World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Art from the official Cataclysm site
(with logo edited on)
Developer(s)Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s)Blizzard Entertainment
Date publishedTBA
PlatformsMicrosoft Windows, Mac OS X
"Cataclysm" redirects here. For the warlock talent, see Cataclysm (warlock talent).

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 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. So far fans have mixed views about this.

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 has made his return into the 'real world' from Deepholm, causing a new Sundering.


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 at BlizzCon 2009Edit

The following is a list of highlights from BlizzCon 2009.

  • Level cap increased to 85.
  • Zones are destroyed by lava 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.
  • New race for the Alliance: Worgen
  • New race for the Horde: Goblins
  • New Race / Class combinations. See the chart below.
  • New monsters, quests, and zones
  • Several new dungeons and raids
  • 3 new battlegrounds (including "Battle for Gilneas City" [1]) and a new Wintergrasp-like PvP zone, Tol Barad
  • Classic zones forever changed by the Cataclysm. 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.
  • Guild advancement system, which includes guild leveling, talents, achievements, and accessories.
  • Revamped character progression via the Paths of the Titans, Archaeology, the new secondary profession, and Ancient glyphs.
  • Rated battlegrounds, an alternative way to earn arena points
  • Ragnaros was banished in the Molten Core, but has now returned to burn Nordrassil.
  • Malfurion Stormrage has returned from the Emerald Dream to help defend Hyjal.
  • 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[2]. 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.[3]
    • 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 classesTemplate:Fact. 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 Edit

File:Mount Kajaro.PNG
Cataclysm class chart [7]
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 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

Template:Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf Yes YesYesYesYesYes YesNew
Template:Horde IconSmall Undead MaleIconSmall Undead Female Forsaken Yes NewYes YesYes YesYes
Template:Horde GoblinGoblin Goblin New NewNew NewNewNewNewNew
Template:Horde IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female Orc Yes YesNew YesYesYesYes
Template:Horde TaurenTauren Tauren YesYesYes NewNew Yes Yes
Template:Horde IconSmall Troll MaleIconSmall Troll Female Troll YesNewYesYes YesYesYes Yes

Prominent figuresEdit

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

  • Deathwing, formerly Neltharion the Earth-Warder, 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 Cataclysm.
  • Garrosh Hellscream, who continues to cause internal tensions in the Horde.
  • Varian Wrynn, who leads the Alliance after the Cataclysm.
  • Malfurion Stormrage, who returns to prevent Mount Hyjal from being destroyed.
  • Brann Bronzebeard, up to his old tricks as leader of the expedition into the newly-uncovered Uldum region.
  • Genn Greymane, King of Gilneas, who helps administer a cure for the worgen curse to his now-transformed people.
  • Nefarian, also known as Victor Nefarius, son of Deathwing, who survived and retreated further into Blackrock Spire.
  • Ragnaros, who remains alive to challenge the world in Mount Hyjal, and later in Sulfuron Keep in his own realm, the Firelands.
  • The Twilight Hammer cult is a major player in the new expansion; its minions are revealed to be working for Deathwing.

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.

New zonesEdit

File:Cataclysm Map.jpg


Eastern KingdomsEdit

The Great SeaEdit

South SeasEdit

Elemental PlaneEdit

Zones affected by the CataclysmEdit

These changes are not phased. They will be seen by everyone, from level 1 to 85, whether or not they buy the expansion.[8]


File:Kalimdor levelflow blizzcon.jpg
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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" [9], 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 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. The Alliance will be moving into the southern Barrens, constructing several towers and burning down Camp Taurajo. [10]
  • 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.
  • Thousand Needles: Will be flooded [11] and will be retuned as level 40-45 zone[12] and will host a dungeon.[13]
  • 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.

Eastern KingdomsEdit

File:Easternkingdoms levelflow blizzcon.jpg

Dungeons and raidsEdit


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 [1] will be a new battleground in which you take control of the city by taking control of the most districts in the battleground.

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.

World PvPEdit

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.


File:Volcanoth art.jpg

Info compilationsEdit


Videos Edit

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Official trailer
Before/After World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Lost Isles


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.[16]

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. 1.0 1.1 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  7. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features. Blizzard Entertainment 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.”
  9. MMOcore 2009-08-21. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm :: New Zones :: New Class/Race Combos :: Blizzcon General Panel. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  10. Tracey John 2009-08-25. Q&A: How Cataclysm Will Change WoW Forever. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  15. Daniel Whitcomb 2009-09-27. Cataclysm starting zone lore and other new details revealed. Retrieved on 2009-09-28.
  16. Andrew Powers 2009-07-16. World of Warcraft scam alpha test. Retrieved on 2009-08-20.

External linksEdit



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