Cataclysm Credits - Concept Arts and Tier 11
The concept arts included in the Cataclysm Credits have been added to the game files and a couple of interesting concept arts have been added, including the very first preview of Tier 11 Armor. Just keep in mind that they're early concepts, but it's better than nothing!

Tier 11 Hunter

Tier 11 Warrior

Concept Arts

Sneak Peek: Troll & Worgen Druid Forms
It looks like the models I posted a few months ago were the final version. See below the blue post.
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
We've applied some finishing touches to the new cat and bear forms available to troll and worgen druids in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. We’re excited to share them with you today. Have a look here.

The Fight for Gnomeregan & Echo Isles Q&A
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
It's great to see that so many of you are excited about these events! The battles for Gnomeregan and Echo Isles are important turning points for both the Gnomeregan Exiles and Darkspear trolls, and we're glad that players across all races and realms have answered the call to arms issued by your esteemed faction leaders, Geblin Mekkatorque and Vol'jin.

Now, onto your questions:

Q. What are the minimum level requirements for the Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall quest lines?
A. Your character will need to be at least level 75 to participate in the final battle. All previous quests in each faction's chain, though, should be open to character's level 5 and up.

Q. What would happen if a player were to complete one faction's quest line (say, Operation: Gnomeregan) on a character, receive the Feat of Strength, and then purchase a faction change? Would that character be able to complete the other faction's quest line and receive double the rewards?
A. Yes and no. To continue with the example provided above, if a character were to complete all the quests associated with Operation: Gnomeregan on an Alliance character, receive the corresponding quest reward and Feat of Strength, and then purchase a faction change, the quest reward and Feat of Strength would translate to their Horde equivalents, but the quests would not. This means that the character would have the opportunity to play through all the quests associated with Zalazane's Fall, if he or she wishes, but would not receive an additional Feat of Strength or be able to own both faction’s costume quest rewards * for doing so.

Faction changes affect characters in multiple ways, though, so be sure to review the full FAQ before getting started:

* Due to the fact that the costume quest reward will translate during a faction change, it’s currently possible for a player to earn two of them. They’d both be same version of the item, though, and would share the same cooldown.

Q. Will these events be available forever?
A. Like other holiday events, Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall will only be available for a limited time, so it's best to complete the quest lines as soon as possible!

Q. Players are standing on top of key quest NPCs and I'm unable to reach them. What can I do?
A. If you're finding it difficult to click on a specific NPC, the best course of action is to enable name plates by pressing Ctrl-V or zoom in your character's camera all the way. This will give you a different in-game perspective and should allow you to click on the NPC's name plate or its model without other characters or their mounts completely blocking access:

If you feel that any players are intentionally attempting to detract from the experience of others, then you may wish to contact in-game support.

Q. Why are these events so short in duration?
A. Both Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall are intended to be fun in-game events that allow players to experience the continuation of the Gnomeregan Exile and Darkspear troll storylines, and we think each quest line achieves just that. As several gnomes would argue, just because something is "short" doesn't mean it's not worthwhile!

[...] Alright, I've got a few more answers to your questions:

Q. Are Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall the only events that lead into the Cataclysm?
A. Not at all. It's only a taste of what's to come.

Q. I've encountered a few issues when completing these events. Are they being looked into?
A. Definitely. Our Quality Assurance department is aware of the reported issues and looking into them currently. In the meantime, our in-game support staff has created a post in the Customer Service forum about the matter ( and will be providing updates on the @BlizzardCS Twitter page.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Racial changes in Cataclysm
We're not going to overhaul the racials to the degree that we overhauled the talent trees. We are going to make a pass at them, so if you have specific concerns for Cataclysm now is a fine time to bring them up. In this case, specific feedback is more useful than "I think the way racials should work is a totally different way" designs. (Source)

Zalazane's Fall / Operation Gnomeregan Overcloaks not implemented on live (See Cataclysm Prologue Preview)
It is true that the cloak rewards had overcloak functionality when these events were up on the public test realms some months back. In the end we decided that implementing the cloaks in such a way that players could aesthetically change the cloak they're wearing could set a bad precedent. We like customization and flavor items, but we don't want to start implementing aesthetic items in the game which allow players to look however they want while keeping all the stats they want. We felt the overcloaks were breaking that barrier a little too much.

