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Cataclysm Press Event - Raids, Guild System, Path of the Titans & More

#1 User is online   Kody Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:01 AM

Update - Oops, forgot this bit. Added to Guild Achievements: "Current raid achievements will NOT be retroactive. New guild versions of the achievements will be introduced. This is to start Cataclysm with a "clean slate," according to Cory Stockton."

Last week Blizzard hosted a press event in Irvine, CA to share new information on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. There were some very exciting things discussed, as well as a few big surprises. Since I know you're interested primarily in the details, I'll keep this to a summary of everything rather than an editorial article. I do have a few of those coming based on some hands-on time with the expansion, though.

There are also quite a few new screenshots and a brand new tour video of some of the zone changes coming with Cataclysm. You'll find them at the end of the article!

Cataclysm Press Event Details

Quote


Path of the Titans & Glyphs



  • Path of the Titans has been scrapped and will not be implemented.
  • Instead Blizzard will focus on improving the glyph system, as they feel it didn't quite hit the intended goals in Wrath.
  • Glyphs will now be available in 3 categories: Major, "Medium" (PH name) and Minor.

    • Major glyphs are core to each class and will be expected to be used to perform at maximum level.
    • Medium glyphs will be to provide "fun" alterations to abilities.
    • Minor glyphs will largely function as they do today.

  • Based on the mockup shown, you'll be able to have 3 glyphs of each type at level 85: Major, Medium and Minor.
  • The glyph UI will now display all of the glyphs available to your class, even if you haven't learned them yet, to the right of the section where you apply your glyphs.
  • Blizzard wants to make glyphs permanent so you don't have to carry a stack of them around. Simply learn the glyph and then you can swap it whenever you want.

Guild System


Guild Leveling

  • There are 25 levels in total.
  • Guild talents are not going to be implemented.
  • Instead, guilds will be automatically rewarded with perks.
  • Each time a guild levels up they will receive a perk.
  • Guilds gain experience through a member participating in dungeon or raid boss kills, winning rated battlegrounds, completing quests or unlocking guild achievements.

Guild Rewards

  • Guild currency has been scrapped.
  • Guild rewards will be unlocked by completing guild achievements.
  • Rewards will be purchased with gold, and anyone in the guild can purchase the reward once it's unlocked.
  • Examples: mounts, tabards, heirlooms.
  • Guild mounts will have a flag attached to them that displays the guild's emblem.

Guild Reputation

  • This is a newly announced feature; players will gain reputation with their guild similar to how other reputations work in the game.
  • As you contribute to the guild by completing quests, killing bosses, winning rated BGs or completing guild achievements, you will gain reputation.
  • The best guild rewards will require having exalted reputation with your guild.
  • Guild reputation is on a per-character basis, so you'll have to gain rep for each character you have in the guild before you can buy rewards with it.
  • Reputation is not wiped immediately upon leaving or being removed from the guild; this is to prevent losing all your progress in the guild due to someone jokingly kicking you.

Guild Achievements

  • These will be integral to the reward and level systems. Completing one can unlock rewards as well as give the guild experience.
  • Guild achievements are earned and owned by the guild, so once it has it, it never goes away -- even if all members who participated leave the guild.
  • Even classic raids will help level your guild. A new version of the classic raid meta will become available that guilds can complete.
  • When viewing a guild achievement it will display the members who participated in earning that achievement.
  • To earn a guild achievement you must have 7 of 10 or 20 of 25 players in the raid be members of your guild.
  • There will be realm first achievements for guilds, as well as individual players.
  • Current raid achievements will NOT be retroactive. New guild versions of the achievements will be introduced. This is to start Cataclysm with a "clean slate," according to Cory Stockton.

Guild Window

  • The guild UI has received an overhaul and contains:

    • The guild xp bar and its current level.
    • An RSS-like feed of the latest news for the guild; boss kills, level milestones, etc.
    • Some news like major raid boss kills or level 85 will be "sticky" (this is determined by Blizzard) and will persist at the top of the feed for a while.
    • An upcoming events section that is a snapshot of your guild's calendar.
    • The most recent perk the guild has earned, and the one for reaching the next level.
    • The guild reputation bar (this is specific to your character).

