Cataclysm Press Event - Raids, Guild System, Path of the Titans & More

World of Raids recently had a chance to visit Blizzard HQ in Irvine, CA for a press event.  Check out the details below; this is a doozy!

Path of the Titans & Glyphs


  • Path of the Titans has been scrapped and will not be implemented.
  • Instead Blizzard will focus on improving the glyph system, as they feel it didn't quite hit the intended goals in Wrath.
  • Glyphs will now be available in 3 categories: Major, "Medium" (PH name) and Minor.

    • Major glyphs are core to each class and will be expected to be used to perform at maximum level.
    • Medium glyphs will be to provide "fun" alterations to abilities.
    • Minor glyphs will largely function as they do today.
  • Based on the mockup shown, you'll be able to have 3 glyphs of each type at level 85: Major, Medium and Minor.
  • The glyph UI will now display all of the glyphs available to your class, even if you haven't learned them yet, to the right of the section where you apply your glyphs.
  • Blizzard wants to make glyphs permanent so you don't have to carry a stack of them around. Simply learn the glyph and then you can swap it whenever you want.


Guild System

Guild Leveling

  • There are 25 levels in total.
  • Guild talents are not going to be implemented.
  • Instead, guilds will be automatically rewarded with perks.
  • Each time a guild levels up they will receive a perk.
  • Guilds gain experience through a member participating in dungeon or raid boss kills, winning rated battlegrounds, completing quests or unlocking guild achievements.

Guild Rewards

  • Guild currency has been scrapped.
  • Guild rewards will be unlocked by completing guild achievements.
  • Rewards will be purchased with gold, and anyone in the guild can purchase the reward once it's unlocked.
  • Examples: mounts, tabards, heirlooms.
  • Guild mounts will have a flag attached to them that displays the guild's emblem.

Guild Reputation

  • This is a newly announced feature; players will gain reputation with their guild similar to how other reputations work in the game.
  • As you contribute to the guild by completing quests, killing bosses, winning rated BGs or completing guild achievements, you will gain reputation.
  • The best guild rewards will require having exalted reputation with your guild.
  • Guild reputation is on a per-character basis, so you'll have to gain rep for each character you have in the guild before you can buy rewards with it.
  • Reputation is not wiped immediately upon leaving or being removed from the guild; this is to prevent losing all your progress in the guild due to someone jokingly kicking you.

Guild Achievements

  • These will be integral to the reward and level systems. Completing one can unlock rewards as well as give the guild experience.
  • Guild achievements are earned and owned by the guild, so once it has it, it never goes away -- even if all members who participated leave the guild.
  • Even classic raids will help level your guild. A new version of the classic raid meta will become available that guilds can complete.
  • When viewing a guild achievement it will display the members who participated in earning that achievement.
  • To earn a guild achievement you must have 7 of 10 or 20 of 25 players in the raid be members of your guild.
  • There will be realm first achievements for guilds, as well as individual players.

Guild Window

  • The guild UI has received an overhaul and contains:

    • The guild xp bar and its current level.
    • An RSS-like feed of the latest news for the guild; boss kills, level milestones, etc.
    • Some news like major raid boss kills or level 85 will be "sticky" (this is determined by Blizzard) and will persist at the top of the feed for a while.
    • An upcoming events section that is a snapshot of your guild's calendar.
    • The most recent perk the guild has earned, and the one for reaching the next level.
    • The guild reputation bar (this is specific to your character).
  • The guild roster page has also been overhauled and now contains a professions display for each member.
  • You will be able to click on profession icons and view the recipes a guild member has, even while they're offline.


Raids & Dungeons

Raiding - General

  • Players will be able to "downshift" their 25-player raid, splitting it up into 10-player versions.

    • Raids will be able to split into up to 3 10-player raids.
    • These raids will start at the same progress point the 25-player was at for the lockout.
    • There are no plans to allow 10-player raids to combine into a 25-player raid.
  • There will be more freedom for moving from raid ID to raid ID. Players will be able to join other raids, even when saved to a raid ID, as long as that raid has killed at least the same bosses in the instance you have during their lockout.

    • While this sounds like the potential for cross-realm raiding, that isn't possible yet. It isn't ruled out for the future though.
  • There will be more "Algalon" style encounters for both 10 and 25-player heroic modes which will offer loot a half-tier better than the rest of the instance.
  • 25-player raids will provide around 50% more loot per-player. That includes items and the new currency used to purchase items.
  • The goal of the philosophy shift for 10 and 25 providing the same loot (source) is to make it a playstyle choice where you choose the format that fits you, not the one you feel obligated to do.
  • 10-player raids in Wrath of the Lich King were deliberately easier because that was the goal of it at the time. That is not the case for Cataclysm.

Grim Batol - Bastion of Twilight (Raid)

  • Described as the "Naxxramas" of Cataclysm; it will be an entry-level raid for the expansion.
  • 5 bosses in total.
  • Cho'gall is the end-boss of the dungeon.
  • One encounter will require "dual-strafing" -- whatever that means.
  • Another encounter will be a "council" fight called the Twilight Ascendants; Twilight's Hammer members who have ascended and become elementals.
  • Upon defeating Cho'gall on heroic mode, the floor beneath you will collapse and you'll fall into a cavern of flowing lava that hides a "horrifying secret," according to Alex Afrasiabi. Speculation time!

