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by Published on 2010-05-12 04:13 PM

Cataclysm Professions Preview
[blizzquote author=Wryxian source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/13200229268/cataclysm-professions-preview/]While the Cataclysm updates to many of the professions are still deep in development, we wanted to share some of the work that's been going on, as well as a high-level look at any lessons learned or changes to their underlying philosophies during the design process. Please be aware that not all professions have the same extent of information available right now, but each is receiving the same love and attention as the next.

Take heed of these teasers as you look forward to your new rank of Illustrious Grand Master!

Please enjoy!

General
  • Perks will continue to exist across all professions, and will upgraded appropriately.

Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring
  • Many of the green (and possibly some blue) items made during the process of leveling these professions will contain random stats. In most examples, two stats on these items will be set, and two will be random. The idea with these items is to mix up the skill leveling items so you're not just, for example, creating 10 pairs of boots that are all exactly the same.
  • Superior-quality items that require more materials than other recipes in the same skill range provide multiple skill-ups. For example, if a recipe takes three times the reagents, it will give you three skill-ups.
  • We didn't feel like we were getting much flexibility from specializations, so they have been removed for all three of these professions. The intent was to help people diversify their profession to feel different from that of other players, but through other professions we've found systems that work better to this end, such as simply making recipes available that you can earn over time.
  • To follow up the previous change, all items that required a specialization are now useable by anyone.
  • Tailoring the high-end Cataclysm items will center around a single cloth type that can be crafted through five different recipes -- each with their own material components and a long cooldown.
  • All three professions will create their starter sets of PVP gear, which will be upgraded with new recipes every season. In general, these are meant to keep pace as an entry-level PvP set below whatever the current Hero Point set is.

Alchemy
  • New elixirs will be about 75% as strong as flasks. So you can get more total stat points with two elixirs, but flasks will still be the best at giving you a single offensive or defensive stat.
  • New unique material used by nearly all high-level recipes will be created by alchemists on a one-day cooldown.
  • New Mysterious Potion created with common materials restores health and mana in a massively random range, as well as sometimes granting the benefit of another potion. The health and mana range is from 1-20,000 and is able to crit. The minimum amount restored, however, is scaled upwards by the Alchemy skill, making it a great choice for alchemists to keep for themselves.
  • All potions and elixirs now use the same basic vial type. Flasks still use a fancy vial.
  • New Alchemist Stone.

Enchanting
In general, material component costs for most recipes are more moderate in how much they require, while the highest-end recipes will still require large quantities. The goal of this change is to make the leveling recipes more consistent and not create unintended roadblocks in getting to the higher skill levels.
An enchanter vanity pet is being added.

New Cataclysm weapon enchantment preview:
  • Avalanche -- Chance to deal Nature damage on melee hit/spell hit.
  • Elemental Slayer -- As expected, this enchantment helps players deal devastating damage to elemental creatures.
  • Hurricane -- A stacking haste proc.
  • Heartsong -- Mana regeneration through increased Spirit when chain-casting spells.
  • Many more maximum-level enchantments are still in progress.

Engineering
  • Engineering is still being designed, but expect new unpredictable gadgets to use on yourself or enemies. Toys, explosives, and even a new vanity pet or two. Oh, and powerful mechanical bows and crossbows in addition to guns.
  • In general, we want Engineering to remain a tradeskill mainly focused on creating fun or useful gadgets for the engineer, but we are exploring options for items that can be sold to other players for profit.

Inscription
  • With the large number of class changes coming with Cataclysm, many existing glyphs will see new functionality.
  • Minor glyphs are woefully uneven from one class to the next right now, so they're a focus for us to clean them up and try to ensure that everyone has minor glyphs they're excited about.
  • New Darkmoon Cards will be added, with hopes they'll all be as awesome as the Greatness card.
  • We'll be adding more major glyphs as well, but in the hopes of making them as balanced as possible, we'll likely wait until after the expansion ships to add any for the new abilities in Cataclysm.
  • New and more desirable off-hand and relic recipes will be added.

Jewelcrafting
  • Some gem colors have changed! Hit is now blue. Mastery and Dodge are yellow. Intellect is now red. These simple changes have created a much more diverse matrix of gem cuts.
  • New Jewelcrafting dailies will be introduced.
  • Many cuts are being added to support the new Mastery stat.
  • Some new Cataclysm jewelry recipes have completely random properties, and can sometimes create superior and epic versions.
  • Jewelcrafters will have some fun new (and potentially lucrative) vanity items, including fist weapons, rhinestone sunglasses, monocles, and stardust (sprinkle on players for entertainment).

Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining
  • All Cataclysm herbs have the chance of containing Volatile Life.
  • There won't be a new Lotus equivalent in Cataclysm. Alchemists will use the more reliably-found Volatile Life to create the new high level flasks.

Herb Example:
  • "Heartblossom -- Named for its deep red color, this delicate flower grows close to the ground, and always in pairs. If one blossom is taken, the other flower begins to wilt immediately and dies soon after. It is considered very unlucky to disturb a Heartblossom without blessing it first."
  • Savage Leather, the basic Cataclysm leather, can be gathered from most creatures found in the expansion areas and can be converted to Heavy Savage Leather at a 6:1 rate.
  • Pristine Hide, the rare Cataclysm hide, can be found when skinning creatures in the expansion areas, or be converted from Heavy Savage Leather.
  • Obsidian is the new common mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems, Volatile Fire, and Volatile Shadow.
  • Elementium is the new uncommon mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems, Volatile Fire, Volatile Water, or Volatile Earth.
  • Pyrite is the new rare mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems and Volatile Fire.
  • Previous Elementium Ore and Bar used for classic quests will be renamed to Elementium Ingot and Hardened Elementium Bar.
  • We like the gathering perks as they are; not a game-changing bonus but something themed and fun. But as all tradeskills are in the design stages these are still being discussed to a degree.

Cooking
  • Cooking is still in the early stages, but we plan on continuing with daily quests, feasts, and some fun new recipes.
  • We liked the cooking dailies that had players picking up items that spawned in the world near the quest giver, so most if not all new cooking dailies will work similarly.

First Aid
  • Bandages will have a short cast time and put a heal over time effect on the target for 8 seconds. This effect is broken by damage.
  • Three new bandages! That's right: THREE!

Bandage preview:
  • "Dense Embersilk Bandage" Heals for 34,800 over 8 seconds. Requires 3 Embersilk to create.

Fishing
  • Lots of new fish and other fun items to catch! Fish are still used to make premium food.
  • New fishing dailies.
[/blizzquote]
by Published on 2010-04-08 07:04 AM

Cataclysm Class Preview: Priest (Priest Forum)
And we finally have the last class preview of the day! Tomorrow we will have the previews of the Warrior, Death Knight, and Rogue classes. The amount of posts on the front page has been increased to 8 to make the browsing slightly less painful this week, but I'll eventually figure out something more convenient to post everything.
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/24038432151/cataclysm-class-preview-priest/]In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we'll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you'll get an early look at some of the changes in store for the priest class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, as well as an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.

