3.2.2 - Onyxia Returns!

Sorry for the long delay - let's get the main announcement and some other added info in here:

Blue Poster
# 0 - 13/08 The Brood Mother Returns - August 13, 2009, 12:01 am
She has lurked in her lair and done battle with the many brave adventurers who travelled to that familiar location over the years. Now, in honor of the World of Warcraft 5-year anniversary, the dreaded brood mother Onyxia is being revamped to make a return to the forefront of Azeroth, as part of our big plans for the upcoming 3.2.2 content patch.

This permanent update to Onyxia will convert the dungeon into 10- and 25-player modes. We will be adding new items to Onyxia’s loot table that have the same model as some of the classic loot from this dungeon, like Tier 2 helms, with stats updated to match the current level of content. There will be a special new item too: a normal drake-sized 310% speed flying mount modeled after Onyxia herself called an Onyxia Broodling. We will also be updating the encounter mechanics to be more fitting for modern raiding, but we can guarantee players will get to experience the frightening horror of deep breaths once again.

Then for a limited time, after the 5-year anniversary event officially begins in November, anybody who logs in will receive an Onyxia Brood Whelpling pet.

We’re very excited to bring this classic encounter back to provide a fun new experience for both new and veteran players. Further details will be available in the near future, and we will be setting up the Public Test Realms soon to help test out this fight along with all the new content we have planned for the patch. Keep an eye on the forums for updates!

Community Team - English - ?? (??? ) . . . Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies, tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit - I

(Apologies for the simple links... Blogger was angry about HTML codes that I couldn't fix.)

On the 310% Mount drop...

Zarhym made two additional statements regarding the 310% mount drop, while Crygil added his own commentary.

On the remixed Onyxia raid in lore, Bornakk had two statements of his own to add.


3.2 Hints so far..

Now the patch is downloadable, expect a brief torrent of content information to become available due to datamining. What I've gathered so far, mostly from the achievements:

- The 5-man dungeon features an encounter with The Black Knight, Eadric the Pure (a Paladin?), and some encounter which makes you experience memories of some sort.

- The raid dungeon features an encounter with Snobolds (presumably the "beast encounter" mentioned in the Underdev preview), an arena-style fight agents NPCs of the opposite faction, a "twin Val'kyr" encounter, and a Nerubian. Thrilling.

Crusaders' Coliseum Preview

Just getting this up here.


Playable High Elves

Blue Poster
# 21 - Blizzard the people want a answer! - June 17, 2009, 9:30 pm

Q u o t e:
Why aren't High elves playable, I mean serious? I'm not going to listen to any elf hate crap this forums can produce, I know this question has been asked over and over but as far as I know there is no blue official answer on it so here I ask very nicely what is the deal?

/prayers for a blue.

and again for people who can't read

Blood Elves and High Elves are very similar. This could potentially cause issues of racial allegiance and misidentification along faction lines. Maybe, someday, we'll utilize the few remaining High Elves as a player race, but it's not something we have any plans for in our current time frame.

I wouldn't count on it.

PTR: Any minute now

There's a PTR status update page now. Presumably for the 3.2 PTR. It's very, very close.

3.2 Previews

I've been negligent with posting the stuff everyone already knows, but here it is:

Blue Poster
# 0 - Enter the Crusaders’ Coliseum - June 17, 2009, 6:06 pm
In the next major content patch, the construction of the Crusaders’ Coliseum on the Argent Tournament grounds will be complete, and it will hold new challenges for players. We’d like to share some details on the new dungeon, which represents the next tier of content for the game, but keep in mind that this is still in development and subject to change. The Crusaders’ Coliseum will include:

  • New epic 10- and 25-player raid dungeon with five encounters, with each encounter being unlocked one week at a time

  • A more intuitive structure for harder encounters. This raid dungeon will have four different versions: 10-player, 25-player, 10-player Heroic, and 25-player Heroic, with each one using a separate lockout.

