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Patch 4.2 Preview: Regrowth and Molten Front quest hubs

Blizzard has just released the next installment in its series of patch 4.2 previews. First, it was the video teasers, then the raid, and most recently, the legendary staff. Now it's previewing the Regrowth and Molten Front daily quest hubs.

After reading through the entire preview, I'm very excited. Personally, I feel like patch 2.4's Isle of Quel'Danas was one of the few times we've felt true progression in World of Warcraft. Even the massive phasing used throughout Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm didn't carry much weight -- you rarely saw the fruits of your labor for very long. Generally, you were moving out of the areas you changed by the time things happened. Quel'Danas was a long-term change that you personally contributed toward and were exposed to repeatedly, and it felt like you really made a difference. From Blizzard's description of the Firelands quest hubs, it sounds like Quel'Danas has been the major inspiration, and I love that.

The zone will also have over 60 new daily quests, so hopefully this quest hub will take much longer to stagnate than previous daily hubs have -- cough cough, Argent Tournament.



Check out the full preview past the fold below.

Following the Cataclysm, Ragnaros's elemental minions assaulted Mount Hyjal in a bid to set the ancient World Tree of Nordrassil ablaze. Although the Guardians of Hyjal and their allies heroically repelled this invasion, their work on the sacred mount is far from over. In the newly healed Regrowth, Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage and his comrades have transformed the Sanctuary of Malorne into a staging ground for an assault on Ragnaros's domain: the Firelands. Thus far, their efforts have been frustrated by a resurgence in elemental activity that has engulfed the Regrowth and divided Malfurion's forces.

If Hyjal's defenders quell this counterattack, they have plans to create a permanent outpost in the Firelands from which to maintain an eternal vigil over the molten elemental realm. To do so, Malfurion's druids are planning to use an enchanted Sentinel Tree. With its roots sunk deep in Azeroth itself, this extraordinary tree's protective canopy will grow in the Elemental Plane, providing a much-needed shelter for the Guardians of Hyjal. Yet accomplishing such a feat will take weeks of brutal fighting against foes such as the treacherous Druids of the Flame, a splinter group of night elves bristling with Ragnaros's fiery powers. Regardless of the many challenges ahead, Hyjal's protectors and other heroes remain steadfast in their goal to establish a foothold in the Firelands. The safety of Hyjal and Nordrassil hinges on the campaign's success.


In patch 4.2, stalwart adventurers will have the opportunity to test their mettle at two new daily quest areas located in the fertile hillsides of Mount Hyjal and the burning depths of the Firelands. Known as the Regrowth and Molten Front, these areas will offer an unprecedented amount of daily solo content for level-85 players to enjoy -- including over 60 new quests, four "unlockable" iLevel 365 gear vendors, and a world that evolves right before your eyes.

Unlock Your Destiny

Like many of the daily quest areas already in the game, the Regrowth and Molten Front will feature several stages of content. Players will begin their journeys at the renewed Sanctuary of Malorne in Mount Hyjal, joining forces once again with Matoclaw and Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem to repel invading armies of elementals. From there, they must open a portal directly to the Firelands and establish a forward outpost that the Guardians of Hyjal, led by Malfurion Stormrage, can use to thwart further incursions by Ragnaros's forces.

Rather than these stages only becoming available after a certain period of time or at the end of a long quest series, players will instead get to use a new alternate currency called Marks of the World Tree to unlock them at their own pace.

Similar to Champion's Seals from the Argent Tournament in Wrath of the Lich King, Marks of the World Tree can be earned by completing quests located in both daily quest areas. These marks can then be turned in to NPCs to open up individual daily quests, unique daily quest chains (detailed further below), up to four vendors selling a brand-new tier of gear, and important fortifications including a moonwell, an armory, and a legion of Ancients.

You'll have a lot of freedom in choosing what content you unlock and when, giving you more control than ever over your questing experience. What's more, this element of choice won't only be reflected in the content you can access, but also in the world around you. As you help Malfurion's druids gain a stronger foothold in the Firelands, you'll start to see new NPCs and structures appear, and the fledgling Sentinel Tree planted at your arrival at the Molten Front will begin to grow into a massive protective canopy.
(For those who assisted the Shattered Sun Offensive in The Burning Crusade, these types of environment changes will likely feel similar to the transitions that occurred on the Isle of Quel'Danas.)

