Speculation on Cataclysm

Look, before this gets any deeper, and omigawd was I right about the explosion of hate already unleashed, I’d like to speculate on what the world zones and playable areas could be, without the hate spin and rhetoric of detractors.

I’m seeing a lot of hate directed towards ‘rehashing the same old content’, instead of the expansion being an entirely new continent or world.

From the sounds of what I read on MMO Champion, the impression I carried away was of a world where the Maelstrom erupted once again, new lands have risen, old lands have shattered, and in some cases even sunk back into the sea.

I have seen concerns that everything is just going to be ‘bumped up’ in level, but same old, same old. I have seen concerns that flying could never be implemented because of the current size of the Azerothian continents.

If the Maelstrom were to cause a world shaking Cataclysmic event, Blizzard would have free reign to reduce the existing size of Azeroth, streamlining/reducing the size of level 1 – 60 content quests and zones available, which would then actually match what is needed when you take into account the accelerated leveling changes. Who here really has to run even half the existing content to level an alt? Anyone?

I like the current system, because I can skip whatever zones I’m weary of at the moment. But I can see how some of the existing zones could be revamped as higher level content, without negatively impacting low leveling options.

So I see it possible that the continents of Azeroth themselves could be made smaller, some zones have wormholes or cavernous fissures break open unleashing higher level monsters, others becoming isolated from surrounding zones requiring flight to reach them, and some zones remaining starter zones while others adjacent get bumped considerably upward in difficulty.

I saw mention made, specifically, of old zones that had been planned but never implemented finally getting released. So, rather than one coherent new continent in the expansion, this would be a redesign of the old, plus the mixing in of brand new zones right in the middle of (or adjacent to) the familiar, and the massive changing of others.

That kind of arrangement would accomplish one thing Blizzard has always been keen on… keeping Azeroth feeling vital, busy and alive. 

As things are now, and you know it well, Northrend is the hub of all activity, bustle and commerce, except for those things that force us to visit capital cities for auctioning and class training. You see alts wandering alone in the world, and high levels grinding low level tradeskills or farming for alts, and you see small groups heading off for old world raiding.

This change would send characters of all levels traveling everywhere in Azeroth, and I am sure part of the redesign would be to mix in low level zones with high, encouraging the player interaction and ‘bumping’.

Of course, with flying active in Azeroth, you still wouldn’t see a ton of interaction and mixing… but you’d certainly see more folks stopping in random cities to sell to vendors and repair. Things would feel more alive in general.

I have to say, if this is what they do intend, I feel confident that the concerns over ‘no new content, boring old rehash of existing content’ can be countered with logic and reason.

The strange class/race combinations, I honestly haven’t got a clue. I am not a lore master, so I cannot possibly come up with where Troll Druids or Tauren Paladins would come into play. Just, I cannot do it.

Personally, I don’t believe this really will happen. I’d enjoy it too much, and it wold take a ton, a massive insane ton of work on Blizzard’s part. I’d like to, and I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t. I’ve been wrong plenty of times before, so who knows. But this… this just feels like too much work on Blizzard’s part for too little ‘come see new shiny’. 

If Blizzard were to do it, they’d be doing it in part to make some massive changes to the entire world that would feel epic in scope, and shake us out of our old ‘been there, done that, killed the boss, looted the epic shirt’ attitude so many people seem to have. For that reason, I hope it happens. I’d love to see Blizzard mount a change like this, make this kind of commitment, to drive a world changing event of unprecedented scope.

I’d like to see this happen. I’d love to see the world of Azeroth come alive again, and to see people congregating at Molten Core or Blackwing lair for a night of serious action. 

I am also aware that my opinion may very well be the lone voice of approval amidst the howl of protest about to break loose in the WoW community.

Umm, okay, except for one thing.

Blizzard, please keep Druids to Tauren and Night Elves, okay? Just for me? If you can’t, at least let the reason be some awesome lore stuff, and not a ‘because we wanted to open up the classes to more races’ thing. I’d like there to be some serious lore shit going on, if Trolls suddenly dropped the bong and picked up some kitty pride, knowhutimean?


