Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cataclysm - WoW land, map and quest changes

Hi guys,
I'm not quite sure the best way to break up this info but I'm going to give it a go.  I am not going to cover specific stats. I am more of a lore person myself so the story lines and ideas are what I tend to focus on. For all my sources please also take a gander at my first post to see where you can find more in depth information.
Cataclysm is the next WoW expansion set. While there is no hard release date it sounds like we can expect to have it in hand some time next year before the next Blizzcon.
There are several story lines taking place, as with all WoW xpac's there is not just one focus. This expansion will be revamping the entire original game. The main event takes a little lore explaining. There are a series of WoW related books surrounding these events. Warcraft "War of the Ancients" Trilogy can best explain events leading up to Neltharion's (aka Deathwing) growing madness as well as Queen Azshara, the Burning Legion and the original sundering episode which also leads up to Burning Crusade. They also explain Ronin and Vareesa, who are now NPC's in Dalaran. It was very cool to see them there by the way.
Neltharion is the black dragonflight leader and the aspect of earth. He is driven mad by whisperings of the old gods in his head and tries to detroy the other dragonflights or aspects. We have met them all now, Red, Gold, Blue and Green in Northrend. Neltharion is eventually imprisoned by his peers. Cataclysm picks up where Neltharion bursts from his prison under the earth and causes great upheaval throughout the lands of Azeroth. Great volcanoes, floods and sundering of the land is expected to take place. In keeping with Blizzard's past earth changing and expansion events I'm hoping we will see some of this as it enfolds across the land just prior to the expansion coming out. Please know that whether you purchase the expansion or not the world of Azeroth as we know it will change. You do not have to have the expansion to see all these changes. Some of the artwork can be seen here:WoW artwork

Here are the maps of what to expect.
   (screenshot of current map)

Map with new ares for Cataclysm- not to scale  (
There will be 7 new zones.
     Worgen starting area, levels 1-15. Neltharion bursts thru and the great destruction creates a break in the Graymane wall. The citizens emerge and join with the Alliance.

The Lost Isles
     Goblin starting area, levels 1-15. The flooding of the great cataclysm has left survivors out on forgotten islands. The Horde befriends these lost souls and they join with the Horde.
Mount Hyjal
     One of the 2 new starting zones, level 78-82. Malfurion Stormrage has emerged from the Emerald Dream and has again joined forces with the Children of Cenarius to help protect the World Tree from Ragnaros.
Sunken City of Vashj'ir
    One of the 2 new starting zones, level 78-82. Azshara has been ruling under the waves in this underwater city. This area will contain two 5-man dungeons called the Abyssal Maw. Underwater flying mounts were mentioned in conjunction with this area.
Twilight Highlands
    All leaders must have followers. Here lies Deathwings new lair along with his devoted Cult of the Twilights Hammer. This area will contain two 5 man dungeons and Grim Batol (raid).
    The great wall has come down during the destuction of Azeroth exposing a city of the ancients, and a new race, the Tol'vir. Two 5-man dungeons and a raid will be here. There is purportedly a great weapon of destruction buried here that all factions want to get their hands on.
    The original location from which Neltharion sprang. It will have an entire underground area which will be tied to a new instance/or instances located in Blackrock Spire, Deathwings Decent.
All together there are several new dungeons planned and 4 10/25 raids. This area will also be a hub of sorts for all the new zones. It will contain portals to all the other new areas.
Level Progression by Area
There will be 2 "starter zones" to choose from
Mount Hyjal and Vashj'ir --> Deepholm --> Uldum --> Twilight Highlands

All other zones throughout the Old World will be affected to some degree or another. Many will receive almost complete new looks. Here are some area changes that were mentioned.
Barrens will be torn in half and become northern and southern. Lush tropical areas instead of desert.
Desolace will also be transformed into a more lush area.
Darkshore will be wrecked as the Night Elves are forced to move North and the Horde become more entrenched in that area.
Stonetalon, the Charred Vale becomes "the more charred vale". The Talondeep Path is no more. Torn out by the Goblins in the area it is now a valley between the two areas.
Azshara will be changed to a level 10-20 Goblin area and new Goblin camps move in.
Dark Whisper Gorge will become part of Mount Hyjal and become a gateway to that area.
All major cities will be getting revamps to allow for flying.

Along with area visual changes there will be reconfiguring of all the quests and quest areas to provide for a better flowing experience. Most areas will be reduced to about a 5 level gain, and will offer good progression through the zones. In other words, you will not be stuck in STV for 15 levels.

Along with the new zones there will be one PVP area similar to Wintergrasp named Tol Barad. The battle will begin at intervals and the winning faction will have access to a dungeon and more daily quests and rewards. This Island has not been completely fleshed out as to its location, but was reputed to be off Southshore & Wetlands inside that bay. In addition to this PVP zone there will be a new battleground, Battle for Gilneas, and new arena(s).

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