I can’t say that Cataclysm was a complete dismal experience. As we head towards Mists of Panderia and end the year with patch 4.3 and kill Deathwing, I wanted to reflect on some of the positive aspects of Cataclysm (there were a few).
There were quite a few new race/class combinations but I have to say that I love my Tauren Paladin. I always thought that the Blood Elf Paladins were really gay, especially because the guy who introduced me to this game played an extremely emo one. I have a picture when he died and I could swear his paladin had friggin’ lipstick! My joke about Blood Elves is that there is no male versions.
Anyway, having a Tauren Protection Paladin is just awesome. They look like they fit the motif, especially considering their bonuses with stamina and the warstomp racial. Let Blood Elves be Holy Paladins. That fits them a lot better. Even Retribution because they QQ way too much.
I love Tol Barad. It’s my current favorite BG. I try to queue up at night whenever it’s going down. It’s not really a tough BG but is what BGs imo are really about: just zerging the shit out of the opposite faction. I’m not into the hard core PVP stuff but I love just taking my prot pally and diving straight into an encampment and pissing the hell out of the opposing faction. I can probably do this with other BGs but I like just seeing the same old guys on the opposite faction and nuking them down a few times each week. Makes it more personal.
I haven’t tried the Worgen but you gotta love the little new starting zone. It’s a shame that non-goblins can’t get there (not that I’m aware of) but it is probably one of the highlights of the game and definitely something that Blizzard put a fair amount of thought and energy into the design.
As a race, the goblins added a lot of color to the horde faction. They remind me of an edgier version of the smurfs. They’re like a mixture of Gilbert Gottfried, the Italian mafia, Jews, Jersey Shore and a lot of other bad metaphors that somehow work. I don’t know where the engineering aspect came from as a stereotype but that adds to their appeal.
The good thing about them is that the Horde finally got a race that can annoy the Alliance just as they have the gnomes 😉
Good Questing Gear
Although I disliked revamping all the vanilla zones, the positive that came out of that was the gear rewards. Previously, you had to instance grind to get better gear. But the quests now provide fairly decent rewards that are relevant. By the time you hit between level 58-60, you should have enough gear to prepare you for Outlands.
I remember when I was leveling my old toons on Ner’zhul, my friend would get me to quest with him in the Blood Elf area just because the rewards were better and that the quests had more focus. Now, with the revamped zones, you’re actually better off questing in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdom (even though there is a few shitty quests)
Smoother Traveling for Starting Zones
One thing I thought was well done as you level up was how some quests implemented a traveling mechanic that sped the quests up a little. For instance, for Taurens, there’s quests that quickly move you between the starting spot to the village and finally to the city. Similarly, if you’re an orc or troll and you finish up the Sen’jin village, they have an NPC that provides you with a wolf to move you to Razor Hill.
My first toon was a Tauren Hunter and I have to say that it was a real pain starting out. After completing the little starting zone in Mulgore, I set out to the Bloodhoof Village and got my ass kicked on multiple occasions because I didn’t understand the concept of aggro. Then my friend had me hoof it (yes, pun intended) to Orgrimmar from Mulgore. This was before we discovered how the Zepplin could take you from Thunderbluff to Orgrimmar. Still, running through the Barrens with all the higher level mobs was pretty crazy.
With the new traveling mechanics implemented including offering flight paths to the major cities, I think Blizzard fixed a huge issue, perhaps even apologetically. I’m not a huge fan of all the flight paths being unlocked just by reaching a certain level (that leaves out some basic challenges), but at least providing ways to get to the major cities was a tremendous boon.
The thing is that walking sucks. And being immersed in the world is fine….for the first time through. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to move on…and fast.
Boosting the Health Pools
Overall, I liked the idea of boosting the health pools. It is ridiculous because the scaling factor really makes no sense (I think someone at Blizzard has no concept of math). But from a solo’ing point of view, it’s great. Whenever I run old instances, I’m never in danger of dying. With just a few friends, I can easily take down older raids and see content that I never had a privilege of seeing. Of course, that also means our damage output increased which in turn allows us to down older bosses faster and easier.
I kinda wish that the BOAs were not guild level specific. But I think adding the helmet and cloak were nice touches. Of course, your level 1 will be uber twinked by gaining those items. But that’s the point, right?
Kicking the Guild Leader
The recent patch made me really happy in this regard. Honestly, I couldn’t wait until that feature came into play. Originally, I was part of a guild that my old guild leader had formed. But he NEVER was on so I ended up mostly running things. I never had enough control and eventually got frustrated and moved most of my toons to a different guild. However, I kept one toon inside the guild just for extra bag space (not to mention I purchased quite a few of the tabs). Then when I read about how you could kick an inactive guild leader out, I waited just for the patch to come out so that I could gain what rightfully was mine. It was beautiful. I cried. It was like poetry. I doubt that guy will ever play again but it was such an awesome feeling doing what should’ve happened a while back. I got scared for a bit because I noticed that he logged in one day and I thought I would miss the opportunity. Nope. Got it right in time because he went inactive again just long enough. At any rate, I rarely get victories in this world, but that definitely counts as a major victory.
Hmmm…I can’t think of much else that I really liked about this patch. It mostly sucked and I already touched on that.