World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 4.2 Update Revealed

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm's next content-heavy patch has been revealed. GameSpot gets the details from Blizzard's lead systems designer Greg Street.

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World of Warcraft remains a phenomenally successful online game with a huge player base. While Blizzard Entertainment is still rolling out the 4.1 patch update, which includes a revamped version of the Zul'Aman dungeon area, the developer is already working on update 4.2. It will introduce huge amounts of new content to complement the game's latest expansion, Cataclysm.

Soon, players will be able to explore the Firelands in the 4.2 update.

According to lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, update 4.2 is "going to be a really epic patch with tons of content players haven't seen before." The update will focus on an area known as the Firelands, an inhospitable, volcanic zone where the game's mighty fire elemental creatures reside. Said Street, "4.2 will center on going into the Firelands to take on Ragnaros or to use the new daily quest area, which will give players the sense of waging a battle against the fire elementals without having to commit to a full raid." Ragnaros the Firelord is, as diehard World of Warcraft players know, one of the first bosses ever to appear in the game in the Molten Core raid dungeon--one of the earliest raid dungeons ever to be implemented into the game. "Ragnaros is definitely the sentimental favorite of players…he's a memorable boss, one of the first that [Blizzard] had ever done. Players remember him as this giant guy emerging out of a whirlpool of fire." The designer suggested that 4.2's Ragnaros encounter will not "just be a re-do of Molten Core. It'll tell the rest of the story--now you're in his home turf, and he has the home field advantage."

In addition to adding a new raid dungeon for which Ragnaros will be the boss, the 4.2 update will include a new encounter journal, which is planned to include the vital statistics of every single boss monster in Cataclysm. Said Street, "We've been trying to communicate to players more and more with the quest journal, since [World of Warcraft's] only way to show how bosses work is otherwise to use graphics and animations. Some boss encounters still kind of feel like you have to die through them a few times until you figure them out." The designer explained that the encounter journal will include a brief list of each boss's primary powers, such as how the targeting on each power works and whether these powers can be interrupted by player actions. It will also include a list of what sort of loot each beast will drop when defeated. Street pointed out that encounter journals won't go so far as to break down exactly what adventure parties will be optimal to take on which boss or where each player should stand in a fight. But they should help give players a fighting chance when facing a boss for the first time. The designer also pointed out that Blizzard has plans to retroactively add other World of Warcraft bosses to the encounter journal…eventually. "We said we weren't going to commit to the project unless it could be extended to include all [of World of Warcraft's] bosses, but we're going to start with Cataclysm and then go back from there. Cataclysm has about 60 to 70 bosses, but there are a couple hundred in the entire game."

The 4.2 patch will also include a new area known as the daily quest hub, which will provide new content for players who aren't necessarily ready to spend all their time pursuing raid content with large groups. "We understand that not everyone is a raider, but we want to let players still feel like they can go out and strike a blow against the fire elementals. To that end, you can imagine two giant islands of rock floating above the Firelands--one is the raid dungeon with Ragnaros, and one is the daily quest hub." The new area will apparently have layers of quests that unlock successively as you complete earlier steps, and it will have up to about 60 total quests. Said Street, the daily quest hub is "definitely more for solo players who aren't interested in raiding and just want more content to explore."

Furthermore, the 4.2 patch will add a new attainable player item, an epic caster staff (which, when fully upgraded, will be tagged as a "legendary" item in orange letters). Interestingly, the item will not simply be the loot dropped by a powerful boss monster. Said Street, "We've tried to do epic items a lot of different ways, and the least exciting is a rare drop from a boss monster. The most exciting way seems to be having a whole quest line associated with it. For the lucky casters that gets this staff, they'll do some really epic things, such as bringing a raid group to fight epic bosses to bring their staff up to the next level." The item will also have four upgrade levels. Though the first upgrade level will be relatively easy to get--it can be acquired from just about any boss monster in Cataclysm--actually attaining the fourth and final upgrade level will be much more challenging. "We've never done a legendary quest line this epic, so it'll be interesting to see how players react to this," said Street.

The upcoming content additions will let the World of Warcraft team experiment with new types of content and quests.

