Planning on kicking off Cataclysm by killing all the quest givers in newbie zones? Think again: Blizzard has increased the level of starting zone guards in areas like Coldridge Pass and Deathknell to 90. These guards are currently level 65 on the live servers.
The change, which guarantees you'll be at least five levels lower than the guards, takes advantage of existing game mechanics to protect lower-level players from mischief. NPCs that are five levels higher than you are exceedingly difficult to hit (spell casters will suffer a 39 percent chance to miss) and frequently wallop you for higher-damage-causing crushing blows far more often. The guards will also have higher health pools as well. This contrasts vividly with guards on the live server, who are prone to dying if a level 80 character accidentally sneezes on them.
Level 90 guards are better suited to protecting newbie players from max-level griefers. Note that only starting areas will see these high-level guards. The guards in major cities are now level 85 -- dangerous, but soloable.
Players who are upset by this change are encouraged to stop being jerks who grief newbies.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.