BlizzCon '09: WoW Raids and Dungeons Panel

BlizzCon '09: WoW Raids and Dungeons Panel

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WoW's Lead Level Designer Cory Stockton and Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer took the stage at BlizzCon 2009 to preview Icecrown Citadel and the new baddie lairs to come in Cataclysm.

Hail to the King, Baby: In the upcoming Patch 3.3, Icecrown Citadel will be added to the game leading up to the final showdown with Lich King Arthas himself, and we got a look at what was in store. A surprise announcement came in that not only would Icecrown house the 10/25-player raid where the heroes of Azeroth take the fight to Arthas, but that Icecrown would add not just one but three 5-player dungeons to the game. These three dungeons would have a continuing storyline running through them (and would have to be initially done in order) and would allow players to battle alongside Alliance and Horde heroines Jaina Proudmoore and Sylvanas Windrunner.

As for Icecrown itself? While it wouldn't house the (mind-boggling) 31 bosses previously rumored, Icecrown Citadel would boast an impressive 12 big bads, including "ultimate Frost Wyrm Sindragosa" and, of course, Arthas. The dungeon would have four floors, and a particularly cool sequence took place as players boarded an airship on the second floor. Alliance raiders would fight alongside King Varian Wrynn, while the Horde would accompany High Overlord Saurfang - and the two airships would race to the next floor in Icecrown Citadel, exchanging cannon fire and even boarding parties (using rocket packs, naturally).

On the third floor, the dungeon will be winged, with players able to tackle the bosses in any order they please - though they'll have to vanquish all of them before moving on to the top of the Citadel. The Crimson Paladins may be making another appearance, along with a Plagueworks wing and the lair of the aforementioned Sindragosa.

Of course, the pinnacle of Icecrown Citadel will be simple: It's you, the Frozen Throne, and the Lich King. Mercer cautioned that during the fight, the room might begin to fall apart and break away, and that if you fell, "it would be bad." Naturally, if you win, Arthas is going to get something a bit more substantive than the normal "Death speech, gasp, die." In fact, the way they spoke about it, there might be yet another cutscene...?

Raiders of the Cataclysmic Ark: Cataclysm will feature four 10/25-man dungeons: Grim Batol, Skywall, the Firelands, and a newly unveiled raid called Blackwing Descent - which, as the name might suggest, is a throwback to the Classic raid of Blackwing Lair.

Blackwing Descent will actually start from Nefarian's throne room at the top of Blackwing Lair - with flying mounts, players will fly all the way up Blackrock Mountain to enter it - and somehow, the son of Deathwing has survived his encounter with players back at level 60. Beyond Nefarian, though, Mercer mentioned that there might be "a possible appearance from some old friends." Can we say "Vaelastrasz," anybody? I knew we could.

The Firelands will be an exterior raid zone in the elemental plane of fire, the home of Ragnaros - who after tearing up Mount Hyjal, is now on the defensive as players storm his homeland to get their revenge. Still, it won't be so easy - Ragnaros here is in his element (literally), and will be at his full power, not summoned "too soon."

There will, of course, be new 5-player dungeons, and we got a very brief glimpse at three of them - Abyssal Maw is a two-wing dungeon accessed from the Sunken City of Vashj'ir, where a giant vortex in the middle of the zone will pull players who get too close down into the elemental plane of water. It's a very pretty, organic, coral-like room, with windows that look out to the ocean floor beyond.

The Halls of Origination are the first of two 5-man dungeons in the Titan city of Uldum (the other, the Lost City of Tol'vir, is an outdoor zone) and bring to mind similar dungeons back in Northrend - namely, the Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning. It has a very Egyptian feel - kind of like "Blizzard does Stargate" - and the halls are rumored to house an ancient superweapon that everyone and their mother wants their hands on.

Finally, we took a look at Blackrock Caverns, the new dungeon in Blackrock Mountain - Deathwing has bored a hole all the way to Blackrock Mountain from Grim Batol, and is using it as a forward base for his Twilight's Hammer cult. It was their chance to "reinvent a fan favorite," but they didn't want to merely make Blackrock Spire a new heroic. Their goal was to make a completely brand-new dungeon that still continued the distinctive visual style of Blackrock Spire - tall spaces with dark bricks and metal that go on forever interspersed with rivers of lava. Blackrock Spire's nefarious Beast may have a brother, teased Stockton.