New Priest Spells

Heal (available at level 16): While priests already have a spell called Heal, the existing version becomes obsolete at higher levels, which is something we intend to change in Cataclysm. Introduced at a low level, the "new" Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use. Heal is intended to be the priest's go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal). We will be following a similar philosophy with all the healing classes.

Mind Spike (level 81): Deals Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that improves subsequent Mind Spike damage. The intent of Mind Spike is to fill a niche missing in Shadow DPS, though it may be occasionally useful for healers as well. Mind Spike provides a quick nuke to use in situations where the priest doesn't have time to set up the normal rotation, such as when adds are dying too fast or you have to swap targets a lot. Spamming Mind Spike will do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain. The idea behind the debuff is that when you cast Mind Spike, we expect you to cast a lot of them; we don't intend you to fit it into an already full Shadow rotation. It also provides Shadow with a spell to cast when locked out of the Shadow school. (School lockouts will no longer affect both schools for multi-school spells.) 1.5-second cast. 30-yard range. No cooldown.

Inner Will (level 83): Increases movement speed by 12% and reduces the mana cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. This buff will be exclusive with Inner Fire, meaning you can't have both up at once. Inner Fire provides a spell power and Armor buff; Inner Will should be useful on a more situational basis.

Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or "Life Grip") is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

In addition to introducing new spells, we're planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you're familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.

  • All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. Hasted HoTs and DoTs will not have a shorter duration, just a shorter period in between ticks (meaning they will gain extra ticks to fill in the duration as appropriate).
  • We want to bring back Shadow Word: Death as an "execute" -- something you do when the target is at 25% health.
  • While we want to keep the priest's role as a well-rounded healer, we also want to make sure the class is a viable tank healer, which is something priests moved away from a little in Wrath of the Lich King. Greater Heal will probably be the tank-healing spell of choice, though we've also discussed giving Discipline a second shield so that they have a small shield to cast on lots of different targets, and a big, more expensive shield to cast on a tank or anyone else taking a ton of damage.
  • Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit will be removed from the game. As Spirit will be the primary mana-regeneration stat, we don't want it to vary as much between solo, small group, and raid play. Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild will not boost Spirit either.
  • Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren't trying to make healing more painful; we're trying to make it more fun. When the cost of a spell isn't an issue, then casting the right spell for the job is less of an issue because you might as well just use your most powerful spell all of the time. We are, however, getting rid of the five-second rule, because we don't want to encourage standing around doing nothing. We're also going to cut back on the benefits of buffs such as Replenishment so priests (and all healers) don't feel as penalized when those buffs aren't available.

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • We want to improve Discipline's single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn't always a more attractive option than healing.
  • We want to improve Holy for PvP healing. One way to do this is to make sure that Heal's throughput is similar between both specs.
  • We want to improve Shadow for short fights and reduce its susceptibility to school lockouts.
  • Discipline will finally be getting Power Word: Barrier as a talented ability. Think of it like a group Power Word: Shield.
  • We want to make Holy a little bit more interesting to play. One new talent will push the Holy priest into an improved healing state when he or she casts Prayer of Healing, Heal, or Renew three times in a row. The empowered state varies depending on the heals cast.
  • Since the Shadow tree has a lot of passive damage-boosting abilities -- something we're trying to avoid in Cataclysm -- we will need to replace several of the tree's talents. One idea is to play off of the new Shadow Orbs mechanic (see Mastery section below), possibly allowing you to consume an orb to increase damage from Mind Blast or reduce Mind Spike's cast time.
  • Misery will no longer affect spell Hit chance. We want players to be able to gear themselves around a Hit cap that isn't variable depending on group composition.


Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Discipline
  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Absorption

Absorption: Improves the strength of shields such as Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Power Word: Barrier.

Holy
  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Radiance

Radiance: Your direct heals add a small heal-over-time component to the target.

Shadow
  • Spell damage
  • Spell Crit
  • Shadow Orbs

Shadow Orbs: Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage. This will help lower-level characters feel more like "Shadow priests" before they obtain Shadowform.

We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we're looking forward to hearing your initial thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.

[...]

A few quick clarifications:

Neither Inner Fire nor Inner Will has charges. The decision is on which armor you want up at the time.

Preventing dot clipping is something we want to do in general. It obviously benefits Shadow priests just as much as warlocks.

The idea behind Mind Spike is that you can't always settle into your normal, and high-ramp up rotation. It's also useful when you have to move or get school locked.

The closest analogue to PW:B is the DK Anti-Magic Zone, but it has some important differences, such as a way to counter it in PvP (since it absorbs all damage, not just magical damage).

The idea behind the Holy "cast three in a row" talent (it's called "Chakra") is that we've always positioned Holy as a versatile healer. This talent lets you shift into different modes. If you need to be a tank healer, cast three single target heals and your single-target healing is now better. Cast three area heals, and you can be a temporarily specialized group healer. We're going to try to play this mechanic up with a cool UI to try to get that "I'm almost in the zone" feel. We'll let it apply to as many types of spells as we can, perhaps even Smite for those times when nobody's taking damage.

We pulled Misery because we are pulling every group benefit that improves hit. It's annoying to have to swap your gear in and out depending on who shows up for your group. In general we're going to push even harder in Cataclysm for bringing people you like to play with, not bringing people who have awesome buffs. The answer to almost every question of "But why would they bring me?" should be "Because you know what the hell you're doing." [/blizzquote]
by Published on 2010-02-23 06:52 AM

Cataclysm Prologue - Gnomeregan and the Echo Isles
Patch 3.3.3 introduced a lot of data for the prologue, or at least a part of it. If you checked the site when the patch was first release you already know that players will be able to recapture Gnomeregan (Alliance) and the Echo Isles (Horde).

Achievements and Overcloaks
This is where it all started, the new achievements were discovered instantly on the Item Database Latest Additions.

  • Gnomecoming King - You assisted High Tinker Mekkatorque and the Gnomeregan Exiles in the recapture of Gnomeregan's surface.
  • Gnomecoming Queen - You assisted High Tinker Mekkatorque and the Gnomeregan Exiles in the recapture of Gnomeregan's surface.

There isn't any Horde achievement for the moment and they will probably be added to the game in a later PTR build.

After digging a little more in the game files it also looks like players will be rewarded with "cosmetic cloaks" at some point. Apparently, Blizzard introduced an Overcloak mechanism that allows you to change the appearance of your cloak without having to unequip your regular super-epic cloak.

