3.2 – Final point

June 18, 2009 at 9:04 pm (WoW General)

One thing people are missing in the woe-is-me gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the badge changes is that this isn’t really about patch 3.2.  It’s about patch 3.3.  Specifically, it’s about Arthas.

One thing Blizzard wants for WotLK, to a far greater extent than was the case for TBC, is for the majority of the player base to have a crack at Arthas.  The reason why should be obvious – his name (well, his title) is in the freaking title of the expansion.  He makes his presence felt over and over in Northrend.  The expansion’s storyline (well, its main one, anyway) points to the coming confrontation between the player and Arthas.  Arthas has been so intimately connected to the Warcraft lore (well, since WC3 anyway), it would feel cheap for him to die offscreen.  As, for example, Illidan did to far too many players (to say nothing of Kil’jaeden).

Now, it would also feel cheap for him to die in a five-man instance, or a noninstanced group quest.  So a raid it is.  But Blizzard wants, I think, for the bulk of the player base to have the best shot possible at actually taking him out, without having to go join a group of fanatic hardcore raiders to be able to do it.  Now, the hardcore raiders can do their hard-mode Arthas, perhaps get a Frost Wyrm mount out of it, a “Bane of the Lich King” title, or something similar.  But the actual conclusion to the Wrath storylines (namely, the deaths of Yogg-Saron and Arthas) need to be accessible to most people, if they’re interested in pursuing it.  And given the randomness of loot, this is the best way to do it – make sure that by the time 3.3 rolls around, everybody’s racked up their at-least-Ulduar level loot (through badges, Ulduar runs, etc.), some have better loot through the Coliseum, and everybody (including people like my friend, who just started playing the game but is leveling quickly) will have a fair shot to kill the Lich King before Dampness of the Maelstrom or whatever the next expansion is.

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3 Comments

  1. Tamarind said,

    Dampness of the Maelestrom? No, no, the next expansion is going to be Greenness of the Emerald Dream, obviously.

    Kael’thas is finally taken out in an instance, I know he’s not quite as iconic and dominant a villain as Arthas but I think it proves that the 5-man territory is navigatable without too much disappointment and anti-climax.

    On the other hard, I fear the final demise of Arthas might be you, 4 other guys you PUGed, a cast of 30 random NPCs, a whole platoon of vehicles and Tirion Fordring being cooler than you.

    • Kahleena said,

      Re: Kael’thas, true, it is doable, though (a) it was preceded by a raid encounter widely considered one of the hardest encounters in TBC raiding, and (b) Kael’thas was a second-order villain – huge role in the lore (read: Warcraft III), but a lieutenant in the storyline (first to Illidan, then to Kil’jaeden.)

      I fear you’re right re: the fight design. Five will get you ten Tirion, Thrall, Varian, maybe Sylvanas, and definitely Darion show up. My personal nightmare, though, is that I’ll have to joust the SOB.

      • Zaphind said,

        Shush about the jousting! Someone over at Blizzard might hear you and do it just out of spite!

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