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Chronicles of Cataclysm: What Anachronisms?

Greg Tito | 12 Jul 2010 13:00
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The rest of the initial quests involve you trying to liquidate your assets to pay for your passage on Gallywix's yacht. All around you, rocks and fire rain down as you struggle to break into the bank, steal priceless works of art like the Goblin Lisa, and the last bits of Kaja'mite, the mineral on which goblin society was built. The last quest on Kezan culminates with a race to the docks in the company hot-rod with Sassy Hardwrench at the wheel and a Dukes of Hazzard-style jump onto the boat.

The most interesting thing that Blizzard has improved for Cataclysm is the quest design. While there are a few of the standard "Kill X number of snakes" quests, most of the tasks set before you are fun and engaging in a much more creative way. From the collision mechanics on your hot-rod that has you running over pirate raiders and goblin passersby alike, to a safe-cracking mechanic that has you pressing 5 buttons when they are called out by the UI, it is apparent that a lot of time was spent crafting the story-telling experience. Also, Blizzard has gone a long way in streamlining these first fifty or so quests. Gone are the days where you have 5-10 quests in your log and you have to hop from one side of the zone to the other. Quests are doled out in chunks of 2 or 3 at a time so that you never feel overwhelmed.

I was expecting a starting zone for a new race in Cataclysm to be way more polished than vanilla WoW and even the excellent Burning Crusade race intros. And all I can say is that, yeah, Blizz totally exceeded those expectations. It only gets better after the escape from Kezan and the shipwreck in the Lost Isles and eventual meeting with Thrall. Not only are the quests interesting but the whole goblin vibe is hilariously referential as always, from the constant whizzing of spells between the Mage and Warlock trainers to the gas station populated by ridiculously good-looking goblin supermodels.

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The worgen starting zone has a lot to live up to if it wants to compete, and I look forward to Steve Butt's coverage of those crazy werewolves next week. From what I little I've played, all I can say is that I love the cockney British accents that Gilnean women are sporting. (Must ... resist ... Austin Powers joke.)

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