  • Gnomeregan Overcloak - Right Click to don a cosmetic cloak. Will cover the appearance but not the effect of any existing cloak.
  • Orgrimmar Overcloak - Right Click to don a cosmetic cloak. Will cover the appearance but not the effect of any existing cloak.

More spells should be introduced later according to the models I found in the game files. (Personal message to Blizzard: Guild Tabards overcloaks, please!)



Flight Paths
More flight paths have been added to the game. First, you have to understand that everytime you use a vehicle following an automated path, most of the coordinates it uses are stored in your client and aren't received from the server. Knowing that, we can reproduce the paths on a world map (yes, we can do that) and check where the various Cataclysm missions will bring us.

  • CC Prologue - GT - Quest - Vent Horizon - Start (#392)
  • CC Prologue - GT - Quest - Vent Horizon - End (#393)
  • CC Prologue - GT - Battle Flight - Start (#394)
  • CC Prologue - GT - Battle Flight - End (#395)
  • Durotar - ET - CC Prologue Spy Frog Start (#404)
  • Durotar - ET - CC Prologue Spy Frog End (#405)
  • Durotar - ET - CC Prologue Troll Taxi Bat Start (#438)
  • Durotar - ET - CC Prologue Troll Recruit End (#439)
  • Durotar - ET - CC Prologue - Troll Battle End (#440)





Quest Lines
A lot of quests have been added to the game for this event. Keep in mind that this is only a small part of the entire event but it will give you a good idea of how players will recapture Gnomeregan and the Echo Isles.

There is also a third questline involving the Twilight's Cult, the end of the world is near and they really want you to know about it!

Alliance - Recapturing Gnomeregan

Quest - A Few Good GnomesR
Objective - Recruit Gnome Citizens from Tinker Town using the Motivate-a-Tron and lead them to Captain Tread Sparknozzle at Steelgrill's Depot.
Description
Our engineers have been working on getting our battle machines ready for our assault on Gnomeregan, but we're out of pilots! We've developed a device called the Motivate-a-Tron, which prevents distraction from other sources and gives the gnome the courage to enlist. After motivating a few Gnome Citizens, lead them out to Captain Tread Sparknozzle out at Steelgrill's Depot, just south of Ironforge. Oh, and be careful. The device is still a little experimental.

Quest - Basic Orders
Objective - Follow Drill Sergeant Steamcrank's cues and then report back to Captain Tread Sparknozzle.
Description
Hey! You look like you could give us a hand! If you're willing to help our cause, we have to get you through training. Gnome training is brutal and rigorous, so I hope you're ready. Head over to Drill Sergeant Steamcrank and he'll walk you through what you need to know. Make sure you follow his orders when he gives them, or else you'll never make it I'm warning you though, it's tough over there. Come back to see me, if you make it.

Quest - Vent Horizon
Objective - Use Pilot Muzzlesprock's flying machine to toss Radiageigatrons at the vents surrounding Gnomeregan.
Description
We thought that we could wait for the radiation to subside around Gnomeregan, but it doesn't appear to be getting better. If we want to take back our city, we need to make sure it's safe for our troops to enter. Take these Radiageigatrons, hop in 'Thunderflash' here, and toss them at the ventilation shafts outside of Gnomeregan. They'll report the radiation levels directly to me.

Quest - Prepping the Speech
Objective - Use the Gnomish Playback Device in front of Ozzie Togglevolt west of Kharanos, Milli Featherwhistle at Steelgrill Depot and Tog Rustsprocket outside the Kharanos Inn. Return to Toby Zieggear when all the speeches have been given.
Description
High Tinker Mekkatorque asked me to write a speech that he could give before the battle starts, but I can't tell which draft is good and which ones just stink. Could you try some of them out on some of the local gnome residents? This device creates an image of Mekkatorque saying a few lines from each of my speech drafts. Let me know which one works, okay?

Quest - Words for Delivery
Objective - Give the speech to Captain Tread Sparknozzle at Steelgrill Depot.
Description
Here we go. This is the speech, ! It has everything to be a great battle starter: It's inspirational, has eloquent language and speaks directly to gnomes. Never has a finer speech been written! Turn this in to Captain Tread Sparknozzle and get some transportation to High Tinker Mekkatorque!

Quest - Words for Delivery
Objective - Ride 'Thunderflash' from Steelgrill Depot to High Tinker Mekkatorque and deliver Toby's speech.
Description
All right, soldier. Time to prove your worth! Take the speech and board the flying machine "Thunderflash". It's the fastest ship to High Tinker Mekkatorque and this speech is the only thing he's waiting on before starting Operation: Gnomeregan. Go! Now!

Quest - Operation: Gnomeregan
Objective - [PH]Help King Mekkatorque take back Gnomeregan.
Additional Note - Rewards Gnomeregan Overcloak and Gnomecoming King / Gnomecoming Queen. (And if you're wondering, [PH] just means PlaceHolder)
Description
[PH] Help Mekkatorque take back Gnomeregan.

Alliance - Mechano-Tanks Tutorial?

Quest - In and Out
Objective - Test out the ejection system in the Ejector Mechano-Tank.
Description
We've gotta get these new mechano-tanks ready for the assault. You ready to help test these bad boys out?! Of course you are! First, we need to make sure that once you're in, you can get out. In battle, if you think your tank is going to explode, get out! I've seen many a gnome stay in 'til the bitter end... the tank blows up, and them along with it. Well, I've upgraded this tank with an ejection seat. Try it out for me, will ya?

Quest - One Step Forward...
Objective - Test the the Scuttling Mechano-Tank's maneuverability.
Description
With the ejection system working, I think we're ready to test out movement. This tank has an extra special feature: Automatic Evasive Maneuvers! I want you to check out the servos on the left leg, the right leg and the Automatic Evasive Maneuver system. This is easy stuff, so it shouldn't take too long.

Quest - Press Fire
Objective - Test out the Shooting Mechano-Tank weapon systems on the nearby targets.
Description
Safety systems, online! Motor functions, functioning! Now all we need is to make sure that the guns will fire. This shouldn't be too hard, . The mechano-tank on the hill behind us has been loaded with harmless pellets. Just fire off a couple rounds at the nearby targets and report back to me.

Horde - Recapturing Echo Isles

Quest - Da Perfect Spies
Objective - Capture 5 Sen'jin Frogs and attune them to Vanira's sight at her Sentry Totem.
Description
Now, it would be foolish to go in blind 'ere, so I be creatin' some tiny spies to gather information for Vol'jin. He got to know what's goin' on over on de islands. I could use da help, if you be feelin' up to it. I tell ya how it's done. First, ya gotta catch de frogs. Dey like to stay in de shade of da palm trees around Sen'jin. Once ya have de frogs, bring 'em over here to my sentry totem an' attune dem to me sight.

