10) Guilds Level Up
Your guild is more than a chat channel. It's meant to be a social cushion, a way for you to group together to defeat vast enemies, a way of sharing the spoils. With Cataclysm, guilds will earn experience, and eventually cash. You'll unlock guild rewards such as instant teleports and spectacular mounts. But beware: hop around between guilds, and you'll lose all your previously unlocked stuff. Did we mention PC Gamer have their own WoW guild?
9) Smoother Levelling Curve
Old WoW treated new players like button-pressing monkeys – hiding all the good spells and abilities until you'd climbed the level ladder. New WoW throws new and vital abilities onto your task bar right from the start. You'll be using crowd-control, stacking debuffs, using movement skills, and procs right from the off. By level ten, you'll feel like you've mastered your class already. Then, it gets even deeper.
8) Better Combat Interface
Top end players will know the tedium of setting up their interface for raids. You'll want a boss timer. And a cooldown alert. And a threat level indicator... and anything else your raid leader demands. At least one of those is now built directly into the game: any spell that has the chance to randomly open up new options will now alert you with stonking great graphics on either side of your character. Immediately, combat in WoW feels faster and more responsive.
7) The War Is Back On
The trouble with World of Warcraft over the past few years is that the tension between Alliance and Horde has simmered. It's mostly been World of Uneasytrucecraft. That seems a shame. In Cataclysm, a series of betrayals, ambitious invasions, and less-than-stellar statecraft mean that the hostility between rival factions, and in particular, mutual hatred between the leaders of the Alliance and Horde, are back on. And that's a very, very good thing.
6) You Get Your Wings Back
I'm a druid. I can turn into a bird whenever I feel like it. Or at least I should be able to, but when Blizzard built Old Azeroth, they didn't plan ahead for wings. That's changed. Come Cataclysm, you'll be able to take off wherever, and whenever you feel like it. PC Gamer's first stop was Stormwind: to plan our first aerial city raid parachute drop. No kidding.