World of Warcraft (WoW): Cataclysm is the expansion pack for MMORPG World of Warcraft, set for release Q4 2010. The game is developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment for PC and Macintosh. The central plot of the expansion is the return of the evil dragon Deathwing the Destroyer. Last seen in Warcraft II, Deathwing has spent that time licking his wounds, so to speak, and plotting his fiery return from the elemental plane of Deepholm. His return tears through the dimensional barrier with Azeroth, causing a sweeping cataclysm that reshapes much of the world's surface.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm game features:

• Level cap raised from 80 to 85

• Redesigned and updated zones within Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms

• New towns and quests

• The use of ammunition will be abolished.

• Redesigned low and mid-level quests to accompany updated zones

• Around 3000 new quests

WoW Cataclysm game video

WoW Cataclysm, game, image, screen, box, art• Players will be able to use flying mounts inside Azeroth zones (flying mounts were previously restricted to Northrend and Outland)

• Nine new dungeons and six new raids (with more planned to be released with later patches)

• Two previously released dungeons — Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep — will have an added Heroic Mode for level 85 players

• New battlegrounds and a new world-PvP zone, Tol-Barad (similar to the Wintergrasp world-PvP zone introduced in Wrath of the Lich King)

• A new secondary skill: Archaeology

• A new type of glyph: Prime

• A rated battleground system, along with associated new rewards

• Newly accessible areas such as Uldum, Deepholm, the Sunken City of Vash'jir, the Twilight Highlands and Mount Hyjal (previously only featured as a time travel destination within the Caverns of Time)

• Two new playable races, Goblins and Worgen

• Introduction of new stats such as Mastery, which will enhance certain abilities (both active and passive) depending on the player's class and talent specialization

• Revamp of the stat system, removing such stats as mana per 5 seconds (MP5), armor penetration and defense rating and integrating them in other ways such as talents or the new mastery stat.

• Changes to some major cities

• New starting areas for Trolls and Gnomes at levels 1-5

• Player talent trees have been reworked and players will have a total of 41 talent points at level 85. Consequently, the talent trees are being "trimmed", and will look (superficially) much like the talent trees players had available on WoW's launch.

• Unlike the current talent system where a player learns his or her first talent point at level 10 and is able to place that point and any subsequent point wherever he or she chooses, in Cataclysm, at level 10 a player must choose a talent specialization (spec) and only spend points in that "tree" until they have reached 31 points. Once 31 points have been spent, he or she is able to use the rest of his or her attained points in any of the 3 trees. When the player chooses a specialization at 10, they will gain one major active skill that sets that spec apart from the others, and 2-3 passive skills that support that particular tree. This was done in order to make players feel as though they are actually specialized in a specific talent tree as soon as they are able to choose one, rather than at higher levels where enough points have been placed into the tree of their choosing to make that feel like their specialization.

• Experimental support for DirectX 11 through the command line.

Stay tuned for more information

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