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Missing in Azeroth: it's the end of the world as we know it!


One thing I feel like we are missing here at Dtoid is adequate World of Warcraft related stories. We get the occasional tid-bit but for big releases and announcements, but overall, there just isn’t much. Some say that’s because there are so many other Warcraft related sites out there, however, none of them could ever come remotely close to covering it in Destructiod.com style.

I’m a HUGE WoW nerd although I do play other games, I’m not one of the numbers guys, I don’t pay attention to gear score, and I’m rarely one of the first to ever clear content. I tend to play with people in game that have this same attitude as well. The game is made to have fun and provide a challenge and build a little teamwork with complete strangers that when they become ignorant, I can turn them off. WoW was never intended to be math homework, and that’s what so many people have turned it into. No thanks, I hated math in HS and College, and well, not much has changed.

What I hope to start doing with this is bringing you a weekly MIA (Missing in Azeroth) to talk about changes, patches, encounters, and things of that nature, to help feed the WoW crowd here at Destructoid. I will say, most of my stuff will be heavily Alliance based, simply because I play alliance, and do not know much about the shitty horde. Yes, I hate the horde, sorry, I just do. This edition of MIA will be VERY long, as there is a lot of content to cover relating to Cataclysm.

Blizzards Version of the Big Bang: Azeroth gets a facelift extreme makeover style

The other night in M.A.G. I was talking to Elsa, and the gang about Cataclysm, and what exactly was going to happen. Since I knew none of them had ever played WoW, I gave the simplest explanation I could think of. This big ass Dragon, named Deathwing, is really angry about some shit, and he comes in and really fucks shit up, gives Azeroth a real facelift and puts his mark on it. Players are gonna be angry, hunt his ass down and kill him. Fairly simple explination.

The zones of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms are for the most part being completely redesigned, some of the zones that I am really excited to see are Stranglethorn Vale and Desolace. From my understanding, these 2 zones are seeing the greatest amount of re-design.

With a redesign, brings in entirely new quest lines for your leveling experience, quest lines from 1-60 have been completely redone. So if you have never made the 1-60 grind in the original content (vanilla) you are never going to see a good portion of it. I myself personally am looking forward to the redesign of the quests. Some of them seem so daunting and boring after doing them through several playthroughs of the old content. It will make leveling new characters an adventure again, rather than a rushed and painful task.

As for the lore based around Cataclysm and the events leading up to it, I am going to remain vague, simply because I do not want to spoil things at this point for anyone who doesn’t know, or wants to enjoy it as they play through the opening events of Cataclysm. I will say that pre-Cataclysm events have began, I am unaware of what the Hordes Pre-Cata events are, however, for the alliance, you are joining forces with the Gnomes to retake Gnomergan from Thermaplug. It’s an encounter much like you experienced in retaking the Undercity in WotLK. This is the first in a series of events that have yet to yet to occur leading up to the release of Cataclym.

Races: Worgens and Goblins OH MY!

Cataclysm is introducing 2 new races. Worgens, who have joined the Alliance Forces and Goblins who have Joined the Horde. I can’t exactly say that Goblins going to the Horde was a surprise, they are green afterall; having the ability to roll as Hunters, Mages, Priests, Rogues, Shaman, Warlocks, Warriors and Death knights. The Worgen will be rolling Druid, Hunter, mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior and Death knight.

Along with the addition of the Worgen and Goblin Races, we will get new Race/Class combinations with Cataclysm;

Humans – Hunters
Dwarf – Mage, Shaman
Night Elf – Mage
Gnome – Priest
Draenei – get nothing

The Horde:
Orc – Mage
Undead – Hunter
Tauren – Paladin Priest
Troll – Druid
Blood Elf – Warrior

I expect to see a large increase in Tauren Paladins in the battlegrounds, just because it seems like everyone loves those ugly Horde Cows, what a better race to squish gnome with. I’m not sure how I feel about a gnome priest, they don’t really strike me as a race that is very spiritual, we will have to see how this plays out. I find it interesting that Draenei receive no new classes when every other race receives at least one.

Zones: We have them

Cataclysm will introduce 9 new zones to the world of Azeroth. The new Worgen starting zone will be called Galineas and will contain it’s own city, for the Goblins of the Horde, they will be starting Kezan, the Goblin Capital City. The worgen also have a capital City known as Galineas City.

Starting out in Cataclysm, players will be starting in either Mount Hyjal or Vashj’ir, both are lvl 80-82 zones. Mount Hyjal is located in northern Kalimdor, it was origionally planned for the first release of Vanilla, however was later utilized in the Caverns of Time raid instance. Mount Hyjal will focus heavily on the Night Elves’ devense of the world from the Twilight’s Hammer.

Vashj’ir is off the western coast of the Eastern Kingdoms. This zone is further split into 3 major subzones, the Kelp’thar Forest, the Shimmering Expanse, and the Abyssal Depths, the zone is primairaly controlled by the Naga. I’m really interested in seeing how some of the water combat will play into this zone.