37 thoughts on “Speculation on Cataclysm

  1. 😦 i dont like the idea of troll druids at all. It may be because I have a troll rogue but the trolls just dont seem docile, or nature loving enough for a druid class.

    as for tauren priests and paladins, bring them both on, i have been wishing for this for quite some time 😀


  2. Kinda agree with Sedge. It’s nice that they are revamping things like MC, but its not what I am expecting from a major expansion. I guess I’m just tired of the game, i am not sure i want to level a character, not to 60, to 70, or to 80, but to 85 or 90 (i think the new level cap will be 90). All those things that were ‘leaked’ are nice, but not must haves. Although what would be? I’m not sure more of the same is going to keep people interested. “look here’s a bunch of new dungeons, oh wait they are actually old dungeons”. Ditto for raids. I like this idea, but its not new. If they really expanded their raids to more than two per expansion it would be a good start (trial – i haven’t even seen the 10/25 man yet, but come on, that’s just not epic).

    BC was *so* much better. We had the netherdrakes. We had illidan. We had skyguard, and ogrila. We had a bunch of cool dungeons. Sure the rep grinding sucked. We had 1 large 10 man and two 25 man beginner raids, and a 25 man second tier raid, and another 25man third tier. All in all we have 7 multi-boss raids and two single boss raids in BC. Yeah i like doing everything on 10 man. BUt I dont like the option of only naxx/ulduar.


  3. I think the revamp is great and phasing will go a long way to replayability for the old zones. My only concern is with the phasing portion that if you want to help someone or you are dual boxing an alt then you are kinda screwed if you get phased and your lowbie doesn’t. That will be really horrible if you get phased as you AoE grind a big group for your lowbie friend or you want to farm a non phased area. They would have to make new phased zones in the old world that the lowbies couldnt get to or it will cause lots of nightmares.


  4. But what happens to all that stellar Barrens chat??

    Seriously, though. If they introduce phased areas, power leveling a lower toon goes by the wayside (How many of us did the beginning Argent Crusade quests and then came back to show a friend the ropes and couldn’t see them?) Revitalizing the old content is great. And if I’m nostalgic, leveling an alt will solve that.

    I’m not that into the lore stuff but am kinda sad/jealous/protective that other races can be druids.


  5. Although the task of revamping the Old World will be an ambitious undertaking, I think it is also a necessary one to facilitate easier development down the road. For this reason I tend to believe that at this point Blizzard would stop and address this hanging issue.


  6. I don’t buy it, especially this early in the cycle. Alpha leaks we’ve seen, but this before it’s even announced…

    Anybody remember the burning crusade “leak”: http://www.wowguru.com/forums/showthread.php?p=55141? It got a few things right, but many things (important things) dead wrong.
    Remember the fake patch notes that have popped up a few times?

    Heck, we don’t even know that the Cataclysm trademark is for the next expansion (or even that there will be a next expansion, for that matter), instead of the new MMO Kaplan announced.

    Plus, even if it is a real leak, at this stage in development, all but the most general items are subject to change before it’s even announced, much less released.


  7. “I have got to say that revamping old content for higher level is great. Onyxia & Ragnaros are supposed to be these huge badass threats, aren’t they?”

    Yeah they WERE badass threats. We killed them.

    Mind you I have no problem with what they are doing with Onyxia. 3.2.2 is not a major content patch so the update to Onyxia is a complete bonus. I believe I would be less happy with an expansion that reintroduced a bunch of old raids. But if they were to handle all of the old bosses the same way, toss them in in mini patches, and not make them the focus of an expansion I think I would be ok. Though the amount of trash in the old raids…suuuuuuuuuuuucks


  8. I have got to say that revamping old content for higher level is great. Onyxia & Ragnaros are supposed to be these huge badass threats, aren’t they? Well, not in their current state. As neat as it might be to get achievements, it is even better that the game experience be awesome, IMO. Personally, I’d like to see the old Onyxia quest chain back in BRD . . . or something like it anyway. I really love the concept that BRD was . . . this beautiful sprawling Dungeon that players had reason to return to frequently. Not just a gear grind . . . but also faction rewards, profession advancement, sheer entertainment! Is there anything like that in Outland or Northrend? Did dailies replace Blackrock Depths?

