Review: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Magnatek

A Miserable Pile of Honesty
Jul 17, 2009
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"Justin, can we get some better music here?"

Sounds like someone saw a recent Daily Show episode before recording this.

OT: This is tempting, to say the least. As someone who has NEVER seen Azeroth at all, I may be tempted to get that free trial they offer soon, at least for that much. I haven't heard anything bad about it, other than it's the timesink of the century, but whatever.
 

Baldr

The Noble
Jan 6, 2010
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Actually one of the main focus of Cataclysm was getting New Players to join. They did a survey and found that 80% of players quit WoW before reaching level 10. So they went back and redid all the starting areas to make them more engaging and fun to help. So there hasn't been a better time to try out WoW than now.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Nice review and I like how you pointed out that the dungeon difficulty has been improved. I noticed that yesterday when we died three times on a boss character for varying reason (First time the healer's mana was gone, second time the Tank made a misstake and the last time we were overrun by spawned enemies). This is much better then in Wrath where the challenge turned entirely on playing the dungeon without a lag spike or hoping nobody would get hit by retarded instant kills.
 

SadisticPretzel

New member
Nov 29, 2010
169
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I appear to be in the minority, but I'm REALLY not liking the expansion. In fact, I've gone so far as to cancel my secondary account.

I've leveled to 71 in the "new old world" and I'll have my second 85 tonight, so...Nobody can tell me I don't know what I'm talking about when I proceed on this rant. :p

My problem is that the game won't just let me play. Between all the vehicle rides, gimiky vehicle quests, CONSTANT cutscenes (most of which you can't skip or you don't get quest credit) and NPCs just body handling you, I've spent more time lighting myself another Newport than I have actually playing.

I play WoW to play my characters...To go out and have adventures, if you will. I don't play it to watch the game play my characters for me. Thus far, Cataclysm does far too much of the work for me for me to find it enjoyable.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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There's lots of ways it's improved that we just cannot show? Advertising dollars well spent, Blizzard!
 

Moffman

New member
May 21, 2009
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Sean.Devlin said:
Moffman said:
The advantage of WoW's ten year old engine means it runs pretty darn well on loads of computers, I can even play it (poorly) on my terrible laptop!
But then it also looks like that. ;)
But it also plays very well ;)
 

Jinjiro

Fresh Prince of Darkness
Apr 20, 2008
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Really nice review, very succinct round-up of all things Cataclysm.

I zoomed my way to a Realm First 85 Rogue.... (had to throw that in there, still chuffed)... loving the hell out of the content, and while I haven't played 1-60 yet, I fully intend to make some alt characters to experience the new content there. Whether I get them beyond level 60 or not is another matter, seeing how Outland levelling is utter expletive-inducing torture.

As many people are saying, the little touches are great. The Harrison Jones questlines in Uldum are hilarious, the sunshafts and new water help make the game look better than it ever has, and questing never felt grindy at all.

But most of all, I'm really appreciating the learning curve that has been implemented in Cataclysm. From 80-85, the hostile creatures really start to give you a run for your money. As a semi-squishy class, pulling more than two creatures at a time meant some pretty hefty cooldown usage.

Now I'm onto the heroic dungeons, and Wrath of the Lich King's "A toddler could mash the keyboard and win" heroics have been replaced by much less forgiving dungeons, where crowd control and careful planning on the healer's part are required. It makes victory so much more satisfying.

This IS the best expansion they've released, no doubt.

Edit: Also, massive shout out to the game's composers... the new music is freaking awesome.
 

Moffman

New member
May 21, 2009
113
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SadisticPretzel said:
I appear to be in the minority, but I'm REALLY not liking the expansion. In fact, I've gone so far as to cancel my secondary account.

I've leveled to 71 in the "new old world" and I'll have my second 85 tonight, so...Nobody can tell me I don't know what I'm talking about when I proceed on this rant. :p

My problem is that the game won't just let me play. Between all the vehicle rides, gimiky vehicle quests, CONSTANT cutscenes (most of which you can't skip or you don't get quest credit) and NPCs just body handling you, I've spent more time lighting myself another Newport than I have actually playing.

I play WoW to play my characters...To go out and have adventures, if you will. I don't play it to watch the game play my characters for me. Thus far, Cataclysm does far too much of the work for me for me to find it enjoyable.
I totally see where you are coming from here, I disagree, but you raise a good point. WoW has become more and more dumbed down, which isn't what we want. I do think they have improved the questing however, I like vehicle sections and think now you don't have to travel from one side of the map to the other, which is a plus for me. We could probably get into a big discussion over perks and failings, so I'll just leave it there :p
 

Jake the Snake

New member
Mar 25, 2009
1,141
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Ok, ok, nice review, good job, yay, WoW players love Cataclysm. I stopped playing. I'm never playing again, now can you guys PLEASE take down all of the ads for it in all of your videos? I swear to god if I have to be subjected to that annoying ass dragon roaring in my face online or on TV I'm going to fucking hurt somebody.
 

