Cataclysm Loses its 2 Biggest Selling Points

There’s been a press release announced just minutes ago and if you want to skip the news, then you’ll want to skip out on this.

Personally, I think the loss of Path of the Titans and Guild talent trees were done mostly to shave off development time. Either that, or it just wasn’t working out quite well as the developers had hoped.

Path of the Titans – Gone!

  • Path of the Titans has been scrapped and will not be implemented.
  • Instead Blizzard will focus on improving the glyph system, as they feel it didn’t quite hit the intended goals in Wrath.
  • Glyphs will now be available in 3 categories: Major, "Medium" (PH name) and Minor.
    • Major glyphs are core to each class and will be expected to be used to perform at maximum level.
    • Medium glyphs will be to provide "fun" alterations to abilities.
    • Minor glyphs will largely function as they do today.
  • Based on the mockup shown, you’ll be able to have 3 glyphs of each type at level 85: Major, Medium and Minor.
  • The glyph UI will now display all of the glyphs available to your class, even if you haven’t learned them yet, to the right of the section where you apply your glyphs.
  • Blizzard wants to make glyphs permanent so you don’t have to carry a stack of them around. Simply learn the glyph and then you can swap it whenever you want.

I’m a little disappointed by this largely because I think Path of the Titans had so much potential for the game. Instead, what is going to happen now is that the current glyph system is going to see some additions. Another layer of glyphs means additional customization options for our characters. I liked the idea of going out on some journey to explore and discover ruins that fell under the deity that I followed.

As for the glyph, I’m curious as to what is meant by “fun” alterations. Perhaps something like this?

Major: Prayer of Healing heals an additional 20% of its initial heal over 6 seconds.
Mild: If a target hit by Prayer of Healing gets healed to full, your spellpower is increased by 5% for the next 9 seconds
Minor: Raiditude no longer requires Candles.

It also sounds like Scribes are finished.

Guild talent system – Gone!

Guild Leveling

  • There are 25 levels in total.
  • Guild talents are not going to be implemented.
  • Instead, guilds will be automatically rewarded with perks.
  • Each time a guild levels up they will receive a perk.
  • Guilds gain experience through a member participating in dungeon or raid boss kills, winning rated battlegrounds, completing quests or unlocking guild achievements.

Other than the removal of talents, there is nothing new here. It sounds like eventually, every guild will have access to the same number of perks. I’ve got some mixed feelings on this a bit largely because guild talents were another way for GMs to set their guild apart. On the other hand, it also meant that guilds could either be PvE or PvP guilds, and not necessarily both which ran contrary to their philosophies on accessibility.

I’m contemplating a pros and cons post with the rest of the WoM crew here about that very topic.

When I see the word “perk”, my brain shifts to Call of Duty mode. Oh well. No changes to the method by which guilds can gain experience. 

Guild Rewards

  • Guild currency has been scrapped.
  • Guild rewards will be unlocked by completing guild achievements.
  • Rewards will be purchased with gold, and anyone in the guild can purchase the reward once it’s unlocked.
  • Examples: mounts, tabards, heirlooms.
  • Guild mounts will have a flag attached to them that displays the guild’s emblem.

I suppose we’ll be using guild bank money to make the appropriate financial decisions. Riding around a Gryphon with our guild emblem on a flag does sound kind of cool though. Guild rewards sound like another way for guilds to set theirs apart from others. What’s unique is that guild rewards aren’t technically considered raid progression or anything like that. Actually, we won’t know until we know what the achievements actually are yet.

One possible unforeseen side effect? Gold farmers won’t just be selling WoW gold or accounts anymore. Selling guild names and achievements could be another product we’ll be seeing on the virtual black market.

Guild Reputation

  • This is a newly announced feature; players will gain reputation with their guild similar to how other reputations work in the game.
  • As you contribute to the guild by completing quests, killing bosses, winning rated BGs or completing guild achievements, you will gain reputation.
  • The best guild rewards will require having exalted reputation with your guild.
  • Guild reputation is on a per-character basis, so you’ll have to gain rep for each character you have in the guild before you can buy rewards with it.
  • Reputation is not wiped immediately upon leaving or being removed from the guild; this is to prevent losing all your progress in the guild due to someone jokingly kicking you.

