As many of you already know, I broke under crushing pressure and reactivated my World of Warcraft account this week. After a vicious bout with Blizzard in July concerning my hacked account, and failing miserably to get what I wanted, I decided to try again. Admittedly, it didn’t take much to convince me, as I have been longingly looking at the Cataclysm expansion since it released. I wouldn’t have been put in this conundrum if Square Enix had just done their job and made FFXIV a good game out the door. But they didn’t, so here I am.
So my account was hacked, then banned, and left to rot for 6 months. Within 5 hours of finishing our podcast last Sunday, I had gotten in touch with Blizzard, had my account reactivated, reinstalled WoW, and logged in to my main character. What I found was jarring. Most of my gear, items and gold had been stolen from me when my account was hacked and, sure enough, it was all still gone. However, I think Blizzard took pity on me and gave me some stuff to work with. I still had no money (90 silver as opposed to the 6000ish gold I left with), but I was adorned in full Runetotem gear. For those unfamiliar, thats the stuff I was desperately trying to get right around the time I lost my account. It’s a very good level 80 epic Druid DPS gear set, and I had all of it. That and a badass polearm, rings, trinkets, and all that. I was fully geared and ready to facerape the Lich King. But that was the problem: the Lich King has already been faceraped. When I logged in for the first time in 6 months, I was in Dalaran and wondering what the hell had happened. Dalaran was the major quest hub city in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion set and was where you could find about a bajillion players at any given time. Never a dull moment in Dalaran! But this place was a ghost town. I felt like the last man in Azeroth. Welcome back to the game, loner!
Since level 80 is no longer the level cap, nobody had any reason to hang out in Northrend anymore. So I flew back to Orgrimmar, expecting to see people. What I found was a bit shocking, even though I knew it would happen. The main Orc city of Orgrimmar was bustling with players and NPCs alike, flying around on their drakes and whatnots, but the city itself was completely different. With the arrival of Cataclysm, it didn’t matter if you bought the expansion or not, the face of Azeroth has changed forever. It’s very disorienting! I basically had to unlearn all my geography. Sure, there were major landmarks in the same place, but they had changed. It was kind of like in Back to the Future: Part 2, when Biff steals the almanac and changes history and everything changes with it. I was in an alternate 1985!
Some of the changes were welcomed with wide eyes and excitement, others not so much. The bottom line was that I was confused and didn’t want to revisit the whole world as my 80 character, seeing all the new stuff. I wanted to see the 80-85 areas with that character, and I wanted to see the rest of the changed world through the eyes of a new character. I found out, through watching the cinematic intro to the game, that the Trolls and Gnomes had both reclaimed their homes and were no longer mooches to the Orcs and Dwarves. Naturally, I went and made a character from each race and played to level 5 to see what their homes were like. They were cool and I’m glad that Blizzard let them go home and have their own place in the world again. I soon realized though: I have a Troll DK already and I hate Gnomes. This left me with one option: go buy Cataclysm and try out a Goblin and a Worgen.
Last night, I came home with a copy of the game, installed it, and immediately created a Worgen. The Alliance certainly got the cooler of the two races in this expansion. The playable Worgen are werewolves that were fortunate to retain their humanity and are working with the Alliance to bring balance to the world, in the wake of Deathwing’s return. I’m not going to go into all the history and lore and crap surrounding Cataclysm. You can find it all right here.
So I made a Worgen Rogue and immediately fell in love with it. Their home of Gilneas is right up my alley with its Victorian era-inspired garb, attitude, speech, and architecture. They have top hats and round glasses, people! Think Gary Oldman when he’s walking around London in Dracula. Yeah. What they’ve done with the beginning story was very much like what they began doing with WotLK, by having instanced beginning storylines that only people who were currently playing that part of the game could interact with. This allows Blizzard to do dramatic things to the landscape, characters, etc without interfering with other players’ game. Its awesome and I love that they do that. You know what else I love? The Worgen. Now, I’m a Horde man through and through but man…… Worgen are really freaking cool. I think I might be spending quite a bit of time playing that character. It doesn’t help that the Horde is kind of being a bunch of assdicks in this expansion. The Orcs are pissing everybody off, the leader of the Tauren was killed, the Forsaken are being even more aggressive than ever before with their attacks on the Alliance. All this when we should all be working together to defeat Deathwing. The Alliance isn’t without its faults, but most of it is in retaliation to the dumb shit the Horde has been doing. Ugh. Thrall leaves for like ONE DAY to save the world and everything goes to shit.
So I begrudgingly left my Worgen behind for the night and went back to my Druid to see the Horde’s side of the new storyline. Within 20 minutes, I was at the bottom of the sea riding a seahorse. One of the first quests I did gave me better leg gear than my epic dungeon gear that people worked SO hard to get in WotLK. I got it for killing a few crabs and collecting their meat. Or something mundane like that. Gear that people had to defeat the generals of the Lich King’s armies to acquire has just been replaced by crab pants. Its a humbling thing. Oh, did I mention seahorse mount? I know I did, but I felt the need to mention it again.
I am very excited to play this new expansion, though it did totally restructure the Talent system and piss me off to no end. That and the fact that I have to unlearn everything I know about Azeroth. Oh well. Join me for this new journey as I’m starting from level one in both Horde and Alliance, as well as continuing on to endgame with my main. I encourage you all to take up arms against Deathwing (and your opposing faction) and bring balance back to the world!