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Gaming: World of Warcraft: 1) Worgen

Gilneas

As with the goblin campaign, the worgen opening puts you straight into the city.

First place goes to the worgen campaign, the other of the races new to Cataclysm. The worgen are werewolves, the ones you play as coming from the human nation of Gilneas. Back in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Gilneas weren’t exactly big supporters of the Alliance, the game’s instruction manual (which was an elaborate thing, full of more story content than it was game information) presenting their isolationism as their most notable characteristic. By the end of the Second War (ie. the second game) the Gilnean king, Greymane, had erected a massive wall around his kingdom and completely cut them off from the rest of the world.

This was the situation the nation was in when World of Warcraft launched, the wall making the area inaccessible (and for those who were able to exploit their way through there was nothing of consequence there), and that’s how it remained right up until the launch of the Cataclysm expansion, when Gilneas finally rejoins the Alliance. So what have they been getting up to behind the wall?

Well, what they have mostly been doing is fighting worgen. The curse that turns people into wolfmen has torn through Gilneas, and when you start a new worgen character you’re thrown into the situation at its most desperate, the worgen having reached the city itself. You’re tasked with helping civilians, killing the invading worgen and breaking a rebel out of prison and using his resources to help combat the menace.

Of course, it doesn’t exactly go to plan and you’re soon afflicted yourself, though in such a way that you preserve your personality. The situation is desperate enough that they can’t afford to dispose of you, the Gilneans having been driven out of the city, and before long the distinction between human Gilnean and worgen Gilnean becomes largely irrelevant. To top it all off, the Forsaken (who live in the ruins of Lodaeron and are essentially neighbours to Gilneas) invade, Silvanas Windrunner herself taking part in the invasion.

Whether torn down by the feral worgen or conquered by the Forsaken, Gilneas is going to fall. All the Alliance can do is offer the survivors a new home. When the Alliance do turn up it’s not their fellow humans who come to their aid, but the night elves. That’s not really surprising though as the humans haven’t exactly demonstrated a tolerance for other races in hard times, that being the chief reason the blood elves (formerly the high elves who have long been part of the Alliance) and undead (all of whom are former humans) joined the Horde in the first place. For them to swoop in and be all understanding and accepting of werewolves would simply ring false.

As with the goblin campaign there’s a good amount of variety to the quests you’re given, and the entire area is in its own phase so quest hubs shift and areas change. Everything takes place in and around Gilenas, rather than moving from island to island like the goblin one, but things still change dramatically. The Gilnean storyline ends with a massive assault back into the city (now occupied by an army of Forsaken troops), but ultimately Gilneas is lost and all you can do is move on.

As with the goblin campaign it’s a shame when it ends, because it’s another one that feels like it could belong to a regular, solo RPG rather than just being passable for an MMO. After that you’re dumped into Darnassus, the night elf capital city, and from there you can make your way to any of the next zones, but none of them are specifically worgen zones. The humans have Redridge Mountains, the dwarves Loch Modan and the night elves Darkshore, but by and large each zone has its own story rather than your character having a personal one. The story of the Gilean refugees essentially ends with Gilneas, which is disappointing as it’s really very good.

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