Cool Goblin’s don’t look at explosions.
I’ve had a chance to play through the goblin starting area three times now and my opinion of it has changed quite a bit. At first I thought that the zone was interesting but nothing special. By the third playthrough I realized it might be one of the worst starting zones in World of Warcraft, which is pretty sad seeing as how it’s one of the newest.
Bet let’s talk about the Goblin race in general first. Before Cataclysm dropped I was pretty sad that the Horde was getting shafted with Goblins, while the Alliance got a werewolf race. What? How does that seem fair? Especially after the Horde got shafted with Blood Elves and the Alliance got good natured demons in Burning Crusade!
Fortunately, after playing through the starting areas with both the Worgen and the Goblins, I’ve realized that the Horde actually made out better race wise than the Alliance. First of all they didn’t take the opportunity to change the human model for the Worgen. I understand not changing the normal human models because some people would get upset, but why reuse the same terrible models for the Worgen human form? Still, I guess you can just stay in Worgen form all the time and look feral and awesome. Unless you’re playing a female Worgen. As my wife pointed out, the male Worgen get glowing eyes, wolf like manes, and just look really feral. The female Worgen look more like a good natured Anubis, with big eyes and more curves than fur. It’s like they were trying to make them attractive instead of feral, so I guess score one for the furry lovers out there.
The Goblins on the other hand aren’t the terrible Goblin model we’ve seen since the launch of Vanilla. I was really worried before Cataclysm launched that it would be the same model. Thankfully it’s a beautiful redo that brings a short race to the Horde without getting cute. The only downside for the race that I’ve found, other than the starting zone which we will get to, is that after looking at the beautiful textures of the Goblin skins, when I look at any of my other characters I cringe. They look God awful comparatively, and it’s about time Blizzard added some new, high res skins for every race and gives us one free redo, while leaving the old skins for those who actually like them, or have really poor machines. I don’t want an EQII styles “replace or not” scheme, just add some new good skins.
The Starting Zone
Let’s get into the worst aspect of the Goblin race, their terrible starting area and lore. Is it unique? Absolutely. Is it beautiful? Very, especially the island you go to after you leave the starting city. So what’s the problem? Well the first problem is that I have absolutely no investment in the Goblins yet. When I play through the new Troll starting area, or the Forsaken areas, I can see the amazing changes they’ve made to the lore, and feel like a badass when Sylvanas calls me her personal murder machine. With the Goblins you get none of that, even when *SPOILER HERE! IF YOU HAVEN’T BEAT THE GOBLIN STARTING AREA YOU SHOULD GO TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH* your capital city is destroyed by Deathwing I felt nothing for the millions of Goblins murdered or anything else that happened, if Undercity had been wiped out I would have been jumping up and down screaming.
Another problem is that, while you are supposed to be this important Goblin in your society, enough to rival the big cheese and about to become a friggin Trade Prince you’re entire time spent in the city is either doing meaningless events like picking up your friends or serving drinks at a party, instead of making you feel like a hero like the other starting areas. Sure they try and rectify this in the second island, but with all of these people who used to be your servants moments ago rising to a position of authority it just feels like your failing miserably the entire time. I never felt like I was a rising star, more like I’d just gone supernova and it was time to end it all.
This is getting a bit long, and I have many other complaints, but the biggest one is the simplest one. Your faction leader is a tool. The entire Goblin starting area pushing you to hate him and feel like he’s a tool, a chump, a piece of stinkin offal that you need to scrape from the boot of your society. Then *SPOILER AGAIN* Thrall just comes up and appoints him, not you who rivaled him and helped Thrall not be tortured to death, to leader of the Bildgewater Cartel Goblins. I have sometimes not cared much about my faction leader, such as the Night Elf chick who is meaningless past her involvment with the Stormrage brothers, and sometimes I have loves my faction leaders and thought of them as total badasses, such as Thrall or Sylvanas. Never have I thought of my faction leader as a pussy who by all rights should be dead under my boot if not for the intervention of Thrall. What happens later when they use him in lore like they did with Sylvanas and the Halls of Reflection, or Thrall and Wrynn destroying stuff in the Undercity? I’ll just remember what an asshat he was and that I should be in charge.
I’ll talk more about Cataclysm’s Faction Leader Fail later. Have a merry Christmas if you do that thing, or a happy whatever if you don’t.