There are two tags that are subsets of and have been incorrectly made synonyms:

"Cataclysm" is a subset of World of Warcraft, it is not an alternate spelling for it. There are tons of questions in World of Warcraft that are not about Cataclysm. Tag synonyms are interchangeable alternative spellings or phrasings of the exact same concept, they are not a substitute for tag hierarchies.

Please remove these synonyms.

  • How it came to be that expansion tags are verboten in WoW but okay for every other game ever is lost on me, but that's a different argument.
    – user3389
    Aug 4, 2012 at 15:59
  • Mark - It's because WoW expansions are required to continue playing the base game. "Cataclysm" includes every previous expansion, just as Mists of Pandaria will include Cataclysm and everything that came before that. Contrast that with something like Skyrim's Dawnguard, where people could conceivably have Skyrim but not Dawnguard. Aug 4, 2012 at 16:58
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    To clarify - while each expansion has exclusive content (areas and leveling cap, mostly), it also makes (often radical) changes to the underlying game systems, which are included for free. If someone were to buy World of Warcraft this December (and only the base game), they would still have the new Talents from Mists of Pandaria, even though they didn't own the game. Aug 4, 2012 at 17:04
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    I agree on keeping [world-of-warcraft] and [wow-cataclysm] but why not merge [cataclysm] with [wow-cataclysm]?
    – Assile
    Aug 4, 2012 at 17:13
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    @Assile I'm on board with that.
    – user3389
    Aug 4, 2012 at 17:24
  • @RavenDreamer The fact that the base game changes when expansions come out doesn't make Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria the exact same thing as the base game, which is what a synonym entails. There is still content exclusive to owning and playing the expansion (e.g., new races, new classes, new level ranges, etc.). To use your argument regarding "Dawnguard": is the fact that 1.6 came out in conjunction with it enough to kill the tag? It's stuff like this—where we just arbitrarily decide "no this game I like is different" and make up rules to account for it—is what drives people bonkers.
    – user3389
    Aug 4, 2012 at 17:27
  • @MarkTrapp No. There isn't. The WoW Expansions are literally only buying access to areas that have been added to everyone's game. There is no Cataclysm, only WoW (and also Zuul). WoW wasn't arbitrarily decided to be handled differently, it is handled differently because it is different. Aug 4, 2012 at 17:42
  • If it helps, think of it this way: Each new expansion contains the sum total of all previous expansions. Every potential "WoW-Cataclysm" question is an equally valid "WoW-Mists" question. But rather than mass changing the tag every time a new expansion is released, we simply use the unambiguous "World-of-Warcraft". Aug 4, 2012 at 17:47
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    @RavenDreamer I've been playing WoW for 7 years: I know how the game is structured, you're just simply mischaracterizing it. Expansions are not the sum total of the previous expansions. If they were, you could buy Cataclysm and get all Wrath of the Lich King content as part of your purchase: you can't. The non-optional, complete overhauls you're alluding to are not the expansion; they're x.0 patches that get released around the same time as the expansion.
    – user3389
    Aug 4, 2012 at 17:58
  • @MarkTrapp But that's exactly my point: You are required to have bought The Burning Crusade before you can buy Wrath of the Lich King. You can't buy Cataclysm without Wrath, and Mists requires Cataclysm. Ergo, A question tagged "Burning Crusade" could also sensibly be tagged "Cataclysm", because the content is still in the game. Aug 5, 2012 at 13:49
  • @RavenDreamer No, it couldn't, because Cataclysm doesn't include Burning Crusade content: you need to purchase Burning Crusade separately. Again, take every other game: the fact that expansions/DLC have pre-requisites to use them is irrelevant to whether we have a tag. We have skyrim-dawnguard even though it requires Skyrim to play: nobody is making the argument that you're making of "nope, we should only tag it skyrim because it can't be played by itself." There may be other reasons to synonymize expansions to base games, but this argument is wholly without merit.
    – user3389
    Aug 5, 2012 at 20:05
  • Mark, Cataclysm includes Burning Crusade content, because having Burning Crusade content is a prerequisite to having Cataclysm content. How would you tag a question about a Draenei racial skill? Burning Crusade, where they originally appeared? Or Cataclysm, where they continue to be. WoW can't be treated like the DLC of Skyrim, because it is implemented differently. Dawnguard items will never show up for those playing Skyrim without it, but a WoW player without Cataclysm can still meet, fight, and interact with, Goblin and Worgen players. Aug 5, 2012 at 21:25
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    A WoW player without WotLK cannot go to Northrend, nor can a player without Cataclysm go to Uldum. Questions about raid instances and lore will be expansion specific. Class questions could be tagged 'world-of-warcraft', as you say they're available to see and combat against regardless of the expansion you own.
    – user27134
    Aug 6, 2012 at 18:23
  • @pixel A player with Cataclysm will always be able to go to Northrend. Questions about Northrend are therefore not WotLK specific. Aug 6, 2012 at 23:01
  • Of course they are, the lore in Northrend wasn't updated with Cataclysm, it's still the same Northrend that it was in WotLK. Just like going through the Dark Portal still takes you to TBC content, that has remained largely unchanged since TBC. A question about the Lich King in 2012 doesn't get tagged as wow-cataclysm, it is still very much relevant to WotLK and uninfluenced by Cataclysm. The story of WotLK doesn't change because a new expansion gets released. People will still be killing Deathwing in MoP and it will be the same Deathwing we're killing now in Cataclysm.
    – user27134
    Aug 7, 2012 at 7:41

1 Answer 1


Following my conversation with @Mark, clarifying what the synonym removal would signify, I understand what the issue is and support the synonym removal.

As it stands, World of Warcraft is a base game with in-game mechanics being altered with the release of each patch. As @Mark mentioned, the base game is granted to all players regardless of which expansion packs they have purchased. This includes major releases that are chronologically synchronized with expansion releases, but are not the expansion packs themselves. The expansion packs grant access to new content such as leveling zones, dungeons, raids, races, or classes. But things such as talent trees, rebuilt quest lines, and even pet battles are actually built into the base game of WoW and not actually connected to the expansion.

The point being made is that and are not the same thing. A question about Mages is not necessarily a question about , but a question about Dragon Soul is.

The importance of this is made clear with the ongoing Mists of Pandaria contest. While this may seem trivial when all questions will be effectively regarding the same "version" of WoW, this is currently not the case. Not all questions tagged will be regarding Mists of Pandaria, causing an undesirable ambiguity.


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