World of Warcraft: Return of the grind (and playtime from level 1 to 22)

Yes, after many moons, it has been decided. A return to World of Warcraft is necessary.

And with the return comes Cataclysm, the latest expansion of the game. So many interesting things have happened to the old world (so they say), making it irresitable for me not to give in.

However, I’m planning (hoping?) to make some changes in my gameplay. The plan is to try and enjoy the game at a basic level. Not to rush into things with the sole purpose of getting another level, or the next green/blue/purple item. No, this time lets try and enjoy the story behind the game, you know, actually read the quests before heading out and wacking things.

More after the jump for the first screenshots and the experience so far.

With Cataclysm installed, the choice for one of the new races is obvious. Worgen or Goblin? Because I have some friends that play Alliance, and it’s always handy to have some high level friends in the pocket, I decided to go for Worgen. And more so, I picked the Rogue class.

I remember playing a rogue in vanilla-wow, and I kinda liked it. You are constantly up and in the middle of things. Very different than ranged combat. How I remember the dullness of being a Hunter for example. Shooting stuff from the back, no … nothing for me.

Being a Rogue is to constantly pay attention to the 5 D’s of rogueness. That is: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge.

Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about.

Worgen starting zone and early quests.

I have to say the game is more streamlined today for new players. You are taken by hand and gently guided to the real world. I actually can’t say it felt like a massive multiplayer at that very time. But I guess that’s not really necessary. The point is to introduce newcomers to the game-mechanics. And it does very well indeed.

The Worgen zone is well designed. Visually, you’re taken on a ride in a desolate, dark, moody, cold place. Afterall you’re nation is being rampaged by the Forsaken. The more you advance, the more you learn about yourself (wolfman) and your people. Pretty cool.

Locked up and nowhere to go. People don’t react well to your new me.

Barren, dark, moody. The place you call home.
As a rogue, don’t forget to check your back every now and then. Karma is ever present!
Posing for a picture. Wolf in the woods.
Story unfolds. United we stand. Lets take on the Forsaken.
Prince Liam is no more. Guess being a wolf didn’t help him.

After the story has unfold itself, you can make your way to the ‘real world’. That is, where everyone meets up and gets thrown into the game. No more kindergarden (joke), time to head out and learn the hard way.

The place Worgen get dumped at is Darkshore, also the place Night Elves go to when they grow up. Overall, the zone is redesigned okay. Quest hubs’s are located pretty logical, although I’m no fan of the torn up world. That is, the craters in the ground, the canyons that make travelling annoying. Okay I get it, the world got bombarded and shred to pieces, but it’s annoying at times.

What to do at Darkshore? Fish offcourse! Why a wolf needs a rod to fish … ?
Darkshore is actually pretty … dark.
Darkshore revealed.

At level 20, the Worgen are rewarded with their travelform. 60% speed increase on landtravel. And it looks pretty cool as well. You get to run on all fours. Very wolf-like and the animations look very slick.

Time to run. Thank god.
Arrival at Ashenvale. Never was a fan of this zone though. Curious what it will bring to the table.
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