(please see above for part 2 of this article.)
As referenced previously, this ultra-casual player is back in the Game now to experience all that is new and fresh in the post-cataclysmic world of Azeroth. And, impressions so far are generally positive.
I’m not taking in the top-tier level content, as I haven’t the chops nor the time to invest in those endeavors. … at least not until the path has been well trod by my fellow gamers. Instead I have started 3 new toons, all different races and all different classes, to experience the stories in lower-level zones and to come up to speed with the game-play as it currently is implemented.
Like anything else, I see some good, some bad, and much that is tepid in Cataclysm.
For the ‘good’, the breakaway triumph for me is the music. That’s right, I said music. I love music, and the way to my heart is through my ears (in addition to through the ribcage, as the female trolls like to quip). For example, several movies that I consider favorites, I like primarily for their soundtracks. I watched “The Mission” about 4 years ago; Couldn’t tell you what the plot was, but I can still hum the theme when the Jesuit walks into the ‘native’ church built in the jungle. (Stop looking at me like that. Even Jack Black’s character in “The Holiday” makes reference to “The Mission”‘s soundtrack.)
Nathan Allen Pinard, the composer who provides scores for Oxhorn’s machinima, expressed the same thoughts in this interview with WoW Insider. And, I tell you, the new music is wonderful. Blizzard did a good job with some of the zones in Wrath of the Lich King. Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord spring to mind.
It’s now even better in Cataclysm. My troll warlock is currently parked at Ratchet’s inn, waiting to catch the flight to Dustwallow Marsh. Occasionally I log on, listen to a bit of the inn’s jig, which I think has not changed since at least The Burning Crusade, but then step out into Ratchet to hear the new, bouncing, orchestral music of that town. It strongly reminds me of the main theme from the original “Pirates of the Caribbean”, without being a copy. Fun!