Can I ask why not? People have been clamoring for this sort of thing for ages, and many thought that this was the first step to allowing that. Now you're telling us it was a first step that you don't want to take?
We've been tossing around some other ideas with regard to gear customization, but we still want to make sure there are appropriate limitations on a system like this. The limited buff timer on the overcloak just wasn't enough considering it would mask any cloak of any level. We'll continue to explore ideas for fun aesthetic gear customization, but we didn't feel this was the proper introduction of this kind of system. (Source)

Dungeons too easy in WotLK
This is fairly accurate. Spell costs were more expensive when LK was in beta but we later backed off of it. That isn't the entire reason that the heroic dungeons and raids ended up a little easier than we intended. It was a combination of a lot of things: we got better at designing talents (fewer wasted points), glyphs offered a lot of additional player power, little things like the gathering skill buffs, most raid buffs going raid wide, every spec had access to mana-efficient AE, more survivability tools, specs that historically didn't raid much suddenly out there contributing their unique abilities, etc. etc. (Source)

Avoidance penalty in Icecrown
We added an avoidance penalty to Icecrown so that we could lower boss spike damage. It was still quite spikey. Now imagine would it would have been without those avoidance penalties. Bosses would have had to hit that much harder in order to compensate for missing so often. I even said at the time that a better long-term solution would be to boost health pools across the board (even for PvP), but that was such a big change that we worried it would take too many patches to get right. (Source)

Blizzcon Soundalike contest
The Soundalike Contest will not be held this year, and potentially in no future years. We have some things planned for the stage show that take up some additional time, and just due to the lukewarm reception of this particular contest, it was removed from this year's lineup. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Lack of AE Healing in WotLK
On the paladin issue, our LK model was that healers were still pretty specialized. You want a paladin for tank healing and you want a Holy priest or Resto druid for AE healing. We thought that paladins had enough tools to heal when they were the only healer (i.e. in 5 player dungeons), and that was generally true, though paladin players did have trouble with heroic Loken early on. Since paladins didn't need to solo heal raids and since we didn't want to encourage raids to bring 2 paladins for their 2 healers, we thought that was sufficient. In Cataclysm we are backing off of that even more and trying to make all the healers more well rounded. (Source)
This article was originally published in forum thread: Cataclysm Concept Arts and Tier 11, Druid Forms, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 174 Comments
  1. bloodwine77's Avatar
    I don't think Blizzard realizes that if they allowed people to look however they want then it would go a long way to making the game feel more diverse and dynamic.

    As it stands now, it looks like everybody belongs to biker gangs because large swaths of people look nearly identical. You have the warlock gang, the hunter gang, and so forth. You could probably count the number of warlocks in Dalaran that don't look like a deatheater on one hand.

    I always thought it'd be a great feature if you could wear two sets of gear at the same time. One set for stats and another for aesthetics. One piece of gear could exist in both sets, obviously. Also, maybe exclude weapons from the dual-set functionality.

    At any rate, you would see Tier 11 warlocks running around looking like Tier 5 or what ever gear they feel looks best. Not everybody has the same tastes, so you would see some variety.

    They could also add more purely cosmetic e-peen gear pieces to show off, and that you can keep showing off as you upgrade your stats gear.

    You would think adding an overlay gear set would be easier than other approaches, such as dyes.

    It is Blizzard's game, though, and they can do what ever they want with it. I just hope it doesn't end up being some stupid, "pay $x at the online store for these aesthetic gear changes", scheme.
  1. Mathaios's Avatar
    What part of "TROLL" druid did you miss?
  1. Spoiledkid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Longinus View Post
    So am I only one who is seeing this? The worgen form textures have detail, definition and depth. They look new and crisp. They have muscle definition, fur looks like fur and their faces are detailed an looking sharp. Troll texture is like some hastily re-coloured vanilla cat. It looks outdated. I do not mind the gaudy colours, they are trolls after all. But I want the quality of the textures to be up to date.
    There's a better picture if you follow link to the WoW's Under Development-page (link is in Nethaera's blue post, can't add links or images yet).
  1. xnickybx's Avatar
    Honestly, if you don't like the troll cat forms, you don't like how trolls look anyway. They have the exact same hair color as a normal troll. And their coat color is actually less colorful than a troll's real skin. So if you don't even like trolls, why would anyone care what you think of their druid forms? And anyone saying they are akin to the old cat forms is either full of shit or never saw them.

    The bear forms are trash however, but so is everyone's bear forms and any bear in wow. But the troll's bear forms, more so, since they are just blizzards shitty bear model with clown make-up.
  1. Herne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alayea View Post
    Originally Posted by Lylirra
    Q. What are the minimum level requirements for the Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall quest lines?
    Your character will need to be at least level 75 to participate in the final battle. All previous quests in each faction's chain, though, should be open to character's level 5 and up.
    You really got my hopes up, Bibi. The minimum level for the last quest is 78, not 75.

    Incorrect.. completed the Gnomeregan quest line on my lvl 75 Nelf Rogue alt yesterday.. you shall go to the ball Cinderella!...

    Love the Oceanic theme for the Hunter gear.. the current tier (particularly the 'Gable End' shoulders) looks like gear for some kind of Mage, rather than Hunter shinies.
  1. Sontrowa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by deplorable View Post
    give me the overcloak i wanted, i thought i'd get...

    seriously changing this without informing the community until AFTER you've put it live...

    oh Blizz.. oh blizz....

    Tauren paladins were bad, forsaken hunters (how do they fake death) were awful.. but.. those troll druid forms, are you just taking the piss?