Quest - Frogs Away!
Objective - While riding a bat, use the Sack o' Frogs to place 12 attuned frogs on the markers in the Echo Isles.
Description
Wit de frogs ready to go, I be needin' ya to help me send 'em out to the isles. On de eastern side of Sen'jin Village, ya can find Handler Marnlek. He be handlin' all the bats for Vol'jin's scouts and he can loan ya a bat to get ya out to de isles. Take dis sack' o frogs with ya. I been askin' de spirits for guidance. Dey've sent smoke to show ya where I need de eyes most. While ridin' de bat, reach into de sack and toss de frogs toward de white smoke.

Quest - Lady Of Da Tigers
Objective - While imbued with the Spirit of the Tiger, lure the Tiger Matriarch out of hiding and use your new abilities to best it in combat.
Description
Remember de frogs ya made into me eyes and ears? Well, dey've found somethin' interestin'. On an island to de southeast, dey've spied a tiger even de other cats seem to fear. Dis tiger, I've never seen anythin' like it. It hunts wit' da instincts of a cat, but de mind of a person. It could be a powerful spirit and a strong ally. I'll be callin' down the spirit o' the tiger upon ya. Use its gifts to locate this cat and challenge it. See if ya can win its aid in our battle for the isles.

Quest - Dance Of De Spirits
Objective - Talk to Witch Doctor Hez'tok near the circle of ritual dancers outside Sen'jin Village when you're ready to consult the omens.
Description
De time has come to start thinkin' about when to make our move. Champion Uru'zin tells me his men be ready. You and Vanira done good work gatherin' information on de enemy and findin' us new allies. Now, we read de omens. We find out when to launch de attack. Find Witch Doctor Hez'tok near the circle of ritual dancers. He be startin' de ritual as soon as ya be ready.

Quest - Trollin' For Volunteers
Objective - Use Vol'jin's War Drums to recruit 5 Troll Citizens in Razor Hill. You can speak to Handler Marnlek for a bat ride to Razor Hill.
Description
Vol'jin has given me his war drums and put me in charge of trainin' da new recruits here. Only problem is we be short on new recruits. Supposin' I loaned ya dis drum, would ya use it to sound de call to war on Vol'jin's behalf in Razor Hill? If ya could even inspire just a few trolls to join da cause, it would make a difference. Once ya've convinced dem to volunteer, bring dem back to me for trainin'. Go over an' talk to Handler Marnlek to de south. He can lend you a bat for de ride to Razor Hill.

Quest - Preparin' For Battle
Objective - Speak to Handler Marnlek for a flight to the staging area. Meet Vol'jin on the island east of the war camp.
Description
Vol'jin be gatherin' his gear and readyin' de warriors. He ask me to tell ya to meet with him an' Vanira on de island to de east. From dere, he and de warriors will launch de attack on Zalazane. May de ancestors go wit' you, . Without ya, dis campaign would only be a shadow of what it become. Speak to Handler Marnlek, just to de south, an' he give you a bat to fly out to de stagin' area.

Quest - Zalazane's Fall
Objective - Help Vol'jin take back the Echo Isles and kill Zalazane.
Additional Notes - Rewards a Darkspear Overcloak and most likely an achievement, just like the gnome version.
Description
De time for battle is now! We'd be headin' ova to da islands soon, so you'd betta be ready. Zalazane doesn't have much time left.

Twilight's Cult - Horde / Alliance Questline


Quest - Prophecies of Doom / Prophecies of Doom
Objective - Listen to a speech given by a Doomsayer in the Drag and obtain copies of the pamphlets "Elemental Fire for the Soul", "What Does 'The End of All Things' Mean for Me?", and "Finding Security and Comfort in a Doomed World".
Description
Harbingers of doom are nothing new on the streets of Orgrimmar, but I'm worried about this latest batch. These people are organized and they've attracted a lot of attention in the Drag, where they seem to congregate. I've thought about rounding them up or otherwise disrupting their activities, but that will just drive them underground. We need to find out more about them. Would you go to the Drag, listen to what these doomsayers are spreading, and gather any literature you can find about their ideas?

Quest - Signs of the Times / Signs of the Times
Objective - Setup 5 Warning Posters around the Valley of Strength, the Drag, or the Valley of Honor.
Description
We've got to do something to reduce interest in this doomsday cult, but I'm hesitant to take much action until we know more about who is behind this group. I've had my men place markers around heavily traveled areas in Orgrimmar. Take these posters and set them up where you see the markers. They won't discourage the most determined of seekers, but it's a first step in exposing this cult. The Horde has enough to deal with as it is, without people wilfully spreading lies too.

Quest - Infiltrating the Cult / Infiltrating the Cult
Objective - Speak to a Doomsayer Orgrimmar's Drag to join the cult, then put on your Recruit's Robe.
Description
The streets of Orgrimmar are wild with rumors about the cult's origins and practices. There's only one way to know the truth about this group, . You're going to join them. Approach one of the Doomsayers in the Drag and tell them you wish to join their group. With any luck, they will give you instructions to introduce yourself to one of the group's leaders and tell you where the group is hiding. Don any clothing given to you by the doomsayer; you'll need it to gain entry to the group's hideout.

Quest - Spreading the Word / Spreading the Word
Objective - While wearing your Doomsday Message, visit the East Zeppelin Tower, the West Zeppelin Tower, and the town square of Razor Hill.
Description
Welcome to the farm, . Everyone here works to earn keep. For some, that means caring for the animals. Others are responsible for working on our construction projects. Still others work to spread our message among the people and I think that's a good place for you to start. Take this board. It bears a short message about our beliefs. While wearing the board, visit the eastern and western zeppelin towers outside Orgrimmar's gates, as well as the town square of Razor Hill, to the south.

Quest - The Master's Plan / The Master's Plan
Objective - Learn more about the cult's plans at the altar in the eastern part of the Jaggedswine Farm.
Description
You're fitting in well here, , but there is more to us than daily chores and spreading the message. I'm sure you heard a little bit about it when you first joined. As you know, this world is ending and the unprepared will die painful deaths. We have been given a gift, an opportunity to become something greater and more powerful. Overseer Golbaz is will be preparing a ritual before the altar at the eastern end of the farm. Wait there for him, and learn more of your new brothers and sisters.

Quest - The Doomsday Plan / The Doomsday Plan
Objective - Take the Elemental Devices to Blood Guard Torek in Orgrimmar's Valley of Strength.
Description
The first batch of elemental devices are ready. Your task will be to conceal them inside the city of Orgrimmar. The devices will unleash their fire elementals at the proper time. Don't worry, , you'll be safely away before that happens. Do not do anything that would draw attention to yourself.

