Blizzard has released patch 4.0.3a for World of Warcraft, just ahead of the Cataclysm expansion on the 7th of December.

In short, the Cataclysm is upon us and everything had changed. The Barrens has be sundered in two, the Thousand Needles is flooded and Desolace has become verdant.

New race and class combinations are now available, such as Dwarf mages and Tauren paladins.

Blizzard writes, “In the frigid wastes of Northrend, the final battle against the merciless Lich King ended in victory for Azeroth's defenders. Upon returning home, veterans of the unforgiving conflict against the Scourge were showered with praise for their valiant sacrifices, while the honourable dead were mourned. Yet as hope flared anew in the wake of the Lich King's fall, Azeroth's native elemental spirits grew confused and erratic, setting off a series of deadly natural disasters. Horde and Alliance leaders scrambled for clues about the troubling state of the world, but nothing could have prepared them for what was to come.

“Without warning, the corrupted Dragon Aspect, Deathwing, erupted from the stone heart of Deepholm, the domain of earth within the Elemental Plane. Jagged fissures were torn across the earth, and monstrous waves pummelled coastal regions. From Thousand Needles to the Blasted Lands, the surface of Azeroth was reforged through violent upheavals. Now, the Horde and the Alliance must defend their homes against Deathwing and his minions, burdened by the unsettling fact that the world as they know it has changed…forever.”