Archive for the ‘Cataclysm’ Category

Discussion :: How’s That Shattering Working Out for You?

So now that the world has shattered, Deathwing is free from the elemental plane, there’s a lot of brand new smoldering gaping holes in the ground where lots of cities and zones used to be, and the battle between Horde and Alliance are themselves burning anew, how’s it going?

Seriously, earlier this week, most of us went to bed on Monday with one Azeroth – old Azeroth, the one we’ve known, many of us, for the past 6 years – and we woke up the next day to the world breaking while the servers were down. When the servers came back up, we got a brand new world, brand new zones, new character class and race combinations, and more. We essentially got a brand new game.

So how are you adjusting? Still overwhelmed with all of the changes? Already happily leveling your new gnome mage or tauren paladin? Or maybe you’re still keeping your head down and waiting for the fuss to blow over and the queues to dial down so you can get into your server? Sound off in the comments!

Cataclysm World Map in Annotated Video

If you’re having a hard enough time getting used to all of the changes now that the shattering has taken place, and you’re looking out over a new Azeroth and wondering what the new zones have in store for you, this amazing annotated world map in YouTube form will help you explore the new world as it looks today.

The project is the baby of Jesse Cox and Pride, and together they walk you through the changed old world zones and show you how they look now, what you can expect to encounter when you head back to those zones, and what the leveling experience is like for you now.

To use it, just play the video above and click the continent you want to visit. Then click the annotation for the zone you can to see, and you’ll see a video walking you through that zone. It’s truly a master work, my hat is off to them. You can also head over to YouTube here to play the videos larger in their native habitat.

From Today on, Everything Changes

I’ve done my best to try to be non-emotional about what’s happening in World of Warcraft. I mean, it’s just game, right? I’ve tried hard to avoid reading much about the changes so that I’ll be surprised by them when I encounter them. The song is The Modern Myth by 30 Seconds to Mars. If you watch it, all the way through, the part where I lost all my composure was at the end.

For many of us, this whole Cataclysm thing is just part of the game. Everything changes, so why not the game we’ve all known for so many years. For any who’ve been around since the days of Vanilla, the game has changed a 100 times over. It’s really not that big of a deal. Except this time it is.

Zul’Gurub is gone. Hakkar is gone. The tiger mount is gone. The raptor pet, gone. The worst part about all of this are the regrets I will carry with me. All the questlines I wanted to do, planned to do, and never got around to it. I’ll never get to go back to Thousand Needles and do the Shimmering Flats quests. The goblin races will be gone, covered in water.

There was a lure about the game that kept all of us coming. We’d always get to see the same stuff, knowing if we made a Night Elf where our quests would take us. Or any of the others. Everything has changed. I’m a little sad at the loss of the game I loved and still love. While I will miss so much of the old Azeroth, and that video brought a few tears to my eyes, I look forward to discovering the changes over time. As I level new characters, in new combinations.

I’ll miss you Old Azeroth. You have no idea.

Discussion :: Waiting for the World to Change

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake…

Okay, for those of you who read the title and were looking for the song that it matches up to, here you go. Still, while we’re all sitting here, waiting for the servers to come back up, waiting for our beloved Azeroth to change forever, and waiting for The Shattering, I figured I would ask everyone what they’ll miss from old Azeroth. You can see a lot of those responses over at Twitter if you’re following me (I’m @halophoenix,) but I asked the Twitterati what they would miss the most, and the responses were great.

I started the discussion with one of mine:

@halophoenix says: think the Crystal Caverns in Un’ Goro were the first place I saw and said “wow, that’s really really gorgeous.” #goodbyeoldazeroth

Here are a few or the responses I got:

@immamoonkin asked: “I wonder what’ll happen if I jump off this big tree.” #goodbyeoldazeroth

Which of course got her, myself, and a few other people talking about the quintessential newbie Night Elf experience: finding the branches off of the World Tree in Teldrassil and jumping off. The first time I jumped off was the first time I landed somewhere that I couldn’t wisp back to my body. I was so freaked out I thought I had broken the game. I even logged off for a while hoping I’d be able to sort it out when I came back. Yup – completely forgot about the Spirit Healer. We also discussed that first epic ride from Darkshore into Ashenvale, and the huge, towering, bright trees and winding paths we encountered.

Speaking of which, one of my friends had a minor freak-out about the event, and explained there were a number of things she’d miss about old Azeroth:

@tongarityphoon: – EVERYTHING. I don’t even know. Darnassus, Teldrassil in general. ASHENVALE. Oh my god.
– Mene hit level 20 and I was so fucking PUMPED for Ashenvale, it was BEAUTIFUL and I felt so big and strong ;;
– Oh gosh, and Blackrock Depths. THE PLAGUELANDS, those were always what made me feel like I was really reaching the high levels.
– WHAT ABOUT SCHOLO dear god I three-manned that once at level 60, pre-BC.
– AND I WILL MISS STRANGLETHORN VALE. I never thought I would say that but BOOTY BAY T_T OH GOD. And the cities. THE CITIES.
– Stormwind and Darnassus not so much Ironforge OH GOD AND ORGRIMMAR and the UNDERCITY Thunder Bluff, meh. I MIGHT CRY
– THE DEEPRUN TRAM AND THE SEA CREATURES YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THE SIDES OF IT I already miss running to Ironforge as a baby for AH

You can see she’s a little distressed about the whole “end of the world” thing, but then again, who wouldn’t be?