The final addition that 4.2 will add to Cataclysm is a new quest line focused around Thrall, the orc warchief who first appeared in the Warcraft universe in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. While the character had already made a brief appearance in Cataclysm in an earlier quest line, the character is "going to have a really big role in the final battle against Deathwing," explained Street. "This will be a chance for all players to get a lot more interaction with Thrall, particularly for Alliance players who don't normally get to interact with him," considering that Thrall is a character from the Horde faction (orcs, trolls, goblins, undead, blood elves), which directly opposes the game's Alliance faction (humans, night elves, dwarves, gnomes, dranei, worgen). The designer suggested that Thrall's quest line will feature "the kind of story you'd normally see in a novel, rather than in a game like this, though the story will be told through a series of quests. Thrall has an all-new [character] model and is now probably the best-looking character in the game. He has amazing animations and new facial expressions." Street added, "If it works out well, we'd definitely like to use this type of story-driven quest line as vehicle for the [Warcraft universe's] other hero characters, but Thrall is definitely the most important one in World of Warcraft right now."

Not surprisingly, Blizzard otherwise can't really confirm too many details about World of Warcraft's future. Said the designer, "Without going into too many details, we're aware that players are asking for more ways to customize their characters and are looking into ways to address that. Also, we have a really wide audience, and while it's easy for us to stray too far into content only for casual players, considering that some players feel that, for instance, the dungeons in Cataclysm are too hard, we definitely want to provide good content for players of all levels. We don't just want to dumb everything down."

The 4.1 patch should already be deploying to World of Warcraft and the 4.2 patch will follow shortly afterward.

Discussion

117 comments
wexorian
wexorian

@nathan_till You were "hardcore" player? Then let me ask, What They must change it in game? You want that blizzard changed GAME ENGINE and ruined it Like Star wars galaxies was f..ed? there are 12 million + players who are enjoyng this game how it is. Show me MMO RPG wich is Better than wow, Something new that is not following dungeon, Raid, PVP battle grounds, Classes and many races. Why wow is best MMO atm you know because it got good art with cool graphics, cool Lore, Good PVP, And cool PVE.

kazama-1
kazama-1

oh and wow is large playerbase because you need low pc to play it my friends pc is ....t but wow runs well

kazama-1
kazama-1

thos who say that wow is killing it self its wrong other mmorpg ar beter pvp so if you play 24/7 wow and say that oyher are not so good to kill wow is because you dont try to see other mmo. one more thing forsaken world is fantstic its hard to start but quest are't boring and have diferent tipes and have dungeon intresting nightmere carneval. yes its like wow in first day but when you see that your pc cant hanle it on max and graphics are beautiful its like perfect world online but beter version and pet system and seling items ar more fun i played wow 1 week or 2 dont remember but wow will die (guild wars 2 , vindictus ,dragon nes ,tera ,and more new games ar beter exept final fantasy onlin its noth worth to even try

kyle_360
kyle_360

Wow whoever wrote this doesn't know thier warcraft too well

samie162
samie162

well as many here i was addicted to wow ..it was like a drug i played since june 2006 and raided from then until just 2month ago when i finaly ..let go of my char and sold the account for some cash . It was intense ,challenging ..but the more i played i came to realise like so many others that ..blizzard would always favour the new player base ..and screw ower veterans . I did all hard achivments reached 12700+achivment points ..but the achivments could no longer satisfied my need ...neither the raids or the pvp ...it was everything all ower again ..it wasnt anything new that we would hope .Redeeming old lore ..and putting it into ..something new ....well tallk about that they are out of ideas . By every expantion that came the game slowly died for me ..something good was added ..but something alot bether were removed aswell .THe good reinvention with catalysm came to late and should have come alot earlier ...Long live wow ..but its old playerbase will quit ..

nathan_till
nathan_till

I wish i could say i am excited about this content update, but simply put. Im not, after playing world of warcraft from 2006-2010 Hard core i switched to being casual and playing 7-8 hours a week maximum. Anymore and i die from bordom; the game is the same as it was and always has been i think anyone who has played it for years on end will see what i mean eventualy. No matter what content is released its the same game different textures.

