Most of you reading Lore Hound right now were probably fans of the site we all used to work for and, quite frankly, you must be wondering “why the heck are they talking about all these other games for? Isn’t this supposed to be a World of Warcraft-focused site?” It’s a valid query, of course. Here are Lore Hound, we do plan on covering a variety of topics because, let’s face it, WoW ain’t the only game in town and some of these other titles really do deserve your attention.
But we still love Warcraft. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. The truth of the matter is that, at this moment, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about. Blizzard has been awfully hush-hush on the expansion for months now beyond reiterating and repackaging the information they doled out at last year’s BlizzCon (such as the stat changes). As far as the content goes, we know about as much now as we did just after Cataclysm was announced, and the last time the official site was updated was back in September.
But I feel it, folks. I feel like we’re on the verge of something big because we really have to be.
Boubouille over at MMO-Champion seems to think that the Cataclysm beta will start this month. Now, even without a hint from Blizzard as to when it’s going to begin, the math still works out (at least if they want to get this puppy on retail shelves in a reasonable time frame). Let’s go ahead and assume that we see the expansion go live in September or October, that would give them a good five to six months worth of testing. And considering this isn’t your average expansion, I feel like they’re going to need as much as they can possibly get.
Not only will they have to focus on making sure that all of the obligatory new content works, but they’ll also need to make sure that the revamped version of the old content does, as well. Now that all zones can be traversed by flying mounts, players are going to be able to explore Azeroth more extensively than ever before. And when players explore, they tend to find ways of breaking the game or accessing things they shouldn’t be able to. That’s not to mention making sure all the new quests work correctly.
And hey, what about balance? With all the stat changes, the introduction of new systems like Path of the Titans, Mastery, and even the Guild Leveling system, the re-balancing act is likely to be a difficult one.
Sadly, even if the beta is imminent, it’ll likely be released under the wet blanket of an extensive NDA, meaning we couldn’t even report on most of it if we could. This is a bit different from the Starcraft 2 beta, which is only a free-for-all because it covers the multi-player portion of the game and, therefore, contains no real content spoilers.
Even if the beta doesn’t drop soon, I think we’re about due for an info dump. While the new starting areas have been previewed at several public events (including BlizzCon 2009, of course), there’s so much remaining to show off. With Wrath of the Lich King more or less at its end, I think fans are getting awfully antsy. I know I am, and I can see it affecting my guild, as well. Content is running thin and patience even thinner. I’m not even sure if these stepping-stone minor content patches will be enough to maintain interest without people knowing what is really in store for them down the road. We all need something to look forward to.
Beta or otherwise, we here at Lore Hound will keep you folks as well-informed on Cataclysm as we possibly can. After all, we’re just as excited!