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Is Cataclysm the Next World of Warcraft Expansion? 259

Posted by Soulskill
from the either-that-or-it's-not dept.
ajs writes "There has been no official announcement yet, but a number of moves by Blizzard Entertainment seem to indicate that the next expansion for World of Warcraft could be titled Cataclysm. Speculation began when Blizzard trademarked Cataclysm recently, and then later when a test server briefly popped up with the word 'Maelstrom' in its name. If true, the name would fall neatly into the WoW lore and expected expansion list. The Cataclysm is another name for the Great Sundering, an event that created a swirling vortex of water and mystical energies (the 'Maelstrom') that has appeared on the world map in-game since release. There are also indications that early design work included some of the islands in this area, which has long fueled anticipation of a Maelstrom-based expansion involving the former Night Elf noble, Azshara, queen of the Naga and the Goblins whose main city is in the south seas."
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Is Cataclysm the Next World of Warcraft Expansion?

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  • ... and probably the last
    • by HBI (604924)

      I think they'll milk it for as long as they can.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      They've already said that max level will be 100... so there's at least 2 more. And with 10 million players I very much doubt that 2 will be the end.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        ALSO... Blizzard has also been working on a BRAND NEW IP MMO that has yet to be announced.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Cookie3 (82257)

        They've never said 100 is the max level. That statement is GENERALLY attributed to the fake "expansion list" that people keep linking to. Here's the original source for that list:
        http://wow.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=21;mid=119012268058738816 [allakhazam.com]

        It's fake. The 1st expansion, Burning Crusade went live in January 2007 -- but Wrath of the Lich King was announced (INCLUDING zone information) in August of that year. By September, all of that info was everywhere, including approximate level of the zones, prelimi

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anubis IV (1279820)
          You are correct that they never said the max level is 100. The developers HAVE said that all of their equations and formula were designed to be able to scale up to at least level 100 though. They've acknowledged that they didn't plan for beyond that, but I'm sure they could tweak them if need be, given how much money it's bringing in.
          • Possibly-- or they want to move on to the next MMO. Ever wondered why the patches and class balance and new content have been coming slower and slower?

            It's entirely possible they don't want people to become MMO'd out. Too much of a good thing...
            My guess-- next is World of Starcraft, with not two, but THREE factions. That will make it very interesting. Timing would be perfect, too, they could release it just one or two years after the last Starcraft 2 Campaign is released, and just ride the wave of that mark

            • by thesandtiger (819476) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @05:10PM (#28670283)

              The next MMO is, according to statements from Blizzard sources, to be a new IP - not based on any previous franchise. Given that 3 of their upcoming products are sequels or expansions (Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, next WoW expansion) it stands to reason that they might want to try to launch a new franchise - they need to keep the future markets in mind.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Talderas (1212466)

                I don't think it's going to be World of Starcraft. Even if it was, you could pick out anywhere from 3 to 7 fractions potentially depending on how it is done. You have Arcturus Mengsk and the Terran Dominion. You have Jimmy Raynor and his bunch of guys. You have the UEF (can't count them out). You have Kerrigan. You have Artanis and the Protoss survivors. You have Zeratul and the Dark Templar. There's also always an opportunity for another Overmind causing a split of the Zerg forces.

                No, I think Blizzard isn'

                • I'm going to say sci-fi or horror (pleasepleasePLEASE be a Zombie theme!). Though, horror might be too close to fantasy for some.

                  An interesting easter egg from WoW: in some of the skins for certain devices (shredders and other things like that), there seems to be a part that looks sort of like a display, and Kerrigan is shown repeatedly.

                • by idontgno (624372)

                  I don't think it's going to be World of Starcraft.

                  I agree, but it's a shame. The ominous proclamation "Nuclear launch detected" would have a lot more visceral impact if you knew you were standing around ground zero.

                  but I can't see them doing another fantasy genre MMO

                  Well, they do have the Diablo milieu, but I don't see much opportunity for innovation there. Besides, they can't even get the 3rd title [blizzard.com] in the normal isometric-scroller game series out the door.

