Blizzard has pulled the veil off the next major content update for World of Warcraft, Patch 3.2: Call of the Crusade – featuring, among other things, a brand-new battleground called Isle of Conquest.
Immediately before last year’s BlizzCon, a handful of games journalists – including yours truly – were given the opportunity to tour the Blizzard Campus and eat lunch with their head developers. It evolved into an informal Q&A, during which then-WoW Lead Designer Jeffrey Kaplan said that while the new Ulduar raid was planned for Patch 3.1, they couldn’t talk about their plans for 3.2 yet. He did, however, say that they were working on something that “players will find very cool.”
Apparently, that “very cool” something is a new Battleground. The official Under Development page lists the following new features to come in 3.2:
-Isle of Conquest, a new “large-scale siege battleground” that looks to be a hybrid of Arathi Basin, Strand of the Ancients, and Alterac Valley – get resources, get siege weaponry, attack the enemy keep.
-Arena Season 7, of course.
-The expansion of the Argent Tournament. As the Crusaders’ Coliseum nears completion, there will be new quests and dailies available for solo content. The Coliseum itself will open, offering 5/10/25-man encounters (and presumably phat lewt) to would-be heroes looking to prepare for the fight against the Lich King himself.
All in all, looks like a fairly interesting patch. It’s not surprising that there’s very little PvE content coming in 3.2 (other than the Coliseum), seeing how most players haven’t cleared Ulduar yet – damn you, Mimiron! I have to admit, I’m intrigued by the new battleground idea, too: It seems like a return to the large-scale battlefields of Alterac Valley, though one wonders if this means multi-hour rounds like the old AV.
As for what comes after Patch 3.2? Well, in the informal Q&A, Kaplan also said that Patch 3.3 would finally see the conclusion of the game’s long-lived Ashbringer storyline. Whether or not this accompanies the final assault on Icecrown Citadel is anyone’s guess.
Update: 3.2 will also bring long-awaited cosmetic upgrades to Druid shapeshift forms. Speaking as a Druid who has watched all his friends get to admire their shiny new armor as they leveled up while he stared at the same bear/cat/tree/laserchicken ass from level 10/16/40/50 onward, can I get a F**K YEAH!, please?