World of Warcraft Cataclysm Beta: Goblin First Impressions

World of Warcraft Goblin

It is on the island of Kezan where we find the new race of Goblins. We have all come to know the classic statement, “Time is money friends,” but this is the first time since World of Warcraft was released that we get to play as the industrious Goblin race and see how true that line is.

It seems Kezan has not escaped the effects of The Cataclysm, and the Goblins must flee their home to find safety. It does not go as planned however, and you wake up to find yourself shipwrecked in the Lost Isles. With the help of the Orcs of Orgrimmar, some ingenuity and a set of Goblin Jumper Cables, we are able to find our way off the Lost Isles, and into the welcoming arms of The Horde.

World of Warcraft Goblin

You start off as a freshly promoted Goblin of the Bilgewater Cartel, trying to move up the corporate ladder using all the tricks you have, including flogging Kaja’Cola and schmoozing at parties. You have an assistant helping you out, but you still need to take things into your own hands, like getting the perfect party dress, getting the trolls working and even a little taxi work. Yes, that’s right, you get your own roadster at level 2 to help you navigate around the gigantic city of Kezan. It even has a custom license plate stating Time is Money.

Then things go terribly wrong when the Volcano suddenly becomes active due to the Cataclysm and you and fellow citizens of Kezan must make a daring escape. Everyone rushes to the docks, and onto a ship to take them to safety. The next thing we see is our hero being resuscitated with goblin jumper cables on the shores of the Lost Isles. Thankfully you are a Goblin and have a number of "resourceful" friends who have things like Town-in-a-Box, and rockets to help make island life a little simpler.

The Isles have been invaded by the Alliance and they seem set to destroy the Goblins, but Orcs come to your aid and rescue, forever forging a friendship between the Goblins and the Horde.

World of Warcraft Goblin

The storyline is deep, rich and thick with Goblin fun.  The architecture is unique and reeks of Goblin, with signs, tunnels, roads and shops all with a distinct flavor to them.  I found myself laughing constantly at the story and atmosphere of Kezan. There are things constantly blowing up and not working ‘as intended’, and it really is a lot of fun to play in this well-designed starting zone.

When you move to the Lost Isles, things become even more absurd, funny, and engaging. The Goblins know how to get things done and they have their own distinct way of doing it, (can you say Goblin Utility Belt), which always seems to have unintended consequences. You can’t help but have laugh out loud moments at this brilliantly written quest line, and though the Worgen are really delightfully, wickedly fun, I think between the two races starting zones Goblins win hands down.

Similar to the Worgen, the Goblins also have a distinct accent, Jersey. However, unlike the Worgen, I actually found it pretty funny they way they executed it. It was not overdone and annoying, but funny and well scripted, but this could just be my personal taste.

World of Warcraft Goblin

Bottom line, the Goblins are a gas to play. Blizzard found a way to reinvent a race that we have been familiar with since launch, to make it fresh, new and exciting. With the most unique buildings and designs I have ever seen, as well as the funniest quests, reactions, and story, this race is one that must be played by Horde and Alliance players alike. Similar to the Worgen, it is established right away that you are important, and that what you are doing, the jobs and helping Kezan, you are doing because no one else can, and this makes for a very interesting heroic journey.

Phasing was also a key component in making these first levels a success and again is brilliantly done. You find yourself moving seamlessly throughout the story from Kezan, to Lost Isles, to Azshara and you might not even notice the phases happening.

It must also be noted that the Goblins have some of the best racial abilities I have ever seen:

  • Rocket Jump (2 min cooldown, shared with Rocket Barrage): Activates your rocket belt to jump forward
  • Rocket Barrage (2 min cooldown, shared with Rocket Jump): Launches your belt rockets at an enemy
  • Time is Money (passive): Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.
  • Best Deals Anywhere (passive): Always receive the best discount regardless of faction standing.
  • Pack Hobgoblin (30 min cooldown): Calls in your personal servant, allowing you bank access for 1 min.
  • Better Living through Chemistry (passive): Alchemy skill increased by 15.

This new race adds a new fun dynamic to the Horde, and you should absolutely give them a try. Do you think this could be your new main? Or maybe a reason to finally switch to the Horde? I suspect with level progression, these little guys will become more and more fun. What are your thoughts? You going to try them out?

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