    • Naah. They'll keep coming out with new content as long as it's profitable for them to do so.

      The only foreseeable problem is that, with the expansion packs, they're slowly going through every big bad they established in Warcraft 3, which makes it difficult to pull the story back together if they ever decide to do another game in the Warcraft world.

      • by HBI (604924)

        Actually i'd say their deepest problem is that, since you have to buy every expansion to proceed in level, they are slowly but surely locking out all but the most committed players from sticking around long enough to access their new content. If you look at a given server, you'll find tons of level 80s and a few low levels proceeding along. It is inconvenient/undesirable for the high level types to do much hanging around with the low levels. This means that absent people making twinks, the low level zone

        • Well, one nice thing they are doing is making mounts available at level 20 (and epic mounts at level 40 if I recall), and the whole start-at-level-55 thing for Death Knights is pretty cool.
  • Hopefully for all of the druids who have been (whining|complaining|asking) for The Emerald Dream for so long, Blizzard will add it into this one.

    /dr00ds represent!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    when coupled with the "Cataclysm" name, one of the Lich King's visions in the new book "Arthas, Rise of the Lich King", everything gets a lot clearer and more certain: ...the silver waters of a vast expanse of water... a sea... ...Something was roiling just beneath the ocean's surface. The hitherto-smooth surface began to churn wildly, seething, as if from a storm, although the day was clear. A horrible sound that Arthas only dimly recognized as laughter assaulted his ears, along with the screaming of a wor

  • Re: the islands (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mauthbaux (652274)

    There are also indications that early design work included some of the islands in this area,

    It's true that a couple of islands appear on the map near the vortex. I heard a rumor about them once indicating that they were at one point accessible to players. Swimming there wasn't possible due to the fatigue that resulted from the deep water. However, if you had a couple stacks of elixirs of water walking, you wouldn't be affected by the fatigue since you weren't swimming. According to the one player I knew who had claimed to have been there, it took about 45 minutes of wandering around with nothing

    • by mauthbaux (652274)
      Okay, I need to get my facts straight. After doing some reading up on the topic (too late obviously) it is not clear to me that this guy's story was crap. The GM island *does* in fact exist as confirmed by WoWwiki [wowwiki.com]. The islands are in fact, closed zones; [wowwiki.com] Tel Abim and Zandalar specifically. The exploit to get these islands (here I go with the crazy theories again) is covered in a Thottbot post on the Levitate [thottbot.com] spell.

      [...] I mounted, and as I lept off into the horizon, I casted levitate. I came to a point where the map disappeared, but the water continued to stretch out into the distance.
      Some theorize that this is where GM Island is located.
      Okay, so we all know that GM Island is in an instance now. But like any instance, there's a non-instance version of it. Like when you set old world instances to "Heroic" and walk behind the portals. GM Island wasn't always an instance, and programmers just don't delete environment from the game. Case in point, Old Ironforge and Ironforge Airport.
      Granted, you'd have to walk pretty far, assuming GM Island IS in that direction...
      Moving on, it's unreachable alone...attempted it. However, multiple priests together could do this easy. Have 5 or so in a group together so they can heal off of each other with renew and circle of healing. Another tip, wear +healing gear that has no stamina. Fatigue hits for 20% of your max health every 1-3 seconds. Low health means low damage, high healing means you can heal over it. 5 priests means you can have a few of them sit back and relax while the others cast, so not everyone wastes mana.
      If you are really interested in doing this, make it 4 priests and a warlock.
      "Harmonex wishes to summon you to GM Island." [...] Of course, this is all under the assumption that GM Island even exists on the main map...

  • South Seas Lore (Score:4, Informative)

    by MEDIEVALDRAGON (768784) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @01:21PM (#28668619) Homepage Journal

    Here is some lore of each isle in the South Seas:
    http://wow.incgamers.com/blog/comments/south-seas-lore-the-eye-maelstrom/ [incgamers.com]

    • by ajs (35943)

      Excellent stuff. I've added a link to this to the original article. Thanks!

