The Queue: Allie gets lost in Icecrown edition

Allison Robert
A. Robert|12.29.09

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The Queue: Allie gets lost in Icecrown edition
Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert will be your host today.

Alex is popping out for a RL issue, so I'm afraid, dear readers, that you're going to get stuck with the writer who will spend the entirety of a question today wandering off the Icecrown map. HC SVNT DRACONES. Frostwyrms, anyway.

As a warning, the answer to said question contains what some players will consider a spoiler, so don't read past the cut if you don't want to know anything about an upcoming Icecrown encounter.

TAD asks...

Will experience acceleration go away once Cataclysm drops?

We don't think so, because the 1-85 grind for a new character will still be pretty lengthy even with experience acceleration, but truthfully we don't know. I'd argue that Blizzard doesn't have much of a reason to change current leveling speed, because it's only efficient if the character in question is outfitted in heirloom items (particularly the chest and shoulders with the +experience boost). This obviously won't happen for a genuinely new player seeing the content for the first time. As you've probably also observed with alts on a different realm from your main, leveling's not that fast without being bankrolled by another toon or sitting on a pile of heirlooms.

Then again, I'm one of those crazy people who enjoys questing for its own sake and I'll be doing all the new quests anyway, so what do I know?

Busuan asks...

Where is Angrathar the Wrathgate exactly located in ICC? IAW, where would you be after you enter the gate?

One of the interesting things about Angrathar (and the extreme southern end of Icecrown/northwestern Dragonblight, more generally) is that, past a certain point, the game doesn't seem to be entirely certain about where you are. You don't show up on the map, you have no coordinates, and if you fly straight over the dead center of the Wrath Gate and keep going, the point at which you'll finally show up is at 56,99 in Icecrown despite the fact that you're not actually in Icecrown yet.

So yes. That little strip of land between Angrathar and Icecrown is, to say the least, on the bizarre side and pretty much a no-man's-land. Look around you and you'll see it's clearly a huge mountain that you're flying over/around. Map-wise, it's got to be housing at least a portion of the Icecrown Citadel complex, and the most likely candidates would seem to be one or more of the new 5-mans. However, Pit of Saron takes place in an open area, so it can't possibly be enclosed entirely by the mountain, and the last portion of Halls of Reflection takes place outdoors as well. A combination of the two, plus all of Forge of Souls? But FoS isn't that big, so there's got to be something else there too.

On that note, an equally fascinating development is that, at least as of the advent of patch 3.3, the exterior "set" for the Arthas encounter also seems to be available. If you fly around that no-man's land, the tallest building you'll see there is the spire crowned by the Frozen Throne platform that Boubouille recently datamined. Now, it's possible that this was here earlier and I just missed it, but I explored Icecrown pretty thoroughly both on the beta and more recently (the area was just as odd coordinate- and map-wise then too) and don't recall seeing the Frozen Throne platform being present before. I should mention that the Throne itself is not visible, but the platform on which it rests is there, complete with the floor design and what will be breakable portions of the platform. We think it's the same thing. More on this in another article to come shortly.

Anyway, if you look directly up from Marrowgar's room, you'll see a huge spiral leading up to what I think is the Frozen Throne. This would seem to suggest that the first of the Icecrown Citadel raid encounters forms the base of the complex inside the mountain, and that the spiral housing Marrowgar's room and crowned by the Frozen Throne is at the extreme southern end. The Icecrown 5-mans occupy higher levels on what appears to be the mountain's western side.

Blightmare asks...

My main spec is DPS as a death knight and I was wondering how high my gear score should be to run ICC regular 10-man?

ICC-10 is designed for players who are generally outfitted in i-level 232 gear, which is what you can get from non-heroic ToC-10 and/or most badge pieces (although most non-set Triumph badge items are actually i-level 245). If you have better than that, ICC-10 will be easier; if you have worse than that, it'll be harder, and so on and so forth.

Other than that, I don't use Gear Score so I really have no idea what that would translate into. Honestly, so many classes and specs out there still benefit from the use of lower i-level trinkets and relics (Greatness, anyone?) that play havoc on Gear Score that, at best, I'm ambivalent on the merits of using GS to say that someone is or isn't geared for specific content.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!
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