Cataclysm is a New World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be a brand new game, rebuilt from the ground up.  As a player, I have tremendouslyenjoyed the 5+ years I have spent playing WoW.  Part of the fascination is the new content and ever changing gameplay, while the other half is the wide variety of things available to do in game.  Blizzard will now be tearing down their old world, rebuilding it for a re-launch (so-to-speak) of World of Warcraft.

So why re-do the whole of Azeroth?  One thing I love to do is analyze why Blizzard makes some of the decisions they do.  First, we can take a look at the desire to continue to build upon this monstrous player base they have, hovering around 11.5 million worldwide.  While they didn’t lose any of that 11.5 million last year, they didn’t gain any either.  To keep interest fresh, and to keep bringing in new (younger) players, they will have to change the leveling system.

Each zone is being re-done and recreated to make leveling a smoother transition, the goal being less time involved leveling.  Grinding through 85 levels is less than appealing for new players, and even old ones venturing down the leveling path again.  Blizzard has recreated the leveling process, to allow for a smoother transition to end game content.

Do I personally know all the details?  No, of course not.  But it’s easy to see why they have made the changes and enhancements we already know will be coming with Cataclysm.  They need a smoother, quicker leveling process.  It should be easy enough for players to get through, and not feel liek a grind.  Look for more quests, better gear, and lower XP requirements per level.

Gear Changes

There was a recent comment in one of the Blizzard developer chats that stated gear was being re-done and revamped in the old world.  What this tells me is stats will be optimized, and useless gear will be modified to become more beneficial to the leveling process.

Also look for shoulder and head slot items to be available at earlier levels.  While this hasn’t been announced, I am making this prediction because I would like to think Blizzard is trying to lure people into the game by giving them easier access to some of the better cosmetic gear pieces in WoW.  The more bad-ass your toon looks, the more likely you are to keep playing!  Simple, but true, especially for the younger WoW population.

Race / Class Combos

Why open up more classes to existing races?  Simple, to give veteran WoW players more incentive to level another toon, hence keeping them in the game and coughing up $15 a month!  While this will appeal mainly to old WoW players, it will still be attractive to new players as well.

Tauren Paladin topped my poll for the first new class players will roll, while Human Hunters came in second.  Shockingly, the Gnome Priest came in last for the new Alliance race/class combos.

Worgen and Goblins

With every WoW expansion, there has to be some new race or class content.  While the new race/class combos are nice, there isn’t anything ‘new’ about them for Cataclysm.  What Cataclysm does bring us, is 2 new races: Worgen and Goblins.

While the Alliance Worgen will be very popular, I expect the Horde Goblins to be even more of a hit.  The WoW player base has been asking for Goblins for a long time now, and Blizz has finally given us a chance to take control of the greedy, green-skinned race.

So, what is Blizzard’s main goal?  Keep WoW alive and kicking.  Give existing players something new, and keep their interest focused on new and exciting content.  Two new races does just that, with new starting zones, racial abilities, mounts, etc.

The Old World of Warcraft…Buried in Cataclysm

Say goodbye to all your favorite…and hated…WoW zones.  Cataclysm will unleash chaos on the WoW landscape, forever changing the world.  Zones will be ripped apart, new cities and bases formed, and brand new zones will open up to higher level players. 

Flying mounts will litter the skies as the gates of Stormwind and Orgrimmar see all sorts of new traffic, the majority of WoW players being driven back to the capital cities.  Outland and Northrend will still exist, unphased by the Armageddon event, acting as leveling buffers for the 60-80 bunch.

The Plaguelands will once again be green, life abundant following the Death of the Lich King.  Will we see new zone names?

Old vanilla 5-man dungeons will be given new life in the forms of Heroic Dungeons, allowing for favorite dungeons to continue to be revisited and enjoyed.

A new secondary profession, Archaeology, as well as a guild achievement system will keep all those task-oriented players busy for months to come.

What does all this equal?  Loads of playing time, loads of new content, and an old world broken down, and built back up again.  I am already sucked in and can’t wait to try starting over again.  Blizz, you have my $15 a month for quite some time still.

I applaud the efforts to keep bringing great new content to the game, and I have not been let down thus far.  How about you?  Does Cataclysm have you excited, too?  Or does re-trekking the old world leave a sour taste in your mouth?


  1. Bman says:

    Probably gonna quit once my guild downs 25man LK.

  2. Khor says:

    Ah, say it isn’t so!

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