Cataclysm – For All The Wrong Reasons

Well it’s official – Blizzard has announced their new expansion. But I don’t think they chose the right title. I think a more accurate name would be something like “Cash-aclysm” or “Cat-Alt-clism”.

“Cash-aclysm” comes from the fact that they increased the race/class matrix to be more all-emcompassing.

This change simply encourages those people who want to do the upcoming “Paid Faction Change” to do so, by giving them more options, lore be damned. I don’t care about lore myself, but I’m pretty sure the Night Elf Mage kinda goes against that sort of thing. Blood Elf Warrior? Really?

So for all you Hunters who want to switch to Alliance, you can pull out your wolf pet and be a wolf-man yourself! All you Pallies that didn’t want to be a froofy Blood Elf, well saddle up with a slab of Tauren awesomeness! Just give Blizzard your monies and you have more selection of cute or crass, whatever floats your boat.

Now for the “Cat-Alt-clysm” name, I think that one has some legs. First, most of the changes coming in this expansion encourages people to play alts. They introduce two new races, with phased starter zones like the DK’s starter zones. A nice gimmick, mentioned in their FAQ:

Yes, we are creating all-new level 1 to 15 starting zones for both races. Players will start their adventures with the worgen in Gilneas, which was sealed off behind the Greymane Wall. Goblin players will start on the Isle of Kezan and then head to the Lost Isles in the South Seas before joining the mainland. Each starting experience will be presented in a fashion similar to the death knight starting area in Wrath of the Lich King, and these starting zones will make extensive use of our new phased-terrain technology.

Next, the revamp the 1-60 zones. Why, when they’ve spent so much time and effort to get people to blitz through that content in the past to reach the level cap? Again, from their FAQ:

As we developed new content and expansions, we learned a lot of techniques to provide players with a better game experience–but the majority of the new content we were creating was for high-level characters only. We felt we could apply the lessons of Outland and Northrend to improve the gameplay experience while leveling in the original two continents. Imagine revisiting a familiar zone like Darkshore only to find Auberdine destroyed by the cataclysm–and then discovering entirely new towns and quests in other parts of the zone.

Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms are central to World of Warcraft lore, and we want those areas to remain an important part of the game, not just a place to train or auction. Our goal is to make questing, leveling, and the overall story more fun for new, returning, and existing players. By redesigning areas of the original continents and introducing new content that matches or exceeds the quality of Wrath of the Lich King, we can revitalize the nostalgia and coolness of Azeroth.

So they want you to make alts. They introduce the new races, hook you with the gimmicked phasing intro, then show you all the pretty new zones they’ve made. Know what would help the leveling process even more? Flying.

Yes. While the original Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor weren’t designed for flying mounts, we’re redesigning the continents with flying mounts in mind. However, we’re still determining whether there will be any restrictions on where you will be able to fly, at what level flying will become available, or whether you’ll need to do anything to unlock it. We’ll share more details about this in the future.

Changing flying levels again? Guess if it helped getting those DK’s through the Outlands, it’ll help the new number of Alts that will be starting out in the old leveling zones.

Now granted, many of these changes will affect players whether they get the expansion or not – old content changes will happen regardless. Buying the expansion unlocks the new races, new zones, and new level cap. Doesn’t seem like all that much, does it? In fact, given all the changes that will be happening game-wide, the expansion itself only provides what seems like a fraction of the new content that is coming.

Rest assured, whether you buy the expansion or not, one thing will be certain: you will be a victim of the upcoming CatALTclysm whether you like it or not.

About Donny Rokk

Gamer. Writer. Lover. Fighter. Defying stereotypes, one nerdgasm at a time.

Posted on August 22, 2009, in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Cataclysm – For All The Wrong Reasons.

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