    WTB forsaken/worgen paladins instead (makes more sense than "ret bull gives you wings"). thank you.
    They'd feign death pretty well I'd think. All they have to do is lay down and they look like a corpse! Cause they are one! And smell dead!
    Also tauren pallys ftw.
  1. Naoto's Avatar
    LOL those troll cat forms made me laugh, they look fantastic really gj from Blizzard just a damn shame I'm not gonna be using them, the worgen forms look amazing aswell but trolls are just insane, the mohawk with the bizzare colour combos is great.
  1. bloodwine77's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by deplorable View Post
    WTB forsaken/worgen paladins instead (makes more sense than "ret bull gives you wings"). thank you.
    Forsaken Paladins would make no sense, because Paladins were/are immune to the Scourge plague.

    I agree that some of the new race+class combos are a bit wonky, though, even if they can be explained with lore.
  1. Kizaru's Avatar
    _Man that lion is just beatifull argh, gief the Horde one and give them a scorpion too or make it BOE so people can sell it on AH
  1. Azrile's Avatar
    player customization can go too far.

    Yes, in wow, currently there are a lot of clones.

    But in UO, go to a major bank and it looks like a clown parade, people dye their clothing the most outragious combinations.
  1. Rivermark's Avatar
    Troll forms look absolutely ridiculous. Gonna KoS any troll druid so that my eyes won't bleed.

    Quote Originally Posted by lios View Post
    If masking a cloak, which nobody recognizes and most people don't even show, is too much, then there is never going to be aesthetic gear customization.
    Completely agree. Such reasonings are one of a very few things that make me look at a person and think: "Is he uttermost retarded?".

    Quote Originally Posted by bloodwine77 View Post
    Forsaken Paladins would make no sense, because Paladins were/are immune to the Scourge plague.
    I agree that some of the new race+class combos are a bit wonky, though, even if they can be explained with lore.
    Paladins may be immune to Scourge, but Forsaken may be not immune to becoming Paladins. Anything can be explained with lore. It's a goddamn make-up story. And undead paladins sounds less ridiculous than cowman paladins, even by canonical fantasy standards.
  1. Medlarew's Avatar
    Was anyone else disappointed with the battle part of operation gnomergan?

    Did it on my dk (favorite toon atm) and I never got the chance to hit anything due to it being yet another fail aoefest, I couldn't even death grip the odd mob away and kane it due to them all being instantly tapped by all the aoe spam.
  1. unrealized's Avatar
    Quoting myself from the Blizz forums about the forms:

    "Both forms are disappointing as hell. I was looking forward to make a decent looking druid, finally after nearly 6 years of this, only to find that the cat/bear forms are ridiculous looking.

    Coming from Blizzard I was expecting something a lot more worked out. I was expecting Amani stylized bears and Stranglethorn themed tigers, maybe I built to much of an expectation for a new druid race after all these years.

    I'll take the hat off to you in the matter of making them look like trolls, if that was the main objective - which makes sense - then you've done it, unfortunately you haven't done it spot-on. The key-feature of the forms being the Tomahawks was a nice idea, but imo it didn't turn out as well as you probably envisioned it at first.
    Trolls have immense treats in culture, from trinkets to bijous, to tusks and leathery armour, and even Tiki masks, it's my opinion that you should have picked up from there to define the troll forms. Imagine Amani bear with a bit less of armour on.

    The things that define the new troll forms as troll are the tomahawks and the (exaggerated, more on that below) colours. Other then that they seem like the ordinary (new) bearform, with some tweeks on it; stretched ears like Nelfs, stick a tomahawk, stick a pair of tusks and done with the "new" troll model.

    Moving onward to the colour palette, a few comments here and some others on Kotaku depict it as passing over the Paintbrush to an infant, or just tipping over the pain bucket accidentally. I feel exactly the same way specifically towards the bear form. Yes they are trolls, I love trolls, but that just doesn't seem to fit well in my (troll) book. I was expecting a more discreet colour scheme (yet varied ofc) and that the that's-a-troll-druid effect would be passed down by those trinkets; bijous; masks I mentioned earlier. I mean, even the side-tattoo is exactly the same as every other bear form...

    The tigers on the other hand should (again imo) have been handled with more familiar tigresque colours. If you look at it now, the main colour is black/dark. That should be one variation, not 3 or 4 of them.
    Notice the Tauren cat forms, they are just AMAZING, tons of love went in to it obviously, and their main colour scheme are shades of brown, plus (if memory serves) 1 black and 1 white. The same premiss should have gone into trolls. Orange/Yellow shades should have been the primary palette, not black. Black Panthers are more rare to see both in real life as they are in-game, and here we're getting 4 of them with no real colour difference (unlike tauren) between them.

    To conclude, this alone disappointed me a lot after so much expectation to get a new horde druid race, and I'm going Tauren after all because, well, the forms are just amazing, they were built from scratch to fit taurens (and Nelfs while we're at it) and they excel at it. Using those same forms to improvise troll forms was just totally wrong in my point of view."
  1. TubbiestPack's Avatar
    T11 looking slick!

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