Quest - Thwarting Twilight's Hammer / Thwarting Twilight's Hammer
Objective - Break Elemental Devices to release their elementals. You must defeat 5 Raging Fire Elementals.
Description
You can't have been the only person sent into Orgrimmar to deploy those devices containing fire elementals. We have to find and disable the rest of the devices before set their captive elementals free and burn down the city. Are you familiar enough with the devices to destroy them? You need to break them open before the fire elementals inside have had time to reach full strength. They should be easy to defeat if you open the devices early. The cultists have probably put them all over the city.

Quest - Warn King Wrynn / Warn the Warchief
Objective - Speak with Thrall at Grommash Hold in Orgrimmar's Valley of Wisdom.
Description
You have successfully defended Orgrimmar from the threat posed by this Twilight's Hammer cult, , and without shedding the blood of our own people. Our enemy will not rest for long. I cannot imagine that Cho'Gall will accept defeat so easily. You must take word to Thrall. Go to the Valley of Wisdom and speak to him in Grommash Hold. Tell the warchief that our enemies have shown themselves and we must be prepared for their return.


Models
A couple of models related to the Twilight's Cult questline have also been added to the files.




High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque: The Liberation of Gnomeregan
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/3p9/gnomeregan.xml]Gelbin Mekkatorque is known as much for his technical brilliance as he is for his just leadership of the gnomes. In addition to being elected high tinker, the most prominent rank in gnomish society, Gelbin proved himself to be an inventor without equal by leading the construction of the Deeprun Tram, which links Stormwind and Ironforge. Yet all of the high tinker's achievements have been overshadowed by one catastrophic event that occurred under his rule: the fall of Gnomeregan.

Around the time of the Third War, an ancient menace known as the troggs surfaced in Gnomeregan from the depths of Azeroth. This barbaric race, thought to have been unintentionally released during the Uldaman excavation, crushed the gnomes' defenses and became entrenched in the lower sections of the city. Gelbin, for all his genius, was at a loss for a way to eradicate the savage invaders until his chief advisor, Mekgineer Sicco Thermaplugg, proposed that they inundate Gnomeregan with toxic radiation.

Confident in Thermaplugg's radical plan, Mekkatorque gave the order to irradiate the city. This bold move worked at first: toxic radiation spread throughout Gnomeregan and momentarily stopped the troggs' incursion. Soon, however, it was evident that the radiation was killing gnomes as well as troggs. In the end, nearly eighty percent of the gnomish race died, and many of those who survived were mutated into deranged leper gnomes. To add to the tragedy, the troggs then resumed their assault on the city.

Mekkatorque and the healthy survivors evacuated Gnomeregan and were taken in by the dwarves of neighboring Ironforge, but Thermaplugg disappeared. The high tinker later learned troubling news that his former advisor had seized control of the toxic gnomish city and instated himself as its twisted overlord. Much to Mekkatorque's shock, he also discovered that Thermaplugg had secretly desired the office of high tinker and might have been previously aware of or even complicit in the trogg invasion.

The immense loss of life at Gnomeregan weighed heavy on Mekkatorque's shoulders, and in his fury he ordered the death of Thermaplugg. A band of heroes took up the mission and returned with a tale of victory, but after analyzing the claim, Mekkatorque realized that the mechanized overlord defeated in the depths of the city was likely nothing more than a cleverly engineered facsimile of Thermaplugg.

Aware that defeating his nemesis would require a more robust approach, Mekkatorque labored over strategies to retake his city. His tireless brainstorming recently paid off with Operation: Gnomeregan, a brilliant multi-phased assault plan to liberate the gnomish capital and bring the real Thermaplugg to justice. With the operation set to begin, resourceful gnomes such as "Doc" Cogspin, Captain Tread Sparknozzle, and Drill Sergeant Steamcrank have been overseeing preparations and fine-tuning new technology that will be vital to the offensive.

Meanwhile, Mekkatorque has begun rounding up all able-bodied gnomes to join in the attack, and his call to arms has also been heard by other members of the Alliance. The gnomes' techno-savvy has been vital in past conflicts, and many Alliance heroes are likely to join the offensive to recapture the extraordinary inventions within the fallen city. For Mekkatorque, however, his plan goes beyond just reacquiring lost technology. The retaking of Gnomeregan will determine his legacy in history, either as the high tinker who lost the gnomes' beloved capital, or the one who reestablished it as the center of innovation on Azeroth.

Operation: Gnomeregan is now. [/blizzquote]



Vol'jin: The Glory of the Darkspears
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/3p9/echoisles.xml]Most of Azeroth's savage trolls are infamous for their extreme hatred of other races, but the Darkspear tribe and its leader, Vol'jin, are an exception. Over the years, the Darkspears have proven to be invaluable members of the Horde. Vol'jin in particular is known to offer strategic advice to Warchief Thrall on a regular basis, and the cunning troll played a role in retaking the Undercity after it was overthrown by the rebel forces of Varimathras and Putress.

Yet for all of the tribe's accomplishments, the Darkspears are still plagued by a tragic history of exile. Long ago they were driven from Stranglethorn Vale's mainland by the more powerful trolls of the Gurubashi empire and then settled on a remote island. The Darkspears later sought refuge with the Horde when their isle was destroyed by a mysterious sea witch, and Thrall granted the trolls new lands on the Echo Isles off the coast of Durotar. Aside from a brief exodus when Daelin Proudmoore's fleet arrived to hunt down orcs, the Darkspears enjoyed relative stability until one of their own, Zalazane, drove his brethren from their latest home.

The witch doctor Zalazane had been one of the tribe's leading mystical instructors when he was inexplicably driven to insanity by the powers under his control. Utilizing dark magic, he enslaved many of his fellow tribespeople and amassed an army of mindless Darkspear trolls. Fearing that all of his tribe would come under Zalazane's sway, Vol'jin ordered the remaining free Darkspears to abandon the Echo Isles.

Vol'jin's Darkspears settled in nearby Sen'jin Village, which they have since used as a staging point to attack Zalazane. Over the years, members of the Horde looking to test their worth have braved the Echo Isles to confront Zalazane, and many of them even returned victorious with his severed head. These victories, however, proved to be nothing more than an illusion created by the twisted witch doctor's dark magic. Days after these trophies were taken to Sen'jin Village, they reverted to their true forms: painted rocks and coconuts adorned with wooden tusks, or even the heads of Zalazane's enslaved trolls.

Despite these setbacks and his preoccupation with advising Thrall on Horde-related matters, Vol'jin has spent considerable time formulating a strategy to recapture the Echo Isles. Now he believes that the time to strike at Zalazane has come. As the Darkspear leader and his close allies Vanira and Champion Uru'zin await approval of their plan from the ancestral spirits, they have begun rounding up new troll recruits and staging reconnaissance missions to learn about Zalazane's minions.

