Building Up To World Of Warcraft's Cataclysm

On December 7, the world of Azeroth changes forever, but fans waiting for the Cataclysm expansion may want to hop back into World of Warcraft before the big day, when lead world designer Alex Afrasiabi says things will be insane.

"We're literally waiting for that time when we flip the switch and BAM, the world is sundered," said Afrasiabi this weekend at BlizzCon when I asked him if the team was ready for the coming Cataclysm. Beta testing is still ongoing, but it's mainly polishing being done at this point.

Earlier this month Blizzard released World of Warcraft patch 4.0.1, a preparatory patch for Cataclysm, introducing some major changes before the expansion, giving players time to acclimate.

But the patch also set the world shaking in preparation for Deathwing's coming rampage.

"Right now on live servers we have world events leading off. Initially there are rumblings, with the earth shaking and quaking, but it's light," Afrasiabi told us. "It steadily ramps up, and the craziness happens."

What sort of craziness? "The cities start getting invaded by the elementals, and Twilight's Hammer comes out. The world's leaders get together, so you do actually participate in that."

Blizzard has a tradition of seeding the world with special one-time only events leading up to major patches and expansion packs. Cataclysm will be no different. It's expected that many lapsed players will return with the expansion to check out the changes made to Azeroth proper after remaining mostly the same for six years.

Going by Alex Afrasiabi's comments, they'll probably want to come back on the final day before launch at the very latest.

"Before we finally flip that switch on the last day, it'll be insane. Like, 'Oh my god, the world is coming to an end!'"


    I thought it was exciting walking through the Dark Portal back when Burning Crusade was released. I can't wait to log in on December 7.

    As much as the expansions add alot to the World of Warcraft experience I never truely liked them as much as vanilla.
    Burning Crusade was good because it kept alot of the hardcore elements, sadly though destroyed proper PvPing.
    Lich King was fun but ulitmatly ruined the game in my eyes and further more destroyed the story established in Frozen Throne....
    Here me hoping Cataclysm isnt so noob freindly and returns some difficulty and in turn some fun.

      I actually think that Vanilla was kinda boring I mean if you had to play vanilla now and we didn't have TBC, WOTLK nobody would've played WoW anymore. Lvling your character took way too long back then. Now you can make a lvl 80 in less then 2 months.

      What made TBC good was the feel of the zones like zangarmarsh which had a very good concept for example the telredor town which is a town on a Mushroom,.. Blade's edge mountains with the spiny rocks on the mountains with impaled dragons,.. . What made WOTLK so good was the death knight class although i don't like the fact that when you return to the scarlet enclave there is nothing anymore. There should be atleast undead minions wandering around etc.

      What CATA is going to make good is the fact that we don't have to do all the same quests with low lvl's. So we don't get bored when lvling a new character and the Horde will have a more major part in this expansions storyline.

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