    Revamping them is especially welcome from the perspective of a relatively new player. I mean, we have quest chains that lead up to Molten Core and Blackwing Lair . . . and then go nowhere because we can’t get a group together to do them. Or at least, the chains go nowhere until we’re a high enough level that finishing them is trivial. Revamping them gives a sense of engagement while levelling pre-60.

    The class changes are, for the most part, awesome. I mean, it can’t possibly make sense that every Blood Elf fighter-type is a Champion of the Light, Trolls are as bound to nature as Night Elves & Tauren, and finally . . . Finally! . . . we can make an all gnome party! The only addition that stumps me is Night Elf Mage. Didn’t we swear that off? I mean, they must be some sort of societal dregs, right? Maybe analogous to Warlocks among Humans?


  9. Having new races that can be druids makes sense now. The bear and cat forms were just updated, but maybe that’s because Blizz was making new models for the new races.


  10. “I have to say, if this is what they do intend, I feel confident that the concerns over ‘no new content, boring old rehash of existing content’ can be countered with logic and reason.”

    Whereas I agree with you, I’m not so sure that “Logic and Reason” sell expansions. There are a lot of people who do not want to shell out another $40 or so just so they can cruise around Azeroth once more. I feel that although this “expansion” offers a lot of nice little gimmicks and perks, it’s not quite full expansion material. It seems to only be .25 or .50 of what I’d expect, I mean, look at TBC or WotLK…

    .-= Sedgewick´s last blog ..Ask Sedge: Vol 2 =-.


  11. I didn’t say there weren’t warriors… I just said they shouldn’t be. Same goes for gnomes.

    “around the lore forever, worgens not nearly as much,”

    And what bit of lore there is lists them as a completely evil amoral race. If Worgen does turn out to be true there is going ot be some serious lore twisting going on.

    Goblins work best as a neutral race, it even makes more sense as so long as they are playing with both sides they maximize profit.

    And my goblin and gnome hate extends beyond WoW 😛 I despised the Goblins in WAR as well.


    My particular dream introduction of two new races would be ones that are completely neutral to either side until you complete a quest line for whichever side you want to pledge allegiance to. Hell i tmakes more sense than every single being of a particular race just blindly following every one else.


  12. why would you say that a goblin cannot be a warrior? Never been to booty bay?…but seriously, goblins have been around the lore forever, worgens not nearly as much, but goblins…hell in the lore of old there was a goblin prince who had already sided with the horde before.


  13. My entire guild is contemplating a mass reroll as worgen at this point >.< Assuming everything is true.

    Goblins…..really? Great I get a green gnome… I HATE gnomes…I HATE goblins. I don’t like the lore, I don’t like the overall way either is portrayed. They don’t even work for most classes..Paladin, nope, they worship money, Priest, ditto, Druid, ditto, warrior, sorry but just as gnomes shouldn’t be a warrior neither should a goblin. Rogue is just about the only one that fits their style.

    Can you tell I really don’t like goblins?


  14. Aren’t balanced druid night elves bringing the arcane funk every day?

    Also, if the gnomes are gonna get a healing class: Paladins. Arcane Paladins to be exact. They are bent on freeing Gnomeregan of the mechanical scourge and they have a spell called “haywire” which is essentially “turn undead” for machines. They’d be a little underpowered compared to other paladins for the simple fact that if the do arcane damage then some monsters might actually have arcane resistance but that’s fine : P. I think that some gnome warriors would have thought of this while they were helping the humans with Strat and Lorederon.

    My eternal opinion on undead classes is that they should be the same as the human classes for as long as the playable forsaken are all human models. If they want different class options then you should be able to click what race your forsaken is also.