Years ago, players that signed on to join my guild were informed that they would have to grind Matticus rep. Now it appears it is a reality.

This does give incentive to players to actually do stuff in the guild so that everyone benefits as a whole.

Guild Achievements

  • These will be integral to the reward and level systems. Completing one can unlock rewards as well as give the guild experience.
  • Guild achievements are earned and owned by the guild, so once it has it, it never goes away — even if all members who participated leave the guild.
  • Even classic raids will help level your guild. A new version of the classic raid meta will become available that guilds can complete.
  • When viewing a guild achievement it will display the members who participated in earning that achievement.
  • To earn a guild achievement you must have 7 of 10 or 20 of 25 players in the raid be members of your guild.
  • There will be realm first achievements for guilds, as well as individual players.

Just when I thought I would never have to go back to take down C’Thun again. Looks like I may have to do it again just for the guild achievement and guild perk.

Guild Window

  • The guild UI has received an overhaul and contains:
    • The guild xp bar and its current level.
    • An RSS-like feed of the latest news for the guild; boss kills, level milestones, etc.
    • Some news like major raid boss kills or level 85 will be "sticky" (this is determined by Blizzard) and will persist at the top of the feed for a while.
    • An upcoming events section that is a snapshot of your guild’s calendar.
    • The most recent perk the guild has earned, and the one for reaching the next level.
    • The guild reputation bar (this is specific to your character).
  • The guild roster page has also been overhauled and now contains a professions display for each member.
  • You will be able to click on profession icons and view the recipes a guild member has, even while they’re offline.

What would be cool is if this guild information can be parsed and echoed into blogs and other areas. Great tool with which we can show off what our guilds have done. The ability to inspect and view what guild members can craft has been a long time coming.

All in all, I’m not completely let down by the announcement. After thinking about it and examining it more from other angles, it sounds like the ideas are still there. It’s just the methodology that will end up being different.

How about you guys? Not happy with the loss of Path of the Titans or Guild Talent points?

Edit: On a completely unrelated note, I’m currently looking for an Elemental Shaman, or a Holy Pally for my guild. Even if you’re not the class or spec but would still like to raid, go ahead and apply anyway.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I’m disappointed too but, considering they are revamping the entire original game, adding new races, and 5 new levels, I think it’s a bit of stretch to say that those were the two biggest selling points of Cataclysm 😉

    We’ll no doubt see them return in 2013’s expansion, if not sooner.
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..Pushing PvP =-.

  2. Fremskritt says:

    Path of the Titans was what I was looking most forward to in Cataclysm, the rest is just iteration on what already is in the game.

    It’s like the dance studio which was supposed to be a major selling point of Wrath, and did it get implemented? I am getting the impression that Blizzard is trying to hype us up on The One Big Thing Of The Upcoming Expansion only to snatch it away under our noses.

  3. Suicidal Zebra says:

    I have to say, this is disappointing. In my mind the Path of the Titans system appeared to be a great way to continue character progression beyond the level cap, whereas just extending the Glyphing system seems like a cop-out. Given how boring current Glyphs are I’m just not sure they’ll be able to satisfy players with this system (which, it should be noted, is the system originally proposed for Wrath). Without Path of the Titans will there be enough content at the level cap?

    Archaeology is now an in-game wowwiki with even less point than fishing. It reads like the world will be festooned with boxes that contain [Mysterious Artefact], which has a little attached flavour text. At least with fishing you’ll gather raid food.

    Guild talents struck me as interesting, but not really Cataclysm’s killer feature. Guild achievements and unlockable rewards sound just as good from a feature stand-point but make guild customisation much less possible. That’s a shame in my eyes.

    I wonder if it’s worth noting that the 3k quests will be spread from 1-60 and 80-85, whereas Wrath’s 1000 quests were spread from 70-80. For those not wanting to level alts, this expansion must have got a whole lot less interesting.

  4. PhantomBuddha says:

    As a GM who was not looking forward to chosing talent specs….I like the guild leveling system changes. Less flexibility, sure. Less contention, definitely.