  • Introduction of the Crusaders’ Tribute! Each of the Heroic mode instances has a new tribute system that will limit players on the number of attempts they get in the Coliseum each week to present a greater challenge for the most battle-hardened heroes. Additional rewards can be earned depending on the number of attempts left in the tribute run each week when the final boss is defeated.

  • New 5-player dungeon with three encounters that will include Champion’s Seals as each one is defeated

  • New tier of armor and weapons that are modeled with Alliance- or Horde-specific themes

Also, there's an "Under Development" page for new Argent Tournament content: Underdev link - Argent Tournament


3.2 PTR close..

Blue Poster
# 6 - Date' o' PTR - June 16, 2009, 5:31 am
I can greatly understand the anticipation -- we share it :-) However, we have no date to announce. We are working hard on getting 3.2 onto the PTR and I'm afraid at this stage I daren't even mention the S word.

"The lives of my fallen comrades will not be in vain, and I shall avenge their deaths using the Scythe of Elune."

Community Team - English

Looks like it's just a matter of weeks at this point at most. Interesting.


Isle of Quel'Danas Lore

Blizzard seems a bit late to the game with this, but... better late than never:

Isle of Quel'Danas lore

There have also been a couple hints about Gilneas and the 3.2 timeframe on the forums lately, but nothing specific enough to merit being labeled as new information. 3.2 is coming "soon".


Isle of Conquest Preview

Hours behind, I know, but I'm still going to mirror it:

Blue Poster
# 0 - 12/06 The Isle of Conquest Preview - June 12, 2009, 10:18 am
An island somewhere off the shores of Northrend. A rock, hardly worth a second look. But as insignificant as it may seem, this is no ordinary place. A sound of thunder as waves crash endlessly against rocky cliffs; a sound of fury as swords clash on the blood-stained fields of this island on the edge of forever.

Welcome to the Isle of Conquest.

The ongoing struggle between Horde and Alliance has turned many once peaceful (and some not-so peaceful) places into theaters of constant war. The Isle of Conquest is the latest such place, set to be the location of a battle of epic proportions over the island's precious resources.

An Alliance and a Horde general are fighting for dominance, overseeing the action from the safety of their keeps. Whichever side manages to eliminate the enemy general first will triumph on the island; failure to protect your leader will bring shame, dishonor, and defeat. There is no peace accord here, and it’s an all-out war between the factions.

Once More into the breach...

Isle of Conquest, a new battleground scheduled to make its debut in the upcoming content patch, Call of the Crusade, will pitch teams of up to 40 players against each other in a massive battle over this small island off Northrend's northern coast. To win, your team will need to make use of the island's unique strategic locations including an oil derrick, a siege workshop, and a fully equipped airship hangar. You will deploy devastating siege weaponry on the field; Light have mercy on anyone caught between you and your ultimate target, the general holed up in the enemy keep.

There are five points of interest on the Isle of Conquest for the factions to battle over. Each one offers its own benefits and strategic value. Which one will you claim for your side, and will it be enough to ensure victory?

Capture Locations

Consider your options before storming out of your keep to confront the enemy head-on. Spread throughout the Isle of Conquest are several capturable locations (as seen on the map), each granting a unique strategic advantage to your team.

The Oil Derrick: Located on the northwestern end of the island, this smudge in the Frozen Sea produces enough black gold to run a thousand siege engines. Taking this resource garners precious reinforcements and a continuous flow of honor to the side that controls it.

The Cobalt Mine: This snow-covered assembly, located on the southeastern end of the island, hides untapped supplies that must be harvested. Taking this resource grants reinforcements and a continuous flow of honor to the side that controls it.

The Docks: The western shore's docks will further expand your selection of siege weapons with the devastating new Glaive Thrower and the Catapult. Unleash the destruction of the Glaive Thrower upon the walls of the keep, or launch your invading party over the walls to assault the keep from within.

