Now picking up in Cataclysm or December 2010 I was very active in game at the time and was actually a raider at the beginning of the expansion. I power leveled 2 characters quickly at the beginning to get geared for raiding on both of them. Malchome my warrior for Off-Tanking and DPS, which when I was asked to DPS more than Off-Tanking I used my Shaman ShepardBuch for throwing around the Lightning since Melee has been screwed in every tier of raiding since Vanilla and maybe even then.
IMO this is either the best or second best expansion WoW has had. The other being Wrath, and I am not sure because areas where Cata was better than Wrath are many but there are areas that Wrath did much better than Cata so it really becomes a toss up. Both are better than either tBC or MoP in terms of content accessibility and progression for more than one character. If all you play is one character/class and that is all you do then I can see in some ways why they may prefer tBC and MoP over Wrath or Cata. I will leave more of this for my WoW summary post which will be after my MoP post which is the next I will write.
Some of the best features that were implemented in Cataclysm have since been removed from the game and I will list them here.
- Have Group Will Travel – Guild Perc – Essentially for a predetermined cooldown period any member of a group/raid that is a member of a guild that has this perc could summon the rest of the Raid/Group to themselves.
- Cauldrons of Battle 10/25 versions – These allowed for the cost of about 60-80% in materials to create Flasks for Raiding 1 big Cauldron that would provide a Flask to a group/raid member of the appropriate type based upon their current spec. This the sizes would have different numbers of charges.
- Feasts – These were implemented at the beginning of MoP but were weaker than the individual food buff items and were therefor useless for anything other than leveling of the cooking skill. Now food carts are implemented so this feature is mostly back but much to late in an expansion cycle.
In Wrath I had 10 level 80s by the end of the expansion almost all of who were able to run the ICC dungeons by the release of the Cata. In Cata I had 13 level 85s ready to start into the MoP content. Most of the 13 had enough gear to be able to run the CoT dungeons that launched with the Deathwing Raid Tier. For the first few weeks of that Tier I ran and Valor Capped 4-6 characters a week because the dungeon run bonuses were not tied as some stupid Daily restriction but were in Weekly increments of bonus, which helped keep them filled.
The real problem with Cataclysm was since so much of the Old World was reworked, which it was desperately needed, there was not enough Level Cap content variety and options and Cata was always on the lower total content level.
However due to the small size of Tier 9 in Wrath and the duration that Tier 10 lasted in the same expansion everyone had time to level alts and start to build out a stable of resource gatherers and crafters by the time Cata launched. Then with so little variety and volume of content in Cata, most likely because everyone was working on MoP by the time Firelands was finished people had even more time to level even more alts and get them geared and ready for the next expansion, then the third Cataclysm occurred.
By third Cataclysm I refer to the first being the actual in game Cataclysm. The second Cataclysm be the state of the Raiding Playerbase due to the raid mechanic changes implemented in Cataclysm. The third Cataclysm I will talk more about in my MoP and Summary post.