Blizzard has provided the first solid details on Ulduar, the raid zone that will serve as the first major new content in the game since the launch of second expansion Wrath of the Lich King.
It promises a huge, two-stage zone featuring vehicle combat, 14 bosses, and a hard mode for seasoned raiders, and calls Ulduar "World of Warcraft's most ambitious raid to date".
According to the official site, Ulduar is all about scale. "Many players have already gotten their Wrath of the Lich King raiding feet wet in Naxxramas and the Sartharion raid, but Ulduar is the first example of the expansion's much larger, truly epic scope of raiding, as will be evident from the second you set foot in the instance," reads the preview.
Eurogamer has it on good authority that Ulduar's size will surpass that of the Sunwell, the climactic raid of the game's Burning Crusade era.
Beyond the gates to Ulduar in the Storm Peaks region, players will find "a horror even the Titans could not, would not destroy, an evil they merely... Contained. Beneath ancient Ulduar, the Old God of death lies, whispering.... Tread carefully, or his prison will become your tomb."
Ulduar will be composed of two distinct areas. The first is an "epic battle against a vast army standing between you and the entrance of the dungeon proper". You'll be able to face this Iron Army down and defeat the Flame Leviathan tank using motorcycles, demolishers and siege engines.
Of the dungeon's 14 bosses, 11 will have Hard Modes - optional ways to adjust the difficulty of the encounter and improve the loot, similar to the current Sartharion raid in Wrath of the Lich King.
"Ulduar isn't the first dungeon to include Hard Mode, but it certainly makes the most use of it. Out of 14 bosses, 11 will have a Hard Mode that offers additional challenges and rewards," said Blizzard.
"Ulduar will appeal to a wide range of play styles, but the dungeon also has great longevity and a high replay value."
Expect patch 3.1 - containing Ulduar and the new dual specs - to be available on the public test servers "very soon", and in the live game within the next month or two.
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