Personal Progression, Personal Gain

Unlike the Isle of Quel'Danas, though, which unlocked in stages for all players on an entire realm (at the same time), progression at the Regrowth and Molten Front will be completely personal. Your actions will have a direct impact on what quests you'll unlock next, and how each hub will evolve visually.

To ensure that friends can play together even if they're not progressing identically, we've avoided separating players through phasing for all but a couple individual quests. The hub may look very different from one player to another, but they can all still adventure together. No matter where you are in the progression, the Sentinel Tree will be alive and thriving with fellow defenders of Mount Hyjal!

I Choose You, Druids of the Talon! (Or maybe you, Shadow Wardens!)

Within the Regrowth and Molten Front daily quest areas, players will have numerous options, both in terms of the content they unlock and what quests they might play through on a daily basis. One of the first places players will get to experience this type of "modular" gameplay is near the entrance to the Molten Front, in the forward base known as Malfurion's Breach.

In addition to your normal duties at this outpost, you'll also be asked to secure the aid of two benevolent orders stationed in Mount Hyjal: the Druids of the Talon, led by Skylord Omuron, and the Shadow Wardens, a fierce group of night elves under the guidance of Captain Saynna Stormrunner. This will be a pivotal point in your progression within the Molten Front and represents the first big unlock of new content for the area.

To secure the allegiance of the druids and wardens, you'll need to collect Marks of the World Tree to present to each order's leader. Once you've gained the appropriate amount of marks and turn them in, you'll unlock a unique set of daily quests tailored to either the Druids of the Talon or the Shadow Wardens. If you unlock the Druids of the Talon dailies, your journeys will take you into the shadow of the Furnace, an area wreathed in constant flame; the Molten Flow, a river of lava inhabited by flamewakers for as far as the eye can see; and Fireplume Peak, a floating island protected by hot-tempered fire hawks. If you opt to unlock the Shadow Warden dailies, you'll lay siege to the Forlorn Spire, wresting it from the enemy's grasp and establishing a new forward outpost. From there, you'll be poised to attack the Widow's Clutch, the breeding grounds for hordes of fire spiders, and Wildflame Point, a base of operations for the nefarious Druids of the Flame.

Once you've recruited both the Druids of the Talon and the Shadow Wardens, you'll have the option to choose which set of daily quests you complete each day. You'll only able to be complete one set of daily quests per reset (either the Druid of the Talon dailies or the Shadow Warden dailies), but the choice of which path you take is up to you.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Earlier, we mentioned that over 60 new quests would be available at the Regrowth and the Molten Front. Since this is quite a lot of content -- almost half a zone's worth! -- many of these quests will be randomized into smaller groups. Out of 15 possible quests at a certain hub, for example, you might be able to pick up between three to five each day. This should help keep the content feeling fresh and fun, and your daily quest load a lot more manageable.

This randomization will also play off the environment. On one day, you may be tasked to bolster the defenses outside of Malfurion's Breach against an onslaught of Molten Giants. On another, you'll be pitted against lava worms that have surfaced throughout the outpost. These quests will be based on the events taking place around you and are likely to change daily.

Rewards? I Love Rewards! Hippogryphs all around!

You'll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts in these embattled regions. In addition to all the new gear you'll be able to purchase from the unlockable vendors, you'll also receive an additional set of rewards upon opening up all the available content at both daily quest areas.

Players who take on this task will be presented with a stunning Flameward Hippogryph (shown below), as well a special one-time quest line that will explore the origins of Leyara, the powerful Druid of the Flame who commands the Firelord's forces at the Regrowth and Molten Front, and why her hatred for Malfurion Stormrage burns so brightly.

After years of preparation and maneuvering, the Firelord's power is now potent enough to threaten Azeroth with a devastating invasion. The Guardians of Hyjal will require the aid of the mightiest heroes to have a chance of survival. You've heard their call -- will you answer?


Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

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