Denamic

New member
Aug 19, 2009
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I think I'm still wearing the Kata-Mary hat you get from that quest shown in the end of the video.
That quest was the highlight of my day.
 

ionveau

New member
Nov 22, 2009
493
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No mentioning of limited models for monsters armor and the shameless reuse of almost all boss models
blizzard you want unique boss models? ok we make this monster 2x bigger then normal monsters enjoy

This review mostly consists of praising the graphics while we all know graphics mean nothing in games (unless MMOs don't count)

Yes i admit they made leveling more streamline(in other words more casual)

Dont forget these are the game reviewers that said starcraft 2 was so good it feels like your robing blizzard after "only" paying $60 so we all know their bias



Heres my review

If you enjoyed WOTLK you will enjoy this
What got better? the 1-60 quests got organized
How much did the world change? well other then levels its 60% the same
If anything this installment is more casual friendly then WOTLK 80-85 only takes 20hours
Did they fix the errors of WOTLK? no they didnt

What i think will happen?
Player base will increase to 15million my next year



Overall its the same thing as WOTLK you will grind for gear for 4months then they give better gear etc they will not change the patch system to be interesting
 

Reveras

New member
Nov 9, 2009
465
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Too bad you talk incredibly misinformed from just watching pictures and some random videos of select things. Keep on hatin' mate.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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To be entirely honest I think The Escapist should have provided a more balanced review of this one.

I say this because I notice that there is no mention of the simple fact that the game has become almost entirely linear. Yes, there are cinematics, and a lot of things have become a lot more user friendly, and the way they use the phasing is interesting. On the other hand previously exploration was both encouraged and nessicary. Right now as things are, you pretty much get lead from one group of quests to another, and there isn't exactly a lot of stuff out in the boonies, that encourages you to spend time exploring off the beaten paths to see what other quests and content are out there. Even what quests are in the mini-hubs tend to be sitting right there where they send you.

While it's been active for a bit before Cataclysm, it's also noteworthy that with the new talent system you wind up getting less points overall, and as the review put it, choosing a talent tree is like choosing a subclass. That's not nessicarly a good thing because it ruins a lot of the depth of the game, and you see a lot less people creating builds with skills from various trees. The game even changes your class name, based on what talent tree your using so your skills are easily identifyable. You know longer see say a "Death Knight" and have to guess what he can do based on what you might see him using (or what he tells you) you can examine him and your pretty much going to know what kinds of skills he has.

What's more all of those cinematics tend to ruin the immersion of the game for me. Typically I don't feel like I'm in control of much that is going on, and acting as a spectator, and sadly comedy relief, for other characters.

To put things into perspective, you see that submarine scene with the character looking out and go "oh man, that's cool". I suppose it is, but what your not seeing is a big part of the quest chain where you pretty much keep constantly being rescued by this super-Shaman. The climax of the quest chain even involves pretty much following him around through the final battle (single player) and watching him destroy elite mobs that attack you while your attacks more or less bounce off ineffectively until his animations go off. Granted this ends up with the abillity to enter an instance to finish business (for a group), but for a lot of this your pretty much wandering around playing gofer of the "gather these, kill those, click on this" variety down a linear path.

The comedy relief aspects come about because there are quests like "put this mind controlling squid on your head, so we can see what happens". Now, I don't know about you, but if some gnome told me to do this, I'd tell them to go frakk themselves since I already know what it does (having collected said mind controlling squids from the creatures they were controlling). Yet I can't progress the chain/storyline until I do something that blatently idiotic. Let's not get into a bit where you intentionally let a shark bite you and carry you around in his mouth as part of getting it to line up for a harpoon (I'm not kidding). Blizzard has performed the rare feet of making it so half the time I feel like I'm in someone else's adventure, and a lot of that time I can't even take my own character seriously. There was always a bit of silliness in these games, but they are taking it to a whole new level.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is a bad expansion pack for the game, I am playing it despite not being fond of "The Avatar Crisis Rides Again" (old D&D referance) and thinking they should have retired Azeroth gracefully for the time being. I am saying that judged entirely on it's own merits all of those innovations have come at a cost.

I'd give this a more fair rating of three, or three and a half stars. Yes it has cinematics, but they aren't always GOOD cinematics (though they can be), it has ongoing storylines that are more overtly developed (you don't have to read as much for the story as well), but that comes at the cost of exploration, and much of an incentive to head off the beaten path.

I'm not knocking it, just trying to be fair, I'm sure some people will come to oppose what I'm saying on principle, but there are plenty of people playing who have been having the same thoughts.