With all the rules and regulations the Chinese government has in effect these days, I was surprised to discover that World of Warcraft’s newest expansion, Cataclysm, is gearing up for release on the mainland.  (Does this mean players will witness the gold farming business boom even more now?)

In preparation for the expansion’s release, players can now begin the process of background downloading data for version 4.1 of the game client, which will be required to play the expansion upon its release.

“With Cataclysm, we built on everything we learned since launching World of Warcraft to revitalize the game world for existing players and make it even more accessible to new ones,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’ve always appreciated Chinese gamers’ passion and support for World of Warcraft, and we’re excited that they’ll soon be able to enjoy all of the great new content this expansion has to offer.”

“Ever since it first launched in China, ‘World of Warcraft’ has been one of the most popular online games among players here. With all of the new features and content it introduces, ‘Cataclysm’ takes the game experience to a whole new level,” said William Ding, CEO of NetEase. “We’re fully prepared on all fronts to provide great service and support to new and returning players throughout China, and we look forward to welcoming them to the revamped Azeroth.”

In ‘Cataclysm,’ the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new opportunities for adventure. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races — worgen and goblins — will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.

For more information on ‘World of Warcraft: Cataclysm,’ visit the official website at http://www.warcraftchina.com/.