The Airship Hangar: This sturdy steel structure stands on the peak of Mt. Conquest overlooking the eastern side of the island, allowing players to board the airship docked there. This devastating weapon of war is capable of raining death upon the heads of your enemies and destroying enemy defenses. Once onboard the airship, players will find it comes equipped with parachutes enabling a strike team to drop into the enemy keep from above.

The Siege Workshop: Situated right between the Alliance base and the Horde base, this siege workshop occupies a strategic hot spot. Seizing it grants the controlling party the ability to utilize an arsenal of siege vehicles perfectly suited to reducing the enemy keep’s walls to dust and ashes.

Graveyards: There are five graveyards in the Isle of Conquest that are attached to different points of interest on the map: the Horde base, the Alliance base, an oil spill island in the center of the map (attached to the siege workshop), the northeast corner (attached to the airship hangar), and the southwest corner (attached to the docks).

Main Objectives

The Keeps: The Horde and Alliance keeps sit at opposite ends of the island. These citadels host four easily accessible defensive cannons set on the ramparts, capable of unleashing hot fury onto oncoming attackers. Additional explosives sit safely stowed in the base of the keep along the back wall. At least, they’re safe as long as they don’t fall into enemy hands. If they do, though, they can be employed to bring the stone walls down from within.

The General: Holed up behind the keeps' massive walls, the generals command their forces from a position of relative safety. Should the keep fall and the general be slain, the Isle of Conquest will fall to the victor.

Reinforcements: Isle of Conquest uses a reinforcements system similar to that of Alterac Valley. The clock is ticking and every individual counts. If too many of your comrades fall to the enemy the battle will end in defeat. Killing enemy players will reduce their reinforcements by one for each kill, Once your faction’s reinforcements reach their limit, so too does your bid for control of the island and the wealth of resources you’ve fought so hard over.

An island somewhere off the shores of Northrend. A rock, hardly worth a second look. A test of strength. A chance to prove your might, to crush your enemies, to make a difference, a chance for endless glory and conquest.

Will you seize it?

Community Team - English

The Epic Mug of Vaneras - The Alebringer: http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z57/Vaneras_bucket/EpicMug.jpg

I take the whole "unimportant rock" thing to be indicative of Blizzard just being lazy about trying to tie their battlegrounds into the lore in any meaningful sense. Which is kind of a shame, really.


Crygil on the future inclusion on Uldum, Grim Batol, and Gilneas:

Blue Poster
# 18 - Gilneas, Greymane Wall, Uldum, Grim Batol? - June 12, 2009, 7:09 pm

Q u o t e:
When? Old world needs some love.

I'm sure we'll visit these locations someday. Until then, we can only enjoy the wonderful assortment of gameplay we currently have.

I believe this is a significant confirmation that these zones haven't been abandoned entirely.


There's also a thread of several blues once again hinting at these zones here.


Recent Blue Update (2/2)

This post will focus on hints that 3.2 is being developed rather quickly. Here are some blue quotes:

Blue Poster
# 8 - Can we have more info on Isle of Conquest? - June 5, 2009, 1:35 pm

Q u o t e:
Location? Server only?

I need more information the quicker the better.

We're working on putting together some more information for players on Isle of Conquest. It can take some time to get everything put together if we want to try and give some visuals, as we need to make sure all art assets are there.

It is a battleground and will be a part of the cross-realm battleground system just like all others.

Somebody save me from your proud words. I’ll fight the worry in your head.

Feels like someone else inside’s looking out for us.

Blue Poster
# 18 - Animation preview - June 5, 2009, 2:41 pm

Q u o t e:

Please link your source thanks, as i guess i missed were they say this ... Also is it really hard to make a quick video of a model walking seriously... and i think you should also cut your wrist remember to go down the lane not across the street...


What Tatsumasa said is essentially correct, aside from the "shut up and like it" part. I never said that. ;)

We're working on text and photo previews for much of the content that will be available in the next major content patch. Each preview takes a great deal of time to prepare, as they generally require coordination with multiple different departments (i.e. art team, development, creative development, community, public relations, web, and so on), and each of these departments have large lists of tasks to work on nearly all the time. In addition, these previews require coordination with all of our international teams, including textual translations into all of our supported languages.

