Demitrius Berkley-Thomas On August 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

For the last couple weeks I’ve been playing the beta for Cataclysm, World of Wacraft’s upcoming expansion. With Cataclysm the world of Azeroth is being torn apart and changed by Deathwing, the old dragon aspect of the Earth, who has been driven insane by the old gods. Cataclysm promises to change almost everything from the original world while adding new areas and two new races, Worgen and Goblin. Cataclysm looks to be the biggest expansion for the game by far changing the game for lower level characters leveling up completely.

Worgen are the werewolves of World of Warcraft that can change between human and wolf form on command and have British accents. It starts out with the player as a human in Gilneas being attacked by Worgen then leads to the attempt to retake the city but then it is discovered that another nation is behind the attacks. The story then goes through the player turning into a Worgen, then learning how to control it and eventually joining the Alliance. The best part about playing the Worgen is the transformation from human to Worgen form later on in the quest line. The whole Worgen experience has an epic cinematic feel to it. Some of their racial skills include increased skinning skill and faster skinning, boost to critical strike chance and a boost in runspeed.

Goblins are the new upcoming race for The Horde faction. They are a short, green race that is very inventive and loves business. The Goblin starting area is more light hearted than the Worgen’s area and has more non-traditional quests such as driving around town picking up friends in a hot rod and entertaining guests at a party. The goblins are forced to leave their home of Kezan when a volcano threatens to destroy everything on the island but then are betrayed by their leader The Trade Prince and taken into slavery. That is where they run into the Horde and eventually join them. The Goblins have interesting racial skills such as shooting rockets from their belts and using rocket boots to jump forward a short distance.

Some of the new 80+ level zones are Vashj’ir and Mount Hyjal. Vashj’ir is a mostly underwater zone filled Naga, sharks, whales and whale sharks. Players end up in Vashj’ir after their boat is wrecked by the tentacles of an unseen underwater monster but are saved by a shaman working with The Earthen Ring. There are whole new underwater movement and combat mechanics in Cataclysm for Vashj’ir and make the underwater experience not a pain. The other 80+ zone in the beta is Mount Hyjal which has been protected by druids of the Guardians of Hyjal for a long time but now they need help. Players will end up helping the guardians bring back the ancients to help them in the fight as well as restoring the damaged land. In these zones along with just about all new and updated zones Blizzard has made very good use of phasing, changing the landscape and areas around the player as they progress in questlines.

Cataclysm is causing almost all of Azeroth to be changed and has given Blizzard the perfect chance to streamline and improve levels 1 – 60 leveling and questing. They took everything they’ve learned since originally releasing the game back in 2004 and their previous two expansions and have made questing more fun and leveling a lot less of a chore. Some big changes include Thousand needles and shimmering flats being filled with water, the Barrens have been torn in half and Azshara has been completely terraformed by the Goblins and is now a low level zone. From what I saw it seems like Orgrimmar is the capital city that’s gone through the biggest changes with the Warchief’s building being placed in the middle of the city instead of its old place in the back of the city and it looks like most of the buildings have been redone and updated.

Talents have been completely redone and instead of the current 51-point trees they have now they’re slimming down to 31- point trees. Since the trees are smaller players will be getting talents less often, they will now instead get a talent point about every other level and in between those levels the players will be getting new spells. Starting at level 10 with a player’s first talent point they are required to choose a specialization before they can spend points in a tree. Specializations give the player a signature spell and some bonuses and buffs that help the spec out. Specialization is a great new mechanic because it makes the players feel like they’re playing their spec even at lower levels and makes leveling more fun and interesting while getting rid of a lot of boring percent only talents in the trees.

2 Responses

  1. wow accounts says:

    WOW is my favorite game. I spent hours in front of it.

  2. Jim says:

    Can’t wait for this to come out.. I watch the daily screenshots, well, daily lol