  • The guild roster page has also been overhauled and now contains a professions display for each member.
  • You will be able to click on profession icons and view the recipes a guild member has, even while they're offline.

Raids & Dungeons


Raiding - General

  • Players will be able to "downshift" their 25-player raid, splitting it up into 10-player versions.

    • Raids will be able to split into up to 3 10-player raids.
    • These raids will start at the same progress point the 25-player was at for the lockout.
    • There are no plans to allow 10-player raids to combine into a 25-player raid.

  • There will be more freedom for moving from raid ID to raid ID. Players will be able to join other raids, even when saved to a raid ID, as long as that raid has killed at least the same bosses in the instance you have during their lockout.

    • While this sounds like the potential for cross-realm raiding, that isn't possible yet. It isn't ruled out for the future though.

  • There will be more "Algalon" style encounters for both 10 and 25-player heroic modes which will offer loot a half-tier better than the rest of the instance.
  • 25-player raids will provide around 50% more loot per-player. That includes items and the new currency used to purchase items.
  • The goal of the philosophy shift for 10 and 25 providing the same loot (source) is to make it a playstyle choice where you choose the format that fits you, not the one you feel obligated to do.
  • 10-player raids in Wrath of the Lich King were deliberately easier because that was the goal of it at the time. That is not the case for Cataclysm.

Grim Batol - Bastion of Twilight (Raid)

  • Described as the "Naxxramas" of Cataclysm; it will be an entry-level raid for the expansion.
  • 5 bosses in total.
  • Cho'gall is the end-boss of the dungeon.
  • One encounter will require "dual-strafing" -- whatever that means.
  • Another encounter will be a "council" fight called the Twilight Ascendants; Twilight's Hammer members who have ascended and become elementals.
  • Upon defeating Cho'gall on heroic mode, the floor beneath you will collapse and you'll fall into a cavern of flowing lava that hides a "horrifying secret," according to Alex Afrasiabi. Speculation time!

Skywall - Vortex Pinnacle (Dungeon)

  • A dungeon where flying mounts work, but no flying combat (yay, not Oculus 2.0)
  • The dungeon sports new cloud tech, and the visuals shown during the presentation were stunning. It's a palace area floating in the sky; it's the Elemental Plane of Air.
  • Players will encounter djinn, or at least Warcraft's take on the mythical creature.
  • One of the bosses is said to be a "storm dragon"
  • Another is an elemental lord

New Zones


Uldum

  • It's keeping with the Egyptian theme; "WoW does Egypt," according to Alex Afrasiabi.
  • The tour was impressive; the zone looks great. Incredibly detailed textures on the terrain and buildings. Lots of pyramids and other Egyptian-themed sculptures.
  • Uldum was locked away, protected by a Titan machine which created a projection of a large, impassible mountain, but the Cataclysm destroyed that machine -- opening up access to Uldum.
  • The Tol'Vir are still planned to be a new race introduced here. Not ready to be shown though.

Deepholm

  • The Elemental Plane of Earth, where Deathwing was nursed back to health and "rebuilt".
  • It's essentially the "core" of a sphere (though not Azeroth; it exists on its own plane).
  • Deathwing ruptured out through a tower in the middle of Deepholm and entered Azeroth through the Maelstrom, according to Alex Afrasiabi. It looks like Blizzard changed their mind since BlizzCon.
  • Therazane will be present here and is involved in a reputation similar to Sons of Hodir, "with the lessons learned from that," says Alex Afrasiabi.
  • Orgrim's Hammer and The Skybreaker are both here. Orgrim's Hammer has been shot down by The Skybreaker.
  • You will encounter many stone and crystal creatures here.

Player versus Player


Battlegrounds - General

  • Launching with two battlegrounds: Twin Peaks and the Battle for Gilneas. More to come post-release.
  • Twin Peaks will be a capture-the-flag map similar to Warsong Gulch (see the preview) with a few small differences.

