Updated Tue, Feb 02, 2010 by Messiah
Arthas makes his last stand in this patch.
This Tuesday sees the release of what is likely to be the last big patch to World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. The patch is 3.3.2 and releases several big things into the game as well as changing quite a few existing things as well. The biggest additions are the release of the last wing in Icecrown Citadel and therefore the Lich King himself, the start of the 8th Arena Season, and the addition of a 4th boss to the Vault of Archavon named Toravon. Some of the other changes though are pretty interesting as well, so let’s start small and work our way up to the bigger changes.
One change that many players are looking forward to is the simplification and speed up of several instances. This has become important since almost everyone has now seen the story elements in the instances now, and understands the lore, there is little point in delaying players with it. Some of the examples include: Brann moving faster in the Halls of Stone, The Devourer of Souls casts Mirrored Soul less often in the Forge of Souls, and Anomalus casting less rifts in the Nexus. There are many more such changes being implement as well. None significantly change the fights, just make them less tedious to do over and over again.
There are several class changes that are being put into the game, the affect Druids, Shaman, Warlocks, and Warriors. Druids get their Earth and Moon talent buffed to double its spell damage increase. Shaman get their Shamanism talent buffed to do an addition 5% damage at its top end. Warlocks get several increases to abilities such as Shadow Embrace stacking 3 times instead of 2 (even though its healing goes down slightly per stack), Demonic Pact gets its benefit doubled, as does Conflagrate, Empowered Imp, and Improved Shadow Bolt. All of these three classes have been struggling to keep up in raid damage at the top end of raiding, and these changes appear to be an attempt to bring them into line until the complete class revamp coming in Cataclysm. I am not sure it will be enough, but every little bit helps these classes and is much appreciated.
Warriors have their Shield Slam ability cause less damage per hit, but generate additional threat. This should make no difference to tanking, but likely messes with the PvP Protection Warriors that have become all too common. Another change that appears to be aimed at PvP is the Warbringer talent not breaking roots or snares when you charge or intercept.
There are a few gear changes as well. Such as strength based DPS players finally having a valid Ashen Verdict reputation Ring available that grants Strength. Also the Tier 10 Elemental Shaman 4 piece set bonus has been changed to grant more damage by increasing the Flame Shock on the target by 6 seconds.
Now that we have looked at the smaller changes let’s look at the big changes.
The first is that there will be a new VOA raid boss the defeat, providing yet another place to get Frost Badges and high quality raiding gear from a fairly short raid instance. This may not be a big deal to high end raiding guilds, but it does provide fairly easy access to great gear to casual raiders who can easily PUG VOA.
Next up is the start of the 8th Arena Season. How big of a deal this is to you really depends on how much of a fan you are of Arena PVP. Even if you do not like Arenas though, it should help you out in Battlegrounds since newer PvP gear is typically available for Honor each new season. Also keep in mind that this will be the last Arena Season and PVP gear available at level 80, the next season will likely not be until Cataclysm is out and players have reached level 85.
Lastly, and most importantly, the last bosses in Icecrown Citadel become available. This means that guilds will now have a chance at Valithria Dreamwalker, Sindragosa, and depending if they can get there with the limited attempts available the Lich King himself. This means that essentially the full WOTLK cycle will be complete. Again how important this is to you depends if you are in a high end raiding guild right now. As time passes though, more and more players will build up the gear to be able to attempt the Lich King and see the end of the expansion for them selves.
Overall this seems like a very solid patch and has something for almost everyone. After all if you have played WoW for any length of time and have a level 80 you probably spend most of your time either PvP, Raid, or running instances.
Looking for the complete patch notes? We have them right here: Full Patch 3.3.2 Notes.