With the announcement of extended downtime for tomorrow already out, the buzz has begun in earnest. We know that The Shattering, the patch that will change Azeroth forever, is coming either this week or the next, and an extended downtime would be the perfect time to patch it in.
The Shattering patch will include all the old-world changes coming with Cataclysm, including changes to the Loremaster and Explorer achievements to match, the removal of Zul'Gurub, a reduction in the amount of experience required to level from 70 to 80, and the addition of all of the new race/class combinations. Worgen and goblins will still have to wait for Cataclysm itself, of course. If you don't plan to do any raiding or dailies in Northrend in the next couple weeks on any of your characters, you may also want to move your character to Stormwind or Orgrimmar before the servers go down, as rumor has it that the portals in Dalaran are going away with this patch.
If all this change is getting you confused and dismayed, never fear! We here at WoW Insider will be with you every step of the way. Just stay with us for all the latest news and handy guides you need to survive in the brave new world of Cataclysm.
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.