Ladies and Gentleorcs, start your engines. We have a release date for Cataclysm and it is 7th December. I imagine there was a lot of pressure for Blizzard to get this one out of the door before the end of the year (and not just from bored players.) Player vs Developer notes that the digital download will be available from Blizzard on launch day, which didn’t happen with previous expansions. Will Cataclysm sneak in as the biggest game of the year? There’s a lot of competition.
But there are going to be some major changes in the game before this date too. It’s been quite usual in the past for class changes to be patched in before an expansion and that will happen here too.
isheepthings sums up the changes coming into the game via patch 4.0.1 which is due in a week or so.
I predict that the raid lock changes in particular will be quite confusing to people. My brief summary:
- 10 and 25 man raids will share the same locks
- You can zone into any raid as long as it’s further into an instance than any boss you have already killed that week. So if you go into ICC on Wednesday and clear the first wing, you can go in with any raid later in the week as long as those bosses are already down when you zone in.
- Blizzard explain it more fully here.
- However, if your raid clears the first wing when you aren’t there and you then clear the rest of the instance with them the next day, you cannot later go into a new raid just to kill the first wing (because you have already killed the later bosses.)
More interestingly, Zarhym commented in answer to questions on the official board:
Q u o t e:
Will the new Race/class combinations (not Worgen/ Goblin), be available prior to Cataclysm? Or do you have to have a Cataclysm account to create an Orc mage or a Troll Druid?
They will be available to everyone shortly before the release of Cataclysm when The Shattering takes place.
So it sounds as though the world will change before the expansion launches, at which time everyone who is desperate to play a blood elf warrior, tauren paladin, dwarf shaman et al can get their groove on.