Compiled list of all of the recent Cataclysm changes and updates announced at the recent Blizzard press event.
edit: added info about spell haste, talents, and solo players
General Cataclysm Changes
- There are, as of the event, 3000 new quests planned for Cataclysm. That’s nearly 3 times as many quests added with Wrath of the Lich King.
- Leveling up will display a “toast” similar to earning an achievement. It will show:
- The level you reached
- If a new talent point is available
- Any new abilities for that level
- Feature unlocks: battlegrounds, dungeon finder, riding, glyphs, etc.
- Garrosh is the “acting” Warchief of the Horde.
- Garrosh’s stronghold is at the front of Orgrimmar, right as you enter through the front gate, to show “who is in charge.”
- The Valley of Wisdom is now the Tauren district.
- A new auction house, inn and bank have been added to the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar.
- Deathwing destroyed The Park in Stormwind. This was done to drive home the impact Deathwing has had on the world, and because he wasn’t happy about his daughter’s head hanging from the rafters.
- A new auction house, inn and bank have been added to the Dwarven District in Stormwind.
- New music will be added for all of the cities, and a large portion of the game world.
- The Forsaken have set up a foothold in Silverpine Forest and have rebuilt many areas with their unique architecture. They’ve done this to provide a base of operations for assaulting Gilneas, which is very strategically valuable to the Horde.
- Heirlooms will work for both Goblins and Worgen from the launch of the expansion. You earned them, so you get to use them — no matter what you’re leveling. They will only scale up to 80 though; new heirlooms that scale to 85 will be introduced with the new content.
Cataclysm Spell Haste, Talents, and Solo Players
Spell haste in Cataclysm
We’re not getting rid of spell haste and I agree it’s fun to get quick spells.
I was talking more about the PvP environment (and to a lesser extent PvE) where the balance has shifted too heavily towards very fast or instant spells that leave the other side with no chance to predict, react or attempt to counter what you’re going to do. It’s a problem with CC, I’d agree, but it’s also a problem with some of the really hard-hitting nukes where someone can die in a couple of GCDs before they can pop a defensive cooldown or even get healed.
We want combat to be less binary, where someone can get into a wounded state and then move either towards being fully healed or being dead depending on what they and everyone else involved in the battle do. We want there to be some back and forth — some chances to make mistakes and then recover from them. PvP can currently feel like a tennis match where the team who scores the first point wins.
There still need to be moments where if you line up all your cooldowns you can kill someone who is wounded, but those need to be not every spell you cast. Given talents and gear, fully three-second cast time spells aren’t really going to be that common for actual casters, but spell interactions are balanced around having a cast time so that the other side has a chance to respond. When every spell is at the GCD cap or hasted by a talent or proc then you sometimes die before you even know what happened.
31/41/51 Points Talents
We design the 31, 41 and 51-point talents to be attractive if not mandatory. There are very few builds that don’t go down to the bottom of a tree and we don’t think the ones that don’t are in some way more interesting builds.
Remember, the passive bonuses are just that — bonuses. If you find a build that avoids 51 points in one tree but picks up something really awesome instead, you will still be fully functional.
You can still choose to level up Archaeology, which is going to have quite a bit of content. We are also updating all of the other professions to make them more interesting. In addition to goblins and worgen, we have redone the questing for most of the original zones, and all of the lower-level zones. If you like solo play, you will find literally thousands of new quests. We will also offer more achievements, many of which are designed with the solo player in mind.
There are also two buckets of solo players: one is the type of player who pretty much treats WoW as a single-player game and doesn’t interact much with other players. The other category is the player who may have lots of friends online but doesn’t feel like they have the time commitment for very organized and scheduled PvP or raiding. The new dungeons and BGs will also offer you lots of content if you are someone who plays alone but doesn’t mind working together with strangers for short periods of time. The big Cataclysm feature you will miss out on as a solo player is the guild revamp. Again, if you just like to play alone but don’t mind being part of a guild, you will still be able to help your guild contribute though.