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Posts with tag wow-cataclysm-changes

Updates and clarifications on the mastery system

We posted yesterday about some of the aspects of the mastery system, a new feature in Cataclysm that will allow players to obtain bonuses to whatever talent tree they choose to follow. Today Eyonix answered a few questions to clarify the system and how it will work with regards to specific classes and abilities:
  • 1. 28/28/20 spec. Does mastery on gear affect both highest trees or give no benefit at all?
  • 2. How are ferals and Dks as tanks working with mastery system in place? Are they to care about it for threat or do they have separate bonuses.
  • 3. How are the non-pure classes going to be balanced against those with a full 76 point passive benefit? Balance, enhancement(not so much), shadow, feral, ele, resto, holy and Ret all have this issue.
  • 4. Hybrids who use spells not improved by their spec on occasion such as heals or the extra lava burst are feeling that their non-specced spells are going to be extremely weak as compared to now.
Check out the answers after the break!

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: The exhaustive list of old-world changes (so far)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is coming. Sometime. We're at that point now where BlizzCon has been over for a few months and Blizzard is being pretty stingy with new information in the meantime. It's a definite dry spell, but the same thing happened with Wrath -- and then the Friends and Family Alpha began, and all bets were off.

And while the F&F Alpha for Cataclysm hasn't started yet (believe me, we'd know), that doesn't mean you can't stay informed. There've been bits and pieces of new info released, in PC Gamer magazine, on Twitter, and elsewhere on the internet. And we like to keep track of that! What's come out is mostly new information on what's going to happen to Azeroth. And we just recently decoded this planning map of Cataclysm zones, which is where some information comes from.

So what this article is meant to be is a compendium of all known changes to old-world zones that'll occur in Cataclysm, sorted by continent and zone. We'll update whenever new information is released.

Hit the jump to get caught up!

Disclaimer: Some information may be outdated or incorrect by this stage in Cataclysm's development!

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Roadmap to Cataclysm zone overhauls

Okay, how did we miss this?

We've been wondering about the level of change in each old-world zone for Cataclysm for months now, and the answer has actually been under our noses since BlizzCon. During the Art Panel, the above planning map was shown, along with some information to either side of it. We can't make out everything in it, but there's a lot of information if you know what you're looking at.

The zone colors, from what we can infer, indicate the level of overhaul each zone is receiving. Red is a heavy overhaul, yellow is moderate, green is light, and blue means a brand-new zone. The yellow stars indicate a dungeon, and the red stars indicate a raid. The white tabs each have a letter on them, indicating what in the zone was being changed at that particular point -- L for level, Q for quests, etc.

Astute readers will see some things jump out at them immediately, like Thousand Needles having two stars on it.

The full list of visible zone changes after the break, along with other pertinent info.

Disclaimer: While this image was captured during the BlizzCon 2009 Art Panel, the capture displays a photo taken by Blizzard staff, which is undated. We don't know if it was a day before BlizzCon 2009 or six months before. Things could have changed between when this picture was taken and when this article was published.

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Filed under: News items, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- guild currency


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options, guild talents, and guild achievements. This week, I'm going to finish up the series by talking a bit about guild currency and suggesting some products that Blizzard should let us buy with this new system.

Here's what we know so far. Guild currency will be earned by players in your guild who earn experience. It remains to be seen if experience (and thus currency) will still be earned by players once they reach the level cap, but I assume that it will.

So far, they've only mentioned a few items that we can buy:
  • Vanity items like mounts, tabards, and standards
  • Reagents like frost lotuses for flasks
  • Recipes
  • Heirloom items that scale with level

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Patch 3.3 PTR: Dwarf, orc, and troll shaman totem gallery


While we have covered the fact that new totems are coming out for orcs and trolls in patch 3.3 so that the taurens don't have to keep sharing with everyone. We've also mentioned the fact that dwarf totems have been added into the PTR files for when Cataclysm hits. At the time, we only had the front view images from MMO-Champion. This caused a bit of an issue with the Dwarf totems as it's hard to distinguish what exactly they're supposed to look like without a side view. So, after some datamining and image editing of our own, we've put together a little gallery of the new totems for you all to enjoy.




Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Dwarves, Orcs, Trolls, Shaman, Patches, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: For Gnomeregan!


Our very own Michael Sacco actually got his hands on a copy of that PC Gamer full of Cataclysm details, and there was apparently one that we missed: Gnomes may be coming back to Gnomeregan. The little tidbit above is frustratingly vague, but it appears that as long rumored (and long hoped by the shorter denizens of Azeroth), Deathwing's return may break the whole war for the Gnomish capital wide open, and they might finally reclaim their mechanical homeland.

