World of Warcraft 4.3 patch is a loregasm. Plus: why 4.3 can’t be the end for Cataclysm

deathwing thumbnail world of warcraft

Deathwing skewered on the perch of Wyrmrest Temple. The tortured ghosts of Sylvanas, Jaina and Tyrande. Mannaroth! Again! Last night, Blizzard released details of the new dungeons and raids coming to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. I've got some bad news.

They sound amazing. Prepare for a loregasm.

There are three five-mans and one raid coming to 4.3. The five-mans tell the story of heroes charging through time and space to retrieve the Dragon Soul, an ancient weapon that Thrall and the remaining sane Dragon Aspects reckon could defeat Deathwing. The raid is the run up to, and the final Deathwing fight - running up Wyrmrest Temple before being plunged into the Maelstrom.

So: first to the end of the World. Of Warcraft. In End Times.

Yes. That's a picture of Deathwing skewered on Wyrmrest Temple. As the guards in Metal Gear Solid once said: “!”

Some more exclam worthy excerpts from the dungeon companion .

Echo of Sylvanas : Spawned from shattered timeways and cloistered within the Ruby Dragonshrine, a maddened fragment of the Forsaken's leader, Sylvanas Windrunner, waits restlessly. Having lost everything and unable to find peace, this tormented echo aches for a chance to unleash her dark fury at anything still living within these barren, time-twisted wastes.

Echo of Tyrande : Once high priestess of Elune and leader of the night elves, this time-twisted fragment of Tyrande Whisperwind now wanders the desolate future of Azeroth. Enveloped by eternal midnight, she is forever separated from the comforting light of Elune and torn by questions about why her goddess did nothing to put an end to such madness.

Echo of Jaina : The tormented fragment of Jaina Proudmoore has been split and infused within the shattered pieces of her staff. To restore balance to the timeways, this echo must be defeated. However, the devastating magical power possessed by the once-proud ruler of Theramore is hardly lost to her time-havocked spectre. In this future Azeroth, she is only divided, and waiting....

Echo of Baine : Enraged by his failure to protect the world and, most importantly, the Horde, this time-ravaged shade of Baine Bloodhoof lingers within the ruins of the Obsidian Dragonshrine. Although he's still as powerful as the tauren high chieftain from the present, within this shattered future Azeroth, this guilt-ridden echo is little more than a discordant vessel of unquenchable malice and anger.


Dungeon 2: the Well of Eternity

The Well of Eternity is WoW's big bang moment; how the baddies brought the Burning Legion to Azeroth using the Dragon Soul. In this dungeon, the heroes go back in time to nick the Dragon Soul from under the noses of the arranged wizards. Think of it as like Back to the Future, except replacing the book of sports results with a giant tumescent crystal.

Bosses wise... well. Meet Mannoroth and Azshara.

Peroth'arn : Like many of his fellow Highborne, Peroth'arn swore allegiance to the corrupted Xavius in exchange for gifts of demonic power. As a master of fiendish magic and recipient of the satyr curse, Peroth'arn stands outside Azshara's palace in defense of the Burning Legion, ready to destroy those hoping to disrupt the entrance of the Dark Titan, Sargeras, into Azeroth.

Azshara : The songs of Queen Azshara's beauty, majesty, and power are too numerous to count, but it was her vanity that drove the Highborne to summon the Burning Legion. She now watches her most trusted magi empower the portal where Sargeras will be brought into Azeroth, content to let multitudes of her servants die in advance of the Dark Titan's arrival.

Mannoroth and Varo'then: Varo'then, head of Queen Azshara's personal guard, and Mannoroth, the pit lord whose blood will corrupt the entire orc race, stand as the last line of defense against those hoping to bar Sargeras's entry into Azeroth. Though both Tyrande and Illidan have fought bravely thus far, the fate of Azeroth will be decided at the Well of Eternity's very brink.


The last five man?

It's the Hour of Twilight . The heroes journey back to Wyrmrest Temple to deliver the Dragon Soul to Thrall and the rest of the Dragonflight. But half of Azeroth stand in their way. Including the high priest from Stormwind Cathedral. And... is that an old god in front of the temple?

Arcurion : Horde and Alliance assaults against the Twilight's Hammer have slaughtered many of the cult's fearsome elemental ascendants. One exception is Arcurion, a formidable water ascendant tasked to slay Thrall and retrieve the Dragon Soul. Should this twisted elemental being succeed, nothing will be able to stop Deathwing from ushering in the Hour of Twilight.

Asira Dawnslayer : Former blade-for-hire Asira Sunbright was initially leery of working for the Twilight's Hammer, but the cult's generous payments quickly won her over. In time, she succumbed to the corruptive influence of her dark employers, even going so far as to take on the name Dawnslayer. As one of the cult's deadliest assassins, Asira has been called upon to exterminate Thrall and his comrades.

Archbishop Benedictus : Archbishop Benedictus is the revered leader of the Church of the Holy Light. For years, his wise guidance has been instrumental in seeing humanity through bleak times. Yet beneath his apparent benevolence lies the shocking truth that Benedictus has pledged himself to the eradication of all life on Azeroth through the agency of his dark master... Deathwing.

The raid

Finally, there's the raid. You can read about the various bosses in Dragon Soul on Blizzards site. Don't miss the description of the Deathwing fight. When I first read it, I nearly erupted.

“Your assault on the massive Deathwing will begin a battle unlike any other. It is a fight so wide-ranging and intense that it comprises two unique encounters, taking place across Azeroth. Taking to the skies, players will parachute from soaring gunships to attack the monster mid-flight and attempt to weaken him by ripping away his armor, exposing the molten flesh beneath. Should they succeed, they will plunge into the depths of Maelstrom for the final encounter.”

Here's an interesting thought. If the next expansion for WoW is announced at this year's Blizzcon, and Blizzard follow their schedule of releasing expansion packs a year following, Cataclysm still has over a year left to run. Which means that Deathwing probably isn't the end.

The old gods live at the centre of Azeroth. And we're going deep underground to fight Deathwing.

I don't think Deathwing is the final boss of Cataclysm at all. He's just a peon.