World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - PC

Release Date:

07 December 2010

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the earth quakes, oceans burst forth, and well-known landscapes crack and crumble, as the ancient dragon aspect Deathwing makes his destructive return to the mortal realms. Unlike earlier WoW expansions, which add new continents for players to explore, Cataclysm reshapes the game's original world of Azeroth, permanently altering many familiar locations across the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Some world regions become more dangerous, some are made more accessible, and some reveal forgotten treasures to challenge the game's most powerful heroes.

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The release of each World of Warcraft expansion has heralded new zones in which to quest and new bosses to conquer, but Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Expansion Pack PC presents a wholly changed world for long-time players. The zones and quests that veteran MMO players have known well since the game's inception in 2004 have seen tremendous change and updates. The game's programmers have effectively redone the entire existing game world, in addition to adding some massive new zones.

Rather than traveling around the world on ground mounts, players have the opportunity to fly around the old continents and see the game world from the sky. Blizzard has also made substantial changes to the style of questing in the game. Rather than travel to a zone and choose a large group of quests, which requires the player to venture out and kill various targets, collect objects and satisfy general objectives, Cataclysm questing represents a much more linear experience with a beginning and an end for each zone. This change has meant a massive overhaul of old zones.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm also makes significant use of storytelling called "phasing," which allows the game world around a player to change during the questing process. The technology was intriguing and saw some use in the last expansion, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, but some player complaints have suggested that grouping up with friends has been more difficult if each player wasn't at the same exact point in the zone's quest lines.

Another new entry for the Cataclysm expansion comes in the form of two new playable races with the wolf-life "Worgen" available for the Alliance and the vertically challenged "Goblins" coming to the Horde. Players may choose from a variety of classes for each race such as warlocks and warriors, and will also get to experience memorable starting zones with new quests and stories that are unique to each race.

For higher level players, the new zones created specifically for this expansion represent some breathtaking artwork from Blizzard's designers along with some absorbing storytelling. One of the best zones created in the game thus far is that of "Deepholm," designed to appear like a giant, colorful geode at the center of the planet. The size of the zone is positively enormous and the visuals within the area are unlike anything seen before in Blizzard's game world.

To address player complaints regarding PVP (Player versus Player) combat regarding unbalanced play, Blizzard has also made the decision to increase the hit points of characters, which is their attempt to make it more difficult for someone to die too early in arena or battlegrounds. The health pools of players have effectively quadrupled at the start of this expansion.


Flying in old zones.
Refurbished quest lines.
Increased player health pools.
Expansive look for quest areas.


New content easily consumed.
New archaeology profession is lackluster.
Phasing creates problems with group play.

Cataclysm represents a bold move from Blizzard with significant changes made to a game that already has many years under its belt. A majority of the efforts made by Blizzard for Cataclysm seem to have been attempts to refurbish outdated storytelling and graphics and successfully shave a few years off the "feel" of the game.

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