All this talk of 3.1 we've been seeing lately is fantastic! Class and talent changes everywhere, dual-spec announcements (see? I told you!), it's all great stuff. For me, though, the big draw of 3.1 is -- read my lips -- one new dungeon!
I know, I know, raids is raids, but I'm getting pretty tired of Naxx, and I want a nice long raid to sink my teeth into. New strats to learn! Setting a course through uncharted territory! Wiping because we don't know the fight yet! I'm just so excited.
Of course, the one thing we haven't found out about Ulduar yet is who the heck we're killing for their purples! Being a reasonable man who reads his quest text, though, I've been able to divine the identities of a few personalities we're likely to encounter. The Ulduar screenshots from beta, with their diverse wings and amazing architecture, also hint to these same folks. They'll be involved, and I'll put good gold on it.
Who's ready to rumble?
IN THE ANNOYINGLY TALL CORNER, HAILING FROM THE TEMPLE OF STORMS, JOINED BY HIS TRUSTY, SCALY STEED, GIVE IT UP FOOOORRRRR
That's right, folks. You've seen this dude, hangin' out at the Temple of Storms all depressed. But what's eating Big Blue? Well, his brother, Loken, started a war between Thorim and the Frost Giants by killing Thorim's wife, Sif, and blaming it on the king of the Frost Giants. In his grief and rage, Thorim lashed out and attacked his allies.
With the help of you, the player, though, Thorim's ties with the Frost Giants are mended and he decides to go after the cause of his loss -- his brother, and thrall to the Old God Yogg-Saron, Loken. The meeting doesn't quite go as planned, though, and Loken is able to take advantage of his dark master's power near Ulduar. Thorim and his blue protodrake, Veranus, are incapacitated and taken to Ulduar by Loken's command, saying he has plans for them.
The signs here are obvious -- Thorim and Veranus will be featured in some way in the instance, and given Blizzard's history of bosses fighting you against their will, they seem a dead lock for bosses. I'm not necessarily looking forward to offing the pair -- I was just getting to know Thorim when he got captured -- but then again, I loved fighting Vaelastrasz. We'll have to see.
The next group of bosses, though, you might not actually have heard of if you haven't done a lot of quests in Storm Peaks. Don't worry, though -- I've got your back. I'll explain everything.
IN THE LUSH, VERDANT CORNER, HAILING FROM THE TEMPLE OF LIFE, LOOKIN' AS FINE AS THE DAY SHE WAS SCULPTED, FELLAS, PLANT A TREE FOOOOOORRRR
I know what you're thinking, questers! Why would Freya suddenly go nuts on us when we've been helping her clear the undead out of Sholazar Basin?
Simple answer for a simple question, folks. The Freya you assist in Sholazar is the Avatar of Freya, and she states that she's simply following the programming left for her by Freya before her departure.
The real Freya is the Watcher of the Temple of Life in Storm Peaks and was one of the group of four Watchers who've mysteriously disappeared from their posts. There were signs of a struggle at her Temple, though, indicating that she's either dead or captured, most likely by Loken.
IN THE FROSTY CORNER, HAILING FROM THE TEMPLE OF WINTER, SHOUTING OUT TO HIS SONS AT DUN NIFFELEM, PUT ON YOUR SCARF FOOOOORRRRR
You've met this dude's sons and probably killed close to a million Brittle Revenants for them, but just who is this Hodir guy, anyway? Well, he was the Watcher of the Temple of Winter, and the frost giants consider him their father and creator. Like Freya, his temple was recently attacked and his guardians slain.
Interestingly, his temple appears to have been attacked by a "fire-based entity", which would explain how they were able to incapacitate Hodir.
If you're smart, you've started to see a pattern here!
IN THE BIG BRASS CORNER, HAILING FROM THE TEMPLE OF INVENTION, LETTING YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY GRINDS HIS GEARS, SET YOUR WATCHES FOOOOOORRR
So, you know all those mechagnomes you've been seeing around? Well, they were Mimir's servants, as he was the Watcher of the Temple of Invention which, oddly, is still in great shape compared to the others. And now that Mimir's disappeared (like everybody else), they're straight-up bonkers.
What I'm saying is you should expect an add fight with a million mechagnomes ripe for the slaughter. ENJOY.
Now for the spookiest disappearance!
IN THE, UH. WELL, I GUESS IN THE REALLY TIDY CORNER, HAILING FROM THE TEMPLE OF ORDER, USE A COASTER AND TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF AT THE DOOR FOOOOOOORRRRR
Tyr's the Watcher of the Temple of Order, and he (she?) has just disappeared completely. The Temple is intact, but its guardians are all gone, along with Tyr.
I get the feeling that, of all the Watchers, Tyr might have been the only one to go along with Loken willingly. Unfortunately, much like Mimir, there's simply not a lot of information on this particular Watcher and we'll need to see what happens once the PTR goes live.
IN THE NON-EUCLIDEAN CORNER, HAILING FROM UNDERNEATH NORTHREND, DIGGING HIS ELDRITCH TENTACLES DEEP INTO YOUR MIND, SURRENDER YOUR SANITY FOOOOORRRR
Yogg-Saron has been a huge player in Northrend goings-on. If you're not familiar with him, he's the cause of the felling of Vordrassil in Grizzly Hills, the source of Saronite and its related madness, the cause of Loken's betrayal and corruption, and a host of other badness in the Northrend area. Under Loken's command, the Iron Dwarves have been attempting to free Yogg-Saron from under Ulduar, and this is undoubtedly the tipping point that'll cause you and 9 or 24 other friends to head in there.
While I can't guarantee that we'll be facing him directly, I'll put good money on him being a part of a boss fight (or two!), whether it's preventing his ascension to the surface or fighting his gaping maw.
I can't wait. And not just to prove that I'm perceptive!