Update #3 - Just to make it clear, the NDA on the Alpha isn't lifted, you can still get your ass banned for posting that kind of stuff. Also, Blizzquote layout added now that it's official.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Press Tour
Earlier this week, general gaming sites and a couple of official fansites were invited to the Blizzard HQ for a press tour of Cataclysm. The NDA (on the press tour, don't get too excited) just lifted and a couple of information have been revealed.

This post will probably be updated multiple times during the night, so far this is what I gathered before the NDA lift:

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Path of the Titans is gone
The whole Path of the Titans idea has been removed from the game. It will no longer rely on Archeology or on any kind of PvE/PvP progression and instead Blizzard will just introduce a new type of glyphs: Medium Glyphs.

Medium Glyphs will add a "fun factor" to abilities, and it wouldn't be surprising to see something similar to the Fortification or Breakthrough glyphs first previewed during Blizzcon 2009. (But probably not these exact glyphs, a lot of stuff happened since last year)

Guild Talents are gone
The guild talents are gone and your guild now gets extra bonuses depending on its level. There are 25 levels and each level will automatically reward with more cool stuff. The leveling process remains unchanged and your guild will gain experience through PvP, Dungeon and Raid progression, questing, etc ...

Guild currency has also been removed and rewards will just be "unlocked" after you reach a specific level or complete a guild achievement. Once a reward is unlocked, members will be able to purchase it with gold. Some of the rewards include guild tabards, mounts, heirlooms, and it looks like you will finally be able to have a guild tabard on your mount. (Just like the Argent Tournament banners)

New members of a guild won't be able to buy everything directly, they will have to contribute to the progression of the guild before they can access the top rewards. Each time a player helps towards the leveling he will gain reputation with the guild, the best rewards will require players to be exalted with their guild before they can buy it.

Archeology will be less important
With the Path of the Titans gone, Archeology will become a "true" secondary profession and you won't really have to level it anymore. However it will still be used to let you get cosmetic/optional items, get more information on the game's lore, and ultimately it looks like we can expect rewards similar to fishing. (Nothing mandatory, but you'll be happy when you actually find something)

Information gathered from other sites:
  • You will find two types of items: Common Artifacts will give you more information on the lore of a race, and might be used in some kind of collection game. Rare items will give you usable items, most of them will be cosmetic but some of them will have actual effects. (Details on Wowhead)

Raids & Dungeons Split
Raid leaders will be able to split an ongoing 25-man raid into up to three 10-man raids. Those 10-man raids will be able to continue from that point on, with bosses already down.

So far it looks like it won't be possible to merge 10-man raids into 25-man raids, for obvious reasons.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • Raid IDs should be much more flexible. You will be able to join any raid as long as it doesn't have any bosses up that you have already killed. (Details on Wowhead)
  • There will be more Algalon-style encounters—ultra-hard optional bosses for hardcore players only. (Details on Wowhead)

Rated Battlegrounds
Rated battlegrounds will be available for pre-mades of 10, 15 and 25-player sizes. The amount of Conquest points rewarded will be capped so that players who enjoy both arenas and rated battlegrounds don't feel they have to prioritize one over the other.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • The classic Honor titles will be coming back and rewarded to the top teams each season. (Details on WoR)
  • The "Gladiator" equivalent teams will also receive epic ground mounts. Ground mounts because they want to reward something you can ride in the battleground and be proud of / show off. (Details on WoR)

Grim Batol Raid
The Grim Batol raid instance will be called the Bastion of Twilight, and you get to fight Cho'gall as the end boss! If you manage to defeat him in Heroic Mode, an "horrific secret will be revealed when he dies".

Information gathered from other sites:
  • This is an entry-level raid, just like Naxxramas in WotLK. (Details on Wowhead)
  • It will feature 5 bosses, and an Algalon-style optional and ultra-hard boss. (The "horrific" secret?) (Details on Wowhead)

Skywall Raid
As expected, Al'akir will be the end boss of the Skywall raid instance.

