Story-centric trailers for Blizzard MMO World of Warcraft are usually reserved for expansions to the game like Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria, but on occasion a patch is special enough to warrant the cinematic treatment. The upcoming patch to WoW will be the last major content addition in Mists of Pandaria, so Blizzard is rolling it out in style.
The Siege of Orgrimmar, or patch 5.4, focuses on Horde warchief Garrosh Hellscream’s final steps into all-out villainy. In the trailer, Garrosh is confronted about his corruption by Pandaren hero Taran Zhu. After some harsh words are exchanged, the two duke it out in true Azerothian fashion. The trailer drops nearly a year to the day since Blizzard released the Mists of Pandaria cinematics. If all that lore doesn’t quite do it for you, there is still a solid minute or two of gameplay footage buried in the middle of this trailer.
Blizzard lore experts probably picked up on the references to Garrosh’s father Grom, who also went down a dark path back in the days of Warcraft 3. The current warchief unleashes the corrupting power of the Sha of the Pride (the stuff pouring out of the chest) into Orgrimmar with the hope of drawing his enemies to the capital city. Spoiler alert: It looks like it’s going to work.
The new content will include a 14-boss raid for top-tier dungeon crawlers. The three-wing raid concludes with a battle against the mad warchief himself. For slightly less hardcore players, the patch also includes a flexible raid mode, dynamically adjusting the difficulty of the raid based on the number of players in the group.
Other additions include new Proving Grounds practice sessions for players that want to hone their tanking, healing, or DPS skills. A new outdoor questing zone called Timeless Isle will also be available once the patch is released. The final segment of the legendary quest Judgement of the Black Prince will also be rolled out in 5.4. Heroes who complete the quest will be rewarded with a legendary upgrade to their celestial cloak.
On the technical side, the new Connected Realms feature will link low-population servers and some tweaks have been made to arenas to improve the matchmaking experience for PvP enthusiasts.
After the drop in WoW subscriptions that Activision Blizzard reported earlier this summer, a patch that focuses on end-game content may be just what the MMO needs to bring some old players back around. Blizzard is still sticking to the subscription-based MMO model nearly nine years after WoW’s initial release. It seems like gamers will have to wait until Titan to find out what Blizzard’s version of a non subscription-based MMO looks like.
No official release date has been announced yet, but eager fans can check out the full patch notes over at Battle.net.
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