After the release of patch 4.1 for of Warcraft Blizzard is opening the flood gates for patch 4.2. We expect the patch to hit the public testservers relatively soon and had a chance to talk with Blizzard's Cory Stockton -- Lead Content Designer for World of Warcraft. He shared new information with us about what's in store for patch 4.2. You want to know what the new raid Firelands looks like, or what to expect from the epic quest line that's built around Thrall? You want more details on the upcoming legendary caster weapon, more info on the new daily quests with dynamic progression or the long awaited encounter journal? We covered it all.
getbuffed: Could you give us an overview of what you have in store for us with the Firelands raid?
Stockton: It is our new tier of raid content for patch 4.2. There are seven bosses in the dungeon and there will be a full new tier of itemization to go with it. So there will be all new class sets for every class in the game with all custom unique art. The raid culminates in a fight against Ragnaros. That fight specifically is pretty hardcore. The heroic version of the fight is actually completely different from the normal version. We really wanted to go all out on that and make sure Ragnaros had a really awesome cool unique feel. All the bosses in the entire instance will also have new models. So it feels like a really fresh new place for players(runes of magic gold). We really wanted to make sure we didn't reuse anything and that it felt new and different.
As far as the look and feel goes -- it takes place in the Firelands. Anyone who played through Hyjal will probably have a good idea of the Firelands from the quest line there. But essentially it is built completely outdoors. So it will feel similar to the Obsidian Sanctum where we fought Sartharion. But it is about ten times more intense than that. If you look at our raids, we haven't really had a lot of exterior raid experiences like this. The closest thing for something that's completely outdoors would probably be Mount Hyjal. So this will feel very fresh and different since you're not inside a building for the entire time.
getbuffed: What size should we expect from the actual raid zone? How does it compare to past and current raid instances? Especially since the tier 11 instances are rather small and there's not a lot of running time between bosses. Firelands on the other hand seems to be pretty huge.
Stockton: It is pretty big, but we are going to allow players to use mounts. So you will be able to ride in between all the different areas. As far as size goes -- let's see what a good reference point would be. It is probably four times the size of the Obsidian Sanctum, Alterac Valley might be a good comparison as well. It is built in a way that when you come in you can see everything. We tried to build unique areas. So off to the left there's a spider type boss,(runes of magic gold) a lava spider. And you can see the web right when you come in. Off to the right there's a giant boss that's basically made out of volcano himself. So when you come in you can kind of see the areas and they feel unique.
What's also really cool is that the first four bosses are non linear. So you choose what you want to do first and in which order you want to kill the bosses -- before you get to the final three that are in a linear fashion, with Ragnaros at the end.