Information gathered from other sites:

Princess Therazane (yes, that's her) will be a questgiver in Deepholm, in a similar experience to the Sons of Hodir's questline in Storm Peaks.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • The Ogrim's Hammer has crashed in the zone and the Skybreaker is still in the air. One of the questline will require you to find out what happened. (Details on Wowhead)

Heroic Deadmines / Shadowfang Keep
Heroic versions of classic instances might not be ready for the release of Cataclysm and will be shipped in content patch instead.

Old world changes
There are a more details on old world changes, especially capital cities.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • Stormwind has been completely redesigned to accomodate flying mounts. The Park of Stormwind has been destroyed by Deathwing and the Dwarven District now hosts a Bank and an Auction House. (Details on Wowhead)
  • Orgrimmar has been redesigned as well: Garrosh is the new Warchief and is located in the center of Orgrimmar, not in the Valley of Wisdom. Goblins have their own area, the Valley of Wisdom becomes a Tauren district, and there is now a back gate leading directly into Azshara. (Details on Wowhead)

Miscellaneous Changes/Information
  • Wrath of the Lich King had 1000 Quests, Cataclysm has over 3000.
  • The current heirlooms will stop growing after level 80. There will be a whole new crop of heirlooms for Cataclysm. Goblins and Worgen will be able to start using heirlooms immediately at launch. (Details on Wowhead)
Cataclysm Zone Changes
A new video of zone changes in Cataclysm was released. Stole this one from Wowhead.

Cataclysm Screenshots
A few high resolution screenshots have been released. Courtesy of World of Raids.

This article was originally published in forum thread: World of Warcraft Cataclysm Press Tour started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 417 Comments
  1. RenHero's Avatar
    No Path of the Titans, "fun" "Medium" glyphs, no guild talents, Archaeology becoming less "useful" and more "fun", old heirlooms becoming obsolete, probably no heroic DM or SFK... It's like Blizzard is removing everything that made Cataclysm attractive to players who want more than being level capped.

    In reality, Activision probably heard that FF14 or SW:TOR was shipping soon and they wanted to release around the same time. Just goes to show that anyone who didn't believe that Activision changed the way Blizzard operates is probably in denial (though that was obvious after shiny horse.)
  1. Shadelol's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuma View Post
    I don't understand why they gave us a preview of guild talents and the Path of the Titans, when they weren't 100% sure this would go live with the release of Cataclysm.
    yes and the preview was very detailed.....
  1. Falconner's Avatar
    Path of the Titans was meant to be a way of personalizing your character further, instead of walking around being the same as every one else your class and spec. It was meant to make you feel more to your character, now its gone..

    I see that Guild Wars 2 is having a system just like Path of the Titans called "Traits" where you have to become more involved in your character's life, such as an Elementalist has to explore ancient tombs to discover ancient spells. I'm now looking forward to this more than I am to WoW even though it comes out this winter :/.
  1. Fool's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamsGaming View Post
    Yep this is just them basically saying, "So yeah we're gonna just not do some of the things we said we were gonna do so you guys can get the game quicker."

    I hope you QQers are happy, because you spammed the blizzard forums saying you want Cata faster, this is what you get.
    i also spammed how i hate pet shop and micro-transactions yet they didn't remove it
  1. verdamte's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shidaku View Post
    "only 5 new levels"? You don't know how long those levels will take. The number doesn't equal amount of time needed, so the number is completely arbitrary. How can there be a failure of switching out dull talents when it is still a work in progress? I doubt you could come up with a good amount of "fun" or "interesting" new talents anyway, because they would need many new which would likely lead to even more homogenization. .
    I dont buy this "its all numbers anyways" mantra. Fantasy RPG games is all about making those numbers( data) into a interesting illusion. A level is a Carrot on a Stick, a reward for doing stuff`. By cutting down the lvls but maintaining the time spent, you cut out 5 Carrots. Thats downplaying the whole concept of lvl`ing. Its fun to ding. You get talent points, new spells, acces to new gear and instances. If players are getting 2 talent points and twice te amount of abillitys in Cata, it would be a tie. That dosnt seem to be the case though.

