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Thursday, August 27, 2009

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Changes For Everyone In World Of Warcraft's Cataclysm
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Wired has posted a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Cory Stockton about Cataclysm, the upcoming new expansion for the popular MMO, World of Warcraft. In the Q&A the lead content designer describes the many changes coming with the release of the expansion including a new look for nearly every area in the game as well as adjustments to a variety of content. We wonít be able to go back to old world content post-Cataclysm. So what does this mean for new players? And what about players who donít buy Cataclysm?
Stockton: Everyoneís going to get (the world changes of) Cataclysm no matter what. You can be on vanilla WoW. You can be on Burning Crusade (expansion), on Northrend (in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion). No matter what it is, all of the changes to the level 1 to 60 zones will be patched down to everyone. Now granted, thatís going to be a large patch, but everyone will get that content and be able to quest using existing races and classes. You could level up through that just like normal. Thatís just going to be part of (patch) 4.0. For people who are nostalgic for the old world before Cataclysm, is there going to be some way to revisit Azeroth as it was before?
Stockton: I think thatís what Caverns of Time is for. Weíll definitely have the ability to do that kind of stuff, but we are also going to do a huge world event leading up to the Cataclysm. Some time after patch 3.3 and after (the Lich King) Arthas is defeated, youíll definitely see a giant world event that affects the Alliance and the Horde very, very much. Itís going to change everything for them. Itís probably going to last something like a month. Something similar to the zombie invasion before Northrend. It will be something that will roll out slowly over time. But we are planning to do a huge world event, so everyone will know the Cataclysm is coming. With the new races, there are new starting areas. Are there going to be new experiences to teach the player? And does that mean you have to change the starting experience for all the races?
Stockton: Definitely. The actual 1 to 60 Cataclysm revamp is affecting every single zone in the game. So things like the Valley of Trials, where the orcs start in Durotar, will be completely different. For Trolls, Gnomes, everything; youíll see it all the way across the board. In some cases, it wonít be huge changes. Like Elwyn Forest, for example. Weíre pretty happy with it, and thereís not a lot we would do there. We would maybe want to put a flight path out to Eastvale Logging Camp because itís kind of annoying to run all the way there. But other than that, we fell pretty good about it.

Things we would do is to go back and look at quests that say, ďBring me 20 of this item.Ē These days, we might want to cut that to 10. And maybe weíll up the spawn rate on the thing youíre looking for. Thatís the kind of stuff that we go back and do, and those are things we can do really quickly. So in a zone like that, we can burn through it really quick. But in something like the Barrens, where itís split in half, itís regrown, there are huge cracks in it, and Camp Taurajo is burned down and attacked by the Alliance ó in that case, you are talking about an entire revamp. And the zones that are big like that, that we think every player will flow through, those are the zones we are going to spend that time on.
Check out the full interview at the site listed below.

Wired: WoW Cataclysm Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm

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