I started with WoW during Burning Crusade, so my comments will be flavored accordingly. Cataclysm is an expansion for the World of Warcraft, and is dependent upon the purchase of the original game, the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. This expansion builds upon these others, so it cannot be used alone or without them. This expansion provides WoW toons with the ability to attain levels 81 - 85 and adds two new races (Goblin and Worgen). In addition to advancing all professions, Cataclysm provides an additional secondary skill (Archaeology) as well as introducing several new opportunities for group play through new instances and raids. Blizzard customer service seems to vary significantly from month to month. In the years I have played, I initially found that the customer service department was second to none. Technical support calls were answered at most hours of any day by knowledgeable, helpful people who spoke English. However, the focus shifted away from service and for some time there was no real way to get support due to week-long in-game lack of resolution to game play problems, extremely limited support times, and less helpful customer service representatives than nearly any other technology company I've experienced. Fortunately, Blizzard has chosen to improve from those terrible days to a place in the middle. They now provide OK (not extraordinary) support both in game and by phone. Considering that there are now generating more monthly subscription fees than ever in the history of gaming, I find this and the continuation of known bugs downright offensive. That said, the content of the game is extremely robust, with so much flexibility that a player can do peaceful, mundane activities like fishing and cooking, highly interactive things like joining small, medium, or extremely large groups to experience team play, or pursue quests given by non-player characters which may involved working with others or may not, depending upon player preference. For those with economic interests, there is a lively and robust exchange of in-game items through the auction house, which may be combined with crafting or gathering items in the game and then selling them for game currency. The social interaction with other players is readily available through proximity chat, guild chat, and chat with others who have a toon in a large city. While there are always going to be people who abuse their ability to say things to thousands of "listeners", Blizzard does allow players to mute the city chatter. Overall the interaction, extremely diverse access to a wide variety of play options, and enormous world of varies terrains and weather patterns have produced the most robust and entertaining game in history. This expansion continues to keep players engaged and provides new game mechanics. While the economy is so terrible, WoW allows an escape to a fantasy world with interaction far superior to watching TV all day for the millions who have been forced out of work.
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