50 reasons to play World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

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31. There's a new emphasis on raiding

There’s a reason the new level cap is only five levels, rather than the usual expansion 10. It’s so that the designers could concentrate on getting more endgame content ready for the launch. There’ll be four new raid dungeons and eight heroics open from the start. Raiders: start gathering your consumables now.

32. Classic dungeons are back

New versions of Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep are being planned that will be playable by top level characters as heroics. These ancient dungeons are long forgotten classics – the Deadmines ends with players fighting atop an underground Galleon. It’s the Goonies!

33. Grim Batol is opening

There’s a stronghold in the East of the Wetlands behind the Dragonmaw gates that’s currently protected by level 60 elites. You can fight your way to the doors, but they won’t open. It’s in here, in Grim Batol, that Deathwing will set up his home in Cataclysm. The area will be transformed into a new zone, Twilight Highlands, with the keep locked off as the final raid encounter open at launch.

34. We're going to Rapture

The first levelling area for level 80 characters will be the underwater area of the Sunken City of Vashj’ir. This naga city is the gateway to the Abyssal Maw dungeon as well as one other five man. It wouldn’t be overly surprising if a later raid featuring Deathwing’s ally, naga Queen Azshara, is patched into Vashj’ir later.

35. You'll fight in the mountains

Mount Hyjal often crops up in the mythos of Warcraft, and in Cataclysm it’ll be under attack by old foe Ragnaros. Like the City of Vashj’ir, Hyjal will be an early 80s zone for levelling. The early quests see you putting out the fires burning throughout the zone. Later, you’ll be reclaiming the top of the mountain.

36. You'll fight underwater

One levelling zone is entirely underwater – with players adventuring on the surface of the seabed. Another dungeon, the Abyssal Maw, features astonishing views of Azeroth’s sea life, showing off Cataclysm’s new water and lighting effects. Somewhere within lies the ancient sea-god Neptulon, who holds a weapon that can control the entire seas. That might be useful when fighting a giant angry dragon.

37. We're going underground

There’s a theme to the new zones and raids in Cataclysm: the elements. Each is a level on the Elemental Planes that Deathwing has shattered on his journey. Representing Earth is Deepholm; vile caverns filled with worms and stone giants. There’ll be at least one five man instance in Deepholm.

38. Ragnaros is back

Ragnaros, a vicious and much loved fire elemental, is back. He used to live inside Blackrock Mountain, until a steady stream of level 60 adventurers banished him/spanked him all the way home. To add insult to injury, we’ll now fight him in his resting place on the Fireplane - a level 85 raid. Pwned. Again.

39. We're getting an underground train

A zone called Deepholm will serve as a central hub for the level 80+ zones. “The new areas we’re creating are scattered around the world,” says Tom Chilton, “so it would be very inconvenient for players to have to fly backwards and forwards across the continents all the time. Deepholm, because it’s the Elemental Plane of Earth and is not necessarily directly attached to Azeroth in a physical sense, acts as a gateway. You might want to invest in a gnomish/goblin mining hat.

40. We can fly underground?

There’s talk of Alliance and Horde airships inside Deepholm. We think you should expect air and gunships similar to Icecrown’s mobile HQs, but given the geography of Deepholm – all narrow rock pathways and long drops, it could mean an entirely new form of transport.