World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Preview

The editors at have slapped up a brief preview of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Blizzard's highly anticipated expansion pack due out for release later this year.
Crucially rather than simply adding even more zones for the higher level players, Cataclysm offers reason to be interested even if you're an old player considering a return after a long absence. Every zone in the two original continents Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor is set for a revamp. While some zones may only have aesthetic changes, others look to be changing significantly and proving great interest to those who know the 'old' continents like the back of their Elven/Tauran hands. It ties in neatly with the concept of cataclysm, a term used in the Bible to describe events such as The Flood, and more recently used to describe huge geological catastrophes such as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. According to the trailer released at Blizzcon last year, it looks like WoW will be suffering catastrophes of its own. The ever popular Barrens will be divided into two separate areas by a lava filled canyon with one half aimed at lower level players and the other for higher level players. It's a similar tale for Badlands, Ashenvale and Stranglethorn Vale where large areas have been destroyed or burned down. It's a brave move as no doubt some traditionalist WoW players won't be happy with such drastic changes to their beloved world but it's also arguably just what's needed to reinspire players to return to the original areas that have been forgotten about in recent years. Blizzard has also mentioned that they intend on reworking the level 1-60 content to keep up player interest.

It's not all simply revamps of old zones however with a number of new zones added for level 80+ players as well as a 5 level increase to the level cap. Uldum will be of particular interest to lore fans forming an ancient desert south of Un'goro Crater which will hopefully add much to the lore after previously being mentioned in the legends of Azeroth. Besides that there will be the Sunken City of Vashj'ir which promises underwater mounts as well two new 5-man dungeons for the 80+ player. These are just a couple of the examples on the way to ensure progression to level 85 is as compelling as previous new content. Altogether there will be eight new 5-player dungeons available in both normal and Heroic modes, as well as additional Heroic versions of the Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep. For the raiders, four raid dungeons will be implemented in time for launch and PvP players have a new Battleground to contend with and Tol Barad Island, a new PvP zone similar to Wintergrasp.