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Blizzard announce WoW: Cataclysm

Blizzard announce WoW: Cataclysm

The new Cataclysm expansion will utterly change the face of Azeroth, whenever it gets released that is.

GamesCom 2009: We may be out here in Cologne at GamesCom, not over in California for BlizzCon 2009, but we still managed to be present in spirit for Blizzard’s announcement of the next World of Warcraft, dubbed Cataclysm.

Unveiled during the opening ceremony of BlizzCon, which was then streamed live to a private party in Cologne, Cataclysm is a radical overhaul of the entire WoW universe, bringing a tonne of new features and content to the biggest MMO in the world.

Based around the rise of the enormously evil Deathwing, Cataclysm is unusual in that it doesn’t bring a new playable area to gamers and instead is built around a rebuild of huge portions of Azeroth. Entire portions of the aging landscape have been remapped by Deathwing’s rise, with some areas disappearing entirely as earthquakes and flood wrack the land.

The massive changes to the topography of Azeroth bring a number of changes to the fundamentals of the game, with the Goblin race signing up as a new playable Horde race as their entire homeland disappears overnight. The Alliance meanwhile will get access to the Worgen race – a breed of werewolves and wolfmen. There’ll be a tonne of new race/class combinations as well.

As if that weren’t enough for the 12 million+ World of Warcraft subscribers, the Cataclysm expansion will also have hundreds of new quests, loads of new dungeons and raids and a raised level cap too. Players will soon be able to push themselves all the way up to Level 85, with new high-level loot and the like becoming available too. There’ll also be new flyable mounts for players in Azeroth too, according to the launch trailer which was streamed to Cologne from Anaheim, California where BlizzCon is currently underway.

It’s also a testament to the success of World of WarCraft that, despite Blizzard’s best efforts and the support of partners like GamesCom in Cologne and DirectTV, the internet was still bought to a crawl as soon as the Cataclysm announcement trailer started running. In the end the number of fans trying to watch the trailer online was so massive that Blizzard’s Vice President had to stop the live transmission and run a locally-held version of the trailer for those of us in Cologne instead.

There were no release date details announced for WoW: Cataclysm, nor did Blizzard seem eager to announce one either, promising that the expansion would only be released when it was ready, as with all of their other games. At this point of course it doesn’t really matter whether it’s ready or not – it’s still going to be the best-selling title of whatever year it’s released in. Chatting to some Blizzard reps in the aftermath of the party it was pointed out that World of WarCraft is so big that it accounts for more than 56 percent of Activision’s entire income, toppling Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk combined. Wowzers.

We’ll bring you more details about the Cataclysm as soon as we can of course, but for now why don’t you let us know your thoughts and tell us whether you play for the Alliance or Horde, in the forums.

21 Comments

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ChaosDefinesOrder 22nd August 2009, 14:58 Quote
um... werewolf means wolfmen, there's no need for the "and" there...
CardJoe 22nd August 2009, 15:54 Quote
Actually, a werewolf is a lycanthropic and mythological creature which is a human most of the time except for those days around the full moon. A wolfman is a man that bears similarities to a wolf as default state.

d3GJmkUZlyo
rollo 22nd August 2009, 16:04 Quote
56% total incoming lol never thought it was so high
Tyrmot 22nd August 2009, 23:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Actually, a werewolf is a lycanthropic and mythological creature which is a human most of the time except for those days around the full moon. A wolfman is a man that bears similarities to a wolf as default state.

d3GJmkUZlyo

told! :D
DriftCarl 23rd August 2009, 00:04 Quote
many people may say WoW is crap and lame, but personally I still love it. I don't really care that much for warcraft lore, I play the game for fun, so whatever content they invent, as long as its fun, I dont really care.
The expansion does sound really good, and the new features, like guild leveling and guild talents really reward loyal members of guilds rather than the guild hoppers you tend to see.
cross server dungeons look pretty cool, its like combining 20+ servers with 5-10k players on each server into 1 superserver.
boiled_elephant 23rd August 2009, 00:15 Quote
This type of expansion has been long overdue - one which revamps the original content, rather than simply tacking bits onto it and making it increasingly redundant.

The revamping of classic lowbie dungeons and 60 raids into new endgame content (including a heroic retuned Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep) is especially delectable.

There's a degree of fanservice in the zone changes, as well - Wetlands and The Barrens are slated for some of the heaviest lava-flooding and reshaping, and are well-known for being hated by the majority of players who levelled in them

edit - oh, and the first user who hijacks this thread with tedious "omg wow is so crap!" sentiments is automatically my most hated person of the year - not because it's not allowed, to hate Warcraft, but just because it's such a worn, tired sentiment that stinks of sour grapes :)
Aterius Gmork 23rd August 2009, 00:35 Quote
omg wow is so crap! :D

It's going to be fun watching my cousin once his beloved quest guide macro extension thingy is useless and he actually has to do the quests himself.
Aracos 23rd August 2009, 00:42 Quote
omg wow is so crap! Lol you were asking for that :) anyway so basically what they're doing is creating wow 2 but making it an expansion? Might as well be because knowing blizzards expansion schedule it won't be out till this time next year or most likely 2011.
boiled_elephant 23rd August 2009, 01:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork
omg wow is so crap! :D
It's mostly a ceremonial position, you won't have to do much for the next year :p
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork

It's going to be fun watching my cousin once his beloved quest guide macro extension thingy is useless and he actually has to do the quests himself.

