WoW Cataclysm: why it adds strength to SWTOR

The big MMO news to come out of this weekend is the trailer for the next World of Warcraft expansion, called Cataclysm. Before I start talking about it, have a look for yourself if you haven’t already:

As a WoW player, I have mixed feelings about well known areas in the game having their appearance changed so much. That aside, it looks like an excellent expansion. Here’s why I think Cataclysm adds even more fuel to growing fire that is Star Wars The Old Republic:

1. Proof of longevity

As a Warcraft player since the original 2D version in the 90’s, I’m still surprised at the longevity of the franchise. For me, WoW lore has never connected in a big way. That said, Blizzard have put some effort into that aspect and Cataclysm takes another big step in expanding the lore side of things. The Star Wars Universe arguably has the most comprehensive lore of any game franchise, so SWTOR‘s longevity appears assured. I can already picture the trailers for SWTOR‘s third expansion and it’s hard to imagine they won’t stake as bold a claim on story development as WoW has.

2. It’s about guilds

One of the touted features of Cataclysm is a new guild progression system, something that’s been totally missing in WoW to date. It’s safe to say that SWTOR is factoring in the primacy of the guild in a big way, and now they’ll have some time to watch Blizzard try their hand with increased guild functionality and learn from any glitches that occur.

3. Attractive grind

One thing WoW have improved over the years is leveling. They’ve tried to make quests a little more varied and the achievements system hasn’t hurt motivation either for a lot of people. You can be sure BioWare have scrutinised these aspects closely and have the luxury of ensuring better variety from Day 1. I for one will be disappointed if there’s not some sort of formalised achievements system – more on that in an upcoming story.

4. Alts out the nose

Any MMO needs it players coming back for more and more. Leveling up multiple characters is something common to most and WoW’s next expansion makes that even more attractive with a wider range of quests in the lower level areas. SWTOR may have a different approach to leveling but the attractiveness of creating multiple characters and leveling them is key to long-term success, if combined with compelling expansions.

The sum-up

The purpose of TOROZ isn’t to constantly compare SWTOR to WoW, but it’s fair to say WoW is the dominant MMO and they’ve both made some savvy gameplay decisions as well as delivered some dud ideas over the past five years. That evolution can only benefit up-and-comers like SWTOR, who can innovate on what’s an incredibly deep vein of MMO history.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – what about Catalcysm do you think is good evolution (or even revolution) and do you think any of it is the same old stuff?


  1. WoW to me, is just trying to expand the game since ToR has already stated a scale over the size of a few games. At current, WoW is the size of 1.5 games. With Cataclysm, that changes to the size of 3 games, making it bigger and more upfront with ToR’s current “this shit is huge” remarks.

    In short, WoW has failed again. 2 races, no new classes, its not WARCRAFT. Those who enjoyed the original RTS versions, know that you could play ANY little creature you can get your grubby hands on. You could pound out tons of trolls or you could grab a bunch of Orcs. If WoW wants to be mainstream (in my opinion and rating, not others) then It needs to offer ALL classes to ALL races and allow for custom stat point arrangements, more gear (tons more gear) and bigger better story lines.

    Cataclysm is just Blizzard saying “we know your bored, here’s SOME new content to keep you paying until we do it again, thank you for you money and enjoy your month leveling to 85.”