Wowhead has recently published a comprehensive list of updates about the upcoming Cataclysm. Besides the usual class specifics, one article caught my attention: A lot of the changes previewed have been cancelled, while new additions are being developed instead.
I won’t comment the whole article, but there are a few highlights that seem important for solo players and casuals alike.
Path of the Titans
Blizzard has scrapped the entire Path of the Titans progression system.
Well. That was something to start the article with, wasn’t it? It was heralded as the next big thing in player progression. Apparently, however, it turned out to be too similar to the current Glyph system. I still think that some parts of it could end up in a future expansion – there is a huge void where spiritual aspects are waiting patiently for there time.
As for the Path of the Titans – if it really would have been too complicated, or if dumbed down too similar to the Glyph system, then I understand the scrapping. The question remains, will a revamp of the Glyphs be enough to keep players happy? I’d say yes, but read on, the next point could change your mind.
they’ve added a new tier of glyphs: Medium Glyphs.
More variety, more choice, more outlets for creativity and personal style. I like it.
the glyph UI now lists all the possible glyphs for your class.
A nice change in the UI, although I think that even this is inferior to having a database ready at Wowhead, wowwiki et al.
There was also talk about making glyphs permanent rather than consumable-so that as soon as you used a glyph for the first time, it was added to your “list”, and thereafter you could rearrange your glyphs later on as you chose.
Now, this we have to talk about. Yes, it is very convenient. Yes it suits a casual player like me, actually. But good heavens, would it wreck the economy. Once you buy all Glyphs, you never need to buy more. I predict, in my humblest opinion, that Blizzard will think long an hard about this change and quite possibly not go through with it.
the whole guild currency idea has been scrapped
Why am I talking about guilds anyway? Because I’m a guild. That means I hope I can get some benefits from this guild system extension, enabling me to solo more content.
As it is, guild currency? Not a huge fan. Scrapping thereof? Yay. We have enough different currencies, tokens and turn-ins as it is, Cataclysm will add more, be sure of it. It is quite confusing what you can buy with which currency, especially if you’re casual and / or solo and those tokens are hard enough to get in the first place. Keeping the system clean and simple is always the better solution.
The whole guild talents idea has been scrapped as well
This is of course only the half truth. There are now guild achievements. I think it’s a fair change, even if I’m less likely to qualify for the achievement requirements. Again, this keeps the system simple and in line with personal achievements. The whole overhead of having to distribute the talent points, respec and what-not wasn’t worth it, according to Blizzard, and based on the information I have, I have to agree.
A second trade district-mailbox, auction house, bank, etc.-has been added to the Dwarven District.
Nice. Stormwind is big enough to house two trade centres, and the market place was awfully crowded.
They’ve added some new areas in the back-some lake area, as well as a city cemetery. Some quests have been added here to help flesh them out.
Well, they’re gone and flattened the park district, so getting another scenic view instead is nice. Plus quests centred in and around the city are a welcomed change.
Other Juicy Tidbits
The Shimmering Flats is mostly submerged, but the majority of the gameplay still takes place above water.
Hope you can swim.
When you gain a level, an announcement appears in the centre of the screen letting you know what new abilities you have access to, and advising you to see your trainer. Skills you’re levelled for but haven’t trained yet will be marked as such in your spellbook.
This is an enormous time-safer for those who don’t have the wiki open all the time. How often have you seen the message about reaching an even level, dropped everything you were doing because you thought “with those new skills I’ll blaze through my current quest!” only to find out that a talent you never used anyway now lasts twice as long? Now you know when to hurry back to your trainer and when to wait until you reach yet another even level.
Archaeology will let you find two types of items – Common Artifacts, which are kind of a collection game where you’re trying to find all of the artifacts for a particular race, and Rare Items which will produce actual usable items. Most Rare Items will be cosmetic only, but a few will have actual effects.
Cool. Archaeology suddenly got some meaning!
Wrath of the Lich King had about 1000 new quests. Cataclysm has over 3000.
Wow. Seriously. If they are as detailed as the Wrath quests I hear about, wow again.
All in all, I’m happy with this update from Blizzard. Cataclysm is turning out to be about change, not entropy as some feared.
Now on with the Worldcup!