Monday, February 7, 2011

2010 Games of the Year #5 - World of Warcraft - Cataclysm

Some of you know that I've spent quite a lot of time playing World of Warcraft this past year, and certainly plenty of time after the most recent expansion. It's possible that I put more hours into WoW over the past year than any other game. It would seem logical for the most-played game to be #1 or #2 on my annual list.

But I've been playing WoW for years. The eligible game is not the original WoW, but the Cataclysm expansion, and that's a different bird altogether. A bird that I didn't get all the way into.

Here are some notable features that I associated with the expansion when evaluating it for this award:
  • Two new races: goblins and worgen - I've been hoping for the opportunity to play as goblins for a while, so this was a nice feature. However, I had sort of been hoping that the goblins would be a third, unassociated faction, rather than part of the Horde. So, my excitement was tempered.
  • New zones, new dungeons - I've seen some of the starting areas for goblins and worgen, haven't seen any of the 81-85 zones, and likely won't for a long time, if ever. My style is to play several characters, rather than push one up to max level.
  • New secondary skill, Archaeology - I haven't gotten high enough with it to know if it's actually useful, but I do like digging up fossils on a basic level, so it's a good addition.
  • Totally revamped classes - This was the most important part of the equation, and the part that brought the expansion into my top 5.
The changes they made to the classes, specifically to the paladin class, were tremendous. Long ago, I made a dwarf paladin, and I grew to be disinterested in him. He just didn't have the fun factor that some of the other classes had (rogues, hunters, etc). But with the revamped skills and talent trees, paladins became, in my opinion, the most fun class. So fun that I'd guess that paladins are my two most played characters.

Check in tomorrow for the #4 game of 2011.

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