WoW Cataclysm: Almost confirmed rumors
On one of the authoritative sites dedicated to WoW published another batch of rumors about the third add-on to the game. The author swears that this is not speculation, but the collection of information from various trusted sources. In principle I'm inclined to believe this for several reasons. It's unlikely that such a reputable resource would publish a fake just before Blizzcon. I'm 99% sure that this "leak" was made by the PR-service of Blizz, which are famous for their ability to warm up the public. And the "leak" is done through reputable sites like vvcom and mmo-champion. Below is a translation of the posting found here.
For those who do not like spoilers further may not read. Bear with me for a bit, there will likely be an official announcement in a week. For those who are not confused - read what's under the skin.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the next addition to World of Warcraft. A dark and forgotten evil that has long hidden from sight, has now rushed to the shores, causing catastrophic events in the world of Azeroth and is preparing to conquer it again.
Levelcap in the next add-on is slightly lower than expected: 85
This suggests that Blizzard want to leave room for other addons before level 100 is reached. With less need to level up (along with the updated locations listed below, it seems like it will be quicker and easier to do so), character creation of new races will also be attractive to those who have been playing for a long time.
Swinging at the gap will be a much more serious undertaking. Reaching the next level will really mean something, and it won't just be nudging "five more levels".
Comment: once upon a time there was information that raising exp in the expansion will not only be the usual grind, but completing chains of quests that will "open up" access to new levels. I would like to believe it, because I do not want to read the news about how some fellow stupid farming without sleep and resting mobs in the same place "set the world record. It would be nice to really bring in the process of pumping long quest chains, revealing some elements of the lore.
"Cataclysm" will not introduce any new classes into the game. Instead, Blizzard is offering races access to classes that were previously closed to them. Some of these have already been revealed on PTR in Patch 3.2.2. The following race and class combinations will be available
Human / Hunter
Orc / Mage
Night Elf / Mage
Dwarf / Mage
Blood Elf / Warrior
Dwarf / Shaman
Undead / Hunter
Tauren / Paladin
Tauren / Priest
Dwarf / Priest
Comment: Seems to me this is a feint to add little to the game. Unless you introduce a more serious racial bonuses.
Catastrophic events will force two new races to look for new allies. Goblins will join the Horde, and Vorgens will join the Alliance.
Dragon Deathwing once again wishes to enslave the Goblins. In fact he succeeds. However a large group of greenlings continues to resist it. They flee from the cataclysm-stricken island to the island near the coast of the Steppes. There they continue to fight, and one day they rescue an Orc from the Alliance ship. The orc turns out to be none other than Thrall himself and in gratitude he offers them to join the Horde. These events will unfold over the course of a long quest chain, which will explain why goblins are no longer neutral.
Commentary: goodbye neutral auction in Gadgetan...
Cataclysm opens the Gates of Sedogriv. Once behind them, we learn what has been happening to the Kingdom of Guilneas and its citizens. The inhabitants of Guilneas, infected by the curse of the Vorgens, become werewolves. Still, they find a partial solution to the problem - a cure that allows them to regain their human consciousness even while in wolf transmutation. They decide to join the Alliance to survive the fight against the new old evil.
The location of Guilneas will make very heavy use of phasing technology to show what happened to Guilneas after the kingdom was cut off from the rest of the world and into the present day.
The Vorgens will come in two forms: human and wolf. Players will be given the ability to customize the appearance of these forms as they see fit.
Comment: from the above, we conclude that Guilneas will be the new starting location for the new race.
"Cataclysm" will be the first addition that will not have a new continent. Instead, the developers will create content for previously closed areas and redo some old locations.
The "Old World" update.
The catastrophic events caused by Deathwing and Naga Queen Azshara changed the face of the world forever. Much of the new Catmclism content is the modified Old World (Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor), where the rarabs are going to introduce elements such as daily quests and phasing. Most of the mobs and quests will be remade in order to simplify leveling. Some zones will be changed dramatically (read below):
- Steppes will be split into two separate zones for two different level brackets
- Azshara will become a low level zone (10-20)
- Thousand Needles will be flooded
- Durotar will be destroyed by Cataclysm, and Orgrimar will be razed to the ground. A new Orc capital will be rebuilt during the events of the third addition.
- Gnomeregan will be returned to the Dwarves (however, this has not been confirmed yet).
- Cave of Wailing will become a tropical zone, modified by the magic of druids
- Black Mountain Peak will erupt and a new version of the Black Mountains will appear. And of course, Ragnaros will return.
Post-Cataclysm events will bring new locations to the scene, and new PvP zones will appear.
