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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Blizzard
Developer: Blizzard
Release Date: Dec. 7, 2010

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'World of Warcraft' Upcoming Patch Brings Changes To All Classes, Glyph System

by Rainier on Oct. 11, 2010 @ 6:48 p.m. PDT

WoW: Cataclysm brings sweeping changes to the world of Azeroth, with two new playable races, new levels of power, challenging quests, dungeons in all-new zones, and dramatic changes to familiar aspects of the game in the wake of a world-shattering disaster.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will bring sweeping changes to the world of Azeroth. Players will be able to adventure as two new playable races, achieve new levels of power, take on challenging quests and dungeons in all-new zones, and experience dramatic changes to familiar aspects of the game in the wake of a world-shattering disaster.

In Cataclysm, players will witness the face of Azeroth being altered forever, as the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing awakens from his subterranean slumber and erupts onto the surface, leaving ruin and destruction in his wake. As the Horde and Alliance race to the epicenter of the cataclysm, the kingdoms of Azeroth will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation.

Building on the foundation established in World of Warcraft and its first two expansions, Cataclysm will add a variety of new content and offer players the opportunity to rediscover Azeroth and experience the game from a whole new perspective.

Patch 4.0.1 will bring about major changes to all World of Warcraft classes, including sweeping talent tree revamps, altered spells, and improved abilities. Blizzard will alsobe introducing a major overhaul of the current glyph system, featuring a host of changes including the addition of a new glyph tier, the transition of glyphs from consumable items to permanent spells, and a more streamlined user interface.

Death Knights

  • The way in which runes regenerate has been changed. Rather than each rune type (Blood, Frost, Unholy) regenerating simultaneously, they now fill sequentially. For example, if you use two Blood runes, then the first rune will fill up before the second one starts to fill up. You essentially have three sets of runes filling every 10 seconds instead of six individual runes filling every 10 seconds. This allows the death knight rotation to be more forgiving, so that the player can take advantage of things like ability procs or respond to movement. This system makes it a little easier to get back on track without six separate runes now "out of sync" from the standard rotation.
  • The time has come to dedicate a death knight talent tree to tanking, and that is what is in store for the Blood tree. We felt that we could offer a more focused and polished tanking tree rather than having to scatter similar tools throughout the trees. This also allows us to really focus the other trees into more flavorful damage-dealing specializations.
  • The Runic Empowerment mechanic allows for runes which were on cooldown to instantly activate, which prevents the rotation from becoming too predictable and boring.

  • Eclipse is a new mechanic being added for Balance druids. The resource is managed through a new bar near the health and mana bars. As the druid casts Arcane spells, the bar moves towards the sun element until the druid achieves a Solar Eclipse, which buffs Nature damage. The goal is then to cast Nature spells, until the bar moves toward the moon element, which triggers a Lunar Eclipse and buffs Arcane damage. The gameplay becomes trying to quickly move the bar from one end to the other in order to maximize each Eclipse buff.

  • Focus is a new resource which has replaced mana. Hunters never felt like they should be casting mana-based spells, and having a resource that lasted for a long time and then was painfully gone didn’t lead to compelling gameplay.
  • Hunters can now use Call Pet to choose from among five different pets. They can swap out any of these five pets with other pets they have tamed by visiting a Stable Master. The Stable Master now allows the hunter to store twenty pets total.
  • Pet families have been updated. Each family can now provide unique buffs to parties or raids, so if a class buff is needed for a raid and that class isn't represented in the group, chances are a hunter can provide a little assistance by calling out a specific pet.
  • Ammo is no more. As a hunter, you're just that good now.
  • Any quivers or pouches used to store ammo will automatically be converted into a bag of roughly equal value.

  • Holy Power is a new resource which works similarly to combo points. Paladins will generally want to build up Holy Power until it shines through with a bright yellow glowing effect. Once Holy Power has been built up, it can be consumed to augment existing abilities. For example, Word of Glory can be used to cast an instant-cast free heal. This gives paladins several options for how to spend their Holy Power, depending on the scenario.

  • As items, Soul Shards are going away entirely.
  • Any shard bags used to store Soul Shards will automatically be converted into a bag of roughly equal value.
  • Soul Shards are now a new resource for warlocks. Each warlock will have a total of three. These Soul Shards can be expended using a new spell, Soul Burn, which allows the warlock to augment the next spell cast. The augmentation effect will vary depending on which spell is used, and all warlock spells which can be empowered by Soul Burn will have a tooltip listing of the effect it grants. Soul Shards will no longer be necessary for summoning demons or casting any other spell typically used when out of combat.

