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Patch 4.3: Dragon Soul raid preview


We've been hit with a ton of patch 4.3 news today, from previews of all of the new 5-man content to the new loot distribution for tier pieces coming with the next raid encounter. Now, players are given a sneak peek at the raid instance for patch 4.3, Dragon Soul, where heroes from the Alliance and Horde will face off against Deathwing himself.

Three difficulties of Dragon Soul will be available out of the gates, including normal, heroic, and the new Looking For Raid difficulty intended to give players an easier time with casual raiding in a new, less severe setting. The raid begins at Wyrmrest Temple, where Thrall has successfully delivered the Dragon Soul that was nabbed out from under Malfurion long ago in the Caverns of Time instance The Well of Eternity. The aspects are all there, ready to deal the final blow. First, however, players face off against six bosses, and then two encounters against Deathwing.

The first fight is a mighty elemental, Morchok, who attacks Wyrmrest itself. Players then face off against Warlod Zon'ozz, Yor'shaj the Unsleeping, and Hagara the Binder, all minions of the Old Gods assisting Deathwing in his plans to destroy Azeroth. Ultraxion, a dragon of immense dark energy, will attack players on Wyrmrest, followed by an army of Twilight's Hammer drake riders led by Warmaster Blackhorn. Most interestingly absent is Chromatus, the great five-headed chromatic dragon who first appeared as an enemy in Christie Golden's Twilight of the Aspects and was pegged to be a raid boss in the coming patches.

Finally, players will take the fight to Deathwing himself, landing on his back for the first part of his encounter and then attacking him in his final form on the edges of the Maelstrom. I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am for these final raid encounters from Cataclysm. Way to turn up the epic, Blizzard.

Gallery: Patch 4.3: Demon Soul raid boss preview | 4 Photos

Patch 4.3 Raid Preview: Dragon Soul
World of Warcraft patch 4.3 will offer players the opportunity to take the fight to Wyrmrest Temple and beyond, assisting Thrall and the Dragon Aspects as they seek to bring an end to the Black Dragonflight once and for all. 10- and 25-person raids will get to take on Deathwing himself, with three levels of difficulty to consider and epic gear to claim.

Forged by Deathwing during the War of the Ancients, the Dragon Soul harnessed the power of the other dragonflights, until it was ultimately destroyed. After recovering a version of the artifact from the Caverns of Time, Thrall and the allied dragonflights now rally at Wyrmrest Temple in a desperate bid to use its might to defeat Deathwing.

Created by the titans as a sanctuary for all Dragonkind, the crumbling Wyrmrest Temple is now the final hope for the forces allied against the black dragon Neltharion, once the Earth-Warder and protector of Azeroth, now Deathwing the Destroyer. It is here that the remaining aspects -- Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, Kalecgos, and Thrall -- have gathered to empower the Dragon Soul -- Azeroth's last chance to stop the great behemoth. As they begin to charge the Dragon Soul with energy, Deathwing and his entire army assault Wyrmrest Temple. Players must thwart the attacking forces long enough for Thrall to charge the Dragon Soul.

Before you face Deathwing the Destroyer, you must prevail against six mighty bosses.

The most powerful elemental still under Deathwing's sway, Morchok -- once a passive guardian -- is now convinced that his only respite will come with Azeroth's demise. Morchok rages against the foundation of Wyrmrest Temple, Azeroth's last beacon of hope in the Hour of Twilight.

Countless ages ago, Warlord Zon'ozz and his soldiers waged endless war against the forces of C'Thun and Yogg-Saron. Millennia have passed, but the warlord still serves the chaotic might of the Old God N'Zoth. Deathwing has now unleashed this legendary faceless one to crush the defenders of Wyrmrest Temple.

Since the fall of the Bastion of Twilight, Yor'sahj the Unsleeping has eagerly assisted Deathwing, providing the Destroyer with the means to release more faceless ones from their prisons deep beneath the earth. Their numbers are endless and their power is beyond reckoning, and Yor'sahj intends to reap a grim reward for his faithful service.

Hagara the Binder, one of the first students of arcane magic under the Forsaken, showed surprising potential for one who had started learning so late in life. But in her undisciplined attempts to bind elementals into servitude, she was ensnared and twisted by the Windlord, Al'Akir. Now fiercely loyal to the Twilight's Hammer, Hagara binds others for her elemental masters to torment.

More an abomination of dark energy than a dragon, Ultraxion has spent his short life absorbing the essence of captured nether dragons. Ultraxion is the only twilight dragon Deathwing has praised, and his arrogance is overshadowed only by the crackling energies surging through his twisted form. Loyal to his master, Ultraxion swears to bring about the fall of Wyrmrest Temple.

Though once vast in number, only a few dozen twilight dragons now remain. Astride these hardened survivors are the last vestiges of the Twilight's Hammer's army: the elite drake riders of Deathwing's personal escort. Led by the insidious Warmaster Blackhorn, they move with unholy purpose, driven to protect their dark master.

When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul's power against the other dragonflights, the massive energies that he unleashed threatened to break him apart. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness -- the sole vulnerability to Deathwing's lethal presence.

Your assault on the massive Deathwing will begin a battle unlike any other. It is a fight so wide-ranging and intense that it comprises two unique encounters, taking place across Azeroth. Taking to the skies, players will parachute from soaring gunships to attack the monster mid-flight and attempt to weaken him by ripping away his armor, exposing the molten flesh beneath. Should they succeed, they will plunge into the depths of Maelstrom for the final encounter.

No adventurer has yet taken on an enemy so large and dangerous and lived to tell the tale. Will you?

Check out our previews of the forthcoming 5-person dungeons, End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

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