World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

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"Cataclysm" redirects here. For the warlock talent, see Cataclysm (warlock talent).

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Cata or CC for short) is the upcoming third expansion for World of Warcraft and was officially announced on August 21, 2009 at BlizzCon 2009. The majority of the expansion content takes place in drastically reforged Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.

It is to include the playable races of the worgen for the Alliance and the goblins for the Horde. Flying mounts will finally be usable in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. Deathwing will make his return into Azeroth from Deepholm, causing a new Sundering.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be released in 2010.[1]

The Friends & Family phase of the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm alpha began on May 3rd, 2010.[2]


From the official site:

An ancient evil lies dormant within Deepholm, the domain of earth in the Elemental Plane.

Hidden away in a secluded sanctuary, the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing has waited, recovering from the wounds of his last battle against Azeroth and biding his time until he can reforge the world in molten fire.

Soon, Deathwing the Destroyer will return to Azeroth, and his eruption from Deepholm will sunder the world, leaving a festering wound across the continents. 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.

Information revealed from BlizzCon 2009 onward

The following is a list of highlights from BlizzCon 2009.

  • Level cap increased to 85.
  • Zones are drastically affected by the Cataclysm in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. The Barrens has been split into two, and is full of canyons of lava. Wetlands is destroyed, Ashenvale hit as well. The Maelstrom churns. The changes will be made available to all players regardless of expansion purchase.
  • New race for the Alliance: Worgen
  • New race for the Horde: Goblins
  • New Race / Class combinations. See the chart below. (These will be available only to those who have purchased the expansion[3])
  • New monsters, quests, and zones
  • Several new dungeons and raids
  • 2 new battlegrounds ("Battle for Gilneas City" [4], "Twin Peaks", more will be added via content patches)
  • A new Wintergrasp-like PvP zone, Tol Barad.
  • New secondary profession: Archaeology.
  • Ability to fly anywhere due to the Azeroth revamp. The blood elf and draenei starting zones will still be instanced.
  • Guild advancement system, which includes guild leveling, achievements, and accessories.
  • Rated battlegrounds, an alternative way to earn arena points
  • Profession level cap raised to 525 and will be named Illustrious <Profession>.
  • New ability for Jewelcrafters, Engineers, Blacksmiths, Leatherworkers and Tailors called "Reforging"
  • New glyph type: medium glyph.
  • Stat changes:
    • Armor penetration is being removed from gear[5]. 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, with the exception of druids in bear form / dire bear form, who may get attack power from strength in order to allow them to share tanking cloaks, necklaces and rings with death knights, paladins and warriors.[6]
    • 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.[7]
    • 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 continue to provide weapon speed increases for these classes[8]. Haste for casters is unchanged.
    • Parry no longer provides 100% mitigation from a single melee attack or increases attack speed. Instead, when an attack is parried, it and the next attack's damage will be reduced by 50%.
    • 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, spirit and hit rating: MP5 is being removed, all healing specs will rely on spirit for mana regeneration, with the rate affected by the Meditation passive talent tree bonus. The 5 second rule may be removed, with "in combat" and "out of combat" mana regeneration based on whether charcates are in or out of combat. Spell DPS classes will no longer rely on spirit for mana regeneration, and spirit will no longer be on cloth spell DPS gear. Balance druids and elemental shamans will get talents to gain hit rating from spirit to allow them to share gear with healers and leather and mail caster gear will no longer have hit rating.[9] Shadow Priests will also have hit conversion on one of their talents (Twisted Faith,as of the June 2010 talent preview) in order to make it easier for them to gear up through more options.[10]
    • Spell power is being removed from items, with the exception of caster weapons. 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.[11]
  • New water rendering engine.


  • The 10 and 25 man Raids will share an ID in Cataclysm
  • 10 and 25 man Raids in Cataclysm will give the same Loot, the 25er will give more Loot per Character
  • There will only be 4 different "badges" in Cataclysm; 2 PvE and 2 PvP badges - though they will be called points. All Points will have a max Cap - both per week and in total.

Race and class changes

Mount Kajaro

Mount Kajaro erupted on Kezan due to the Cataclysm

Cataclysm class chart [15]
IconSmall Deathknight IconSmall Druid IconSmall Hunter IconSmall Mage IconSmall Paladin IconSmall Priest IconSmall Rogue IconSmall Shaman IconSmall Warlock IconSmall Warrior
Alliance 15 IconSmall Draenei MaleIconSmall Draenei Female Draenei Yes YesYesYesYes Yes Yes
Alliance 15 IconSmall Dwarf MaleIconSmall Dwarf Female Ironforge dwarf Yes YesNewYesYesYesNew Yes
Alliance 15 IconSmall Gnome MaleIconSmall Gnome Female Gnome Yes Yes NewYes YesYes
Alliance 15 IconSmall Human MaleIconSmall Human Female Human Yes NewYesYesYesYes YesYes
Alliance 15 IconSmall NightElf MaleIconSmall NightElf Female Night elf YesYesYesNew YesYes Yes
Alliance 15 IconSmall Worgen MaleIconSmall Worgen Female Worgen NewNewNewNew NewNew NewNew