  15. My 2-cents

    Why anyone is down on this is beyond me. The new classes, if you read some of lore explains a lot of it. Check on mmorpg-champion and one of the posters listed all but three of them. As for the phasing, I would assume they would use the phasing so that possibly a new character sees azeroth in the old way, but once a character hits 80- he gets a video and then returns to kalimdor and the eastern kingdoms to find them shattered shells of their once former glory and a low level 17 will not see an 80+ toon in the same area…either that or some places being phased while others are not (they could take the approach of having new characters be new horde/alliance characters joining the ranks after the cataclysm.

    How many times have people as a player felt completely seperate from their race. You are one of the biggest heroes of the Tauren people but you come back and a level 40 arch druid is teaching you and everything is the same and not a single tauren looks to you in awe or asks you for an audience at the war table. Finding the wounded tauren who talks about the fight in thunderbluff was small but awesome. It gives a feel of a connectedness to all of Azeroth, that what is going on in Northrend is affecting the world.

    There should be more of this, I would love to see the world change…I want to go back to my Tauren lands and interact with my leader. The intrigue of story for this could be massive…not to mention BE HAPPY!!! this is the first time you are really getting brand new, in your face, this is how the world of azeroth is changing for all of its games! new content??? Getting a new continent is not new content…it would have been a cop out to say…we ran out of story….um yea this continent magically comes in to being with new highlevel things to beat up. I for one welcome them evolving what they have and making us feel like we are in fact participating in a living breathing world that changes….one word..W00T

    ps….my druid is so coming for some orcs if what they said takes place!


  16. I don’t know for sure about Troll druids, but I do recall it being said before that Troll society doesn’t exactly foster the mental discipline and rigor for learning druidic magic, though perhaps that view has changed. Night Elven magi, though, are the one thing that truly jumps out as unlikely, and I’ll admit I hope they don’t do it. For one thing, the Highborne were almost universally killed, turned into naga, turned into satyr, or went across the sea to become High/Blood Elves. Those that survived the Sundering were exiled by Tyrande and Malfurion unless they agreed to forsake arcane magic forever. Shen’dralar is the only known exception to date, and that’s because they were hidden in their city for ten thousand years and fell under the radar.

    Night Elves also blame arcane magic and its misuse for the war that nearly destroyed their civilzation. The Highborne themselves effectively allowed the War of the Ancients to happen, were tempted into helping the Legion, and effectively ensured the deaths of millions of Kal’Dorei. When the Highborne’s abuse of magic more or less blew up the world, sunk most of Azeroth’s landmass and created the Maelstrom, the Night Elves quite understandably swore off arcane magic forever. The Highborne mentioned who wants so badly to draw arcane power from the nearby Moonwell would probably get shot by twenty different Sentinels if he even tried.

    That is the only class combination that I really find unlikely. The others don’t seem so bad; I’ve even heard many discussed for a long time, some even as far back as Vanilla WoW Beta. And besides, you can now go out and found an all-tauren guild called “The Hand of Angus,” what’s not to like?


  17. My thoughts went along similar lines when I opened up MMO-Champion today. I’d like to see some non-instanced BRM and TM-SS mass pvp revived and other pvp hot spots. The old world had it’s charm when it was new, so I look forward to seeing if they’ll be able to pull it off again.


  18. @BBB, great post! I gave you props on my blog!

    @ All, I would prefer that they not add troll druids just due in general to the current lore base (trolls were not amongst the chosen followers) however, if they geek out and produce a far more extensive lore base with expanded areas that bring it to light, then fine. Shamans seem to be fitting just fine in a troll background. I don’t think I ever heard of anyone author or any game (e.g. ADND) that ever had trolls loving nature and balance and switching into ‘natural beast’ forms. Troll druids = commerical gimmick on Blizzards part if they do that. Then again, if you are going to do that, do the troll druid cat forms come with shades, bling bling, and serious Caribbean motif colors?!

    Arguably, if you are willing to break a new lore book out to enable trolls to be druids, you might as well just let any race be any class. The argument could quickly lead to wth can’t humans be druids?!

