Lifting the veil on Cataclysm progress

As boubouille has made an entire list of all changes that have been announced (as well as what was scrapped again), I am not going to make a repeat of the entire listing. Instead I am going to pick out the more interesting systems and make some basic assumptions and notes.

Removal of the Path of the Titans and demasculation of Archeaology

One of the biggest things to trigger my interest was the Path of the Titans. Instead of boring glyphs to improve your abilities, discovering the secrets of the Titans using the Archaeology secondary profession would give you access to a specific set of unique glyphs, tied to one of the Titans itself.

Alas, it was removed and replaced with the considerably more boring “medium glyphs”. Medium glyphs, easily the most boring feature ever, will be giving cosmetic modifications to the abilities we have. In other words, green flames like warlocks have been pining about since Classic. Finally they have a spot to put the Polymorph: penguin in I guess. It’s nice, but I don’t see any use for those medium glyphs.

Without Path of the Titans, Archaeology has turned from the Spartacus of all professions to Caspar, the friendly gold sink. As a secondary profession, it will now allow you to scour the world for ancient artifacts, discovering ancient lore or unlocking vanity items. While this may be a lot of fun (ancient pets, outfits or a fossilized dragon mount), it is nothing compared to what it was once made to be. It now adds arbitrary “fun” instead of an actual game mechanic.

Changes to Glyphs

Scribes will now be wishing that these Medium Glyphs are made by them, and they are most likely counting their profits at the funeral of Path of the Titans. As the casket slowly glides into the sallow dirt, they are however up for a rude awakening: Blizzard is considering making Glyphs permanent. Without the continuous influx of cash from the Auction House as glyphs only sell once, and with the Sons of Hodir shoulder enchants having become Bind-on-Pickup, Scribes had better be getting something really good in Cataclysm, or their number is likely to drop.

Death to communities, guilds are what it’s at!

Blizzard has also scrapped the guild talent system, replacing it with a more manageable leveling system. There will be 25 levels to each guild, and rewards you have unlocked are based on the Guild’s level. Once you have, any member can purchase the benefits (mount, tabard, whatever) using gold based upon their “Guild Reputation”. Leaving the guild causes the items to disappear.

This is a wonderful system, very clear and easy to manage. There’s just one thing added that kills it for Communities, like the one I am in:

You grind reputation with your guild  based on (for instance) what bosses you kill in raids, and this is based on how many people of your guild are in the raid. 7/10 or 20/25 need to be guild members or it does not count. I am screwed, because I raid with Unity, but not with my guild. My contribution goes to another guild instead, while I gain no benefits.

All my alts will be able to buy items, because they raid with my guild. My main, however is left out in the cold. This is a serious problem for me. I will be working very hard to down heroic-mode bosses, but all I see is loot and emblems. Many of the other members of the raid will also get nice items from their guild. My guild however does not reward me, because I have not done any heroic bosses according to my guild. FML.

Removal of reforging as a player initiative

Reforging, the ability to convert stats on your gear into other, more desirable stats, has been removed as a function of crafting skills. It will now be done by NPCs at the item’s gold cost. While this is a benefit for all players, it removes a unique benefit from the crafting skills themselves. Since Blizzard will also remove specializations, it will matter even less what crafting skill you have.

This is a good thing to make sure any character could have just about any trade skill (altough a Paladin with tailoring would still be…weird) but removes more of the unique feel of each profession. At least Engineering remains unique, which is ironic considering it being bemoaned as one of the hardest and least useful professions.

6 Responses to “Lifting the veil on Cataclysm progress”

  1. Path of the Titans gone? Meh, doesn’t bother me.

    Glyphs become permanent and kill scribes? Do you have any idea how many people are going to take this the way of the Pokemon and start buying all those completely worthless glyphs I’ve had for ages just to “get them all”? Their gold is mine, I tell you.

    Guild vs. Community? Uh, I think that one’s all you man. Just move your main into the other guild. If he never does anything with the current one then he’s not really a member now, is he? Leave your alts where they are and switch your main – problem solved.

    Reworking Reforging? While this may have been a way for me to make some money on some of my alts with their professions, I’m glad this change is being made. I had a Paladin Tailor for a good while, and it worked out rather well, actually. It was great for PvP too. People run, I net them. I sweep in on a Flying Carpet and people stop and stare until their dead – it’s like the ultimate stun.

    • Path of the Titans being gone may game-mechanically not be tragic, but it had its nice flavour. And I doubt many people will be going “collect them all” on useless glyphs unless there’s an achievement for it – or Blizzard might un-suck the existing ones.

      As for my guild vs. Community – I run 10mans with my guild, classic raids, hang out with friends. Everything except 25man raids, which is why I have joined a community. This community happened to be made of at least four guilds, so it is not a matter of “moving my main”, which by the way is a much bigger decision than most people make it to be.

      You see, I am quite attached to my guild. I know many Gamer Economicus who are the “don’t like it, leave it” type, but that’s usually a matter of poor planning and selection (see some of my previous guild posts). I do plan and check, so I know what I am getting in to. So just moving my main is not really going to happen.

      Besides, it’s not “all me”. There are quite a few successful communities out there, some of them blogging the same concerns as we speak. But it doesn’t affect us as much as the guildless puggers though. They neither get not add any benefit to this system whatsoever.

      • I’m inclined to agree that “moving a main” should be a major decision. I’ve worked as a part of a few communities, and turning 4 very different guilds into one can often be impossible (or at least likely to anger many members).

        I hope Cata brings us diverse ways to level guilds and doesn’t make raiding as a guild vastly greater in every case.

        • It has already been stated that PvP, raiding, achievements and other acts performed by members of a guild add to a guild’s level. For example, having X Loremasters or having 20 people kill a raid boss adds to the progression.

          Second, in order to access the guild rewards, you will need to perform such acts while in a guild, and these add to a “guild reputation” score. This will determine which guild rewards you are eligible to buy.

          My gripe is not so much in not being able to level the guild or access the rewards, which is possible but slower if you raid in a community, but that your efforts in a particular area simply do not count. This, and when raiding in a community, your reputation gain with your guild will move much slower than is indicative of the amount of effort you are putting into the game.

  2. The only thing jam tempted to add is a pvp wrathful cloak it will last you well into icc and with the new random bg its something that doesn’t take long to get and more to the point is free

    • PvP cloak is fine, but you could also get the tailored cloak (Deathchill Cloak) which has good itemization. There’s the Accursed Crawling Cape (FoS Normal) and Cloak of the Fallen Cardinal (PoS Normal), which can be farmed with a group of friends or guildies.
      This still falls in the “Failsafe” category, since you can farm it multiple times per day.

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