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Gallowyn
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PostSubject: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:37 am

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/underdev/3p1/ulduar.xml

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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.
Ulduar on PTR

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Ok, we're getting close to the point where we will need testing of Ulduar boss encounters on PTR, so let's talk about Ulduar testing!

We're going to be performing testing differently than in the past. We're looking for much more targeted feedback, and we don't want to just have the zone freely open and allow extended, unsupervised testing to take place. So, when the PTR servers come up with 3.1.0, by default Ulduar will be turned completely off. We'll instead enable Ulduar and specific bosses during times where the encounter team can observe testing.

Shortly after 3.1.0 PTR is up and running, I'll post a schedule that will indicate when we will open specific bosses to testing. We'll have testing opportunities for both EU and NA region PTRs in their respective prime time playing hours. There might also be a boss or two we do leave up for extended testing, and some bosses will only be tested in either the EU or NA. Some encounters won't be up on the PTR at all! There's 14 boss encounters in Ulduar, there will be lots to test. The schedule will be quite flexible, check in the Dungeons & Raids forum and on the PTR forum for updates.

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

Freya
Thorim
Hodir
The Iron Council

Both 10 player and 25 player versions of the encounters will be open to testing, and we expect players to have nearly full Naxxramas gear. While Jillian McWeaksauce might make appearances on the PTR to provide testing consumables, please try to bring your own.

I hope to see raid groups of many different skill levels on the 3.1.0 PTR servers when they become available!

Additional info on first boss

The first boss has you enter 1 of 3 different vehicles (Chopper, Demolisher, and Siege Engine) to fight your way through an immense Iron army to the Flame Leviathan and defeat him. After that, there's very little use of vehicles by players. We'll have the fight up on the PTR at a later date, but this fight isn't in the first wave of boss encounters to be tested.

Actually, the effectiveness of the vehicles in the Flame Leviathan fight changes depending on the quality of the gear. So someone in full Naxxramas epics (or Ulduar epics!) will have an easier time than someone in greens.
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Symitri

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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:11 am

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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.

Everything that's been said about the Old Gods is that most of them are symbiotic parasites that, if killed, would blow up Azeroth. The only one that's ever been killed is that one in Darkshore, otherwise even C'thun wasn't even killed by the players, he was just weakened.

Want to bet the one under Ulduar will be the same?

And two content patches later...

"ULDUAR WAS MERELY A SET BACK! Did you honestly believe I would trust the future to some fat-headed death knight? Hahahaha... Oh no, no, no, he was merely an instrument, a stepping stone to a much larger plan! It has all led to this...and this time, you will not interfere!!!"

Surprised to see Hodir as a boss though. Thorim and Freya were givens. After all that horn blowing and helm polishing, he's going to try kill us? Sad
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Mayonnaise

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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:14 am

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V0-L7R-0N

LOL gotta love blizzard's references to popular cartoons......VOLTRON!!!! Very Happy
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Valdr
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:24 am

Get driving practice on Wintergrasp vehicles boys and girls, first boss is vehicular combat!
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izzia
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:30 am

Mayonnaise wrote:
Quote :
V0-L7R-0N

LOL gotta love blizzard's references to popular cartoons......VOLTRON!!!! Very Happy

neh... 7R4N-5F0R-M3R5 beat V0-L7R-0N anytime, any day Smile


Last edited by izzia on Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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izzia
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:33 am

Valdr wrote:
Get driving practice on Wintergrasp vehicles boys and girls, first boss is vehicular combat!

All the vehicular dailies in icecrown.... should have enuff practices by then Smile
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Arielyn



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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:06 am

Gallowyn wrote:
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/underdev/3p1/ulduar.xml

Quote :


Actually, the effectiveness of the vehicles in the Flame Leviathan fight changes depending on the quality of the gear. So someone in full Naxxramas epics (or Ulduar epics!) will have an easier time than someone in greens.

No more driving while naked, folks!
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Naushan
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:09 am

Wait, why is Freya a raid boss? Didn't I help the b*tch against those undeads while peeking flying under her skirt? And Thorim! How could he! After I do so many quests for him....

I welcome killing Hodir though... bloody son-of-a-bitch made us blow his horn and thrust his spears. (though I think, secretly some of u guys enjoyed it).
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http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Nagrand&n=Naushan
Symitri

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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:46 am

Naushan wrote:
Wait, why is Freya a raid boss? Didn't I help the b*tch against those undeads while peeking flying under her skirt? And Thorim! How could he! After I do so many quests for him....

I welcome killing Hodir though... bloody son-of-a-bitch made us blow his horn and thrust his spears. (though I think, secretly some of u guys enjoyed it).
If you did the quests, Thorim gets caught by Loken and is probably brainwashed. Want to bet we have to fight his dragon too? Sapphiron Mark 2.

Freya I'm not sure, mehbe she thinks its more important to protect Ulduar than to be happy happy joy joy with you.

I really want Hodir to have voice emotes while we fight him. "THIS IS HOW YOU BLOW A HORN"
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Gallowyn
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:58 am

Maybe Hodir will periodically enrage and you will have to blow his horn to dispel it.
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Luvme
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:12 pm

WoW is getting kinky.
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Naushan
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:06 pm

Hmmm damn Freya. She forgot what a good time we had (killing undeads la).

Hodir will emit: "Blow my horn!" and emote "Hodir thrusts his spear"
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izzia
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:19 pm

yeah.. he will thrust his spear while you blow Smile
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Symitri

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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:15 pm

While Gellon swallows?

It's a shame he doesn't post here Sad
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Mayonnaise

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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:56 pm

FREYA will periodically emote:

YOU NO TOUCH PUNANI!!!
IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN THRUST???

Very Happy
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Naushan
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:27 pm

Damnit...this is becoming World of Whorecraft.
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Boobsie
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:38 am

This is such an interesting thread, so many true colours are revealed here, and im not referring to Freya's undergarments.

WTB moar posts !
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PostSubject: Re: Ulduar - Sneak Preview   Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:24 am

Naushan wrote:
Wait, why is Freya a raid boss? Didn't I help the b*tch against those undeads while peeking flying under her skirt? And Thorim! How could he! After I do so many quests for him....

I welcome killing Hodir though... bloody son-of-a-bitch made us blow his horn and thrust his spears. (though I think, secretly some of u guys enjoyed it).

You forgot about polishing helm Bro. There's something about oiling big well-shaped pointy things that always captivates me.
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