It is for this reason that we do not plan on providing videos of the animated new form art. These forms will be available for testing on the public test realms in due time.

Somebody save me from your proud words. I’ll fight the worry in your head.

Feels like someone else inside’s looking out for us.

Blue Poster
# 1881 - New Druid Art Coming Soon - June 5, 2009, 12:40 am

Q u o t e:
Can we please see these animated? I'm reserving judgment about them until then as it is extremely difficult to judge a model based on static screenshots.

We do not plan to release any animations of the new form art, but the test realms will be coming soon enough so everyone can play around with them. :)

Somebody save me from your proud words. I’ll fight the worry in your head.

Feels like someone else inside’s looking out for us.

So the PTRs aren't merely coming "soon", they're coming "soon enough", which I think is Blizzard-speak for "really coming soon". I mean, if you look at past content patches I think you'd find that the kinds of previews we're getting now and in the near future for 3.2 come not long before the patch hits the PTRs. I think there's an accumulating body of evidence lending itself towards the theory that Blizzard is planning on having 3.2 go live sooner than most people expect.

Recent Blue Update (1/2)

I'm going to make two related posts on some of the recent blue comments. The first concerns new hints about the Isle of Conquest, the second concerns the 3.2 timeframe. All of the information for this post comes from this thread, featuring several posts from Zarhym.

Blue Poster
# 22 - Can we have more info on Isle of Conquest? - June 5, 2009, 1:51 pm

Q u o t e:

Does it take place on some sort of Island?

Will there be Conquesting involved somehow?

If "conquest" means the ability to catapult or parachute players behind enemy lines, then yes.

Somebody save me from your proud words. I’ll fight the worry in your head.

Feels like someone else inside’s looking out for us.

Blue Poster
# 46 - Can we have more info on Isle of Conquest? - June 5, 2009, 2:04 pm

Q u o t e:

give us an idea where on azeroth it is located.

Well... it's an isle. ;)

Somebody save me from your proud words. I’ll fight the worry in your head.

Feels like someone else inside’s looking out for us.

So, um, the Isle of Conquest is an island. Zarhym's repetitive comment might be taken as a hint that the Isle of Conquest might actually be somewhere that's already familiar to places... or it might not. And it also features catapults and possibly other vehicle mechanics. I don't think I've put up the quote here, but I believe it was confirmed a while back that Isle of Conquest would also be reminiscent of Alterac Valley. We'll have more information as it streams trickles out.

The Bossiary

Well, looks like Blizzard has opened up The Bossiary, an Ulduar map with brief descriptions of each of the bosses. There's not much that's new or of interest here (Kologarn was created by Ignis?), but this is the closest thing to lore news to have come out in the past week, unforunately.


Zarhym on 3.2 Progression

Interesting post from Zarhym:

Blue Poster
# 14 - Valor difficulty 5 mans - May 29, 2009, 5:35 pm
We have some new things in store for the badge system to help with the current end game progression curve that exists (as you noted: Heroics > Naxx > Ulduar > 3.2 > Icecrown ). We're looking to put together this information for you and will provide it as soon as it's ready to go.

Same stories have been played out for ages

I'm ready to be given the chance

For saying our side, our version or choice

Cameras capture numerous nights of romance...

What does this say about upcoming content? Well, firstly, it might be telling that Zarhym did not refer to the raid as the Argent Coliseum, which might lend credence to those who believe that there will be a 3.2 raid in addition to the Argent Coliseum. However, given that he borrowed the OP's language, this might be reading too much into things.

Secondly, it confirms that the 3.2 raid(s?) will offer Tier 9 gear, or at least gear in the Tier 9 ilvl range (240-253.) This probably shouldn't be a big surprise, but this wasn't confirmed previously.