  • Will Interest Wane? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @01:24PM (#28668633)
    Will interest wane in WoW simply because it seems like just an extension to the treadmill? Are people getting tired of the aesthetic? These are questions from someone who doesn't see the attraction in the first place.
    • by k_187 (61692) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @01:34PM (#28668703) Journal
      I think for a lot of players interest waxes and wanes within each expansion cycle. I played from launch for about a year. Stopped until the 1st expansion, played that until bored. Stopped until the 2nd expansion, played that until I got bored again. The coming back to things is a lot of fun, until you've seen the new sights and get back on the treadmill. I'm not the only person I know that's played like this. I had a lot of fun when I came back to the last expansion. Not so much by the time I left. I'm sure it'll be the same way again.
      • by Ifandbut (1328775)

        Heck, I'm falling into this cycle while waiting for patches. I'v done Uldar a few times, I know I'll never finish it. So now I'm bored and waiting for the next patch to come out and give those raids a try.

    • by Kingrames (858416) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @02:42PM (#28669185)
      Then you'd have been impressed by the latest expansion, which made all the questing very story driven, interesting, and added memorable moments to just about every quest.

      One of the WORST quests in the northrend expansion has you free a storm giant, and ride his back while he runs around squishing legions of the undead and exacting revenge on his captors. Then you set him free, and unlike the old world quests, he's not back in the cage when you run around there later. He's actually free.

      Then there's the dungeons, where you fight bosses with all sorts of fun abilities, like the one that renders the entire party insane - forcing you to kill your teammates twice, or the one that you ride a dragon to fight the boss, or the one that gores party members at random forcing you to play without a party member for a short while.

      They've come a long way from the boring version of wow. Even though I did get burned out after the expansion hit, it wasn't because of the game, but the people in it. I think that makes it as much a success as any game can be expected to be.
      • by Canazza (1428553)

        Ah, the Occulus...

        I don't know anyone who's ever done the occulus twice, except those going for the achievments. It's a horrible instance mainly because of the free-form nature of the dragon riding.
        It is the WORST instance to go into with a pick-up group, as undoubtably someone will not know what to do and the final boss turns into a horrible clusterfuck. Assuming you get that far.
        Arguments over how many green drakes we need, who gets to tank on the red drake, who gets to do this, who gets to do that... and

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Whether people will get tired of it will, IMO, mostly depend on how long Blizzard manages to keep the cardinal sins that have been commited before at bay. And arguably it gets harder with every expansion.

      1) New players vs. old players and catching up
      One of the most devastating problems of MMOs so far was that old players quit over time, but new players are not drawn into the game. The main reason being that it's hard to catch up to the old players, so why bother trying? So far they managed to make it easy f

      • 1) New players and catching up: I'm not sure we're playing the same game. They announced Refer A Friend, wherein a veteran can refer a new player (well, a new account) and when they team up, both characters get a huge boost to their experience up to level 60. This lets new players get into the game, learn from their friends, and generally get to explore a lot of stuff. It also lets older players level that other class they've always thought about but never done. Plus, they also re-itemized the quest rewards

        • I said that the catching up problem has been the killer for many games before. WoW so far, as you point out, managed to give the new players a way to catch up. The "bring a friend" program is ok, but only works where you already have friends playing WoW. In that case, you will already keep playing, if for nothing else then to stay with your friends.

          The problem WoW faces now is the problem all aging games (hell, pretty much all human interaction) face: Clique mentality and a very, very tough time to get into

          • That's been entirely different from my experience - maybe it's a server thing? I've rolled alts on maybe 20 different servers since launch and generally people are reasonably helpful and friendly. If I want a group for a dungeon, I'll generally find people in about 10-20 minutes, tops (general chat if the zone is busy, in a nearby city if it isn't, but I do think they can make this less of an issue). There are often leveling guilds that advertise looking for recruits in the main cities. I guess I just don't

            • Maybe it's an Euro Server thing... Or maybe I'm just antisocial even when I try to be social.

