7 days around the MMO world (Aug 16)

Next weekend is BlizzCon and it’s been no secret that Blizzard has some aces up their sleeve in regards to World of Warcraft. There are some mighty big rumors stirring around about just what those aces are. We’re going to share with you those rumors which are coming from a very reliable source, so if you don’t want things spoiled for you before BizzCon, just skip the first couple paragraphs. Ok several paragraphs.

So we already knew that Blizzard trademarked the name Cataclysm and now the reason for the name is coming into focus. The word out on the street is that the next expansion to WoW will focus on the original continent and zones from the vanilla version of the game. The difference here is that the Azeroth as we remembered it leveling to 60 will be turned on its ear. The world has suffered a cataclysmic event, hence the title, and zones will be flooded, familiar cities destroyed and old foes coming back into power.

If that wasn’t enough of a spoiler for you then read on, if it was too much then stop reading and skip the next couple paragraphs. Some of the key areas that have been affected by the event include Durator that used to be home to Orgrimmar which is now destroyed. The Orcs are building a new city in a different location. The gnomes are also going to reclaim their city of Gnomeregan which used to be home to a dungeon. Players will also be able to fly in Azeroth.

The level cap will be raised to 85 and several of the old raids and dungeons will be revamped for high level play. We’re getting a preview of this in the next patch, most likely the patch before the last patch of Wrath of the Lich King, where Onyxia’s lair is getting retrofitted for level 80s. Also previously unreleased dungeons like, Present Hyjal, Gilneas and Uldum.

We already shared the fact that both Golbins and Worgens would be new races involved in this expansion and this seems more likely than ever. Because we know that Durator gets wiped out because of the sudden rise of water levels, we can also assume that Booty Bay, the Golbin home town, gets destroyed as well, leaving Goblins broken and looking for a home. We’re guessing this is how Goblins become members of the Horde faction, Worgens however are still a mystery. Not only are we getting two new races but Blizzard is opening up classes to races that previously didn’t have them. For example, Tauren Paladins etc. Unfortunately we don’t know if any new classes will be available or if a new hero class to compliment the one Death Knight hero class we already have.

As far as the lore goes, the Cataclysm involves Neltharion, a black dragonflight dragon related to Nefarian and Onyxia, which is most likely why Onyxia is making a return. Neltharion has come together with Queen Azshara and they have done something involving the Old Gods that have cause the event to occur. As a result of the events Malfurion Stormrage, twin to Illidan, makes a return to the game.

This is really just scratching the surface of what is to come, next weekend we’ll have more information regarding this exciting new expansion to a huge game. We couldn’t be more interested since Blizzard is actually trying something new instead of just “add a zone, increase level cap and add more dungeons.” Instead they’re changing a world we used to know and doing away with that static world feeling. The world feels more real now and your impact within it will also feel more real. Now keep in mind that this is in fact a rumor but the source, MMO Champion, is very careful about posting unconfirmed information so the likelyhood of this stuff being true is very high.

With all this talk about WoW it only seems appropriate to talk about the game looking to be second place, Aion. We here at TVGB got invited to the last phase of the closed beta of Aion and we can honestly say that it’s a gorgeous game. The CryEngine does the MMO genre wonders. The gameplay is close enough to WoW but far enough away to be different. Our initial impressions on the game are really good so Blizzard better watch its back.

NCsoft is claiming though that Aion will be second only to WoW in Europe and North America and from what we’ve played so far we’re leaning that ourselves. If they nail the demand for high end raiding and competitive PvP than Bizzard is going to have to work very hard to keep Aion from creeping in on its territory. It should be noted that Cataclysm might just do that.

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