As you level from 82 to 83, you will begin your transition to Deepholm and Uldum, Deepholm is within the elemental plane of earth, access to deepholm has been opened by Deathwing’s return to the world through the Maelstrom and is protected by Therazane. This should provide for some exciting and interesting quest lore, reports from beta have indicated that this is a fan favorite area thus far. Uldum, is an 83-84 zone in sourthern Kalimdor (taranis specifically). A titan refuge of the ancient technology for centuries.

The final 2 zones, Twilight Highlands, and TolBarad, Twilight Highlands is a 84-85 Zone, disputed by alliance and horde and heavily inhabited by the Twilight Hammer. The ‘end-game’ zone is TolBarad, it is separated into two subzones; an outdoor PVP zone in style of wintergrasp, and the tol barad Peninsula, a daily quest hub is located here, so this should provide some very interesting content.

Finally, we have the new battleground zone, the Battle for Gilneas, I’m not a PVPer, so I have no clue what this will entail as of yet as I haven’t researched all of it’s details.

Dungeons: LFM 4 heroics

One thing that I really missed in Wotlk was the use of CC, it was just uneeded and made the dungeons nothing more than a giant AoE Fest. I enjoy doing AoE, I really enjoyed it when I was playing a warlock, just spam Seed of Corruption and go about my business blowing up the DPS meter. That got old, FAST! I’m happy to hear the reports that the Dungeons in Cataclysm are reverting back to the days of old, requiring thought, patience, and hard work to complete. Blizzard is promising us the most challenging dungeon and raid Content of any expansion yet. I hope they follow through.

Cataclysm will launch with 7 new dungeons, and 2 new heroics (the 7 new dungeons will also have heroic modes. These new Dungeons Include:

Blackrock Caverns – 80-81 Located inside Blackrock Mountain
Throne of Tides – 80-81 In the Abyssal Depths of Vashj’ir
Vortex Pinnacle – 82-84 located in Uldum
Stonecore – 82-84 located in Deepholm
Lost City of Tol’yir – 85 located in Uldum and is interestingly an outdoor dungeon
Halls of Origination – 85 also located in Uldum and is a titan themed dungeon with our ole buddy Brann Bronzebeard.

A great new aspect of the Dungeon finder, is that you will have to discover these instances before you can que up for them, this will hender some players from ‘dungeon grinding’ at the start I’m guessing. I’m looking forward to these changes, but with the ease of moving around the world now with flying mounts in Azeroth, I don’t really think discovering these instances will be an issue.

The two new Heroics are going to be Deadmines, and Shadowfang keep. I never was a fan of Shadowfang keep, I ran it a few tims, but never got into the story behind it, I loved Deadmines however, and while we won’t be killing Edward VanCleef in Cataclysm Heroics, we have some new and interesting enemies to look forward to. The Heroic dungeons went live on the beta just this week, and the final few bosses in Deadmines are still incomplete, I’m anxious to see how those encounters have been updated for the lvl 85 players.

85 lets Raid!

Finally, to talk a bit about Raid content, much is still unknown about the Raid content for Cataclysm, until it goes live on the beta, we will know nothing. We do know that Cataclysm is going to be launching with 4 raid instances;

Blackwing Decent – Raid will feature the return (and fall) of Nefarian
Bastion of Twilight – We will be fighting against the Twilight Hammer, and their leader Cho’gall, also Heroic boss lady Sinestra
Throne of the Four Winds – We will be taking on the god of the wind Al’Akir
Baradin Hold – this will be much like VoA from WotLK

There is one other raid expected with the first major patch after cataclysm; The Firelands, Firelands will feature Ragnaros from the Molten Core, the only thing I can think is…Joy oh Joy…

There are some major changes coming to some old raids, for example, Zul’Gurub, will be gone after Cataclysm, it will be wiped out and turned into a quest hub. The Ruins of Ahn’qiraj will be made into a 10 player raid instance, and all dungeons and instances are undergoing some changes to follow along with the progression of the WotLK story line.

One thing I am very concerned about in Raiding for Cataclysm is the new lockout system and raid system for content. 10/25 player raids will share the same locket, they will also drop the same gear, however, more gear will drop per player in the 25 man raids. I can only assume that the heroic content of raids will also share the same 10/25 player lockout. My concern is just not providing enough raid content, right now, I can run 4 ICC’s a week, 10/25 normal and 10/25 heroic. Under the new system, my raid time is cut in half, and my chance for progression is cut in half. At this rate, it seems blizzard is just tyring to slow down pregression a bit compared to what it was in cataclysm with all the extra raiding.

ok ok I’m done for now
These are the most significant changes coming in cata, and what cata will really be offering as far as content. What do you think? Next time I’ll be talking about stat and class changes specifically for each class. Also the new talent system and the entire rebuild of the talent trees! That will be very interesting to see how well Blizzard did at breaking Warrior even further. Just sayin’

Anyway guys, hope you enjoyed, and leave ur comments below as always!
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About Loicone of us since 10:13 PM on 06.30.2009

I'm Dan, I'm one of the 'Good Ole boys' from the backwoods of Kentucky. I love my Jim Beam and I usd to be general contractor but sold my business.

At one point I owned all 3 consoles, but, time just didn't permit to play them all so I finally settled on just hanging on to hte PS3. I'm glad I did, because I've met some of the greatest people here in the Dtoid PS3 crowd over the past year.