Shared Topic: Future Cataclysm content patches

This week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is about future Cataclysm content patches. Here’s the skinny:

Although players are still busy digging through all of the Cataclysm raid and heroic content, some are already starting to wonder what we’ll see added to the game in the 4.1 patch and beyond. While we have some hints, what do you expect to see added over the life of the expansion? How many patches? How many new dungeons? What will happen to your favorite professions? And how will the expansion’s storyline continue to unfold — and which loose ends will be wrapped up by the time the 5.0 patch is released?

Well, the facts currently known is that there will probably be three major content patches, 4.1 due around April/May bringing us Ragnaros and ZG/ZA instances. Who would’ve thought we would be looking forward to raiding old instances for new loot this time last year? Perhaps we should’ve seen it earlier when they retrofitted Naxxramas and Onyxia for the current content tier, but I think if we’re going to bring back old content now isn’t too bad a time to do it, as long as the time saved is spent on improving the quality of future patches and not say, Titan.

From the 4.1 leaks as well as Blizzcon’s 2010 D&R panel, we know there will be an event where mobs from the elemental plane of fire invade Hyjal, leading to a new daily quest hub in Firelands. There will be seven bosses and the whole place takes place in a floating land mass similar to Oculus. As well as Zul’Aman/Gurub, Abyssal Maw will be the third 5man coming in 4.1, taking place in Vashjir. It comes with 4 bosses and it will feel different from TotT due to the whole place taking place outside.

4.2 brings us War of the Ancients, a new Caverns of Time raid. With 4.1 taking over our summer, 4.2 will probably come out around Blizzcon 2011, which is on October 21-22. There I see either Titan or Starcraft 2′s expansion being officially announced, and even possibly WoW’s 4th Expansion. After all, Diablo due next year, and Blizzard don’t have a lot of IPs up their sleeve. If it is the expansion then perhaps it will be the Emerald Dream, and the whole naturey flowerey tone will get us PUMPED!!! for War of the Ancients.

War of the Ancients role in Cataclysm’s story is the Demon Soul, the process which became the pivotal turning point from Neltharion into Deathwing. Perhaps Blizzard’s enhanced maps feature will be released around this time, providing boss detail in dungeon maps. Maybe there will be a bunch of dungeons coming with this patch to supplement the raid, such as another Twilight’s Hammer based dungeon in Deepholme.

The big question by now is will we see changes to how guild EXP will work? Blizzard want people to be casual and flexible with how they raid but current daily GEXP caps are incompatible with weekly lockouts. You risk guilds capping out very fast and wasting GEXP one day and vice versa for the rest of the days you’re not raiding. At this point most larger guilds will be level capped, so will Blizzard fix it for the small guilds?

4.3 will feature Cataclysm’s last foe, Deathwing. Perhaps there will be an Onyxia type of raid before 4.3 to tide us over, maybe something as simple as a new Tol Barad boss, but this content patch will probably come out February or so. Blizzard have never been the type to release things around the holiday season, after all.

Whilst the Twilight’s Hammer seem to be pretty much everywhere in Cataclysm, the base of the black dragons is mostly in Twilight Highlands. It is where the duel between Alexstrasza and Deathwing takes place, and it is said that both were pretty wounded from the ordeal. So perhaps Deathwing will find solace in nearby Grim Batol, and look after the remaining clutches of his Twilight brood. Also within his lair will be more servants of the Old God, hinted in the Grim Batol dungeon. And more probably Twilight’s Hammer cultists. Can’t get enough of those guys!

State of the Game

It’s been a while since my last post, and a lot has changed since then. Cataclysm came and when it did for a brief moment we were given a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose to play the game in order to proceed the development of our characters. Around release I switched back from draenei to human to get a rep boost for the new reputation factions as well as the few ones I still haven’t reached exalted with.

I haven’t really been playing a lot of World of Warcraft outside of raiding with the guild. There have been many distractions, but also it seems as a whole the expansion seems to be a lot lacklustre. One of the first things I noticed upon release was how there wasn’t much ambience to the new cities. Whereas Dalaran left an impression with the water fountain, the toy shop and the underbelly amongst other things, the capital cities remain fairly static and boring. I love the makeover, for Stormwind at least, but idling in the new cities just isn’t the same without Minigob Manabonk sheeping me.

I did a bit of the new Azeroth and I absolutely love Thousand Needles. Sailing up and down the zone is great and relaxing and I can only wish Blizzard gave us the ability to use that River Boat anywhere and also have the ability to fish from it. One of the potentially coolest vanity item available and it is restricted to the one zone that people will spend a few days on. Completely wasted!

Archeology has to be the least well-disguised grind ever. Its release iteration was so horrible and unrewarding it felt like you were punishing yourself for attempting to even break from the monotony of idling in a city. Presently it is still pretty bad if you were hoping to get vanity items out of it, but at least you get some gold out of it. Having minimum profession requirements for some items is terrible though. Either make it transparent to the player about the possible rewards or don’t have them. I still can barely bring myself to complete more than two or three artifacts each time.

So overall that’s what I currently feel about the game in general, next time I will probably go into more about Raids & Dungeons. It’s much more exciting and will probably be more positive than this post!

Remembering Wrath Release

Casting my mind back to November I was in an inbetween stage between playing orc warrior and human priest, both had good guilds and bunch of friends but I stuck with the people I knew longer, although it didn’t matter much since I would be quitting the game for the next 6-7 months after the first week!

I had bought the Collector’s Edition and it arrived the previous day so I knew I would be one of the first people to arrive in Northrend, just as I would be the first to enter Outland the couple of years prior to Wrath’s release. However unlike TBC release where Outlands became available immediately after midnight, Northrend came up much earlier, and at around 10-ish a bunch of us were in Borean getting our Grand Master tradeskills and doing the early starting quests. We did Nexus a few times, a guildmate getting realm first skinner shortly afterwards with the amount of dragon mobs to skin. I tried my hand at trying to get realm first fishing but trying to do it in higher levelled Northrend waters wasn’t the best of ideas and someone got it way before I was anywhere close.

Anyway, due to the horrible timing of Wrath release and having to deal with work and school at the same time, and not taking part in the all nighter levelling race my guildmates were having overall made me kinda detached from the whole Wrath experience. I gradually stopped playing at 73 and continued after 3.1 came out. In hindsight it did save me from what seemed like the worst period of Wrath, the black hole of post-Naxx pre-Ulduar, and I didn’t have to deal with fighting for quest mobs!


Despite not having the motivation to level I managed to get my mage guildmate to portal me to Dalaran, where I spent my time trying to get the coin achievements. I didn’t do too bad and was only two gold coins away from the meta achievement by the time I fully quit! It would save time for my Salty title which I got the first couple weeks after reaching 80. Here’s to hoping for a nice relaxing summer release of Cataclysm where I don’t have to deal with upcoming exams!

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