    The fun and interesting talents could be found in abundence in either the suggestion forums or the first found 3rd addition AD&D Player handbook you google. I doubt the best of the best game designer (they all end up at Blizzard) would need any of that though.
    Typical fun talents are for me stuff like - Slow, Shadowstep, Heroic Leap, Natures Swift and suchs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shidaku View Post
    Path of the Titans would have only forced every single person to grind away with Archeology because nobody would want to group you with in any dungeon without having everything maxed out. Do you think it is bad today with the GS nonsense? It would be even worse with the addition of Path of the Titans and the forced grind on everyone..
    My hope was that we would have seen the fun and utillity kinda abillitys in Path. And that it would be a way to keep progressing your character over time instead of ending up with the usualy badge grind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shidaku View Post
    How does your character not evolve one bit when you are getting new abilities from level 80 to 85? I don't see how getting extra talents, albeit ones you may have seen before, is less about evolving your character. And you do get more damage because there are still talents which will boost that. Not every damage talent is being removed in favor of the Mastery.
    Im positive about the new spells. Its cool. But its still hard not to weigh it up against TBC and WOTLK, where you got those new abillitys ( Bloodlust/Heroism, Icelance, Savage Roar, Fan of Knives etc etc) On top of interesting talents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shidaku View Post
    Funny. So WoW is less of an RPG game with actual RPG-elements such as exploring? The way Archeology is going to be now is actually making it more of an RPG, not less.

    I wasn't happy about the removal of Path of the Titans either until I realized how much of a forced grind it would be. It may not be grindy because you would have gotten it for doing anything, but players would have made it completely mandatory to do the easiest of tasks in the game as they already do with the GS-requirement. It is rather looney to act as if the removal of that feature makes Cataclysm all of the sudden not worth it or just a patch. They are adding 3 times as many quests to this expansion than the current one. People may not care about quests but those are actual the staple of what makes this an RPG. When you feel the removal of Path of the Titans is so bad which makes this expansion too much like TBC or Wrath I really wonder why people have continued to play this game for so long when they seem to in fact hate/loathe the current features of the game. If you really want something completely different, you may want to look into a completely new game instead of thinking expansions should significantly alter the game.
    Exploring is fine. I like Adventure games - even though they tend to bore me in the length. Adding a RPG element to a Adventure game can seriously spice it up. Removing the RPG element from a RPG game ( or tone it down)might risk doing the opposite.
    The promised concept of the Path was that it *wouldnt* be a grind. It would open up step by step.

    A zillion quest is fine if you can use them to progress through. But if you cut out character progress, quest are only really rewarding gold/rep/achivements.
    And let me be clear - is not the removal of the Path alone which make me disapointed. Its the direction this expansion have taken - we have been around more then just Path in this post alone. Everything is "less" and apperantly more about streamlining then adding.
    Offcourse i could allso just throw in the towel and play something else. But i kinda like Wow, and i really, really hope Cataclysm will be worth playing. I guess thats why alot of ppl would like to se a reassuring from the devs that Cataclysm indeed will ship with alot of really interesting features.
  1. Manchaku's Avatar
    goblins+island = howitzer gun??

    and no more PotT

    but i guess the guild thing seems better
  1. RumlyD's Avatar
    After digesting this news, I think it should be pretty obvious that this is more of a refinement of the original concepts. They are taking what was good about those features and keeping them in the game, while removing the downsides.

    As others have pointed out I think having to rely on Archaeology to slowly unlock what ultimately amounts to an expanded glyph system, was not the way to go. Also it was going to really be a barrier to playing alts. They can really make the glyph system quite a lot better this way I think, without having it depend on an extra mechanic that ties into a secondary prof. The more I think about that, the more I realize this seems like a much better implementation than what was originally planned. I'm interested to see what kind of stuff the medium glyphs will offer, I suppose a lot of cosmetic or convenience things that should give people chance to individualize their char? Sounds good.

