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6 reasons you should care about patch 4.3, even if you don't raid


Patch 4.3 is cruising down the lane toward us. It won't be too much longer before we all get to update our mods and game clients, all the while cursing the inevitable server interruptions and instability. But when we weather that troubling Tuesday, we'll all have the gift of patch 4.3 to keep us entertained for many moons.

The question is, why should non-raiders care about patch 4.3? After all, another raiding tier just isn't exciting to folks who prefer 5-man dungeons, solo questing, and a little side PvP. The good news is that patch 4.3 contains huge stacks of cool stuff for casual players. In many ways, this new content patch is the most exciting addition to the game for non-raiders since Cataclysm itself was released.

Let's talk about all the things patch 4.3 offers players ... even if you don't happen to raid.

6 ways to dig in

1. UI improvements Tons of little UI improvements will grace your screen in patch 4.3. You will finally be able to look around in your bags with a text search, making collectors' lives infinitely easier. Reforging is getting a sexy new menu, and the minimap will finally get vertical orientation, so that you can tell if your target is above or below you.

2. A new PvP season Hardcore PvP action can be just as intense as raiding, but it doesn't require you to get together with nine or 24 of your closest friends. With more flexibility in the size of your group, PvP is often a favorite pasttime of non-raiding players.

While patch 4.3 won't be fundamentally changing the Arena landscape, we are getting a brand new Arena season. The current season ends on Nov. 29. You'll have a short relief week and then all the hot new action begins.

3. Darkmoon Island While mindlessly repeating the same daily quests for months isn't exactly exciting content, Darkmoon Island will provide lots of minigames and goals for casual players. Make sure you check out Mat McCurley's guide to theses games; they look like a huge ton of fun.

Of course, Darkmoon Island has more to share, including ghosts, replicas of old armor sets, new pets and mounts, and ... a whole island to explore.

4. Accessible raids If you do want to dabble in raids but don't have time to commit to a regular schedule, there's always the new Raid Finder. You can just fire up the Raid Finder and join a PUG group. The dungeon you'll enter is tuned for a random group to be able to complete rather than for a coordinated, experienced guild group.

While playing in the Raid Finder might technically disqualify you as a non-raider, it's still a great option for casual players.

5. Transmogrification We're talked about transmogrification a lot. Essentially, you can make sure current gear look like old gear. With transmog, you can engage in your own personal fashion contest and constantly upgrade the look of your gear without sacrificing those precious stats. While this probably isn't the most exciting thing to be released, transmogrification is a big deal to many players who want to control how their characters look.

6. New 5-man dungeons Three new 5-man dungeons will be released with patch 4.3. This is actually similar to the final tier of 5-mans offered in Wrath of the Lich King. The new dungeons are End Time, Hour of Twilight, and the Well of Eternity.

Just as importantly, the troll dungeons are going to get streamlined, saving you huge amounts of time while you're dodging the voodoo.

It'll all be here soon

All this content is cruising in soon. We can expect patch 4.3 in the first week or two of December -- about three weeks from now. There will likely be more details coming to light between now and then, but it definitely looks like it will be an exciting time.

Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you're just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.

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