Yet Vol'jin's trolls are short on forces, and the enslaved Darkspears on the Echo Isles outnumber them. The Darkspears are well-known for being among Azeroth's bravest combatants, however, and fortunately many non-trolls have expressed interest in assisting Vol'jin, perhaps hoping that restoring the Echo Isles will eventually bolster the Horde's strength.

Vol'jin is also aware of the strategic importance that a Darkspear homeland offers his allies, but he is motivated by more personal reasons. Zalazane's betrayal was an affront against Vol'jin's dream of a better life for his tribe, a destiny that his late father, Sen'jin, envisioned years ago. Only by retaking the Echo Isles will Vol'jin be able to honor his father and at long last secure a permanent homeland for the long-exiled Darkspear tribe. [/blizzquote]

by Published on 2009-09-28 09:15 AM

Vanish Fix in Patch 3.3?
[blizzquote author=Ghostcrawler source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/28/20136596247-fix-vanish-no-more-excuses-gc.html]We have a change for Vanish in place for 3.3. You will get to try it out soon (tm). As promised, if it proves a significant buff to rogues, we may have to compensate elsewhere. Just because it hasn't worked as intended doesn't mean it will be balanced when it does. [/blizzquote]


Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #207 and Teh Gladiators #93 are out.



Auction House Guide - Introduction and Enchanting
The last time I posted something that looked like a guide on this site was ... a long time ago. People who know me are aware that a huge part of my activity when I started playing World of Warcraft (or any other MMO actually) was trading and it definitely was something really enjoyable during the early days of the game.

I eventually stopped trading after reaching something like 15 000 gold (and that was a lot of money back in the days) because I realized that gold wasn't really useful ... I never really had to farm again because I'm not a big spender. A few months ago I started playing again and decided to level all classes to 80 (mostly to make my life easier on the site) and eventually realized that I would have to find 40 000 gold to buy an epic flying mount on all these new chars. This is where I stopped leveling and started to go back to the Auction House ... 4 years after my last sale.

I apologize for the wall of text, if you want a good reason to keep reading I will just say that I made 125 000 gold in 7 weeks just by doing that. (and probably have an extra 25 or 50 000 gold in reagents sitting in my bank)


Addons
You will need addons and there is NO WAY you can survive without them. People who know how to use them will make tons of money, all the others will just wonder why people undercut them so fast. (This is probably the most unfair use of addons in this game in my opinion, but that's just my opinion)

  • The first one you will have to download is obviously Auctioneer, just download the latest release version and install it.
  • The second one isn't very popular yet but is VERY powerful if you know how to use it : Quick Auctions 2.

Just make sure both addons are installed if you want to follow this guide.


Risk-free investments
If you're not comfortable with massive AH trading, there are a few ways to make gold out of the AH without any risk. The best examples are Borean Leather and Cobalt Ore.

Borean Leather is kinda hard to sell on most servers and can go as low as 30S or 25S on some of them .... That's pretty awesome when you realize that a Nerubian Chestguard takes 12 Borean Leather and sells for 5G 29S to the NPCs .... Yes, that's 44S for each unit of leather. If you buy 25 stacks of Borean Leather for 5G each, you will get 95G just to buy them, go AFK while you craft 41 Nerubian Chestguard, come back to sell them at the closest NPC.

You can do the exact same thing with Cobalt Ore and Cobalt Bar, a Cobalt Triangle Shield takes 4 bars and sells for 5G54S, that's 1G38S for each bar. In some occasions Cobalt will sell for 1G/unit at the AH and buying 15 stacks at this price will get you 114G just to craft a few shields.

If you are really lazy, you can just use Auctioneer to automatically scan for items listed below their NPC price to buy them from the AH just to sell them to the closest NPC.

  • Push the arrow at the top of the AH Panel to scan the whole Auction House, it shouldn't take more than a few seconds and it will let you download the data of ALL the items at the Auction House.
  • When the scan is complete go to the Search tab at the bottom of the Panel and go to Searchers > Vendor.
  • Set a value in Minimum Profit (like 10s), checking "Allow Bids" will let you bid on any auction that could yield a profit when it ends and "Allow Buyout" will only scan for profit based on the buyout (if you really want instant cash)
  • Just click Purchase at the bottom of the screen (Holding CTRL + Alt + Shift when you click it will let you purchase all the items at once) and wait for the end of the auctions to grab your items and sell them at the closest NPC

Just keep in mind that it definitely isn't as profitable as Cobalt or Borean Leather. You will probably do it for a few days because it's fun and eventually realize that the profits are really low because everyone with Auctioneer does it.


Buying items
Now that you know what to buy and how much you want to spend, you need a way to do that automatically .... and this is where Auctioneer becomes really useful.

  • Run another full scan by clicking the double arrow at the top of the AH panel
  • Go to the Search tab and Searchers > Snatch

The Snatch function of auctioneer lets you build a shopping list of all the items you want to buy and the maximum price you want to spend on them. To add an item just :

  • Drag and drop it in the frame
  • Set a price for this item, check "Allow bids" if you want to buy stuff without buyout (Note: I don't do that) and "Allow buyouts" if you just want instant items. (That's the option I use)
  • Push "Search" at the bottom left of the panel

Auctioneer will automatically list all the items available at this price at the AH, you can just select one and click purchase or just Ctrl + Alt + Shift click Purchase to buy all the results (and this is what you will do most of the time if you have a decent Snatch list)


It shouldn't take more than a minute or two (scan included) to empty the AH of all the cheap Cobalt / Leather / Eternal Earths etc ...

Enchanting (and disenchanting)
Enchanting is a good way to make money, most players do that by sitting in the Trade channel to find people who needs enchants and try to get a few golds for clicking a button but your best bet to make money is ... disenchanting.

People do not really need gold in WotLK and the AH is full of opportunities for people who want to make a nice profit just by disenchanting stuff, having access to a Jewelcrafter / Blacksmith / Leatherworker will make your life much easier for that.

The goal here is to buy cheap materials from the AH, craft them into items to make a profit by disenchanting and selling the dusts/essences/shards, I'll split them into three categories:


The most profitable professions to craft these items are :

Blacksmithing
Disenchant from Blacksmithing mostly uses Cobalt Ore, that's a good thing because it's also something you can buy without any risk depending on your server. When you have enough cobalt you can craft :

  • Horned Cobalt Helm and shouldn't cost you more than 10 or 12G in mats, 10G profit.
  • Notched Cobalt War Axe is also a high level essence/dust item but is a weapon and gives one or two Greater Cosmic Essence 75% of the time instead of dusts. This is very important because if you also disenchant items from other professions you will usually run out of essences before you run out of dusts. 10G Profit as well.
  • Deadly Saronite Dirk is also interesting now that the price of Saronite has dropped. If saronite sells for 65S/ore on your server it shouldn't cost you more than 10G to craft this dagger, if Dream Shards are enough it's another 10G profit for each dagger you disenchant.

