With World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we have known for a while here would be a few raids added that weren’t in with launch. The wealth of knowledge about the Firelands raid, zone and questing around it suggests Blizzard might be taking larger scale approach to each raid tier. Not just a raid instance that hardly tells a story and where most of the people raiding those instances don’t care about or at the very least lose interest after doing the instance the first dozen times. So I thought I would share some of my thoughts based on what information we have on what we are going to get in the War of the Ancients Raid Patch.
This article will focus on out of game sources of information. The War of the Ancients has key ties to the Cataclysm. First and foremost, the War of the Ancients(WotA) was the original time the world changed. The second key point is that was the moment Deathwing broke free and went full evil and third is that the Cataclysm has brought the return of the Ancients. The Ancients, much like the Dragons, tended to work on the edges of mortal societies; yes, they had interactions but on a whole, those interactions were limited. Now like the Dragons, the Ancients return to help mortal races and likely will stay connected even after the current conflict is over.
So enough with back story, there will be enough of that as we go, the key to the WotA raids for us is Deathwing. Something is going back in time to disrupt the creation of the Demon Soul or trying to steal it from the past. We have a few early pieces of art from the World of Warcraft: Collectors Edition DVD which show the Demon soul being a focus.
While the art is very basic, it’s consistent with other early blizzard art. My logic is this: these images are why would they draw new images for the DVD when they no doubt have a bunch of Concept art for the raid already done. These images are the only ones of these unfinished quality in the whole DVD, and no WotA images are in the Art Book which also came with the Collectors Edition.
In any case, this image is of Deathwing holding the Demon Soul. Hard to say where in the timeline this would be but if we are assuming a Richard A. Knaak WotA trilogy timeline, that would most likely put it some where in the first ¾ of the second book. Or right before Malfurion and Rhonin steal the Demon Soul from Deathwing’s lair in the third book. Deathwing’s lair makes a lot of sense for raid instance. This is where his original armoring in adamantium plates took place by Goblins under the Forman Meklo. Much of this art already exists in Deepholm at Deathwing’s Fall. With the finial raid of Cataclysm being Deathwing’s Lair, this would give them a chance to make use of some art assets that can be used in two raids and not just one. From a story point of view, I think when Malfurion and Rhonin makes more sense for a raid.
Our next image is of a very pissed off Deathwing and another Dragon. Now, if we were having a raid focusing around when Malfurion and Rhonin steal the Demon Soul, then this Dragon would most likely be Korialstrasz/Krasus, much like in the way we were forced to kill Archimonde in the Battle for Mount Hyjal Instance, Malfuron and Rhonin never fought Deathwing, but with 10/25 people backing them up they can get away so Illidan can beat them up and steal the Demon soul, just as it happened before, much like how Back Morass ended with the Orcs coming to Azeroth. We the players drive off Deathwing, only to have Illidan come and steal the Demon Soul. It should be noted Metzen has said he is unhappy with the way Illidan story ended.
These two images give us an idea for part of the story but this seems more like an instance quest than full raid. Let’s look at the other key moments Blizzard did art for.
This image is of Deathing draining another dragon of its essence and putting into the Demon Soul. This took place in Wyrmrest Temple, something that is already in the game. I think this moment makes more sense for something that would be in a quest rather than as part of the raid. A trip to Wyrmrest would take a while.
This is an image of a gathering of dragons which hadn’t happened before or since when the Dragons grouped up to drive back the Burning Legion. Which was followed by Deathwings betrayal.
This is when Deathwing turned on all those around him, destroying almost all the Blue Dragonflight. He is killing Legion and mortals with no distinction; from a storytelling point of view this is a key moment in Deathwings story. If there is a WotA raid this moment almost has to be in it.
This image is of Deathwing holding Demon Soul again. Deathwing, in a fit of horrible, sadly uncreative writing has a very One Ring relationship with Demon Soul. Only rather, than being a twisted Hobbit, it’s a giant dragon holding a plain gold disc not much bigger than an orc’s hand.
Anyways, speaking of uncreative writing the end of the WotA Trilogy, the Demon Soul was put in the middle of the Well of Eternity to power the portal that will let Sargaras into Azeroth. Try as they might our Heroes are now a familiar cast: Malfurion, Rhonin, Broxxagar, Alexstrasza,,and Ysera. Lucky for them, Deathwing is fighting the commands of the Old Gods to get his precious, er, Demon Soul, back.
Deathwing flying with everything he has in this picture, to get to something. Yes, you could say it might be related to the earlier pissed off picture, but the blood coming out the eyes suggests a madness more than anger. That fits a moment late in the WotA Trilogy. Where Deathwing is trying to recover the Demon Soul despite the Old Gods telling him not too, and Sargarus needing the Demon Soul as well as the power of the Well of Eternity to enter Azeroth.
The last picture I would like to show you is this. I have no idea what is going on here. I have talked about this a bit before. Clearly that is Frostmorune, and the Dragon in the center is Deathwing from the context of the DVD. Could this be part of the reason we needed to go back in time? The shards of Frostmourne are said to be missing. Due to MANY retcons, Frostmourne’s origins are confusing at best. Maybe Deathwing is tied to the cursed blade in a way we never knew, or maybe Blizzard is setting up future story lines. Heaven forbid.
Hearthcast Episode #284: Prepare Yourselves - Hearthcast Episode #284: Prepare Yourselves - Rewt and Freckleface talk about the importance of being prepared for a boss on week one of LFR