their minds.

      Edit: I guess I’m thinking of armor penetration, etc., not resilience.

    • Flint says:

      It’s been edited a bit but it’s not gone away – it is the main PVP stat, after all. Armor penetration was removed yeah.

    • Simon says:

      Armour penetration is gone entirely.
      Mana-per-5-sec is gone, with Spirit taking over the ‘mana regen stat’ role.
      Spellpower is gone, with Intellect increasing it at a flat rate.
      Attack power on armour is gone and replaced with Agility- since most AP gear was used by Agility classes anyway, so they just made Agility give more AP.
      Resilience, sadly, still exists.

  32. Premium User Badge

    skalpadda says:

    As much as I’m enjoying all the new stuff and have had a blast with the remade zones, I found the whole elemental invasion event a little disappointing. The zombie event before Lich King was perhaps more annoying and disruptive for low level players who were just trying to level up (large swathes of the game, even low level questing hubs and capital cities, were turned into no-go areas for anyone who wasn’t max level), and it probably went on too long, but it had a much greater feel and impact than the elementals popping up on a timer.

  33. The Great Wayne says:

    Awesome !

    And by awesome I obviously mean boring.

  34. Mark says:

    How can they revamp everything except the wildlife-murder-quota quests?

    • Mac says:

      Perhaps cause it’s one of the basic easy to do quests in every RPG and having 5000 quests in your game without some of them being Kill a bunch of Boars is pretty much impossible. I’ll take Kill shit quests ahead of escorts any day.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, there’s only so much they can do to vary the actual quest objectives. But they’ve done a lot to help add more interesting context to the kill X or collect X quests. Like, in Azshara, an early quest baldly informs you that because of the ecological destruction the goblins are wreaking on the area, the local wildlife is starving. The orc questgiver’s solution to this problem? Go kill some starving deer and carve them up for steaks for the soldiers. Might as well eat them before they die out anyway!

      Or the questline that involves reprogramming a goblin shredding machine and piloting it around for a bit. There’s a couple of kill X quests, but they look a bit different when you’re piloting a mad goblin engine of destruction and pitching sawblades and grenades at people.

  35. Temple to Tei says:

    So…
    City of Heroes finally dropped its big update this week.
    Anyone?
    Fitness is now inherent -means you can attack more etc.
    Alpha slot for end game shenanigans.
    Hello? Is this on?
    Honestly, WOW looks like it has far more content and I think if I had tried it first it would have filled my need, but still CoH plays on low spec laptop and I am enjoying it.
    Must go I have 3 new characters to make, bye.

  36. mwoody says:

    Goddammit. My account is super-safe. Y’see, my authenticator is, no doubt, “somewhere I won’t lose it.” I have no idea where that might be, despite turning my house upside down this afternoon.

  37. ouroburos says:

    its nice to see wow is finally doing what asheron’s call pioneered over a decade ago…

  38. Torqual says:

    Do you get money from Blizzard for printing 10+ articles about wow?