Category: WoW

“World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” – Story Elements & Gameplay Tweaks Impressions

Deathwing the Destroyer is here and nothing but the tragedy is to come. It’s time for World of Warcraft players to take up their swords and face this new challenge. I have to admit, I was pretty excited after suffering disappointment from Wrath of the Lich King. Let me go no further without saying that Cataclysm is the worthy successor to Burning Crusade that we’ve all been waiting for.

Story-wise, Cataclysm gets you hyped early on but is ultimately a bit disappointing. The premise of the repeated disasters and the coming of the great ‘cataclysm’ draws you in almost right away. You’re interested in seeing just what is at the root of all this turmoil and want to aid your allies in bringing it to an end. However, what you get in the end is too cliched for RPGs. For World of Warcraft gamers that have never touched a sophisticated console RPG, the twists and turns of the Cataclysm story will appear fresh. Though anyone with a gaming degree beyond MMORPGs, it will be a ride that’s all too familiar.

On the plus side, it’s nice to be able to use flying mounts in the old zones- though it felt like something that should have been taken care of before. The new quests (numbering over 3500) have certainly given World of Warcraft players a lot to do. I am a bit bothered by the new PC requirements- as I feel the content upgrade doesn’t quite justify the jump. While Goblin isn’t the most appealing new race, the introduction of Worgen is an awesome addition- potentially my new main. There are a few questionable changes to the game- the Talent System tweaks are a bit in left field. I never really found myself getting upset by the changes, but I did ultimately wonder what the reasoning for some of them was- namely some of the PVP decisions.

Under the hood, there’s been a lot of gameplay tweaks that I’m appreciative of. While rogues are still too broken for my liking, it is nice that the healing classes got some overdue improvements. A number of the system tweaks and refinements in Cataclysm have been long-requested and are a relief to finally have. While I don’t particularly find the PVP additions that interesting, I am very happy with the Raid upgrades. For World of Warcraft players put-off by Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm is the cure to what ails you.

What in the World of Warcraft is Blizzcon?

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the dates of its upcoming Blizzcon 2008 gaming convention in Anaheim, California, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The makers of World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo have planned a two-day event to be held on October 10th and 11th. Tickets, which are $100, went on sale on August 11.
According to Kotaku, the run on tickets created errors on the Blizzard.com website where the tickets are being sold. Tickets for the convention are expected to sell quickly.

Why Is There Such A Demand For Blizzcon 2008 Tickets?

In the gaming world, not many franchises come even close to being compared to World of Warcraft. The popular game boasts the largest online gaming community, estimated in the millions, in the world. For gaming fans and experts, conventions like Blizzcon 2008 are a way to mingle with other gamers, cosplayers, and game creators. Conventions are also where game companies try out their developing wares, show off their best products, and often announce and/or debut their next big thing.

Blizzcon is no different. This year’s convention, Macworld.com tells us, will have costume contests (for those into dressing like their favorite characters from World of Warcraft and other Blizzard games), a songwriting competition, a dance contest, a motivational poster contest, a diorama contest, and gaming competitions for Warcraft III and World of Warcraft players. Top prize in the latter will be $25,000 per player.

Everyone who attends Blizzcon 2008 will also receive a goodie bag, which usually contains some pretty valuable merchandise. At last year’s Blizzcon, the goodie bag held a plastic key that Blizzard Entertainment revealed (ten months later, in July 2008) was a beta key to the forthcoming Wrath of the Lich King, the latest installment of the World of Warcraft saga.

So, for those who are into gaming, Blizzcon 2008 tickets can turn out to be quite valuable indeed.

Other Gaming Conventions

Blizzcon is not the only annual gaming event. For those out of the gamer loop and just thought that “South Park’s” spoof on World of Warcraft was just strangely amusing, there’s an entire real world out there full of people who spend most of their time in a virtual world setting. During their spare time, they attend conventions like Blizzcon 2008.

Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is one of those conventions. Penny Arcade Expo is a more general convention (Blizzcon is dedicated to Blizzard Entertainment games) and is attended by companies and gamers of various game genres. The PAX 08 schedule consists of gaming heavyweights like Electronic Arts, Sony, Harmonix, Microsoft, Nintendo and dozens of others. It’s fifth incarnation is being held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington on August 27, 28, 29, 2008. Attending for a day will cost $30; a three-day ticket costs $50.

Another gaming convention — and undoubtedly the most famous — is the E3 convention. Held this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles on July 13-17, the Electionic Entertainment Expo (E3) is an annual presentation by the Electronic Software Association and has been invitation only for the past two years. Previously, gamers and industry companies mingled at the gaming convention, where upwards of 60,000 people attended. The event is now open only to gaming companies and those associated with the industry. But E3 is a where the companies come to show off their new stuff and unveil what’s new. It is the singlemost watched event in the gaming industry.

And there are many others: Quakecon, Gen Con Indy (and its sister, Gen Con UK), Pacificon. Unlike E3, all of the other gaming conventions are open to the public. Gaming forums are also quite popular at comic book and science fiction/fantasy conventions as well. DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia hosts the largest multimedia event in the United States and dedicates part of its layout to gaming enthusiasts. So, if tickets to Blizzcon 2008 are unavailable, there are plenty other conventions to assuage the disappointment.

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