For many fans following the clues left behind by Blizzard, the revelation of the Cataclysm expansion pack should not have been a surprise when it was officially announced today at BlizzCon 2009. With the domain name registration, and the goblin and worgen masks appearing in a recent PTR build, many fans and websites figured out the basis behind the new expansion as well as the new races walking the demolished lands.
However Blizzard confirmed all the detective work today, revealing that the original "classic" continents of Kalimdor and the Easter Kingdoms have been "reforged" by a cataclysm caused by the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. "As the Horde and Alliance race to the epicenter of the cataclysm, the kingdoms of Azeroth will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation," reads the press release.
Here's a list of features fans can expect to receive with the new expansion:
Two New Playable Races
Adventure as the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.
Increased Level Cap
Advance to level 85 and earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to customize characters.
Classic Zones Remade
Quest to level 60 as you never have before. Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been reforged by the cataclysm and updated with new quests and content.
Flying Mounts in Azeroth
Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms from a whole new perspective.
Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.
New High-Level Content
Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great sunken city of Vashj'ir beneath the sea, and enjoy even more high-level raid content than in previous expansions.
New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds
Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.
Archaeology: Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.
New Race and Class Combinations
Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.
To catch a glimpse of Cataclysm, GameTrailers mirrored the debut trailer right here. Additionally, the Lost Isles video is mirrored here, and a Gilness walkthrough video is located here. There's also a Cataclysm preview panel write-up located here on the WoW forums.
Blizzard expects to launch the expansion pack in 2010.