The Approaching Cataclysm

We have apparently learned the name of the next World of Warcraft expansion due to the usual trademark registering routine.  Something to do with “Cataclysm,” which explains the title of this post.

Didn’t EverQuest II already play the cataclysm card?  Didn’t we all see how that worked out for SOE?

And we also seem to have been made aware of two new races that will be coming as part of that expansion.

I trust in Blizzard due to their track record of moving from success to success… but… Worgen and Goblins?

WoW needs a couple new races like it needs more gold sellers spelling out their web sites in corpses on the streets of Stormwind and Orgrimmar. (Which seems to be on the upswing of late.  What’s the deal with that?)

Worgen and Goblins… hairy trolls with claws and amoral gnomes with bad skin.  Some people see the appeal, but it is lost on me.   Better than blue skinned space goats I suppose.

And, to hear it told, it is all going to be based around that whirlpool in the middle of the map of Azeroth.

Expansion Goes Here

Perfect for a “down the drain metaphor,” just what the competitors want to hear I’m sure.  We need a Mark Jacobs sound bite on that.

This is all still speculation, of course.  Sure, there is some evidence to drive people to these conclusions, but it isn’t final until the Blizzard press release sings.

But with BlizzCon coming up people are expecting to get some details about the next WoW expansion.

In anticipation of that I am going to take some wild ass guesses at what will be in the next expansion, without benefit of research or much in the way of logic.

1. The level cap will go up by 20 levels

-Ten levels or twenty, neither will keep the hard core end-game addicts busy for long, but 20 levels would keep the casual crowd happy for ages.  Plus 100 is a nice, round number.

2. A new level of faction above Exalted

-Because Blizzard knows some of you will grind out 42,000 more points if they just put a shiny achievement and a purple item at the end.

3. Central Focus – The Caverns of Time

-There will be some new lands, but we’ll be going back in time for most of the expansion, to play out new adventures on Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.  Recycled artwork for the win.  This will mean:

3. Most of the original instances re-imagined

-We’ll get to see surprisingly updated versions of places we’ve been.

4. Instances will run in reverse order

-We’ll start in Blackrock Spire and end up in the Deadmines with VanCleef or his predecessor as the big boss at the end of the last raid available at launch. (10 and 25 person versions, of course.)

5. Instanced player housing

6. Some form of guild halls

-This is going to be the money-sink expansion… urm… even more so than Lich King.  Earning gold is easy enough that even I have an epic mount and the people who actually try to earn gold… well… there are a lot of those 18K mammoths running around these days. Both housing and halls will have a base price and then a pile of amenities to buy.  Of course that will required…

7. A new trade skill based around wood and a wood harvesting skill

-They will make all your furniture, some guild hall items, staves, bows, and some raw items that other classes can use in creation of things.

9. Buy orders at the auction house

-Probably not, but it would be nice.  And, as long as I am wishing…

10. Achievement points will mean something

-And won’t all of you who scoffed at them feel bad then!

Those are my crazy guesses.  If I get one right I’m claiming victory.

Oh, one more guess… the expansion will be released in Q4 2010.

What do you think we’ll see in the next WoW expansion?

17 thoughts on “The Approaching Cataclysm

  1. Ess

    20 more levels! Gahh! Hehe… I hope it’s only 10. :)

    I’m not all that interested in playing a goblin (and I don’t play Alliance, really, so worgen are out), but I do like alts, so I’m hoping for an extra pair of character slots per realm. *crosses fingers*

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  2. coppertopper

    Maybe the maelstrom will be the reimagining of the old zones? Someone suggested this a ways back – redoing existing level 0-30 zones to suit end game characters. I have no idea if this fits into warcraft lore, or maybe we are beyond what has been presented to us in previous warcraft games by now.

    The idea of housing, and guild housing would be a win though. Like you said, gold comes cheap now adays.

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  3. Bhagpuss

    I loved the FF11 auction system.

    Goblins are good with me. Can’t go wrong with small races with a sense of humor. Worgen though…weird choice and doubly weird for Alliance.

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  4. BaronPete

    “Maybe the maelstrom will be the reimagining of the old zones? ”

    Good point CopperTopper. If we are getting two new races, I would think Blizz would put a spin on it, to make re-leveling more interesting.

    We’ve all made alts and done the old areas repeatedly now, there has to be an extra incentive at this stage.

    Cataclysm points to a possible ‘re-duxing’ of old World Azeroth, in some form or another.

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  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I am surprised that nobody flinched, much less screamed in abject pain, at the thought of a level of faction above exalted. You must be imagining some very special prestige mount that will come with that enduro test. (I speak as somebody who, after four years, is exalted with exactly two factions.)

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  6. pitrelli

    ‘ am surprised that nobody flinched, much less screamed in abject pain, at the thought of a level of faction above exalted’ probably because noone is surprised. Thats the one thing about Blizzard and the way they handle WoW they are so bloody predictable. For me it had became obvious it certainly is their ‘B team’ working on their cash cow, 3.2 was an absolute horror of a patch. To add some crappy instances with easy epics + change the badge system it just screams out ‘Too lazy or not good enough to do it ?, here have it on a plate’. Im all for making all aspects of the game accessible to the majority of players but WoW has taken it too far this time and really taken away what little challenge the game still had.

    A bit of a rant granted but Im just sad to see a once great game reduced to its current state

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  7. pitrelli

    I should add, I will return to WoW for the expansion (especially if it was up to level 100) because I love the levelling process and the PvE but as soon as I cap my sub would be getting stopped.

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