As we all know, the Blizzard Family is growing bigger and bigger. Even if you live in a cave (no offense, Captain Caveman!) you probably heard of the soon to be released Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. Along this two “Top Dogs” of the Gaming Industry, there is another brand new project in full operation at Blizzard: World of Warcraft Cataclysm, the third add-on for the most popular MMO out there: World of Warcraft. While the Cataclysm release date has not been oficially revealed, the game is already up for preorder at Amazon, for $39,99.
We know WoW reached a staggering 11.5 million subscribers. A number that other Massively Multiplayer Online RPG developers can only dream about. With the release of two successful addons: The Burning Crusade and The Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard thought three is a lucky number and decided to throw this “puppy” into out lap.
All World of Warcraft fans know that the release of those two addons brought many changes, good and bad. The hard core Vanilla fans knew that altering with this “Holy Grail” of a game will corrupt every part of it and send it to Damnation, so they said “NO!!!”, much like a catholic priest says “NO!!!” to Evolution.(Sorry for the religious joke, but I couldn’t help it! ).
So WoW changed a lot from the day of its birth (February 2004), this MMO matured constantly with every passing month. Childhood has passed, puberty has passed let’s see if adulthood is best for our favorite “drug”.
Cataclysm is very different from the other two addons because the modifications from this one are done to the game core; nothing will be left the same, we could surely say that we are talking about a brand new game, not the WoW we know but a meaner, bearded WoW that was in the Corps and now drinks a lot of beer. It also tells the story of Deathwing, a big bad dragon that has rabies and attacks the entire world being the main bad guy in Cataclysm just like Arthas in WotLK and Illidan in TBC.
As I stated earlier, WoW Cataclysm will bring a lot of new stuff, from gameplay mechanics to brand new content so let’s see what this is all about.
The New content in the next World of Warcraft add-on includes two new races: the Worgen for the Alliance and the Goblins for the Horde.
The Worgen are a race of werewolves, once residents of the famous City of Gilneas, a city that was isolated from the world. When a terrible plague struck Gilneas, all its inhabitants were transformed in these “Lovely” Puppies. These classes are available for the Worgen race: Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Warrior, Warlock and Rogue. The Worgen also has brand new and interesting racials like Darkflight which increases your movement speed by 70% for about 6 seconds with a 3 minutes cooldown and True Form which transforms you from human to werewolf and vice versa.
The Goblins, well we already know of them. They are the funny masterminds of the Horde,the green Gnomes of the dark faction. These tiny guys are fantastic to play in my opinion and I think they deserve their place in the War between The Horde and The Alliance. The Goblins also received new racials like Best Deals Anywhere, this racial allows you to buy with a 20% discount any reputation item regardless of your reputation with the faction your buying from, and Pack Hobgoblin which calls your personal servant that stores any item in way much similar to the bank. You get access to the Pack Hobgoblin every 30 minutes. Also here are the classes available for the funny Goblins: Warrior, Warlock, Hunter, Death Knight, Rogue, Priest, Mage and Shaman.
Int WoW: Cataclysm, the maximum level cap is increased to 85. This is to ensure the brand new content has its meaning. A new addition to the increased level cap is the automatic upgrade of spells. A major change done to the mechanics of the game making it much easier not needing to upgrade your spells at your trainer at each level and saving some cash for something else like….beer?
The majority of zones will be altered, and brand new ones will also be implemented like Gilneas (Starting Zone for The Worgen), the Lost Isles (Starting Zone for The Goblins), Mount Hyjal, Uldum and others.
We know Blizzard has a tradition with implementing new professions in each add-on. While The Burning Crusade made jewelcrafters out of us and Wrath of the Lich King scribes, well Cataclysm will bring the Archeological part of us to the surface. Grab your picks and start digging because the ancient world is about to be revealed.
Also all professions will get brand new recipes and the profession cap has been increased to 525 with a new rank: The Illustrious. Archeology lets you discover lost artifacts and restore them to recreate powerful new items. We hope Blizzard will release more details for this feature.
A new feature available in the Cataclysm is the Mastery System. Similar to the Talent Tree, this system will give you bonuses for your talents of choice, an odd and complex system that I think will become a very important part of the WoW mechanics.
The Masterminds of Blizzard thought that socialization between players in Cataclysm will bring them much joy and happiness so they implemented new stuff for Guilds. Some of these new features include a brand new Guild Interface, making it much easier to recruit and maintain a guild, Guild Achievements for those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; this means an easier way to keep track of what they need to do next. A new and fun feature is the Guild Experience & Leveling (Boy! Blizzard brain storming is very efficient) with a level cap of 20, leveling up also includes a brand new Talent Tree for the Guild with talents like this: more gold looted from bosses/mobs, cheaper repair costs, a mass resurrection spell that can revive an entire raid (of course with a 30min cooldown), a summon portal for your raid and many other. Another new Guild feature is the implementing of some sort of guild currency, currency that allows you to buy special and unique items but with a twist: these items are guild bound meaning the moment you leave the guild these are transferred to the Guild Bank.
