Although World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has not yet been released, Blizzard has been building up to the upcoming December 7th release in a series of world events that set up the setting for the new expansion. Today, Blizzard deployed Patch 4.0.3a, "The Shattering", which has permanently altered the face of Azeroth in the wake of the dragon Deathwing the Destroyer.
While Cataclysm brings new high level content to World of Warcraft, including the level cap raise, The Shattering has created a new world for lower level characters to quest through, even for those who don't own the Cataclysm expansion. The classic continents of Azeroth have also been significantly reworked to allow players to use flying mounts. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will hit stores and be available for digital download on December 7.