A question that comes up over and over again on Yahoo Answers and WoW forums is “Do I need previous versions of WoW expansions in order to play Cataclysm?”
The answer is yes.
World of Warcraft is a progression based game.
In order to play Cataclysm, you need to have everything up to the expansion, including previous expansions (BC and WtoLK) as well as updated patches from Blizzard. However, you need a level 80 character in order to even start WoW Cataclysm so if you have never played before, you’ll need to get the original WoW game.
Now’s the perfect time to start playing WoW if you haven’t already because there is so much fresh content and so many players worldwide.
If you’re totally new and have some cash to spend, I recommend you start out by getting the World of Warcraft Cataclysm Complete Gift Set. The Cataclyms Gift Set includes the original game, the Burning Crusade expansion, the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Cataclysm expansion as well as strategy guides and other bonuses.
I recommend leveling at your own speed and really learning/enjoying the game rather than rushing to experience the Cataclysm content. However, if you want to experience Cataclysm as quickly as possible, you should get an 1-85 leveling guide to make leveling as quick and painless as possible.
So here’s what you do:
1. Get the WoW Complete Gift Set
(Note: While this set has everything you need along with some cool bonuses, it has a pretty hefty price tag. A better option is to get the Battle Chest (which includes the Original WoW and the BC). Then buy BC, WotLK, and Cataclysm when you reach levels 60, 70 and 80 respectively. This is a much cheaper and smarter option. Also, be sure to buy everything new since used copies may not have working CD keys )
2. Install The Original WoW
3. When you reach level 60, install Burning Crusade
4. When you reach level 70, install Wrath of the Lich King
5. When you reach level 80, install Cataclysm
6. Reach level 85 and have a blast playing WoW!
Remember to get a World of Warcraft monthly subscription. Get a WoW 60-Day Prepaid Game Card from Amazon and save up to 27%!
Hope this was helpful! Good luck and enjoy playing WoW Cataclysm.