The coming of the end

Soon patch 4.3 will be revealed to players, meaning that Deathwing arrives for foolhardy adventurers to try and stop him from his mad plans for the destruction of Azeroth. This post will contain previews of the patch (courtesy of MMO-champion), my feelings about the coming content, and major plot spoilers. So if you want to be surprised (?) by the events to come, I suggest turning a blind eye on this post until the patch has arrived for real.

The main features of the patch, for me at least, are the following:

  • The new 5-man dungeons and the raid are closely interlinked, forming a coherent storyline (like the Icecrown Dungeons and Iccrown Citadel)
  • Transmogrification will become available, allowing us to use the looks of (practically) any set we want without compromising our effective ability
  • LFRaid will allow anyone to step into starter-difficulty raids as practice, stepping stone or to gear up alts

End Time (Preview on MMO-Champion)

The core of this dungeon is the storyline. It paints the bleak picture of what will remain of Azeroth if Deathwing is allowed to persue his self-destructive path – and win. It’s a shattered world, devoid of life and populated by the creatures of the Old Gods. Your part here will be to remove the obstruction in time that prevents the heroes to go back to where the Dragon Soul was corrupted, so that its power may yet be used for good. It’s not going to be a major surprise (for those who did the quests in Dragonblight) that the leader of the Infinite Dragonflightmight turn out to be Nozdormu. In fact, the last boss’ name is an anagram for his own.

Well of Eternity (Preview on MMO-Champion)

This ancient time line goes straight to where it all went wrong in Azeroth – Queen Azshara’s meddling with Arcane magic, allowing Sargeras to attempt entry into Azeroth for the first time. With the Burning Legion alerted to Azeroth’s existence, it was the prelude for its millenial campaign to conquer this place.

Hour of Twilight (Preview on MMO-Champion)

With the Dragon Soul in Thrall’s possession, it is now time to travel to the Wyrmrest Temple and begin the final assault. But not all is as it seems as previously benevolent or neutral personae shed their disguises and show their true allegiance. The Twilight Hammer and its twisted followers have a few cards yet unplayed, and now that Thrall forces their hand, you must protect him from the most unlikely of assailants.

Dragon Soul – Deathwing Raid (Preview on MMO-Champion)

Ah yes – the final confrontation with Deathwing. But not before the last vestiges of the Twilight Hammer cult, and their Faceless allies, have been dealt with. We’ll be flying on the back of Deathwing as he speeds across the ocean, tearing his armor off plate by plate. And if we win, Azeroth will be saved. If we lose, he will end his life atop the Wyrmrest Temple, shattering the resolve and power of the Dragon Aspects.

Of course we’ll be getting help from the aspects – it’s their backard we’re saving this time. And I have a sneaky suspicion that a new Earth Warder will be chosen (as Malygos was replaced by Kalecgos) and that the mortal who now holds the Dragon Soul (Thrall) may be instrumental. Some say he might become the new Earth Warder himself – but mortals turning into Dragons has never been the kind of story with a happy ending…

My feelings on the final patch

I love the story, and I am really looking forward to seeing it unfold. The 5man dungeons might prove to have some interesting mechanics, as does the Deathwing fight. The other raid bosses seem rather bland and photocopied from earlier bosses. It will take quite some convincing and good game mechanics to make me ignore the fact that they are simply a grab bag of previous boss abilities with the re-used image of another NPC.

The patch also seems rushed (and yet uite polished) as if it was pretty far in development already when Firelands hit, and right after it was released Blizzard was taken aback by the response (Reused models, mechanics, raids too easy, and other community whining) and couldn’t wait to release the final patch. I hope the next expansion will be one with a more enduring nature, because Cataclysm has felt a bit like a wet noodle, and this patch is the inevitable wet slap at the end.

Trust me, I will enjoy the story and fight the end fight. But somehow the feeling creeps up on me that Blizzard’s feelings are to get this expansion over with as soon as possible and focus on something else. Maybe the next expansion, that fabled ” Mists of Pandaria”  that was registered as a video game yet was hushed over pretty quick. Or maybe we will get a “Ruby Sunwell Sanctum” raid to end the story. Or perhaps it’s a sign that Blizzard is ready to reveal what Titan’s going to be all about and needs to clear the airways.

So far, I have no idea what ill be in store for us once Deathwing lies broken on the rocky grounds of Dragonblight. But I hope we will be allowed to enjoy it without being hounded by the ghostly pace of hardcore world firsts or the need to release new content every six months. Remember, the faster content is released, the sooner the well runs dry.

 

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One Response to “The coming of the end”

  1. As a side note, with the Rogue legendary dagger announced to have quests revolving around the uncorrupted Black Dragon egg from the Badlands quests, there is at least one Black Dragon who could take up the mantle of Earth Warder.

    It is likely Thrall (being a stand-in aspect) would educate and empower the new Warder.

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