WoW Cataclysm Changes Start Early in ‘The Shattering’ Patch
Just to avoid any confusion, this week’s patch is not, repeat not the same as the Cataclysm expansion, which will be released on December 7th. The Shattering is a massive WoW patch that, once downloaded, will herald the end of the way Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms look right now and will see them totally reborn.
A Bold and Burned New World
Physically, WoW will look entirely new, with earthquakes, molten lava and Deathwing’s fury churning the lands into entirely unrecognisable territory to a vanilla WoW player. For a comprehensive rundown of how each area will look differently after the patch, visit MMO Champion.
In addition to the brand-new look. The Shattering will also herald a number of changes to the game mechanics which will smooth the way before the expansion proper drops in early December.
(Perhaps there’s a couple of people left who have missed the Cataclysm trailer and I’ll take any excuse to post this cinematic again!)
Firstly, the new class combinations will become available. If you ever yearned to be a mage but couldn’t bear to play a race other than Dwarf then your dilemma is at an end. With a wider range of classes open to each of the Alliance and Horde races, the ability to create your all-time favorite class/race combination just became more likely.
Below is a list of all the available combinations that The Shattering will cover. The green outlined boxes represent the new additions, such as Gnome Priests, Tauren Paladins and Troll Druids.
Reduced XP for Levels 71-80
Remember that character you left languishing at level 70 when Wrath of the Lich King dropped and you went steaming ahead with a shiny new Death Knight? Well, in preparation for Cataclysm, the new patch will reduce the experience gains that are required to level up through levels 71-80 by a whole 20 per cent.
This essentially shaves a fifth off the time needed to bring a forgotten character up to scratch in time for the new high-level content. So dust off your poor old level 70s and get ready to bring them back to their prime.
Paving the Way for Cataclysm
There are also a whole host of rebalancing changes and bug-fixes that, as always, aim to make WoW faster, fairer and generally better than it was before. For the whole nine yards on Blizzard’s glitch-fixes and other assorted improvements, the official patch notes can be found here.
Lastly, the time of Dalaran and Shattrath acting as giant portal hubs will soon draw to a close. No longer will you be able to flit from capital to capital with such ease as the portals will soon close for good.
The reason for this is that Blizzard doesn’t want absolutely everyone crammed into Dalaran once the expansion drops, which would cause players to crawl through its streets as though they were covered in treacle. Instead these two cities will gain class trainers to stop them turning into the ass end of nowhere that nobody wants to visit whilst levelling.
What’s Still to Come
While the new class combinations and the wholly new look of each “Old World” WoW area will be hugely appealing to players once they download The Shattering, compared to what’s in store a fortnight hence it’s only a tiny but tantalizing taster.
On December 7th the Worgen and Goblins will make their playable race debut on the WoW stage, eager to prove their worth to their parent factions. The heightened professions cap will allow players to craft items more wondrous and powerful than ever before. The entirely new addition of Archaeology will let players delve into the mysteries of the earth, uncovering nuggets of WoW lore and rare artifacts.
The new areas that will propel players through to level 85 also look absolutely enthralling. While exploring them, you and your guildmates will actively be able to enhance the standing of your guild through the new levelling and achievements system.
Oh and did I mention that you’ll be able to fly around on your own mount in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms too? Take that, Gryphon Express!
What are you most looking forward to in Cataclysm?
Are you heading straight for level 85 or is the lure of the new races irresistible?