Questhelper? Yes, we all developed a dependency on it in the end. It does kinda ruin the game. At first, you still quest out of enthusiasm, and use it purely for directions; but gradually, you stop paying attention, and it turns questing into precisely what Yahtzee accuses Warcraft of being - a second job :(
It's fun when some new content messes it up and the 11-year-olds who can't actually read run around like headless chickens, trying to find the objectives.

Also, they've finally gotten back to what RPGs are all about - dragons. Big ones. The last two nemeses are just extremely pissed-off, corrupted humanoids with big shiny swords:

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=69&pictureid=4722

Now, however, we have...well...this.

http://eu.media.blizzard.com/c_1256-4/wallpaper/deathwing/deathwing_1024x0768.jpg

Good times are ahead
RotoSequence 23rd August 2009, 02:37 Quote
12 million? I thought WoW was down a lot due to publisher issues in China?
Marc5002 23rd August 2009, 09:02 Quote
I think that expansion would release next year around summer :P
Marc5002 23rd August 2009, 09:03 Quote
at last i hope so..
Jamie 23rd August 2009, 09:43 Quote
yay, big dragon!
perplekks45 23rd August 2009, 14:44 Quote
12m? That's around 120m a month in subscriber fees if everybody's actively subscribed.
Are you telling me they make 1.44 BILLION a year?!

With that much money they can get some more people to work on Diablo III to give it to me quicker!
2bdetermine 23rd August 2009, 23:40 Quote
Many years had passed, many expansions and yet what did WoW brought in term of graphic engine upgrade. Nada, zip, nil, same old same old. MMORP supposed to be immersive. There is nothing immersive about WoW. You guys all had been scammed.
NightrainSrt4 24th August 2009, 03:22 Quote
I haven't played wow in over a year, but I find it hilarious, and this goes for any game, how people just judge a game by graphics. Immersion has more to it than just graphics.
alpaca 24th August 2009, 10:39 Quote
i have been so curious about playing wow, but i *know* it will become my second job, and the first one and my life is going to suffer for it. it is usually healtier for me that a game only lasts 10-20 hours for the first playtrough. that takes only one or two nights without sleep, so no harm done. but the first time going trough wow will absolutely ruin me. so no thanks. i'll choose to live.
Rkiver 24th August 2009, 10:56 Quote
I never got those who used quest helper...doing it yourself is part of the fun.

Regardless I like WoW, the backstory etc and am glad to see Deathwing returning.

And once again to those who feel graphics need to be "zomg shiny" for it to be immersive, you are horribly wrong.
ChromeX 24th August 2009, 11:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
12m? That's around 120m a month in subscriber fees if everybody's actively subscribed.
Are you telling me they make 1.44 BILLION a year?!

With that much money they can get some more people to work on Diablo III to give it to me quicker!

No, because the 12m is probably the number of people who have accounts active or INACTIVE, that being said I bet they make a very tidy sum at the end of every month
iwog 24th August 2009, 12:39 Quote
Inactive accounts aren't counted, however trial accounts are. And the rumblings on the website are that the figure has dropped from 12 mil as this is the longest gap between player numbers since Blizzard have started announcing them. So the cynics and conspiricists are guessing the figure has dropped.

And people on this site especially, should know that graphics =/= immersion. Take Uplink and Dwarf Fortess for example, both lack fully rendered worlds and yet are some of the most immersive games going with dedicated followers still playing these games. But the counter argument is that WoW's graphics have been updating steadily over the years with many key characters getting model updates in Wrath and armour textures increasing slowly over time[1] old, new.

The reason you perceive little change is that the whole game hasn't gone through a major update, and the old world looks just that, old. However that is going to change with the new expansion, 2 Horde cities are getting a major revamp with the other cities likely for minor changes, and several old world "starter" zones are getting scrapped and rebuilt.

To counter all this praise I feel I should point out that all these new features feel like WoW is ripping of War for example:
  • Guild leveling
  • Self leveling skills, no more ranks
  • Talent trees with no passive skills
  • Leveling through pvp
  • More world pvp
boggsi 5th September 2009, 18:45 Quote
Wow is an excellent game and I am certainly someone who treats it like a second job.. But I definitely think it can be improved. I hope this expansion continues in current trends EXCEPT the ease with which epic loot can be acquired.. Being full epic now is like yea.. so? Before it used to be a real achievement.
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