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New race/class combos will not be live before Cataclysm

In a very short answer, the devs confirmed in the recent Twitter developer chat that the new race and class combinations will not go live until Cataclysm itself goes live. In a way, this isn't too much a surprise. Despite some rumors to the contrary, we didn't get death knights until the first day of Wrath, and we had to wait for Burning Crusade to play draenei and blood elves. So with that in mind, it makes sense that we have to wait until the last possible moment for yet another new breed of player characters.

That said, it is probably true that the new race/class combinations are a bit different from the examples above. After all, they simply take existing races and existing classes and put them together, so it might seem that it wouldn't be too hard to just turn them on.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Flavor names for new race/class combos

Unsurprisingly, the hottest forum topic upon the announcement of new race/class combinations in Cataclysm isn't an analytical discussion of their racial strengths and weaknesses -- it's pun names for Tauren Paladins. Well, Kisirani, illustrious World Event Designer and Mistress of Flavor, popped into one such thread to give the actual name that Tauren Paladins will be given, a la Blood Knights -- "Sunwalkers."

A great name, and somehow less menacing than "Blood Knights." One has to wonder if this sets a precedent for the other new combinations, too. Could we be seeing Forsaken Hunters phased in via quests as Dark Rangers? Dwarf Shamans as Wildhammers? Blood Elf Warriors as Sunreavers? Dwarf Mages as Runeweavers?

Kisirani indicated that the new combos would be phased in gradually and with ample explanation for each one via new quests and NPCs, and we've already seen the start of those with the An Injured Colleague and A Cautious Return quests added on the PTRs. There are lots of great flavor opportunities here, and I hope that Blizzard takes the time to introduce each and every new combo in their own unique way. Then again, with Kisirani at the helm of the whole thing, I doubt we have much to worry about.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Cataclysm

A discussion in defense of new race/class combinations

There's been a lot of news about possible new features arriving with the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. I covered one of those recently, that being the possibility of new race/class combinations, ones that were previously unavailable to player characters.

Now, this feature would actually make a ton of sense, especially taking the following into consideration:

- We've had the same 9 classes available for going on 5 years now.
- With new races being added in Cataclysm, there's almost certainly no hero class.
- It's quite likely that the new races will be unable to be Death Knights, at least at first.
- The leaked information from MMO-Champion suggests that Azeroth is getting a makeover, graphically and design-wise.
- The Paid Faction Switch service is coming soon, and adding these new combinations would bring almost 100% parity between factions in terms of classes available.
- Blizzard has been tossing quests that hint at these new combinations into the past few patches and onto the PTR.

But of course, the WoW community is a fickle beast, and what they seem to be focusing on here tends not to be the gameplay benefits of adding new race/class combinations, but the "lore-breaking" aspects of said combinations.

Well, I don't think any of these are unreasonable, and in fact many of them have precedents in lore. To make the discussion more interesting, I've brought in my lore-hound colleague Daniel Whitcomb, and we'll expound on each new possible option to give you clear reasons why they're not only plausible, but likely. On top of that, I'm bringing in our class columnists to give their insight on the new choices and explain their pros and cons in terms of gameplay!

Let's start, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Expansions, Lore, Cataclysm

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