Cataclysm patch shatters World of Warcraft

Blizzard launches pre-Cataclysm patch fracturing the world of Azeroth and changing the game irrevocably

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

World of Warcraft waits for no one, least of all Deathwing, the skeletal dragon responsible for shattering the world of Azeroth, which, incidentally, happened last night.

There goes the neighborhood.

I know, I thought we had until December 7 for Cataclysm's apocalypse too. But no, Blizzard rolled out patch 4.0.3a with ceremony yesterday evening, smashing the world to pieces, or at least some pretty substantial swathes of it. I just logged in and puttered around Desolace with my Night Elf and noticed an island that looked like someone took a monster jackhammer to it.

I suppose that'll be the new game now. "Spot what's changed." Here's what hasn't: The new goblin and worgen (werewolf) races won't be available until December 7, nor will levels 81 to 85 and the new quests commensurate with those levels. But everything else seems to be in place, including all the new race and class combinations, which you can read about here.

"Deathwing's return has had an immeasurable impact throughout the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor," wrote Blizzard on its Cataclysm blog. "Players will notice drastically altered terrain, thousands of new quests from levels 1-60, and updated level ranges for some zones to improve the questing flow."

In other words, whether you buy the Cataclysm expansion or not, you'll benefit from the updates immediately. New cinematic trailer and login screen. Tons of new quests (all your existing ones have been reset). Low level damage has been "retuned" (read: reduced) to "bring combat times at low levels to a more reasonable length," i.e. longer. Druids, paladins, priests, and shaman have had their talent trees reset. And those of you racing to hit level 80 before the new upper limit unlocks should be pleased to know that the experience total required to advance from levels 71 to 80 has been reduced by 20%, increasing your leveling rate by 25%.

Blizzard's also maintaining a blog for hot fixes applied post-4.0.3a, which you can track here.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftgamingWindowsgamessoftwareoperating systemsgaming PCs

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?