Early happy new year! Don't do anything stupid tonight and see you in 2010!
Cataclysm - Archaeology
Today is a small recap of Cataclysm professions features!
[blizzquote="Wryxian;http://blue.mmo-champion.com/1/10543537977-blizzcon-09-classes-items-and-professions.html]Archaeology is the new secondary profession that will be joining the ranks of cooking, fishing, and first aid in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Archaeology allows the player to unlock new abilities and rewards by discovering ancient treasures throughout the world. Each archaeologist uses the profession to uncover clues hidden in the world around them, such as troll relics or map fragments, and decipher their meaning, enabling the clever archaeologist to manipulate pieces of the past, learning the location of a treasure cache or valuable artifact. Such artifacts are highly sought after by the Archaeology Society, and they pay in gold and items for their return. Those who have mastered archaeology can find Titan artifacts, earning special currency used to unlock character paths and allowing the player to further customize their character.[/blizzquote"]
Archaeology provides the Ancient Glyphs used by the Path of the Titans and looks like a mix of tradeskills, gathering professions, and quests. Any character will be able to train it and people with an existing gathering profession will have the possibility to track both things at the same time.
The artifacts you find are placed in your Archaeology journal, allowing you to study it to unlock rewards. According to the screenshot of the interface you will have to complete mini-quest to eventually get a reward. (In this case, the Black Market value of the axe is 30G)
The most interesting aspect of the profession remains the Ancient Glyphs and it seems that all characters will have to train it if they want to access all the new skills.
Cataclysm - Reforging
Reforging is an interesting addition to the existing tradeskills: Blacksmith / Leatherworker / Tailor / Jewelcrafter / Engineer. Each profession will have the possibility to modify your items to slightly modify their stats and replace them with new ones. Each profession get to reforge a type of items: cloth armor for tailors, leather for Leatherworkers, etc ...
For example, a Blacksmith should be able to reforge your staff to reduce the Spirit bonus to add Intellect instead (= more spell power in Cataclysm, see the stats changes). Of course restrictions will apply and you can't create a +500 intellect breastplate just by removing all the other stats, the goal of this profession is to make items potentially interesting for more classes and reduce the amount of disenchanted items.
Cataclysm - New Water Engine
Cataclysm will improve the graphic engine of World of Warcraft once again and add a handful of new effects. The most noticeable change is the new water engine and with the Cataclysm flooding a lot of zones of Azeroth, you will probably have a lot of occasions to experience it. Below are a few screenshots if you missed them.
Addon Review - NPCScan
NPCScan is one of the add-on that will make you feel guilty when you start using it (think of the first day you started using Quick Auctions)
This addon tracks all the rare monsters in the game and replace the old macros and random tricks used to find them. You do not have to do anything, just play the game and if any rare elite monsters appears next to you a sound and visual alert will be played to warn you. Of course it will make your life easier if you try to kill all the rare monsters in the game to complete your achievements, but it will also works if you're a hunter looking for a super-rare spirit beast.
The addon relies on your creaturecache.wdb file to work, you cannot "find" a monster again if you already found him once. To clear your cache just go to World of Warcraft\Cache\WDB\enUS (or enGB/deDE/esES/ruRU/frFR/etc... depending on your language) and delete the creaturecache.wdb file.
If you want to make it even more easier, NPCScan.Overlay will display the spawn points of all the rare NPCs on your map and minimaps.