    One last comment, if they allow dwarves to be mages, will they start with Hated as their Ironforge reputation?! = )
    .-= Iron´s last blog ..Re-inventing the Game =-.


  19. I have to say I agree with you bear. This is a great idea on blizzards part if its true, just to re-invent the world and make everything new, instead of just dealing with the same stuff with a new area. If its true though, I would be sad to see all the old world content just gone. Its part of the amazing game, and even though we are tired of all of it (Aren’t we?), but with it all gone, some of the nostalgic element will leave with it. Or maybe they will pull this amazing thing off, and everyone will be happy. I dunno, this wasn’t a very thought out post.

    P.S. Troll druids, I can say I like the idea 😀


  20. Since everybody else has been weighing in on the troll druids thing, the only concern I’d have over it is how much more effort Blizzard’s art department would need to put into implementing druids for two more races, unless they also get placeholder graphics for cat/bear form for 4 years. 😛

    As far as the tauren paladin thing, there’s been a new quest for Horde as of 3.2. Nothing special, just deliver a shield to a wounded warrior who’s back at Thunder Bluff. Stick around the warrior and the druid attending her long enough, and they have an interesting conversation about balance with regards to the sun and moon…


  21. I haven’t seen anyone mention this, but seems likely: If trolls get druids, then Alliance needs another race for druid too, and I’m betting on the Worgen! Might have to reroll my druid as Worgen if that the case. It makes sense with their affinity to the moon . . .

    Also, it seems like a cool opportunity for use of phasing.


  22. I really have to respectfully disagree with you on the Troll Druid. I play Horde exclusively and have always wanted to try a Druid, but am never going to play a Tauren.

    It seems a lot simpler to justify Troll Druids than it does to drop a spaceship into Azeroth or allow Blood Elves to be pallys.

    I’m very excited about the possibility.


  23. I still dont understand why people cant grasp Troll Druids. You have done Zul’Gurub, Zul’Aman, and Gun’drak and all of them have perfect examples of Troll Druids.


  24. Personally, I wont believe it till I see it from Blizzard

    Last round, we had sooo many “here is what we think” , not to mention that Blizzard loves to fill the channels with disinformation.

    what better way to test what the fans are going to say, then release disinformation and gauge the reactions, then deny its implementation if it happened.

    As for the whole Tauren and NE druid thing? I dont think any of the old races should be allowed druid, but Worgen (if its true) should be, because of its animal like charecteristics. I know I would roll one to max level. that or change the race of my druid.

    Also, Blizzard has to be careful, they been on the top for a long time , delivering content that isnt OMGZERS is going to bore the fans and make them look elsewhere.

    There are many games due out next year, I don’t think any of them are WoW killers, maybe Old republic, but only because Bioware shares the same quality that blizzard puts into their games.

    The biggest WoW killer threat that blizzard needs to worry about, is itself. By not making the player base go nuts they stand to bore them, or at least get them thing, well there isnt much new coming.


  25. You know what that’s actually really exciting. It is ALL about the lore (except the troll druid thing, I mean WTF?) If this is real and they do it like it says they will a lot of the lore will also be explained as you play through the content, maybe this will make players focus on exactly what it is we are doing in this game instead of just ‘pewpew’.

    and seriously… gnome priest FTW!

    I’m geeking out 🙂
    .-= Riverwish´s last blog ..Death knights and yes more titles! =-.


  26. I think it sounds awsome.

    Been a bit of a late comer to the game (mid BC) i often wonder through Azeroth lamenting the fact i never got to see a hell of a lot of the old content. I’ve spent a couple of days getting the explorer achievment just as a bit of an excuse for a look around and offered many a free boost to everyone and his mother as a way to justify going into places like Uldamon (the lost vikings in there really made me laugh) or Schoolamance.

    Im not much for the lore of it all to be honest so the new class/race combos dont bother me much but i cant see the problem with Troll Druids. I always think of Hunters/Shamans/Druids as sorta hippy classes, just sitting around a camp fire after a big kill blazing up and listening to some Creadance or something and i think that fits as well with Trolls as any one else.


