Posts Tagged ‘expansion’

Blizzard Lifts Cataclysm NDA, Closed Beta Begins

The rush of information is on, and the hunt for beta keys begins!

Last night, Blizzard made two huge announcements: first, that the NDA over Cataclysm and the Friends-and-Family Alpha have been lifted, and people who have been participating up to this point are free to discuss their experiences and the development of the game up to this point. Second, Blizzard announced that the closed beta for Cataclysm has officially begun, and that account-holders who have signed up for the beta will begin getting their invites as the beta pool is defined and slowly expanded over time.

Here’s the official word, from this Blizzard press release:


IRVINE, Calif. – June 30, 2010 – Blizzard Entertainment announced today that the closed beta test for Cataclysm™, its highly anticipated new expansion for World of Warcraft®, has begun. The company has started issuing invitations to participate in the testing process to a wide range of players from around the world who signed up via their® accounts. While enjoying an early look at the game, beta testers will provide valuable feedback to help Blizzard Entertainment find bugs, address balance issues, and polish the new content.

“Our focus with Cataclysm has been to build on the knowledge we’ve gained through the previous expansions to deliver the best, most compelling World of Warcraft content for our players to date,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Gathering focused feedback during the beta test will go a long way in helping us reach that goal when we launch Cataclysm later this year.”

Cataclysm is the third expansion for World of Warcraft, the most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the world. The first two expansions, The Burning Crusade® and Wrath of the Lich King®, each shattered PC game sales records upon their release. In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have now been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new adventures. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races — worgen and goblins — will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.

For more information on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, please visit the official website at To set up a account and sign up for a chance to participate in the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta test, please visit the official website at

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (, a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes eleven #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service,®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

It’s on now, kiddies! With the drop of the NDA, we’re sure to see a rush of information about the items in the game and the features that have already been rolled in, and with the opening of the beta to select users, we’ll start seeing invite horsetrading begin and more people posting their opinions, sights, sounds, and thoughts about the game, the new zones, and the dungeons. Just as a teaser, WoWhead has already unveiled their Cataclysm database of items, quests, NPCs, and zones! Granted, it’s by no means complete, since beta invites just started flowing, but expect it to grow soon!

Stay tuned! We’ll try to get our hands on beta invites so we can bring you first-hand screenshots and analysis from the beta!

Blizzard Announces Mount Hyjal: In Defense of Nordrassil

Among the Cataclysm related news Blizzard’s been trickling out has come the next big zone announcement for the expansion, Mount Hyjal:

For years, Mount Hyjal and the wounded World Tree, Nordrassil, have remained cut off from the rest of Azeroth. Sealed away within a protective field of dense foliage by Malfurion Stormrage, Nordrassil has been slowly recovering from the devastation of the Third War, when Malfurion called upon the tree’s power to destroy the archdemon Archimonde and repel the forces of the Burning Legion and Scourge. Now, with the impending cataclysm, the World Tree’s well-being is threatened once more. From the Firelands within the Elemental Plane, Ragnaros and his minions prepare to burst into Hyjal and set Nordrassil ablaze — and the conflagration would endanger all life on Azeroth.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, players will have the opportunity to explore the newly reopened Mount Hyjal as Azeroth’s heroes, with the help of Ysera, Malfurion Stormrage and Hamuul Runetotem, are called upon to push back the armies of the Firelord, banish Ragnaros to the Elemental Plane and lay waste to the twilight dragon stronghold in nearby Darkwhisper Gorge. This all-new level 78-82 zone will feature multiple quest hubs, phased terrain and quest lines, portals to micro-zones within the Firelands, an all-new raid dungeon, and much more.

Hear that, kiddies? Mount Hyjal will be a zone in Cataclysm, and not only will you be able to finally get in there, but you’ll have a job to do and some pretty serious allies to do it with. We’ll see Ysera herself, along with Malfurion and Hamuul (and possibly Malorne!) ready to stand against the elementals that will likely be raging through the area once Deathwing breaks through the Elemental plane.

Now the other amazing thing is that not only with Hyjal be an open zone, but the world tree itself, Nordrassil, previously thought completely destroyed after the Third War, will be present in the zone and will require our protection.

There are some amazing other tidbits here, like a insinuation that the Night Elf leadership will be somehow “fractured,” implying that we’ll finally see the tension between Tyrande Whisperwind and Fandral Staghelm coming to a head, and the two of them likely engaged in some kind of battle (likely not physically) for resources, allegiances, and the right to rule – something which is probably distracting the Night Elves from the task at hand: protecting Azeroth.

This is huge news, and only the second piece of zone information we’ve seen since Blizzard gave us a preview of the Abyssal Maw!

Blizzard Releases Official Gnomeregan and Echo Isles Information

Last week, Blizzard announced tons of new information about the upcoming Gnomeregan and Echo Isles instances that we expect to see in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next major expansion pack to the game. Among them are the fact that the gnomes and the trolls will both have an opportunity in the coming expansion to take their respective homelands back. Nethaera said on the official forums:

High Tinker Mekkatorque, betrayed by Mekgineer Thermaplugg and forced to flee the irradiated city of Gnomeregan with the few of his fellow gnomes who managed to survive, is preparing to reclaim his once glorious city. Meanwhile, in distant Durotar, Vol’jin of the Darkspear trolls is determined to exact revenge upon the witch doctor Zalazane for dividing the Darkspears and seizing the land bestowed to them by Thrall: the Echo Isles. Read more about the ongoing struggles of the gnomes and the trolls… and their plans to seek redemption.


There are already a number of spoilers floating around out there since a lot of the audio data and text have already started to appear in existing data packs and folks who are familiar with sites that do a lot of data mining may already have seen the content of the events and encounters.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the opportunity to hand Thermaplugg and Zalazane their marching orders and tell them to get the heck out of your character’s homeland? It’s been said that everything is going to change in Cataclysm, and this certainly looks like the beginning of that.

Thanks to for the scoop!

Stat and Itemization Changes Coming in Cataclysm had the scoop on this one that Blizzard devs and community managers have finally released details on how our stats and items will change come Cataclysm. There’s a ton of data, a lot of it specific to certain specs and classes, so I would advise anyone seriously concerns about their class and their spec to head over to and check out their series of articles describing how various class/spec combinations will change both in general gameplay and in high-end raiding.

That being said though, there are some major changes that are worth sharing for everyone, especially with regard to how some basic stats are being reworked and how other stats are going away altogether, that are worth covering. Highlights from the original post:

A few of the more major points:

  • Stamina — Non-plate wearers will have a lot more.
  • Spirit — Only found on healing gear.
  • Intellect — Grants spell power.
  • MP5 — Gone completely.
  • Spell power — Only on weapons, and just to make them clearly a caster item.
  • Attack power — Gone on most items.
  • Parrry — No longer provides 100% avoidance and no longer speeds up attack.
  • Resilience — Only affects player damage and player crit damage, no impact on crit chance, mana drains, etc…
  • Block Value — Gone, 30% passive block value now when wearing a shield.
  • Weapon Skill — Gone completely.
  • Gem Color — Few stats changing. Hit will likely become a blue gem (it’s yellow now).
  • Defense — Gone, becomes dodge, parry, or block rating.
  • Reforging — You’ll be able to reforge gear to customize your stats — 50% of stat X can become stat Y. Restrictions apply (no Stamina->Strength, for instance)

There are a ton more changes, including some descriptions of exactly what each stat will look like and the effects it will have on gameplay over at the original post. Head over and take a look!

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