You creak open the door and discover a secret passage way traveling hundreds of miles towards the Irvine offices of Blizzard. The passageway is lit with small green and blue bulbs, lining the floor. The walls are made of brick, and there is a certain "old" smell to the air. You think you hear something down the long hallway, and suddenly you spot a small crab scurrying along the floor. It stops to look at you for a moment, and withdraws a candle from its shell. The crab mutters "Soon" in a crabbish voice, and runs back towards its home in the dark. Bewildered, you decide to close the door and leave the candle in hallway. Try another exit.
You find the writers sitting in the editor's office, all enjoying some finely aged gin. They turn to you and all say at once "adamh23, didn't you hear?" You have a puzzled look on your face and reply with a raised eyebrow, "Hear what?" Mike Sacco stops brushing his pretty-boy hair for a moment and says with a Talbuk grin, "Soon. Very soon."
"What's gonna happen to all the old world raiding guilds come Cataclysm? Or even BC raiding guilds (rare as they are). Will blizzard really just up and remove all the old raids, or will any of them be getting a face lift but remain at the same level and loot?"
Blizzard has said before they're not going to go back and redo previously released content. In the case of Cataclysm they're not redoing anything, they're destroying it all and moving a few things around. Don't expect ZA to be redone. Some bosses, like Ragnaros, are going to appear as a level 85 raid boss, so we don't know for sure what will happen to places like Molten Core (which could very well go away).
What happens to the level 60 raids will determine the course of action for many old world raiding guild. The Outlands, by all indications, appears to be relatively untouched by the coming cataclysm, so I wouldn't imagine there'd be much change there.
"If all of the Old World is being updated in Cataclysm, will the quests all be brought up to the current timeline? As in will there be talk of past victories, i.e.: the Death of the Lich king or the conquering of Zul'Aman in quests?"
Unlikely. Blizzard views the progression from 1 to 80 (or the upcoming 85) as a story line. You meet Old Blanchy in Westfall at level 10, and you get to see him again when you're questing out in Northrend. The characters, and their stories, progress along with you, the hero-protagonist in the entire WoW storyline.
Some of the quests will obviously be updated or redone, and there will certainly be a ton of new lore injected into the world overall. However I wouldn't expect the villagers of Goldshire to change their daily routines too much.
"Do you see The Earthen Ring playing a major role in Cataclysm? Seeing as they are supposed to keep balance in the elements and the elements kinda going outta wack. Could they possibly become the next Kirin Tor/Sha'tar main head honcho group of the expansion?"
It's certainly possible, and I wouldn't be surprised if they did play a major role. But... we don't know yet.
For those who are wondering what the Earthen Ring is, they are a council of Shamans that advise Thrall. Read more about them over at WoWWiki.
Spencer Cross asked...
"What's the point of the 'sit' mechanic with benches/chairs/etc? It totally confused me when I started playing and I still haven't found anything that it's good for. Am I missing something?"
It's an RP mechanic. Sitting in an RPG game has been around forever, and is entrenched in online RPGs. Back in the days of MUDs (or today if you still play them, in which case, /salute), you would type something like /sit bench left or what not, and you'd get a message that said "Adam sits on the left side of the bench."
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