What's in The Shattering
- Hearthstone set to Dalaran? Better change that -- Dalaran and Shattrath portals will be removed once the patch hits.
- In place of the handy portals in Dalaran, you'll find a series of equally handy class trainers.
- The new race/class combinations will be playable, with the exception of goblins and worgen.
- If you're wondering why we spent all that time taking back Echo Isles and Gnomeregan, you'll be able to see the fruits of your labors in 4.0.3a, where both the trolls and the gnomes have their brand new starting zones.
- Speaking of zone changes, all level 1 to 60 zones will be forever changed, and as a result, all zones will have fully playable content.
- Fancy new Cataclysm loading screens will be available for all new zones. Be sure to check out the new Northrend loading screen, while you're at it.
- Did you like the new Cataclysm cinematic? Good, because it'll be viewable as of Patch 4.0.3.
- How long have you had your in-game music muted? Now would be a good time to crank it up again, as the new Cataclysm music for all new zones will be implemented.
- The new Cataclysm login screen featuring Deathwing in all his glory above a fiery version of Stormwind will also be available.
- Just in case you haven't gotten exalted with all your home factions, City Quartermasters will be available, along with reputation tabards for each faction.
- A host of bug fixes will be included with this patch.
- New class balancing mechanics and fixes will be included, as well.
- Speaking of classes, if you are a druid, priest, paladin, or shaman, your talent trees will be reset.
- The amount of experience required to gain levels from 71 through 80 will be reduced by 20 percent. Now's a good time to get the rest of those alts to 80!
- New tamable hunter pets, including monkeys, foxes, dogs, and beetles, will be included, as well as new skins for existing pet classes.
What's not in yet
- Want to create a goblin or worgen? You'll have to wait until Dec. 7 for that.
- The worgen and goblin starting zones will not be included until you upgrade to the expansion.
- The new archaeology profession will not be released until Cataclysm's launch.
- You will not be able to level your professions to the next rank (Illustrious Grand Master) until Cataclysm's launch.
- Guild leveling will not be introduced until the expansion's release.
- Similarly, Guild Achievements will not be available until Dec. 7.
- Want to fly in old-world Azeroth? You're going to have to wait until the official release for that one. The Flight Master's License is only available to those who have purchased Cataclysm.
- All new level 80+ zones, including Hyjal, Vash'jir, Uldum, and the Twilight Highlands will not be available for play until Cataclysm's release.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.