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Cataclysm raid progression update

Matthew Rossi

Valnoth comes to the rescue of a forum poster wanting clarification on the intended progression path for Cataclysm instances and raids. Since we figure this is information that will interest a few of our players, here it is in pog form! (Note, it's not actually in pog form.)

Valnoth - Re: Can we get some info on Cata-Progression
Q u o t e:
So with raid testing in full swing, i think it's a good time to ask what the planned progression path will be concerning raids.

Will we be allowed to directly do heroic-modes or are we forced to do normal first?
Will there be any kind of gating?
Any Info on Sinestra? Try-limited? Time limited? Not limited, just hard?
Also, will there be heroic-mode testing in Beta?

Below is the basic progression map. Obviously your mileage may vary, i.e. If you're Paragon or Premonition you will be able to skip some of the below and/or mix and match at your discretion.

*Normal Dungeons/Crafting/Questing to get full set of 85 blues (non-heroic) to do Heroic dungeons.
*Heroic dungeons to get full set of 85 Heroic blues to do Normal mode raids.
*Normal raids to get full set of 85 epics (non-heroic) to do Heroic mode raids.
*Heroic Raids to get full set of 85 Heroic epics, which will presumably help a bit on Sinestra and the next tier (when released with patch 4.1.0)

*Badge vendors to help fill in gaps at all tier levels.

*No real gating to speak of for ship.

*Sinestra opens after Cho'gall is defeated on HEROIC mode. No timers or attempt limits, but she will pound you relentlessly. She has better than Heroic epic level gear (half a tier better).

So for those of us who are not demigods, the intention is that once again, you'll run dungeons to gear up, then run heroics to gear up for raiding, then run normal raids to gear up for heroics. Once you have heroic mode gear, you'll be geared enough to run Sinestra, who will beat you like a rented mule for a few months until the next tier of raiding comes out. So it's a combination of the BC model (run heroics to gear up for Kara -- Gruul and Mags, for instance) and the Wrath model. Well, to be fair, Wrath was also a lot like this at launch.

What's really nice here is the emphasis on badge vendors and crafted gear to help smooth out some of the gaps in gearing up. We all remember The Burning Crusade, when one particular piece of gear could keep you running instances long after you had everything you could possibly want from them (I'm looking right at you, Sun-Eater), so I'm hoping that helps. It's also interesting to note that unlike BC and even early Wrath (Malygos), there's no gating or attunement.

Also interesting is that just because some bosses will drop a half-tier of better loot, that doesn't mean heroic Ragnaros isn't going to beat your face in. I look forward to that, to be honest.

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.

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