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A Review Of Major WOW Cataclysm Classic Patches So Far

Cornell Otto

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With WoW Cataclysm Classic just around the corner, Deathwing burst forth and destroyed the world, bringing sweeping changes to Azeroth and many of WoW’s systems. Fast forward to today, and Deathwing is returning once again in WoW Cataclysm, launching on May 20.

A lot has happened since 2010, so let’s take a moment to revisit Cataclysm patches, review the story and some features introduced, and take a look at the brand new changes coming to Cataclysm Classic!

A Review Of Major WOW Cataclysm Classic Patches So Far

Patch 4.0.1

Patch 4.0.1 is Cataclysm system pre-patch, introducing several interfaces and system updates ahead of release.

Reforging was introduced, allowing players to assign some of an item’s secondary properties to different secondary properties, and Mastery was introduced, providing a new secondary property for you to consider!

Additionally, spells and abilities changed removing ranks, instead simply scaling with character level, and Spellbook UI was updated with it.

With ammo removed from the game, hunters have seen a number of quality of life improvements, especially as cloth, leather, and mail users see their armor become as durable as plate, which normalizes repair costs across classes. This avoids the problem of spending large amounts of WoW Cataclysm Classic Gold and still not getting satisfactory results, as was the case in the past.

Patch 4.0.3: Shattering

Patch 4.0.3 brings us Shattering. Without warning, the corrupted Dragon Aspects Deathwing bursts from the stone heart of Deepholm, the realm of earth in Elemental Planes. Jagged cracks tear through the land, and raging waves crash against coastal areas.

From Thousand Needles to Blasted Lands, the surface of Azeroth is reshaped in a violent upheaval. Forced to defend their homes against Deathwing and his minions, both the Horde and the Alliance lived with the uneasy fear that the world as they knew it had changed forever.

Shattering saw the continents of Kalimdor and Eastern kingdoms reshaped, offering unique experiences in previously existing areas and new adventures in never before seen zones.

WOW Cataclysm Classic Patch 4.0.3 Shattering

Two races were unlocked Goblins for Horde and Worgen for Alliance, and fresh race and class combinations accompanied them. Nine new dungeons were introduced:

  • Blackrock Caverns, a network of tunnels created by Deathwing in Blackrock Mountains, where heroes face down members of Twilight’s Hammer cult.
  • Throne of Tides, an underwater dungeon, and part of Abyssal Maw that was filled with naga and ancient of Old Gods.
  • Vortex Pinnacle, located in Elemental Plane, where armies of air elementals gathered and had to be stopped.
  • Stone Core in Temple of Earth above Deepholm that had fallen to Twilight’s Hammer with Mad Priestess Azil in control.
  • Lost City Tol’vir in Uldum which pitched champions against the hostile, Neferset, a faction of Tol’vir created by Titans to guard their research facilities.
  • Halls of Origination, part of Titan research facility of Uldum that was once used to develop new races, was left full of ancient defenses to protect from intruders.
  • Grim Batol, a once great dwarven fortress that had been occupied by Twilight Hammer and the corrupted Black Dragonflight, saw champions ride atop dragons to bombard enemies before engaging them in combat on foot.
  • Deadmines, once the hideout of Defias Brotherhood’s leaders, like Edwin VanCleef, became the primary Defias stronghold, from which new leader Vanessa VanCleef plotted her vengeance.
  • Shadowfang Keep, formerly home to Archmage Arugal and his Worgen until it was liberated by Horde adventurers, was occupied by Vincent Godfrey, traitor to both Gilneas and Forsaken, and was a target of both Alliance and Horde.

Three new raids saw champions face down to some of the bigger threats and allies of Deathwing!

Blackwing Descent was the layer of the resurrected Nefarian, son of Deathwing, and the site of the heinous experiments he conducted in an attempt to create a new breed of chromatic dragons.

Bastion of Twilight was the primary fortress of Twilight Hammer. Cho’gall, the leader of the cult, dwelled here, as well as Sinestra, mother of Nefarian and Onyxia and creator of the first Twilight Dragons, reanimated and overseeing the creation of another Twilight clutch.

Throne of Four Winds was located inside Skywall, and was Al’Akir’s personal lair! With the barrier between Elemental Plane and Azeroth ruptured, his invasion needed to be stopped.

Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari

Patch 4.1 Rise of the Zandalari is the first major patch for WoW Cataclysm! The days where the great troll empire stretched across ancient Kalimdor, were long past. As Azeroth recovered from the destruction of Cataclysm, the world’s divided troll population faced a bleak future.

These dark times spurred the trolls of the Zandalar to drastic action. They began a bold crusade to save their race by unifying the trolls into a powerful empire.

With Zandalari’s aid, the fallen capitals of Gurubashi and Amani nations - Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman began rebuilding, replenishing their forces for a bloody campaign to expand their territories.

Yet Vol’jin and his Darkspear trolls were not aligned with Zandalari. They vowed to work with the Horde and the Alliance to prevent the trolls from starting a new war in Azeroth. Soon Vol’jin was forced to act on his promise, for if Gurubashi and Amani were left to their own devices, the world would know the legendary strength and savagery of the ancient troll empires once again.

WOW Cataclysm Classic Patch 4.1 Rise of the Zandalari

With the trolls attempting to rebuild and reunite, Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub were reimagined, becoming heroic 5-player dungeons.

Guilds received some attention with the introduction of Guild Challenges that rewarded achievements and gold for completing various content in a guild group. Guild finder tool was also introduced, designed to help players find like-minded friends to tackle these new adventures with.

And a very helpful quality of life improvement also came with this patch. The ability to resurrect allies from raid or party frames, instead of having to locate a fallen companion’s body in the world.

