Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Cataclysm - The Positives

   Cataclysm is considered one of the worst expansions on WoW, mainly due to the fact that the end-game content was so poor. But what people seem to forget when they think back are the positives. This is, in part, because one or two of them aren't present anymore (such as Deathwing's destructive fly-overs), and because others are taken for granted. In this post, I will list my personally favourite aspects of Cataclysm.

Screenshot by Kiyoine

Deathwing's Flyovers
   I mentioned that just now. I remember saying to Koruth, the first time I was killed by his flame in Uldum, that Deathwing was the only villain to truly present himself to the world. The others hid in fortresses, ordering their minions about, but Deathwing took destruction into his own claws. As someone who doesn't raid for personal reasons, I never really got to see anything of any of the bosses apart from their lower subordinates, and I never encountered the villains themselves until the expansion was out-dated (although, having said that, the Halls of Reflection was pretty sweet when the Lich King chased you. That was so scary!). But there was Deathwing, flying around over any zone, just setting fire to everything.
   I will admit it was a bit of an inconvenience at one point: I was levelling my shaman through the new Stonetalon Mountains, and I had been in a mine for the last ten minutes. Just as I stepped out of the mine, POW, fire on my face. It's quite hot when you get your face in it. I died immediately, of course, and as my ghost ran back, the entire zone was ablaze. I had to wait just inside the mine for a further then minutes, waiting for the fire to subside. Though, despite the inconvenience, I did still think it was so awesome.

Screenshot by Neutronimity

Dungeon Difficulty
   I'm a bad and lazy player. That's not to say I refuse to work for rewards, because I will, but I don't like my expectations to be thrown around. Up until Cata, as a warlock, all I had to do was stand and cast, whether it was a level 40 dungeon or level 80 Heroic. I realise, of course, that that is exactly why they were changed, but it seriously put me off of dungeons. I used to do virtually nothing but dungeons in Wrath, but when Cata changed the way dungeons worked, I stopped running them - I only managed to get exalted with Ramkahen.
   Having said that, though, I admit that harder dungeons were more entertaining. I'd never raided before, so I didn't know where to go to find tactics - because you needed tactics for dungeons in Cata - and that caused us to wipe a few times due to my own mistakes. I learned quickly enough, though, and I was able to run most dungeons with no problem. It made things a lot more interesting for a lot of people. Unforunately, being a carer and unable to do anything I couldn't drop at a moment's notice, these new dungeons were a personal inconvenience, but otherwise, they were pretty sweet (though I can't say I'm pleased to have slightly easier dungeons back).

The Molten Front
   There were other patches, but in all honesty, I don't remember them. The Firelands patch is the only one I remember. The Molten Front, in particular. It differed greatly from the main body of Cata, given that dailies had finally returned. And there were a lot of them. I loved that the quest hubs increased as you progressed. You started out small, and it gradually expanded further into the Firelands. It was so cool. The zone had several unique features, such as navigating those floating rocks to get to the nest site, awesome little caves where you had to collect or activate runes on the ground and get away from elementals and stuff, and of course the awesome hot air vents that propelled you forwards. They were awesome - if you did them right. Koruth always did. I always lagged behind.
   Then, as a hunter, there were more goodies what with the taming challenges. I've told you before how awful a player I am, so Koruth got most, if not all, of those pets for me. I did try several times before failing miserably. They were very difficult but very rewarding at the end, since not every hunter would succeed. I did see a nice etiquette for the most part, one person trying at a time - even forming an orderly line at some points. It sucked when the person before you succeeded, of course, but then you just come back another day. There were one or two points where there was one particular douchebag who would come in and steal other people's tames. He'd bring his Druid buddy, who would steal aggro, then he'd take aggro and tame them. I saw this one person do this about three different times, and his excuse was that someone did it to him. There's no helping some people.

Levelling 1-60
   This is something which is often forgotten. I believe that it's safe to assume most of us made a new character during Cata, what with the release of the Goblins and Worgen, and the new race/class combinations. Personally, I made a Troll Hunter (yes, I know, hardly a new combo) because I wanted to see the new Troll starting zone. I did roll a Worgen (one of the few Alliance races I actually like) and a Goblin but it took some time for me to bother getting them to any high level. Only my Worgen Druid made it to 85, and she's still there now.
   But it was the levelling which always put me off of making new characters, so I never bothered. But then when they released Cata, levelling really changed. Lots of zones got face-lifts, lots of quests changed, and the whole feel of Azeroth changed. I personally preferred the Eastern Kingdoms - a continent I had originally despised - over Kalimdor after Cata, because it was more humourous and interesting. If you were looking for a more serious levelling experience with an air of war, then Kalmidor was more for you. It was nice to have the differing options, really. And while I made so many characters (few made it to max level, however), I have grown quite sick of levelleing through 1-60 again, it was still a much needed addition to the game. Of course, now you really burn out when you hit Outland, and you really have to push yourself through it.

   Oh so so good. I love it. I do. I've always had a passion for history, and I think that's where my interest in WoW's lore stems from, even though that is technically the history of a fictional world. I just love the study of civilisation after major events have occurred, and seeing the resolutions, aftermath and whether anyone has learned any lessons (in short: no). So when Archaeology was released, I was so excited. I didn't understand how it would work, though. It was said that digsites would be all over the world, and I had assumed that they meant actual digsites, and that they would be full of people all the time. I relaxed a little when they went on to say that other people wouldn't be able to take what you 'dug up' so I figured that the items would be phased or tagged or something. I was pleasantly surprised with how it actually worked, though I do admit to enjoying the digsites that spawn in actual digsites a little more. This was one of the things that MoP brought that I actually didn't like. I hated how the little grey items you dug up from archaeology were all worth the same, and could all be 'crated', eventhough those crates weren't used for anything truly exciting. It sort of ruined the value behind artifacts - from common things like coins worth very little, to things like pots and urns and stuff which were much rarer and more valuable, in both gold and history.

What was added in Cata that you liked? Was there something I put on the list that you absolutely hated?

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