Foreseeing Cataclysm: Patent For Devastation

Welcome to Foreseeing Cataclysm, a series of posts in which I’ll try to recount all the crazy information we heard about WoWs next expansion before last years BlizzCon. A gathering of crazy theories, wild guesses and suspicious leaks that formed our view of the upcoming expansion before we even knew whether there would be a next expansion.

Well, let’s start at the beginning because that would only be most logical.

The first solid piece of information about something that could, theoretically, be the next WoW expansion, planned by Blizzard, came on 1st of July,2009. Blizzard had filed a trademark for the name “Cataclysm” to be used in variety of entertainment spheres, including video games. At the time it was impossible to tell which of the Blizzard’s franchises Cataclysm was gonna be related to. This didn’t stop the community from assuming it was WoW-related and mind-storming about the possibilities of an expansion by that name.

Boubouille, of MMO-champion fame, and many others immediately linked the name “Cataclysm” with the Great Sundering – the one true cataclysm Azeroth has seen so far, which tore the supercontinent of Kalimdor into pieces. This led to speculation that we will be getting the (one of fan favorites) Maelstorm expansion with Azshara and her naga playing the role of the big baddies of Cataclysm. Deathwing was also given consideration but at the time it was deemed that there will once again be only one big baddie in the expansion and, if that was the case, Azshara was certainly the prime suspect.

The Great Sundering 2.0? More likely than we thought.

In hindsight, we can see that Boubouille almost certainly did have inside information on the expansion before it’s announcement at Blizzcon. The fact that he was able to predict goblins playing a major part in the upcoming expansion based on the word “Cataclysm” alone is a pretty sure sign of that. Linking goblins to Azshara and the Great Sundering was a pretty long stretch and even playable naga would’ve seemed more likely at that point.

Of course there was wild speculation going on about what would this hypothetical expansion offer in the way of leveling. Stropp, of Stropp’s World blog, suggested that the cataclysmic event could destroy the Old World completely and new characters in Cataclysm would start at level 50. Other’s speculated that the expansion would add a full fledged underwater continent under Maelstrom in which players would level to level 90 or maybe even level 100.

Let’s not forget that, at the time, this was all pure speculation. Nobody knew for sure what or when the next expansion of WoW would be (and if they did, they were being kept mighty silent). It was equally possible that Cataclysm would actually be associated with Blizzard’s, still unannounced, mext-gen MMO that they’ve been working on for some time now.

Next time on Foreseeing Cataclysm: The Rumors, The Leaks, The Rage

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~ by Shale on July 24, 2010.

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