World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Game Poster Image

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

New races, solid story infuse more life into WoW.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn how to communicate and interact with others to achieve common goals while playing this massively multiplayer game. They will participate in individual and team quests, which require them to think through how to accomplish the goals presented by these quests. Kids can experience some hands-on learning about economics by participating in the game's dynamic market of crafted items. While kids can practice communicating and collaborating as they reason through how to accomplish the game's many tasks, that isn't its main focus. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is a cooperative game with a central focus on violent combat.

Positive messages

As with most MMOs, players embark on quests that require slaughtering creatures that do not seem to be harming anyone or anything. However, the message here is that violence is the only (and final) solution to the majority of problems. In player-versus-player gameplay, players can create a very unhealthy environment where they can kill other players indiscriminately without many repercussions.

Positive role models

While role models are not at the heart and soul of this expansion for World of Warcraft, the introduction of the world-shattering presence of the dragon Deathwing (in Cataclysm) is pulling the "good" and "evil" factions of the Alliance and Horde together to fight a common enemy.

Ease of play

The game is rather easy to jump into and play with a solid tutorial that will guide players through their initial steps in the fantasy world of Azeroth. As players begin to build up their characters, the game does begin to take on more challenging elements, but the foundations set early on help to make the overall game playable.


The violence is committed against both computer-generated characters and against other players inside the scope of player-versus-player combat. In one instance, a barrel of gunpowder is tossed onto the head of an abomination and a bullet detonates the gunpowder resulting in the creature blowing apart with blood and bones visible for a very short period. The blood and gore does not linger on the ground, but quickly disappears.


Player-characters can dance provocatively and strip down to underwear within the game world.


The language within the context of the game is tempered and restricted to a few expressions, such as using the word "damn." Voice-overs are limited, though, and most suspect words are not found in the text that players can access to explain quests.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol can be purchased by characters in game and consumed. Too much alcohol will have an effect on characters, including speech that is slurred, as well as some disorientation. The game employs an effect in which the screen can become a bit blurred to simulate impaired vision.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is an expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, and requires previous expansions as well as the original game to play. There is a monthly subscription fee for the game as well. The game is about an ancient evil tainting and corrupting a fantasy land in an attempt to rule the world. Violence is very much a part of the gameplay, and while there are some quests that involving traveling and talking to non-playable characters, most of the action involves developing skill sets and killing. The world can be a dark and brutal place. Characters can get drunk and there is some mild cussing in the game.

What's it about?

In WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CATACLYSM, the ancient and dark power known as the dragon Deathwing has risen and is flying across the lands of Azeroth laying destruction in its wake. The Alliance and Horde must put aside differences and battle to vanquish the threat to their lands; if one faction falls, the other most certainly will. Cataclysm is an expansion to World of Warcraft, the most popular MMO in video-game history. It offers two new races (goblin for the Horde and worgen, or werewolf, for the Alliance), new beginning territories, and more content for upper-level players. There are five new high-level zones packed with quest lines to draw players deeper into the lore of the game. By playing, players become stronger as reflected in their level, and this expansion raises the previous player level cap of 80 to 85.

Is it any good?


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm infuses a bit of new life into World of Warcraft. The new races have strong backstories, and the game has done a good job of making some elements (like explaining spells and what they do) to newer players. The face of the world has changed, offering a new dynamic that could challenge players. The game is not hard to pick up and play, but it can be a bit hard to put down and walk away from. The community is solid and the story arcs are well done. Cataclysm offers new challenges and does what a solid expansion should do -- build on the existing world and challenge established players but also give new entertainment and challenges to newcomers.


Families can talk about...