We say "might," because, according to this blurb, it could be anything at this point -- a questline that begins a takeover, a questline that represents a failed takeover, a new phased experience that leads to a takeover, or some kind of questline that brings Gnomeregan up to Heroic status (we know Shadowfang and Deadmines are already getting that treatment, so it wouldn't be too far off to expect other old instances to come around in future content patches).

Then again, let's not kill hope: maybe the Gnomes are finally heading back to Gnomeregan to have a capital city of their own, in all of its Gnomish engineering glory. We can dream, right?

Filed under: Gnomes, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Lore, NPCs, Cataclysm

Patch 3.3 PTR: New Tauren skins found

Handclaw of the Scrolls of Lore Forums has uncovered something very intriguing in the Patch 3.3 PTR data files: New Tauren skins. Specifically, it looks like tribal war paint covering the face, arms, and chest, taking the form of bleeding wings on the chest. There's red, white, and blue color versions for both males and females.

There's quite a few Tauren fans on the WoW.com staff, and we've been having quite a few conversations about the new Tauren lore and their place in Cataclysm, so you can bet this new discovery has us all atwitter. What could it mean though? There's a few possibilities.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Rumors, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Worgen and Goblin dances


Reader Andy sent us a good topic to talk about this morning: dances for the new Cataclysm races. Every time we've sat down to play the new expansion, we've punched in the /dance and /silly emotes, and we haven't seen a single thing implemented for Worgen or Goblin males or females, so as far as we know, it's completely up in the air on what dances they'll choose for each one. You have to think that Blizzard has some idea already (or maybe they'll just be included in those long awaited dance studios), but we haven't seen it, so what do you think?

Andy says Goblin males should go for a West Side Story-style classic number, while Worgen should definitely do Thriller. For some reason, I see Goblins breakdancing, but I have no idea what the Worgen might be doing. If it's something befitting their starting area, I have to think something boring like ballroom. But they may actually have different dances for their human and wolf forms (at least you'd hope so -- surely they'd be able to do more in Worgen form than in normal human form, right?). What do you think?

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: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, NPCs, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Cataclysm starting zone lore and other new details revealed


PC Gamer UK was lucky enough to get the chance to grill Blizzard about the upcoming Cataclsym expansion, and they came away with quite a bit of new information, which is available in their latest issue, as well as as in the PC Gamer Podcast.

If you don't want to be spoiled, do not follow the break, I'm warning you now. There's a couple major story spoilers, especially regarding the origins of the goblins and worgen.

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Filed under: Horde, Events, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Lore, Bosses, NPCs, Battlegrounds, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Alex Afrasiabi on Cataclysm and the origin of phasing


Gamasutra has a nice interview with someone on Blizzard's team that we haven't heard from very much before -- Alex "Furor" Afrasiabi is currently a lead world designer for Cataclysm, and while we have definitely seen him at BlizzCon a few times, he hasn't done as much press as, say, Tom Chilton or J. Allen Brack. But here he is on Gamasutra, talking about what Blizzard is doing to the World of Warcraft in the next expansion.

And boy are they doing it. As we knew, Desolace and Azshara are getting revamped completely, while Feralas is in for some questing changes and zones like Loch Modan are seeing some "light" modification. Blizzard apparently looked at each zone and determined where it lay on the list of todos: Azshara is becoming the 10-20 Horde zone and so will get reworked extensively, but Silithus, while it may need work, probably won't get more than a few tweaks.

Afrasiabi also talks about the surprising origin of phasing and Blizzard's philosophy. More after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What do you want from your faction leader?


Well, one thing I learned yesterday: people have some very strong opinions on what they expect from their faction's leader. Since there are rumors of a shakeup on that score, it seems like a good time to ask you, the readers, exactly what you want from your faction leaders come Cataclysm.

For myself, I've never been really all that worried about the War between Horde and Alliance and its role in World of Warcraft. Possibly because I came to the MMO without the influence of the RTS series compared to some folks, I just accepted that Horde and Alliance didn't like each other and that was effectively that. The only time it really impacted on me before the introduction of Battlegrounds was in trying to level in Southshore while a Horde Druid kept coming into town and killing all the quest givers. But for some players, it's clear that the animosity between factions is very real, very personal and is one of the things that keeps them playing. They really hate the filthy Alliance/Horde and want to rally behind a leader who'll actually lead them in combat with their chosen enemies. Still other players see the conflict between the two factions as a dangerous distraction (or just plain silly) as threats like the Burning Legion, the Scourge, and now Deathwing demanded a united front.

