There was a ton of Cataclysm information released last night and I want to talk about some of it.Â Some of the information is new stuff that we didn’t know about or clarification on how certain things will work.Â There’s also a few let downs as well as sighs of relief from decisions not to go forward with certain systems planned but instead to go a different direction.
Path of the Titans Removed (Bummer…)
This was going to be a way for your character to progress in a way I feel is similar to how EQ handled AA abilities.Â You could make certain decisions (like choosing a path) and gain abilities or passive benefits from that choice.Â However, now it’s being replaced with “fun” Glyphs.Â Major bummer here, but I can also sigh with relief that this won’t be based on PvE or PvP progression.Â This could have been another min/max mechanic which is the last thing WoW needs, especially with Cataclysm trying to reduce the impact and confusion of min/maxing.Â I just hope that these “for fun” glyphs really are something amazing.Â To have dropped such a huge system in favor of “medium glyphs” leaves really big shoes to be filled.
Glyph System Change (Not much improvement unless they make the new glyphs revolutionary)
It used to be that you had slots to put glyphs in and you could unlearn them and put new ones in.Â For me as a Druid tank, this meant that on certain fights I was unlearning a glyph and putting a new one in just to put that old one back in after the fight.Â This cost money and it just wasn’t as polished a system as it could have been.Â Now it’s going to be improved with some new UI changes that will hopefully also do away with the expendable glyphs, although we really have no real details.Â I still think there are going to be “the best” glyphs for each class and even with the “for fun” glyphs it’s not going to make much difference.
Raid ID Flexibility (Great improvement)
Now players are able to move into other raid ID’s as long as bosses they’ve already killed are not in the same ID.Â So if I miss a raid with my guild that kills the first two bosses, I can join someone else’s raid and kill those two bosses then rejoin my guild as they progress further.Â Â Being locked out with ID’s was to prevent being able to farm bosses multiple times a week, but it also created a lot of hassle.Â Good fix here.
Rated Battlegrounds (Some confusion here…)
On the various press sites I’m seeing a lot of information that could be taken either way.Â Consider the following quote from MMO-Champion:
“Rated battlegrounds will be available for pre-mades of 10, 15 and 25-player sizes.”
Does that mean that rated battlegrounds are ONLY available for pre-mades or that pre-mades could get into rated battlegrounds?Â I had originally thought that it would be like StarCraft2’s matching system where you are given a rating and matched with people of similar ratings/skill/gear/etc.Â Not the case, or is it just poorly worded?Â If anyone could clarify this for me I would appreciate it.Â I want to be able to do pre-mades with 2-3 of my friends and not be forced into finding 10 people.
Content: Raids, Quests, oh my! (Raid down-shifting, tons of quests, and it all looks friggin sweet)
Making 10-man’s the same as 25-mans and having it just be a playstyle choice = A+ change.Â Another A+ change is raid down-shifting where you can take a 25-man raid and split it into up to three 10-man raids.Â Fantastic change given that a lot of guilds like mine aren’t hardcore enough to force people to log in but rely on people to want to play and play on their time.Â Sometimes this means that you’re short people.Â While it doesn’t help the 10-man’s it does help the bigger 25-mans when people don’t show up.Â Now they can split it into 10-man raids and continue where they left off.Â Great change.
Here’s another point of confusion:
“Wrath of the Lich King had 1000 Quests, Cataclysm has over 3000.”
Are those 3,000 split from 1-60 and then 80-85?Â If so, there’s probably 1000 from 80-85 and 2,000 1-60.Â Cataclysm is more than just a vertical expansion like WotLK was since it’s changing much of the rest of the game.Â We knew it was going to be much more than WotLK already.
Something I thought was quite interesting while reading all these press changes was how Blizzard wants each of the zones to be visisted while leveling through the new content and not like it was in WotLK where you could skip half the zones.Â They want the whole thing to be experienced.Â Some will say “Well now I have less replay”, and they would be right, but perhaps Blizzard will focus on making the content that much better.Â Optimistic glass half full thinking, but still entirely possible.
Raids in particular….
CHO’GALL!!!!Â Entry level raiding for Cataclysm will be fighting one of the infamous characters from Warcraft II that has continued to be apart of the Warcraft lore.Â That’s going the be a great fight.Â There’s also raids with a djinn, storm dragon, and … Egyptian themed stuff (we’ll see how this plays out).
Guild Leveling (Now almost identical to WAR’s “Living guilds”)
There was going to be a guild currency system for buying upgrades for your guild, but that’s gone.Â Now it’s all an achievement system where you spend real money to buy the stuff.Â Simplified but perhaps more polished.Â The downer here is that this is essentially a farming system much in the same way Warhammer Online’s guild leveling turned into.Â In fact, it’s almost identical to WAR’s guild system.Â That’s not terrible — it was a good system.
I’m just happy that we have the ability to get really cool things now like Mounts with the Guild Tabard on them and banners, heirloom items, etc.Â Hopefully this system meets the high hopes that I haveÂ for it and eventually spawns a much bigger and better guild progression system that will (I wish) one day have guild housing.
A lot of stuff removed.Â A lot of stuff changed.Â I’m a bit disappointed that the path of the titans is gone and I’m hesitant to believe that the new glyphs and glyph system will be anything new at all.Â I’m confused about the rated BG’s and how Guild Leveling with be anything more than farming, but optimistic that both will be well done to Blizzard standards.Â The best of the best continues to be the changes to the content and how being able to do content continues to improve exponentially each time they talk about it.
Cataclysm is still going to be a major event and my excitement is not at all diminished, even by some of the let downs.Â I’m playing WoW now with my community and friends and we’re eagerly awaiting the launch of Cataclysm so that we’re ready to jump head first into the content.Â If you need a home for Cataclysm or even now to raid/pvp/have fun, you’re welcome to check us out.