(Editor’s Note: This is a heavy dose of possible spoiler information. If you don’t want to know anything about the upcoming expansion, whether it is true or hearsay I would suggest tuning in tomorrow.)
You are now entering…
…the myriad shades of random thought.
Anyway, by now you have probably heard about MMO-Champion’s post talking about leaked Cataclysm info. I’m not one to pass up on information. Curiosity has killed this cat hundreds of times.
Raising the level cap to 85 sounds fine with me, making those levels a bit harder to achieve rather than just another 10 levels to grind through is a neat idea. Even neater would be having those levels actually be hard to obtain. I come from the days of achieving a level as a struggle, I liked that struggle. In Everquest you had hell levels every 10 levels and each one was like a milestone in the characters life. A lot of people burned out during their hell levels and never made it past them. Those were the good ole’ days… walking back and forth to school in the snow uphill both ways.
That’s not the way it is done now though. Almost all of the MMOs are a much more casual friendly style. I’m not saying its bad, obviously I don’t mind it to much as I’ve stuck with this game for quite some time now. I just don’t see Blizzard pushing this very much. Maybe just having the levels be twice as much XP? Going from 80 to 81 (with only a 5 level raise) being the equivalent of going from 80 to 82. Then, when the next expansion is nearing they’d drop the experience required by 50% so it wasn’t a crazy grind for new players.
Speaking of new players, the new class / race combinations I absolutely love. Any game I’ve ever played I’ve always thought that every race should be every class. One type might be more rare than others (read: dwarven female anything) but that’s okay. The whole point of the game is to take the route you want to take. The only downside to this information… is that now I don’t want to level some of my alts!
The ones listed so far are,
- Human Hunter
- Orc Mage
- Night Elf Mage
- Dwarf Mage
- Blood Elf Warrior
- Dwarf Shaman
- Undead Hunter
- Tauren Paladin
- Tauren Priest
- Gnome Priest
- Troll Druid
When I saw dwarf shaman, I crapped myself. I’ve always wished my shaman could be dwarf. One of the main reasons I don’t play her as much is because she is a space goat… I don’t like them. The recent changes to shamans has made them quite a bit more fun though. I find myself wanting to raid with her more and I love the way she heals and the way totems drop, I’m falling in love all over again. Then I see that stupid tail and those horns… /le sigh.
I’m almost certain I remember seeing a dwarf mage in one of the original videos for World of Warcraft. I was almost sure that I remembered a dwarven mage in Warcraft 3. Then the game went live and it was no more… did I imagine it? I don’t play a mage now though but I’m that in love with dwarves that I’d consider making one and leveling it! The troll druid is pretty nice as well, I’m curious as to what other alliance race they’d make druids?
The next info listed on the MMO Champ’s list is the new races, Worgen (alliance) and Goblins (horde). The story information seems valid enough (read: I don’t give a shit what the reason is, just give me more races.) I don’t know why Worgens would have human / worgen form though. I see no reason to ever be in human form when you’re a fucking worgen! I hope they don’t choose this as the second race for druids.
Cataclysm itself is supposed to have something to do with another Old God, Queen Azshara, and the Maelstrom (that big swirly whirlpool thingie in the center of the map ingame). Because of this they are bringing the focus back to Azeroth and plan on streamlining leveling and adding content to unfinished areas…
…which leads to the announcement of flying in normal Azeroth. Blizzard has said countless times before that the game just wasn’t designed for that. You can find videos all over Youtube about why this is so, I selected this one for you. If you don’t watch it, what you are missing is that Azeroth was designed for a visual standpoint of you being on the ground. Because of this you have wide open spaces of flat terrain that aren’t visible because they are behind a cliff or tree’s that exist in midair or just a complete lapse of texture from an high vantage point.
That’s fine to me honestly, I’m never going to see those places so, out of sight, out of mind. If they do decide to fix this and bring in flying though, kick ass. I can’t wait.
All in all its pretty kewl… the problem though is that it takes about 2 years (24 months) for them to make an expansion. Let’s assume that they cut their production time by 25% by not having to create a whole new continent. They are simply fixing the continents that already exist. That puts us at 18 months. Let’s figure that Blizzard started working on this expansion right after Lich King went live, about another 10 months knocked off (8 months left). You could probably add 2-3 months for random technical issues plus the fact that Blizzard is having issues with their new Battle.net 2.0 technology (you would only know that if you are keeping up with Starcraft 2 info) and I’d guess up to 4 months of stall time. Back up to 12 months.
That puts my prediction at August of next year for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. This would have to make you wonder though, what is Blizzard’s thoughts on keeping us from getting bored by the time the expansion comes out? There is only one more dungeon expected out, 3.3 – The Lich King himself.
In patch 2.1 the Black Temple was released (May 22nd, 2007). At that time I really didn’t worry to much about the expansion (was it even announced yet?) I just knew I wanted to get there and kill that stuff. WoW was a lot harder then as well. You had Serpentshrine Cavern(SSC) and Tempest Keep’s(TK) final bosses that were… final bosses. We skip forward to patch 2.3, November of 2007, when Zul’aman (and guild banks woot!) were released.
In February of 2008 Relentless (the guild I’m colead of with, Dariar and Delinia) is formed. We quickly progressed through SSC and TK early bosses (read: Not Kael and Vashj) and jumped into Hyjal. We geared up pretty quickly in SSC and TK and the early Hyjal bosses and got into Black Temple. Shortly after this, March of 2008, 2.4 came out and Sunwell. Progress a bit more to Lich King coming out, 3.0, in November of 2008.
/history lesson off.
The point I somehow managed to string out over a couple of paragraphs was that there was 8 months between the final dungeon coming out and the next expansion coming out. We don’t even have a glimmer of Arthas coming out. Blizzard has been doing more excellerated patch releases so we’ll say Arthas comes out in November / December (the time between Ulduar and Coliseum was 3 months). Still puts us at August’ish of next year before Cataclysm.
That gives us tons of time for them to cut things and say we don’t have time for this.
Take all this super early information with a grain of salt and unlike me, try to not let this effect your decisions on alts and what you do to have fun in the game.