Leatherworking
Borean Leather is also a risk-free material depending on how low it is on your server and let you craft a few more items to disenchant.

  • Arctic Boots is a low-level Dust/Essence item and its crafting cost should be around 2G50S or 3G ... disenchants into 6 or 7G of materials.
  • Dark Iceborne Leggings requires 24 Borean Leather and 5 Crystallized Shadow. Most of the time it won't cost you more than 10 or 12G to craft this item, another 10G profit each time you create an item.

Jewelcrafting
Oooooh Jewelcrafting ... What would I do without you. First you will need a LOT of Eternal Earth and Eternal Shadow, then you can buy all the Bloodstone, Chalcedony, Sun Crystal and Huge Citrine from the AH below 1G or 1G50S depending on your economy.


And we're done with disenchanting! There are a few other items worth disenchanting but the ones I listed above are what I used to make money. You can easily figure out a few more ways to make money out of disenchanting by yourself at this point anyway.

If you end up crafting a lot of items, you might want to use this macro to disenchant all these items just by pushing one button :

/cast Disenchant
/use Bloodstone Band
/use Crystal Chalcedony Amulet
/use Sun Rock Ring
/use Crystal Citrine Necklace
/use Shadowmight Ring
/use Dark Iceborne Leggings
/use Arctic Boots
/use Notched Cobalt War Axe
/use Horned Cobalt Helm

At this point, you can either sell the reagents at the AH or .... make even more profit out of them by selling enchants!

Selling Enchantments
Selling reagents directly at the AH isn't a very good idea if you start disenchanting a lot of items because you will eventually crash the prices if you try to sell everything you have. Crafting Scroll of Enchantment is a nice way to get rid of your reagents fast and make an extra profit if you're lucky.

There is just one simple rule to make sure you don't waste your time, never sell your scrolls for less than the reagents cost, even if it's a way to get rid of them faster the goal here is to make more money, not less.

This is where you will first use Quick Auctions. This addon will automatically scan the AH and post / cancel your items based on the criteria you set for each one of them, you can also set criterias for multiple items at once but you won't do it for the Scrolls of Enchant.

First, type "/qa config" and go to General to set a few settings for ALL items, my config is :

  • Undercut by: 10s
  • Treshold Price: 9999g (This is only here to make sure that I don't lose money if I forget to set a price on something). The treshold price is the minimum price required to post an item.
  • Fallback Price: 9999g (Same). The fallback price is the price the addon will use to post the item if you are the only one selling it at the AH.
  • Fallback After: 500% (Same)
  • Bid Percent: 100% (I don't really like the idea of having a much lower bid than a lower buyout, I just keep that to 100%)
  • Post Cap: 3 (Don't flood the market)
  • Items per Auction: 1
  • Post Time: 48 hours

Now move to the Item groups sub-menu and create a new group for one of the scroll you want to sell, like the one for Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats.

  • Create a new group called "SoE - Chest - Powerful Stats" in the Item groups sub-menu and click the newly created group on your left.
  • Change the Treshold price to the materials price of the enchantment, in this case 4 x Dream Shard (20G each) and Abyss Crystal (50G each) will set your treshold to 280G.
  • Change the Fallback price to 2 x materials price, a 100% margin might seem huge but it works most of the time.
  • Click the "Add item" tab and click the Scroll in the list to add it to the items affected by these settings


That's it, everytime you click "Post" at the Auction House the mod will automatically scan this item, check if the lowest price is above your treshold, and automatically list it if it's the case. If nobody sells this item the addon will just post it at your fallback price.

The problem with scroll of enchantments is simple, they all have different reagents requirements and you will have to create an item group for each scroll. It will take one hour of your life and depending on how fast the economy evolves on your server you might have to modify the prices every now and then but that's something I never did in 2 months.

Calculating the reagent cost of each item will take a little more time .... But I'll be nice and share the spreadsheet I use with you, just change the reagents cost on the right and print the new prices before you go back in game to create all your groups.

You can download the .xls (Excel) Spreadsheet. (If you don't have Excel, OpenOffice will open it without any problem)


You will end up with 60 or 70 groups depending on how many enchants you sell, just keep the scrolls in your inventory and go to the AH.

  • Go to the Auctions tab and click "post" at the top of the panel.
  • The addon will scan the auction for all the items that match an item group in your inventory ...
  • After scanning, it will automatically split the stacked items in your inventory and list all of them.


Here you go, all your auctions are posted and the money will start flowing in your mailbox in a few hours! You can also create an item group to sell reagents at the same time if you want to get rid of them even faster.

After a few hours, go back to the auction house and push the "Cancel" button at the top of the panel, it will scan all your auctions to check if someone undercuts you. When it's the case, Quick Auctions will automatically cancel the auctions, just run to the nearest mailbox and get your items back before relisting with the "Post" button. Pushing 2 buttons is all it takes.


When you will have enough money, I suggest that you just keep 5 scrolls of each enchant at all time and restock every few days depending on how fast you sell them. Of course it doesnt apply to weapon enchantment, you shouldn't have more than one of them because immobilizing a lot of money is always a bad idea.

And I think we're done with Enchanting ... The original plan was to also write something about Inscription but I think I'll wait a few more days before throwing another wall of text at you. See you next week?
by Published on 2009-08-14 11:38 PM

None of the information below has been officialy announced by Blizzard, this is only a compilation of information gathered from reliable sources. Just keep in mind that it takes a LOT to make me post something on the front page and I'm definitely not speculating here.

Other sites started it, I'll try to finish it. Think twice before you read this post, we have a lot of spoilers here.

Most of this stuff will be announced at the Blizzcon anyway, if you didn't take the time to order the live stream you might want to consider doing it. We will probably see a lot of interesting things here.
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/1/18031196828-blizzcon-2009-live-stream-orders-open.html]This year, for the first time, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a live Internet stream of BlizzCon coverage from the comfort of your own home. The stream includes the same content as the DIRECTV pay-per-view event, but you do not have to be a DIRECTV subscriber to purchase it. It consists of over 16 hours of video, including interviews and commentary, main stage presentations, and tournament coverage. It’s now available to order for $39.95, and purchasers will also receive the BlizzCon 2009-exclusive in-game pet, Grunty the Murloc Marine (not available in all regions). Head over to the BlizzCon 2009 Live Stream website to get more information, to test video playback on your system, or to place an order.

http://blizzcon.rayv.com/[/blizzquote]

Forums - The WoW Cataclysm General Discussions forum is now available.

Update - Another update from the Something Awful forums has been confirmed and is now integrated to the post. (The original quote was removed by the author's request on SA)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Dark and forgotten threats that have long stayed out of sight have finally arrived on our shores, unleashing a cataclysmic event upon Azeroth and now preparing more nefarius plans to take it back.

