That's a very good question, and one that will likely be argued about a while after Cataclysm is released. My personal opinion is that I don't think Cataclysm will represent such a dramatic shift in the game mechanics to warrant it being referred to as a "new game," so to speak. The basic interactions of the major statistics are still going to be there -- it's really only the auxiliary stats that are changing significantly, and we've seen those undergo revisions every expansion so far.
I also don't think that the talents can be considered to be undergoing an entire refit -- granted several are getting moved around and will be present via different game mechanics, but overall things like Titan's Grip are still going to be around for us to use.
To me the principle change within Cataclysm will be the environment. Azeroth will be torn asunder, never returning to the way it was five years ago. In this aspect I do agree with you that it will be like WoW 2, but I think that's really the only way it can be viewed like that. I should note here that personally, for myself, it will be a big enough change. I have toons of every class between level 60 and 80, and I never really intended to go back and level through the old world again; but then I heard about Cataclysm and I can't wait to go and roll a goblin priest, if only to see new zones and quests.
I also like Ringo's answer: "What you call sneaky, I call brilliant. If Sony could go back and do it over, I'm sure they'd prefer to have retained their EQ1 numbers with EQ2, instead of fracturing the player base in two just as WoW was released."
EQ2 is a great game in my opinion, I've actually been playing it as long as WoW (although not anywhere nearly as seriously). In my dealings in the MMO industry I've heard lots of people say that EQ1 is actually doing slightly better than EQ2 now, and I'm sure Sony would do just about anything to go back in time and de-fracture their playerbase. The split they had will likely go down as one of the largest blunders in MMO history. And yes, I know what I'm saying will likely cause a lot of people to QQ, but such is life.
"Do we know the stats for Quel'Delar?"
No, not yet. Check out more spoiler-rific information on the Quel'Delar if you don't know about it yet.
"Do we know if the new LFG system will allow you to group with friends in your same battlegroup, but a different server?"
It does not appear that selected groups will be possible at this time. The new LFG system functions just like the battleground system works -- you get placed into groups at random with no option to select individual group members (beyond having one primary tank, one primary healer, and three primary DPS).
With that said, this would be a very popular feature if implemented, and I'm sure Blizzard has thought of it. Why it didn't make it into the final product would only be speculation.
For additional information on the new LFG system, check out our gallery of the new interface.
"How can I write for WoW.com? I have an English major and am out of work."
I wish we had openings for all the great writers that are expressing interest in joining our team right now. Unfortunately we're not hiring at the moment. When we are hiring for a general call out we'll make a big deal of it on the site -- you'll notice posts go up about it and a few tweets.
Now with that said, we do have someone new coming on staff in the next week or so... I can't say more right now, but stay tuned. It'll be a very cool feature that I'm sure everyone will love.
"Who would win in an arm wrestling match? Matt Rossi or Mike Sacco?"
Have you seen Rossi's picture? No offense to Sacco, but Rossi would destroy him.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.