    • Two graveyards for each faction, with one of them being in the middle of the map. Dying out in the field will cause you to spawn here rather than at your base.
    • It's relatively similar in size to WSG, but the field itself is larger, with the bases taking up less space.
    • Twin Peaks will NOT be replacing Warsong Gulch like some players were expecting it to.

  • Blizzard wants to focus on introducing new BGs to offer a variety of environments, rather than focusing on updating older ones.

Rated Battlegrounds

  • Players will participate in rated battlegrounds by forming their raid group prior to joining the queue.
  • You will only face off against other rated groups.
  • Each week the format for rated battlegrounds will be different. It will rotate between 10, 15 and 25-player battlegrounds.
  • Rating loss will not exist until after a certain threshold.
  • Conquest points will be rewarded for winning rated battlegrounds.
  • There will be a limitation on the number of Conquest points you can earn each week to prevent feeling like you must participate in both arenas and rated battlegrounds.
  • There will be end-of-season rewards for rated BG teams similar to arenas:

    • The classic Honor titles will be coming back and rewarded to the top teams each season.
    • The "Gladiator" equivalent teams will also receive epic ground mounts. Ground mounts because they want to reward something you can ride in the battleground and be proud of / show off.


Archaeology



  • No longer involved in Path of the Titans, since it was removed.
  • Will now help to "dig into the lore of the game" -- essentially being used as a vehicle for storytelling.
  • There are two types of "artifacts" players will be able to uncover through Archaeology.
  • The first will be more of a lore or story artifact.
  • The second can reward items; cosmetic or fun in most cases, with the rare usable weapon.
  • It will not provide any must-have items.

General



  • There are, as of the event, 3000 new quests planned for Cataclysm. That's nearly 3 times as many quests added with Wrath of the Lich King.
    • Darn you Zarhym for posting this before I could!

  • Leveling up will display a "toast" similar to earning an achievement. It will show:

    • The level you reached
    • If a new talent point is available
    • Any new abilities for that level
    • Feature unlocks: battlegrounds, dungeon finder, riding, glyphs, etc.

  • Garrosh is the "acting" Warchief of the Horde.
  • Garrosh's stronghold is at the front of Orgrimmar, right as you enter through the front gate, to show "who is in charge."

    • The Valley of Wisdom is now the Tauren district.

  • A new auction house, inn and bank have been added to the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar.
  • Deathwing destroyed The Park in Stormwind. This was done to drive home the impact Deathwing has had on the world, and because he wasn't happy about his daughter's head hanging from the rafters.
  • A new auction house, inn and bank have been added to the Dwarven District in Stormwind.
  • New music will be added for all of the cities, and a large portion of the game world.
  • The Forsaken have set up a foothold in Silverpine Forest and have rebuilt many areas with their unique architecture. They've done this to provide a base of operations for assaulting Gilneas, which is very strategically valuable to the Horde.
  • Heirlooms will work for both Goblins and Worgen from the launch of the expansion. You earned them, so you get to use them -- no matter what you're leveling. They will only scale up to 80 though; new heirlooms that scale to 85 will be introduced with the new content.



Cataclysm Zone Change Video

This is a new video showing off the changes to classic zones with Cataclysm, including two of the major cities. You can find the previous zone change tour video by heading here.



Cataclysm Screenshots

Some of these screenshots have been seen already. Especially the Blasted Lands tree, which makes another appearance. On the bright side, they're ridiculously large files with high resolutions this time around!







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#2 User is offline   Hinalover Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:47 AM

any news on the Q & A? Thought you were doing the Q & A during the press event.
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#3 User is online   Delests Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:57 AM

I'm kind of upset to see Path of the Titans go, really wanted to see how it worked... Well I guess it didn't otherwise it would still be there lol Still really want to see what they already had for it.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:03 AM

Wow, all of those changes with the Guild UI and function are amazing. I'm personally glad they scrapped the Path of the Titans idea and are pursuing an overhaul with Inscription, as well as the removal of a guild currency. Also Guild Achievements, the Guild Window, and the new Real ID Friend systems that are coming in will undoubtedly increase the level of and feeling of interconnectivity among guild mates tenfold in comparison to what is currently availabe!

