The Oculus revealed

In an amazing example of the nonlinearity I mentioned yesterday (and was discussed at the Raids and Dungeons panel at the WWI), we've been given a sneak preview of the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King dungeon, The Oculus. The Oculus is a wing of the Blue Dragon-centric branch of dungeons, The Nexus.

The Oculus itself is not quite an indoors dungeon, not quite an outdoors dungeon. It is actually a series of tiered, floating rings, which you can see in the picture to the right. Which means you need a way to get between the rings, right? Right! How will we do that? Partway into the dungeon, you acquire a drake that allows you to fly within the Oculus! These drakes come in a few different flavors: DPS, Tanking, and Healing. You're allowed to pick and choose between them, too! Give your healer a break, and let them fly around on the DPS drake! They'll need to start healing again as soon as they're on the ground, so it'll only be a brief reprieve.

The dungeon will be, as I mentioned, nonlinear. All of the bosses will likely need to be killed before the dungeon is 'complete' but you're allowed to pick and choose which order you want to do them in. The simple idea of actually having a choice in that is exciting to me, especially after The Burning Crusade's linear, railroad dungeons. This drake mechanic also makes me curious about what other new features we'll run into in dungeons. Will we see siege vehicles in 5 man instances, like we're seeing in Lake Wintergrasp and the new battleground? What other challenges could be waiting for us, besides Stratholme-esque timed runs?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.