World of Warcraft's third major expansion, Cataclysm, is set to launch in just two weeks. Like previous expansions, Cataclysm will be adding a few extra levels to the cap and a series of pieces of new endgame dungeons and raids for players to explore. Unlike previous expansions, however, Cataclysm contains a revamp of the entire old game world. Blizzard's design standards have changed drastically since WoW was first launched back in 2004, and Cataclysm represents an opportunity to bring all the game's original content up to those new design standards. This monumental revamp of the low-level game experience is sure to bring many players back who have gotten bored of the early levels. In lore terms, the world is about to be rended apart by The Shattering, releasing the ancient and deadly Warcraft dragon Deathwing.
Our friends over at World of Warcraft Insider have been looking forward to the shattering patch. With only two weeks to go until Cataclysm's launch, they suspect that the world will be forever changed during tomorrow's extended server downtime. Important changes that will be going live when the shattering occurs include a reduction in the experience requirements from level 71 to 80 and the removal of the entire Zul'Gurub zone. The anticipated new race and class combinations will also be going into effect, but players will have to wait for the official Cataclysm launch to try out the new Goblin and Worgen races. Skip over to WoW Insider for the full story and more Cataclysm launch coverage.