    And I’ll go out on a limb and assume I’m the only person on earth who remembers how bad Everquest Alternate Ability leveling was? You know, the other 200 levels you needed to grind, after you already did the grind to max level….to be a viable functional raider. No tears for Path of Titans here, a grind is a grind is a grind.

  5. @Matticus
    AA (Alternate Advancement) was actually similar to talent points in WoW. You funneled a portion of your exp into AA and then when you earn points you plugged them into different general and class specific abilities.
    .-= Borsk´s last blog ..Raiding, The Virtual Theme Park: Where we’ve been, where we’re going. =-.

  6. Continuous says:

    Despite the downsides of not having Path of the Titans all I can say as a tree druids is, “Hello! Treeform. Again.” Medium glyphs seem like a great way for people to glyph how they want to, this goes along perfect with their policy on talents, the idea that players should choose what seems like the most fun for them rather than the most effective at their role.

    On another, less satisfactory note, the guild reputation seems like a bad idea. I enjoy doing endgame raiding and dungeons and love the occasional battleground but going into old dungeons simply to “grind rep” seems rediculous. It would be much better if they didn’t try to pigeon-hole players into doing old content that they don’t enjoy.

  7. PhantomBuddha says:

    It was SIMILAR to talent points….in terms of customization.

    But you head to earn the AA points….by grinding an entire max-level worth of experience to get it.

    Imagine the grind from level 79-80 being required to earn a talent point, that was the AA system. Superhorriterribad. Bleh.

  8. I’m a little sad to see the loss of Path of Titans but I did think that Blizz bit off more than it could chew with how much was going into this xpac.
    .-= Cheres´s last blog ..No serious guild cares about your gear score =-.

  9. What happens to all the guild achievements and progress if a hacker gets to the GM and disbands the guild, something that happened recently to the guild that I am in?

    According to Blizzard, they can’t restore guilds and we had to re-form it from scratch, then re-invite everyone we could find that hadn’t moved on.

    Granted, the GM should have had an authenticator, but even so they aren’t foolproof. There are ways to hack accounts with them now, and I’ve no doubt there are people working on new ways to defeat them.

    I hope these new changes involve the ability to restore guilds that have been disbanded maliciously or unintentionally.
    .-= Sougent´s last blog ..Cool Site: – How to Afford Anything =-.

  10. Wasselin says:

    They aren’t really gone… just coming back in a different form. I really don’t think those were the two biggest selling points. We never even really knew exactly how the ‘progression’ of path of the titans was going to work and from the very start it seemed to overlap with glyphs.

    The guild system was reworked and I’m glad they did it now instead of later when guilds started imploding due to drama over who gets what heirloom or if the guild should take this talent or that one. The whole idea was cute but from it’s very inception I really didn’t see how it would actually fit into the game.

  11. For my money, those are nowhere near the two biggest selling points of Cataclysm. As someone who doesn’t do the hardcore raiding thing and doesn’t belong to a raiding guild, guild talents just never sounded like a huge perk. Path of the Titans just felt like a method of extending out the endgame and adding more arbitrary requirements and more grinding to people who are trying to get into groups for the first time after hitting 85.

    I come from Eve as a background–which has no true endgame to speak of–and so I think I see where they were coming from in trying to add things like these, but I cannot believe that the proper solution to “having more to do at the endgame” translates directly to “more grinding to do to be useful once you hit level cap.”

  12. “Path of the Titans scrapped over: Personally, I’ve got mixed feelings. It was going to be another gold sinker that forced the raiders to put more effort into (Which already is a lot in the beginning, with insanely high prices for flasks, foods, enchantments and crafted epics). Also given the slow nature of its explained progression, either the raids would be balanced around the premise that guilds had max Acheology already, or not at all. In first case, it would take a fresh recruit months to get him in proper position to raid among the others, in the second case, the profession would make any half-decent raider just way over the top (even if it was just a simple %5 damage/health/healing increase).

    Matt at World of Matticus said Cataclysm lost one of its selling point probably because of release rush, but I disagree. Path would make either characters overpowered, or the ones without it miserable. Neither are profitable for a raider guild, who’s always looking out for bright talents on their side even if it’s a fresh re-roll. I think it’s nice that it’s gone.”
    .-= DKS´s last blog ..Obligatory Cataclysm Post =-.

