playWORLDS — World of WarCraft: Cataclysm

WoW: Cataclysm

Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a new series of feature articles here at playWISE, which we’re calling playWORLDS. They will be following the adventures of our MMO specialist, Jared Ubriaco, through the various landscapes of online games. This first series deals with the changes and additions to the immensely popular expansion “Cataclysm” for “World of WarCraft.” Read onward and let the quest begin!

The release of Activision|Blizzard’s cash cow, “World of WarCraft: Cataclysm,” has hit landmark numbers in terms of launch sales. “Cataclysm,” the third expansion released for “World of WarCraft,” had its frenzied players purchase over 3.3 million copies in its initial launch period spanning only 24 hours.


Its frenzied players have started the race to exploring the vast and amazing wastes as the environment has now been completely altered by destructive forces.

In “Cataclysm,” the world the player now walks through is one of fire and brimstone; even the capital cities home to orc, tauren, night elf and gnome are changed — and not for the better. Towns are on fire, the well-known Barrens is now split in two and fire and lava reign free, scorching the landscape. Westfall, a peaceful zone filled with pumpkin farmers and steeds, now has a giant vortex suspending an entire region of land in the air, which has been crushed into indiscernible chunks.

On top of the landscape being in shambles, players can now fly in the world of Azeroth. Both Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, including capital cities, are now accessible by flying mount, a highly sought after feature by the player base ever since flying mounts were introduced in “The Burning Crusade” expansion. Players must pay a 250 gold fee to obtain their license in order to fly in these previously restricted areas.


Exclusive to expansion owners are two new accessible races to play: worgen on the Alliance side, and goblin for the Horde.

The worgen look like humans, however, there is a twist. With the press of a button a worgen can transform into what it really is: a humanoid/werewolf creature. While this bonus is more cosmetic than functional, Blizzard stays true to the game’s roleplaying element by giving players this ability.

Worgens also have a 40 percent speed increase when they use Darkflight. They turn into their “true form” and sprint towards their prey with a 3-minute cooldown timer, making the worgen a sound option for PvP. Included is also a +15 bonus to skinning and a 1 percent addition to critical bonus damage.

Then we have goblins who, despite being as short as, if not shorter than, a gnome — if you don’t count their 2-foot hair styles — come equipped with some very interesting racial abilities. Everyone loves a good salesman, and this comes naturally to goblins.

The “Best Deals Anywhere” ability gets you just that: a 20 percent discount applied at any vendor in a faction, just as if you were exalted with that faction. While the name is unoriginal, it gets to the point — a true time saver indeed.

Goblins also receive a +15 bonus to Alchemy and the ability to call your bank to you, which was once sought by everyone but only obtainable by engineers. When the goblin player uses his racial ability it will summon his friend “Gobby,” and this fine gentleman allows you speedy access to your bank for one minute, every 30 minutes. Will we see a massive amount of goblin-mules being created in the near future?

Check back tomorrow for the next installment in playWORLDS — “World of WarCraft: Cataclysm” where new locations for leveling and professions will be discussed.

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

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