So what about you, gentle and not so gentle readers? Who do you see as your faction's natural leader, and what role should he or she play in the ongoing story of WoW? Do you want to crush, mangle, and maim or are you more focused on reaching rapprochement? And who do you think should be the overall top dogs of the Horde and Alliance? Does the Alliance really need a 'Warchief' of its own and who should it be, or is it time for the Horde to seek diversity in government? Only time will tell what happens in Cataclysm, but you can speculate all you want right here.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore

Deathwing and Arthas, and how different they'll be


Zarhym has shared a little insight about how much we'll see of the big bad Deathwing in the Cataclysm expansion. He says, rightly so, that Deathwing is a very different character from Arthas, and that while Arthas had no problem stepping in and trying to corrupt us (as he himself was corrupted) from level 71, Deathwing will be a little tougher game to play -- in his regular dragon form, he'd pretty much turn us to cinders rather than try playing mind games. When your opening gambit is to blow up the entire world, just how much subtlety do you really have?

So as Zarhym says, he'll certainly have a presence both as we level and at the farthest endgame content (his presence will at least be felt everywhere, even if he's not standing right in front of you). Medievaldragon suggests we'll see him as Daval Prestor some more, but Deathwing seems almost completely lost to rage -- my guess is that we'll see more of his servants in the Black Dragonflight poking around in human form rather than the main man himself (plus, by now you'd think anyone with the last name "Prestor" would send red flags flying in the Alliance anyway). At any rate, it's sure to be a much different experience than what we've seen of Arthas so far -- and I can't wait.

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 Worgen to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, Leveling, NPCs, Cataclysm

The problem of Outland in Cataclysm


Borex brings up a question I've heard ever since Blizzard first announced they were going to tear up Old Azeroth in Cataclysm: what's the deal with Outland? Up until now, continuity throughout the game has worked more or less the way it should: new content gets added on to the end of the game, so anyone leveling up sees the story as they're supposed to (more or less -- there have been a few elements that have had to be "dealt with" for sure, but for the most part Blizzard has just wiped those clean). But obviously, if Deathwing returns and starts messing with players right away at level 1, the whole continuity will get shaken up. Hence Borex's question: why will level 60s be bothering to go out to Outland and deal with the Burning Legion when, in the world Deathwing invades, the Burning Legion is no longer considered the most pressing threat? Is it logical for level 60s to leave the world, head to a distant planet, and then come back to Azeroth at level 70? Shouldn't they stay and fight?

Bornakk's reply hints that Blizzard will probably just gloss over it as best they can -- they're not going to build a whole new 1-85 experience involving Deathwing. When you constantly update a five-year-old persistent world game like this with new stories and content, something's got to give somewhere. My guess is that Blizzard, being the perfectionists they are, will probably come up with a quest or two that gives a lore reason to go out there ("Hmm, you're too green to face the power of Deathwing, but our companions in Outland need help holding what's left of the Burning Legion at bay!"), and leave it at that. They may increase the XP and get you out of there even quicker, but going to Outland at 58 is still a gameplay necessity (Northrend shares the problem at 70, but of course we don't actually know what's going to happen with the Lich King quite yet). It's likely the lore will just have to deal.

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 Worgen to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Alts, Cataclysm

Abyssal Maw Cataclysm zone preview posted to the official site


We've all been waiting with bated breath since BlizzCon in hopes of getting more solid news about the expansion, and today, it seems like we've started getting it. Blizzard has updated the official Cataclysm site with some screen shots and lore information of one of the new areas of the expansion, the Abyssal Maw.

The Abyssal Maw is the elemental plane of water, one of the four such planes created by the Titans to contain the elemental servants of the Old Gods so that their own creations could thrive on Azeroth. Deathwing's prison break will break the walls between the elemental planes and Azeroth, with the Abyssal Maw being no exception.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Lore, Cataclysm

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- guild achievements


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options and guild talents. This week, I'm going to look at guild achievements.

Here are the announced guild achievements so far:
  • Working as a Team: Have a grand master in every profession
  • We Are Legendary: Complete a legendary weapon
  • United Nations: Become Exalted with all Northrend factions
  • Insider Trading: Trade 100,000 craftable items among guild members

Read more →

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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