Casually Classic: 12 quality-of-life improvements coming with Cataclysm Classic


I’m in a very strange place in relation to the upcoming Cataclysm Classic. I kind of didn’t want this expansion to happen at all for the Classic servers, and confirmation of its existence at last year’s BlizzCon made me audibly groan. Yet I do want my Wrath Classic Shaman to continue her adventures, and I am slowly warming up to the idea of going into an expansion that I wasn’t present for when it initially released.

What’s helping me get over my trepidations is looking over the list of Cata’s features — namely, its quality-of-life gameplay improvements that will be hitting the game when the pre-patch arrives this spring. So take a journey with me as we look down some of the biggest of these to see if they might sway an opinion or two.


This right here stands far above the rest of the items on this list — after all, fashion is the trueendgame of any MMO. And I am deeply tired of looking like I dressed myself by running through a laundromat while blindly grabbing articles of clothing out of dryers.

Transmog not only makes existing characters more fun to play since you can dress them up with your collectible skins but gives another reason to go through the game on a new character to collect some of those looks that you don’t have. I really can’t wait to take all of these gear pieces out of my bank, add them to my collection, and free up my inventory!

Guild leveling

Guilds got a big boost in Cata with levels and perks. Everyone in the guild could contribute to the progression and benefit from unlocked perks and individual rewards. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it’s a welcome layer to a previously skimpy guild system.

Better glyphs

The studio went all-in on glyphs around this time, leading to an overhaul of the glyph system for this expansion. Prime glyphs got added to the mix as a result, giving players more choices than ever before.

Armor specs

To incentivize players to only roll on gear most appropriate to their class, Blizzard added armor specs — a 5% bump to your class’ primary stat if you stick to that class’ primary armor type.

Void storage

Everyone loves more storage, and with this expansion, they got 80 additional slots in a separate void storage NPC.


This profession’s gotten a bad rap over the years, mostly because Blizzard stopped supporting it (boo), but let’s not overlook its positives. Archaeology is a secondary profession — meaning anyone can train it without giving up a primary profession — that aims players at a wide assortment of rewards for participating in a non-combat activity. It’s something else to do, especially for casuals at endgame.

New class/race combos

Overshadowed by the addition of Worgens and Goblins is the fact that Cataclysm greatly expanded the race/class options over Wrath. It’s particularly good news for Druids, which get an additional race per side (Worgen, Troll). Here’s the quick and dirty list of the new combos, excluding the new races:

  • Dwarves: Shaman, Mage, Warlock
  • Gnome: Priest
  • Human: Hunter
  • Night Elf: Mage
  • Blood Elf: Warrior
  • Undead: Hunter
  • Orc: Mage
  • Tauren: Paladin, Priest
  • Troll: Druid, Warlock

Streamlined talent trees

Before Blizzard completely abandoned talent trees for a long, long time in Mists of Pandaria, this expansion took a stab at streamlining them to make the choices more impactful. It’s a very subjective view how well or how poorly the studio did in handling the talent trees in relation to the ever-increasing level cap, but I think it’ll be fun to have new builds to try out.

Rated battlegrounds

The PvP scene in Cataclysm really took off thanks to the switch to rated battlegrounds. Players found the matchmaking through rated a lot better and the rewards more enticing, breathing new life into these old battlegrounds.

Upgraded spellbook

One really nice little quality-of-life improvement is that players’ spellbooks no longer have separate spell ranks. Once you train a spell, you can slot it on your hotbar and enjoy having it level up with you.

Reforging gear

Get a blue or purple drop for your armor proficiency but it doesn’t quite work for your build? In this expansion, you can reforge gear stats instead of having to sell the loot with a weary sigh. It’s a small change but an appreciated one.

The modern auction house

A big change over the old version of Cataclysm is that this new one will feature the same auction house tech that the retail edition of the MMO uses. This is great news for the economy and modding scene that can carry work and strategies between the two versions.

Stepping back into the MMO time machine of WoW Classic, Justin Olivetti offers up observations and ground-level analysis as a Gnome with a view. Casually Classic is a more laid-back look at this legacy ruleset for those of us who’ve never stepped into a raid or seen more than 200 gold to our names.
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