Level Cap
The level cap in the next expansion will be slightly lower than expected this time around; 85.

This suggests Blizzard wants more room for expansions before hitting the level 100 cap. With less leveling to do (along with the revamped leveling listed below likely to increase the speed and ease of leveling), leveling a new race remains appealing for new and existing players alike.

Leveling from 80-85 should be a much bigger deal, the idea is to make sure that gaining a level really means something and doesn't make you feel like you just have 4 more levels to go.

New Classes
Cataclysm doesn't introduce any new classes to the game. Instead, Blizzard have offered more race and classes combinations to players. The Some of these have alreadly been datamined from the 3.2.2 Test Realms. The An Injured Colleague quest and it's new Night Elf counter-part help to introduce the lore for these new race and class combinations, so we can probably expect to see more of these for some of the less traditional ones.



New Races
The events of the cataclysm has caused two new races to seek new allies. The Goblins for the Horde and the Worgen for the Alliance.

Goblins
Deathwing once again sought the services of the goblins, as slaves. Unable to refuse such an offer, the goblins were enslaved by him. A large group have resisted however. With their previous homes devastated by the cataclysm, they escaping to an island off the coast of The Barrens. As they strive to recover, they come across an Orc captured on an Alliance ship and rescue him. The Orc turns out to be none other than Thrall himself, and in return offers the Goblins a place within the Horde. These events are carried out in a quest line, allowing players to experience first-hand the reasons behind the Goblins' shift from neutrality.

Worgen
The cataclysm has cracked open the Greymane Wall, finally revealing what has happened to the kingdom of Gilneas and its citizens. With the Worgen curse taken hold, they have found a partial cure, allowing thme to retain their Human minds even when transformed. Venturing forth from Gilneas and seeking help from the Alliance, they have decided to join them, to combat the new threats of Cataclysm.

Gilneas will make extensive use of the phasing system (much like the Death Knight starting area), to show what happened while the kingdom was cut off from the rest of the world and lead up to present day.

Worgens will have two forms, a Worgen form and a Human form. Players will be able to customise the look of both forms.

New Content
Cataclysm will be the first expansion not to introduce a new continent, instead making use of previously unreleased zones and revamping existing ones.

Classic Azeroth Revamp
A cataclysmic event caused by Deathwing and Azshara will change the face of Azeroth as we know it. Most of the new content for Cataclysm will take the form of a revamped Azeroth, taking advantage of newer additions to WoW such as phasing and daily quests. Most of the quests and mobs in the classic zones will also be redesigned to make leveling less painful. With the revamp, a greater narritive and sense progression will be offered to players. Some zones and dungeons will change drastically to fit this, e.g.,

  • The Barrens will be split into two separate zones of two different level bands.
  • Azshara will become a low level (~10-20) zone.
  • Some of the zones like the Thousand Needles will be flooded.
  • Durotar is wrecked and apparently Orgrimmar could be destroyed. A new Orc city is rebuilt over the course of the expansion.
  • Gnomeregan will be part of the expansion as well and gnomes might be able to reclaim their capital. (The last part is still unconfirmed)
  • Wailing Caverns will be become a lush tropical area as a result of the druid's magic.
  • The Blackrock Spire will erupt and a new version of Blackrock Mountains will be available, apparently Ragnaros will be back too.

In the aftermath of the cataclysm, and the new conflicts on the horizon relief efforts can be found in many zones and new open PvP areas similar to Lake Wintergrasp.

Flying in Azeroth
Part of the redesign of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor is the introduction of flying to the two continents, allowing access to many new areas and quicker travelling across the large continents.

Classic Dungeon Revamp
Redesigning Onyxia's Lair in Patch 3.2.2 was just the first step. As most of the leveling will take place in revamped areas of Azeroth, so too will the dungeons, allowing players to use them to level from 80 to 85.

Unreleased Zones & Dungeons
With the addition of flying mounts to Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms and the redesign of many zones, most of the previously unreachable or incomplete zones will now be made available to players. This is where most of the new content from 80 to 85 will take place. Some of these are,

  • Hyjal (present)
  • Gilneas - The Worgen starting Zone.
  • Uldum

It is unclear if the old Goblin locations such as Kezan and Undermine will be included in Cataclyms with the revelation of the goblins' plight, but several new islands have also been risen from the seas by the events of Cataclysm, some on the backs of giant sea turtles and whales, with the addition of several underwater zones.

[b]Characters and Events

Deathwing
Deathwing the Destroyer / Neltharion the Earth-Warder will play a major role in Cataclysm. Having been driven mad by Old God whisperings and turning against his own kind only to be fail in his attempts, Deathwing has sunk into the shadows. While the Horde and the Alliance were busy fighting back the Burning Legion only to then be beset with the Scourge, he has been lurking and moving things into place. After Lady Sinestra's failed attempts to create a Twilight Dragonflight, he again retreated to Grim Batol and succeeded where she failed. With his results seen in the Obsidian Sanctum, he has finally created the supreme Dragonflight he sought and plans to unleash it upon the world. But what of the Old Gods' sway over him?

Azshara
Queen Azshara will also play a major part in Cataclysm. Unknown to many mortal races, long forgotten by others, and believe to be dead by her own kind, she has not been dormant in depths of the Maelstrom. Having those around her transformed by the Old Gods into Naga after her failure in the War of the Ancients, she has become far more powerful and a greater threat than she once was. Not content with just Nazjatar and the depths of the sea, Azshara seeks to reclaim power and reign once again. With the true plan behind Lady Vashj's support of Illidan remaining a mystery we do not know what hand Azshara has yet played. The big question remains, is she now serving her "saviors", the Old Gods?

The Cataclysm
I'm still not sure who is the true end boss of Cataclysm is, but the cataclysm appears to have been caused by attempts to incantation to summon extremely powerful beings using an ancient incantation by Deathwing and Azshara. They're both very powerful, but the cataclysm itself suggests something more powerful is behind it, perhaps their shared past of Old God influence?

The Guardian of Tirisfal
Malfurion Stormrage will be returning to Azeroth to aid in the creation of the new Guardian of Tirisfal - Thrall! Med'an's role in these events is currently unknown.

The New (New) Horde
Thrall will hand over the leadership of the Horde to Garrosh Hellscream, while he serves as a coordinator for both the Horde and Alliance forces in and effort to combat the new threat of the Naga and Black Dragonflight. Without Thrall to keep Garrosh in check, he declares open war on the Alliance. In the political upheaval Cairne Bloodhoof is implicated as a traitor to the Horde and murdered by Garrosh. Cairne's son Baine takes over as the new Tauren chieftan. This could explain why Baine was removed from the game in Patch 3.2.2, you can find more information about this in Ahmo Thunderhorn - replacement for Baine Bloodhoof?

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