Horde 15 IconSmall Blood Elf MaleIconSmall Blood Elf Female Blood elf Yes YesYesYesYesYes YesNew
Horde 15 IconSmall Undead MaleIconSmall Undead Female Forsaken Yes NewYes YesYes YesYes
Horde 15 IconSmall Goblin MaleIconSmall Goblin Female Goblin New NewNew NewNewNewNewNew
Horde 15 IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female Orc Yes YesNew YesYesYesYes
Horde 15 IconSmall Tauren MaleIconSmall Tauren Female Tauren YesYesYes NewNew Yes Yes
Horde 15 IconSmall Troll MaleIconSmall Troll Female Troll YesNewYesYes YesYesYes Yes
Cataclysm class previews -- in order of posting
  1. IconSmall Shaman Shaman
  2. IconSmall Warlock Warlock
  3. IconSmall Priest Priest
  4. IconSmall Warrior Warrior
  5. IconSmall Deathknight Death Knight
  6. IconSmall Rogue Rogue
  7. IconSmall Hunter Hunter
  8. IconSmall Druid Druid
  9. IconSmall Mage Mage
  10. IconSmall Paladin Paladin

Cancelled features

  • Revamped character progression via the Paths of the Titans, and Ancient glyphs was planned and announced, but later cancelled.[16]
  • Guild talents and guild currency have been removed. Instead, guild advancement bonuses are automatically unlocked based on guild level.[17]

Prominent figures

Among the many figures confirmed to have major roles in the story of Cataclysm are:

It was originally expected that Queen Azshara would be a significant player in the expansion, but game designer Tom Chilton confirmed at the 2009 Blizzcon convention (in the Q&A session of the "Raids and Dungeons" panel) that Azshara and the city of Nazjatar would not be featured in this expansion; potentially this leaves her as a major focus of a future expansion. Blizzard does, however, list her amongst the featured players in Cataclysm, so it is possible we will feel her presence throughout the expansion, even if she does not herself make an appearance.

Factions and organizations

Numerous new factions are introduced in the expansion.

Guardians of Hyjal
The Guardians of Hyjal is a group tasked with defense of Mount Hyjal, besieged by Firelord Ragnaros' armies. Guardians are made up mainly of druids, much like Cenarion Circle.[18]

This is the only officially announced faction as of yet, but some other factions may have their own reputations:

New zones


Map of the new zones in Cataclysm. Not to scale

Cataclysm Map

Maps of the new zones in Cataclysm (enlarged).


Eastern Kingdoms

The Great Sea

Elemental Plane

Zones affected by the Cataclysm

These changes are not phased. They will be seen by everyone, from level 1 to 85, whether or not they buy the expansion.[19]


Southern Kalimdor Level Flow

The new level flow for the Kalimdor zones

  • Ashenvale: Heavier deforestation around the Warsong Lumber Camp causes the orcs to encroach on Silverwind Refuge. Zoram'gar Outpost is reinforced with black iron, similar to the Horde outposts in Northrend. Astranaar becomes the victim of air assaults launched by the Horde.
  • Azshara: Azshara has been claimed by the goblins (likely as their second zone after the Lost Isles), where they have established a quarry to cut stone for the construction of their towns. The zone is also now directly linked with Orgrimmar.
  • The Barrens: The Barrens is split in two by great fissures in the land, spouting fiery rivers of lava. The Northern Barrens is a level 10-20 zone, while the Southern Barrens is intended for higher level players. Portions of the Barrens have grown lush thanks to the work of the druid Naralex. The passage into Mulgore has been reinforced by the tauren, with high walls and a gate. This is because the Alliance will be moving into the southern Barrens, constructing several towers and burning down Camp Taurajo. [20]
  • Darkshore: Auberdine is destroyed, and the very land torn asunder. The Alliance relocates to a new camp in the Northern end of the zone, while the Horde sets up camp to the South. Shatterspear Village, previously a closed zone, becomes an accessible subzone.
  • Darnassus: The "worgen district", previously believed to be in Stormwind, will in fact be in a section of Darnassus. The architecture is described as "buildings that look like they’re built out of trees but they’re Worgen-style, so they’re dark and spooky – they fit the Gilneas style".[21]
  • Desolace: Once a barren wasteland, the Cataclysm has caused a rift to form, allowing water to flood in from the coast and bring life back to the region. However, the region is now being invaded by demons, including shivarra.
  • Durotar: The Darkspear Trolls will retake the Echo Isles as a new starting area.[22]
  • The Exodar: The boat at Valaar's Berth will have a direct connection to Stormwind Harbor.[23]
  • Feralas: Will be retuned to a 35-40 zone.
  • Orgrimmar: The trailer showed evidence of the front gates being reinforced with metal (like Warsong Hold). What metal is used is unknown, but at BlizzCon 2009 Tom Chilton said specifically "if you recognize the black iron... it's from somewhere" [24], hinting that the metal has a specific origin or just reinforcing that we saw this type of architecture used by Garrosh in Northrend. Possibilities include dark iron, saronite or just normal iron. The Valley of Wisdom will become a tauren district, and Garrosh - now acting Warchief of the Horde - will build a new fortress in the Valley of Strength "to show who is in charge". There will also be a district known as the "Goblin Slums" near the Valley of Spirits. There is also a rear gate leading to Azshara. The Valley of Honor will also become the second trade district, with its own bank, auction house and inn.[25][26]
  • Stonetalon Mountains: Eruptions decimate the landscape, spreading the flames of the Charred Vale even further. The goblins have cut through the mountains, forming a valley that leads into Ashenvale. The western coastline is now accessible.
  • Tanaris: Will be flooded, causing some inland desert locations to become beaches.
  • Thousand Needles: Will be flooded, with the eastern coastline accessible and the Shimmering Flats becoming a lake;[27] it will be returned as a level 40-45 zone[28] and will host a dungeon.[29]