On Trusting Blues

Before continuing onwards there's probably a requisite disclaimer to be made about using blue posts as serious sources of lore information. This thread on the Diablo III forums pretty much illustrates why: Because they tend to just kinda make stuff up. Upon being asked why the Diablo III Fallen have different hairstyles than the Diablo II Fallen, blue poster Bashiok replies that:

Blue Poster
# 17 - Why the Fallen's hair is gone? - May 28, 2009, 12:21 pm
After the deaths of the Fallen champions Bishibosh, Rakanishu, and Colenzo, the Fallen ceremoniously removed their top knots in their honor. Over the years the remembrance of the old heroes waned, new hair styles emerged, and the majority of the Fallen imps now sport mohawks which symbolize undivided unity and strength.

The real reason for any sort of change is purely artistic.

I think it's reasonable to assume that blues make lore posts that aren't clearly announcements of some sort, they're not exactly speaking from on high, penning official canon. This doesn't mean that there aren't useful insights to be made from their pronouncements, however - while it might not be wise to take them too seriously, it's also probably true that the blues are careful not to insinuate things which will end up contradicting subsequent lore. For example, in Bornakk's post about Tyr, he probably does not mean that Tyr is literally on some kind of journey... just that he still exists and may or may not ever be used again. Likewise, due to Bashiok's post, I would infer that the changed Fallen hairstyles will not exactly be an important plot point in Diablo III. There are probably lots of examples of blue posts like this which would be unwise to take too seriously or too literally... but also unwise to dismiss completely.

This might be obvious, it probably should be. But requisite disclaimers are requisite.

Bornakk on Hyjal

I held off on posting this for a little while because I didn't want to make new posts every time Bornakk said something (or edit old ones), but since there hasn't been an update to the thread featured in the previous post in several hours, it might be prudent to discuss this now. So here are a few additional posts by Bornakk in that thread:

Blue Poster
# 38 - Blizzard: Azeroth zones underdevelopment? - May 28, 2009, 11:04 am

Q u o t e:

Can you open up non-CoT Hyjal one of these days? It's sort of silly to have such a massive zone inaccessible. Hell, even if there's nothing added. Just allow the zone to be opened /shrug.

I've seen this brought up a few times, but we don't plan to implement things just for the sake of it. Anytime we develop something we hold it to a high quality standard and plan to do it right.

Blue Poster
# 43 - Blizzard: Azeroth zones underdevelopment? - May 28, 2009, 11:12 am

Q u o t e:
Yeah i've played this game since Vanilla WoW, just the map has changed so much i can never remember much of how it used to be

It has changed numerous times over the 4.5 years the game has been out. Sometimes we get new ideas and just need to do some land shaping to make it fit, nothing big.

Blue Poster
# 45 - Blizzard: Azeroth zones underdevelopment? - May 28, 2009, 11:15 am

Q u o t e:

That's the thing, though. Anybody that's used the WoW Map Viewer can tell you that Hyjal, as far as terrain and doodads go, is completely finished and bug-free. All you need is a little bit of time to drop in some buildings and NPCs (and I know it's not THAT difficult to do that, seeing how you guys use a beefed up version of the WCIII Map Editor for creating WoW zones).

In all honesty, current-day Hyjal sounds like a perfect candidate for a content patch.

How would it fit into the story? Why are you there? Why are the NPCs there? Who is there? What do you accomplish in the zone? Where are the flight paths? Where are the horde/alliance towns? Is it needed? What does it add to the game?

Figuring out the answers to these questions and then implementing these answers takes a lot more work than you are giving them credit for.

[ Post edited by Bornakk ]

Blue Poster
# 70 - Blizzard: Azeroth zones underdevelopment? - May 28, 2009, 11:39 am

Q u o t e:
So if I were to answer all those questions for you, would you consider adding Hyjal then?

The key word here is "consider" - we consider a lot of things on a regular basis, they may just take years to actually be released. Obviously we worked on Hyjal back when World of Warcraft first came out, so technically you can probably say we've been considering it for over 5 years now. The years will keep adding up on this until we feel it is right.

