World of Warcraft

“WoW: Cataclysm” First Impressions: Kezan – for Goblin Lovers Only

If you never thought that ” Grand Theft Auto” and ” World of Warcraft” could cross, you’ve never played through the Goblin starting area. Designed to introduce players to the cutthroat, conniving ways of the Goblin race, Kezan offers an interesting twist to the classic starting zone experience. Though not a fan of Goblins myself, I took a quick peek at the starting area to see just what it had to offer.

After creating a character and watching the introduction, I couldn’t help but wonder how the “mechanical paradise” of Kezan – a place ruled by Trade Princes – looked like it belonged in a seedy district of Las Vegas. The place was dark and sludgy, but neon lights, AstroTurf-looking grass, and plastic flamingos were everywhere. The place is also crossed over by one-lane roads designed for the wealthy elite.

As it turns out, that wealthy elite is me!

Goblin characters start out as recently promoted bosses, second-in-command to only the Trade Prince. They even get a boyfriend or girlfriend, depending on their gender. Everyone seems to praise me as I go along, saying they’re sure that I’ll become the next Trade Princess. As it turns out, not only do I have assistants, employees, and a boyfriend; I also have friends, a popular following, and yes, even a hot rod.

Although the hot rod serves mainly as transportation around town, and a way to build the storyline, it’s a unique addition – it has its own radio, horn, and speed boost. With the hilly, loopy tracks in Kezan, and the way citizens scream and jump out of the way in terror (or get run over), zipping around the city feels like playing ” Grand Theft Auto” in ” World of Warcraft .” The ” GTA “-theme doesn’t stop with the hot rod – I find myself throwing extravagant parties, breaking into the bank, and even setting my own place on fire to claim the insurance money.

So what happens when Deathwing shows up and makes the volcano on your island prepare to explode, and the Trade Prince is bullying his way around town? Why, you get to liberating property of course. Even Vinny Slapchop is using his entrepreneurial skills to sell, among other things, the Slap Rock.

In the end, your goblin fate is met with betrayal, slavery, and nearly drowning to death at the hands of the Alliance. It’s unique but didn’t leave me any more attracted to goblins as a race than I was before. It also seemed to be one of the slowest leveling areas, taking me an hour to complete for only five levels worth of experience. While it’s worth trying once, only Goblin lovers will truly appreciate its madness.