LT Panel
RT Panel
Just Visiting
Saturday | August 18, 2018
Popular Review Links:
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm – Blog Part One

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm – Blog Part One

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Blog Part One
For those of you that haven’t read my posts on the StarCraft 2 beta I should begin by being completely honest with you, I love Blizzard games. This love affair started with the Warcraft RTS games and when World of Warcraft was launched, oh boy, was I hooked.

I’ve played WoW since the open US beta in the autum of 2004. I even went as far as playing on the US realms, before they launched in Europe in 2005. I’ve played on PVP (Player vs Player) realms and PVE (Player vs Environment) realms. I’ve raided all the end game dungeons from Molten Core to Icecrown Citadel. I currently have 5 level 80 characters (Druid, Priest, Mage, Hunter and Death Knight) and I’m working on my 6th (Shaman, currently level 71).

When GamingHeaven was fortunate enough to be given a beta key from Blizzard for the new WoW expansion I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peak at what Blizzard have in store for us. Future blogs will cover our experience in the latest incarnation of WoW… for now, let’s discuss what WoW actually is and take a look at what new features Cataclysm holds…

Product image

WoW/Cataclysm Overview

There is no doubt that World of Warcraft is a behemoth, a runaway train, a division killer. Since its launch in late 2004 in the US, WoW has irrevocably altered the landscape of massively multiplayer online role-playing games.

Prior to WoW, MMOs were considered a success if they had several hundred thousand subscribers. Now the benchmark for success is measured in millions. With the last published subscriber mark for WoW standing at 11.5 million (Nov 21, 2008) it looms over all other competitors and stands as the reigning champion of the MMO genre.

Product image

With two successful expansion packs already under its belt (The Burning Crusade, launched Jan 2007, and Wrath of the Lich King, launched in Nov 2008) Blizzard are now in the final stages of testing the third expansion pack to WoW, Cataclysm.

Announced at Blizzcon 2009, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, will be the biggest revamp of the original content since the game was first launched. In the storyline for this expansion the malevolent dragon Deathwing, patriarch of the black dragon flight, will burst forth from his self imposed exile and forever change the world of Azeroth.

Product image

While The Burning Crusade transported players to the far away planet of Outland and Wrath of the Lich King allowed players to explore the frozen lands of Northrend, Cataclysm promises to alter the original landscape of the lands of Azeroth – Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Having these classic zones change so dramatically promises to be a major event in the life of long term WoW players. Players who could tell you immediately where Mankrik’s wife is or how to get to Ironforge from Darnassus at level 18 will have their world turned upside down. Old zones will be changed, capital cities will be upgraded and new zones will be opened up.

With such a dramatic change to the original landscape of WoW, Cataclysm will offer a fantastic opportunity for new players to become immersed in the lands of Azeroth. With Blizzard revamping the 1 to 60 levelling experience, it will be a perfect opportunity for new players to join the game and take advantage of the five years of lessons Blizzard has learned since those quests were first designed. In fact Blizzard has publicly stated that they’ve gone to great lengths to make those first 10 levels more immersive than ever before.

Product image

Cataclysm is also going to entice players to return to the game that had previously stopped playing. With all the new features, user interface upgrades and changes to the original game world, returning players may be excused for not recognising the game at all.

Cataclysm will offer us two new races to play, the Worgen will be available to the Alliance and Goblins will be the new Horde race. The Worgen will offer the Alliance a monstrous race to play, as they are humans who have been infected with lycanthropy. Yes, Werewolves will run rampant across Azeroth when Cataclysm is launched.

Product image

Traditionally the Goblins of Azeroth have been neutral in the ongoing battle between the Alliance and Horde. More than happy to take gold from either side their towns, such as Booty Bay, have been places where both factions can be found. In Cataclysm however a new group of Goblins will appear, the Goblins of Kezan. They are taken in by the Horde and will provide Horde players with the option to play a smaller race for the first time.

In addition to the two new races, the maximum level cap will also increase, to 85. This will be the first expansion where the level cap hasn’t been increased a full 10 levels, so it will be interesting to see how we adjust to this new dynamic.

Blizzard have also mixed up the classic race and class combinations with many new options for players creating a new character. Did you want a Human Hunter, you got it. Or perhaps you’d like a Gnome Priest. Playing Horde, what about a Troll Druid? And my personal favourite, a Tauren Paladin, holy cow!!

We will also be able to finally use our flying mounts in Azeroth. Since flying mounts were first introduced in Outland the pain of not being able to fly in the old world has been felt by all WoW players. With Cataclysm reshaping the world, Blizzard has been able to fix the graphical issues that stop us from flying in the old world.

Product image

When the expansion was first announced at Blizzcon 2009 a number of other features were heavily promoted, such as the Path of the Titans and Guild Talents. However, a year is a very long time in MMO development, and during that time Blizzard has made some big decisions on several of these new features.

For instance, Path of the Titans has been scrapped, as it was seen as just adding more complexity to a game whose core philosophy has always been its accessibility for new players.

Product image

Guild Talents have also been a victim of the development process. Instead of talent tree that the guild would adopt, which would no doubt lead to argument and drama, a simpler Guild Perks system has been created. Perks, such as additional experience or mass resurrection, can be earned by the guild working together and then purchased by individual players.

More recently Blizzard has made more sweeping announcements regarding Cataclysm. The current 51 point talent trees will be fully revamped and reduced. The talent trees will revert to a maximum 31 point talent limit, with a lot of the less interesting talents removed and rolled into class abilities.

Product image

We have still to see any of the new profession recipes to be added to the beta, and none of the end game instances have been added yet.

With the closed beta well underway the updates and news on changes are coming thick and fast. The pace of change in the beta will no doubt increase as we get closer and closer to the release of the game, or Blizzcon 2010, whichever comes first.

Summary of Cataclysm Features
New Playable Races – Worgen & Goblin
Level Cap Increased to 85
Classic Zones Remade
New High-Level Zones
New End Game Raid Content
New Race and Class Combinations
Flying Mounts in Azeroth

In Part Two…

In the next blog post we will be taking a closer look at the two new races being made available in Cataclysm, the Worgen and Goblin. What do they bring to the table, what are they’re starting areas like… and honestly how cool is it to play a Werewolf Rogue. Smile!

Read Cataclysm Blog Part Two

Product image

About Author

Stuart Davidson

It appears you have AdBlocking activated

Unfortunately AdBlockers interfere with the shopping cart process

To continue with the payment process can we ask you to

deactivate your AdBlocking plugin

or to whitelist this site. Then refresh the page

We thank you for your understanding

Hardwareheaven respect you right to employ plugins such as AdBlocker.
We would however ask you to consider whitelisting this site
We do not allow intrusive advertising and all our sponsors supply items
relevant to the content on the site.

Hardwareheaven Webmaster