World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Preview and DirectX 11 Screenshots

Gameplanet has conjured up a detailed two-page preview of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, thanks to some firsthand time they were able to spend with the expansion during a visit to Blizzard's Irvine headquarters.
Perhaps the most significant change Cataclysm makes to the contents of Kalimdor and Azeroth is the introduction of phasing technology, the same seen at the Wrath Gate in Northrend. Phasing technology places a player within a kind of unique instance that modifies the game environment and releases them into a changed world.

Importantly, Blizzard will now be using this phasing tech throughout the whole levelling experience, dropping players in and out of phases, delivering cinematics and making quest objectives respond to the player as if they're the only one on the server.

Cataclysm also introduces a new secondary profession, Archaeology. Instead of being node-based, players will travel to regions that include ruins (read: everywhere) where they can begin searching for fragments, honing in on their location over time. Finally, these fragments can be assembled into items. Many are collectables, such as pets and toys, created for casual players, completionists and lore fans but through archaeology, players can also uncover rare finds.

The user interfaces have all been updated. The spell book now only displays a single rank of each spell (down-ranking spells is no longer possible, but other spells, such as the Priest's '˜Heal' have been upgraded to remain relevant thought the game) It also tells you what new spells will be available, and when.
Additionally, PC Games Hardware brings word that Blizzard has been tinkering with DirectX 11 visual effects in the addon, with some before-and-after screenshots to prove it.