Demitrius Berkley-Thomas On January 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Cataclysm is the third expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s immensely popular Massively Multiplayer Online game World of Warcraft. The expansion takes place shortly after The Shattering, an event where the massive dragon Deathwing returns to Azeroth causing massive natural disasters and tearing up many areas across the world. Cataclysm adds 5 new level 80 and higher zones for players to level up to 85 and has redone all of the original level 1 to 60 World of Warcraft content and areas to reflect the changes in the world. Cataclysm also adds 2 new races The Worgen and The Goblins, a new secondary profession Archaeology, and a host of new spells, talents and recipes for the already existing professions.

The biggest change that Cataclysm brings to World of Warcraft is the complete change to all of the original game content. All of the zones and quests for levels 1 to 60 have been changed and quests redone to reflect the Cataclysm. This allowed Blizzard to make improvements to all the areas from the original content with everything they’ve learned in the last 6 years making the content flow together better and tying it together with a better storyline. Some areas are more changed than others such as the Barrens now being split in two with the top half containing the crossroads being for lower levels, then a giant scar in the ground and everything below it being for midlevel quests. Other big changes come with the major faction cities, while some are almost completely different like Orgrimmar; others haven’t changed that much like Thunder Bluff.

Some of my favorite changes with Cataclysm are the new quests. They really diversified the quest objectives to make it more interesting than just collecting boar tusks and killing a certain amount of enemies. Quest objectives range from marking areas for mortar fire to taming mounts to climbing up in trees and throwing bear cubs onto a giant trampoline. Another big improvement is the amount of voice acting and cut scenes added to the game. There is a lot of voice acting added to the game for some of the bigger quest lines and was a pleasant surprise. The cut scenes are all in engine but still look really nice and are cool since they’ll show what happens at the end of a long quest line or show off certain parts of an area. Another addition to quests is the ability to receive and complete quests remotely for certain ones. There is even more phasing used in this expansion than Wrath of The Lich King. Phasing is what happens when doing quests and the things the player does in the quests affects the world around them and players can go around the same area but see different things. I love this part because it actually makes it feel like the quests you do have consequences and results.

With Cataclysm players will get access to level up from 80 to 85 and get five new zones to level up in. Instead of creating a new world or continent to place these new zones in Blizzard used areas in the original 2 continents that players couldn’t access before. These areas include; Mount Hyjal, Vashj’ir, Stonecore, Uldum and Twilight Highlands. Level 80s get to choose between starting out in Mount Hyjal or Vashj’ir, Hyjal is an area on a mountain where players must help the Guardians of Hyjal take it back from the Twilight Cultists that brought back Deathwing and restore the mountain to its original state, and Vashj’ir is an underwater zone where players are originally stranded and then find out they must explore the zone and stop the Naga from gaining great power. Vashj’ir is the most unique new zone in that it is completely underwater so players must get used to looking out not only for enemies in front, behind and to the sides of them but also above and below them. Players also get a 450% underwater mount pretty early in the zone that makes getting around a lot faster.

When Wrath of the Lich King came out a lot of the content was really easy, where players could take on 5 enemies at once while questing and run through dungeons without even worrying about wiping. Blizzard decided to go the other direction with Cataclysm and ramp up the difficulty a lot. Now while out questing enemies can hit pretty hard so unless your gear out levels the area then you never want to take on more than 1 or 2 enemies at a time or else you could be in some trouble. The difficulty in dungeons was also brought back up, where now players must actually use strategy to get through them and not just pull every monster in the area and AOE’ing them down. Crowd control is now a must again so Damage dealers have to learn how to do that again so life will be easier for the tank and healer. Tanks now have a harder time keeping aggro on multiple enemies but it’s not too much harder for them. The role that seems to have taken the biggest hit seems to be the healers since now it is common for them to run out of mana after one or two fights. My only gripe with this is that they seem to have made Druid healers a little too weak where their spells don’t heal for enough and seem to cost way too much mana. I’m not saying it’s impossible, it’s definitely doable but it’s just really not fun anymore.

Another major change in the game is the talent and spell system for the classes. Talents are now only awarded every other level and at 85 there’s only 41 points. At level 10 players get their first talent point and can choose a specialization which gives them a signature spell or ability for that spec and a bonus to those types of abilities. I find this to be incredibly awesome since now at level 10 a player can actually feel like whatever spec they are instead of having to wait until like level 30 or 40, so a Demonology Warlock gets a Felguard and Subtlety Rogue gets Shadow Step at level 10 now. Some classes also got major overhauls as to how their spells and abilities work, for example; Hunters now have focus instead of mana, which works like a Rogues energy bar that recharges while fighting and Paladins now have holy power which builds up to 3 charges and then they can unleash those charges for stronger spells.

Cataclysm also brings along with it two new races, The Goblins and The Worgen. The Goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel are the new race to join the Horde. New Goblin characters will start out on the island of Kezan where the goblins have built a modern city but with their own whacky style and players will end up doing some pretty fun and interesting quests like running over pirates in a hot rod and using a mechanical shark to fight and kill a giant shark. There are also parts where the player will be traveling around with their goblin friends that stick around with them throughout the whole experience and it ends up being very cool. The Worgen starting area takes on a different tone from the Goblins, while the Goblins are funnier and light hearted the Worgen area is more dark and serious. The Worgen are from the old human kingdom of Gilneas that shut themselves off from the rest of the world during the scourge invasion and through an unfortunate series of events they were infected with a werewolf like condition. The Worgen area also has some pretty fun quests along with a great storyline that will have players wanting to finish the zone to see what happens next. The coolest part of being a Worgen is being able to transform between human and wolf form, which is a pretty cool animation. Personally I had more fun with the Goblin zone but the Worgen zone had a much better storyline.

After all is said and done Cataclysm is by far the biggest expansion in the World of Warcraft and in my experience bigger than any other expansion I’ve seen. It adds so much content that it almost feels like a new game and makes it worth playing through it again just to see all the new storylines, quests and changed areas. The craziest thing about this is most of the changes, which were the changes to the original game’s content doesn’t even require the player to actually have the expansion. Whether you’re a former player of WoW that got bored with questing and leveling up or the easy mode dungeons then Cataclysm will be worth getting back into the game with or you’re someone who has always been sort of interested in the game but didn’t want to just do the repetitive collect this and kill that quests, Cataclysm has mixed it up and made the experience much more appealing.


It’s still World of Warcraft but all the improvements to quests and class mechanics makes WoW a much better experience overall.


Blizzard improved on the graphics engine and updated a ton of old textures that allows it to hold up today and still look great.


The new voice acting is great as usual and the music is just fantastic.


This expansion is an absolute no brainer for anyone who has ever played and liked WoW or anyone who is interested in trying the game out.

Buy World of Warcraft Cataclysm Expansion Pack Online from


Click here to buy World of Wacraft Cataclysm Expansion Pack Online from

One Response

  1. sueskull says:

    So addictive, this expansion is making me lose sleep LOL 😉