With respect to Dungeons and Raids, just wow. I really like the idea of being able to split a 25man raid ID into a maximum of three 10man raids, and I'm also a big fan of more freedom with lockouts... though I kind of wish that was available this week so I could have ran Ulduar with more of my friends that were saved to seperate instances thanks to the raid weekly being Flame Leviathon, oh well! Grim Batol seems like an interesting choice for the first raid instance for the expansion; and I really do wonder what we'll find beneath Cho'gall after he dies. C'thun's been defeated more than once, so perhaps the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj "was merely a setback". Though, what about Ragnaros, or some other fire elemental? What do you all think about that?

The Vortex Pinnacle in the Skywall sounds really interesting too, and from the report I really hope that it gives me the same feeling of awe and wonder that Ulduar did the first time I zoned in there. There's a ton of amazing things I think Blizzard could do with an instance based 'in the clouds' so to speak, and meeting some form of Djinn or race of Djinn could be very interesting. Perhaps we'll see another form of Algalon the Observer within Uldum, but what would he judge us for? Entering somewhere that was only unveiled to us because one of his creator's inventions broke during the world was sundered anew?

Overall, I'm impressed. PVP is even starting to look amazing again. I say that, because I've always been a massive fan of the WSG/AB/AV weekend grinds during Classic; and with Blizzard renewing them in this fashion, I can't wait to get back in there once again!
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#5 User is offline   Emoroan Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:05 AM

Quote

Upon defeating Cho'gall on heroic mode, the floor beneath you will collapse and you'll fall into a cavern of flowing lava that hides a "horrifying secret," according to Alex Afrasiabi. Speculation time!.


http://www.wowwiki.com/Cho'gall
http://www.wowwiki.com/C'Thun

"While the Lich King attacked Stormwind City and Orgrimmar and King Varian Wrynn and Warchief Thrall were distracted, Cho'gall began the resurrection of his new master - the Old God C'Thun. This deformed the ogre's body which became monstrous and with similar features to his master's."

No doubt it will be Old God related.

This post has been edited by Emoroan: 13 June 2010 - 02:08 AM

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#6 User is offline   mrgummage Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:22 AM

The whole guild overhaul sounds good. The idea of "Guild Reputation" intrigues me, it certainly adds a new dimension to favor people who are loyal to a guild, instead of hoping to the next guild as soon as they run out of DKP and the new guild levelling and achievements system sounds excellent.
I'm kinda glad they cut Path of the Titans, although the fact they've left Archaeology in as basically a "time sink" profession seems a little silly. I just wish they'd hurry up and finish the paladin changes before open Beta >.>
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:30 AM

I'm with mrgummage, I'd love to see the paladin changes or atleast a more concrete list of changes sooner rather than later!
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:47 AM

cool stuff can't wait for cata :D
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#9 User is online   Deployed Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:20 AM

When I first heard the rumours about what was getting scrapped, I was quite concerned, but at least it seems justified to a sense. Some of the things were just redundant, or risked being over complicated (Guild currency and talents), not matter how cool they were in concept.

The other thing, Path of the Titans, was a big risk in it's original guise. It was kinda grindy. Although what I will miss is being given something extra to do after each major patch. Remember PotT was going to be capped upon release to about 3-4 new glyphs. It was then going to release a couple more when 4.1 came out, then another 2 when 4.2 came out, giving us something to do has the expansion continued. THAT lose does upset me because I can't see how this alternative system will keep that.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:15 AM

I would'nt mind (major) glyphs that give you a extra skill. I like the Path of Titans system, but it did not feel genuine. Just another way to slowly improve your character and probably more work for blizz to balance the game. And patch after patch would give you more options in PoT and extend the gameplay etc.

What I mean is for instance, you can specc a warrior fury, but add "Glyph of Shockwave". The Glyph will only work if you have the max skill in any of the other trees, so that you wont be able to specc 21/40 (or 31/50) and gain two superior skills.

