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World of Warcraft Classic's new Dire Maul dungeon will arrive ahead of schedule next week

Dire Maul, located in the Feralas zone in World of Warcraft, is an ancient, ruined Night Elf city and, in more practical gameplay terms, a major dungeon from back in the day: Wowhead says it's "remembered fondly by most raiders as one of the most important sources for world buffs which used to be key to defeating bosses in raids ... It was one of Blizzard's first divergent dungeons in which alternate paths—such as skipping bosses—were encouraged."

Blizzard said before Classic's launch that Dire Maul would be brought to World of Warcraft Classic in "phase two" of the planned rollout of raids, dungeons, and PVP features. But in today's development diary game director Ion Hazzikostas dropped a nice surprise, revealing that it will actually show up sooner than planned.

"While we originally had this 'phase two' plan that was going to be Dire Maul dungeon, world bosses, and the honor system for PvP, I'm happy to announce that we're going to break Dire Maul out separately and get it out there as soon as possible," Hazzikostas says in the video. "In fact, just a couple of weeks from now, the week of October 15th, the Dire Maul dungeon will go live worldwide in Classic."

WoW Classic's phases are still in play: The honor system and world bosses will be "just around the corner" following the Dire Maul rollout, and a solid date will be announced "as soon as we have it," Hazzikostas says. "But we can't wait to see everybody jump into Dire Maul.

Hazzikostas also announced, among other things, that a pair of new races (including adorable little foxes!) are coming to the game. We'll have more on that in just a bit so stay tuned.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.