              Hey, I have to uphold my geek status somehow, now that I'm forced to wear a suit!

              • The obvious answer is to completely uproot yourself and come to the US so you can use our servers, of course.

                If you roll on Sentinels or any of the other servers I play on, I'll stake ya 100 gold to get started.

  • It has a story? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dj245 (732906) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @01:24PM (#28668639) Homepage
    I might be convinced that the game has a story, but it is presented in such a tedious and boring way that I could never be bothered to pay any attention. All I ever saw was "NPC: blah blah blah kill 20 other NPC's blah blah blah". I can think of many games with poor storylines, and many games with great storylines, but WOW is one of the only games in which I didn't care at all about the storyline.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spire3661 (1038968)

      The storyline is awesome, but it takes a LONG time to really get to know it. Not only that there is alot of lore that goes back to WCIII. If you played that you have a much greater understanding of the lore and events.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by osu-neko (2604)

        Well, there's "story" and then there's "story". I believe the GP would refer to what you're referring to as "setting" or "backstory". Lore is an important part of the setting, but it is not itself a storyline. It's the backdrop behind the main plot, but it's not the main plot.

        Nearly all MMORPG's (and some non-MMO RPG's, e.g. Morrowind), suffer from having a fabulously well developed setting and rich lore, but almost no actual story. If you're used to playing traditional RPG's, where there's an actual pl

        • Actually Blizz has been really pumpimg up the in-game story. All throughout the new Xpac you see the Lich King, and you take part in scripted epic events (Death Knight LHC confrontation, Wrath gate). Not to mention the Thrall/Garrosh fight, the Dalaran incident with Varian and the upcoming Crusaders Coliseum story.

          They have gotten much better about getting the STORY out there, a vast improvement over Vanilla/BC. In those 'xpacs' almost all story was advanced through quest text and it was hard to stitch it a

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            The Death Knight introductory sequence has another odd moment to it - something I found novel and rather fun. When you walk into Orgrimmar to face Thrall after your "conversion", the locals want to lynch you. They don't, but the tension it builds is remarkable. I've never seen another game where you were hit with rotten fruit and insults by NPC's on a quest, rather than swords clubs arrows and spells (sounds like a card deck, eh?).

            "The Scourge killed my family, you monster! (FWAP)". You finally get to T

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ajs (35943)

          Well, there's "story" and then there's "story".

          Just to give you a sense of how seriously different WoW (as of the Wrath expansion) is on this point, let me describe the events of the Wrathgate from the Horde point of view (warning, spoilers):

          • FIrst you do some generic questing.
          • Then you are sent to the Wrathgate to help with the effort against the Lich King
          • In a cut-scene, the Lich King appears, slaughters a major character and is then attacked by a rogue faction of the Horde, killing another major lore character
          • Once the dust has settled (cut scene is
    • Re:It has a story? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by blahplusplus (757119) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @01:46PM (#28668765)

      "but WOW is one of the only games in which I didn't care at all about the storyline."

      I think the problem is that the the storyline gets garbled because anyone who never played warcraft series (from the first on) won't have a damn clue WTF is going on. World of Warcraft is REALLY bad at what the RTS games were good at: Story telling.

      I really think the MMO genre is not suited to storytelling unless you go the way of Guildwars. Guildwars with more story polish would have been an outstanding single and multiplayer game, even though it's primarily "multiplayer" because the groups are so small and everything is instanced.

      Plus there's no rule saying you can't play the campaign by yourself, and they BOTS/NPC characters you can add to your party, and play in your own instance. Guildwars is pretty much one of the only games that got instancing dead on right out the gate.

      WOW is really a crap MMO from a lot of standpoints outside the aesthetics of the cartoony graphics, I couldn't stand wow when I first played it. I forced myself to play it for 2 or 3 months and it still didn't hold a candle to Blizzards previous games like Warcraft and Starcraft in terms of fun and quality.