I have to admit, I’m right there with her though – I remember the days of having to make the Wetlands run from Menethil Harbor all the way to Ironforge as a lowbie, with crocolisks on your ass the whole way. Oh, those were the days.

I took the opportunity to remind her that Orgrimmar is currently on fire. I’m not mean, am I?

@errant_pastor said: sob. uh. everything. ;_; so many goals unaccomplished. sob

And @immamoonkin had another one for me – one that reminded me of me back in the vanilla days:

@immamoonkin chimed in: I got another: “Oh… there’s a FERAL and RESTO tree? Uh… *continues to put points in balance*” #goodbyeoldazeroth

Yeah, this was me with my first hunter way back in the day. My horrifically embarrassing n00b claim to fame? For a while there I never trained traps. I was level 60, and my hunter main couldn’t lay a trap to save his life. I looked at them as optional: I didn’t NEED them for anything, and I had gotten this far without them, so…why bother? When I went into an instance with a PUG and they asked me to lay a trap to CC a mob, I sheepishly admitted I didn’t know the skill. Yeah, you can imagine how well that went over. But it did get me to train them up right quick!

@Raevyns had this to say over IM:
– The calm green purple of the forests around Auberdine..
– Hours spent in the Barrens, killing Quillboar…
– And those loooong twilight’s hammer quests in Auberdine and Silithus…
– Being pounced by Tiny in Ungoro

I wish I could say that Quillboar were going away, or their horrific dying scream would be changing, but alas, I know from what I’ve read about the Tauren starting quests now that we’ll still hear from the Quillboar, whether we like it or not.

And oh, “Tiny.” Tiny was our name for any of the three devilsaurs that roam Un’Goro Crater – their massive hulking frames scaring the bejeezus out of characters who ventured into the crater for the first time. They’re huge, they make the ground shake, and they had a HUGE aggro range. Yup – when you’re level appropriate, those guys are seriously OP.

We waxed rhapsodic about the time in the game when you HAD to get faction with the Timbermaw to get through their tunnel, and that was pretty much the only way to progress in the game – sure you could try and do other things, but all of your level-appropriate quests were in Winterspring, and well – good luck getting there if you weren’t a Druid.

My friend Syddie took the high road though, and reminded us to not look back, but look forward to all of the new and wondrous things we would see in Cataclysm!

@thesyddiegirl said: I’m going to miss being able to somewhere and have certain memories tied to it but really looking forward to changes as well!
– There’s just too much that is new and exciting and revitalizing for the game for me to fuss about things that are going away.

She has a good point! The world will change, but now there’ll be much much more to explore and see!

So what are some of your memories of old Azeroth? What will you miss the most, and what will you be looking forward to as soon as the shattering is all finished and the realms come back up again? Let us know in the comments!

Elemental Invasion Portals will Stay Open

Word just came down today that the portals that the elementals have been rampaging through for the past couple of weeks will stay open until further notice, just in case you “need anything from in there.” Interesting. Here’s the word from Bashiok on the new official forums:

Due to your valiant efforts in protecting the key invasion cities, the four boss portals are now ‘permanently’ open. If you need anything from inside the portals, or maybe you dropped your keys in there, now is the time to go through and get them.

Initial reports from shaman in the area that were available at time of publishing suggest that this is hinting at something far more sinister. One such shaman, a one ‘Krunkmaster’ from Proudmoore was quoted as saying “This is hinting at something far more sinister.”


You’ll want to stay tuned to the World of Warcraft community site for the latest developments on this and other events.

Oh dear. Well, the bright side is that the fun will remain for anyone looking to get in on the action who wasn’t able to – bad news is…well..what is that “something sinister” referred to there? It could be nothing, or could we be looking at a world-wide epic invasion awesomeness death and destruction launch event? We’ll just have to wait and see!

The Cataclysm Beta is Officially Over

keyboard deathwing

Well folks, that’s that – it’s all over. The Cataclysm beta is finished, all said and done. Sayeth the Zarhym on the official forums:

We’re just about two weeks out from the official global launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm! And with that, the time has come to conclude the beta test. We will be shutting down our beta realms momentarily. We want to sincerely thank all of you for your dedication to testing, providing feedback, reporting bugs, and everything else you’ve done to help us make this expansion the best World of Warcraft title to date.

Stay tuned to our new community site ( for the latest news and updates as we get closer to release. We’ll see you in Cataclysm!

Yeah, the down-side to this is that they aren’t doing anything fun like a wide open beta or any huge world-ending event in Cataclysm, but…well…it is the Cataclysm after all. That should be world-ending enough, shouldn’t it?

If you didn’t get into the beta, no worries – you only have a week or so left before the fun comes to you!

