Countdown to Cataclysm: Why go goblin?

This article is part of our Countdown to Cataclysm series, preparing you for Cataclysm launch one day at a time.

Deathwing's return and the subsequent shattering of the world have driven the Bilgewater Cartel goblins of Kezan into the embrace of the Horde. With Cataclysm quickly approaching and goblins finally becoming a playable race in World of Warcraft, you're going to need all the goblin knowledge you can before rolling up one of these clever characters.

Who are the playable goblins?

Players assume the role of one of the Bilgewater Cartel goblins of the city of Kezan, a volcanic island and technological wonder of goblin engineering. Goblins are a clever, arrogant, quick-witted, and intelligent people who have a hint of craziness in their engineering philosophy -- bigger, crazier, and with more explosives. Goblins were originally demolitions experts and sappers in the Warcraft universe, and they have grown into the masters of commerce and trade, and captains of industry and adventure.

As you struggle for survival against forces that try to enslave, combust, and fry you to the bone, your salvation comes in the form of the Horde, welcoming you with open arms to their cause.

What classes are available to goblins?

  • Warrior Stalwart goblins donning heavy armor can join the warrior ranks and serve side by side with the great heroes of the Horde.

  • Rogue Few races achieve such a perfect class/race combination than the goblin rogue, utilizing his small size, quick wits, and impeccable stealth to outwit his opponents.

  • Death knight In the wrong place at the wrong time, goblins who fell during the Lich King's campaign in the Eastern Kingdoms awaken as servants of Arthas.

  • Shaman Goblin shaman have a unique relationship with the elements. Bargaining with or swindling elementals for their powers, goblin shaman are adept at wheeling and dealing their way into elemental supremacy.

  • Hunter Precision from afar is key, and the goblin who chooses the bow or rifle to combat his foes will be a force to be reckoned with.

  • Mage Studying arcane texts and artifacts is most likely collateral damage from selling so many "acquired" items in the ordinary course of business. Suffice to say, a goblin mage wielding fire, ice, and the arcane is a bunch of punch in a tiny package.

  • Warlock Goblins have made deals with every creature imaginable. What happens when a goblin strikes a deal with a demon? Trouble.

  • Priest Devotion to their causes allow goblins to flow with priestly energies. Complete your goblin arsenal with a mean, green, priest machine.

Goblin racial abilities and bonuses

  • Goblins always receive the best gold discount, regardless of faction, with Best Deals Anywhere.

  • Time is Money grants all goblins a passive 1 percent increase to casting and attack speed.

  • Much like an engineer, goblins can call a Pack Hobgoblin once every 30 minutes to access their bank anywhere.

  • Goblins have perfected their alchemical abilities and get a +15 skill bonus with Better Living Through Chemistry.

  • Rockets and goblins go together like peanut butter and jelly. All goblins come equipped with a Rocket Jump belt and belt-mounted Rocket Barrage.

The goblin starting experience

Goblins begin their starting experience in Kezan, the capital city home to the Bilgewater Cartel goblins led by Trade Prince Gallywix. After your character is instrumental in all sorts of party planning and high jinks involving the cartel, disaster strikes Kezan. Only through putting all your trust in Trade Prince Gallywix to help you escape the island will your character continue his story, shipwrecked, on The Lost Isles. There, the goblins become entangled in a conflict between the Horde and the Alliance that sees them rescuing a crucial Horde figure and getting inducted into the Horde itself.

How are goblins integrated into the world?

Goblins have been integrated into every aspect of Horde life, from gaining their own district in Orgrimmar to carving out their own quasi-capital and new homeland to the north in Azshara. In addition, the goblins have become a large part of the Horde, with lots of settlements all over Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, assisting the various races of the Horde fight against the Alliance and other new enemies creeping up as a result of the cataclysm. Horde players will be seeing a lot of their new allies all over the world.

The goblins are an exciting new race because of their absolutely amazing flavor and charm. If you think goblins are the "gnomes of the Horde," you've got another thing coming. The goblins augment the Horde with more machinery, more cunning, more technological prowess, and more firepower than ever before. Big things come in small packages -- and even bigger explosives come from the sharp minds of the goblins.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.