Skywall - Vortex Pinnacle (Dungeon)

  • A dungeon where flying mounts work, but no flying combat (yay, not Oculus 2.0)
  • The dungeon sports new cloud tech, and the visuals shown during the presentation were stunning. It's a palace area floating in the sky; it's the Elemental Plane of Air.
  • Players will encounter djinn, or at least Warcraft's take on the mythical creature.
  • One of the bosses is said to be a "storm dragon"
  • Another is an elemental lord


New Zones


  • It's keeping with the Egyptian theme; "WoW does Egypt," according to Alex Afrasiabi.
  • The tour was impressive; the zone looks great. Incredibly detailed textures on the terrain and buildings. Lots of pyramids and other Egyptian-themed sculptures.
  • Uldum was locked away, protected by a Titan machine which created a projection of a large, impassible mountain, but the Cataclysm destroyed that machine -- opening up access to Uldum.
  • The Tol'Vir are still planned to be a new race introduced here. Not ready to be shown though.


  • The Elemental Plane of Earth, where Deathwing was nursed back to health and "rebuilt".
  • It's essentially the "core" of a sphere (though not Azeroth; it exists on its own plane).
  • Deathwing ruptured out through a tower in the middle of Deepholm and entered Azeroth through the Maelstrom, according to Alex Afrasiabi. It looks like Blizzard changed their mind since BlizzCon.
  • Therazane will be present here and is involved in a reputation similar to Sons of Hodir, "with the lessons learned from that," says Alex Afrasiabi.
  • Orgrim's Hammer and The Skybreaker are both here. Orgrim's Hammer has been shot down by The Skybreaker.
  • You will encounter many stone and crystal creatures here.


Player versus Player

Battlegrounds - General

  • Launching with two battlegrounds: Twin Peaks and the Battle for Gilneas. More to come post-release.
  • Twin Peaks will be a capture-the-flag map similar to Warsong Gulch (see the preview) with a few small differences.

    • Two graveyards for each faction, with one of them being in the middle of the map. Dying out in the field will cause you to spawn here rather than at your base.
    • It's relatively similar in size to WSG, but the field itself is larger, with the bases taking up less space.
    • Twin Peaks will NOT be replacing Warsong Gulch like some players were expecting it to.
  • Blizzard wants to focus on introducing new BGs to offer a variety of environments, rather than focusing on updating older ones.

Rated Battlegrounds

  • Players will participate in rated battlegrounds by forming their raid group prior to joining the queue.
  • You will only face off against other rated groups.
  • Each week the format for rated battlegrounds will be different. It will rotate between 10, 15 and 25-player battlegrounds.
  • Rating loss will not exist until after a certain threshold.
  • Conquest points will be rewarded for winning rated battlegrounds.
  • There will be a limitation on the number of Conquest points you can earn each week to prevent feeling like you must participate in both arenas and rated battlegrounds.
  • There will be end-of-season rewards for rated BG teams similar to arenas:

    • The classic Honor titles will be coming back and rewarded to the top teams each season.
    • The "Gladiator" equivalent teams will also receive epic ground mounts. Ground mounts because they want to reward something you can ride in the battleground and be proud of / show off.




  • No longer involved in Path of the Titans, since it was removed.
  • Will now help to "dig into the lore of the game" -- essentially being used as a vehicle for storytelling.
  • There are two types of "artifacts" players will be able to uncover through Archaeology.
  • The first will be more of a lore or story artifact.
  • The second can reward items; cosmetic or fun in most cases, with the rare usable weapon.
  • It will not provide any must-have items.




  • There are, as of the event, 3000 new quests planned for Cataclysm. That's nearly 3 times as many quests added with Wrath of the Lich King.
    • Darn you Zarhym for posting this before I could!
  • Leveling up will display a "toast" similar to earning an achievement. It will show:

    • The level you reached
    • If a new talent point is available
    • Any new abilities for that level
    • Feature unlocks: battlegrounds, dungeon finder, riding, glyphs, etc.
  • Garrosh is the "acting" Warchief of the Horde.
  • Garrosh's stronghold is at the front of Orgrimmar, right as you enter through the front gate, to show "who is in charge."

    • The Valley of Wisdom is now the Tauren district.
  • A new auction house, inn and bank have been added to the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar.
  • Deathwing destroyed The Park in Stormwind. This was done to drive home the impact Deathwing has had on the world, and because he wasn't happy about his daughter's head hanging from the rafters.
  • A new auction house, inn and bank have been added to the Dwarven District in Stormwind.
  • New music will be added for all of the cities, and a large portion of the game world.
  • The Forsaken have set up a foothold in Silverpine Forest and have rebuilt many areas with their unique architecture. They've done this to provide a base of operations for assaulting Gilneas, which is very strategically valuable to the Horde.
  • Heirlooms will work for both Goblins and Worgen from the launch of the expansion. You earned them, so you get to use them -- no matter what you're leveling. They will only scale up to 80 though; new heirlooms that scale to 85 will be introduced with the new content.


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