Comment: great move, you could say genius; the Old World is dead anyway and few people need it anymore, so why not remake it at the root and make it relevant again? I foresee a wave of howls on the forums - "bliz can't draw anything new!" - But by and large, the "blizzard" team has a lot of work to do. Redraw the two continents and a number of very large instances, write new quests, implementing phasing and create new mobs - oh what a piece of work. If all turns out to be true, the Old World "1-60″ will remain in memory and as a pile of screenshots on our vintages. And veterans of vanilla, BK and Lich will be telling the nubs what it was like here before "Azeroth got the Big Clizm."
Flying in Azeroth.
Part of the process of remaking the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor will be the ability to fly over them in our personal fliers.
Comment: it is not a secret to those who know why you can't fly in the Old World - some of the content is simply unfinished. For example, anyone who went to the Old Airport, saw what is the boundary between Dun Morog and Swamps - a clear junction of two completely different textures. The blizes slackened then, now they're going to fix it. Looks like the era of exploring hidden locations will come to an end in WoW 4.0.
Redesigning "classic" instances.
The redesign of Onyxia's Lair in 3.2.2 is the first step. Since the process of pumping between 80-85 will take place in the redesigned areas of the Old World, many of the old instances will be sharpened for the highlevel.
Zones and instances that are currently closed
With the ability to fly over Azeroth and the global redesign, most currently unreachable or undeveloped zones will become available to players. Some of these zones are:
- Mount Hijal (current).
- Guilneas (Vorgen starting zone)
It is unclear whether in the addon will appear the old Goblin locations such as Kezan and the Mine (Undermine), but some new islands will appear, and from the depths of the sea the giant turtles and whales will come to the surface, as well as a few underwater zones.
Comment: I think I guessed something in my prediction after all. What may be the plot background for the introduction of such locations as Uldum and Hijal described here.
Heroes and Events
Deathwing / Deswing / Neltarion will play a major role in Cataclysm. Driven to destructive actions by the Old Gods, Deathwing will fall even more. While the Alliance and Horde were busy with the war with the Blazing Legion and the Whip, he weaved his net. After Lady Sinestra's failed attempt to create Twilight Dragonflight, he returned to Grim Batol and achieved what he wanted. He created his mighty pack to conquer the world. But were the Ancient Gods behind it?
Naga Queen Azshara.
The Naga Queen Azshara will also play an important role in the new addition. Unknown to many peoples, long forgotten by others, she was not lost in the Whirlpool. Transformed by the Old Gods into a Naga after her defeat in the War of the Ancients, she has become an even more powerful figure than she once was when she was Queen of the Elves. Unsatisfied that she only wields power over Najjatar and the depths of the sea, Azshara seeks ways to increase her power. What the Lady Vaisha really had in mind when she helped Illidan and what Azshara's role in them was we do not know until now. The main mystery is whether or not Azshara serves the Ancient Gods.
Comment: where Azshara is, there's the Whirlpool, as well as a bunch of islands and underwater zones associated with it. I've tried to develop this topic in more detail here as well
It's not entirely certain who the main boss in the supplement will be, but the cataclysm itself seems to be the result of attempts by very powerful beings to use Deathwing and Azshara to achieve their goals. Perhaps - are they the Ancient Gods?
Guardian of Tyreesefal.
Malfurion will return to Azeroth and assist in the ascension of the new Guardian of Tyrisfall. He will be Thrall! Mediv's role in this event is still unclear.
Commentary: where Malfurion is, there is the Emerald Dream. It seems that a separate add-on "Emerald Dream" is not expected, and the zone itself, which particularly inquisitive explorers engine WoW has already seen and shown in the clips the rest, has been developed since the beginning of the project. It's possible that it will be an epic raid instance, in which our main objective will be to release the Emerald Dream of Nightmare settled there. Well, the plot progression itself - Thrall is the new Guardian of Tyrisfall - is very interesting. He can't be too fond of the Horde if Garosh starts a war against the Alliance, so how do you think he'll fit in?
New (New) Audra.
Thrall will hand over the reins of the Horde to Garrosh Hellscream, while he himself will take care of coordinating the Alliance forces in an attempt to deal with new dangers from the depths of the ocean and from the Dragons of the Death Wing pack. Without Thrall's deterrent influence, Garrosh declares war on the Alliance. In the process, Cairn Bloodhoof (leader of Thunder Bluff) is declared a traitor and will be killed by Garrosh. The role of Tauren leader is taken over by Bane, son of the old leader.
I don't know about you, but I like what the blizs have in mind. What will really be waiting for us in it - we'll know in a week, if, of course, there will be official confirmation of the above information.