After months of speculation, Blizzard announced this past Monday the official release date for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion.
Cataclysm will be available for purchase on Dec. 7. The standard edition, priced at $40, will be available at most common computer game retailers, and also will be available for digital download from the Blizzard store.
The special collector’s edition will only be available from select retail stores, for $80. In most cases, these must be ordered in advance. The extras for this edition look nice, and will include the Art of the Cataclysm art book, the in-game vanity pet Lil’ Deathwing, a behind-the-scenes DVD with developer interviews and commentaries, music soundtrack with new music from the expansion and bonus tracks, and a mousepad showing Deathwing menacing the ravaged continents of Azeroth. If these extras are as nice as the previous ones, I think people will be very happy. Personally, I am using the mousepad from Wrath, and I love the soundtrack.
If you have not yet ordered your collector’s edition, they are no longer available for order from at least one retailer, GameStop. Currently, Amazon still has them listed, as well as Best Buy. If you have not already done so, you’ll want to check with your favorite retailer to see if you can still reserve your copy. However, they may be in short supply, so you should not wait to place your order. You will also want to check if it is a local store, to see if they will be having a midnight release event.
In preparation for the expansion, there are two game patches that will be dropping between now and Dec. 7. The first of these is likely to drop next week, although that is just a guess. This will be a major patch in that there will be drastic changes for our characters.
The new 31-point talent trees will be introduced, and we will have a total of 41 points available at Level 80. This is a major change, and it is actually nice that it is coming before the expansion so that we have a chance to play around with our talents before taking on the new content.
Some of the other features in this patch include the changes to and elimination of some stats, an overhaul to the glyph system and the addition of a new type of glyph, the changes to the currency system, the new flexible raid lock system, and many changes and additions to the user interface. Also, many classes have major changes to their mechanics.
The next patch is expected to contain some of the preliminary physical zone changes. Players who want to take one last look at how things are now don’t have too much longer to wait. Once this patch drops, I’m sure everyone will spend some time simply visiting places to see all of the changes.
The road to Cataclysm is starting to get to a very interesting place, and players seem to be very excited. These next weeks will be full of a combination of not just waiting for the new content, but also discovery regarding all the changes we are about to undergo. Buckle up, everyone!