The major glyphs would ofc be very limited by class.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:56 AM

Quote

There are, as of the event, 3000 new quests planned for Cataclysm. That's nearly 3 times as many quests added with Wrath of the Lich King.


I hope they don't try to use this as some kind of selling point. The 1000 quests in Wrath were exclusively for levels 68-80, except for the DK ones of course.

The 3000 new quests in Cata will be coming from pretty much every 1-60 zone plus the new 78-85 content. It's not a surprise. If anything that seems a little low considering, but I assume that most of Eastern Kingdoms is still incomplete. I'm expecting closer to 5000 "new" quests for Cata at release.

This post has been edited by Deployed: 13 June 2010 - 07:58 AM

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:54 AM

Oddly enough I am sad that path of the titans is gone, while it did seem grindy, it also sounded interesting. Now without it Archeology just sounds like a time sink. I hope that they will be able to add a few more rewards to it. Maybe some interesting self buffs or non-class specific glyphs.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:27 AM

I'm disappointed they scrapped Path of Titans. That was one of the most interesting ideas they had IMO and I think it would have brought something to WoW that I've always wished it had. But the guild system for the most part looks cool. Although it worries me a little because I'm currently without much of a social circle in WoW... time to make friends I suppose. :)
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:28 PM

There is a line in there that has me concerned... Can we expect lorewise that it was actually the alliance that killed Onyxia? That's a low blow for hordies. I hope they ment that as a joke and not as the actual reason.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:29 PM

I concur with the "scrappedness" of Paths of the Titans--I was looking forward to it. Even if it was a grind, MMO's always run out of something for the higher-ups to do. Then again, "grind" could also be taken as "plays excessively". No doubt a few hours after launch we'll have level 85's complaining about something.

But I'm optimistic.
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#16 User is offline   Firann Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:04 PM

View PostTales, on 13 June 2010 - 07:28 PM, said:

There is a line in there that has me concerned... Can we expect lorewise that it was actually the alliance that killed Onyxia? That's a low blow for hordies. I hope they ment that as a joke and not as the actual reason.


If you read the WoW comics, its King Varian and his gladiator friends that kill Onyxia, as he had him captured by the defias. So we already know that the alliance killed onyxia and not horde, lorewise.
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#17 User is offline   Cameron Icon

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:10 PM

View PostFirann, on 13 June 2010 - 10:04 PM, said:

If you read the WoW comics, its King Varian and his gladiator friends that kill Onyxia, as he had him captured by the defias. So we already know that the alliance killed onyxia and not horde, lorewise.



/flex

Now we just need to get him to change his hairstyle.


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Posted 13 June 2010 - 04:48 PM

View PostRikaChet, on 13 June 2010 - 09:27 AM, said:

I'm disappointed they scrapped Path of Titans. That was one of the most interesting ideas they had IMO and I think it would have brought something to WoW that I've always wished it had.

Agreed.
Actually, I got a little confused when I'd read that and thought they were taking out Archaeology along with PotT (which would have been an incredible disappointment). Fortunately I read a little farther and had that clarified for me, so if it's just the Path that's going away that's not as bad, but it still sounded really interesting and I'm sad to see they've decided to scrap it.
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#19 User is offline   Blackblade Icon

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 12:20 AM

I was really hoping PoTT would bring about some cosmetic features along with some "generic" customization options, something along the lines of how death knights stand apart from the rest of the races with extra skin-tones and glowing eyes.

Also; I really dig the patch-note style summary. very easy to read - I know you've been doing it for a while, but i figure i'd point out that it's really well done, and is superior sifting through a novels worth of "he says, I says" to get the facts.
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#20 User is offline   Cameron Icon

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 01:16 AM

View PostBlackblade, on 14 June 2010 - 07:20 AM, said:

<snip>
Also; I really dig the patch-note style summary. very easy to read - I know you've been doing it for a while, but i figure i'd point out that it's really well done, and is superior sifting through a novels worth of "he says, I says" to get the facts.


Glad you like it ^^
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