World of Warcraft's third expansion, Cataclysm, will be remembered by many players as one of the most disappointing expansions and was also the reason for the biggest subscriber crash in the game's history. Much like Warlords of Draenor, the addon looked promising, but apparently a lack of time and/or inconsistencies between developers led to large chunks of content being cut. The final cobbled together raid combined with the introduction of the raid browser dealt the death blow to the expansion.
Throne of Tides
During the development phase, Throne of Tides was talked about as either a raid or a dungeon. In the end, it became just a dungeon and the matching raid was cancelled. Files for the raid indicated that we were supposed to be dealing with N'Zoth in some way. However, player feedback on underwater combat was so negative that nothing came of the raid. Until Legion, we didn't know exactly what would happen to Neptulon at the end of the dungeon.
Path of the Titans
WoW: What Cataclysm could have been - a list of removed features (2) Source: Blizzard Archaeology as we know it from Mists of Pandaria should be realized in a similar form already with Cataclysm. The "Path of the Titans" was planned as an additional progression system in combination with glyphs. Similar to the pacts, we were supposed to unlock various glyphs from different factions, which grant us bonuses and - another Shadowlands comparison - can be upgraded like media via all kinds of activities in the game.
Fountain of Eternity
Signs were found in the game files that Well of Eternity was going to be a raid. The scale of the dungeon, which was later implemented with instances such as End Time and the Hour of Twilight, suggests that more was planned here.
The Battle for Gilneas (Battleground)
Except for the intro quest for Worgen, the vast stat of Gilneas lies fallow as untapped potential to this day. Instead of an epic battlefield with siege mode, this idea turned into an Arathi Basin 2.0 in 10vs10 mode. A third BG was also not released. Players were actually supposed to move a lore to its destination point in Stranglethorn Valley. PvP players know: such a BG did not come until Mists of Pandaria (Silver Quarry Mine).
WoW: What Cataclysm could have been - a list of removed features (3) Source: Buffed
Depthheim should have been able to be entered via the rift that Deathwing left in the Wasteland when he arrived in Azeroth. Players should be able to travel back and forth between Tiefenheim and Azeroth via this rift. The temple was supposed to serve as a main hub with all sorts of portals, but was never implemented in this way.
Everything that was deleted from Vash'jir
The Sunken City of Vash'jir was supposed to be in the foreground of the Underwater Zone. In reality, the sunken city took up only a fraction of the story. Otherwise, there was nothing to do there except for a few quests and Nagas. The giant armored creatures, which interestingly use C'thun's eyeballs as eyes, should also play a bigger role. However, we only entered the interior of these mysterious creatures for a handful of quests.
Old gods were supposed to play a role here. The underwater experience, which was felt to be so bad with Cataclysm, should be curbed by this. Domes similar to Netherstorm should be built around Naga cities and also shield the water to grant players a "normal" gaming experience. One of these cities should be conquered by players and serve as another capital.
Exploring an entire underwater realm should, fittingly, also add some value to the fishing profession. With small events and special quests, fishing experts should be able to let off steam, especially around Vash'jir. Some of these fishing events were apparently used in Legion.
Uldum/Tol'vir/Halls of Origin
There was a lot more planned for Uldum. The story of Neferset and Tol'vir fighting over a powerful superweapon was to be the main focus here.
WoW: Official video preview of mega dungeon Tazavesh
The story of the traitors and unused voice lines
Some unused voice lines suggest that there were traitors in the ranks of the two factions who were supposed to be working for the Twilight Hammer: Archbishop Benedictus on the Alliance side and Rommath on the Horde side.
Baine Bluthuf also got some fitting voice lines after his father's death, which came out with Mulgore being sealed off from the ever-increasing Alliance threat in the southern Barrens. The great gate of Mulgore was not used in the end and Baine's desire for revenge against the Alliance rapidly faded over the course of the addon.
What was actually planned with Reforging
Instead of going to an astral, you should go to the blacksmith, engineer, leatherworker, jewel cutter, or tailor expert for reforging equipment. Blacksmiths, for example, should be able to reforge weapons and plate armor, while engineers should be able to reforge trinkets and ranged weapons. The system should work similarly to Shadowlands with Optional Reagents. Just like Optional Reagents, this feature was never implemented as originally planned.
The story of Medan
While still in the Cataclysm alpha, players received whispers from the old god C'thun that would hint at his return. This storyline focused on the super-powered son of Medivh and Garona (Med'an) and Cho'gall, who wanted to resurrect C'thun. In the end, however, Med'an was dropped from the Warcraft Chronicles, and so the battle between Med'an and Cho'gall in C'thun's chamber never took place. Cho'gall was at least used as a final boss in Bastion of Twilight.
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