Continuing Blizzard's slow PR trickle of Patch 3.3 news, they just released an interview with Lead World Designer Cory Stockton and Lead Systems Designer Greg Street, a.k.a. Ghostcrawler, about the philosophy behind the design of the Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon.
There's a lot of great information in there. Where itemization is concerned, they explain that the multitude of bosses in the instance (especially compared to the ghost town that was Crusader's Coliseum) affords the developers the opportunity to really serve players with specific specs and make sure that each boss has a loot table with an item of interest for every raider in attendance. They also talk at length about some popular concepts they've brought back for the sake of keeping things fun and interesting -- like the return of weapon procs, something we've rarely seen since the vanilla endgame. Ghostcrawler says that the main theme of Icecrown's gear is "Epic. Cool things. Proc'y stuff." Sounds good to me.
They also talk about cohesion between the dungeon's art and the gear that drops in it. The compelling look of the instance made it easy to create eye-catching gear to match it, and that's apparently not always easy. The Frozen Halls, the set of three five-man dungeons also releasing with 3.3, will also have gear that shares the same artistic "kit" as the raid, like they wish they had done with Ulduar and its sister five-man dungeons.
Other topics touched on include discussion of non-boss items available -- trash epics, for example, or the Ashen Verdict rep gear that'll be available -- and why Crusader's Coliseum was so, what's the word ... boring. In short, blame Icecrown. Personally, I'm willing to make the sacrifice of one fairly uninspired patch period if it means that the end of the entire WarCraft III arc wraps up in a big, glorious, icy fireworks display. So to speak.
Check out the full interview for yourself here, along with some new screenshots.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.