Home > Cataclysm, Expansions > Obligatory Cataclysm Post…well, sort of.

Obligatory Cataclysm Post…well, sort of.

There are times when I am lazy. This is one of those times. I could write a summary of what all transpired and was announced over the weekend about the next expansion for WoW, Cataclysm. Why bother, though, when 125145134 different blogs/sites have already done just that?

My guildie, Kitts, has 2 solid posts on his blog summarizing most of the changes announced:

Notes following the opening cermony at Blizzcon

Notes following the Q&A sessions

Also, since I’m so kind, here’s a link to the trailer shown at Blizzcon.

Now that I’m not feeling so lazy…some of my thoughts on what’s been announced:

  • Itemization – My initial knee-jerk reaction to the item changes announced so far was “Wow, they’re dumbing this down to where anyone can play”. I let the changes sit in my mind, and to be quite honest, I agree with what Blizzard developers have stated: You shouldn’t need to be a math major in order to maximize your dps. I’m not a math major, but between math and English, the former was definitely my stronger point in school. I’m able to understand why certain stats work the way they do (armor penetration, which appears to be the big stat the devs want to remove from gear) and how they would benefit my dps, and how to balance various stats. I liken it to having played a particular FPS for a long time and understanding the physics of different weapons…how fast they fire, travel rate of what they fire, how they may ricochet, etc. Part of it is fun, but I can see where it’s gotten to the point that it’s pretty silly; even with external tools such as forums and spreadsheets, people still find it hard to decide if an item’s an upgrade or not. Also, FWIW, I predicted the removal of AP from leather and mail gear a few weeks ago while discussing warrior gearing/gemming/etc. with a good friend of mine. Maybe I should apply to work for Blizzard…hah!
  • Deathwing – Warcraft 3 was my introduction to the Warcraft IP, so until I thumbed around reading up on Warcraft lore online, I never really knew what impact Deathwing had. For his return to cause this cataclysm…that’s pretty badass. It’s reminiscent of the events in Final Fantasy 6 (FF3 for you SNES fanboys) where the face of the planet gets totally rearranged by forces of power previously thought unimaginable, although the extent of WoW’s cataclysm doesn’t appear to rearrange the world so much as what happened in FF6. Still, this is the kind of event you would expect in an MMO to herald the return of a dragon aspect…after all, Deathwing’s the baddest dragon of them all in Warcraft. Cataclysm is Blizzard’s way of letting of letting folks new to Warcraft lore know that Deathwing is a BAMF, to say the least.
  • Races/Classes – The new races that are being added aren’t much of a surprise to me, although the “cool factor” award has to go to the worgen. Adding goblins to the Horde seems…unoriginal, yet logical. I suppose I say that based off of D&D experiences, plus the fact goblins are closely tied to Orcs in the Warhammer universe (which Blizzard has lifted several ideas from). Some of the new race/class combos are weird, least to me…tauren paladins/priests? Orc and NE mages? I wonder what they will do lore-wise to explain some of these. I’m no lore whore, but there are things that have just “made sense”, if you will, in the Warcraft lore, but some of these new additions don’t fit that description. Strange as they may seem, the new races combined with new race/class combos should make for some nice variety for new players, rerollers, and altoholics; as someone who could be called an altoholic, I have no idea what alt I would remove to make room for another alt (I pretty much have everything but a mage and DK, so…)
  • Raids/Dungeons – Molten Core was indeed only a setback, for we will once again face Ragnaros, only this time at full power and on his home turf of Sulfuron Keep. I can only hope elemental shaman get a frost/nature based substitute for Lava Burst, or else we’re in for a world of pain as far as dps goes. Same goes for Nefarian; I never raided BWL when it was relevant, so I don’t recall if Nef was immune to fire a la Onyxia, but if so, same principle applies to him as it would Rag. On the topic of Nef…I wonder how they’re going to retcon to correct the fact we had his head on a stake in Org after beheading him? I’m also curious as to how Azshara will fit into the equation; I suppose the shaking of the world courtesy of Deathwing gets her panties in a wad, so she decides to start causing trouble once again. Unrelated to bosses/lore, the bits and pieces of the dungeons I could see in the trailer look to be promising.
  • PVP – Rated BGs? Hell yes, and about time, heh. I much prefer BG-style pvp over arena, and with rated BGs allowing folks to accumulate arena points without having to waste 30 mins a week doing 10 games…good decision, least if you ask me. A new WG-style zone (it’s in the notes yet I can’t remember the name) should be pretty nice, also. Hopefully, it works out to where the new zone and Wintergrasp don’t overlap, so that you can participate in both; that way, there’s always some pseudo-world pvp going on. There are a lot of folks like me who are always thinking “Man, I wish it were time for WG”, so having another zone like WG available at different times would be suh-weet. IIRC, there are at least 3 new BGs planned, with an unknown amount of new arena maps to be added. Looks like Cataclysm will be the turning point to where Blizzard shifts their pvp focus back to BGs vs. arena.
  • Character Progression – No new talent points doesn’t come as a surprise; the trees are so bloated at this point that adding more will only make for more headaches and more balance issues. I haven’t looked into detail about the Path of The Titans, but the whole Mastery system seems like a good idea. Mastery looks like it will remove a bunch of the static talents in favor of more active/dynamic talents, but by sinking points into a certain talent tree, you will start to pick up passive bonuses along the way. Archaeology sounds like it will be a “mandatory” secondary profession, much like First Aid (really, if you are at max level and don’t have FA to where you can make the best bandages…get your ass to grinding it out, imo :-P).
  • For New Players – With Cataclysm, I don’t think there would be a better time for a new person to hop into WoW. Questing zones are being revamped to be more streamlined. Itemization will make a lot more sense to newer players with the itemization revamp. There will be a massive amount of variety to choose from as far as race/class is concerned. There will be plenty of veteran players rerolling or dinking around on alts, so there will be people available to assist newer players (although some newer players will probably get ridiculed and/or run into asshat players, both new and veteran). Overall, Cataclysm will probably make being a newcomer to WoW a much more pleasant experience.

The one thing I find annoying now is that I’m looking more forward to Cataclysm than I am to 3.3 or whatever, when we finally deal with the Lich King. On that note, the tidbits released about Icecrown Citadel (12 bosses, airship battles, Shadowmourne) are pretty sexy, but were completely overshadowed by the Cataclysm announcement and info. Oh, and Shadowmourne appears to be a strength-based weapon rather than the DK-and-hunter-only legendary that was alluded to (and by alluded to, I mean joked about; Blizz should know by now that sarcasm doesn’t translate well over the interwebz).

Hmm…I think that’s enough for now. Been working on this post for the past hour or so while at work. I must save the rest of my brain capacity for tonight’s raid…hah! 😛

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