As you all know by now (and if you don’t, where have you been?), Blizzard has announced their next expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. No ETA on the release but with Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 in the works, it could be an extremely busy year for Blizzard in 2010. This is a little overdue (as every other blogger out there has probably made their reflections already) but three factors have led me to be late on this:
- I’ve been busy IRL and haven’t had time to post
- I wanted to wait until all info was announced
- I am damn lazy 🙂
Here is my summary of the “Cool” and “Not So Cool” additions for Cataclysm. This isn’t a complete list of all changes, if you want an extremely extensive summary of everything, head over to World of Raids: Blizzcon 2009 Full Recap
- Return to Azeroth: This is something long overdue, and definitely the right choice of action. Ever since the introduction of Outlands and Northrend, EK and Kalimdor have turned into empty zones that nobody visits. The only time I go back to those areas are to visit the AH in Ironforge and to farm mounts. This will definitely bring life back to existing zones (hopefully giving the developers more time to focus on quality of content vs completely new zones). Flying in Azeroth will be a nice change as well, having to run around on 100% mounts is annoying as hell.
- New Race/Class Combinations: This is pretty neat, there are some lore nerds out there that will freak out about a Night Elf being able to use magic again but hell, it’s a nice change of pace from the usual combos that we have available now. Who hasn’t dreamed of making a gnome priest! A nice chart to explain the different combinations available can be found here.
- Guild Advancement System: The only criteria currently (in my opinion) to be in a guild is to find ppl you enjoy playing with that at the same time can clear content. A lot of guilds out there fall under this criteria and having a guild advancement system will help to differentiate the differences between a guild and why you should or shouldn’t join them. Not to mention all the awesome talents that a guild lvling system is offering such as lower repair costs, mass ressurection, mass summons etc. This will overall help to improve the raiding experience and help to focus the raid back towards killing content.
- Rated Battlegrounds: Lets be real, current battlegrounds are annoying as hell. In their current form, they are full of people who afk, don’t pay attention or flat out don’t understand how the battleground works. The other people that are in the battleground are those who feel they know how it all works and keep barking out orders which inevitably nobody ever listens to. While there has always been the ability to group up with people to join battlegrounds there has never been any incentive to do this. Hopefully having rated BG’s will encourage more grouping for coordinated and fun pvp.
- Increased Primary Bag Space: 22 slot bags across the board but I’m stuck with a 16 slot primary bag, does this make sense? Nope, Thanks for finally making the change!
- Deathwing: I love killing dragons!
Not So Cool Features
- Return of old school PVP titles: Being someone who grinded out the Commander title which took well over a month of almost 24/7 bg grinding, I have no interest in seeing someone obtain this title now. Blizzard has been very specific about removing special titles/items so that they can remain unique. Some examples would be Plagued/Black Proto Drakes, Amani War Bear and of course the hotly contested Scarab Lord and Black Qiraji Battle Tank. If Blizzard is going to start bringing back old feats of strength/achievements, then they best damn well bring everything back because I have my Scepter of the Shifting Sands sitting in my bag waiting for a gong to ring.
- Complete removal of quest lines: This is something that will probably be taken into account by Blizzard (turned into feats of strength?) but a lot of neat items, achievements that are reliant on old school content. A prime example would be the Loremaster achievement, which will probably be something that has to be completed pre Cataclysm if you want to have this achievement recorded.
- Old Raid Dungeons: While this was not explicitly stated (in fact they stated they will probably remain in their current format), it could be something that could happen. Similar to the removal of Onyxia from lv 60 content, this could happen to other instances such as Molten Core. With Ragnaros moving to a new raid dungeon, could this mean the end of Molten Core farming? Personally I’ve been farming for a Eye of Sulfuras for a while and I would hate to see this opportunity disappear. WTB Hand of Ragnaros!
- Item Homogenization (Again): After TBC Blizzard decided to simplify item stats (prime example: healing power vs spell power were merged) and it looks like Blizzard is primed to do this again with the removal of stats such as Defence, Haste, Mp5 and more. While this isn’t game breaking is this really necessary? I mean, the game itself is not that complex as it is, it really doesn’t hurt to have to do a little math or do a few quick calcs to identify how to gem/enchant etc. A lot of times, seeing how someone chooses gear/gems/enchants is a good indication of their understanding of their class.
- Next Legendary: It has been announced that the next legendary will be Shadowmourne, and 2H Axe which means there is still no Feral Legendary in the works which has been confirmed by Blizzard as a caster item is next on the list. No Atiesh doesn’t count!
Something of cool to note also was Premonition, one of the leading US raiding guilds was invited to participate in a live raid at Blizzcon. Now this wouldn’t be very fun if it were your normal raid encounter so Blizzard cooked up a bunch of neat encounters ranging from . They seemed to do pretty good in clearing majority of the challenges brought forward until they were faced with the most epic fight yet… HOGGER! Check out the video for the result!
Finally, for those of you who got Grunty the Space Marine, it seems Blizzard has outdone themselves again with their attention to detail as Grunty will attack Zerglings and vice versa on sight. Check out the vid!