Blizzard has certainly started out this year's BlizzCon with a bang by announcing WoW's next expansion, Cataclysm, right in the opening ceremonies!
The next (and most likely final) expansion to WoW includes quite a few features for fans of WoW, and has verified most of the rumours that have been floating around the Internet lately.
The main story regarding Cataclysm has to do with the return of Deathwing, dragon lord of the earth elemental plane, at the coaxing of the Twilight's Hammer. His return has brought the elemental planes to bear on the land of Azeroth, tearing the land asunder and changing every single zone that you're currently familiar with.
The elementals that have been locked away for millions of years in the elemental planes are now back with a vengeance and have changed the land, and Blizzard will be making full use of the phasing system they debuted in WotLK in order to change classic Azeroth zones even further, with train phasing changing the land in gradations as you complete quest lines.
But enough about the story, what about the new features? Hit the jump to find out what's in store, including new playable races, character progression, pvp info, and even guild leveling!
The Alliance has a new race among its ranks: the Worgen. Blizzard admitted they wanted to have a more monstrous race in the Alliance, and the Worgen are the perfect solution.
The Worgen will be defined by their internal struggle as they battle their bestial nature inside to control it and use it for the good of the Alliance. The starting area for the Worgen will beat even that of the Death Knights, taking you through the history of the Worgen, from the start of the curse of the Worgen, through its spread in society, and culminating in their joining the Alliance.
As far as classes go, Worgen will be able to play all but Paladins and Priests.
The Blizzard panelists on stage tantalised us with hints that an overarching question of the Worgen will be: "are they from somewhere, or some*when* else?"
The horde will also get a new race in their ranks: the Goblins.
While goblins have traditionally been a neutral race in Azeroth, the Goblins that eventually join the horde are a specific cartel that is pushed to joining the Horde by the events of the Cataclysm. The panel was unspecific about just what pushes them to join, but promised that the starting area will show us the story.
The goblins will be defined by their affinity for technology, sporting a rocket belt that will be part of their racial abilities.
And their racial mount? A buggy!
- Level cap raised to 85
- All level 1-60 zones will be redone, with new leveling progression and quests
- 7 new zones
- An underwater zone with new underwater combat system
- Guild Advancement System, encompassing 20 levels gained through raiding, quests, dailies, pvp that will grant your guild special abilities via a talent tree (cheaper repairs, mass resurrection, etc.)
- New race/class combos, including tauren paladins, gnome priests, and dwarf shamans
- New secondary profession: Archaeology, that will let you create artifacts to take to different titan groups in the world to advance you in the brand new leveling system, Path of the Titans
- Mastery system that will provide you passive bonuses for investing your talents in specific talent trees.
Paths of the Titans
The Paths of the Titans is a new character progression system that will be introduced that lets you customise your character. Throughout the world different groups representing different titan factions will be found that will allow you to advance down certain Paths of the Titans that will grant your character powerful abilities.
No matter what your class, you will be able to progress along any of the Paths of the Titans.
The mastery system is designed with taking some of the complexity of the talent trees down a notch.
In Cataclysm, the talent trees will NOT be expanding, so no new talents will be available, although you will receive 5 more talent points to invest as you level to 85.
What the Mastery System will do is provide your character with passive bonuses depending on how many points you invest in a specific talent tree. These may include increased crit rates, higher poison damage, etc.
The New World
The main new feature in the redesign of Azeroth in Cataclysm is that you will be able to fly everywhere in Azeroth, including the old zones. This means that underground cities like the Undercity will now be above ground.
The level flow will change, with new quest progressions, providing a brand new 1-60 experience, with all new terrain as the result of the events of the Cataclysm.
The Sunken City of Vashj'ir, the new underwater zone, is also prompting the introduction of new underwater mounts, that will allow you to have fly speed in water.
Many new dungeons and raids will also find their way to Azeroth, and we'll bring you details later when we attend the Dungeon & Raids panel.
There will also be new PvP features, including a new PvP zone: Tol Barad.
New arena maps are also on their way, with details to be announced soon.
Another major new PvP feature: rated battlegrounds. Arena haters rejoice! Now you'll be able to get access to the same gear as Arena players by doing battlegrounds!
And that's a quick rundown of some of the new features that were announced this morning/afternoon regarding the new WoW expansion, stay tuned right here to GayGamer.net for more news as it arrives!