SheepdogXpress
SheepdogXpress

Good to see the community is still alive and arguing lol. Here's my two cents. I quit around the time right before ICC opened for business. The reason being, why I think most people stop playing, was that I was just terribly bored. Yes there was content to explore and some quests to do if you felt up to it but....whats the point? Lol I got to the point where I didn't even read the quests anymore I just click accept and run. The storyline completely escapes me. And now, all these re-runs of the same raids with the same bosses just shined up? ZA, ZG, Rag? Ony? I have no clue how many there are but, give players something new for crying out loud lol. I used to enjoy this game a lot. Too much in fact, I was one of those guys that let this game consume me lol, literally get home from work, kick my boots off and on the computer before they even hit the ground. stay up till 3 am, get 2 hours of sleep, go to work and do it all over again. Vanilla wow was fun, it had that element of feeling like you where actually climbing a mountain and achieving something. Heck, getting to the level cap was an accomplishment in itself. Obviously it's still popular, no one can argue that. But it would be interesting to see if there was some competition how many wow players would jump ship just for something new. Isn't blizzard supposedly working on a totally new mmo? code named Titan or something? I think I read that somewhere.

esqueejy
esqueejy

@ fredwv Haha...no...Cyphon/Stormscale probably still exists and I could probably pick bak up from where I left off had I the desire to do so. I quit a whle ago when it became abundantly clear that innovation wasn't their top priority. I also got a little tired of the make-work type questing that is purposefully made to take an extremely long time in order to secure your monthly subscription. It's kindof the safe and easy route in terms of the monthly subscription fee business model. I believe that people will pay the monthly subscription fees for things that might take a long time because they require you to amass skill over time through practice (even if your gaming sessions are shorter than 14 hours straight on a saturday) rather than having to kill 1,000 of the same thing in hopes of getting enough 1% drops to forge a key item.

esqueejy
esqueejy

@ vorodor21: I wasn't saying WoW should add fps. I meant it only as a random idea off the cuff as an example of the creative brainstorming that could be happening but isn't cuz the MMO world seems to be in a bit of a rut..something out of the box as a new game, not an addition to WoW, as it were. But, Blizz built the better mousetrap (and I mean it when I say TRAP, my fellow mice)...in terms of gameplay, mechanics, lore and business model. People seem to be copying it in hopes of competing on the battlefield of Blizz's choosing instead of blazing a completely new one. The Guild Wars 2 team seems to be trying very hard to break the mold, but it's almost like they're caught in the same confines and just stretching them a bit. Not to mention, I really think Blizz could be inventing a new and better mousetrap itself, but seems to be happy to just revamp and renew instead of reinvent. PS: I know not everyone loves FPS...was just a turn of phrase. I happen to love it, but I also agree that, my god, COD and some of the others need as much of a reboot as WoW does. MAG was fun because it was something new and different and Brink seems to be offering a twist (we'll see), but the CODs, Killzones, Battlefields, etc., have gotten a little stale even if realism is fun too sometimes. I would find it kindof interesting if they could manage a good FPS with a true fantasy-type theme and classes, but I admit it doesn't seem likely anyone would get up the b-lls to try.

fredwv
fredwv

@esqueejy did somebody get their account banned?

blueliquidplus
blueliquidplus

Sadly not long after the release of cataclysm I cancelled my account that I've been playing since the release of BWL. I've played hardcore for a long time, and I enjoyed it a lot with a lot of friends but when I logged on it wasn't even fun anymore, was more work than anything so good luck with 4.2.

questclub
questclub

+1 from me on trash community. Tried several times. Guess not my cup of cake. Had only one friend there. Belgian guy. We were levelling together, had separate careers so to say. I got bored, he got burned out. Had some nice peeps along the way. But the feeling of something missing, something futile in all my actions. I wish best of luck to all peeps still playing WoW but it's time for me to move on to newer things.