  27. With making Cataclysm a revamp instead of an actual geographical expansion, what would happen to anyone who doesn’t have it? Would they suddenly find themselves in an intact Azeroth that’s completely phased out, effectively making the game unplayable? It sounds way too complicated technically; I’m skeptical.

    And there’s a big difference between wanting to see a lot of old content touched up and revamped and wanting to see it completely destroyed. The thought of completely losing Thousand Needles alone makes me feel very worried.
    .-= Shintar´s last blog ..I Hate Replenishment =-.


  28. I agree with Sparky. I think that the old world needs to move forward. Give Gnomer back to the Gnomes, have the Darkspear join with the Zandalar and take over ZG, open up Greymane and give us a taste of the unfallen Lorderon…hell, have Sylvanas conquer Strath and give Lorderon back to Jaina (…or the redeemed Heir of Menethil…) Every playable race should have their own capital.

    So much of the old world doesn’t make sense in the face of the nominal current power of players.

    And I just like the old world, and I often regret that there isn’t a single good reason to spend time there past 58…


  29. I wonder if it will truly be a “revamped” old world for everyone, or if old world will remain the same, but lvl 70/80 + will see a “phased” new version of old world. Seems to me that the old continents would need to stay the same for those players that don’t buy the expansions.

    Either way. I’ve been longing for some of the old dungeons and raids to get ramped up to higher levels! Hope it’s true! Woot!


  30. Wow, I hope the revamp of Azeroth is correct, I’d LOVE to see that done, as would many people… give a whole new perspective to these places I never see on my 80’s anymore! The idea of a troll druid, though…. just doesnt work for me… ::shudder::


  31. Hear hear!
    This is the sort of speculation I want to read. A change like this would be amazing, and definitely the kick in the rear that Azeroth sorely needs. After four years there is still quite a bit that I haven’t done, mostly horde-side, but I truly am zonked on doing the same things I’ve done so many times before. This sounds like the herald of true change, and if you’re right, Bear old boy, I will really be excited to see what the next expansion holds.
    .-= Asara´s last blog ..Many Many Accomplishments! =-.


  32. but but but i want a troll druid. tusks > horns.

    actually, from the sound of it, i’m tempted to reroll mains to level through the new content.


  33. I like the idea.

    For new players – they get to see new content anyway. For us old timers – we get to rehash areas that are just a little samey and boring now. And maybe it won’t all be about the end game content again – maybe LEVELLING will be interesting like it was the first time.

    And WoW is kludgy. If we look at the quests and events we’ve done, even with phasing, the lore is getting convoluted and a bit twisted – because HUGE sections of the world aren’t moving on. Isn’t it about time the Blood Elves gave up on the whole “Kael’thas will save us!” thing? Why, after we cleared it out, are the Gnomes STILL camping out in Ironforge – do they not care about Gnomeregan? The whole “missing diplomat” chain is a joke now. And after the next expansion it’s going to be worse. Dalaran is floating over Northrend because… um… Malygos died years ago. Can we move somewhere WARMER? And isn’t it about time the Draenei FINISHED building Exodar? And with the Scourge broken then the Plaguelands, Ghostlands and all of Northrend need a serious revamp. Hells I could go on for hours.

    It needs updating. Time to move the lore on, gives us old schoolers some Feats of Strength and refresh it a little to make alts/new characters interesting and make 80% of the game world USEFUL again

    As to classes:

    Troll druids. Well there’s not a HUGE leap from Shamanism to Druidism, so not much problem there. Human hunters – yeah NOT having them never made sense tbh. Orc Mages? Well they can be locks so they have magic talent. Why not? Night elf mages caught me for a bit but, the elves have ALWAYS been good at magic (too good lorewise) and now the isolationists have outside influences, then some of the young ‘uns are bound to walk down the same path as Illidan and the Quel’dorai. Anything priest/pala sure – anyone can get religion with outside exposure. Dwarf Mage/shaman… uh… um… ok. They lost me there.


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