The following is a list of highlights reavealed for the new expansion.
- Level cap increased to 90.
- The Emerald Dream is now accessible through the four portals located throughout Azeroth.
- New race for the Alliance: Furbolgs
- New race for the Horde: Ogres
- New Race / Class combinations. See the chart below.
- New monsters, quests, and zones
- Several new dungeons and raids
- Classic zones forever changed by the Nightmare. The changes will be made available to all players regardless of expansion purchase.
- Ability to fly anywhere due to the Azeroth revamp. The blood elf and draenei starting zones will still be instanced.
- Rated battlegrounds, an alternative way to earn arena points
- Ragnaros was banished in the Molten Core, but has now returned to burn Nordrassil.
- Profession level cap raised to 525 and will be named Illustrious <Profession>.
- New ability for Jewelcrafters, Engineers, Blacksmiths, Leatherworkers and Tailors called "Reforging"
- Stat changes:
- Armor penetration is being removed from gear. However, some physical damage specs may still be able to gain armor penetration through talents and / or mastery bonuses.
- Attack power is being removed from gear. Death knights, paladins and warriors will still gain 2 attack power per point of strength, and all druids, hunters, shamans and rogues will get 2 attack power per point of agility and no attack power from strength.
- Block value is being removed from the game, blocking will provide percentile damage reduction, which can be increased through talent trees and mastery bonuses.
- Defense is being removed from the game, including both defense rating and the defense skill. All tanking specs will get anti-critical hit talents similar to Survival of the Fittest.
- Haste for melee and physical ranged DPS classes will affect the rate at which energy, rage, focus and runes are gained. Enhancement shamans and retribution paladins will gain talents which allow them to gain similar benefits from haste. It will no longer provide weapon speed increase as it once did for these classes. Haste for casters is unchanged.
- Mastery is being added. Mastery will provide a bonus based on the talent tree which has the most points in it, such as armor penetration or cooldown reduction.
- MP5 is being removed, all healing specs will rely on spirit for mana regeneration. Holy paladins and restoration shamans may get mana regeneration talents like Intensity and Meditation, or the 5 second rule may be removed. Spell DPS classes will no longer rely on spirit for mana regeneration, and spirit will no longer be on spell DPS gear.
- Spell power is being removed from items. Characters will gain spell power from intellect much like how they currently gain attack power from agility and strength.
- Many passive talents with generic bonuses, such as increased critical strike chance, damage reduction or increased healing, and specifically those that provide bonuses to buffs and perhaps debuffs, are being removed, and each talent tree will provide passive bonuses based on the number of points invested in it.
Race and class combination chart
|Cataclysm class chart |
Among the many figures confirmed to have major roles in the story of Cataclysm are:
- The Nightmare, a strange force that has manifested itself in to Azeroth, confirmed as the principal villain of the expansion.
- Thrall, who, being the leader of the Horde and the world's strongest shaman, has plenty of work to do after the Nightmare's assault.
- Garrosh Hellscream, who continues to cause internal tensions in the Horde.
- Varian Wrynn, who leads the Alliance after the Nightmare's assault.
- Malfurion Stormrage, who has been confirmed to play a big role in the expansion.
- Brann Bronzebeard, up to his old tricks as leader of the expedition into the newly-uncovered Uldum region.
- Ysera, leader of the Green Dragonflight and protector of the Emerlad Dream.
- Ragnaros, who remains alive to challenge the world in Mount Hyjal.
- The Twilight Hammer cult is a major player in the new expansion; its minions are revealed to be working for the Nightmare.
New battlegrounds are planned to be added with the expansion.
New arenas are planned to be added with the expansion.
Tol Barad will be an outdoor PvP zone much like Wintergrasp. Unlike Wintergrasp however, Tol Barad will also be the main daily quest hub in the expansion. By taking control of the Tol Barad Prison, players will gain access to additional, very profitable daily quests.