Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hopes for Icecrown Citadel

Well everybody is testing the Argent Coliseum, the patch 3.2 raid that will drop in a month or so now. But while doing some old world dungeons and making Eitrin the king of Blackrock, I realized that Blizzard should take a page out of their old playbook in making the patch 3.3 raid, Icecrown Citadel. I also just installed Warcraft on my new laptop and watched the storyline of Arthas as the thing slowly installed. The lore behind this expansion is ridiculously rich.

Arthas brought Kel'Thuzad and Naxxramas to Northrend to be a first line of defense, which we crushed. Ulduar is pretty, but it's basically off the beaten path of the true story of WOTLK and is just us saving our own butt from letting Yogg Saron loose. But now with Argent Coliseum, we'll take down Anub'Arak, the right hand spider of Arthas so to speak. Yet in doing all this, none of these dungeons has an epic feel. You just waltz up to the door basically and jump in. This doesn't make Naxxramas and Ulduar feel epic on the outside.

Now compare that to Blackrock Mountain from vanilla warcraft. Blackrock is a massive mountain between two zones and you have a long walk through a picturesque lava-filled mountain to get to the instance portals. You really feel like you are a small cog taking on giants in Blackrock, and the visuals of the lava and the chains is ridiculously well-done. So I propose to Blizzard, please do the same thing with Icecrown Citadel, just with ice instead of lava. Patch 3.3 should have enough content to support a big castle you have to walk through to get to a couple 5 man instances (like BRD and LBRS) leading to an initial 10/25 man (UBRS) and then the final epic raid (10/25 man like a redone Molten Core). They could even stagger the release of the content like they are trying to do with 3.2's raid. This would give people a ton of content and make them feel the payoff of the Northrend and Arthas storylines was worth the wait.

If we just walk up to the door of Icecrown like we do Ulduar, doesn't it take away from the awesome feeling of walking into a mega-bad-guy-zone like Blackrock Mountain? And in turn, wastes one of the great storylines of Warcraft...perhaps the best storyline of all? The only caveat I have is that the linear style of the instances of WOTLK should remain in the new content, as the Blackrock instances are terribly confusing. Nevertheless, I'd rather run those four instances over anything in WOTLK based on the epic feeling you get there. So until we start getting details of 3.3, I'll be praying that this castle...

Looks a lot like this Mountain!

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