  • Rage is being normalized so that its generation is no longer based on damage done by auto-attacks. Each auto-attack will provide a set amount of Rage, with off-hand weapons granting 50% of the rage main-hand weapons do. Haste will allow Rage to generate more rapidly by increasing attack speed. In addition, while taking damage, the amount of Rage generated will now be based on the warrior's health rather than the opponent's level. The essence of this change is to improve the scaling that occurs with warrior gear. With warriors balanced around the top tiers of items, we've found that the class tends to underperform more drastically than others in lower-quality items. These changes should correct that.

Glyphs will now be separated into three different tiers: minor, major, and prime.

  1. Prime - Prime glyphs will typically provide direct increases to damage or healing throughput. Examples of prime glyphs include Glyph of Howling Blast, which will cause the death knight ability Howling Blast to infect targets with Frost Fever, and Glyph of Insect Swarm, which increases the damage of druid's Insect Swarm ability by 30%.
  2. Major - Major glyphs will typically augment spells and abilities to offer additional utility. Examples of major glyphs include Glyph of Silencing Shot, which will cause a hunter to instantly gain 10 focus when successfully silencing an enemy's spell cast, and Glyph of Ice Block, which will reset the cooldown on Frost Nova every time a mage uses Ice Block.
  3. Minor - Minor glyphs will typically provide players with additional convenience or cosmetic changes. Examples of minor glyphs include Glyph of Righteousness which will reduce the mana cost of Seal of Righteousness for paladins by 50%, and Glyph of Levitate which will remove the reagent requirement for a priest's Levitate spell.

In total, there will be nine glyph slots: three minor, three major, and three prime. As players level, they will be able to progressively unlock "sets" of these slots in increments of three (one minor slot, one major slot, and one prime slot). The first set of glyph slots will be unlocked at level 25, the second at level 50, and the final at level 75.

In addition to the glyph tier changes, glyphs will also be transitioning from single-use items to permanent spells that a player can learn. While the item from which a glyph will be taught will still be consumed on use, once a glyph is learned, a player will always have access to it. This functionality will feel very similar to the current mechanic that allows players to learn certain recipes and patterns from item drops.

Despite these changes, activating a glyph will more or less function as it does now. To activate a glyph, players will simply need to select the desired glyph from their list of known glyphs and then click on the appropriate tiered slot.

With the transition from single-use items to permanent spells, the process for switching activated glyphs has been slightly altered. Similar to activating a learned glyph, players will need to select the new glyph from their list of known glyphs and then "place" it on top of the old glyph. While this process will not destroy the old glyph as it does at present, it will require a new reagent, Vanishing Powder (for level 80 and below) or Dust of Disappearance (for level 81 and above), which can be purchased from Inscription vendors or be crafted by scribes.

As a precaution, the following dialogue will also appear before a glyph is exchanged:

Are you sure you want to inscribe this glyph? The existing glyph will be lost.

Cost: 1 Dust of Disappearance

Players will be given the opportunity to confirm the exchange or cancel out of it. Please note that the old glyph will not be permanently lost; it will simply be deactivated.

To complement each of these changes, the glyph UI window has been completely redesigned. All glyphs will now be organized in the glyph panel according to their tier (minor, major, or prime) and, much like how class spells and abilities display in the trainer window, will be sortable by "Already Known," "Unavailable," and "All Glyphs" categories. Players will also be able to search for glyphs using keywords and results will populate under each corresponding collapsible tier.

To access the new glyph UI, players will need to open up the Talent pane (default: N) and then click on the "Glyphs" tab.

Key Features:

  • Two New Playable Races: Adventure as the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.
  • Increased Level Cap: Advance to level 85 and earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to customize characters.
  • Classic Zones Remade: Quest to level 60 as you never have before. Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been reforged by the cataclysm and updated with new quests and content.
  • Flying Mounts in Azeroth: Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms from a whole new perspective.
  • Guild Advancement: Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.
  • New High-Level Content: Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great sunken city of Vashj'ir beneath the sea, and enjoy even more high-level raid content than in previous expansions.
  • New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds: Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.
  • Archaeology: Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.
  • New Race and Class Combinations: Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations

The expansion will be available for Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh at a suggested retail price of €34.99 and will also be offered as a digital download from the Blizzard Store. A special Collector’s Edition packed with bonus items will be available exclusively in retail stores for a suggested retail price of €69.99.

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