Get Ready, Get Set, Get Arthas! Patch 3.3: Icecrown & General Changes

The last numbers I saw about Patch 3.3 said that 75% of sites are predicting release this Tuesday, with the other 25% mostly settled on the following Tuesday.

IcecrownWith Icecrown Citadel now hovering ominously overhead, it’s time to break down Patch 3.3.  The truth is, there’s always an overwhelming amount of information available prior to these patches, and I find it helpful to shrink it down into tasty, more manageable morsels.  For those of you who are more detail oriented, I’ll provide links to more in-depth sources where appropriate.


  • Icecrown Citadel

There are 4 total instances in ICC:  three 5-man dungeons (regular and heroic), and one raid (10-man and 25-man).  The 5-mans are super quick; I did them on the PTR in ToC-level gear, and they don’t generally take more than 30 minutes each.

Probably the first boss you'll encounter in the 5-man dungeon Pit of Saron.


The last boss in Pit of Saron.

Unfortunately, the only time I actually got the chance to raid ICC, the boss didn’t spawn for us on 10-man, and the 25-man I got into failed miserably.  The thing I like about the raid is that it will be gated, releasing the bosses and wings of the instance in stages.  This ensures that those of us still looking to down heroic Anub will be able to progress into ICC and still finish up ToGC.  Click here to read how the ICC gating system will work.

  • Quel’Delar Quest Chain

I’m going to be bluntly honest.  Moonkin got screwed on this.  There are two caster weapons from which to choose if you do this quest chain:  a mace and a sword.  The mace is clearly a healer mace, with mp5.  And druids can’t use swords.  GG, Blizz.  Click here to see all the weapons available from completing this quest chain.

  • Knockbacks no longer dismount players. If on a flying mount, you will be knocked back a short distance before being able to resume flying.
  • The existing /welcome emote now greets/welcomes targets (character says “hello”), while the new /yw is for saying “you’re welcome.”
  • Many of the tail sweeps with knockback effects will no longer hit players’ pets.

My treants always seemed smart enough to move to the side of Onyxia (really, it’s kind of strange), but at least this ensures that my trees won’t be pulling any whelps.  Also, the addition to /yw emote is looooooong overdue.

  • Level 1 characters no longer start with food or water in their inventory.

I wasn’t going to mess with the leveling-related stuff (like how you won’t get dazed as much when you run away like a pansy at low levels), but this one caught me off guard.  However, they increasing mana regeneration by 200% for characters under level 15, so this might make the old drink-after-every-two-kills 1-10 not quite so bad.

summoning stone

Wonder how that worked out...

  • Meeting Stones: To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character’s minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.

ABOUT FREAKING TIME, don’t you think?  Headless Horseman will be a lot easier next year, assuming SM’s summoning stone isn’t pooped on by Deathwing by that time.

Classes: General

  • Area-of-Effect Damage Caps: We’ve redesigned the way area damage is capped when hitting many targets. Instead of a hard cap on total damage done, the game now caps the total damage done at a value equal to the damage the spell would do if it hit 10 targets. In other words, if a spell does 1000 damage to each target, it would hit up to 10 targets for 1000 each, but with more than 10 targets, each target would take 1000 damage divided by the number of targets. 20 targets would be hit for 500 damage each in that example.

hurricaneI don’t know about you, but that’s way too many numbers in one bullet point for me.  Here’s what this basically means:  if you’re Hurricaning 10 mobs, they’ll each get hit for what they’re supposed to according to the spell.  If you’re Hurricaning more than 10, then each mob will get hit for less, based on how many there are.

This makes perfectly good sense to me.  Chances are, if you’re AoEing a trillion mobs, you’re probably grinding through a low-level zone for some reason and you don’t need much damage to kill them anyway.  If you really like numbers that much, here’s a full explanation of the AoE cap.

  • Pet Resilience: All player pets now get 100% of their master’s resilience.

I don’t PvP enough to know how big of a boom this is, but I imagine it’s pretty nice.  But as an aside, do people really try to kill pets in PvP?  Seems kind of like a waste of time to me; when my little baby hunter was a twink, I used to own people all the time because they’d get so caught up trying to kill my cat they’d forget I was there pinging arrows at their heads.

  • 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.

Good news for tanks and their raids, I think.  Seeing a <<<Taunt Failed!  Target is now taunt immune!>>> macro pop up in a raid is seriously frightening.  Click here to see how tanks are responding to this change.

Part 2 coming tomorrow.  Right now, I have a daughter who is eager to see the Christmas tree go up in the living room!


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