World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic is coming and it’s bringing “changes”

James Lynch
Deathwing sits on a burning building in Cataclysm Classic

After months of speculation, Blizzard has confirmed the release of Cataclysm Classic at Blizzcon, with the “new” game set to release in the first half of 2024.

The original Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft was hugely controversial at the time of release because it changed so much about the world players had inhabited for more than six years. The arrival of the great dragon Deathwing scarred the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, and in some cases entirely changed or destroyed existing zones.

With the success of the three versions of World of Warcraft: Classic currently on offer, speculation on whether that would extend into the Cataclysm era has been rife for some time. Though many have reservations, a smaller portion of the fan base looks back on the era with fondness.

Now, the developer has confirmed the latter will be getting their wish, with Cataclysm Classic confirmed for release in the first half of 2024.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic sees the return of Deathwing

Genn Greymane wields a sword in Cataclysm Classic

In announcing at Blizzcon, Executive Producer and Vice-President of World of Warcraft Holly Longdale stressed that fan feedback had been taken into account before developing Cataclysm Classic so players should expect “changes”. This has resulted in a version of the game that will look different from the original iteration of the expansion.

The Cataclysm Classic panel is taking place later during BlizzCon and more details on what this new era for Classic content will look like. Cataclysm was not the only Classic-related news announced, with a new element for the original Classic announced known as the Season of Discovery. This new experience has a level cap of 25 and will allow players to transform existing classes, with mixed classes like Mage healer now possible.

Cataclysm Classic Road Map

The Cataclysm Classic roadmap

As part of a wider announcement on all of the flavors of Classic World of Warcraft, Blizzard confirmed a general plan for the release of Cataclysm Classic and beyond. The beta will launch sometime in January or February, with sign-ups available now for those interested in participating.

In the spring, there will be a pre-patch event on Wrath Era Classic servers. Worgens and Goblins will be brought into the game, and a series of quality-of-life features will be introduced. These include extra Guild customization and utility features, account-wide collections for mounts and cosmetic items, to run alongside newly-implemented Transmogrification.

The full game is scheduled for release in the Summer of 2024. That will include the full story campaign, four raids, seven dungeons, 2 heroic dungeons, a new PvP battleground and the iconic Darkmoon Island.

Beyond that, the first major release is the Rise of the Zandalari patch at the end of the Summer, originally released as patch 4.1 of the retail version of the game. This story expansion takes place after the Cataclysm and follows the struggle of Vol’jin and his Darkspear against other troll tribes. Then the game moves into the Rage of the Firelands, which will bring with it the iconic raid of the same name.

With plenty more announcements on the way, Blizzard has made a strong start. With rumors of a new WoW expansion on the way, the game could finally pick up after a difficult period during Dragonflight.

About The Author

James is a Gaming Writer who specializes in Destiny 2, WoW, Assassin's Creed, Strategies, RPGs and Yu-Gi-Oh! When he isn't writing, he can usually be found supporting Brentford F.C.