Bruuin

Ulduar! [SPOILERS]

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MMO-Link.

For countless millennia, Ulduar has remained undisturbed by mortals, far away from their concerns and their struggles. But since its recent discovery, many have wondered what the structure's original purpose may have been. Some thought it a city, built to herald the glory of its makers; some thought it a vault containing innumerable treasures, perhaps even relics of the mighty Titans themselves. They were wrong. Beyond its gates lies no city, no treasure vault, no final answer to the Titan's mysteries. All that awaits those who dare set foot in Ulduar is 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.

As the next step in tiered raid progression in Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar is set to blow players away with gorgeous setpieces, sprawling battlefields, and innovative boss encounters. Ulduar's design aims to provide a fun, unique, and innovative raid experience, but it also includes additional challenges - and rewards - for seasoned raiders. In this sneak-peek at World of Warcraft's newest raid dungeon, we'll take a look at some of the new content that makes Ulduar rise above the crop of amazing dungeons already available in World of Warcraft.

Welcome to Ulduar

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. The most obvious difference between Ulduar and its predecessors is that the dungeon actually comprises two separate raid areas. The first section is an epic battle against a vast army standing between you and the entrance of the dungeon proper; in the second area, you will dive into the heart of the dungeon itself and finally discover the secrets of Ulduar.

Ulduar's new master has rallied his own massive Iron Army to guard the entrance to Ulduar and to prevent any unwanted guests - including you, especially you - from reaching the inner sanctum. Thankfully, you'll be able to face the Iron Army on even footing: although the main Horde and Alliance forces are focused on the forces beyond the Wrathgate and on each other, some who are better able to appreciate the true magnitude of Ulduar's threat have managed to scrap together a small fleet of siege vehicles to aid you in the assault.

You and your friends will have to use these vehicles wisely to break through Ulduar's defenses. A mix of motorcycles, demolishers, and siege engines will be at your disposal, each granting unique abilities to the pilot and the passenger. Motorcycle drivers, for example, can create pools of liquid tar that snare opponents and can be set on fire by area effect attacks, while demolisher passengers can load themselves into the vehicle's catapult so that the pilot can launch them into the distance. If used judiciously, these and other abilities will help decimate the Iron Army and any other threats lying in wait between you and Ulduar.

One such threat is the Flame Leviathan. After you've plowed through the innumerable ranks of the Iron Army, you will be confronted by an enormous tank. Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, which means that it packs quite a punch. Normal spells and abilities won't be enough to take down this juggernaut, so you will have to rely on your siege vehicles to outmaneuver and defeat the boss. After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank's back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on. Of course, if you'd like an additional challenge beyond this naturally frantic (but extremely fun) fight, you can try your hand at one of the Flame Leviathan's different Hard Modes (see sidebar).

Of course, the vehicle gauntlet, the Iron Army, and the battle against the Flame Leviathan are only the start of World of Warcraft's most ambitious raid to date. Patch 3.1 will hit the Public Test Realms very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself what other challenges await beyond the gates of ancient Ulduar.

Hard Boiled

Ulduar brilliantly illustrates the new design challenges and innovations that come with the bigger scope of the expansion's raids. In order to make raid content more accessible, it has to offer a lot of variety, but it also needs to include a very granular means for players to adjust a raid's difficulty. This concept was first realized in the Burning Crusade with the introduction of Heroic mode, and Wrath of the Lich King is developing the idea even further with new Hard Modes.

Boss fights that have a Hard Mode are affected by certain variables which players can control and which change the encounter's difficulty. For example, spread throughout Ulduar's vehicle section are four defense towers you can destroy. The more towers you leave intact, the harder the encounter with the Flame Leviathan will be, but the loot will also be better.

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. Ulduar will appeal to a wide range of play styles, but the dungeon also has great longevity and a high replay value.

I will put this out here:

For countless millennia, Ulduar has remained undisturbed by mortals, far away from their concerns and their struggles. But since its recent discovery, many have wondered what the structure's original purpose may have been. Some thought it a city, built to herald the glory of its makers; some thought it a vault containing innumerable treasures, perhaps even relics of the mighty Titans themselves. They were wrong. Beyond its gates lies no city, no treasure vault, no final answer to the Titan's mysteries. All that awaits those who dare set foot in Ulduar is 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.

MMO has a bunch of pictures too:

ss1.jpg

ss2.jpg

ss3.jpg

ss4.jpg

ss5.jpg

Also, is that chick the one from Sholzar?

Edit: Yogg-Saron, I choose you!

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I bet the Forge Giant is Mimir, the frosty guy is Hodir, and the woman is Freya. They're all there either trying to contain Yogg-Saron or corrupted and working for him.

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I'm thinking the woman is the same model, but I doubt the same exact unit.

It's not the exact same model, but similar, maybe another of Freya's avatars.

I bet the Forge Giant is Mimir, the frosty guy is Hodir, and the woman is Freya. They're all there either trying to contain Yogg-Saron or corrupted and working for him.

Mimir and Freya are both Titans, and no longer on Azeroth. Hodir is dead.

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Mimir and Freya are NOT titans.

They are the watchers that the Titans left in their stead to watch over their creations.

The bosses so far announced in the instance are:

Freya (The woman in the screenshot)

Thorim (Not in the screenshots here but we've already met him questing in Storm Peaks)

Hodir (The Frost Giant in the screen shot)

The Iron Council

And Mimir is female btw.

