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Cataclysm Beta - Day 2: Don't judge a book by its cover

Posted by: Tina at 7/13/2010 4:28 PM
Last Friday, I reported on my initial experiences with World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm beta. I had decided to make a worgen character with a friend, but we ended up caught within the gates of a manor that was meant to be a specific quest’s starting area.

I decided I could not let the glitch defeat me, and so I found a random player who was in the area for questing to duel me. Allowing him to win, I quickly jumped off the only ledge I could find (conveniently there were invisible walls lined around the manor) to deplete the rest of my health. Resurrecting at the graveyard would have to do.

We weren’t very far from the endgame. It took a few more slow quests before finally getting the command to defeat a Horde gunship. If you’ve never felt that quests in WoW have had way too many slow-spawning creatures and enemies, you would have definitely felt differently in this beta. The situation was at its most dire during a hunt on a mechanical Glaive Thrower to defeat orcs harassing the land. The last of the creatures to slay, the Wolfmaw Outriders, spawned in a small pack in one small section of The Headlands. Three other players and I were camping out for this batch of orcs. We found the section they respawn in, and waited to see who could get the kills first (screenshot below).

I couldn’t tell you much about the endgame itself, as the bat riding me to the Horde’s gunship merely dropped me in the water. General chat informed me that I had to wait, and I would magically spawn with a successfully completed final quest. That will undoubtedly not be the case when the expansion is open to the public, however.

Having gotten the full, monotonous and glitched-out experience of the Alliance worgen out of the way, it was time for Tesseract and Alfonz to turn to Kutoleh and Jimjones, two goblins fighting for the Horde. I picked one of the remaining classes I had never tried: a hunter. Jimjones was a rogue, which complimented my ranged attacks. I’m not usually a melee fan, but the combination of ranged weaponry and powerful strikes alongside my pet felt right.

We were launched into Kaja’mine, an industrial city full of life and in stark contrast to the plagued and desolate starting area of the worgen. One of the very first quests we picked up gave us a key to our brand new hot rods: a crazy looking vehicle engineered by the industrious little goblins. This was already a lot more enthralling than the worgen race; something I was not expecting based off of a snap judgment on the goblins' description.

The city itself was truly glamorous. Winding roads cut in between buildings that were probably emitting too many unnatural gases, but were nonetheless clearly built by intelligent hands. While the worgen represent a race born of an infection, and bearing a creature that transforms between human and worgen form, goblins come from humble beginnings and managed to break beyond the enslavement. Their ingenuity gained them not only their freedom, but this vast and complex dwelling society, too.

We navigated the road system that the goblins had built for themselves to arrive at our next quests. I mentioned that the worgen quests were somewhat mundane; the typical, “go here, get this, come back, do it again” sort of quest you can often find in WoW or most other MMOs, for that matter. The quests we were embarking on as goblins, however, were nothing short of exciting. They had us playing the goblin’s variation of football, named footbomb where you take control of a mechanical robot to kick bombs through their specified goals. We gathered clothing to host a pool party and kept our guests entertained. There was, of course, a fair share of fighting, as well, when pirates attempted to crash our party. When the pirates had eventually flooded the city, we ran to the bank to crack the vault and retrieve our riches.

After we were abandoned as slaves and stripped of our possessions (including the awesome Hot Rod) by the Trade Prince, we crash landed near an island and began to explore it. Trading in the cityscape for this tropical land and discovering wholly new creatures, the experience shifted dramatically. The experience of the worgen, however, led your around the same similar dilapidated buildings and lands. Raiding caves to discern the etchings on the walls, seeking out assassins with our infrared goggles and even defeating goblin zombies gave us our fill of more unique new quests to keep entertained by.

Although Jimjones experienced some crashing, I had no problem with any of the quests. It seemed practically bug-free. We left off having rescued Thrall from an Alliance prison, with the request to slay Alliance paratroopers to fend the enemies off. I loved being introduced to one of the main characters of the Horde faction in a personalized way such as this. As worgen, we had met Lady Sylvanas and overheard her plan to bring the plague to defeat us (the Alliance), even against the rules. I have always been a faithful fan of the Lady, particularly because Undercity has such a great design. Fighting alongside Thrall, however, made me feel closer to the powerful faction leaders and that I was developing part of the history in Azeroth, rather than just partaking in it.

Check back soon for our completion of the goblin’s storyline and gameplay, and to see my thoughts on the endgame as we continue our coverage of the Cataclysm beta.