Saturday, October 3, 2009

Return of the PTR

If you are anything like me, you have been following the 3.3 patch news with great anticipation and interest, as they have began to flood through from and mmo-champion - people hard at work data mining and exploring what is currently available in the test realms.

So far, the most interesting news have come from both Blizzard themselves, in the form a Frozen Halls info page, and mmo-champion data miners, whom have been able to discover some very interesting updates. The first and foremost of course, is the Icecrown Citadel. Anyone who has flown around it a few times realized a long time ago that it will be very expansive. The structure alone is impressive and massive.

So far we know that the citadel with not only host the new raid, with the Lich King as the final boss, but will also contain a new dungeon, with both normal and heroic version, and a total of three different wings; in order the Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, Halls of Reflection. You must complete them in sequence to gain access to the last one and contain a lot of interesting new aspects.

So naturally when I saw people on general channel, looking for likeminded adventurers and explorers I just had to jump at the chance. We entered the Pit of Saron, whether or not because they had already done the first wing or if it was the only one currently enabled, I cannot say. But the first time stepping inside the citadel was very exciting. Essentially, we have two objectives; free as many slaves as possible and also kill the bosses.

The second boss Ick, which after falling to us gave up a startling revelation, Frostmourne currently resides alone, in the Halls of Reflection. Whether it will be just an event or possible a boss encounter, remains to be seen but opens the possibility that the way to defeat the Lich King is by taking away his most dangerous weapon.

Like all dungeons, normal and heroic alike, tanking the instance was heavy on the aoe side. You can switch to blood on bosses if you prefer but all and all, was a very standard issue tankwise. The bosses themselves do a lot of burst damage and had very little actual technicalities to overcome. Tyrannus at the very end had some twists to provide, but seems we encounter either a bug or another disabled feature, because once we quickly downed him, the first was suddenly over.

Why is this odd? Because Tyrannus first presents himself on the back of a frostwyrm and on such an occasion, you would expect to fight both the two-legged and four-legged counterparts. Our encounter however started with Tyrannus coming down and ended when he fell.

We had no luck investigating any possible loot because nothing was dropped, but odds are high this will change quickly, once the loot tables are finished and enabled. Mmo-champions did report an interesting set of new daily quests though, or rather, weekly quests. I managed to confirm them with the usual daily quest giver. Exactly like the old Wintergrasp quests, these can be completed only once a week, but instead provide x10 Emblems of Frost.

Also, instead of heroics, the quests are completed in raid instances. These range from Naxxramas to Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader. Basically just like the previous heroic dailies, you have to kill a boss to complete the quest. I could not locate a vendor that currently accepts the new emblems but I am prepared to speculate they have to do with new gear. A new set of tier gear?

Personally, I am voting against a new tier set. It takes our all the fun out of, the otherwise exciting gear, when you have to struggle to change it every damn patch. But time will tell. For now, will continue to follow the blogsphere and explore the PTR. Will keep my readers informed.

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