Tankspot's Patch 3.3 Survival Guide
It's official, Patch 3.3 drops today (or tomorrow for our EU visitors)! To help you keep on top of all the new features coming in this patch (and give you something to do while we all wait for the servers to come back up), we've put together what I'm going to call Tankspot's Patch 3.3 Survival Guide. Follow through the break below, and don't forget to check out the new Weekly Marmot videos also!
Patch 3.3: Fall of the Lich King
Table of Contents
- Icecrown Citadel
- User Interface Updates
- Major Class Changes
- Weekly Raid Quests
- Official Patch Notes
The largest addition in Patch 3.3 is the opening of Icecrown Citadel as a new dungeon hub. It consists of three 5-man wings, and one massive raid dungeon.
Icecrown Raid Dungeon
The Icecrown raid dungeon (most commonly referred to simply as Icecrown Citadel or ICC) contains a total of twelve encounters, including the Lich King himself. Like all Wrath of the Lich King raid content, ICC can be attempted on 10-man or 25-man modes. All of the encounters feature hard modes as well, however with a slightly different implementation than in Ulduar or Trial of the Crusader.
Icecrown hard modes will be activated by using a simple toggle in the UI. The interface implementation is similar to switching between Normal and Heroic ToC. However, there is no separate raid lockout for hard mode Icecrown attempts; the switch is made from inside the instance. If you wish to attempt, for example, Heroic Sindragosa, you would simply set the toggle to Heroic before pulling. This activates the heroic mode, along with any new mechanics or increases in boss health and damage, and sets the loot table to drop Heroic-quality items. This can be changed mid-clear, so if you've just killed Heroic Rotface but wish to complete the rest of the instance (or even just the next boss) on normal mode, you can simply switch the toggle back to Normal.
Initially, only four encounters will be available: Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, the Gunship Battle, and Deathbringer Saurfang. After several weeks (no official statement has been made with an actual timeframe), the Plagueworks will be opened, and the Rotface, Festergut, and Professor Putricide encounters will be available. After another few weeks, the Crimson Hall will be opened, giving access to the Blood Princes and Blood-Queen Lana'thel. A few weeks after that, the final gate to the Frostwing Halls will open, allowing access to Valthiria Dreamwalker, Sindragosa, and the Lich King.
There is also a limited attempts system in place, similar to the one seen in Heroic Trial of the Crusader, but with a few key differences. First, the attempts will only count against four bosses: Putricide, Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. Second, failed attempts will be counted regardless of whether you were attempting the Normal or Heroic version of the encounter. Third, although only 5 attempts will be available for Professor Putricide when the Plagueworks first open, this number increases to 10 when the Crimson Hall opens and 15 when the Frostwing Halls open. These attempts are shared between all four "main" bosses, so if you have 10 available attempts total and wipe twice on Putricide before killing him, you will have 8 attempts remaining to kill Lana'thel. Finally, more attempts will be rewarded every few weeks after the Frostwing Halls open (it is unknown so far what the maximum number will be).
Item level distribution is similar to that seen in Trial of the Crusader:
- Ilevel 251 gear drops from 10-man Normal encounters
- Ilevel 264 gear drops from 25-man Normal and 10-man Heroic encounters
- Ilevel 277 gear drops from 25-man Heroic encounters
Tier 10 gear utilizes a similar, but more fluid version of the system seen in ToC. All T10 items begin at Item Level 251, and are purchased with Emblems of Frost. Shoulders and Gloves cost 60 Emblems of Frost, other pieces cost 95. You may then upgrade this ilevel 251 item to ilevel 264 by collecting a class-specific token (split by the standard Protector/Vanquisher/Conqueror class split seen on armor tokens from previous tiers) and trading that, along with your ilevel 251 piece, for the upgraded item. Ilevel 264 items can be upgraded to ilevel 277 in the same way with a Heroic-quality token. There is no way to collect the ilevel 264 or 277 items without first obtaining an item of the previous tier -- so don't feel like you're wasting badges by buying the 251 versions!
ICC also has its own dungeon-specific faction: the Ashen Verdict. You may raise your reputation with them by defeating enemies within either 10 or 25-man ICC. Aside from providing unique ilevel 264 profession patterns, the Ashen Verdict will also provide you with an upgradeable ring (with physical DPS, caster DPS, healer, and tank options available). Upgrades are given with each increase in faction, and you may swap your ring out for a different type at any time for the cost of 200 gold.
