Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Icecrown: More Bosses Than Ever Before?

Today, Ghostcrawler (the enigmatic and trivially trolled lead designer for World of Warcraft) announced that the final (announced) raid instance of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Icecrown, will have at least 31 boss encounters. That number may not mean much at first glance, but here's what came before. This is the complete list of all previous WoW raids and how many bosses they had:

  • Zul'Gurub 13
  • Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj 6
  • Onyxia's Lair 1
  • Molten Core 10
  • Blackwing Lair 8
  • Temple of Ahn'Qiraj 9
  • Naxxramas (pre-TBC and WotLK) 19
  • Karazhan 14-18 (depending on how you count Chess and Wizard of Oz)
  • Zul'Aman 6
  • Gruul's Lair 2
  • Magtheridon's Lair 1
  • Serpentshrine Cavern 6
  • Tempest Keep 4-5 (depending on how you count Kael'thas Sunstrider's advisors)
  • Battle for Mount Hyjal 5
  • Black Temple 9
  • Sunwell Plateau 6
  • Eye of Eternity 1
  • Vault of Archavon 3
  • Obsidian Sanctum 4
  • Ulduar 14
  • Trial of the Crusader 5

You'll notice that these barely crest above half of what Icecrown is going to have. Truly, Icecrown is going to be the largest time sink ever to hit World of Warcraft. But there's something else to it... It's also likely to be the stop-gap to the next expansion. Many have speculated that there would be another raid after Icecrown, the way there was in Burning Crusade with the Sunwell, but if they're going to push out their largest dungeon ever and then have an expansion sometime early next year, I don't think they're going to have time for yet another raid instance after Icecrown.

More to the point, I don't think the vast majority of the player base will be able to get to anything after Icecrown. They'll be too busy taking advantage of the new raid lockout extension feature in order to complete Icecrown.

Update: as WoW.com points out, BRD has more bosses than this, depending on how you count. However, BRD was also meant for a radically smaller number of players. How this will play out for a full raid is yet to be seen. Personally, I think it will be a lot of fun.