  13. As someone planning to return to WoW with Cata, I think DKS hit the Path of the Titans issue on the head. Anything that ups the entry raid reqs before the raids are even released is a suspect ‘feature’ in my book. Particularly bc they seemed to indicate that the rewards would impact performance and not just vanity.

    I am a bit more torn on the guild leveling stuff. On one hand, I think it is good that new players have to be active to get the benefits, not just join a levelled guild for free perks. On the other rep grinding for every character sounds terrible, and if the perks are big enough it will basically kill the casual, oft re-formed and re-named alt guilds that were so much fun the last time I played. All of a sudden those alt raid guilds matter and might start to look and feel like a real raiding guild. Seems a shame to lose that loose and fun aspect bc of yet another grind.

    (p.s. – I am in no way returning bc of either of these features though. New-Old-World is the only thing that pulls me back.)

  14. The most revealing news here is the fact they are changing glyphs from consumables to a learned skill. It seems they want to make glyphs less profitable.

    “On most points I do agree with Matticus, that this announcement is not the end of the world (of warcraft). It is a big let-down that some of the most anticipated features are not only delayed but removed from the drawing board completely, even though I don’t think we are losing much anyway. PR wise this will potentially have players not wanting to try out the expansion when it hits in the light of the lack of new features. Essentially Cataclysm will be the same ol’ grind.

    Removal of Path of The Titans, while it will take some “epicness” away from the game, will surely remove some of the tedious grind this feature was looking to be. Blizzard thinks that the grind should be done with guildies instead of on your own and on this point I agree. The revamp of the glyph system is in my opinion minor and we will not get much real use out of the new category. Scribes will be pissed that this profession will essentially be killed with the change of how glyphs are consumed.

    Blizzard have realized the talent system has failed and dumped that for the guilds. They recognize the success of the achievement system and are now bridging it with a reputation and reward system for guilds instead, which will promote guild cohesion in a new and more visible way. They are basically giving us the same drug, just giving a slightly different name.

    Overall the drawing factor of Cataclysm will be the overturning of the old world by Deathwing and the new races as cosmetic as it might be. These features are supposedly still on track and the announced changes are only a bump on road. It will have a small impact on the expansion as a whole.”
    .-= Docatron´s last blog ..Two strikes for Blizzard on Cataclysm =-.

    • Anyone else think it would be cool if they went CoD2 style where only a certain amount of Guild perks can be active at any one time, then you’d be able to switch them out before raids or something? ^^

  15. I know what the point of this post title was Matticus, but unless Cataclysm launches without Worgen it will never lose its biggest selling point. 😉
    .-= Rades´s last blog ..How to Use Custom Sounds in WoW =-.

  16. Galecyde says:

    On the loss of guild talents, that was going to be a way to determine if your guild is really tight-knit or not. My current guild is full of RL friends and people that we trust in game. I would have preferred to lose the path of titans and keep the guild talents rather than lose both. Because honestly if your in a guild, it should be with people you trust and are like minded. If you’re a PvPer in a PvE based guild, the WTH are you doing in there???

    And on the Path of Titans loss, meh… It didn’t really seem like it would have been worth it anyways. Although, with it’s loss, what exactly is going to be the point of archaeology? If I remember right it was supposed to help you advance in Path of Titans. Hmmm, suppose we will just have to wait and see on that one. Maybe, and being an engineer I really hope this is a good speculation, it will help w/e your current professions are by adding other recipies that can only be found through archaeology.

  17. @Galecyde
    The point you are making about RL friends in a guild speaks for the abolishment of guild talents. Guild talents or guild specialization if you will does not require all your friends to have the same goals in-game. Some can pursue PvP, others PvE and if you even have a few RPers you don’t have to find separate guilds.

    Guild specialization would work towards less diversity in guilds and I’m for one is for more diversity in guilds. If you wan to have on PvEers in your guild you can still choose that, but Blizzard won’t make a system that will promote that behaviour.

  18. Late late LATE response but, two biggest selling points? Really?

    I wasn’t surprised when I heard the news – it sounded like a pretty hefty thing to implement, and I’d rather see the time and effort go into the content, which is the most important thing, IMO.


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