LFG Level 80 Onyxia, Any Server: The Brood Mother is returning for WoW's fifth anniversary as a little touch of nostalgia - she won't be a completely new fight but will have new abilities and mechanics, and will drop an entirely new loot table based off of her old ones - new helms with the Tier 2 art, the Burnished Quel'Serrar and Raging Deathbringer. "Her Deep Breaths will be more randomized than ever," and you will still need "More DoTs" than ever to bring her down.

The Onyxian Whelpling non-combat pet that all players will get for logging in during the anniversary celebration will attempt to Deep Breath like her mother, but will fail and blow smoke rings instead - apparently they've given the little critter some brand new unique animations.

A very interesting revelation, though, was the addition of "cross-server Looking for Group." Similar to cross-server Battlegrounds, this will enable Pick-Up Groups (PUGs) to hit up 5-man dungeons with players from other servers. While the technology is only limited to 5-man groups, they said that it could easily be expanded to bigger raids, and that they're shooting to get it into the game with Icecrown in Patch 3.3.

So, any Alliance out there want to hit up the Icecrown dungeons, eh?

Permalink

Like the sound of IceCrown, thought they would make it 40-man mind

Meh..Nefarian is back? Talk about recycling...That kinda takes away the bang from his last words...and that dudette in Outland.

Even though I quit, I really hope that they do a sweet cut scene for killing Arthas. It should be quite the epic fight.

VitusPrime:
Like the sound of IceCrown, thought they would make it 40-man mind

40-man raids are dead and gone. And frankly, good riddance.

CantFaketheFunk:

VitusPrime:
Like the sound of IceCrown, thought they would make it 40-man mind

40-man raids are dead and gone. And frankly, good riddance.

aw thats kinda harsh :P

I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

Malicious:
I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

I disagree completely. It's absurd to spend so much time on this content that only 1% of people will ever see. Blizzard wouldn't make a RTS where only 1% of the people can beat it and see the story, would they? The more people who get to fight Arthas, the better.

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:
I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

I disagree completely. It's absurd to spend so much time on this content that only 1% of people will ever see. Blizzard wouldn't make a RTS where only 1% of the people can beat it and see the story, would they? The more people who get to fight Arthas, the better.

Agreed, but doesn't seeing 99% players do it piss you off a bit?
Lately as long as you get another mate to pay the monthly fee you and him get extra free levels and things other loyal paying customers cant get and then seeing people who played the game for two months get the same gear you got after a long while of playing, and after every expansion or partially a patch everyone starts over again. Sure its easier to have 25 man dungeons but Blizz have turned into a bit of a casual gamer lover company, nothing wrong with it but it makes a lot of players unhappy, me being one of them (former player tho). I want fighting Arthas to be something special and feel like ive achieved something with my guild, i don't want every single person killing him, especially the players at lvl 80 who think shamans cant tank! And its not 1% of players that take it seriously and give their best, more like 40% .

Malicious:

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:
I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

I disagree completely. It's absurd to spend so much time on this content that only 1% of people will ever see. Blizzard wouldn't make a RTS where only 1% of the people can beat it and see the story, would they? The more people who get to fight Arthas, the better.

Agreed, but doesn't seeing 99% players do it piss you off a bit?
Lately as long as you get another mate to pay the monthly fee you and him get extra free levels and things other loyal paying customers cant get and then seeing people who played the game for two months get the same gear you got after a long while of playing, and after every expansion or partially a patch everyone starts over again. Sure its easier to have 25 man dungeons but Blizz have turned into a bit of a casual gamer lover company, nothing wrong with it but it makes a lot of players unhappy, me being one of them (former player tho). I want fighting Arthas to be something special and feel like ive achieved something with my guild, i don't want every single person killing him, especially the players at lvl 80 who think shamans cant tank! And its not 1% of players that take it seriously and give their best, more like 40% .

That's why hard modes exist. What if Shadowmourne only comes from "Hard Mode" Arthas? Raiders get their epeen, everyone else gets to see the lore.

Arthas is a huge part of WoW. Everyone should get to see the final battle.

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:
I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

I disagree completely. It's absurd to spend so much time on this content that only 1% of people will ever see. Blizzard wouldn't make a RTS where only 1% of the people can beat it and see the story, would they? The more people who get to fight Arthas, the better.

Agreed, but doesn't seeing 99% players do it piss you off a bit?
Lately as long as you get another mate to pay the monthly fee you and him get extra free levels and things other loyal paying customers cant get and then seeing people who played the game for two months get the same gear you got after a long while of playing, and after every expansion or partially a patch everyone starts over again. Sure its easier to have 25 man dungeons but Blizz have turned into a bit of a casual gamer lover company, nothing wrong with it but it makes a lot of players unhappy, me being one of them (former player tho). I want fighting Arthas to be something special and feel like ive achieved something with my guild, i don't want every single person killing him, especially the players at lvl 80 who think shamans cant tank! And its not 1% of players that take it seriously and give their best, more like 40% .

