World of Warcraft: Zone Changes in Cataclysm
One of the most exciting things that many people are looking forward to in Cataclysm, the upcoming expansion pack in WoW, is the overhaul of Azeroth. Major changes to the zones we have known and loved for the last five years are going to change the face of World of Warcraft forever. But what exactly will change? A mixture of information from several sources including Blizzcon, the official Cataclysm trailer and elsewhere are beginning to form a picture of what we may be able to expect from the newest expansion when it arrives.
Several areas here are earmarked for some radical changes. Darkshore, The Barrens, Stonetalon Mountains and Azshara will all be completely different to how we see them now. One rumor has mentioned Orgrimmar itself may be destroyed in the Cataclysm! A new zone is due to be added between Felwood and Winterspring, and there is some speculation that this new zone may be a part of Winterspring itself rebuilt as this new zone. This new zone will also contain a brand new 5-man instance. Another entirely new zone will be added to the south of Un’Goro Crater, again containing an instance. It is also being speculated that an instance and even a brand new raid will be added in Thousand Needles, which could also possibly be filled with water along with the Shimmering Flats!
Just off the coast of Kalimdor will be found a new zone for the Goblins to start in, the Lost Isles. It is possible they may actually add Kezan too although it’s unlikely considering the devastation that the goblins were fleeing from in the first place.
It has been mentioned in the trailer that new life will be found where before there was none, which is probably indicative of areas such as Desolace and Tanaris receiving some much needed attention. Will we see jungles and forestry in these zones in future? Time will tell.
Although initial indicators are that Eastern Kingdoms will receive much less attention that Kalimdor, it can probably be assumed that the areas without heavy changes will still have enough cosmetic change to make them noticeably different to how they are now. One area that is being changed dramatically though is Stranglethorn Vale, which will no doubt please many people. Currently jungle landscape with lush, overgrown vegetation and plentiful wildlife, many believe that all of this will be reduced to ash in the Cataclysm. Another area with heavy changes will be Swamp of Sorrows/Blasted Lands. It basically looks like the whole southern end of Eastern Kingdoms is getting a serious facelift.
A new zone containing Gilneas, the home of the Worgen, will be added south of Silverpine Forest and the Graymane Wall for them to start in. Formerly a human town but always secretive and solitary, not many know what lies behind the wall, although it is said that the druidic Worgen there have the ability to change at will between their human and wolf forms. Another new zone will be added to the east of the Wetlands to hold the revised Grim Batol too, where explorers can eventually expect to face Deathwing the Destroyer himself! This zone will probably be known as the Twilight Highlands and will more than likely allow adventurers to play through some of the story around Deathwing and his followers before facing him in the ultimate raid.
This next expansion is all about Deathwing and the Cataclysm he causes as he returns to Azeroth seeking revenge and the destruction of all other races, and as such this area will more than likely be the one holding endgame content for Cataclysm. For those of you who are not too clued up about Warcraft lore, Deathwing the Destroyer is a demon dragon who was once the black dragon aspect Neltharion the Earth Warder, charged with protecting Azeroth. When he discovered a prison holding some of the old gods, they managed to convince him to turn on his fellow aspects and try to destroy all other races. Although Deathwing has been foiled several times already, he has never been killed and in Cataclysm he threatens to finish the job once and for all.
Two old instances are also enjoying some new attention for the expansion, namely Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep. These two instances are to be re-released as level 85 dungeons and will have a heroic mode similar to those at the level cap in game now.
To be ready for the new expansion, make sure you know all the tricks and tips for your character and make sure they are levelled up to the max. For Horde, Joana's Guide can help you greatly with this. And for the Alliance, Zygor's Guide is the best. Both guides promise to be updated and ready to go the day Cataclysm hits, so you know you'll be ready.