Ulduar

EDIT: The preview on WoW EU already is giving me goosebumps:

"Some thought it a city, built to herald the glory of its makers; some thought it a vault containing innumerable treasures, perhaps even relics of the mighty Titans themselves. They were wrong. Beyond its gates lies no city, no treasure vault, no final answer to the Titan's mysteries. All that awaits those who dare set foot in Ulduar is 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."

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Also:

One such threat is the Flame Leviathan. After you've plowed through the innumerable ranks of the Iron Army, you will be confronted by an enormous tank. Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, which means that it packs quite a punch. Normal spells and abilities won't be enough to take down this juggernaut, so you will have to rely on your siege vehicles to outmaneuver and defeat the boss. After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank's back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on. Of course, if you'd like an additional challenge beyond this naturally frantic (but extremely fun) fight, you can try your hand at one of the Flame Leviathan's different Hard Modes (see sidebar).

Holy Hell....awesome.

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*Nordic mythology fangirl squeal*

Man, I wonder what the fights are going to be like, and if they're going to have the same powers, abilities, and even loot that the gods they're based off of do.

I'm willing to bet that you have to kill all these watchers because they were corrupted, since Loken uses the power of Yogg-Saron on Thorim, and I really doubt it just killed him.

I would gather the Brood Mother that was Thorim's mount is in there somewhere too... Loken said he had other plans for her but so far it's not been said what was done with her.

Totally looking forward to this. :D

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That's what I get for playing Horde, the Alliance version of the questline getting more...

The quests in Storm Peaks for Horde and Alliance are nearly identical.

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The quests in Storm Peaks for Horde and Alliance are nearly identical.

Not for that part. I've done all the quests in Storm Peaks, and the ones involving Brann are vastly different.

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The only differences are that the Horde end up having to do a few different-versions of the alliance quests (For one, they need to actually UNDERSTAND Brann before talking to him)

I'm comparing the two chains on WoW Wiki, and about 65% of them are similar.

Of course, the Alliance one has extra because it ends with Alliance players finding out who Yorg Stormheart is.

Oh we also get to travel to each "site" and see them destroyed and the watchers missing. (Which I'll admit is a big part of the lore, and its awesome :P)

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Thorim actually wasn't killed, he was captured along with his proto-drake.

Loken says something like he's expecting it did or will kill him... considering he's beatable in the 5 man instance and Thorim can kick his ass in a fair fight, I doubt Loken was really privy to what Yogg-Saron was planning. He was a peon... an impressive peon, but still a peon.

I kinda have an issue with that, since Loki in Nordic Mythology leads the armies of Titans in rebellion and overthrowing of the Gods and razing Azhgard... Blizzard making a questline villain after him that's killed in a 5 man instance is a bit of a letdown.

Also Fallacy, it's just the fact that Brann was and is an Alliance side lore character. For Horde side, he'd just be something that people happen to come across while raiding the Halls of Stone looking for treasures. I don't see anyone, other than maybe Taurens, having any interest in dwarven or gnomish lore about how they were created, and even then Taurens would just be like "I want to know where the little bastard short people came from because they keep blowing up our lands and raiding our villages on Kalimdor!".

Unfortunately I can't really think of any Horde side lore characters that had questlines that were much more indepth hordeside than they were for Alliance... except for maybe the guys in Blackrock Mountain. Alliance were really only giving a crap about them because they were the guys responsible for some of the Orc invasions of the human kingdoms, and some of the orcs continuing to raid places like Redridge.

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considering he's beatable in the 5 man instance

This is not sound logic for anything regarding relationships between Lore and defeatability (yay 4 made up words) in the warcraft universe.

For example, Kael'thas in MrT.

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This is not sound logic for anything regarding relationships between Lore and defeatability (yay 4 made up words) in the warcraft universe.

For example, Kael'thas in MrT.

After being a 25 man raid boss for how long?... Blizzard at least did that much for him as one of their lore characters before making him stab himself with a crack-crystal to rant and scream in MgT.

If Loken comes back in a raid instance having tapped into some unstable and destructive power source as a last ditch attempt to complete his goals and becomes an actual raid boss, then that'd be cool.

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So it's okay lore-wise for a guy to go from a 5-man boss that's killed over and over and over to a 25-man boss, ala Rivendare or your hypothetical Loken example, but it's UNPOSSIBLE! for that same 5-man boss to have access to the inner workings of a 25-man boss's dark plots?

I'm just saying, in Warcraft Lore so far, the level or raid status of a character has been kept completely irrelevant to what they can or have accomplished lore-wise. Which, in my opinion is a good thing.

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Newest update from MMO-Champion:

The first set of boss encounters to get testing will include:

* Freya

* Thorim

* Hodir

* The Iron Council

http://www.mmo-champion.com/

Well, the chick from Sholzar AND Thorim.

Edit: Whoops. It is the Avatar of Freya in Sholazar. So, you actually go up against Freya, daughter of the Titans. :o

Freya is the daughter of titans. Avatar of Freya, the Lifewarden, is the embodiment of one of the aspects of Freya. She left Avatar of Freya on Azeroth, issuing it one task it couldn't fail: to protect life on the world at any cost.[1]

Freya resided at the Temple of Life in the eastern Storm Peaks until Loken started his rebellion against the other titanic watchers. Today, she is absent.[2] It is said that evidence indicates a significant battle and that the opponent of Watcher Freya was estimated to be of similar size and strength to Watcher Freya. Temple guardians are no longer present and plant forms associated with the temple are deceased.

[Link]

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