That's why hard modes exist. What if Shadowmourne only comes from "Hard Mode" Arthas? Raiders get their epeen, everyone else gets to see the lore.

Arthas is a huge part of WoW. Everyone should get to see the final battle.

Now that i would like to see, a hard mode for those good enough and something to appease the masses.
Problem with the next expansion though will be the face that all the big names in the lore are used up and nothing is as epic than killing Illidan, KJ and Arthas, so it might be going slightly downhill from here

Malicious:

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:
I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

I disagree completely. It's absurd to spend so much time on this content that only 1% of people will ever see. Blizzard wouldn't make a RTS where only 1% of the people can beat it and see the story, would they? The more people who get to fight Arthas, the better.

Agreed, but doesn't seeing 99% players do it piss you off a bit?
Lately as long as you get another mate to pay the monthly fee you and him get extra free levels and things other loyal paying customers cant get and then seeing people who played the game for two months get the same gear you got after a long while of playing, and after every expansion or partially a patch everyone starts over again. Sure its easier to have 25 man dungeons but Blizz have turned into a bit of a casual gamer lover company, nothing wrong with it but it makes a lot of players unhappy, me being one of them (former player tho). I want fighting Arthas to be something special and feel like ive achieved something with my guild, i don't want every single person killing him, especially the players at lvl 80 who think shamans cant tank! And its not 1% of players that take it seriously and give their best, more like 40% .

Who cares what other people are doing? If you did it, and had fun, you're getting your monies worth right? It's a game. You're meant to have fun. If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.

This is the problem with games that require a huge time investment, it stops being fun when you have to play for a retarded amount of time to get what you want (in most cases). Then people whine cause they never get to see what they paid for. So they crank down the difficulty level and everyone can get a piece. And then you start to whine when you're not getting more for your time put in.

Hmm...what does this sound like...oh yea. A JOB. Not as fun.

Malicious:

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:
I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

I disagree completely. It's absurd to spend so much time on this content that only 1% of people will ever see. Blizzard wouldn't make a RTS where only 1% of the people can beat it and see the story, would they? The more people who get to fight Arthas, the better.

Agreed, but doesn't seeing 99% players do it piss you off a bit?
Lately as long as you get another mate to pay the monthly fee you and him get extra free levels and things other loyal paying customers cant get and then seeing people who played the game for two months get the same gear you got after a long while of playing, and after every expansion or partially a patch everyone starts over again. Sure its easier to have 25 man dungeons but Blizz have turned into a bit of a casual gamer lover company, nothing wrong with it but it makes a lot of players unhappy, me being one of them (former player tho). I want fighting Arthas to be something special and feel like ive achieved something with my guild, i don't want every single person killing him, especially the players at lvl 80 who think shamans cant tank! And its not 1% of players that take it seriously and give their best, more like 40% .

That's why hard modes exist. What if Shadowmourne only comes from "Hard Mode" Arthas? Raiders get their epeen, everyone else gets to see the lore.

Arthas is a huge part of WoW. Everyone should get to see the final battle.

Now that i would like to see, a hard mode for those good enough and something to appease the masses.
Problem with the next expansion though will be the face that all the big names in the lore are used up and nothing is as epic than killing Illidan, KJ and Arthas, so it might be going slightly downhill from here

Deathwing himself not epic enough for you? He's been scheming since before Illidan, KJ and Arthas were ever a glint in Metzen's eye.

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:

CantFaketheFunk:

Malicious:
I might come back to the game just to kill him, than quit again. Also 40 man raids kick ass, something that should have been done for Arthas, make killing the greatest boss in the game something truly epic, rather than killing him in two modes. It would also mean only the best guilds can kill him, which is what they deserve after all the "noobs" and casuals going gear crazy in Nax. Cataclysm kind sucks, they are gonna destroy the old world and change the face of wow completely, but i guess they had to in time, it will be a hard goodbye but might work quite well.

I disagree completely. It's absurd to spend so much time on this content that only 1% of people will ever see. Blizzard wouldn't make a RTS where only 1% of the people can beat it and see the story, would they? The more people who get to fight Arthas, the better.

