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World of Warcraft’s controversial Cataclysm expansion is coming to Classic

There are big changes to come

Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

World of Warcraft Classic is getting another expansion, and this time, players will return to the Cataclysm expansion. The announcement, unveiled at BlizzCon 2023, was accompanied by a cinematic re-telling of the expansion, showing off some of the highlights like the emergence of Worgen, battling the elemental forces, and of course the destructive force of the evil dragon Aspect Deathwing.

Cataclysm was a controversial expansion at launch, due to the fact that instead of introducing new landmasses, Blizzard re-invented many zones across the core world of Azeroth. Cataclysm also introduced zones like Uldum, Hyjal, and the Twilight Highlands. The expansion also removed Thrall as Warchief of the Horde, which led to the installment of Garrosh Hellscream in his place. Hellscream’s tenure as Warchief is the defining moment that led to several other big plotlines, like our journey to an alternate dimension, the corruption of Pandaria, and the rise of Sylvanas Windrunner (and the burning of Teldrassil).

It looks like Blizzard is bringing big changes to Classic as a whole based off the success of its Hardcore mode, including a Season of Discovery that allows players to combine new classes and roles — the example given by executive producer Holly Longdale was a tank warlock, which is intriguing. Longdale also promised changes to Cataclysm, although we’ll have to wait and see how that unfolds. The Season of Discovery also includes a 10-player Blackfathom Deeps Raid, with retooled mechanics and new challenges beneath the depths of Kalimdor.

The Season of Discovery will begin on Nov. 30. World of Warcraft Classic: Cataclysm is set to be released in the first half of 2024, and players will get to revisit the origins of Goblins, Worgen, and the demise of Deathwing.

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