DraKKuLL007
DraKKuLL007

Guys, WoW will NEVER die, and is not a good thing. See, I was WoW hardcore player since 2004, I remember the first time that my guild killed Ragnaros, Nefarian... now you'll have to kill this guys again, at the same time you'll kill the Lore. I quited in 2008, them give it a try again in 2009, and now, 2011 I cannot even see this game in front of me. But again, this game will NEVER die, he's the Blizzard Heart at this momment ( $$ )

ps2crazy666
ps2crazy666

WOW was great fun till Kil jaden. it was the most addictive and imersive game then. this is 2008. i quit WOW is 2009 and have deleted everything. thats because i was getting more and more boring, there are too many people and there is practically NO interaction between high level raiders and low level PVE folks. that was not the case back during BC. i remember begging for life as a young undead mage right at the gates of Undercity when i was in the sights of a level 70 Human warrior... so basically the feel of WOW is gone... iam getting a feel of Crysis 2 now...

crapdog
crapdog

@damojeebs if you are new to mmos try another game cause wow has the worst community in any current mmo. when i played this game and compared it to rift or aoc it always felt like wow was the worlds biggest a..hole meeting.

kinsin
kinsin

Why does everyone want WoW to die out? I say keep it up as long as they can so that when GW2 or SWTOR comes out, I don't have to play with the WoW community

jinseinoseikou
jinseinoseikou

Unfortunately damojeebs, it's a very developed player community inside of WoW. It's hard to find a lot of people who are willing to help new people. This game has been around the majority of a decade and most players are so far into the game with heirlooms or raid gear or a few close friends who they only converse with you just won't run into many who will help out. Your better off playing a new MMO at this point. I was a WoW player off and on from 2004 up till this year along with my fiance. Just played Rift and it's very fun and new, we both love it. Lots of new and friendly faces. That's the best point to check out an MMO. Give it a shot. Or just wait for Guild Wars 2 or Star Wars The Old Republic, or just go free to play. There's other options far superior to WoW.

OuTLaWzQc
OuTLaWzQc

that game has to die already. its been for like what? 6-7-8 years? pls let diablo 3 time begin. kill WoW

damojeebs
damojeebs

got a question about wow,started playing not too long ago and just wondering why it is so quiet? not sure if its cause im new but for a game with 12+ million players its pretty quiet....like i got invited to a guild with almost 1000 peeps in it and only 40 of them are online and hardly chat and when you meet someone and try to talk with them they just duel you and run off without a word???

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

There needs to be 2 added factions to pick from. If people want to be EVIL and work for the burning crusade then fine be evil and attack people, TO counter people working for shatar would be good and not attack either horde or alliance but only Burning crusade or LK... In addition guilds with a HIGH level say 30 should be able to build a base and protect it from attacks. perks would come with this .... something like this

acsuna
acsuna

waiting for gw 2 aswell,i just pray it wont be as dissapointing as aion

Kooken58
Kooken58

I think ill stick to zero MMOs til gw2 comes out...Cata got me bored of WOW soo fast its funny. And blizz continues to butcher their game, dumbing classes down even more and all this homogenizing crap. That and I refuse to support activision....gaming industries crappiest company.

Vorodor21
Vorodor21

@ esqueejy Not EVERYONE loves FPS competitive multiplayer. I for one am bored to tears by the though of yet another generic military FPS *coughCODcough*. WoW doesn't need to add in FPS aspects to the game, that strikes me as a gimmick.

damojeebs
damojeebs

i was playing runes of magic which is free...just happens to cost a small fortune on diamond cards if you want steady progress...thats where they catch you but you can do the same with in game gold but expect to be left way behind doing it that way. quit rom and bought wow and all the expansions and been trying to get into that.

elancion
elancion

meh, i think i'll stick to playing free mmos like vindictus , dfo, and the upcoming dragon nest to name a few. those games fit more my style and taste (action rpg kinda guy). nothing against those who enjoy wow's type of game-play. but i think i'll continue to pass on this one.