Game details

Subjects:Language & Reading: following directions, reading comprehension, text analysis
Social Studies: power structures, the economy
Skills:Collaboration: cooperation, teamwork
Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, making conclusions, problem solving
Available online?Available online
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment
Release date:December 7, 2010
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:T for Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence

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Parent of a 10, 18+, and 18+ year old Written byn8lhg July 24, 2011

Language a SERIOUS issue in online play

World of Warcraft is an awesome fantasy online game. Play is fun, and the depth of the game is amazing. However, once you begin to interact with people online that play the game, you find language to be a big problem. Its VERY COMMON to see the “F” bomb dropped as a normal word, as well as hard core sexual content just in general chat. Its not uncommon to see racism, sexism, deviant sexual content, and serious bullying problems. Parental controls are useful, but in some cases, ineffective. I’m a fairly easy going parent. I play Warcraft myself, but consider the language to be a dangerous problem for any child under the age of 17. Kids begin to become hardened to the verbiage, and in many cases, begin to emulate the language in their own communications within the game. If you are a parent that is involved with their kids online play, you are probably ok. But to leave a child play this game unsupervised, is very dangerous. Blizzard has policies governing the use of language and bullying, however, their policing in game is totally ineffective. You as a parent, need to keep a close eye on the activity while playing this game. Phishing is also a serious problem in game play. Many players posing as blizzard employees, successfully steal accounts and virtual property by the hundreds on a day to day basis, again, well beyond the ability of Blizzard to police. I guarantee that if you sit down with your child who play this game, you will find that they all have been exposed to some, or all of this activity during game play. Parents, open an account with your child, and play along with them. Don’t let them play alone. I think you would be shocked at what goes on.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byHonestHerb March 19, 2011
Going against the trolls and people who obviously didn't play this I will step up and actually tell you what its like. This game has its moments of being fun, other things where it can be pointless and mind numbing to play. But overall this game if left out of hand can be a drug. A drug that you cannot get off of without major efforts. However, when played sparingly this game is a decent way to pass the time when you have nothing important to do. So unless you have a great management of time, as in yourself, invent in those skills right away. If you are letting your child play this use the parental configures to make a set time your child is locked out of the game until the next day from the minute they are logged into a character. The game is simplistic in its idea. You have two sides fighting against each other to control resources, territory, and ensure their survival in a constant world that goes into potential danger from the likes of the scourge, undead monsters, burning legion, demons, the blue dragonflight, magic using dragons set on ruining the balance of magic in the world, twilights hammer, a cult working with the black dragonflight, whos purpose is to cause destruction in the world. When you first start the game everything is laid out in black and white what you are supposed to do. It is to start from level 1 and work your way, by questing, doing tasks for other people, grinding, killing for experience, dungeons, in which you work with four other people to clear, player versus player (PvP), teaming up with 9-39 other players to defeat the opposite faction on a pre-made area for earlier mentioned resources, and then eventually starting raids upon reaching the level 85-- in which you work with 9-24 other players to defeat various creatures that are determined to destroy the world, name Azeroth. The violence in this game isn't horrible to say the least but sometimes can be a little iffy and potentially graphic, such as a cutscene of a mans face being melted off from chemicals dropped on top of him and many other people in the earlier expansion, wrath of the lich king. In this game the language can be filtered by either completely removing the channel from the list of chats by a command of /leave [channel name here] e.g '/leave trade' and by setting the language filter. HOWEVER! This does not mean that you can completely shelter them from all the language as there are still places in which the language can still get to your child. The earlier cutscene mentioned has a few words go off in the form of 'd's but goes no farther than that. There is some sexual suggestions but none that are not avoidable and sometimes occur without warning. There is nothing that can be done but to explain to your child if they are old enough. e.g 'the talk'. There are some positive and negative messages in this game. Each message and potential moral that can be found in this game is open to being interpreted by the person and cannot be viewed the same way. Overall, the game is unique all its own along with its ups and downs. Manage the time your child plays, if your child sees something in the game sit down and try to explain what is happening the best you can if it will affect their view on the world. The reason I say age 12 is because of the ability to understand and make their own decisions that can go out of your ability to control.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Parent of a 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 13 year old Written byGarb January 29, 2011
This is a great game for kids and adults to play together with other people from around the world as well as friends and family from around town. You can learn a lot from the game and the people that you play with. As with anything involving large groups of people, there are good people and not so good people that can influence the environment. The game has a Guild system for like minded people to group together allowing for a safe and friendly online community. While chat in major city's can get out of hand, it can be filtered or turned completely off for younger players, limiting there contact with the more negative aspects of the game (which come from the other people in the world and not the game itself). The Violence in the game is mild by comparison to many other games, movies and even basic TV violence seen today. That said this is a combat based game that is about questing and fighting against creatures, humanoid beings, and monsters of all kinds in order to progress in the game.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models