Patch 3.3 has been out for two days now, and we're starting to see lots of reactions to the various new encounters pour in. Drawing from bloggers' posts, forum threads, and the reactions of a random sampling of players I've pugged with (the new LFG system is great), this is a short gloss on what I'm seeing so far:
- Forge of Souls is the easiest of the new 5-mans. The most common gripe is that group members don't pay attention to their raid warnings and move in as necessary for Bronjahm, or stop DPS on Devourer of Souls if they get Mirrored Soul.
- Pit of Saron is pretty cool, though quite sad at the end (at least if you're Horde). The trash pulls full of casters are on the tough side if people aren't good about interrupting or moving out of Hellfire on heroic. Also, don't bank on getting Don't Look Up in a pug.
- Halls of Reflection is widely cited for the intense difficulty of the first two bosses (or, more accurately, the trash waves preceding them). The heroic version is not recommended for undergeared groups, and a successful run demands a decently high level of play from all members of the group. The end is really cool.
- Lord Marrowgar is considered a utility fight; it's a gear check for the tanks and a basic competence check for everyone else. This is possibly the result of its being one of the weekly raid quests. Alex Ziebart characterizes Marrowgar as "the first half of Black Temple in review."
- Lady Deathwhisper is the first real challenge for a competent raid and tests your ability to get Deathwhisper's shield to 0% while controlling adds and mind-controlled (on 25-man) players. The encounter punishes players swiftly for a lack of raid awareness, but it's not too steep a learning curve, and once you've gotten her to phase 2, you've pretty much won. Melee DPS are unhappy about yet another set of mobs in the game with nasty cleaves who have to be jockeyed into position.
- The Gunship battle: Very positive reactions in general. On a personal note, I think this is one of Blizzard's best, most unique, and most interesting fights since Sunwell. I want this fight to get married and have kids.
- Deathbringer Saurfang: Phase 4 Illidan meets the spawn of Saurfang. Players everywhere wonder: why can't Saurfang Jr. cleave?