WoW Cataclysm closed beta set to start

The next major upgrade to the most popular game on earth is about to start, according to Blizzard.

A surprisingly secretive posting on the company's US World of Warcraft portal reminds players that now is the time to sign up for the closed beta of the next massive chunk of game data which has yet to be tagged with a release date.

"Get those opt-ins ready for the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm closed beta! The sundering of Azeroth is nigh, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold of Northrend when you could be enjoying the sun-drenched beaches on the goblin isle of Kezan," says the posting, which will only make sense to those of you who spend every minute of your spare time chasing around WoW's massively multiplayer gaming universe.

"To ensure you’re opted-in and eligible as a potential candidate, you’ll need a World of Warcraft license attached to your Battle.net account, have your current system specifications uploaded to the Battle.net Beta Profile Settings page, and have expressed interest through the franchise-specific check boxes," the invitaion continues.

Cataclysm will include two new races with new starting zones (Worgen and Goblin) a level cap raised to 85, more raid content and a new profession (archaeology) as well as masses of new and upgraded play areas.

It's not clear when or if a European beta will be announced but we'll keep you posted.