World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Preview

Some impressions of Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion pack have surfaced on the Australian arm of GameSpot.
As players have come to expect, the expansion will also increase the current player cap and allow you to gain experience again. Interestingly, Blizzard is only adding a modest five additional levels to take it to level 85. But while including only half as many levels as we've seen in the last two expansions, Blizzard is promising to add just as much, (if not more content) in a smaller package. These perks will come in at least three major new abilities per class, a new secondary profession, archaeology, and a new (Path of the Titans) quest line linked to crafting of high end items for your current job descriptions. You'll also now be able to use your flying mounts in Azeroth, resolving a major bugbear suffered by WoW fans; though from the sounds of it you shouldn't expect to be able to take to the skies before hitting 85 as Blizzard is treating it as a reward, not a right.

We jumped into the driving seat and took both of the new playable races for a spin. Alliance will gain access to the Teen Wolf looking humanoids called the Worgen, while Horde players will be able to play the ingenious and greedy Goblins. We tried out the Worgen first, and though we were able to roll fresh characters, there was no option to create a female version or customise the look of the human form of our character. All new characters created began at level five, unlocking many of the basic skills--presumably to get players up and running faster and into the meat of the experience. Notoriously easy to level, we took up our bow with a hunter and launched into Darkhaven, the Worgen starting area. The zone immediately struck us as a combination of Darkshire and Death Knight starting area, Ebon Hold; with their muted colour palettes of greys and browns.