In Cataclysm you can also dedicate yourself to a titan. This feature named the Path of the Titans is available only at max level (85) and will help you unlock 10 Ancient Glyph slots and some talent points. You can gain Ancient Glyphs through Archaeology. There are ten paths with ten titans. Choosing one and following his path will unlock all of the above, and by following his path, we mean PVP, raiding, raising your Archaeology skill, doing daily quest and so on. Some sort of new Lore. If you ask me, Blizzard employees are out of their minds, but in a good way.
Now we’ve reached the core modifications. New core implements are done to PvP, Raiding, Item Stats and Class changes. Let’s start with the obvious: Wow Cataclysm PvP.
This is what makes WoW top dog in my opinion. A balanced combat system with a lot of “pepper” (variety) and “salt” (balance).We will get many modifications to our favorite way to bash and slay our cyber nemesis in WoW. These mods include the implementation of new battlegrounds and arena locations, rated battlegrounds, new rewards system and a brand new Pvp Zone just like in WotLK with Wintergrasp.
We didn’t receive any news about arena locations, no number or location just the fact that there will be a sum of them included. We will see.
As for battlegrounds we know about just one: The Battle for Gilneas. It has a 40 men cap with a level range between 81 and 85.This battleground is based on capturing sectors of the city faster then the opposing faction.
As I stated earlier, in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we will also have a little something called rated battleground. So Blizzard wants to make battlegrounds as official combat location just like arenas. This means they will implement a ladder system for these two hence removing battlegrounds for the unofficial PvP “bashing” scheme. Of course this was followed with the implementation of new rewards like new epic ground mounts, arena points and the comeback of Honor Titles.
The new PvP zone is an island called Tol Barad, positioned in the middle of Baradin Bay in Eastern Kingdoms. The main objective of this island is a prison that, when captured, will allow the winning faction to do all sorts of special daily quests. The losing faction also get some dailies but not like the winning one. Oh and I forgot: if you capture the prison it allows you to do a raid instance just like Wintergrasp in WotLK with VoA.
Prizes!!! Blizzard will also implement a new PvP reward system. They used the raiding reward system as inspiration with two types of points: low-end and high-end ones. The low-end points are called Honor Points and are easily obtainable through most PvP activities with a limit of how much you can have. The higher ones are called Conquest Points, available onlt through Rated Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds. These ones will be limited also on the number you can have and how fast you can get them. You already think by know: “How the heck is this similar to the Raiding System you dumb sh*t?” The answer is simple: there will always be two tiers of PvP items on the market: the low end ones which you will buy with honor points and the high end ones which you will buy with conquest points. When a new tier of PvP items hits the market the low end ones become obsolete and the high end ones take the place of the obsolete ones thus the new tier will become available for conquest points and the high end will become available for honor points and so on. Thus concludes the new PvP System, personally I think this deserves only strait As. Oh and I forgot you will have the opportunity to chance Honor Points into Hero Points (PvE) and vice-versa. Now let’s move on.
Now in other news: Raids and Dungeons. The amount of new content in Cataclysm is staggering and includes new Raids and Dungeons. We will get four new raids with Cataclysm, with another two to be implemented later with patches. Also, 8 new dungeons and 2 Heroic old Dungeons will be implemented. Read and let the nostalgia sweep you of your old vanilla WoW fan feet.
Also the core raiding system will be severely altered. Let’s see how:
If you played WotLK you know of the 10man/25man system and heroic mode, well this will benefit most of the modifications. 10man and 25man raids will drop the same loot with more loot for the 25man raid; also they will share the same cooldown. Of course heroic mode will drop much better loot then normal mode. You can now change from normal to heroic mode in the raid, with the possibility to unlock heroic mode after you defeat that boss. So this means you can defeat a boss on normal mode and can choose to defeat the next one on heroic without forming another raid. This also means that raiding achievements will share the 10man and 25man feats.
The reward system is almost the same. Only difference is that from now one there will be no more new badges, just two of them: Hero Points and Valor Points.
Hero Points will be the low end badges awarded, these badges will have a limit you can carry but you can get them very quick. While Valor points will be the high end badges, these ones will have a limit you can earn and you will have a limited way to earn them to.
To make it easier for you guys. If you played WotLK prior to 3.1.0 you remember the Emblems of Heroism and Emblems of Valor, it’s almost the same with them two and also with the tier armor like Heroes X and Valorous X but after patch 3.1.0 Emblem of Conquest appeared and took the place of Emblem of Valor for the high end badge. Well this won’t happen from now on. When a new type of PvE armor is released all you Valor points well be converted into Hero points so you cannot stockpile them for further usage and you can begin to loot new Valor points so you can get that new shiny armor. This wasn’t mentioned but even a blind man can foretell this: there will always be two armor sets released a high end one and a low end one or maybe the old Valor set will be purchased after the release of the new set with Hero points.