“World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” is literally a game changer.

I’ve been playing WoW since shortly after it was released and I still play it regularly. With each new expansion it’s clear that Blizzard has learned a lot as Burning Crusade brought in a much evolved questing system and Wrath of the Lich King made heavy use of phasing for story telling. The last two expansions have been so good, in fact, that it made the problems with the original content stand out like a sore thumb. Which wouldn’t be a problem except that if you start a new character that isn’t a Death Knight then you have to go through 60 levels of the old stuff before getting to the better stuff. I’ve been arguing that they needed to revamp the “old world” for a long time. It’s been five years and the people rebuilding Westfall haven’t made any progress at all. Plus there’s all these zones they had set up for future expansion that never got finished. Not to mention the fact that you can use flying mounts in Northrend, but not Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms just seemed silly.

It appears someone at Blizzard must have been thinking along the same lines as the new expansion will literally remake the world. Check out the trailer they’ve released for it:

As it turns out, though, the changes go far beyond just revamping most of the original content and fleshing out the areas that have never been finished before. According to the Class, Items, and Professions panel quite a lot of the game’s mechanics will be changing as well. Both in terms of new stuff (Path of the Titans) and the current stuff (Hunters will no longer use Mana for their special attacks). The breadth and width of the changes will have the hardcore crowd scrambling to figure out how things work. All in all I’d say this is a much needed and anticipated revamp. I know I’m actually looking forward to starting a new Level 1 character (probably a Worgen of some sort) just to experience all the new content.

Alas it’ll be sometime in next year before it’ll be released. Current guess is by Krismas, though if we’re lucky it’ll happen sooner than that.

16 thoughts on ““World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” is literally a game changer.

  1. Damnit! I’ve been WOW free for nearly two years now, and they have to go and do something like this? Shit, I might have to revisit Azeroth now, and I don’t have that kind of time!

  2. I haven’t played an MMORPG in years, so maybe this kind of thing is par for the course nowadays… But how do they handle having two different world layouts for people with/without the new world shattering expansion pack? Surely they are not going to pull a “buy the expansion or you are SOL”!?

  3. The changes to the world are going to happen regardless of whether you buy the new expansion pack or not. If you start playing the game after Cataclysm comes out you won’t experience the old content the way it exists today. The changes that are coming will literally reshape the old game completely.

    If you don’t buy the expansion, however, you won’t be able to access things like the new races or new zones or level past 60 (or 70 if you have BC and 80 if you have Wrath).

  4. Wow.  Looks like DH and I reactivated our accounts just in time.  Gives us a bit of time to reach 80 (currently we are 71 and 70) before the new stuff comes out.  Taking 10 months off did some good in we are really interested in the game once again…and if they are going to totally change it and do some new stuff with guilds that will be worth it!

  5. I agree that this is something they’ve needed for a while – and I’m happy to see that most of the things I’d predicted or asked for between friends is going into this.

    Now, if they just crunch the first 60 levels into, say, 20 or 30 tops, I’d be squeaky.

  6. Just to clarify, did you mean XMass of 2010 or 2009 is the probable release?  I could foresee a 2010 given all the revamp of core material.  But, it seems like a lot of missed revenue to miss this year’s XMass.

    rob@egoz.org

  7. I spend a lot of time on WoW, mostly solo however. I don’t play evenings so it is difficult to find steady group members.

    Many of these improvements would seem to be aimed at groups and seem to decrease the interest a solo player would have. (This is the first I’ve heard of them, I don’t spend time wandering the forums, and have other things to do on Tuesdays).

    Three things I would like to see would be:

    Servers for 18+ only, I’m tired of 14 year olds. I suspect that 18 year olds aren’t much better, but at least I don’t have to worry I’m being misconstrued.

    Supress the anti-gay Barrens talk, which is spreading far beyond the Barrens. I suspect that any decent DA that wants a case could get a male adult for child molestation via Internet if the adult says anything on the trade channel.

    Get a couple of professionals on staff. The concept that the system needs to come down for 8 hours a week for service, is utter horse fecal matter.

  8. Ever since I signed back onto WoW almost a year ago (Thanks to the Talent Tree change that gave Fury Warriors Titan’s Grip), I have been playing WoW almost every week (I have taken some sort of breaks) and I am enjoying the Northrend Dungeons.  I’m very excited about this expansion, mainly because the entire world changes, the 2 new races, the archaeology profession, and Deathwing

    Now lets see if I can get most of my toons to Lv 80 (So far, my main and one of my toons is Lv 80) before this expansion hits

  9. Well two out of three ain’t bad. I’m over 35 and definitely over weight, but not sad.

    Of course there’s plenty of caveats for that study:

    The research has made headlines as the media has interpreted it as indicating that gamers are “fat” and “depressed,” but the research itself is too limited to support such generalizations.

    One of the most obvious problems with such generalizations is that the study is based on survey data gathered online back in 2006. For whatever reason, it sat unused for two years before being analyzed in 2008, but it’s important to note (given the conclusions about weight) that the Wii didn’t hit the market until the end of that year.

    The scope is limited, as well. The survey relied on an Internet-sourced panel maintained by e-Rewards Marketing Research. The authors selected participants in the Seattle area and, given an 18 percent response rate, wound up with 562 individuals, 249 of whom were gamers ranging in age from 19 to 90 years old.

    Go read the whole article at ArsTechnica.com.

  10. @ntsc

    I agree.  I am sick of kids on there.  I have turned all chats off in my windows except what the games itself gives because of all the kids wanting to /yell obscenities because they can.  I don’t look at the trade channel because of spam either. 

    DH and I tend to group together, but I solo as well…though we do have enough RL friends we can usually get a group of 5 together for any dungeons.

    I don’t know about the Barrens…like I said I keep most of that stuff off anyway.  I say if there is someone there advertising something really bad report them.  I have done that before when there was someone advertising looking for young girls 14yrs old to group with.  It just struck me as weird and gave me the jeebies that someone would do that.

  11. That trailer was pretty cool! I think this expansion will certainly keep me into the game for a little while longer. The only thing is, I haven’t been playing for very long, so to me everything is still really new and doesn’t feel stagnant at all.

  12. If you haven’t made it to Outland yet then you’ll be surprised how much better the questing is set up once you get there. It really is a night and day difference from the 1-60 questing experience.

    Also once you get to 55 make a Death Knight if for no other reason than to experience the awesomeness that is the first three levels of questing. The starting quests for the Worgen and Goblins is supposed to be even better.

  13. Yea, I’m looking forward to a flying mount and a Death Knight right now. I’m only a 49 Dwarf Priest so I have a ways to go.

  14. serving up more fail with every release..
    not sure how they could possibly market a more obvious waste of peoples lives, monthly cha-ching will keep this going forever – till at level 2000 you will be adding .000001 to some statistic, lol.  At least it brings them in money to work on normal games like diablo 3.

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