Many pre-release guides are already available here on TankSpot for Icecrown Citadel encounters. These can be found in our Icecrown Citadel Strategy forum. Of course, we will be also releasing in-depth video guides within the days and weeks to come!
New 5-Man Dungeons
Three new 5-Man dungeons are available with the opening of Icecrown Citadel: the Forge of Souls, the Pit of Saron, and the Halls of Reflection. These are tied together through an epic quest line in which players assist either Jaina Proudmoore or Sylvanas Windrunner (depending on your faction) in an important mission deep inside the Lich King's lair.
The first of the three wings is the Forge of Souls. Two bosses are found inside: Bronjahm the Godfather of Souls, and The Devourer of Souls. Only by defeating these two will you gain access to the Pit of Saron, where you will find Forgemaster Garfrost, Krick and Ick, and Scourgelord Tyrannus. As before, defeating them will give access to the final wing: the Halls of Reflection. Here, Falric and Marwyn guard the entrance to the Lich King's private chambers... where he waits, patiently.
All three wings feature a Normal and Heroic mode, and are treated as separate instances for purposes of lockout timers. Boss kills on Normal mode reward players with item level 219 gear, and Heroic mode rewards are item level 232.
Access to the Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon also means access to the legendary axe, Shadowmourne. At least eventually. All we know from direct testing on the PTR is that the chain is only available to Warriors, Death Knights, and Paladins who have reached Friendly reputation with the Ashen Verdict. Aside from a hefty requirement of 25 Primordial Saronite, the first step of the chain requires you to kill Festergut and Rotface, who will not be accessible until the first gate opens. Primordial Saronite are the Crusader Orbs of the Icecrown raid instance, and may also be purchased for 23 Emblems of Frost. Players interested in pursuing this quest line may want to consider saving their emblems.
More information on Shadowmourne is available on the Official World of Warcraft site: World of Warcraft Community Site
Shadowmourne isn't the only epic questline opening in 3.3 -- the Quel'Delar chain is now fully available as well. Unlike Shadowmourne, the Quel'Delar chain is completeable by any class, and offers appropriate rewards as well (although DPS specs will likely find the final result more rewarding). Beginning the chain, however, could be very difficult -- you must first be lucky enough to find Quel'Delar's battered hilt.
User Interface Updates
Many updates and improvements to the quest log and world map are being introduced. A detailed writeup is available on the official World of Warcraft site, but the short and sweet version is that finding quest objectives will be much much easier than ever before. Opening the world map will not only display quest log information for all of your active quests in the area, but selecting a quest will show areas of interest such as NPC locations and mob spawns as well.
The LFG system has received a complete overhaul in the form of the new Dungeon Finder tool. This functions very similar to the Battleground system; solo players or small groups can enter a queue, with a handful of possible options, and the tool will fill out the group and give the players an option to teleport directly to the dungeon.
Players are given the opportunity to select instances they'd like to run, or to have the Dungeon Finder randomly select an instance to place them in. Should players select the Random Dungeon option, they will be rewarded with two Emblems of Frost (on Heroic) or Emblems of Triumph (on normal) at the end of the run. This, along with the weekly raid quests (see below), replaces the current Daily Heroic system.
The Dungeon Finder is much more careful in creating a group than the LFG tool -- aside from ensuring that every group has both a tank and a healer, it also checks a player's gear to make sure they're matching them up with similarly-geared players (and avoid putting them in an instance they're simply not ready for). To help ensure there's always a good pool of potential groupmates, cross-realm dungeons are now possible!
The official patch notes have many more details on this exciting new system.
Major Class Changes
This section will only list the class changes that are significant enough to noticeably impact the way you play your character. For a more complete listing of changes, see the official patch notes.
- Taunt Diminishing Returns: We've revised the system for diminishing returns on Taunt so that creatures do not become immune to Taunt until after 5 Taunts have landed. The duration of the Taunt effect will be reduced by 35% instead of 50% for each taunt landed. In addition, most creatures in the world will not be affected by Taunt diminishing returns at all. Creatures will only have Taunt diminishing returns if they have been specifically flagged for that behavior based on the design of a given encounter.
- Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle: There is now a 1-handed version of this rune in addition to the current 2-handed rune.
- Rune Strike: Threat generated by this ability increased by approximately 17%.
- Scourge Strike: Redesigned. The base ability now deals 50% weapon damage plus an additional amount as physical damage. However, for each disease the death knight has on the target, the target will take additional shadow damage equal to 25% of the physical damage done.
- Rebirth: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 20 minutes down to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
- Gift of the Earthmother: Redesigned. This talent now increases spell haste by 2/4/6/8/10% and reduces the base global cooldown of Lifebloom by 2/4/6/8/10% instead of its previous effects.
- Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.
- Pet talents have seem some fairly significant changes, check the official notes for details
- Arcane Empowerment: This talent now also grants 1/2/3% increased damage done by the mage's party or raid for 10 seconds after the mage gets a critical strike with Arcane Explosion, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Barrage, or Arcane Blast. This effect is exclusive with Ferocious Inspiration and Sanctified Retribution.
- Deep Freeze: This spell now deals a large amount of damage to targets permanently immune to stuns. In addition, when this ability deals damage it will no longer consume two charges of Fingers of Frost for those mages with the Shatter talent.
- Frozen Core: This talent now also causes Ice Lance critical strikes to reduce the cast time of the mage's next Frostbolt or Frostfire Bolt by 0.4/0.7/1 seconds.
- Flash of Light: This spell no longer causes a heal-over-time effect unless the player has the Infusion of Light talent.
- Lay on Hands: This ability will place Forbearance on the paladin if used on his or herself. It will not place Forbearance on others.
- Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration.
- Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin's health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases. Finally, damage which reduces the paladin's health below 20% now cancels the effect early.
- Shadowform: This talent also now causes Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch to benefit from haste. Both the period length and the duration of these spells will be reduced by haste. In addition, the mana cost has been reduced from 32% to 13% of base mana.
- Deadly Poison: In addition to its existing effects, when a rogue applies Deadly Poison to a target which has already reached the maximum number of applications, this will also trigger the poison which the rogue is using on his or her other weapon.
- Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.
- Reincarnation: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 60 minutes down to 30 minutes.
- Create Soulstone: The cooldown on this spell and duration of its buff have been lowered from 30 minutes down to 15 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
- Decimation: Redesigned. When Shadowbolt, Incinerate or Soul Fire hit a target that is at or below 35% health, the cast time of Soul Fire is reduced by 20/40% for 8 seconds. Soul Fires cast under the effect of Decimation cost no shards.
- Molten Core: Redesigned. This talent now increases the duration of Immolate by 3/6/9 seconds and provides a 4/8/12% chance to gain the Molten Core effect when Corruption deals damage. The Molten Core effect empowers the next 3 Incinerate or Soul Fire spells cast within 15 seconds (Incinerate: increases damage done by 6/12/18% and reduces cast time by 10/20/30%; Soul Fire: increases damage done by 6/12/18% and increases critical strike chance by 5/10/15%). Molten Core now has a new spell effect.
- Conflagrate: Redesigned. This talent now consumes an Immolate or Shadowflame effect on the enemy target to instantly deal damage equal to 9 seconds of Immolate or 8 seconds of Shadowflame, and causes additional damage over 3 seconds equal to 3 seconds of Immolate or 2 seconds of Shadowflame. In addition, the periodic damage of Conflagrate is capable of critically striking the afflicted target.
- Victory Rush: This ability is now trainable at level 6.
Weekly Raid Quests
Archmade Lan'dalock, who used to offer the Daily Heroic quests, now offers a raid-oriented alternative. Every week, one raid boss will be selected, and players who successfully defeat that boss (as long as they have the quest in their log) will be rewarded with 5 Emblems of Frost and 5 Emblems of Triumph. All of the possible targets are very early in their respective instances, so this should serve as a quick and easy way for raiding guilds to grab some extra badges.
Official Patch Notes
The official and complete notes for patch 3.3 can be found on the official World of Warcraft site: WoW -> Patch Notes -> Current Patch Notes. You may also find more information on Blizzard's official Patch 3.3 compendium.