    As for guild talents; I guess they just realized that there was going to be always be one ideal spec, and also that it could hamper guilds that want to do pvp and pve. This way we get (one can assume) most of the perks they had planned without having to choose between them. As someone else said, talent trees are a very individual thing and probably weren't going to translate too well to a guild setting.

    Now if these changes also mean they are able to finish work on the expansion faster, then I guess that's a nice bonus but I would doubt if that was the main driving factor behind the decision. That just doesn't seem to be Blizz's style. They will always do what they believe to be best for the game they are making, before panicking about release dates (in my opinion).
  1. Radux's Avatar
    A little bit of a letdown in terms of Path of the Titans being removed and a lesser extent of Guild talents.

    However, I'm super excited at the amount of new quests being added, as well as many of the other changes.
  1. GrieverXIII's Avatar
    Sky is falling.
  1. Kekbur's Avatar
    I accidentally the Cataclysm.
  1. Mjollnir's Avatar
    The BG changes have gotten me interested to BG again =D Gonna be like Vanilla times.

    (Arena > BG still, takes more quick thinking)
  1. AnotherPaladin's Avatar
    Yikes. Seems like they just removed some of the most interesting things in Cataclysm. I hope goblins aren't next.
  1. tankbug's Avatar
    Im dreaming of a blue post that says:

    New hero class!
    New primary profession!
    New (interesting) horde race!

    What I'm expecting:

    Masteries have been deemed too complex to balance and have been taken out of the game.
    Blizzard proudly introduces Mini-Arthas. This ingame pet will be available at the Blizzard online store shortly.
  1. Rumplegrump's Avatar
    am dissapointed about those 2 changes not being implemented, but i won't say anything until i see more of whats in store for these new proposed changes in detail.

    but that still ain't gonna stop me buying cata. Finally, I can ditch my blueberry squidgoat and become the vertically-challenged thundergod dwarfkind has been always destined to be, and gonna hurl them bolts on top of a manbearpig...or whatever mutant the worgen are going to get as a mount.
  1. Dexiefy's Avatar
    gr8, so we will see the horrific secret of ahn'qiraj being only a setback
    and blizz already plans to kill rated bg's by making them premade only? Main reason for 5man arena being so unpopular is because its hard to gather 5 ppl at the same time... let alone 10 15 or 25 ~~
  1. Vanhelsen's Avatar
    No Path in cata? Ok, Mid-glyphs look better for me, and whole solution with glyphs is awesome but they drop guild talents too? Oh c'mon! It was one of the best things in cata for me! Ability to customize your guild etc :/ But rep with your own guild? OMGWTFBBQ?!
  1. Ganimah's Avatar
    This confirms for me that I will not be picking up Cataclysm. All of the things that make the game new and different are now. As well...Grim Batol being the "Noobs R Us" Naxxramas equivalent? No thanks Blizz. I'm not returning.
  1. Gilian's Avatar
    More of the same. No thanks.

    They don't even give a reason for dropping those ideas that they announced a long time ago. Or did I miss something?
  1. Underpanties's Avatar
    LOVE this.
  1. Seifa's Avatar
    Meh, they just removed two customization tools that could make your character/guild a little different. I hope they work on cool "Medium" Glyphs instead of the boring Minor and Major (hi no reagent, more damage, less mana and so on).
    Guild talents was a cool idea, i loved lvling a Guild in Ragnarok Online to unlock Guild Abilities but as Blizzy stated we will just level up the guild and unlock the whole guild arsenal just by grinding.... sound fun? No.

    I have this sensation these changes are because those two features were overcomplicated for... guess who? Baddies. Skilling a profession to gather reagents for Path of Titans was so hardcore and needed some web information that would be too hard for those players! And choosing guild talents? Oh god, better not!
    Meh, i hope i'm over negative...

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