      Most WoW'ers I suspect have really awful gaming tastes. I call it the "bottom feeders" MMO. If you're used to single player RPG's of yesteryear it breaks all the conventions and sticks in maddening things like extended travel time (instead of town portal like in say diablo 1+2 another blizzard game).

      It seems in many ways MMO's are sabotaging all the lessons learned about making fun games to extend playtime for $.

      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        cartoony graphics

        Has anyone else noticed this as a shibboleth of WoW-haters? I can't help wondering if there is some sort of deep neurological structure that makes certain people immune to the uncanny valley effect of supposedly "realistic" video games, as if they are in some way autistic. Perhaps they see it all as an abstraction, so that the lack of jumping and the environment-on-rails nature of Guild Wars doesn't feel constricting, and the insta-port towns conform to a conception of the game as a graph o

        • Your post had no points in it, the idea that MMO's are all about socializing is BS

          ".. and not a virtual place to inhabit and explore."

          This is the most vaguest thing I have ever read on slashdot it says nothing and it really shows how non-savvy you are about games and gaming in general. Games are about interactivity and experiencing "the best parts of the movies" where you are *in control*, the more abstract and robotic and automatic you make a game, it becomes a 3D rendered movie on a computer with only mi

          • by irix (22687)

            After you've explored a world once it gets really fucking boring treading back and forth, and you're wasting real world time that could be spent on other games

            You do realize that WoW has put in city portals, a 30-min CD on hearthstones, summoning stones at instances and given Warlocks what effectively amount to portable summoning stones. Right? Or is this a rant about WoW from 3 years ago?

            Most WoW'ers I suspect have really awful gaming tastes..... If you're used to single player RPG's of yesteryear it breaks all the conventions and sticks in maddening things like extended travel time (instead of town portal like in say diablo 1+2 another blizzard game).

            I played the single player RPGs of yesteryear in to the ground and I loved many of them. Besides your extended travel time canard do you have anything else to add besides insulting the game taste of 11 million people with one broad stroke?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ajs (35943)

            Your post had no points in it, the idea that MMO's are all about socializing is BS

            MMOs are about ... well, they're not about anything. They're what you put into them. WoW can be about raiding every week to get a shiny new toy.

            It can be about taking out opposing players in the arena.

            It can be about building the perfect "RP set" of gear with the perfect look to match the background you've written for your character.

            It can be about crushing the competition in the auction house.

            It can be about collecting every non-combat pet in the game.

            It can be about exploring the world (more on that below

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by myowntrueself (607117)

          Actually, something that I think a lot of people fail to notice is that extremely high detail graphics in a computer game, eg Age of Conan or Crysis, are HARDER on the eyes than the simpler graphics in, eg World of Warcraft.

          The graphics in WoW are VERY high contrast.

          This means that its very easy for the eye to pick out the details it needs in order to see what is around you.

          In high-quality graphic games the contrast is usually pretty low, they seem to compress the color palette quite a bit. This means that

      • Story does not matter in an MMO. Period. Simple as that. Yes, you may enjoy it if you like, but it's not important.

        WC3 was, story wise, a single player game. And there, story is an important element. Else... well, what's the difference between WC3 and any other RTS out there? The story that drove WC3 was critical to its success. Without it, it would have been just another RTS.

        In MMOs, what makes or breaks the game is rarely the story. Mostly because you can only make it so credible that you, some lowly leve

        • "Story does not matter in an MMO. Period. Simple as that."

          You're missing the point completely, it's called world of WARCRAFT, if it was a new MMO and IP you'd have a point. And mostly I was just pointing out the fact that developers took their RPG properties and cajoled them into the "MMO" genre (if it can even be called that) while butchering the single player aspects of the IP in the process.

          You're missing the point that all MMO's heritage are from single player RPG's, so people who played the previous

      • by ajs (35943)

        WOW is really a crap MMO from a lot of standpoints outside the aesthetics of the cartoony graphics,

        Such as....

        it still didn't hold a candle to Blizzards previous games like Warcraft and Starcraft

        Not MMOs...