Cataclysm Launch: No Rested Experience for Level 80s

Just in case you were wondering, all that rested experience your level-capped 80s have because they spend most of their time either in dungeons or in instances and raids? Wiped when Cataclysm officially launches. This sounds bigger than it is – Blizzard is just making sure that everyone has a level playing field to get from level 80 to 85, and the world first 85 won’t be because some random person leveled to 80 right after Wrath launched and has enough rested experience to carry them through the next five levels.

There’s no explicit word as to whether or not the rule applies to lower level characters as well, but it likely doesn’t, since those other lowbies can still use the rested experience to get to level 80, where they’ll probably find themselves suddenly out of it. We’ll see how Blizzard implements it though.

Blizzard Announces Tol Barad: New World PVP Zone

If you love your world PVP and just can’t get enough of it, Blizzard’s latest zone addition to Cataclysm will tickle you – if you’re in the beta, you may already have had an opportunity to take a look! Blizzard announced Tol Barad with an official preview at the new community site today, complete with details about how the new zone will function and some clues into how we’ll see world PVP in the expansion when it lands:

n island off the coast of the Eastern Kingdoms, Tol Barad is a historic land now sought-after by the leaders of the Horde and the Alliance. Its strategic, isolated location makes it an ideal stronghold from which to conduct military strikes. In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, a battle will be waged to seize control of this prized territory. Should you triumph, unique rewards await you.

Okay, I’m intrigued, do go on:

Similar to Wintergrasp, Tol Barad will serve as an open world PvP zone, although there is also a hub on Tol Barad Peninsula for both factions to complete daily quests. Reachable by portals in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, or via a level-85 mage teleport or portal, Tol Barad will accept up to 80 players per faction to engage in brutal combat across the island’s surface. Unlike Wintergrasp, Tol Barad will not have Tenacity buffs. Instead, the queue system will attempt to match each side at a 1-to-1 ratio. Battles will take place every two hours and thirty minutes, giving the offensive faction a chance to claim territory.

Tol Barad will feature capture-point gameplay. There are three keeps and three towers for the defending side to hold. When destroyed by the attackers, each tower will add five minutes to the standard fifteen-minute battle timer. In order to win, though, all three keeps must be captured and controlled by the attackers. If these keeps cannot be taken by the attacking forces, the defending faction will claim victory in Tol Barad. Similar to Eye of the Storm, Tol Barad determines whether a keep has been captured by the number of players from each side in the immediate area. There is, however, a new twist: each time a member of your faction is killed in the immediate vicinity of a keep, a slider bar will move slightly in favor of the opposing faction. So not only does the size of each force in the area determine who controls each keep, but losing allies during the contesting process determines control as well.

In order to destroy the defenders’ towers, attackers will have access to an all-new type of war machine: Abandoned Siege Engines. Six of these Siege Engines will be placed around the map, and these vehicles can be used to bombard the towers. In contrast to the Siege Engines of Wintergrasp, these machines cannot attack players or buildings while the vehicles are being driven. Instead, players must drive them within range of a tower and jump out, allowing the vehicle to transform into an automated cannon that can lay siege to the tower. The Abandoned Siege Engine will continue to damage the closest tower in range until the machine is destroyed by opposing forces.

Sounds pretty good to me: Wintergrasp was such an incredible success in Wrath of the Lich King that it makes sense that we’d see a similar zone in Cataclysm – and I’m not being sarcastic there, for those of you who are all too familiar with living on servers that have a 3:1 faction ratio.

For factions that win Tol Barad, there’ll be access to special quests, rewards, and gear – similar to Wintergrasp again, but I’m definitely interested in the gameplay, and definitely the look of the zone. What do you think, is it just Wintergrasp done over again, or are you looking forward to a whole island at war? Let us know in the comments!

Elemental Invasion Hits Phase 4 – This Just Got Real

The image above is from an MMO Champion post on the latest wave of the elemental invasion world event that marks the run-up to Cataclysm. Yes folks – s**t just got real.

Elementals are attacking major cities, and in Stormwind they’re doing some damage but largely rendering themselves as an annoyance, but over in Orgrimmar they’re doing some serious damage and setting most of the buildings ablaze. Who’s left to defend the cities? You are, of course – while the guards are busy evacuating the civilians, lowbies, and other city residents, you’re left to fortify the city defenses and stand against the rampaging elementals.

Perhaps the best part is that once you’ve defended the city, not only do you earn an achievement, but you get a shot at a big-bad elemental with ICC 10 style loot on it, and since the attacks are coming in about 2-hour waves, everyone should get a turn. Happy hunting!

Lil’ Ragnaros and Moonkin Hatchlings Revealed!

Look into its adorable, huge, loving eyes. It longs for you to cuddle it. And then it will cast Starfire on you and it’ll loot your body. Or it might love you forever and follow you around. You never know until you have one!

The Moonkin Hatchling above is the alliance version: the horde version predictably looks like a Tauren Druid, just shrunk down and made super-adorable. Lil’ Ragnaros is no slouch either, in all of his heated swirly glory. The images above and video below come to you courtesy of the folks at MMO Champion, who found all this good stuff lurking in the depths of the latest Cataclysm beta build.

Want to see the video? Click the jump below to see both Moonkin Hatchlings and Lil’ Ragnaros!


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