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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wotlk: Northrend Dungeon Guide

Wrath Of The Lich King features many changes over The Burning Crusade, most of the changes being done with the specific purpose of allowing greater accessibility to more players, so that the new content doesn't fall into the old trap of only being done by a small percentage of the player base.

At release, there will be 12 five man Instances, each with a heroic version of the same instance and then 3 Raids, each raid with a 10 or 25 man versions. More Raids will come out a few months after the expansion is released, similar to how Black Temple, Sunwell, Zul'Aman and Caverns of Time Raids were released after TBC came out.

Dungeon & Raid Changes For WotLK

Feature List:

  • All 5 Man dungeons can be done in "Normal" or "Heroic" mode.
  • Heroic versions of all dungeons have their own loot tables.
  • All 5 man instances are aimed at being cleared in 1 hour.
  • Blizzard is on record saying that "Heroic instances were too hard" so it is assumed that Heroics will be a bit easier in WotLK.
  • Raids can be done in either "Normal" or "Heroic" mode, Normal being 10 man and Heroic being 25 man.
  • 10 and 25 man raids have separate loot tables, the 25 man versions are a full tier higher than the 10 man versions.
  • 10 and 25 man raids are on separate timers (even for the same raid).
  • There is a Spirit Shard type PVP system for all 5 man instances and raids, based on Wintergrasp PVP rewards.
  • There are new raid scenarios similar to Zul'Aman timed events.
  • Most of the Raids are non-linear, so you can pick and choose which boss you wish to do and in what order.
  • Plenty of token/badge type rewards for people.

    Raid Class Composition Changes:

    The next thing you need to know is that Blizzard has reworked the class system for instances and raids to be "role" based, not specifically "class" based. This means that instead of being required to take a specific Tank Class, you are required to take a "Tank". What is a tank? Any properly geared, talented and played Warrior, Paladin, Death Knight or Druid. You are not pigeon holed into a particular class, though obviously some classes may offer benefits over other classes, but that will change based on the encounter. Blizzards goal is to make all classes "equal" at their specific roles and yes, there will no doubt be plenty of balance patches that tweak this further.

    The same also goes for Melee DPS, Healers and Ranged DPS.

    Why this change? This change is done so Raid Leaders do not need to worry about the specific class as much, what they need to worry about is the specific Role and that the player coming along is effective. This means (in Theory) that provided the player is good, a healing role can be perfectly filled by a Druid, Priest or Paladin and so on. The benefit here is that if you cant find a Priest but can find a Paladin, then you are good to go (provided both players are of equal skill/gear).

    Basically, they don't want people to scrap Raids because specific classes are unavailable, when somebody else can fill their Role. This gives greater latitude for people to group up and raid.

    Are things "easier"?

    It appears from direct comments that Blizzard Developers have made and from what players doing Naxxramas have said, that things will indeed be somewhat easier, at least in 10 man versions. Blizzards goal is to allow more players to experience the content and obviously, aiming content at "the best" makes it virtually impossible for the average player. Its hard to say exactly how all of this will pan out, but I think it is safe to assume that Blizzard is tired of making tonnes of content that most people never see and that progression will be much greater for people than it ever has been before.

    Wrath Of The Lich King Dungeons and Raid Listing

    Here is the complete list of WotLK Dungeons and Raids, in order of their target level.

    5 Man Dungeon

    Utgarde Keep Howling Fjord70-7246
    The Nexus Coldarra - Borean Tundra71-7343
    Azjol-Nerub Dragonblight72-7433
    Drak'Tharon Keep Grizzley Hills74-7644
    The Violet Hold Beneath Dalaran75-7763
    Halls of Stone Storm Peaks77-7942
    Utgarde Pinnacle Howling Fjord 8044
    The Oculus Coldarra - Borean Tundra8046
    Halls of Lightning Storm Peaks
    Stratholme Past Caverns of Time 8044


    4 Raids will be included with WotLK at release, one of which is a PVP Based Raid. There are two other raids (Ulduar Raid and Icecrown Citadel) that are confirmed but will not make the November 13 release date. More will be released later on as well

    NaxxramasFloats above Dragonblight8015Tier 7 (10 Man) and 7.5 Loot (25 man)
    The Obsidian Sanctum (Chamber of Aspects) Wyrmrest Temple - Dragonblight80310 Man Loot, 25 Man Loot
    The Eye of Eternity Coldarra - Borean Tundra801Man Loot, 25 Man Loot
    Vault of Archavon (PvP)Wintergrasp's Fortress801Unknown