The Cataclysm Bucket List

This post will discuss details of the recently-announced WoW expansion. If you are avoiding spoilers, stop reading now.

This weekend, Blizzard announced details of the next World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm. From rated battlegrounds and the return of PvP rank titles, to major overhauls of gear itemization, to major reworking of Warlock class mechanics, there’s been a lot of great news to absorb and get excited about.

I may have some things to say about the battleground and Warlock changes later, once the dust has settled. But while most of the changes affect how we’ll play in the future, one change affects how we play now.

And that change is the Cataclysm itself.

The fundamental premise of the expansion is that the face of Azeroth is irrevocably altered by the return of Deathwing. All of the old zones are getting revamped and updated: some completely redesigned, others just getting reworked. Empty zones like Azshara will be populated, hated zones like Desolace will be given a makeover, and established zones like Elwynn Forest will get an update. Furthermore, the phasing engine deployed in Wrath that alters the landscape and opens up quest hubs will see a lot of use. So things are going to be very, very different in Azeroth and Kalimdor, which is going to be great! I am so glad that the Old World is going to get some attention.

But it also means that the current content has an expiration date. If you don’t experience it soon, you won’t experience it at all. The clock is ticking. Cataclysm may not be out for a year or more, but it will come. The old world’s days are numbered.

So a lot of my thought this weekend has dwelt on what things I would like to accomplish before the Azeroth I’ve come to know kicks the bucket. A Cataclysm Bucket List, if you will.

Here’s what I’ve got so far.

1. Tour all the zones that are going to radically change, taking pictures and fishing in each one. I love how each zone has a distinct feeling to it. That feeling stocks with you as you adventure through it, and I will miss many of these zones — the quiet beauty of Azshara, the pastoral hominess of Southshore, the purple docks of Auberdine. I already have the Explorer title, but a nostalgia fishing tour is in order.

2. Visit all the dungeons that are going to change. Onyxia’s Lair will be updated before the Cataclysm, so that’s on the list, but other classic dungeons like Shadowfang Keep are also going to get updated. Time to solo them while I can.

3. Go through all the different racial starting zones. I’ve played all of the classes to level 10, but not all of the races, and the starting areas are going to be updated. In Durotar’s case, the update could be quite substantial, so I should level out an Orc or Troll to see what it’s like. I assume that, aside from the opening cinematic, the two races share the same quests, much like the Dwarves and Gnomes do. If that’s the case I can just do Durotar once.

The only other race I haven’t played is the Forsaken, and while I’m not really looking forward to it, I should see what it’s like growing up undead.

4. See the old world (10-60) from the other faction’s perspective. This one is more daunting, because I am a slow, slow leveler. I have enough trouble leveling my Alliance alts, and they’re decked out in the finest heirloom gear I can get! Some of it is time; I really enjoy playing my main, so I spend a lot of my limited playtime playing her. But even on my main, leveling was a slow process for me. After months of play, my baby Druid is only level 41. So rolling Horde, and sticking with it to level 60, is going to be a real challenge.

There are several achievements I considered adding to this list but did not; Loremaster and Classic Dungeonmaster, for example, or completing my Dreadmist set. I’m already trying to do too much by even considering leveling a Horde alt past the starting zone. But I also have to be honest with myself — those things don’t matter as much to me. I don’t have the desire to seek out every last quest, or level one of every race and class to 80. None of us have unlimited playtime, and managing the time we do have playing this game is essential. We make choices every time we log in about what we are going to do next, be it raiding end-game content, collecting pets or mounts, leveling an alt, grinding a rep, or even just fishing. These choices define our game, and us.

While I’m sad to see the old world go, I’m glad I got to experience one side of it once all the way through, and will love to see the other side before the Cataclysm takes it away.

So . What’s on your list? Anything else I should consider?

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “The Cataclysm Bucket List

  1. Hmmm I don’t know. But I’m glad that I’ve tried Onyxia and have collected my Tier 2 helm. If I didn’t have that, I would probably keep trying until I got it :)

    I’ve leveled a horde character through Barrens/Stonetalon Mountains so I feel that I’ve gained some appreciation for the landscape. I can’t see me taking her to lvl 60 anytime soon though!

    My only real to-do item is to complete my Loremaster of Kalimdor achievement prior to the release of Cataclysm.

  2. Well if you’re fishing anyway you might stock up the deviate fish in the Barrens…they might be rendered extinct by the Cataclysm!

    /agree with Cassandri…if I hadn’t already picked up my T2 helm off Ony I’d definitely be doing it now. Every time I go to Naxx I cry that I can no longer do the old version and get that tier set anymore. Hate to go into the expansion having that feeling about any other content that’s going the way of the dodo!

  3. div

    Surprisingly, the forsaken starting zone is incredibly in depth. I love rolling a new undead, they just like throw you in the middle of this zombie-ridden town and are like “Yeah everyone here used to have so much potential and now they’re all afraid of their brain melting out of their head, it’s a terrible existence etc.”

  4. BlueTiger

    The Seeker. While I might get some of the Loremaster while doing The Seeker, I just wanna be Bluetiger the Seeker :)

    Oh and C’tuun – we have wiped (yes, at 80) on him a couple of weeks now but I think we got the technique down now so he should be getting smashed soon and I get my Classic Raider done!

    • Dotann

      Haha, I was in a raid just yesterday that wiped hilariously on C’thun. We were all standing right in front of his door listening to the RL explain stuff, the healer shifted back to see better, and one eye beam bounced through the whole raid and 1-shotted 15 80s. xD

  5. A quick update — Onyxia is down! Shadowfang Keep is the only instance I need for #2. Sweet.

    • I’ve got a rogue that just so happens to need another shot at some weapons from SFK. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

      How do you stand on all of the rest of them?

      • Well, I did SFK on my pally, but not on my Lock, so we can knock that one out sometime soon. So #2 is essentially complete.

        The other items have been challenging; I’ve not done as much fishing in the Old World as I would like, but I have done some tourism on my Horde DK and seen a lot of their cities. Still haven’t leveled through Durotar or Trisifal Glades, let alone started seriously leveling to 60.

        I might have to faction change and bring over some heirlooms to make it work for me, sadly.

    • I was just giving you an excuse to go get that one done. I’ve got people to run with already.

      Leveling through Durotar is pretty boring actually. I really like the story in Tirisfal Glades though. If you want to roll over on Korialstrasz I can run some things with you over there, give you bags, gold, etc.

      My paladin an help you level easily enough, and I’ve still got friends playing over there.

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