Eastern Kingdoms

Northern Eastern Kingdoms Level Flow

The new level flow for the Eastern Kingdom zones

Dungeons and raids


List of the Dungeons in Cataclysm that will ship with the game

The developers announced at BlizzCon 2009 that they intend for Cataclysm to ship with the most end-game content yet seen in an expansion.



Battle for Gilneas City[4] will be a new battleground in which you take control of the city by taking control of the most districts in the battleground.

Twin Peaks will be a CTF battleground located in Twilight Highlands, similiar to Warsong Gulch.[35]

Battlegrounds starting with Cataclysm will be rated, like arenas, and will provide the same rewards as arenas.


New arenas are planned to be added with the expansion, but not directly at the release.

World PvP

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 Cataclysm. By taking control of the Tol Barad Prison, players will gain access to additional, very profitable daily quests.


Volcanoth art

Volcanoth, a monstrous volcano-turtle.

Info compilations


Concept art


World of Warcraft Cataclysm Official trailer
Before/After World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm zone changes


Thousands of players have received e-mails inviting them to join an "alpha test". These are scammers who are looking to capitalize on unsuspecting victims.[36]

A few points to remember if you receive an invitation to help test Cataclysm or any Blizzard product:

  • Blizzard does not invite the general player base to alpha tests. It has an army of game developers and testers for that. As with the previous two expansions, beta testing will be announced by Blizzard on the official World of Warcraft website. Beware of clicking official-looking links to that site in e-mails, as scammers often build official-looking copycat sites - instead bookmark the official site or use the link on the game login screen.
  • It cannot be stressed enough to players that Blizzard will never ask you for your credit card, password, user name, e-mail address or any other information it already has. This will not happen ingame, nor in e-mail. If you are asked for this info, you are very likely being scammed.
  • Though specific details about Cataclysm's beta procedures have not been implemented yet, there is a thread in the official forums by Frejya about what to expect from Blizzard.


  1. ^ a b Slide Presentation - Fourth Quarter and CY 2009 Results (PDF). Activision Blizzard. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  2. ^
  3. ^ YouTube - Cory Stockton Interview - Cataclysm - BlizzCon 2009.
  4. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Blizz Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  5. ^ Ghostcrawler. World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Pets, Scaling, And 3.3. Archived from the original on 2009-10-08.
  6. ^ Ghostcrawler 2009-11-18. Questions about Feral Tank in Cataclysm. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  7. ^ Ghostcrawler 2009-10-29. Icewell Radiance is in!. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  8. ^ Eyonix. World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Cataclysm Stat & System Changes.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Bouboille 2009-08-22. Class Discussions Panel. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  13. ^ Bouboille 2009-08-22. Blizzcon Day 2 - Game Systems Panel. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  14. ^ Bouboille 2009-08-22. Blizzcon Day 2 - Open Q&A Panel. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  15. ^ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features. Blizz Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-08-28. “Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.”
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ 24. Re: #BlizzChat Developer Chat on Twitter | 2009-10-22 22:40 by Aratil
  20. ^ Tracey John 2009-08-25. Q&A: How Cataclysm Will Change WoW Forever. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  21. ^ Blizzard's Cory Stockton on designing Cataclysm - Gameplanet Feature
  22. ^
  23. ^ Blizzard's Cory Stockton on designing Cataclysm - Gameplanet Feature
  24. ^ MMOcore 2009-08-21. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm :: New Zones :: New Class/Race Combos :: Blizzcon General Panel. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  25. ^ Brand New Cataclysm Info! (Some Major Stuff) - The Wowhead Blog
  26. ^ Cataclysm Press Event - Raids, Guild System, Path of the Titans & More - World of Raids Forums
  27. ^ 9. Re: #BlizzChat Developer Chat on Twitter | 2009-10-22 22:22 by Aratil
  28. ^ cataclysmpreviewpanel_046.jpg (JPG). MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  29. ^ artpanel_081.jpg (JPG). MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2010-11-02.
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b Daniel Whitcomb 2009-09-27. Cataclysm starting zone lore and other new details revealed. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
  32. ^ Cataclysm Press Event - Raids, Guild System, Path of the Titans & More - World of Raids Forums
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ Andrew Powers 2009-07-16. World of Warcraft scam alpha test. Retrieved on 2009-08-20.

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