BlizzCon 2009: Goblin backstory and zone info

Allison Robert
A. Robert|08.22.09

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BlizzCon 2009: Goblin backstory and zone info

The DirecTV stream cut out for me after the opening ceremony, so it's possible there are a few things I'm missing; drop a comment if it looks like I've omitted anything. Anyway, here's what we know about the Goblins (the new Horde race) so far:


The playable race is a group of Goblins based on the Isle of Kezan, a new zone between the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. While Goblins and the neutral Goblin trade organizations as a whole originate here, the official site and trailer both hint that the playable group has had (or is that, will have?) a recent and deeply unpleasant encounter with the Alliance that makes the Horde a logical choice when the time comes to pick sides. From the trailer, it would appear that much of the Goblins' starting zone is taken up by the eponymous cataclysm, the need to get away from the destruction, and their induction into the Horde, but we don't have too many details on it yet.

The playable Goblins won't be formally associated with any of the neutral Goblin trading organizations we already know and love (figuratively speaking, of course; the Steamwheedle Cartel's been bilking us for years). There's also no mention so far of the other Goblins going anywhere, so I'm assuming that the game's preexisting Goblins will remain in the game in whatever capacity they can post-cataclysm, and the Horde Goblins are a faction unto themselves named the Bilgewater Cartel.


Reportedly, Goblins begin on the Isle of Kezan, although from what we've seen of the early gameplay, it would be more accurate to say they begin off the Isle of Kezan. From what's been spilled about the storyline, which is said to be heavily phased, I think you'll level here while the cataclysm is ripping the island apart, then board ships that get caught in the crossfire between a Horde/Alliance naval battle and wrecked off the coast of the Lost Isles. I would also guess this is going to be similar to the Draenei starting zone experience moving from Silvermyst to Azuremyst/Bloodmyst, except it encompasses fewer levels; information from the preview panel indicates that the new Goblin and Worgen starting zones encompass levels 1-15 instead of levels 1-20.

The Lost Isles appear to be the focal point of the early Goblin leveling experience, and so far they look beautiful; a lush, thickly-forested landscape northeast off the coast of Durotar and southeast off the coast of Azshara, now said to be retrofitted as a "Goblin zone." I would assume that your introduction to the Horde will occur here. There's evidence of some crude huts and a makeshift marketplace as well -- it's obvious that the Goblins haven't been an established presence there for very long.


In all likelihood, Isle of Kezan --> Lost Isles --> Azshara, with Stonetalon possibly along the way, or after Azshara. In Alex Ziebart's words: The Goblins have carved out Azshara's mountains to build their town. It's really ugly. Yay, another Horde race that brings the ugly.


Undermine is implied but not confirmed by the new information; truthfully, I'm not sure what to make of it. The storyline would seem to suggest that the Goblins can't stay on Kezan, period, which is where Undermine is, so I'm unsure what happens there.

  • Best Deals Anywhere: Always receive the best possible gold discount, regardless of faction.
  • Better Living Through Chemistry: Alchemy skill increased by 15 and increased health/mana returns from potions you've made.
  • Pack Hobgoblin: Instant, 30-minute cooldown -- Calls in your personal servant, allowing you bank access for 1 minute.
  • Rocket Barrage: 30-yard range, Instant, 2-minute cooldown -- Launches your belt rockets at an enemy, dealing 30 fire damage. Shares a cooldown with Rocket Jump.
  • Rocket Jump: Instant, 2-minute cooldown: Activates your rocket belt to jump forward. Shares a cooldown with Rocket Barrage.
  • Time Is Money: Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.
Good Lord. If they don't reexamine classic-race racials when this goes live, Trolls are going to be pissed.


A roadster! You can see a picture here.


Death Knights, Hunters, Mages, Priests, Rogues, Shamans, Warlocks, Warriors


Developers say that the Goblins will be providing "necessary comic relief" to the Horde during a very dark time. From what we've seen of the early quests, they do seem to be remarkably chipper about a situation that's going from bad to worse.

BlizzCon 2009 is here! has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!
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