WoW: A Cataclysm Primer

So you’ve really done it, and the big day is actually here. You have made it through the weeks of agonizing waiting and tedious preparations, hopefully without pulling a Jack Nicholson in the Shining along the way,  your only source of redemption being the small tidbits thrown at you from the beta servers and various Blizzard posters.

Now the hour of truth has almost arrived and World of Warcraft Cataclysm will soon be officially here. Depending on how you chose to purchase the newest expansion, you may already have the game downloaded and are just waiting on the servers to go live, or perhaps you are eagerly watching as the game installs. No matter your purchasing choice, the fact of the matter is soon, very soon, you will finally get your chance to play one of the most highly anticipated expansions of the year.

Don’t just chew your finger nails while waiting on your chance to begin gallivanting around the wide world of Cataclysm. Instead check out this list of basic, yet important, tips:

  • Remember a couple million gamer fanatics have fingers on the trigger and are itching for the chance to log in, so once servers go live they will be under some serious strain. So expect the servers to crash at least once, twice, or even to go down for several hours after launch.
  • Unlike hitting the shores of Northrend or stepping through the Dark Portal, Cataclysm has no one specific starting  point to get into the content. Instead, head to the main city for your faction and click on the announcement boards which will put you on the correct path.  
  • You will discover that both Shatt and Dalaran have gained something they've needed for years, but lost something  even more important. Somewhat of a lopsided trade off if you ask me, but both cities have gained class trainers at the high cost of portals to the cities of Azeroth.
  • If you've done some exploring of the newly revamped Orgrimmar and Stormwind, you've likely already discovered  the location of the flight trainers. If not, they can be found on the newly added top level of Orgrimmar (next to the Flightmaster and Zeppelin towers) and beside the Gryphon Master in Stormwind. Once purchased this ability will allow you to unlock flying in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, and Deepholm. This is also known as The Shattering of Piggy Banks, so be prepared to dish out 250 gold for this privilege.
  • Before you head out into the wider world don’t forget to seek out the nearest profession trainer. Nothing sucks more  than getting to a new zone and mining/herbing/etc only to find you have forgotten to get the next profession level.
  • It’s be awhile since mobs have actually done any real damage to most of us. However keep in mind that mobs in  Cataclysm will hit harder and have more health. This may not be noticeable until after level 83 or so, but keep it in the back of your mind or you may find yourself discovering the new graveyard locations sooner than you expected.
  • Venturing out to do quests on launch day (and sometimes for days after) is like going out on Black Friday, sheer and  utter insanity. Expect to put up a fight and never think a single quest will be easy. On a brighter note, getting trampled questing in WoW is far better than getting trampled by little old ladies on the prowl for sales.

Head on over to page two for a listing of helpful links related to Cataclysm!
So you wait and finally it’s time. You type in your information and bounce in your seat as the loading bar slowly fills up and then finally all your waiting pays off as your character enters the world of Azeroth. You’re logged in, have plenty of caffeine and hot pockets to keep yourself awake for the long haul and you have canceled all your plans for the next three days for some uninterrupted play time but you find yourself at a loss. What should you be doing? What new zones are available? What reputations do I need to level? Learn the answer to these questions and make your transition into Cataclysm as smooth as a baby Night Elf's bottom with the links provided below:

Choose a Character

If you haven’t by this point, it’s high time that you have made the decision on what toon you will level through Cataclysm. Maybe it will be the character you have played since Azeroth was in it’s infancy, an alt that has peaked your interest, or perhaps you will decide that Cataclysm is the perfect opportunity for you to start completely anew. Making this choice can be a difficult one so to make this decision as easy and painless as possible we recommend that you visit the link below for a listing of some of the various pros and cons to each possible choice laid out before you.


The Shattering may have happened, but don’t be lulled into thinking that you have seen all there is to see in the world of Azeroth. With the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm several new and exciting zones have opened and are ripe for your exploring pleasure. While some can’t be visited until you gain a few levels, others you will be able to reach almost right away. To guide you on your journey through these new zones and give you an idea of what to expect while there visit some of our handy dandy zone previews straight from the beta that will help point you to all the hot spots that you just shouldn’t miss.


If you have chosen your toon, and made your way to some of the newly available zones, the next logical step is to start leveling. Some of us will take our time and savor the experience, while others will choose to fly through the levels at the speed of light, determined to reach end game content before the rest. No matter what kind of leveling experience you prefer, it can be a difficult and sometimes tedious process, even with the prospect of new quests and zones, especially if you are starting from scratch. To aid you on your leveling adventure we here at Ten Ton Hammer have provided some excellent resources which can be found below:

And for those Hunters out there, don’t forget that there are plenty of new pets out there that are just waiting to become your loyal companion. See a listing of a few of them at the link provided below:


It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the chore of leveling that we often forget that time also needs to be dedicated to skilling up our various Professions. While it may be very tempting to do this after you have leveled your toon, it is much easier to complete during the leveling process than it is to attempt to do it afterwards.

Before you jump on the Profession boat and start sailing away, be forewarned that Cataclysm has thrown a small wrench in the works. All Professions have undergone some major changes that simply cannot be ignored, and two new professions have also been added to the game. To get more information on both the changes and the new professions visit the links provided below:


With several new factions being added to the game it’s important that players figure out from early on which reputation rewards are most important to them, and which faction they will need to earn reputation with to gain that particular reward. Not sure what the new factions are, where they are located or what rewards they have to offer? Visit the link below to get all this information and more!

Earning Gold

It’s inevitable that with every new expansion every player is eventually going to spend gold, a lot of gold. Even if you enter Cataclysm with a stock pile of gold in your bank, eventually you will surely begin to feel the pinch. So while earning gold may not be the top priority on your list, remember the story of the ant and the rather lazy grasshopper and don’t forget that working to keep a good amount of gold in your bank is never a bad idea, even when it seems you have enough.

To help you earn some easy gold check out the link below:


While you are leveling, making gold, and exploring you are bound to come across at least one of the new instances available in Cataclysm. Not only are these a great source of new gear, but they are also an excellent source of fun. It may seem like a grand idea to just hop right in and get a first hand learning experience, but you will impress your group even more with intimate knowledge about the instance. Even if the group doesn’t notice your instance prowess, you (and your bank) will at least appreciate the absence of expensive repair bills. Where can I gain this intimate knowledge about Cataclysm instances you ask? Simply visit the links below:


Last but certainly not least on the list of things you totally should do in Cataclysm is hit the PvP scene. Not only are there some awesome new PvP rewards available but also with the release of the expansion comes a whole zone (much like Wintergrasp) entirely dedicated to PvP. Before you get out there and pwn some face check out some of the information regarding PvP in Cataclysm we have available right here at Ten Ton Hammer:

Now you are ready to fall into the world of Cataclysm. We here at Ten Ton Hammer sincerely hope that your expansion experience is an amazing one! Happy playing!

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