Patch 4.2: Rage of the Firelands

Patch 4.2 Rage of the Firelands, was the second major patch of Cataclysm. Across the breadth of Azeroth, Horde and Alliance dealt crushing blows to Deathwing’s elemental minions and fanatic Twilight’s Hammer cultists.

As the elements continue to be in disarray, it seems that the noble shamanic order may finally be on the verge of collapse under the enormous weight on its shoulders. Even Thrall, for all his wisdom and skill, had grown aggravated by his failure to effectively communicate with Azeroth’s elements.

Recently, his calls were acknowledged, but the malevolent entity that responded had only intensified Thrall’s fears and doubts.

Patch 4.2 brought with it a new raid, Firelands. This molten hellscape in Elemental Plane was forged by Titans to house Ragnaros and his servants. Ragnaros’s invasion of Mount Hyjal could not go unanswered, as champions took the fight to his domain.

A new legendary item, Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest could be obtained after completing a considerable questline. This two handed staff was incredibly powerful, and wielding it was a true testament to dedication!

A nice quality of life change, improved Durability Displays’s warnings, adjusting yellow to signify 20% durability as opposed to a durability of 5%. And access to a wealth of information and lore was added directly in-game with the introduction of Dungeon Journal.

WOW Cataclysm Classic Patch 4.2 Rage of the Firelands

Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight

Patch 4.3 Hour of Twilight was the third and final installment of cataclysm, and its largest content update since launch!

In the aftermath of Cataclysm, the warriors of Azeroth rose up against the forces of the mad black Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Thus far, the world’s defenders had shattered the power base of Twilight’s Hammer cult and defeated the raging elemental Lords Al’Akir and Ragnaros.

Yet despite these victories, as long as Deathwing was free to pursue his twisted goals, Azeroth would remain under threat. No one was more aware of this fact.

The great Dragon Aspects such as Nozdormu, Alexstrasza, Kalecgos, and Ysera. Together with the wise shaman Thrall, they devised a plan to vanquish Deathwing with a weapon of his own design: the infamous Dragon Soul.

Thrall and the noble aspects would call upon Horde and Alliance to help them retrieve the artifact - No longer in existence - from the distant past. Those brave enough to face the challenge would embark on a perilous journey from Azeroth’s apocalyptic End Time to Dragon Soul’s point of origin during the catastrophic War of the ancients. If the heroes succeeded, an even more harrowing battle awaited them in their present.

Hour of Twilight brought three new dungeons:

End Time saw heroes visit potential futures that would come to exist should Deathwing prevail, pitting them against visages of corrupted heroes of Azeroth and ultimately facing down a tormented version of those Nozdormu, called Murozond, who created Infinite Dragonflight and shattered the time ways in an attempt to subvert his own mortality.

Well of Eternity flung heroes back 10,000 years in time, just before Sundering to assist Illidan and Tyrande in battling Burning Legion. As Azshara attempted to bring Sargeras himself to Azeroth. Hour of Twilight saw heroes prepare for the last battle with Deathwing, and fight alongside Thrall to bring Dragon Soul to Wyrmrest Temple.

The final Raid, Dragon Soul, continued to the fight in the besieged temple through Last of Deathwing’s lieutenants and ultimately onto Destroyer himself. As Thrall, Dragon Aspects and the champions of Azeroth attempted to end Cataclysm once and for all.

A new legendary pair of daggers called Fangs of the Father could be obtained by rogues after completing a multi-quest chain that concluded with the defeat of Deathwing.

And Raid Fighter tool was introduced, offering a quick way for players to form a group for a specifically tuned version of Dragon Soul Raid.

With all these epic storylines, legendary items, dungeons, raids, Cataclysm era was densely packed.

But perhaps one of the greatest systems introduced in all of Cataclysm, perhaps one of the greatest systems introduced in all of WoW came with patch 4.3 - Transmogrification.

This new cosmetic system allows players to customize their gear like never before by copying the appearance of one item onto another. Gone were the days of mismatched armor and feeling like you had to choose stats over aesthetics!

WOW Cataclysm Classic Patch 4.3 Hour of Twilight

In Cataclysm Classic, the core story and experiences will remain, but a few things have gotten some changes.

Firstly, things are going to be faster. An increased content cadence will condense the entire expansion into about one year, while an expanded pre-patch means the action starts sooner.

As of the pre-patch going live, the shattering has come to Azeroth. Kezan and Gilneas starter zones are now available, and Goblins and Worgen are unlocked and can be leveled up to 80.

Also, Transmogrification is unlocked, as are account wide collections. New class and race combos are unlocked, along with class updates like talents and spells. Archeology and Reforging are also unlocked. Accelerated leveling from 1 to 80 is in place, which will help you roll alts in this faster environment. And flying is unlocked in the newly reshaped Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.

At launch, several more iconic features from Cataclysm will come online. Five zones will be unlocked. Mountain Hyjal, Vash’jir, Twilight Highlands, Uldum, and Deepholm will all be available for 80 through 85 questing.

And the 9 dungeons we explored earlier that were part of patch 4.0.3 will all be unlocked, along with a new heroic Dungeon system. Tol Barad world PVP zone that pits Horde against Alliance for the control of three objectives will also unlock at launch, as will everyone’s favorite fairgrounds Darkmoon Island.

After launch Throne of the Four Winds, Blackwing Descent, and Bastion of Twilight will make their appearance and a new flexible Raid Lock System, which allows players to do both the 10 and 25 player versions of raids in the same week. Plus, additional content updates will continue to roll out as the expansion unfolds.

That’s it for my review of all the major WoW Cataclysm Classic patches released so far. Anyway, the new expansion is coming soon, so let’s wait and see!