It’s been a few days since 3.3 launched. Things have changed big time in the World of Warcraft.
Sure, there’s the new raid encounter (and a very fine one it is too), but that’s not all. Three new dungeons, which link together to tell a story. I only had a chance to play through them from Saturday onwards, and the story they tell is one that I find somewhat satisfying. I have also been spending multitude time with the new LFG tools, but that’s another post entirely.
Arthas / The Lich King (depending on who you listen to) has cropped up a lot over the entire expansion – in fact, I think he appears in encounters at least once in each zone, and then again as an uninvited guest in the Trial of the Crusader. The trouble with all of these encounters, though, is that he loses. The sole exception is the Drakuru encounter in Drak’tharon Keep, and that turns out to just be a waypoint in a longer story. The net effect is that he seems rather too much like a pantomime villain, whose parting catchphrase may as well have been “I would have got away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids, er, adventurers”
And so for me Halls of Reflection was something of a triumph. We actually lose, and have to run away. The blow still doesn’t seem so hard, though, as everyone gets out alive. If I’d had my way, we’d have seen a repeat of the Wrathgate scenario, and lost another major faction leader. The Lich King is badass, and yet he allows us a fair chance at escaping? Give me a break.
In terms of Icecrown Citadel, I’ve seen the first three encounters. Well designed, but we seem to be spending most of out raid time bouncing against the “Additional Instances cannot be launched” problem. Yeesh. I don’t enjoy spending my raid time being punished for being a guild that raids later in the evening (9PM server time). And the trash seems somewhat undertuned thus far – pulling both main packs of Lady Deathwhisper’s room at once and AoEing them down? I long for the carefully calculated pulls in Black Temple and Sunwell.