Holy crap, what a week its been. First off, plenty of kudos to the entire Blizzard team for what was a mostly problem free launch. I started playing early afternoon on the launch date and didn’t experience a single problem logging on to the game and playing. Most of the people I spoke to had the same experience. I don’t remember the Wrath of the Lich King launch going anywhere near as well. I’d also like to thank the good folks at Amazon for getting my collector’s edition to me first thing Tuesday morning.

My actual gaming experience has been nothing short of excellent. It took me less than a week to get from 80 – 85 and it didn’t feel the least bit like a grind. Aside from my many encounters with Horde gankers, which is to be expected playing on a pvp server, I don’t have a single negative thing to say about any of the zones I quested in or any of the dungeons I took part in. Mount Hyjal, Deepholm, and Twilight Highlands are all visually stunning. My personal favorite of the three was Hyjal. I’m a huge Nightelf fanboy and I thoroughly enjoyed geeking out at all the Nightelf lore getting tossed at you from all angles in the zone. I also really enjoyed all the cut scenes Blizzard added in each of the zones. I felt it gave you a chance to just sit back and appreciate the fruits of all your labors. I’m not going to spoil anything for all of you haven’t hit 85 yet, but the cut scene towards the end of the Twilight Highlands was pure freaking win. I’d put it right up there with the Wrathgate scene in terms of pure awesomeness.

The only bad things I have to say about the first week would hold true at the start of any expansion and for any game. Auction house prices are absolutely ridiculous, making leveling crafting professions damned expensive. This does mean however, that there are plenty of opportunities for gathers to make an absolute killing. I managed to turn a couple of hours farming Obsidium Ore during the week on my Death Knight into almost 6000 gold in profits. Had I spent more time farming and playing the auction house I very easily could have made double or triple that. Ganking was also absolutely crazy and continues to be so. If you play on a PvP server be prepared to either suck it up or take matters into your own hands. I preferred the second of the two options. My advice is to team up with a couple of guildies or put the word out in general chat that you’re looking to clear out the zone of unwanted members of the opposing faction. You’d surprised how effective you can be with just two or three of you working together to kill other players. Not only is it great fun if you’re into PvPing, but you’ll also get plenty of praise from members of your own faction for making their lives easier if just for the next hour or so.

So there’s my quick and dirty run down of the first week of Cataclysm. I hope y’all have been having just as much fun as I have. I can’t wait to try my hand at a few heroics here in the coming week and getting prepared for raiding.

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