Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cataclysm Interface Changes

After hours of downloading and installing I was finally able to make my way into the Cataclysm Beta. The first thing I did was hop on my Druid to check out some of the changes to the interface. You may be surprised to hear that my Druid was right where I left him, sitting by the bank in Dalaran. I suppose that only those who log out in old world Azeroth will see themselves relocated by the Cataclysm.

Aside from a strikingly empty Dalaran, the first thing I took a look at was the character panel. As you can see from the screenshot below, it has been updated and improved in a number of ways. First, the detailed information has been moved from two windows below the character portrait to a vertical frame on the portrait's right. Each individual subsection can be minimized so you only need to see what you want to see. Second, a shadowy race specific mural now sits behind the character portrait. It is a nice touch in my opinion.

Next, I took a look at the Cataclysm Spellbook. Blizzard has made a number of great changes here. First, as you'll notice below, you can now see not only your trained spells, but also your trainable spells. The spells surrounded by gold are those currently available at your trainer while the greyed out spells are only available at higher levels. This is a handy feature in that you no longer need to consult a trainer or internet guide to know when the spells you crave will become available. Second, there are no more spell ranks; your spells now simply improve on their own as you level.
If you were wondering about the little Professions tab at the bottom of the Spellbook, it leads you to the new Professions Window pictured below. I wouldn't say a new Professions Window is really something World of Warcraft fans have been clamoring for in Cataclysm, but it is still a welcome addition.

I then made my way over to the talent window to go about reallocating my talent points. When you first enter the talent screen you choose your spec using the screen shown below. As explained in a number of Blizzard posts, you are then held to that specs tree until you have invested 31 points. I think the initial spec choice screen is a nice touch that will really help out newer players. I then went about building an ideal tank spec which I will walk you all through in a later post only to discover that my Bear Form had been untrained so, off to Thunder Bluff I went!

Once in Thunder Bluff I was disappointed to find that the Druid Trainers were broken so I would have to be without my precious Bear Form for a while. Nevertheless, I did manage to see my first "Holy Cow," Tauren Priest Trainer, Tahu Sagewind. I also flew around Thunder Bluff for a little bit, for those who are curious, no special training or anything was required. Perhaps later some gateway to flying in old Azeroth will be added, but for now you can fly free as a bird (pun intended).

With my lack of Bear Form cutting my Druid antics short for the moment, I turned my attention to the Horde's newest, shortest members: the Goblins. If you want to hear about how that went, check out my next post.

Also, if you would like any questions answered about the Beta or if there is anything you really want to see, let me know. Either leave a comment or send me an email to and I'll be happy to share the information you desire a future post.

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