So what does this tell us? Well, I see two implications:

a) Despite what some may have you believe, Blizzard is not simply enacting a Master Plan that they've had in mind since Vanilla WoW concerning what content they'll have in game - things like Azuremyst Island were not in the Vanilla WoW map because they had not been envisaged yet. To me this is obvious but it's a subject of reasonable discussion.

b) (Present) Hyjal is not being worked on at the moment. This might not be a surprise, but it's an interesting reconfirmation since arguably not working on Hyjal indicates that Blizzard isn't working on the whole cluster of content that would probably be associated with Hyjal... *cough*Emerald Dream*cough* But I'm not going to break my no-speculation resolution that easily, just throw that out there.

One thing I'd like to see on this blog at some point are a series of posts which attempt to piece together how various unimplemented areas such as Hyjal and Azshara Crater and Uldum and Grim Batol, etc. etc. have had their plans changed throughout the development process. But I'm not going to half-ass it off the top of my head... it'd require a fair amount of data-gathering and so it'll have to be saved for a later date.

Update for Argent Tournament Dailies

Context: After completing the Valiant dailies for all factions at the Argent Tournament, that set of quests becomes unavailable. Some players remarked that it cut into returns from dailies, and the Blues have stated that there is a fix/workaround in progress to remedy this. However, Bornakk stated:

"Since this change will require a fair amount of work it won't happen until patch 3.2. And yes, we have more changes planned than just letting you do the valiant quests, a lot more changes really."

This matches with other statements made since 3.1 that there would be expansions to the Argent Tournament in 3.2, including the Coliseum announcements.

Bornakk on Unfinished Content

Not related to any specific lore, but some insight into the content development process:

What this question is really relating to is something that happens during development of any content so I will try and give a quick example that hopefully makes sense.

Lets say we start out with 10 (arbitrary number for this example) things we want to implement. During the development we cut out 2 of them that we feel weren't as cool as we originally we wanted, then later on, we cut 2 other things because we don't have the time for them and prefer to focus on the other 6 items. Just because these 4 things were cut doesn't mean they aren't in the game files in some primitive form (e.g. blank spots of land), they are just things that players don't have access to.

Any content that gets cut is something we may end up taking a look at it again in the future, but only if we feel it is a good time and will be a be a really positive addition to the game. We are totally fine with putting it off for years/indefinitely (hi Ravasaur trainer!) if necessary too especially when there are new ideas that we feel are better and will add more to the game, even if it means going in an Outland-ish direction.


3.2 News Roundup

I'm sure you've seen this news already, but this is an archive after all, so here it is again.

From the Under Development Page:

  • The Argent Tournament Expands: With the help of Azeroth's heroes, the Argent Crusade will finish the Argent Coliseum just in time to call for all brave citizens to prepare for battle with the Lich King. New dailies, rewards, and more will be available at the Argent Tournament grounds to lure adventurers into the coliseum.

  • Crusaders' Coliseum: In order to prepare for a siege on Icecrown Citadel, players will be called by the Argent Crusade to test their mettle in the Coliseum. 5-player, 10-player, and 25-player challenges await inside.

  • New Battleground: Isle of Conquest, a new large-scale siege Battleground, will be open. The Horde and Alliance will battle head-to-head for control of strategic resources to lay siege to the keeps of their opponents.

Additionally, from various blue posts around the forums:

Finally, blue poster Kisirani confirms that a Thunder Bluff <-> Orgrimmar zeppelin will be added in an upcoming patch. Minor news, but worth a mention.

Bornakk on Tyr


Tyr went on a path he felt he must follow... whether or not we learn about this journey remains to be seen.
Just to refresh: Tyr was a Watcher referred to in the Storm Peaks quests who was mysteriously absent from anything related to Ulduar. Whether Blizzard just "forgot" about him is unknown, but at least Bornakk was nice enough to imply that he hasn't been retconned out of existence.