Ohaidere
Ohaidere

Don't get where people think it's dying. Even if it lost half it's subscribers it would still be the most played, and there's no reason to think that's even remotely going to happen.

valcrist09
valcrist09

wumpscutnut not sure where you get your info but WoW is far from dying lol, still holding strong at 12 million players. Rift is nothing more then a shiny wow, and honestly sick of all the This MMO is better nonsense everytime a new MMO comes out, that seems to wash away after 6months or so when people realize they dont support and maintain the game as well as blizzard does with wow and they come crawling back. I honestly thought Rift was crap, just a shiny wow and brings little to the table to force me to start a new MMO from scratch and spend my time waiting for content and game improvements. And where do you get this nosense of blizzard dropped the ball on it? and its dying lol? sounds more like your opinion then anything unless you can link some facts on this lol. WoW has been around a long time, people come and go, but its still easily one of the best MMOs out there that anyone can pick up and play of all ages, and the fact 4.1 is out and 4.2 is already being prepped for Testing, and with more features they keep adding i hardly see that as a sign of the game is dying lol. and of course if you dont like the game dont freaking play it lol.

hall0559
hall0559

wonder how long is shortly.

juliano001
juliano001

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

THERMX
THERMX

OOOHHHH!!!! Wonder how they'll nerf warriors this time!

abbasreza
abbasreza

I really need to get cata -_-''....and a new game card.....

wumpscutnut
wumpscutnut

The Thrall questline is pretty cool just because I like WoW lore but i'm sorry, Rift is a much fresher and funner game right now than WoW is and I don't plan on paying $30.00 a month to play MMO's. Blizzard has finally dropped the ball with WoW I think and sure, it'd not dead and I don't think it will ever completely die, but it has taken a hard hit and I think it's going to continue to suffer unless the really re-design the entire game and I doubt that would happen.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

They are adding more dailies. Wonderful. This is the type of questing I want to see out of the game. Seriously make more questing that is challenging and fun for people that can't play all the time but want some fun in the World of Warcraft and don't want it to be instanced. Tougher and more interesting questing requiring a healer, tank and one dps has been needed forever. Heck even if the encounter requires less than 3 people make it possible to die on the quest at least once but preferrably more than once. Real world play has been destroyed in WOW and that is not a good thing. :(

esqueejy
esqueejy

@ahpuck No, I do. That's the rub. Good is good. Better is better. New is new. Innovative is innovative. Groundbreaking, mindlowing, cutting edge, etc. BUT STUCK IS STUCK. I still love the very first Zelda. If I was making my first attempt at the 75th dungeon XP pack downloadable content for the first Zelda tomorrow....well, I wouldn't be and it wouldn't matter that Link could suddenly ride his boomerang like some sort of spinning and dizzied Silver Surfer bat destroyer. Get the point? It's a critique of the company and the industry and yes, even the players who support its stuck-ness. The game is still good, but it's time to move the fark on...for the good of everybody..

oguzzie
oguzzie

@ n0matter I used to raid in the one of the top guilds in my server. In BC we spent about 3 weeks on Kael Thas and also raided 5 days a week. I can say my time raiding with that guild was an enjoyable experience, but what pissed me off is when I quit to finish off my bachelors degree and came back about 4 months later to realize that the developers had nerfed the fight, and also removed the challenging quests for black temple attunement. In my opinion if you or your guild is not good enough to take down the easy content you have no right to be there whatsoever. WO(Loot)K single handedly destroyed wow, it basically complimented people who had alot of time but were terrible. You should not be able to see content on easy mode just because a small group of baddies are whiners.

ahpuck
ahpuck

@esqueejy so, you don't like the game?

esqueejy
esqueejy

Seems pretty simple to me. I mean, you can just fart around with ideas. Everyone loves FPS multiplayer competition. What if all "battlegrounds" were FPS style and you do you RPG-ing in 3rd person MMO style, leveling up and earning your "stuff" that you use in FPS mode competetive play thru quests and raid-type content? Why live in a limited world? (and yes, that's probably a good or bad idea depending on how you look at it, but it's just throwing spaghetti at the wall). You can literally just rip it out of your patoot and play with the ideas if you're not stuck on stupid and stcuk on a particular model. Meh...done with this...I want out of the box thinking that pushes me, pushes the industry, pushes the tech and pushes the fun. 4.2 ain't it.