Agreed, but doesn't seeing 99% players do it piss you off a bit?
Lately as long as you get another mate to pay the monthly fee you and him get extra free levels and things other loyal paying customers cant get and then seeing people who played the game for two months get the same gear you got after a long while of playing, and after every expansion or partially a patch everyone starts over again. Sure its easier to have 25 man dungeons but Blizz have turned into a bit of a casual gamer lover company, nothing wrong with it but it makes a lot of players unhappy, me being one of them (former player tho). I want fighting Arthas to be something special and feel like ive achieved something with my guild, i don't want every single person killing him, especially the players at lvl 80 who think shamans cant tank! And its not 1% of players that take it seriously and give their best, more like 40% .

That's why hard modes exist. What if Shadowmourne only comes from "Hard Mode" Arthas? Raiders get their epeen, everyone else gets to see the lore.

Arthas is a huge part of WoW. Everyone should get to see the final battle.

Now that i would like to see, a hard mode for those good enough and something to appease the masses.
Problem with the next expansion though will be the face that all the big names in the lore are used up and nothing is as epic than killing Illidan, KJ and Arthas, so it might be going slightly downhill from here

Deathwing himself not epic enough for you? He's been scheming since before Illidan, KJ and Arthas were ever a glint in Metzen's eye.

Indeed but we haven't heard of him in a while, and i don't mean immediately run outta lore but pretty soon. And also things like Tauren paladins, come on -_-
Also Deathwing seems a little bit forgotten by people since our focus was on Illidan and Arthas and a lot of new people (and theres a lot of em) might not know who that is, but its also an Epic fight. Not more epic than Arthas in my eyes though (since that story kicks ass :-)

The five-man pickups sound great. It'll be a lot easier for my Priest to get into a group if it's across three hundred servers rather than just the five cities of the Horde.

John, count me in for the icecrown :) Alliance Ftw.

Sounds awesome, I might actually start playing WoW again now. It'll be fun to try and do all new dungeons with friends before any info about them comes out, as opposed to how people always knowing how to methodically beat every encounter. Just one thing...

CantFaketheFunk:

The Onyxian Whelpling non-combat pet that all players will get for logging in during the anniversary celebration will attempt to Deep Breath like her mother, but will fail and blow smoke rings instead - apparently they've given the little critter some brand new unique animations.

Didn't you say before the Whelpling was a 310% speed flying mount? Or was that something else? I was looking forward to (potentially) getting a free 310%...

Zayren:
Sounds awesome, I might actually start playing WoW again now. It'll be fun to try and do all new dungeons with friends before any info about them comes out, as opposed to how people always knowing how to methodically beat every encounter. Just one thing...

CantFaketheFunk:

The Onyxian Whelpling non-combat pet that all players will get for logging in during the anniversary celebration will attempt to Deep Breath like her mother, but will fail and blow smoke rings instead - apparently they've given the little critter some brand new unique animations.

Didn't you say before the Whelpling was a 310% speed flying mount? Or was that something else? I was looking forward to (potentially) getting a free 310%...

Whelpling = pet. Broodling = 310% mount.

CantFaketheFunk:

Whelpling = pet. Broodling = 310% mount.

Oh, darn my lack of reading comprehension.

Thanks for clearing that up.

oliveira8:
Meh..Nefarian is back? Talk about recycling...That kinda takes away the bang from his last words...and that dudette in Outland.

He failed in perfecting the chromatic flight and attacked Blackrock Depths, which was allied to his father, even if he personally survived, Deathwing isn't going to be happy about that either way.

Idk if anyone else saw but wouldn't blizzard doing stargate be awesome?

I believe that the 5 man cross-server groups would only be within the same battlegroup, so, as nice as it would be to be able to play with ANY Alliance, I don't think that will be happening.

That's what they said at wow.com at least.
http://www.wow.com/2009/08/22/blizzcon-2009-blizzard-announces-cross-server-instances/

Cross server instances is exciting for me personally. It was a pet peeve of mine that PvP players could get their fix at 2 in the morning, when finding a PvE group at that hour could be nigh impossible.

Almost makes me want to get back in...nah, I need that money for food >.<

The eternal question.

I just dont understand why they cant update the old 40man raids with Level cap modes and comperable rewards. I mean let 40 lvl 80s walk in and have the epic large scale raid.
Other then that im just mildly excited about new content. It should be fun...ish.

Oh man, now I want to start playing again. Fair thee well wagon. I'm fallin off.

Tremp10k:
Idk if anyone else saw but wouldn't blizzard doing stargate be awesome?

actually yes, yes it would

i have the feeling that uldum will be some of the best content in the expansion

 

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