Seven years ago this fall Cataclysm struck WoW. With a patch called simply “The Shattering,” the Azeroth that we had leveled and reveled in since 2004 disappeared forever. WoW will soon be 13 years old, so Cataclysm‘s launch was essentially the midpoint for the game to date. It was the expansion that changed WoW more than any other, and it remains the most controversial.
It was also a turning point for the game that allowed WoW to succeed against modern competitors. Cataclysm was pivotal for more than just its reshaping of Azeroth. Let’s look back at what Cataclysm delivered and how it transitioned the game from the first era of WoW to its current version.