        If you're used to single player RPG's of yesteryear it breaks all the conventions

        You're comparing apples to oranges and complaining that apples don't taste anything like oranges. Well... yes, but not really relevant to the quality of apples or oranges.

        Out of curiosity, how far did you get in WoW? If all you did was level grind, then I can see why you didn't enjoy it much. Did you try out PvP, tradeskills, gathering, exploring the world, roleplaying, world events/holidays, Darkmoon Faire? If you played now, you could also explore the achievement system, daily quests

        • "You're comparing apples to oranges and complaining that apples don't taste anything like oranges."

          Games are fun or they are not, you don't say "Is an x type game, so I have to believe it is fun".

          You've also missed the gestalt of what I was saying.

          These games came well before "MMO's" (really RPG's with n many more players, except with the gameplay dumbed down to make it easy for the lowest common denominator to access the game).

          The companies shoe-horned their single player properties and bastardized them in

      • Cartooony graphics? Oh noes! Serious gamer can't be seen playing something that look cartoony that just can't be fun!

        That is *prefect* graphics for this game for these reasons:

        * Pretty much anyone can run it. And have great performance. Whole point of looking cartoony is that it lets artists get away with low-poly and low-res models that would look terrible if they attempted realistic look.
        * It is iconic and stylish and well made. Very recognizable, very easy to look at.
        * It avoids u

      • by AP31R0N (723649)

        i love the way GW handled moving the story forward. If you help the farmer get the bees back in their apiary, they STAYED in the apiary. The didn't reset. i hated that in WoW. No matter how many whatsits i kill, there's always more. i found the hirelings to be useless in the second phase of the game (where i quit).

        The cartoony graphics makes the game easier to make look good on low end machines. It's basically inspired by Warhammer. i found MRPGs that when for realism (like Vanguard) to run slower an

    • There isn't so much of a storyline (the "plot" of progression has become more pronounced in every expansion, and WOTLK did a good job at this) but most of what people call story serves purely as background. Most characters in the game have at least some that's conveyed through quest texts, and often this expands through series of quests. In an MMO the possibilities of storytelling could be much better utilised, but the world is fleshed out on such a scale that it would be a simply gargantuan task to play (n

    • by ajs (35943)

      If you want to follow the story behind wow, can I suggest WoWWIki [wowwiki.com]? It's got just about everything about the WoW lore all in one place. Good places to start are outlined in a recent post on my blog about WoW lore [ajs.com] and what to browse through on WoWwiki.

  • In other news... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eil (82413) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @01:40PM (#28668733) Homepage Journal

    Are questions as headlines overrated? Film at 11.

  • How the... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @01:42PM (#28668743)

    How the hell did speculation about the -name- of a possible future WoW expansion make the front page? I like games and MMOs, but this is beyond boring.

    • by Kingrames (858416)
      News for Nerds.
    • by ajs (35943)

      The speculation about the name, had you read even the rest of the summary (not suggesting you have to go out of your way to RTFA, here), has lead to quite a lot of information about the expansion itself. If it is, indeed "Cataclysm" that almost certainly means that the next expansion will focus on the central ocean of Azeroth and the swirling vortex at its center which was formed in an even of the same name (AKA The Great Sundering where the single continent was split in half 10,000 years prior to the game'

  • Expansion List (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cyxxon (773198) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @02:21PM (#28669043) Homepage

    Haven't seen this posted, so here we go... this list was "leaked" or whatever before TBC, AFAIK remember...