esqueejy
esqueejy

Part 2: IT'S BEEN 7 YEARS...the game mechanics and everything else are essentially the same and, although very well done, have not brought anything new to the table...nothing INNOVATIVE. It's a lodestone now...a reason for NOT INNOVATING...the concrete shoes of the MMORPG world, dragging everything else to the bottom by not really competing, just leaching the wallets of dedicated fans who, even if they don't realize it because they're stuck on stupid, crave something new and mindblowing....something Blizz is capable of if it weren't stuck on stupidd too. They have a business model that encourages stagnation because we let them get away with it...encourage it even...and it not only hurts their own innovative processes, but hinders those of other game companies. They could and should be revamping, reinventing and coming out with something that blows everyone's minds all over again. One can only hope they have a secret they aren't sharing, but it seems they likely don't. $0.02

esqueejy
esqueejy

Sorry, but 2 parts. Part 1: It's pretty simple - Announce the countdown to destruction while creating the next one...even if it has to be WoW 2.0 instead of something totally new like trying to do a starCraft MMO or invent something totally out of the box. Give everyone a year until server shutdown....AND the giant port if they simply MUST rely on the WoW brand name. Ccreate the new one...WoW 2.0...state of the art graphics, new gameplay, new realizations of potential mechanics and interactivity and social networking, new lore, whatever. Dedicated players and fans would go to it no matter whether it's still WoW or a brand new intellectual property, but if it needs to be WoW 2.0 so be it..that's fine...but it needs to be SOMETHING 2.0. You can debate whether XP pack whatever was easymode all you want, but BLIZZ IS IN DEVELOPER EASYMODE. They are adding nothing to the advancement of gaming and tech with this redundancy...nothing to the evolution of the "sport." WoW 1.4.2 is a travesty for that reason alone, even if it is good same-old stuff.

dnice8392
dnice8392

really blizzard.....recycling another old raid boss......dont get too creative now.

Luminious0
Luminious0

I'm going to go play a real man's MMO.. CITY OF HEROES! hahah jk just wanted to say that

esqueejy
esqueejy

I stopped a few years ago..Burning Crusade was enough for me. Same pig every time, just different lipstick. Blizz is addicted to the subscription revenue and can't let go to create a new MMO and it's truly a shame because WoW is fairly outdated in a lot of ways now. They need to "wrap it up B" and do a new one. New graphics, new mechanics, new lore. They can obviously accomplish it with the kind of talent and resources they can muster, but it's just oo easy to suck $15/mo out of a few million people by regurgitating the same thing over and over with some new perks piled on top. This isn't really a bash on WoW either...it was awesome when I still played and I am willing to bet it's the same old awesome it used to be. I want some new awesome from these guys instead of wallet wh-ring. Hopefully they redeem themselves a bit with the next Diablo, but as far as MMO's go, they're beating a dead creative horse.

kez1304
kez1304

@jackhole_88 In regards to an item dropping... That's the best way to implement it. Randomness & work. If you got the item you want everytime, you'd never repeat any content. It takes months to fully polish an instance. 2 months work for players to spend a total of 10 hours in, and never again doesn't work out. How would you implement loot and online play with a pause facility?

jackhole_88
jackhole_88

Waiting for hours to get into raids and to me the game is so unbalance that it makes it tough to play battle grounds unless you really know your stuff. Plus, if you have a family it’s really tough that is why I like the console because you are able to pause the game and it does not take long to get in a match online. Another reason is if you are doing a raid and you want an item and you do not get it you just wasted 2 to 3 hours for nothing and if an item does drop, u have to roll on that item with 3 other people that want that item.

sandiegoj
sandiegoj

As player that left WOW after cataclysm, it pretty easy to see that the developers at WOW don't understand how to build a game. It's not that cataclysm was hard. It was the combination of making something hard and then making the endgame revolve around have 5 random people come together to somehow achieve that hard thing and not give a worthy reward until those 5 people spent several hours non-stop doing that hard thing. It wasn't that it was hard, it was because the combination brought out the worst in the player base. I'm so never going back. And what's with having a character live in a perpetual world but never giving them a house or home.

kyle_360
kyle_360

best thing will be the thrall questline so jacked,

Zerot
Zerot

worst game ever.