I see Cataclysm has a release date now. Good for Blizzard! I think it will be a big success. It's refining a lot of the old game and giving folks a reason to play the original Warcraft again, the leveling up process. And they're adding enough new endgame content to keep all the raid nerds happy. It looks good.
It also looks from the feature list that Blizzard isn't really adding anything new to the game design. WotLK brought us Death Knights, phasing, and vehicles. Vehicles were a disaster, but the other two were great game additions. I don't see any new game design in Cataclysm. Maybe guild advancement, but that just looks like another reward for grinding stuff out with no meaningful choices or challenge. Archaeology doesn't look like it'll be adding anything new, either. Too bad Paths of the Titans got scrapped. it's looking like the real big change in Cataclysm is the talent tree and itemization simplifications, but if anything that's making Warcraft more like every other game rather than a new direction.
I'm not bashing Warcraft here, far from it. It's just interesting to see a game reach middle age. A couple of years ago Blizzard took all their senior designers off Warcraft and put them on the mystery MMO (of which no details have leaked, amazing). They've got a great team keeping Warcraft going, and they'll be making piles of money for years to come, but at this point they may not be showing us anything new.