    - Draenor Set

    Azuremyst Isle - 1 to 10
    Bloodmyrk Isle - 10 to 20

    Eversong Forest - 1 to 10
    Quel'thalas - 10 to 20
    Hellfire Peninsula - 58 to 62
    Zangarmarsh - 60 to 64
    Terokkar Forest - 61 to 65
    The Deadlands - 63 to 67
    Nagrand - 64 to 68
    Blade's Edge Mountains - 66 to 70
    Netherstorm - 67 to 70
    Shadowmoon Valley - 69 to 70

    - Northrend Set

    Borean Tundra - 67 to 70
    Howling Fjord - 67 to 70
    Dragonblight - 69 to 72
    Grizzly Hills - 70 to 73
    Crystalsong Forest - 72 to 75
    Zul'drak - 73 to 76
    Sholazar Basin - 75 to 79
    Storm Peaks - 76 to 80
    Icecrown Glacier - 78 to 80

    - Maelstrom Set

    Gilneas - 77 to 80
    Grim Batol - 78 to 81
    Kul Tiras - 79 to 82
    Kezan - 81 to 86
    Tel Abim - 83 to 85
    Zandalar - 84 to 87
    Plunder Isle - 86 to 88
    The Broken Isles - 87 to 90
    The Maelstrom - 89 to 90

    - Plane Set

    Pandaria - 1 to 10
    Hiji - 10 to 20

    Wolfenhold - 1 to 10
    Xorothian Plains - 10 to 20

    The Green Lands - 88 to 91
    The Dying Paradise - 91 to 94
    The Emerald Nightmare - 94 to 97
    The Eye of Ysera - 97 to 100

    Deephome - 88 to 91
    Skywall - 91 to 94
    The Abyssal Maw - 94 to 97
    The Firelands - 97 to 100

    - Legion Set

    K'aresh - 96 to 99
    Argus Meadowlands - 97 to 100
    Mac'Aree - 99 to 100
    Maw of Oblivion - 100+

    • by ajs (35943)

      You should note that that came from a forum post on Alakhazam, and that it's almost certainly a fake. However, it's also brilliant. It outlines the future of WoW with the kind of detail that only someone who had spent a lot of time on the lore could. I doubt that it was real, but I also wish I knew who did it so that I could congratulate them.

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @03:41PM (#28669569)

    peculation began when Blizzard trademarked Cataclysm recently, and then later when a test server briefly popped up with the word 'Maelstrom' in its name.

    A test server named Maelstrom? Now I know they're pulling shit out of their ass, as Maelstrom [wowwiki.com] is an existing RPPvP server that launched in September of 2006.

    • by ajs (35943)

      The test server was called "Maelstrom Test" which could be a copy of the existing live server, but given that it was yanked immediately and that it's the likely subject of the next expansion which Blizzard has said is in the works, it's more likely to be their internal test host for the expansion.

  • I really have no idea what this post just said. You kids and your new fangled technology these days. Tweets and facebooks and night elfs...
  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @09:00PM (#28671759) Homepage Journal

    one of the shittiest creatures in-game, which many people cant fit into a place and come to like. it would be another gnomeragan.

  • Goblin City? Hmmm...does this mean the Horde will finally have their comic-relief counterpart to the Gnomes?

    What would the Alliance have as a new race? Pandaren?

  • Sierra might be a little upset [wikipedia.org] by that.
  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:31AM (#28675249) Homepage Journal

    Great more content that 80% of the players will never see. I still have friends that still haven't seen Molten Core, Naxx, or any other raid instance. The irony is when you release an expansion, none of the established players go tot he old content anymore (as a whole) which means new players coming in never see any of the old content because no one runs them anymore. I recently ran a new player through UBRS (Upper Blackrock Spire) and he never knew there were any other instanced dungeons outside of Outlands (He was a new player and started post-burning crusade.)

    When Lich King came out the only Outland instances anyone ran anymore were heroics. New players coming in would never get to actually do those instances because, frankly the established players were at the point that only heroic mode was worth their time.

    As plotted: Take the month to month changes in population (rather then total volume) and compare the data. Every MMO with an expansion gets a 3 month spike in uptake but every time the annual trend goes down every expansion.

    Expansions are great for $$$ but bad for longevity. It becomes a drug addict's exercise in "Chasing the Dragon". Eventually you have to start churning out expansions quicker and quicker to maintain the high but ultimately you lockout new players and hit "the point of no return" on the decline.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson

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